~ Welcome To Worship ~ tippecanoe presbyterian church (U. S. A.)

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~ Welcome To Worship ~

Living Waters Contemplative Life Center

Divine Intervention Ministry to the Homeless

Tippecanoe Community Garden & Native American Wellness Garden

Food Justice Site PCUSA just.good.food.org

March 23, 2014

9:30 a.m.

Miracles and The Spectacular:

Keeping Your Heart Open Along The Way!

Welcome to this time of being with God and each other.


On a spiritual quest? Reached a tipping point? Reach out to Tippe! You are important to us.

In Christ, there are no strangers, only new and wonderful people to meet each day!

If you are visiting today, please be sure to sign our Guest Book at the back of the sanctuary

or fill out a pew card and drop it in the offering plate.

Our pastor would be glad to call you or pay you a personal visit.

Just let us know as you sign in…and take a Welcome Packet, too!

Come back often. We care! We are open for faith! Affirming and open to all!

Tippe Church is a member of The Center for Progressive Christianity as well as the Covenant Network of Presbyterians. We are active within Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee,

WI Council of Churches, Common Ground, The Milwaukee Food Council, and Continuum of Care

serving the local home-less community. Please visit our webpage to know more! tippechurch.org

Helpful Worship Information

We’re Glad You’ve Come.

This is a safe place, a sanctuary of worship and prayer, comfort and justice-seeking for all God’s people and all are welcome here

.just as you are.

Our church is a safe sanctuary for children..

We are proactive to protect our children with trained staff, enlightened volunteers,

and aware congregants.
No concealed weapons of any type are allowed on Tippecanoe Church premises.
Our children are invited

to remain in worship with us.
We ask children be accompanied

by an adult at all times throughout

our morning together!
During worship, children are welcome to use a book, stuffed animal, or crayons and papers from the bottom shelf of the cart at the back of the sanctuary. We want the sanctuary to be home to them.
When your child (1st grade and under) is restless, when you are, when those around you are… you’re/we’re probably asking too much of everyone. Please let your child be in the nursery at times like this. Please return borrowed “goodies” to the cart after worship.

Infant through 1st Grade Care

is available all during worship down the stairs to the right to the “nursery.”

In the order of worship, please note… the * indicates times to stand as you are able.

Today in Worship


We open our hearts and minds to the texts confronting the radical nature of God’s wisdom.


Lent is a time to take the time to let the power of our faith story take hold of us, a time to let the events get up and walk around in us, a time to intensify our living unto Christ, a time to hover over the thoughts of our hearts, a time to touch His robe and feel the healing surge through us, a time to ponder and a time to wonder…. Lent is a time to allow a fresh new taste of God and the miracle of life! (Words of Ann Weems)

Today in our wisdom teachings, God offers fullness of life in unconventional ways to people who are facing scarcity, suffering, and exclusion. Living Waters! We are invited to ask ourselves what is really life giving and look to the unconventional sources God provides for our lives today…and commit to “drinking” from those sources! All held within our Lenten them:
Miracles And The Spectacular!


Thanks for being here today!

In deepest gratitude, we give God thanks

for your presence with us in worship!

If you take the Bible literally you may be disappointed here. We hope not, but we think you should know that we don’t take all of scripture literally….any more than Jesus did,
but we DO take it all seriously.

As you enter, please use this time to greet friends, welcome newcomers, and join in the spirit of community.

As the music begins, gift yourself a few moments of quiet perhaps becoming present to your own life -- your desires and needs and joys.
An invitation to thoughtfulness is provided for your use

God rejoices in your coming and meets you this morning in special ways that are meant just for you.


Third Sunday In Lent

There’s been a call for a miracle.

You want a miracle?

The miracle is in believing.

Believe…and go your way and live forever!
Excerpts, Ann Weems “Miracle”



Miracles And The Spectacular!

Welcome and Community News

Readying Ourselves for Worship
Surely God is in this place, Holy Ground!

Surely God is in this place,

Holy Ground!

Bringing The Bread

Ringing the Bell….an ancient tradition to clarify the air enabling

our prayers to rise more easily to our God.

