Monthly Archives: August 2016

Don’t Be Too Busy to Get to Tomorrow

sorry_were_too_busy_graphic1Paul David Tripp says the biggest challenge facing the church today – busyness.  We are soooo busy!  You would think it wouldn’t be so busy w/ technology that allows us to:  Mow our lawns & sweep our living room rugs with remote controls, research a topic on our phone in 2 seconds what it used to take a trip to the Encyclopedia section at the library to figure out, and microwavable everything” – bacon, eggs, mac n cheese, pizza…even salmon says the internet.

44% of Americans call themselves “workaholics”.  We spend 4.7 hours a day on our cell phones.   The average young American will spend 10,000 hours playing video games before the age of 21.  Maybe it’s not we’re too busy…but we’re too busy with the wrong things.  Read Matthew 6:19-21 as a refresher of what we should be doing. are-we-too-busy-448x203

We worry so much about the temporary – How our lawns need more rain, the weird noise coming from our car, or the upcoming election.  Sure, those are legitimate concerns–but how much of our focus & efforts are on the eternal.  Is our concern about the waitress at lunch today – “Why is she not bringing the rolls?” or is it “I wonder if she knows the Lord?”.  Is it how fast I can leave church on Sunday OR who can I ask how they are doing/who can I pray with that needs encouragement?

“It’s Only Temporary” – It’s a phrase we use when we: talk about a job we don’t like or a cast that we have to wear…it doesn’t phrase us when we believe it is only an issue for a short period of time.  Here’s one for ya – LIFE is a short period of time – why don’t’ we feel this way about our difficulties, our trials here on earth and say “It’s only temporary”.  Why do we worry so much about the temporary tomorrow when we can affect someone’s eternity TODAY!

Where your heart is – will be what determines what you do next.  If your heart is on earthly things – money, success, sex, pleasure…you will pay a great price.  But if you choose to give your heart to God…that which you LOSE will be much greater than EVERYTHING you could ever gain with these things…I promise you that!

Go back to Matthew 6:33-34.  2nd reason we are too busy – we worry so much about tomorrow.  How does this happen?  Why do we worry so much about tomorrow?  Why do we put so much time, energy, and so much worry in things that in the end – are only temporary?

Randy Alcorn defines worry as – “momentary atheism crying out for correction by trust in a good and sovereign God.”  When we worry about tomorrow – the symptoms and prescriptions are found in these two verses.  The symptoms of worry:  Memory Loss, Anxiousness, and Disorientation.  (Sounds like those commercials on TV:  This pill may cause blindness, dizziness, and you may see penguins in the road while driving)

Memory Loss – Worry is a result of forgetting what God has done before.  We worry God won’t provide, or help us, or that He doesn’t know what He is doing.  But when has He failed you in the past, when has He forgot to have a plan, when has He lost control.  Prescription:  Seek God first in your busyness.  Let him be the first place you go, not the last resort, the last priority, or the “if I have time”.

Anxiousness – Our mind gets filled with the “what if’s”.  Sure, it’s good to be prepared, but when we are consumed and anxious about what might happen tomorrow…is when worry can paralyze us.  Prescription:  Put God in the driver’s seat of your life.  Only God can control the future, let it go.  Give God your life and let Him lead.

Disoriented – As we discussed before, we get in trouble when we don’t look up.  We start trying to control things ourselves and try to be in control – we can easily get lost. Prescription:  The saying goes “the average person is crucifying himself b/t two thieves:  the regrets of yesterday and the worries of tomorrow”.  Ask God to do something with you TODAY.  Tomorrow will worry about itself.

Stop worrying about what will happen tomorrow and DO SOMETHING today.  This means you will have to get rid of your selfishness.  This means you will have to love others that may seem unlovable.  This means you will give more of your time and have less of “me time”.  This means you will have to listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Ask yourself these questions this week:

  1. What can I do for my neighbor?
  2. What can I stop doing today? Maybe you need to delete an app or game on my phone.  Maybe I need to stop watching a TV show.  Maybe I need to use this time to Facebook a friend, bake cookies for my neighbor, or prep to teach a children’s ministry class.
  3. What is missing in your relationship with God? Am I too busy to spend time in God’s Word and prayer?  Do I have room in my schedule to serve God, love others, & volunteer in a ministry?

Never Be Too Busy to Get to Tomorrow…there is so much that needs to be done TODAY…

Back in the ‘70s, Princeton social psychologists asked seminary students to participate in their study on “religious education.”  1st part of the experiment – answer a whole bunch of demographic questions2nd part of experiment – walk across campus to another building to give a sermon on “The Good Samaritan”½ of the participants were told they were behind schedule and needed to get to the classroom as quickly as possible to give their sermon – their audience was waiting.  Other ½ of participants weren’t told they were behind.  Here’s where it gets interesting – On their way to the other side of campus – each student would walk by a man struggling in the alleyway.  He was moaning and coughing as the students walked by.  Ironically – the seminary students who were about to preach on the Good Samaritan, were passing a real test of their sermon material.  Results – 63% of participants who were not in a hurry – stopped to help the man;  BUT, only 10 percent of the participants who were in a hurry stopped to help the man—even though they were walking with their notes saying how important it is to help people in need!

