If you all will recall the last two weeks of coffee with cupcake- The Other Side and We Aren’t Fine. To get to the other side there are several things you must do that I am learning every day. To start to get to the other side you must have Christ beside you. The next thing is you have to admit you aren’t OK. Like I said, “It is OK to Not Be OK.” We are then led to today’s coffee with cupcake. To get to the other side, you have to take THAT FIRST STEP.

Thirty-six years ago, my dad took that first step. He took the first step into AA. Without that first step, you won’t go anywhere. You will never move forward. Taking the first step into AA you are saying that you are powerless over the addiction and that the issue is unmanageable alone. That first step is usually the most difficult, the toughest, and the scariest. When we take that first step, we are ready to be transformed. It is that first step that cultivates continued healing and joy. It is that first step when we are saying, “We are ready to be different. We are ready to move to the other side.”

Yesterday our pastor Brother Bryan of FUMC Stuttgart discussed how we have to choose and commit to live lives differently. When we decide we are ready to live differently, we must take that first step.

These are some of the points that I took away from his sermon, and I mixed with some of my thoughts:
• When we take that first step, life may be difficult. (we have talked about Moses, Joshua even after that first step through the red sea, through the Jordan life wasn’t a piece of cake)
• When we take that first step, we have to move away from people that influence us not in Christlike ways.
• We can’t let society conform us; we must be transformed and have a renewing of our minds. (Just like Paul told the Romans, they were being influenced by the culture. Romans 12:1-2)
• The goal of a Christian is just not to believe the truths and know the knowledge but to live the faith.
• Take that first step that is in the right direction, and God will provide the way.
• When you take that first step, you help others take that first step. People are watching and taking your lead. When you have someone take that first step in the boat with you, they help you, and you help them. You can help each other to stand firm, keep each other accountable, help each other stay on track.

Yesterday as I was thinking about THAT FIRST STEP, our friend Molly sent Lauren and me something she had seen on Facebook. The first sentence read: In difficult times, you move forward in small steps. I immediately called her and said, “Guess what my three words for tomorrow are?” Molly reminded me of Peter. Think for a minute about Peter.

Matthew 14:22-33 New International Version (NIV)
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

At first, Peter had faith he took that first step, but then he took his eyes off of Jesus, and he began to sink.
What is it going to be for you? Are you going to take that first step keeping your eyes on Jesus letting Him transform you? Are you going to believe and have faith? Even though that first step is difficult, scary, and tough, are you going to step out of the boat?

Let me read to you the rest of what Molly sent us.
Grandma once gave me a tip:
During difficult times, you move forward in small steps.
Do what you have to do, but little by bit.
Don’t think about the future, not even what might happen tomorrow.
Wash the dishes.
Take off the dust.
Write a letter.
Make some soup.
Do you see?
You are moving forward step by step.
Take a step and stop.
Get some rest.
Compliment yourself.
Take another step.
Then another one.
You won’t notice, but your steps will grow bigger and bigger.
And time will come when you can think about the future without crying.
Good morning
(Elena Mikhalkova, “The Room of Ancient Keys”)

Take that first step, it may be a baby step, but it is a step in the direction of being transformed.

CHALLENGES OF THE WEEK:
• Keep your daily appointment with Christ
• Dive deep into the word
• Take that first step
• Fill your cup with Christ so you can fill other cups