Gathering As God's People

Becoming Present To God And Each Other
One: As the Holy One gathers us this morning, what will it take to convince us? What do we need in order to believe? Will we give ourselves to the larger truth of the Bible stories?

All: Will we let someone else’s miracle stand? Will we stand up and honor the miracles that are ours?
One: This Lent, let us suspend criticism while engaging our critical mind!
All: This Lent, may we give ourselves to this reality:
God’s Love For Us Is Real and Defies All Other Realities!

Life itself is the miracle!

Marybeth will play once through, then let us sing twice with joy!

*Gathering Hymn #293 Hymnal
This Is My Father’s World”

Listen to this invitation!

Opening Ourselves To God’s Grace

Lenten Candle Ritual – Jerry Watkins
Miracles start to happen when you give as much energy

to your dreams as you do to your fears.”

This Lent, we will use Ann Weem’s poetry from “Kneeling in Jerusalem” to frame our conversation with God. Also used are images from today’s wisdom teachings.

Let this invitation to personal sharing move you toward the Divine. Contemplate the mystery.

Sharing Our Inner Most Lives With God
Hurting, they came to Him. Healed they followed Him. Grateful, they gave to Him what they had and what they were. Blessed, they became a blessing and went out to all the world in His way. Those who are hurt and healed, grateful and blessed still move among us on the Way.
So, today, stressed and anxious, even though I complain too much and accept too little from You, Holy One comfort me. And don’t have this place put me on a committee rather than minister to and with me!

Forgive, O Holy One, my weariness with Your world and with Your word. Help me be part of the Good News again…hurt but healing, grateful and giving, blessed and a blessing to others!

Lord, You hear my prayer…..

 There’s been a call for a miracle, but Jesus says no! You want a miracle? The miracle is in believing, faithing! The miracle is in you!

You may share with God what’s on your mind and in your heart that opens up in you this Lent, maybe where you’re hurting and healing, grateful and giving, blessed and a blessing for others; or you may simply invite Jesus to come sit beside you in the pew this morning shining His healing light all around and through you.
(Let there be some quiet. We will be stilled together

for 5 minutes or so! You have time….go deeper….)

A Moment With God For Each Of Us….

Prayers of the People,” Rev. Ben Johnson-Krase, with permission.

We are praying…whoa we are praying.

We are praying...whoa we are praying.
We are man, woman, we are children,

whoa we are praying.
Let the rains go…

let the healing river flow. Let justice flow like waters.
Let the days begin…

when new life enters in and let your Kingdom come.
We are praying…whoa we are praying.

We are praying…whoa we are praying.
We are man, woman, we are children,

whoa we are praying.

Receiving God’s Grace….God With Us Always

A sung response.

*Rejoicing In God’s Divine Care
Glory be to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be,

world without end. As it was in the beginning, is now

and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. A-men.

Amen. A-men. Amen. A-men. A-men!

You are invited to share in Agape and light a prayer candle now and anytime you hear a prayer lifted or answered.

*Passing of the Peace

Held WithIn the Word

And the Children Will Lead The Way: Kids' Time…

Together, we lift this prayer out loud. Taken from Ann Weem’s “The Walk”.

Preparing To Hear The Word….Our Prayer

Give us the courage, O God, to hear Your word and

to read our living into it. Give us the trust to know we’re forgiven, and give us the faith to take up our lives and walk in the miracle of Your love for us!

Bible’s Wisdom Teaching: Exodus 17: 1-7

MaryBeth will play through once. Then let’s sing twice.

Hymn of Preparation #92 Worship and Praise

“Lord, Listen To Your Children Praying”

Bible’s Wisdom Teaching: John 4: 5-42

Let us all read together. Inclusified, personalized.

Bible’s Wisdom Teaching: Proverbs 3: 5-6, ESV

Pastor: Let us read together. May I…

Trust in the Lord with all my heart, and not lean on my own understanding. In all my ways, may I acknowledge God, and God will make straight my paths.”

One: Holy Words. Holy Wisdom
All: Thanks be to our God!


Miracles And The Spectacular:
“Miraculous Living Waters”
Pastor Karen Hagen

Let there be some quiet.

A Moment Of Personal Reflection…
Now is the time.

