“But we were hoping that he was the one who was about to redeem Israel. Besides all this, it’s the third day since these things happened.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
If this virus outbreak hadn’t happened, tonight I would have been sleeping under the sharks with my son. This week, his class was set to go on a three-day, two-night trip to the coast. As a part of it, tonight would have been spent in an aquarium where they have you sleep in a room where the whole ceiling is a giant fish tank. I could have drifted off to sleep to the soothing images of sharks wishing they could bust through the glass and eat me. I, like my son, am disappointed. Have you ever been disappointed?
In this second part of our series, After Christmas, I answer the question I left hanging last week: How do we keep following Jesus no matter what? The answer is found in an episode from out of the life of Nehemiah. Nehemiah accomplished some great things in a fairly short amount of time. His secret is one we can use in our own life to make sure our after Christmas times aren’t the letdowns they so often are. Keep reading to find out what this is and how to implement it in your life.
Have you ever been distracted?
So, just the other day I was looking at the NFL schedules for next year. Guess who faces off at some point in the season? The Chief and the Panthers. In Kansas City. Boom. We’ll have to have a watching party.
In any event, have you ever been distracted?
Many of you know I enjoy building little metal models. I got some for Christmas this year about which I am most excited. One is this really cool looking blue dragon. They also make a red version. There’s also a grand Chinese gate. There is also a new design line that is various suits of armor. Those are next on my list.
As I was saying, though, have you ever been distracted?
Have I mentioned how excited I am for Celebrate Sunday next week? It is going to be a party. God has done many, many great things around here in the last year and we are going to celebrate them in grand fashion.
But what I really wanted to ask you this morning was if you’ve ever been distracted? Personally, my own focus is like a laser. Do you believe me? It focuses directly and steadily on whatever it happens to be pointed at in a given moment. Did I mention that this laser is actually a laser pointer residing in the hands of a two-year-old? Yessir, my focus is just like a laser…pointer…in the hands of a sugared-up two-year-old…who’s entertaining himself by tormenting a cat. Squirrel! What were we talking about again?
This past Sunday we kicked off a brand new teaching series called Finding Meaning. For the next few weeks we are going to walk through some highlights of the collection of wisdom in the Hebrew Bible we call Ecclesiastes. In Ecclesiastes, the wisest man who ever lived records some personal thoughts on his own efforts to find meaning in life. Through his reflections we can learn a great deal about where to find it in our own. First, though, we need a foundation from which to build this structure of ideas. That’s what we did yesterday. If we are going to find real meaning in our lives, where do we start building? Keep reading to find out.
When Life Feels Empty
So…the Patriots won the Super Bowl. Again. I’ll just say: They’re really good. More specifically, Tom Brady is really good. Bill Belichik is really good. They managed to bring just what they needed to beat every opponent they faced in the playoffs. Every time. Now, the result was the most boring Super Bowl game ever, but I’ll bet you didn’t hear any complaints to that effect in the locker room after the game. A Super Bowl win is a Super Bowl win even if it’s boring. The thing that drives so many folks crazy about the Patriots isn’t just that they are really good. The Los Angeles Rams and even my Kansas City Chiefs were really good this season and they didn’t drive anybody crazy. The same goes with the New Orleans Saints. No, the thing that gets under the skin of so many folks is that they’ve been good for so long. This was the sixth win for Patriots and their ninth Super Bowl appearance just in the last 19 years. In other words, they’ve been to the Super Bowl basically every other season for the whole of this millennium.
“Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us,” (CSB – Read the chapter)
By the time this post goes live it will probably be the week of the Super Bowl. I’ll either be really excited, or completely disinterested. The reason for that is that my team, the Kansas City Chiefs, are playing tomorrow in the conference championship game against the New England Patriots. What’s more, for the first time ever, they will play this game at home. Although it’s hard to quantify, everyone knows that playing at home gives the home team an advantage over the visitors. Writing this, I’m hopeful we don’t waste it.