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September 22, 2021

Playing the Hand You’re Dealt

I’ve never been much of a poker player, but I do know you have to play the hand you’re dealt.  I think about this a lot as a metaphor for life.  Every day God deals us the cards he wants us to play.  Sometimes it’s a “royal flush” kind of day, and other days you wake up with a pair of twos.  Regardless, the Scriptures tell us that “This is the day that the Lord has made.”  And our response should be, “To be glad and rejoice in it.” (Psalm 118:24)


The important thing to remember is that God is the Master Card Dealer and He deliberately and purposefully deals His cards with love and grace.  If it were up to me, every day would be at least a “straight flush” and void of conflict, sickness, stress and traffic.  Understanding that God has a plan for us EVERY day gives our lives meaning and purpose.  It’s exciting to think that before time began our Heavenly Father had already mapped out what will take place on any given day and that He created you and me to fulfill his purposes for that day.


If I got to choose, I would give myself boundless strength, energy, confidence and perfect health so that I could live and love well every day.  But we all know it doesn’t work like that.  The Apostle Paul knows this better than anyone.


The Lord dealt Paul a thorn in his flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment him (2 Corinthians 12:7).   Paul didn’t like this particular hand and asked the Lord on three occasions to remove it.  The Lord said no.  This would be a rough hand to play, but God did it in order that Paul might serve Him better and to do so with humility. 


I value efficiency and good health.  Unfortunately, at times I have made both idols in my life.  It makes more sense to me to be “at the top of my game” if I’m going to be able to serve well and accomplish what I feel like God has laid out for me.  God doesn’t think that way.  He doesn’t value efficiency and health the way that I do. 


Surprisingly, he values weakness.  I don’t want to be weak in any form!  Not physically, emotionally or relationally. 


After God told Paul that He was not going to remove this thorn, He said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 


Paul’s response is to boast all the more gladly about his weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on him.


I’m getting there, but I’m not there yet.  I find this an incredibly challenging thing to do, although I have been dealt some cards that, like Paul, wish I hadn’t received.  I’ve asked, and God has not removed them.  And like Paul, I’m greatly humbled by them. 


I trust God.  I believe in His sovereignty.  I know God is with me every day—on those “royal flush” kind of days and those “52 card pickup” days when I’m too sick to leave the house.


Men, this is the day the Lord has made.  It is fused with meaning and purpose.  God has a plan for us each and every day, regardless of the perceived setbacks and weaknesses.  The Master Card Dealer is always at work.  He loves us more than we can imagine. 


It doesn’t matter what kind of hand we’ve been dealt, it’s up to us to choose to rejoice and be glad this day!


-What kind of hand do you feel like you were dealt?  Today? This month?  This year?

-Do you thank God for it?  Or are you angry with God?

-Do you rejoice in your weaknesses?  What does this look like?

-Do you live each day as if it is a gift from God, realizing He has a plan for you each day?


River West Men | Upcoming Opportunities


Father + Son Adventure Day @ Twin Rocks Camp (NEW LOCATION!)

October 2

For sons in 1st-5th grade

Dads, because of Covid restrictions we aren’t able to do the two-night camp.  However, we are cramming all the fun of the weekend into a single day! REGISTER HERE


Living Lionhearted Men’s Study

October 9-December 18

Saturday Mornings 7:30am-9:00am


Perhaps now more than ever men need a clear understanding of what biblical manhood looks like. “Living Lionhearted” is my vision for manhood that I developed for myself and my son over many years. It’s now packaged as a journal with weekly reading and questions for reflection and discussion. 

Men will gather in person at River West for live teaching and small group discussion for this 10-week study. Sons currently in high school are welcome to participate with their fathers. This is not an inductive Bible study. This is a deep dive into manhood.


Marriage Ministry Monthly Dinners



This ministry is designed to foster small group communities where honest conversations about marriage thrive and couples are encouraged, equipped, and challenged to strengthen their bond while deepening faith in Jesus.

Key components of this experience will include the following:

·       1 Host Couple with 3 participating couples = small group community

·       8 gatherings over dinner (1/month, October-May)

·       Materials for use: You and Me Forever book and study guide/workbook by Francis and Lisa Chan


4th Quarter | Senior Men’s Ministry

For more information on this ministry designed for our senior saints, contact Don Lewis at lewisdkl@comcast.net


Father + Daughter Dance

February 18

For daughters 3 years old-5th grade

More details to come


Father + Daughter Camp

April 29-May 1

For daughters in kindergarten-5th grade

More details to come


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