Still your mind and lean into the peace offered by the Spirit.

Opening to God’s Grace

From “Kneeling in Jerusalem”: ‘To Worship’ and ‘Thank You’.

Affirming Our Faith With Intention

When the people of God gather for worship the whole earth trembles and the angels sing.
Thank you, Jesus God Spirit who is Holy on us.

Anointing us with amazing love, You dug a dwelling place and settled tenaciously forever amen with us.
Thank you, Jesus God Spirit who is Holy on us for Your incredible grace.
The Holiness who is more than we can ever name or know is within us body, mind, and soul.

As individual prayers are lifted, some may use simple prayerful hand gestures …integrating body, mind, and spirit!
Please call Patti at 630-674-1272 if you would like the Tippe Prayer Chain to lift a special prayer for you this week.

All prayers are confidential and shared with Pastor Karen.

Naming Our Gratitudes, Joys, and Concerns

Throughout This Week Let Us Pray For…

…continued abundance and celebration of possibility as God grows Tippe’s ministry.

…the continuing flow of guests who grace us with their presence.

… these members, spiritual leaders, staff and communities:

Members & Friends

Dick and Gail Dricken ~ Christian Pavlock ~ Karen C.

Tippe Ministry

Worship Leaders

Spiritual Leaders:


Mark Wooldrage


Doug Knox


Patrice Hansen


Outreach Partners

 Common Ground and MICAH

Divine Intervention

Holding Guests, Hosts, Staff into the light of our prayer!

SE Interfaith Covenant


Lutheran Church of the Great Spirit

Current Issues Calling Us To Prayer

Employment Immigration Reform

Torture Awareness God’s Creation: Environmental Concerns

Quieting Ourselves For Prayer

Marybeth will play once through, then let us sing once.

Sung Call To Prayer

We are praying…whoa we are praying.

We are praying...whoa we are praying.
We are man, woman, we are children,

whoa we are praying.

Pastoral Prayer and Lord’s Prayer
The Lord’s Prayer from the Aramaic:
Birther! Father-Mother of the Cosmos, focus Your light within us –make it useful. Create Your reign of unity now—Your own desire then acts with ours, as in all light, so in all forms. Grant what we need each day in bread and insight. Loose the cords of mistakes binding us, as we release the strands we hold of others’ guilt. Don’t let surface things delude us, but free us from what holds us back. From You is born all ruling will, the power and the life to do, the song that beautifies all, from age to age it renews. Truly—power to these statements—may they be the ground from which all my actions grow. May it be so.

Giving Thanks To God

Offering Ourselves

In Thankfulness

With Energized Commitment!

A Tippe Singer will sing the refrain and verse as

gifts are collected. We will rise to all sing the closing refrain as the hosts bring forward the offering.

*Offertory and Sung Response

Hymn #146 Worship and Praise "We Are An Offering"
We lift our voices,

we lift our hands,

We lift our lives up to You!

We are an offering,

we are an offering.”

*Prayer of Thanksgiving

Sing once together, then let’s sing as a round twice…right side starts us, left/MaryBeth’s side comes in at end of first phrase. Can we close together? 

Sending Forth With Blessing
Sending Hymn #145 Worship And Praise


Our Affirmation and Invitation

to Become a Living Blessing

Written by Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan, adapted

*Our Response
Holy One, now we Your servants go in peace.

Your word lives on in us.

As you leave, you are invited to linger longer enjoying sanctuary time. You may partake of the Bread of Life remembering Christ with you always. The kneeler is also available for a time of quiet prayer.


Please know you are welcome to take a previous week’s bulletin and prompting from the back Cart for your own enrichment or

to share with someone about whom you care deeply. Namaste!

Tippeca-News March 23, 2014

So glad you have come.

Join us for Tippe Café right after Worship in Fellowship Hall, downstairs!
All Are Welcome
And then,

Education For All Ages!

Come and learn more about living a

With God Life”!
Parlor Class:
Saving Jesus Redux Sundays 11:30am.

A video series by key theologians posing poignant questions about Jesus and His ministry.

Intergenerational Class
Our Teens guide us in Fellowship Hall!
All welcome!

Special Lenten Bible Study: Spectacular Reflections…A Sanctuary Time! Ongoing at members’ homes.

