Episode 003 – Shalom In Our Trees

One of the most significant words in the Bible is shalom (“peace”). It’s what the entire Bible is all about. However, most of us have a limited view of shalom, and we miss out on God’s great desire is to bring every aspect of ourselves to wholeness. A critical time to invite His help is during this season that leads up to Easter. This teaching discusses how we enter well into this season and seek the shalom that we all desperately desire.

Discussion Questions

  • What’s your biggest takeaway from the teaching?
  • How have you traditionally understood the season of Lent?
  • What was new or helpful to you about the discussion of shalom?
  • Where do you desire shalom in your life?
  • What are one or two decaying branches that you need to address this season?
  • Who do you need to invite into this journey with you? (Remember, it’s not that people need to know. It’s that the right people need to know.)
  • What’s one step you can take in walking out the truths of this teaching this week?
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  1. Mary Heyboer February 20, 2018 at 6:13 am - Reply

    Thank you Brad for teaching us the meaning of Shalom. Because Ed and I are on this journey of Stage 4 cancer this understanding helps us to find our inner peace. It not only is helping us to find the branches we need to prune to prepare for Easter but also for the time God’s calls Ed into Glory. We pray protection over you and your Mission as you teach God’s Word to the flock.

    • Sandra Zylks February 20, 2018 at 8:14 am - Reply

      Mary, my husband and I walked through a similar journey five months ago and I can tell you God carried us through and is continuing to carry me. The most important thing we did was to have a stake in the bedrock of God’s truth. He is love, truth, mercy, kind, faithful and all of Who He is. Nothing, no circumstance or experience will change that. He always has been and always will be. Right in the middle of the worst of times, I still bless Him and praise Him for Who He is. I have known these truths for many years, but recounting them and making this a declaration is so life-giving.

      I love this teaching on lent and shalom, Brad. I am one of those who grew up in a church that did not observe lent. Thank you!

    • Lori Briesemeister February 20, 2018 at 8:36 am - Reply

      Mary, My husband Ken & I too walked a similar cancer road & my heart reaches out to both of you as you maneuver through this time. May you see all that God has for you in & through this time. He is a good & beautiful God even when life hurts.

    • Brad Gray February 28, 2018 at 4:14 pm - Reply

      I pray you sense God’s presence every step of this challenging journey, Mary.

  2. Donna Capell February 20, 2018 at 8:27 am - Reply

    Thank you Brad for sharing God’s Word in this special way. I am not only going to use your teaching to prepare my heart for Easter but also to prepare my heart for our upcoming trip to Israel. Thank you for all you do to honor and bring glory to our Father.

  3. Lori Briesemeister February 20, 2018 at 8:30 am - Reply

    Thank you God for Brad & his willingness to say yes to your call on his life to help bring greater understanding & clarity to Your word.
    I appreciate all this experience has already brought into my walk with the Lord!!

  4. Dave Wright February 20, 2018 at 8:55 am - Reply

    Brad, thank you for this teaching. It has given me a much fuller perspective of what the Lenten season really means and what it can mean. I wish churches I have attended previously had shared this type of explanation about it. I will pass it on to others and continue to invited folks to try Walkingthetext.com.

  5. Bill Black February 20, 2018 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    One is remembering all the times one heard, and still does, just come to Jesus, with strong implication,that ones life will greatly be better!
    Or better yet, get filled w the HS and you’ll be as succesful as I am, and they’er still waiting and thus neutralized.
    Instead of protestant terms, Lent, why do we not just do the YAHOVAH ordained inspired feasts remembering YASHUA removed the blood ordinances required of them also creating a delema for those who did them the origional way.

  6. Nicole Ingersoll February 20, 2018 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    Hi Brad! 🙂
    I grew up in the Catholic church so for most of my life I thought Lent was “a Catholic thing.” At my Catholic high school everyone gave up chocolate or french fries and ate fish on Fridays. Thank you for explaining it so well and present Lent in an applicable way. God is definitely pruning and cutting branches in my life and I will continue to be aware of this process and prepare for Easter. See you in May!

