3/27/2023 - Edition #12
In this week's Collegeside Family Devo:
- Meet The Family: The Morgan and Whittaker Families
- Collegeside Family Devotional:  Clay Wesley
- Check out this week's reading plan.
- Learn about what's happening at Collegeside.

What are we reading this week?

The Collegeside family has been challenged to read through the Bible in 2023. The reading plan shared will help us accomplish this together.  Click the link below to download this year's reading plan.
This Week's Reading Plan:
3/27- 1 Samuel 28-31 / Psalm 86
3/28- 2 Samuel 1-3 / Psalm 87
3/29- 2 Samuel 4-8 / Psalm 88
3/30- 2 Samuel 9-12 / Psalm 89
3/31- 2 Samuel 13-15 / Psalm 90
4/1- 2 Samuel 16-18 / Psalm 91
4/2- 2 Samuel 19-21 / Psalm 92

Family Devotional

By: Clay Wesley
Psalms 79-85

The book of Psalms was the hymnal of ancient Israel. This collection of 150 songs, or poems, shows us how the people of Israel turned to the Lord, Yahweh, through the full range of human emotion. The Psalms show us what it means to cry out with a redeemed perspective. A redeemed perspective anticipates deliverance. It’s bathed in language that points heavenward, that is centered on hope. The Psalms demonstrate this in a lot of different ways. As you might expect, different seasons of life and emotional experiences prompted the psalmists to express themselves in different forms.

There are five primary forms, or categories, of the Psalms. These include:
Thanksgiving (Fulfillment of Deliverance) Example: Psalm 75
Wisdom (Instructional Focus) Example: Psalm 1
Hymnic (Exclusive Adoration) Example: Psalm 8
Royal (Coming Messiah) Example: Psalm 72
Lament (Prayers for Help) Example: Psalm 79, 80, 83, and 85

Most of last week’s readings in the psalms are laments, specifically community laments. The psalmists are calling on God for help and deliverance while in distress (anguish, depression, heartbrokenness, and sadness, injustice, or complaints against God’s enemies). Let’s look more closely at Psalm 79. What stands out in this Psalm that points to lament?
Psalm 79 was written after the destruction of Jerusalem by the armies of Babylon. It can be broken into the following sections:
Jerusalem and the temple left in ruins (1-4)
Petition to the Lord to turn away his anger (5-7)
Plea for rescue and mercy for God’s glory (8-12)
Vow to give thanks (13)

The people of Israel interacted with God through the temple. His protection was there. To many, I’m sure, his power was there. Now here comes the Babylonians…they ruined EVERYTHING in the sanctuary. They took Israel’s symbols and replaced them with that of the pagans. They ransacked the temple and set it on fire. They completely destroyed everything the people of Israel held sacred. It was bad enough that Israel’s enemies had destroyed the temple. What was worse, it seemed that God had abandoned them. But he hadn’t and the people of Israel knew this at their core (see verses 8-10).

It’s important to note that although it is a “complaint”, this lament psalm, like every other, expresses confidence and trust in the Lord. Lamenting is not just crying out. Lament talks to God about the pain. It turns us toward God when sorrow tempts us to run from him. “But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.” - Psalm 79:13

The theological foundation upon which the Psalms are built is that Yahweh, the God of Israel, is the universal Sovereign, who rules justly over all the earth. The Psalms give us what we need to experience the seasons of life with the Lord, the giver of Hope.

We shouldn’t run away from lamenting. Why? Because you will lament. I will lament. We will lament together. There is absolutely no escaping that season of life. BUT, when we lament, we should lean into the Lord.

Here’s the central truth I want you to leave with today courtesy of pastor and author Mark Vroegop…Lamenting is a God-given invitation to pour out our fears, frustrations, and sorrows for the purpose of renewing our confidence in God.

Meet Our Collegeside Family

Kim Morgan

Hello, Collegside Family! My name is Kim Morgan. Noah and Nichole Morgan Repasky, Lauren Morgan, and Cody and Kelli Morgan Whittaker are my daughters and best friends along with their wonderful husbands. I am also blessed with 4 awesome grandchildren. Ryder Billingsley, Hudson Repasky, Bo Repasky, and Anslee Kate Whittaker brighten my life each and every day.

I was raised in the Nameless Community of Jackson County and attended Davidson’s Chapel Church of Christ with my parents and brothers. When I began TTU, I started attending Jefferson Avenue with my grandparents, and we remained there until 2020. I worked at my first job at the Cookeville Big K/Wal-Mart for 31 years before deciding I needed a change. I went back to school at 45 to get my masters in Special Education. I have been the 5th grade resource teacher at Algood Middle since 2012. I truly love my AMS kids and love watching them grow!

I have wonderful relationships at Jefferson that will last a lifetime and beyond, but moving to Collegside a few years ago has been a positive move for me. The change has helped deepen my relationship with God, and my worship is more energized. The singing here is absolutely uplifting, and the lessons from the pulpit are rooted in biblical truth and always thought provoking. I am truly enjoying the new (and old) friendships that I have found in my classes and through my small group. The desire to be present in worship here is contagious and that has strengthened all areas of my life.

My prayer for Collegeside is that all decisions made on the Church’s behalf by our elders continue to always be rooted in biblical truth and love. The students of all ages that come to worship each week are such an inspiration to me. I want to see new students come through those doors each week creating lasting relationships with God and the family here of all ages.  I pray that friendships are created in the youth that will last them through their lifetime.

Lauren Morgan

Hello Collegeside! My name is Lauren Morgan. I was born and raised in Cookeville, and I absolutely love it here. I am a Tennessee girl through and through (Go Vols!) and I love the ever growing small town feel of Cookeville. I left home for 4 years when I went to East Tennessee State University for college to study nursing. Since graduating in 2014 I have been a nurse in the ER at CRMC.

I grew up as a member at Jefferson Ave Church of Christ, and I truly cherish the people and memories made there. My family and I made the switch to Collegeside at the beginning of 2020, and it has been a welcomed change. I have always loved the Lord, but the community and worship at Collegeside has made me excited to go to church again. The community and family-like environment is very inviting. In the three short years I have attended, I have already developed several life long friendships. I also love the worship time- the singing is beautiful and the lessons are phenomenal.

I pray that Collegeside will continue to grow its multiple ministries. I see such positivity in all of them, and am blessed to get to be a part of them. I pray that the babies and children will make relationships with one another to help keep them in the church as they grow and make their own decisions about their faith.

The Whittaker Family

Hello Collegeside! We are Cody, Kelli, and Anslee Whittaker. We both grew up in Cookeville and are so excited to be raising our daughter here as well. We met in middle school and began dating in our freshman year at Cookeville High School. We’ve been together for 12 years and married for 3 years. Anslee is 16 months old. Kelli is a speech pathologist in the Jackson County School System, and Cody works in orthotics and prosthetics at TN Limb and Brace.

Kelli grew up attending Jefferson Avenue Church of Christ, and Cody attended Trinity Assembly. We joined Collegeside in 2020 soon after we got married. We have absolutely loved our time at Collegeside. We have really loved the family environment and all the opportunities to make connections. Even in such a large congregation, we have been able to make great friendships through our small group and heartfelt sisters. You can’t beat the positive energy and love shown here.

Our prayer for Collegeside is that it continues to grow and be a shining light in our community. So many people have come to know about the Lord because of how members of Collegeside have impacted them in a time of need, and we pray that never stops. We pray for the children’s ministry and its leaders as they help set a firm foundation for our children, so that they always know who to turn to in troubled times. Growing up in a very strong youth group, we know the impact it can make and pray this continues at Collegeside for our daughter.