Circle of Faith meets 10:30am Wednesday. Come for contemplative Bible Study!

AA Meeting Wednesday 7pm in Fellowship Hall.
Remember to bring healthy canned goods

for the food pantry
TODAY and THIS WEEK At Living Waters

Centering Prayer meets tonight at 6pm in the Sanctuary and Thursdays 2:30pm in the parlor.

T’ai Chi meets Thursday 6:30 in Sanctuary.

Lunch Bunch meets second Mondays at noon.

Healing Spirit Native American Flute Circle. Meets 2nd Saturdays, 1-3pm in the Sanctuary.

Playing with Energy:
Ancestors, Constellations, and Healing”

First Sundays 1-3pm through 2014. $30 Insurances accepted.

LENT 2014:

Miracles and The Spectacular:

Keeping Your Heart Open Along “The Way”!

~Tuesday Nights in Lent, Christian and Jack invite you to a Special Bible Study: Spectacular Reflections...A Sanctuary Time! For information, call Christian at 414-704-4000.
March 25 - Kristin and Joe’s home

April 1- Christian’s home

April 8 - Brandon and Jack’s home
~LW Offering: Little Miracles, Series of 4 classes Fridays 10-11:30am starting March 21 OR Mondays 7pm starting March 10. Fee requested. To register, see Diane.

~Lenten Expression of Taize Around the Labyrinth Friday Night April 4th - - 6:30 Open Walk, 7pm Taize Service of Worship.

~Palm Sunday April 13th gather on the steps out front as we enter Holy Week (and the sanctuary!) together palms in hand! Bring a dozen hard boiled eggs for kids of all ages to dye for Easter, after Tippe Café!
~Maundy Thursday Simple Meal, Worship, Communion April 17th, 6pm in sanctuary. Recapture the movement of Holy Week and make your way to your cross! Please bring finger food to share.

~Good/God Friday Ecumenical Worship April 18th starts at Tippe 12:30 walking the cross to Prince of Peace for a 1pm Service of Worship with all our brothers and sisters in the faith!

~Easter Vigil Around The Campfire 6:30pm Saturday - Dress warmly and join us in our backyard for scripture, shared reflections, s’mores. Bring your drum or flute!
Easter Morning Celebrations!

8:30am: Special Tippe Café

bring a dish/treat to share!

9:30: Easter Egg Hunt with our Kids

10am: Holy Worship in Sanctuary
Name ___________________________
$15 per plant __PD or __Will give Check

Dedicated to _______________________

Please take with as you leave Easter Worship!

Hoping for 20-30 orders!


pening Ourselves To God’s Grace

Lent is a time to take the time to let the power of our faith story take hold of us, a time to let the events get up and walk around in us, a time to intensify our living unto Christ, a time to hover over the thoughts of our hearts, a time to touch His robe and feel the healing surge through us, a time to ponder and a time to wonder…. Lent is a time to allow a fresh new taste of God and the miracle of life!

~Lenten Candle Ritual~

So, take a breath. Each with our own life story, let us in our common voice lift our lives to our God, praying:


All are ministers every day in every way in the world.

Today in Leadership

Pastor/Teaching Elder Karen Hagen

Accompanist MaryBeth Garrett

Church Secretary……………………Patrice Hansen

Facility Host Margaret Majewski

Worship Leaders…… ……………Kathy and Linda

Worship Hosts Larry and Nancy

Nursery Care Natalia and Weber family

Educational Offerings:

Parlor Offering…A Video Series: “Saving Jesus Redux”

Intergenerational Offering……………...”The Girls”


Director of Living Waters………Elder Michele Bergemann

Living Waters Staff.. …Pastor Karen, Michele, .Diane, Jane

Living Waters Adjunct Staff……………….Kathy and Don

Next Week in Leadership

Pastor/Teaching Elder Karen Hagen

Accompanist MaryBeth Garrett

Church Secretary……………………Patrice Hansen

Facility Host Margaret Majewski

Worship Leaders….. ………………Kathy and Linda

Worship Hosts…………………..…….Al and Carla

Nursery Care Natalia and Dickover family

Educational Offerings:

