Redeeming Your Time

What are we supposed to do with all the time we have on our hands now? Perhaps you don’t feel that tension during the day if your household is like ours and you’re trying to both work full-time and do school for your kids, but as the busyness of the day ends and the weekends arrive, it may make itself known. In a day when many people are wondering what we’re supposed to be doing, here are some answers to that tough question.

Reverend Jonathan Waits
Sermon: Redeeming Your Time (2 Peter 3:14-17)
Date: April 5, 2020

So, are you bored yet? As I occasionally scroll through my Facebook feed, I see post after post of people asking to be entertained. We are living in an interesting time. For a society that is as digitally fed as ours is, we are collectively learning that you can only stream so much content before you’ve had enough. The other day my boys watched a show in the morning, and then entirely of their own accord turned the TV off and went outside to play for pretty much the rest of the morning. All by themselves. I didn’t have to tell them to go at all. I wondered for just a bit if someone had replaced all my children with doppelgangers. Our culture is collectively rediscovering that there is a whole world outdoors that reflects God’s beauty and is worth exploring to its fullest. We are reconnecting on walks in ways we haven’t done in some time. I wonder sometimes if our reaction once things get back to whatever normal is going to be on the other side of this will be to overload on busyness to make up for the lack we have enjoyed, or to realize just how busy we were in comparison with how we have been and opt for a slower pace all on our own. Then again, perhaps not, but maybe. Still, that doesn’t change the fact that these are interesting times and not necessarily in a good way.

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Breaking Free

In this final part of our series, Gravity: Overcoming the Weight of Our Stuff, we talk about one last, powerful way to break free from the pull our stuff otherwise naturally has on our lives.  Along the way, I offer a three step process for how to begin building the practice of sacrificial generosity into our lives, an example of what generosity can do, and a chance to respond.  Thanks for reading and blessings as you make your plan to break free from the gravity of your stuff.

Breaking Free

Have you noticed that one of Disney’s goals lately seems to be to make live-action remakes of all their classic animated films?  We’ve so far seen Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book, Maleficent, Pete’s Dragon, and Christopher Robin, with films like Dumbo, Mulan, the Lion King, and Aladdin on the near horizon.  A bit of research allowed me to discover that there are also tentative plans to redo other classic films such as Snow White, Robinhood, The Sword in the Stone, and Pinocchio. Read the rest…

Morning Musings: Proverbs 3:9-10

“Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.”  (ESV)

As much as many would like and have even tried to argue this is the case, one of the things the Bible does not teach is a kind of tit-for-tat giving arrangement whereby every time we give something, God gives back to us in equal amounts.  Any preacher or teacher who has said otherwise is a snake oil salesman in disguise.  But… Read the rest…

Get Moving

In this second part of our conversation, What’s Next, we took a look at how the ideas of growing and reaching and help give us clarity in terms of our next steps now that we understand our identity a bit more fully.  Keep reading to see how these can guide us.

 

Get Moving

Well, last week, after spending the previous four talking about our God-given identity as a church, we began a new conversation seeking to answer the question, “What’s Next?”  So we know a little better than we did before who God made us to be.  What are we supposed to do with that?  What are some of the things we can be doing now to start moving us down the road in the direction of becoming fully that church?  Certainly we’re not going to get there all at once, but what are the steps we can take now no matter who we are and where we are in order to start the ball rolling in that direction?  Perhaps to ask that another way: How can we begin adjusting our behavior as a body in light of who God made us to be such that even if we’re not fully that church yet, we’re putting ourselves in a place to begin becoming that church? Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 2 Corinthians 9:7

“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

What is it that makes a cheerful giver so much better than otherwise?  Well, who wants a begrudging gift?  I sure don’t.  When someone gives something under compulsion, it tends to take all the joy out of receiving for the recipient.

What’s more, when someone is giving to God under compulsion, that person is treating giving like a religious exercise.  You do a religious exercise not because you want to or because it’s the right thing to do, but because if you don’t, you will incur the wrath of the deity you are trying to appease.  No one wants to do that.  God makes abundantly clear in the Scriptures that He has absolutely no interest in that kind of thing.  He’d rather people not even bothering trying if all they’re going to give Him is a half-hearted religiosity.  He wants our hearts, not our wallets. Read the rest…