Title: Transitions

Focus: One of the most difficult things to deal with in life is transition. Since transitions are a part of life, we need to be able to make them by letting go inwardly of what was in order to take hold of what is becoming, and recognize that it is just another chapter in the story of our life.

Function: To encourage graduates, military, parents, and others who are moving or making a transition such a becoming an empty nester to move forward with hope to the next chapter of their life while maintaining their big hope in Jesus

Text: Mk 3:22-30


Intro:
1.  Changing of the seasons remind us that life is filled with changes
2.  This morning will talk not about change, but transition
	a.  They not same thing
	b.  New job/ Boss/ House/ Child/ or empty house-nest - That is change
	c.  Transition - The process of letting go of the way things used to be and
	     then taking hold of the way they become
3.  Transition can be easy and exciting - Graduation/ Marriage
4.  Can be difficult - Mid-Life Crisis/ Stay in Abusive Relationship/ Death
5.  Many of you are already in the process of a transition in your life
	a.  Graduates
	b.  Military
	c.  Parents
	d.  Even those of us not going anywhere, people are moving away
6.  Questions:
	a.  Can I do this?   What will happen next?
	b.  What will I do?    Who will I be?     Who am I?
7.  Can we get guidance about moving through transitions in life?


I.  Start by leaving the previous chapter
	A.  Your life is an unfolding story filled with many chapters
		1.  When end a chapter - Time to turn the page
		2.  Canít stay in that chapter
			a.  May have been a good chapter
			b.  When it ends, it ends
		3.  Time has a way of always moving forward
		4.  Nothing stays the same
	B.  That is what happened in Exodus
		1.  Israel comfortable for 400 years, until Pharoah enslaved them
		2.  Ready for a change, so God delievered them.
		3.  Problem - They didnít let go of the past
			a.  Had a huge difficulty with transition period (40 years)
			b.  Their past world was Egyptian
				- They walked like an Egyptian
				- They talked, ate, and even thought Egyptian
			c.  Their question could have been - WHO AM I?
			d.  They wanted to go BACK!
		4.  Problem - They were unwilling to turn the page
			a.  They could not envision their future story
			b.  They were stuck in the past
	C.  ILL:  Did you ever know anyone like that?
		1.  Thatís why some people not got to High School reunion
		2.  Horror story of the washed out, drunk Jock/Cheerleader in a 
		      dead end job in a dead end life - RELIVE GLORY DAYS
		3.  Problem:  Stuck in the Past!!
		4.  If stuck in past, no future ----- despair
	D.  Phil 3:13 - Forget what lies behind & press forward to what lies ahead
		1.  What behind of Paul?  Education, Pharisee, excelled at everyth
		2.  But God called him in a different direction
			a.  He left previous chapter
			b.  He opened the next chapter
		3.  They say you canít take it with you - So true


II.  Turn to the next chapter
	A.  Great thing about next chapter - It has not been written yet
		1.  Canít change the past, but future is a different story
		2.  It is full of possibilities
	B.  There is a word we use for this -- HOPE
		1.  3 great things - Faith (rooted in past), Hope (future), Love (now)
		2.  Iím talking about small hopes at this point
		3.  Life full of small hopes that push us forward
			a.  Like wind in our sails, taking us from chapter to chapter
			b.  Without hope, will be in the doldrums (going nowhere)
		4.  Paul spoke of small hopes
			a.  I hope to send Timothy to you soon
			b.  I hope to see you when I go to Spain
		5.  Jer 29:11 - ďI know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, 
		     plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future hope.Ē
		6.  Absence of small hopes will rob you of lifeís joys
	C.  ILL:  Period of transition when I left home
		1.  Never let go of past to reach for what ahead
		2.  Gauged everything by past town and past congregation
		3.  Problem - Town not the same, church not the same
		4.  So I never made the transition, even though everything changed
			a.  Hopped from church to church, relationships
			b.  Fell away
		5.  I left on the outside, but never did on the inside
			a.  No small hopes, not wind in my sail, stuck in past
			b.  I was moving, but not moving
			c.  Was stuck between chapters, didnít turn the page
		6.  Life can be full of change because you can't turn the page and transition
		    to the next chapter in your life
			a.  If you find self hopping from job to job, or from relationship 
			     to relationship, church to church
			b.  It could be that you have not turned to the next chapter
	D.  Why is transition so difficult sometimes?
		1.  Before, I was John High School Student, prayer leader, who will I 
		     be next?
		2.  Transitions often mean re-definition of who you are
		3.  Whether it be leaving home, empty nest, retirement, new job
		4.  Transitions mean the END of something
			a.  Sometimes feel a sense of loss
			b.  Other times there is just uncertainty
		5.  Future chapter may be unfamiliar
	E.  Exchange one small hope for another
		1.  Move through life - Graduate, College, Marry, Job, Child, retire
		2.  What is next?  Is there no more?    Have I arrived?

1 Cor 15:19 - ďIf we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most
to be pitied.Ē

III.  There is a BIG, trascendent hope for all of us
	A.  This is our ultimate hope of hopes
		1.  It is still there even when small hopes not fulfilled
		2.  It is still there when small hopes fulfilled & ask, isnít there more?
		3.  In all our transitions, it is the one thing that is constant
	B.  What does the Bible say about our BIG hope?
		1.  (Heb 11:1) - Not just faith chapter, but hope chapter
			a.  Faith is assurance of things ďhoped forĒ
				- Hope is the object of our faith
				- Canít have hope without faith, and vice versa
				- Faith is like the sail, and hope is the wind
			b.  Passage gives examples of those who hoped in faith
			c.  (v.6) - Faith in God as rewarder - That is called HOPE
		2.  (Heb 11:8-10) - Abrahams faith and hope
			a.  Had little hopes, food, water, clothing, etc.
			b.  All overshadowed by his big hope (in the promise)
			c.  If his heart in Ur, would have returned  (v.14-16)
			d.  Closed previous chapter in his life, and went out
		3.  (Heb 12:1-2)
			a.  Our hope is in Jesus, run the race
			b.  Lay aside encumberances - Leave them behind
			c.  Press on to what ahead
	C.  Without our hope in Jesus, all our little hopes become meaningless
		1.  Ecclesiastes - Trying to find fulfillment in little hopes
			a.  All of them were dead ends (building, children, pleasure)
			b.  Without God, all is meangingless
		2.  Eccl 12:1 - Remember creator in days of youth
			a.  He wasted his life trying to find fulfillment in small hopes
			b.  He left out the big hope - God
			c.  Only place for  true and lasting joy - our Lord
	D.  So keep him at the center of all your hopes
		1.  Even when little hopes fail, or are done - This still there
		2.  Will enable you to make good transitions in life
		3.  Will enable you to make greatest transition of all - to Glory


Concl:
1.  Close the previous chapter, and turn the page
2.  The future is full of possiblities
3.  Never lose sight of the greatest hope of all - Jesus
	- It will give meaning to all your little hopes
	- It will help you move from chapter to chapter in your life
	- It will help you to the final chapter when it is time to close the book of 
	   your life and open the book to eternity