Parlor Offering….. Video Series: “Saving Jesus Redux”

Intergenerational Offering………………..Pastor Jeff



Director of Living Waters………Elder Michele Bergemann

Living Waters Staff …...Pastor Karen, Michele, Diane, Jane

Living Waters Adjunct Staff………………Kathy and Don

Tippecanoe Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
125 W. Saveland Avenue ~ Milwaukee, WI 53207 (414) 481-4680 ~ tippechurch@gmail.com

Email Pastor Karen directly at pastor.tippechurch@gmail.com

Office Hours: Monday morning and Thursdays


Intellectual Property of Tippecanoe Presbyterian Church. For permission to use, please contact.

Miracles And The Spectacular:
“Miraculous Living Waters!

Proverbs 3: 5-6, ESV, Exodus 17:1-7; John 4:5-42

March 23, 2014 3rdWeek of Lent

After Exodus Reading and before John…So, this group of believers had been on a faith journey for some time…that’s exhausting! Remembering these were slaves newly freed…not a middle class mind set…but new territory in many ways for them…out there on their own…

not even a dumpster to scrounge for food for their families…how frightening….how vulnerable in new ways they never could have imagined freedom would bring. Hot and exhausted and thirsty.
We have…they had been at it so long, beginning to forget where they were going, why they had come out into the wilderness to begin with and how far they had come. Grumble, complain, blame!
Yep! They lacked water….we lack…what is it you think you lack? So, being like most groups, churches, families, workplaces …they blame…rather than take their spirits back, touch into their own power, and remember their own track record….God with them…all the miracles they had already experienced.
Rather than focusing on the thing most needed NOW, rather than think outside the box, be creative…look for the water they need…..themselves…..Moses…cries out “What shall I do with these people?” And God says: There, there, Moses. Calm down. Think. Remember.
Gather the wise ones, the ones who are called to remember from where you came and where you are going…those who can take the long view of things…and together go out ahead of the people and find that rock…the foundation of what you all believe, honoring the gifts and needs of all the people

and the love of God and your call to lead. (A leadership model we strive for here at Tippe.)
I will be standing there just ahead of you and the wise ones. Tap on the rock….for the water you need is within the very rock on which you stand…the living water comes from the foundation of what you believe and what you believe you are doing….look within yourselves.
Don’t be so quick to give up or out. Open to the waters already deep within you. And the actual water that is just below the surface. That place came to be called “test” or “find fault” as a way to remind us all:

God is with us….no need to blame or test or find fault…project onto others your doubts. Instead, know your concerns, act faithfully in addressing them, and then do something about them always taking the long viewremembering life and faithing are a process…we travel in stages…and God is with you.

Teaching: Two weeks we heard the teaching of Marcus Borg on “miracles.” To summarize, he contends Jesus taught the people using parables and the people taught/told about Jesus using parables. God does not intervene sometimes but not others…so some miracles are truly healings and some are stories….these are faith stories full of truths. Last week we heard from Rabbi David Cooper who contends: everything that exists is an expression of a life-giving force that is indescribable, unknowable, and boundless.

We experience life as we see it. If an event goes beyond anything that fits our natural way of seeing things, we put it into a category of a miraculous happening or impossibility. Actually, a great deal of life is inexplicable, and small miracles abound. Life itself is a miracle.

Most miracles work in hidden ways until we live through them and look back upon them appreciating them.

Scientist R. J. Berry, Department of Zoology, University College London, offers this Biblical definition of a miracle –a sign; a wonder; something that shows us how amazing God is and how much God loves us. And a miracle doesn’t HAVE to defy scientific explanation – some miracles are ‘ordinary’ events with incredible timing. The Bible doesn’t differentiate between miracles that defy scientific explanation and those that don’t– both are ‘signs and wonders’ pointing to God’s incredible power and care for us.

More importantly, Jesus recognized that miracles alone will do nothing to convince people that God is serious about caring for us. Miracles were an important part of Jesus’ ministry, and are still important today, but some of the people who watched Jesus heal person after person were the same people who cheered for his execution. It’s only within the whole picture of what Jesus came to do that miracles really make sense. This from a scientist!

