Pandemic Hobbies, A Little Art History, & Opening The Door To Jesus

Tracy Henkel

Tracy Henkel

Clinton Township Discipleship Director

We are human 'beings' not human 'doings.'

Do you ever feel like you don’t measure up, you’re not enough, or just can’t do one more thing? Come up with one more creative idea? Figure out the answer to one more math problem? Everything is on you and if you don’t get it right things will fall apart. In our current circumstances, not quite post-pandemic, we struggle to try and manage our own little worlds within a chaotic, confusing, and often scary big world. Lack of control over most of what is going on around us has led to confusion, frustration, division and for many…even depression. We are grasping and striving.
 
As a result of the pandemic have you found yourself doing things you never thought you would do? Maybe looking for something to help you escape all the pandemic craziness? Perhaps reading, binge watching, social media, exercising, pickle-ball. 

Here’s what I started doing: birdwatching! It’s okay, you can make fun of it. I don’t do things simply. I’m not just a backyard birder, I go chase them! (Did you even know it was a thing?)

So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. -Matthew 10:31

Birds are cool, but God didn’t design them for relationship. He saved that for me and you. NOTHING in creation was designed for relationship except me and you.

How do we know this is true? Where do we go to find out more about this idea? God’s Word, the Bible, is His Love Story to us. It is the story of God and us, how much He loves us, and how He wants to be a part of our lives. God wants a relationship with us. 

It’s not about religion, it’s about a relationship.

God loves us even if we don’t love Him.

“This is real love – not that we loved God, but that He loved us” – 1 John 4:10a

God wants us to know Him.

“He did this so that they might seek God, and perhaps they might reach out and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.” – Acts 17:27

There’s a painting by Michelangelo called the ‘Creation of Man.’ I imagine that this scene is depicting God striving and reaching for Adam but that Adam is reclined and leaning away from God. All Adam must do to touch God is lift up his finger. God is that close. He wants a relationship with Adam.

Are we like Adam? Do we hold ourselves back? Why? Perhaps it is how we think about God. How you think about someone affects what you believe about them and your behavior toward them. It’s the same with our relationship with God. Every relationship starts with learning about someone.

What we think about God determines our relationship with God.

I like what Darren Wilson says in his book Chasing a God You Don’t Want to Catch: “What you think about God…affects every aspect of your life. It’s your spiritual reality, even if it may be entirely wrong.”

How can we know if we have a right view of God? If the Bible says He isn’t far from us, then how do we find Him?

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13

“But if from there you seek the Lord Your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.” –Deuteronomy 4:29

We are to seek Him. He is waiting for us. He isn’t going to force His way into our lives.

Here's another promise from Revelation 3:20: "Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends."

William Holmer Hunt illustrated this verse with a painting called ‘Light of the World’. Notice the details on this work of art:
o   The door is overgrown with ivy and weeds. It represents a person’s life. This person never invited Jesus to come into their life.
o   Jesus is standing at the door and awaiting a response. Jesus wants to be a part of this person’s life.
o   Eating is a sign of friendship and Jesus offers this friendship to everyone who opens the door of their lives. This is relationship!
o   Someone thought William Holmer Hunt had made a mistake because there is no door handle. He said no, that’s deliberate. There is a handle, but it’s on the inside.
o   We must open the door to let Jesus into our lives. He won’t force His way in. His promise: If you invite Him in, He WILL come in. Not “might”, or “think about it”, but He WILL come in.

A relationship with God can start now.
Would we feel alone if we knew we were never meant to go through this life alone? That the creator of the world designed us to live our lives with Him? To know Him. To communicate with Him. To be known by Him. To be in relationship with Him.

Open the door of your life and invite Him in.

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Birmingham Campus

We are offering a time for our congregation to gather after the 10am service for prayer in the Groves Auditorium, 20500 W 13 Mile Rd, Beverly Hills, MI 48025.

On Sunday evening, Dec 5, parents of high school and middle school students are invited to the second half of our Edge gathering at Genesis Church, 309 N Main St, Royal Oak, MI 48067, at 6:15pm. We will have a breakout to equip parents in caring for themselves and processing pain with their children in times of tragedy.

Parents & Student Resources

Parents – self care is critical. It’s important to do your own processing with another adult so that you can be more present as your child processes. Here are tools that you can use to get you started.