  7. Kim February 21, 2018 at 5:35 am - Reply

    Shalom to you are your beautiful family. Pray for you often.

  8. Greg February 22, 2018 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    This is great. We are doing daily devotions as well as learning the good word from you over Lent. Thank you.

  9. Sue February 23, 2018 at 6:19 am - Reply

    I LOVE this teaching, grounded in the season; gives depth and greater understanding.

  10. tim mekkes February 23, 2018 at 11:28 pm - Reply

    Brad, blessings. Greg started lent ash Wednesday services when he came to Zion. It has become my most meaningful communion. I have also come to understand that shalom is a peace that would restore the original perfection of the garden before the fall, the way God made the world to be. For me Easter has become the promise of that peace. The Ash Wednesday service was during the week that we learned that our granddaughter, was born without grey matter. God was the only place we could turn. He was faithful. Lent is a time that does cause me to look at a time to focus again the hope that is ours because of the cross. Shalom is His promise.

    • Brad Gray February 28, 2018 at 4:12 pm - Reply

      Thanks for sharing that, Tim. Really appreciate it.

  11. Dongbaka February 25, 2018 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    It used mostly the King James Bible as reference, and spoke much about sin, salvation and proper behavior. “Save me, O God, from evil all this day long, and let me love and serve Thee forever, for the sake of Jesus Christ, Thy Son,” it read.

  12. Shanna February 26, 2018 at 6:14 am - Reply

    Unknowingly, this whole year will be a season of lent for me. In December, I was given my word for the year to be THRIVE. I am still working on exactly what that looks like and how to get there, but given some personal things going on in my life, dead branch pruning is definitely the means to the end. Thank you for enlightening my journey and giving some clarity to my path.

  13. Barbara Sneller April 15, 2018 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    Hey Brad,
    I am so happy to listen to your teaching again, love your website and what you are doing on here. I go to Central on a regular basis and have been there for 20+ years now. My daughter used to work at Central, her name is Anjuli Sneller. Anyway, I was so disappointed when you left but see now why God moved you into this new direction. You can reach so many more people with your teaching which really digs deep into the meat of the gospel and helps me personally grow in my faith. You help bring in the historical, geographical, Jewishness, etc. of our faith and that means a LOT to me, over time that part either was taken out or watered down.
    I thank God for what He is doing in your life, and believe there is a long meaningful “shalom” that will come as you continue your faith walk with Him. I thought we had lost you, but see now we did not lose you, but rather share you with a larger audience. God wanted to “expand your territory” and I believe many more will come to know Him because you were faithful, like Abraham, in the move even when you didn’t know where it would take you at the time.
    Oh, by the way…that year long wait…remember Paul was in the dessert years before he began his ministry, and Jesus had to be in the wilderness 40 days also, so 1 year isn’t bad Brad! (For a type A it’s torture). I wish you all the best and will continue to pray for you. His return is near, so remain faithful. You have a lot of “followerers” you don’t even know you have. This country is in dire need of great preachers and godly leaders, too many have fallen away from Him, you encourage me just watching your story unfold. God Bless you and your family kiddo, keep it up!

    • Brad Gray April 16, 2018 at 1:34 pm - Reply

      Barbara, thank you so much for such a kind and uplifting message. I really appreciated it. And I remember Anjuli well 🙂 I’m hoping to guest teach at Central again here in the near future. It will be great to be back. Again, thank you for you kind comments!

  14. Brenda October 31, 2019 at 11:38 am - Reply

    So, I just found this series last night, and started listening to the first couple podcast episodes on my walk this morning. Now, sitting at my desk, I look out the window and what do I see? A very large limb (more than dinner-plate size in diameter) has split near the top of our maple tree and is precariously balanced in the crook of the branch next to it…

    Also, really enjoyed you at Central, Brad. Glad there is still a way to hear your teachings! I actually found this when I was looking for some resources for a new friend who was wanting to learn more about the bible, but didn’t feel it was very accessible.

    Going to walk out the truths I’ve just learned by inviting Mike’s Tree Service into the journey with me 🙂

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