Prompting: In today’s stories, God offers fullness of life in unconventional ways to people who are facing scarcity, suffering, and exclusion. Living Waters!
We are invited to ask ourselves what is really life giving and look to the unconventional sources

God provides for our lives today…and commit to “drinking” from those sources while standing on the rocks of our faith! In Jesus' day, there was bitter rivalry between Judeans and Samaritans. You could think of them as two rival sects of Jews.

The direct route from Judea to Galilee went right through Samaria, often leading to violent attacks upon stragglers in the trains of pilgrims journeying from Galilee to the temple feasts in Jerusalem. Both groups often destroyed each other's holy places in retaliation. All who traveled grew thirsty. Requesting a drink from someone at the well, where people often gathered,

was natural since the traveler would not have had the skin bucket nor the rope needed for drawing water from so deep a well.

But interaction between a Jewish man and a Samaritan woman would not be customary....not be wise for either party. People would talk. How impure the Samaritan woman who could dirty your reputation. How risky for such a woman to even approach a Jewish man.
Mostly the women of the village would come early in the morning or in the cool of the evening to fetch water. Why a Samaritan woman would come in the heat of midday is a puzzle, unless she was an outcast even among the other women.
Perhaps it was more than coincidence that she came that day. Needing water....life, hope, faith, she came....to the well....and there she found him sitting....needing her help....defying all the stereotypes....speaking with her as if it was only natural, as if he wasn't a foreigner and she not despised. And she had the confidence to talk to him. Miracle!

And in just the few moments that it must have taken for their conversation to play out, everything in her experience was revealed and turned upside down and inside out.

He didn’t see any of her life

as reason not to have a life!

Now, a new life!

She stayed right with him till he revealed who he was. And then she ran on her way wondering how all this could be true? How could new possibilities come into her impossible life as this one, claiming to be the Messiah, had said! How could this be? ….What a mom!

Three preschoolers of her own to love and manage! A constant flow of their friends and hers going in and out of their day. Dad works long hours. So, except for weekends, she often is the only parent the kids see from rising till bedtime.

And there are times when the play and noise and chores seem more than she can handle.

I mean nothing is really wrong….but at times it is more than she can deal with. She can feel the “stress” building within her as she approaches that time of day when no matter what else is going on, the kids seem to get a little wilder….dinner time.

And she just can’t hear one more question, one more whine, one more loud voice (even laughter!), one more crashing of toys. ….And Jesus sits alone at the well.Another day, another dollar to earn, another 15-minute break at last! It is fun as they all gather around the vending machines.
They look forward to the teasing and laughter and a 15-minute change of pace. And the jokes! What jokes! Funny though, those jokes often center on put-downs…jokes at the expense of Blacks, Jews, Poles, Italians women, blondes, lawyers, old people, gay people.
Oh those jokes. And you just laughed. You often laugh even if you are one of these targeted in the joke. I mean they usually are funny, right? Anyways, it is just a joke. ….Jesus sits at the well.
They are meeting to figure out just how they can maintain all the ministries they have going on…

.so many expect so much from so few and so little….it can be frustrating at times. They are all volunteers and everyone has busy lives. It just seems there’s so much to do. Maybe they are doing too much. Maybe some people are expecting too much and some expecting too little of themselves…focusing more on what the church should do for them rather than what

they as church can do for themselves and others.
Maybe their commitment is strained in that community needs/common good now is superseded by any one’s own perceptions, wants, emptiness. And yet, the ministry is touching the lives of the people with support and meaning and often laughter and/or tears.
So, what shall they do? So much to consider and so much possibility. Can they find a way to make it all work? ….Jesus is at the well. He has come to a time in his life when nothing seems to be going right. Doors seem to be closing in his face left and right.
No one seems to care about what he cares about….at work or at home. He almost feels invisible….worse than that, he feels ignored and unimportant.
He feels hopeless that he could ever change things. He feels alone. It is hard to get anyone to hear how he is really feeling about things, let alone do anything differently!
Why don’t we work together? Why can’t we talk together without someone blowing up and leaving the room?

Why can’t our family be like other families?