I’m ashamed to say, I can relate to these seminary guys…

On the way to the church, several days in a row I drove by a couple who were in a car in front of the Subway.  As I drove by once more, the man waved at me, probably to get me to stop staring at them.  My heart was gripped and I turned around.  Turns out he recently lost his job, and he and his wife were homeless.  I was able to get them something to eat, and help them make some calls to help them find a home.  I could not help but thank the Lord for teaching me this humbling lesson.

How will you let God use you today?

toobusy

  1. Step one –  is to not be in such a hurry….stop letting “Busy” be your answer to when someone asks you “How are you doing?”
  2. Step two – if you feel God leading you to do something, and you can do it, and then do it.
  3. Step three –  stop worrying about the temporary.
  4. Step four – praise the Lord for having the opportunity to share His love.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO LISTEN TO THE SERMON…YOU CAN FIND IT HERE.

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How Christian Music is Made

Hilarious parody of the “behind the scenes” of Christian music.

Book Review: The Goodness of God

Book Review:  The Goodness of God by Randy Alcorn

The Good:51v3wMK6YnL

The Honest Truth.  Some books are careful about what people might think or those that might disagree.  Not this one.  This book raises its right hand and tells the truth, nothing but the truth, and gets a whole bunch of help from God.  That’s probably what I like most about this book is its honesty.  This was a difficult task to provide people with “assurance in the midst of suffering”.  But this book shoots down argument after argument with the truth of God’s Word, basic reasoning, and turns the tables with fantastic questions.  Which brings us to my next point…

Awesome Apologetics.  Man, if you are on the lookout for a dynamite apologetics book.  Light the match and be ready for this to blow you away.  Countless times I stopped after a rebuttal to common arguments of atheists and anti-sufferer-ers…and I was like “that is so good!”.  Responses that are practical and in the category of “Why didn’t I ever think of that?”, but yet powerful and so effective.

Priceless Definitions.  All throughout the book, Alcorn provides these quick definitions for words that are a regular part of our vocabulary.  Easily one of my favorite parts of the book when I would stumble upon another Alcorn-ism, so to speak.  For example, on page 110, we find a definition of worry as “momentary atheism crying out for correction by trust in a good and sovereign God”.  Signed, seal, and deliver that one to the bank!  And there’s more, but I don’t want to spoil them all for you.

The Bad:

Some Repetition.  There is some repetition of thoughts in the same chapter that could be avoided, but even that is ticky-tack.  Really not much wrong with this book, and I can see why I was given this book and told “It is excellent”…because it is.

The Grade:  A+.  When have you picked up a book, and upon finished the final page, your perspective on life is changed.  Now that’s a powerful book.  Randy Alcorn uses God’s Word effectively in reorienting your mind and heart towards a proper perspective on suffering.  He’s not afraid of feelings and what is fair, he simply brings the truth of God’s Word on the subject of suffering, and let’s you have it.  And argument after argument from the other side of God’s Word is shot down with overwhelming consistency and extensively.  Send this book to your hurting friend, sick neighbor, or grieving family member.  It’s worth the price on Amazon, the stamp, and it’s weight in gold.

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Reflections of an Intern

62f49b237c2fe6861446e264bc4293bb[GUEST POST BY:  DEVIN GOODWIN, INTERN EXTRAORDINAIRE]

No Task is too Small

I’ve been given many tasks while being an intern. This ranges from sweeping the floor to filling water for the fridge. But none of it is meaningless. This continuously points to the servant leadership that Christ desires for all.

Cling to Mentors

Listen to everything that your mentors tell you. These are the Godly people who you desire to be in the future. Ask them questions. See how they interact with problems. See how they follow after Christ. This is all God’s way of pointing you to Himself and showing you how you can serve Him in vocational ministry in the future.

Invest in People

Just because you are only in that position for a short amount of time doesn’t mean that you can slack off with the relationship side of ministry. Find people who you can disciple and point to Jesus. They need to see how personal He is and a lot of the ways that He is personal is through His body. The Spirit points us to the people that we are meant to be with and we are able to use what we are learning in Scripture to point others to a greater knowledge and love for Him.

Don’t Focus so much on your Work that you Neglect Christ

sidebar-1 Just because you are doing the work of the ministry doesn’t mean that you can stop investing in your own relationship with Christ. Make sure you are spending time in the Word and having deep times of prayer. Find things that stir your affections for Him. This can be by getting into nature, reading a good book, spending time with others, drinking a good cup of coffee, watching a good movie, or anything else that really gets you excited to serve Christ.

Don’t put yourself on a Pedestal

While being in a ministry position as an intern it is easy to think that you need to have it all together. This is insane! Thanks to sin, we will never have it all together. But this gives us the ability to follow after a relationship with Christ with other flawed people. So if you are hurting, let them know because then they can start to point you to Christ even better than before.

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