Podcast

Helpful Blogs

Other Materials

Counselors Are Needed After Tragedy

“The aftermath of the Oxford shooting tragedy will undoubtedly result in traumatic symptoms and experiences across our communities for quite some time. Healing the brain through evidence-based therapies is absolutely possible with clinical guidance. There is a valuable village of Trauma Therapists with collective resources standing by for Oxford, for both direct and secondary survivors to engage in therapy. Until then, we honorably hold a sacred space, as students, families, staff and school partners continue to mourn.” -Laura Azoni, LMSW, Founder of Sanctuary Services

Orion Campus

We believe that unity at this time is more important than ever. Several churches in the area are partnering together to offer space for students to begin the process of healing.

We will have several grief and trauma specialists on site this Sunday evening at our Orion Campus (4640 S Lapeer Rd Lake Orion, MI 48359) from 5-6:30pm and will have a night of prayer, worship and an opportunity for students to process with each other.

Tate Myre Funeral:
Monday, 12.6 Visitation 1 to 8pm
Tuesday, 12.7 Visitation 10-12pm and funeral at Noon

Clinton Township Campus

We will be offering a time for our congregation to gather after each service for a time of corporate prayer in the Greatroom. Prayer will be offered at 10:15 am and 12:15 pm. (25000 Hall Rd, Charter Twp of Clinton, MI 48036)

This Sunday at 3:30 pm as a community we want to gather, pray and mourn together. We are all looking for answers and wondering why tragedy happens but we can find hope and peace in Jesus. 

Troy Campus

Join us Sunday night, December 5th for a Community Prayer Vigil at Kensington Church at 6:00 pm. Invite friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers to come together for a time of hope and prayer. 

Following the Vigil, at 7:00 pm, there will be breakouts for students and for parents to process and be equipped in caring for themselves and those around in times of tragedy.

Marriage Classes

What grows marriages? Focusing on the two of you and being in community!
The Marriage Course includes seven sessions, designed to help couples invest in their relationship and build a strong marriage. Some couples do the course to intentionally invest in their relationship, others are looking to address more specific challenges. Either way, the course offers essential tools and practical ideas to help you build a relationship that lasts a lifetime. The Marriage Course is based on Christian principles but designed for all couples with or without a church background.

Please email marriage@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

Financial Peace University (FPU)

Financial Peace University (FPU) is a catalyst to help people live in financial freedom and enable them to have a posture of openhandedness. We have witnessed numerous Kensington families experience life change as a result of applying Biblical truths to their personal finances. The real blessing is seeing people create lives of margin that allow them to hear and respond to the Lord’s calling on their lives.

Please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

Bible Basics

Whether you are brand new to the Bible or have been reading it for decades, Bible Basics is a course that will help you understand the overall flow of the Bible. Over the course of several weeks, learn how the Bible came from the original writers to the English versions we have today. We’ll look at the big-picture story of the Bible and how all the individual books add to the whole. We’ll even learn a little about the history of the Jewish nation. But most of all, we’ll grow in our awe of the amazing author of this amazing book!

Please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

All Campus

Orion

Clinton Township

Alpha

What is my purpose? What value does the Bible have in my life? How do I pray? How can I grow in confidence to share my faith? These are the big questions that are at the heart of what it means to have a relationship with God. Alpha is a space to explore life’s big questions, to say what you think and to hear other people’s points of view. Over ten-weeks you will explore and discover while listening to weekly topics, participating in table discussion, and developing community. Alpha courses meeting in-person gather around a meal.

You don’t have to come for the whole series—just check it out for the first session and see what you think. No pressure.

Please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

All Campus

Orion

Troy

Clinton Township

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For additional questions, please contact giving@kensingtonchurch.org or call 248.786.0637

GROUP LEADER DEVELOPMENT

Together Again

updated June 23, 2021

It’s been life-giving to be in-person for our weekend services since last July when we reopened. If you haven’t yet, we invite you to join us in person sometime soon.

Reservations and ticketing have been discontinued at all our campuses.

Masks are optional at all services, events, and ministry gatherings for kids, students, and adults. We know that everyone needs to make the right health decisions for themselves and their family, so if you feel comfortable removing your mask, you may. And if you’d like to continue wearing a mask or face covering, you may do that as well. This is a personal choice that only you can decide what is best for yourself when attending in person at Kensington.

If you are sick, are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or have possibly been exposed to COVID-19, please plan to stay home and participate in our services via our many online streaming options.

At the start of the pandemic, Kensington’s Executive Team commissioned a group of staff members as a COVID Task Force to establish protocols and procedures for the safety of our church community. Thanks for sticking with us throughout all the changes and adjustments over the past 15 months.

We’re grateful to be together again!