What’s going on here? …. Jesus is at the well.
The well. The place of possibility for life. A place set outside the city walls of everyday life

in the dry, dessert surroundings of life. A place where you can go to draw water. A place where Jesus went when he himself was tired out and needed rest and water. And the Samaritan woman comes.

Does she ultimately get it? Her process at the well? Well, it’s a lot like our process. For we have many dry places in our lives, too. We are at risk and vulnerable in our culture, too….a culture which almost seems to be setting booby traps for us to fail into.

We too marry over and over again, that is we search outside ourselves for the answers to life’s problems, or we blame outside ourselves for life’s problems. Funny…in God, there is no blame. We are willing to try almost anything, except standing on that rock, as we seek the solution to what’s wrong in our lives….thinking if we can get the right life partner,

get enough water, read the right book, take the right course, join the right church, order the flower I want or ignore ordering flowers, the emptiness will get filled.

WE live in unsafe emotional times and though not many of us are threatened by bandits and strangers, we are all threatened by stereotypes, off color humor, stressed out lives, possessiveness and materialism, emotional burnout, a culture that would have us blame others rather than look to ourselves, actively solve our own dilemmas with integrity and forthrightness….a culture not built on rocks, but sand….not hopeless but built on helplessness!
How often we think the answers lie outside of ourselves when Jesus would have us know what we really seek is already within each one of…within…a well of new life energy and perspectives…

a well lies beneath the rock of faith on which you have come to stand…

if you will only drink of our faith and live into its miracles….stay the course without making assumptions…blaming, remember how far you’ve come and live into faith’s long view in getting through life’s challenges….it’s a process…happens in stages as the Exodus passage says.

Ah, yes. WE know that woman…that woman at the well. We are she. In the dry places of your life, where Jesus sits at the well awaiting you, do you see Him there as she did? (Pour the water.)Do you hear His words for you? (Pour the water.) Do you acknowledge what He knows about you, loving you still? (Pour the water.)
Would you sip from the well of possibilities He is creating for you? Would you? (Pour the water.) Are you willing to risk “Jesus Loves Me” even as you thirst…for life and faith…that life can be different and faith makes a difference? Where is your faith? Oh, just like that woman, it will take some thinking, some time, and some affirmation from others.

Drinking in new possibilities is a process of watering, not just one quick sip…a process of inner-transformation and outward courage. Like the people in Exodus, we travel in stages through the wilderness….one step at time, one encampment, one sip of water at a time…

each sip growing our faith….faith: the essential of life.
We are all faced with a series

of great opportunities….miracles!

brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.

Like that woman at the well, we too have the choice. Not later, in four months, when expected,

when we get where think we ought to be, when the stars align, when the authorities have vanquished,

when resistance is less, when our finances are better, when are family life is easier, when we have more members, when we have better leaders or teachers or managers….now!

When the dry places of your life wear you out, drain you dry, frustrate you no end. When you feel out of control, things seem to hold little hope, that is exactly when you’ll find him….

Jesus sitting there. Jesus loves you. For a second, if it is comfortable to you…close your eyes. Friends, Jesus is just ahead of you now, sitting at the well in the dry place of your life. See it there?

The well? See him? Will you approach him? You have the bucket. Can you hear his voice offering you living waters….offering it to you now, just in time. Each day is a turning point and offers

the miracle of new timing, a possible turning point in the journey of our lives.

The well is deep. What are the living waters you ask Jesus to pour out for you this morning? We are not asked to live as if we are not hurting….but we are asked: How are you going to live the miracles that are there, right under the surface of our life, our choices and circumstances?

It’s all about perspective and laughter and gratitude! You are spectacular! You are the miracle! And that’s no parable! Season. Miracle of God’s love for us. Miracle? No turns to a yes. You can’t jump and then you can. One of the miracles of the universe needed for life itself is water.

Water….what and where and how much? Water connects us to all things…all that “was” is within us and all that “can be” is within us. In this way, water is alive. Jesus tells a story of alive water…living water. Water that is there no matter how dry we or the gardens are, how thirsty we may be.
Wonder….What it’s like to be really thirsty? Can you thirst for other than water? Wonder if what it was like for the woman to be cared about and heard? Wonder if Jesus sat at many wells wanting to help people? How many were willing to be helped?

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