Archive for April, 2014

Do Not Worry!

Image“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life.” (Matthew 6:25) I have said it so may times, “I don’t worry, nothing seems to bother me.” But is that a true statement? No. I do worry, a lot. But it is because I have gotten a very valuable lesson wrong. Simplicity is a way of life and I have not been a good steward to this lifestyle. I have tried to obtain everything that this world has told us we had to have. Actually, it is America that has told us this as there are some eastern countries that do not have this strong consumeristic culture that we do. My life is changing, though. The closer I get to my first appointment as a United Methodist Pastor, the closer I get to a life that will desperately need to be “simpler.” The danger in this will be how I treat this new lifestyle because if I have the wrong attitude, it will be just as bad as living as a rich man. The warning comes regarding our “idolization” of this particular lifestyle because we inevitably take our eyes off the true reason for the change.

Our focus needs to be on building the Kingdom of God and living simply just helps us get there. If we live simply, we will have more time and resources to devote to the building of God’s Kingdom and that is where our motives need to be centered. When we live in this way, we can eliminate being overwhelmed, over-scheduled, and exhausted and therefore, eliminate worry. As the Gospel of Matthew say, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Mt. 6:34) Such a true statement for me and maybe for you. So stop worrying, live each day for the Kingdom of God and all things will be given in accordance to out need, not want, but need.

So manMountains Worship Backgroundy of us have heard about or experienced “mountaintop” experiences. These are the times that you feel you are on top of the world, everything is going right, and we want to live right there on our mountaintop. But notice what I just said, “our mountaintop.” Sometimes when we are on top of the world, we have this feeling of being alone. Sometimes we separate ourselves from everyone around us so that we can enjoy our good times. We need to invite others to be part of our experience so that they may enjoy these times as well. Another time we seem to feel all alone is in our “valley” moments, when we have reached the bottom and nothing looks like it will ever go right again. In these moments we need to make sure to have others with us so that they might help us out of these times.

As it is in most of our lives, we tend to focus on the extremes of our life experiences, whether they be very happy times or feelings of deep despair while we are in the valleys of our lives. Very rarely do we talk about all those days in between even though there are far more of those days in our lives. So the question becomes; how are your in between days? Are they full of nothing, just grinding out your days, or are they filled with service to others, placing them above yourself and living for the one who has gifted you these days. Live for Jesus Christ and allow Him to fill your days with people to help through their in between days.

Suffering to Hope

sf_fathersFootsteps_04So many of us are suffering, whether it is because of difficult times in our relationships, financial strain, work related stress, health issues, school stress, or spiritual unrest. We all suffer, we all feel pain, we all need help. Where do you go for that help? Who is the one you turn to when times get so hard that you want to throw your hands in the air and give up? So many times we feel that if we fill our lives with stuff, boyfriends/girlfriends, the latest gadgets, or newer cars, we will clear the problem we are having. But maybe those things are the problem. You see, if we look to people in this world and the things of this world, we might find ourselves being let down, quite often.
Psalm 121:1-2 says, “I look to the hills- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” We can ask God for help and he has promised us the hope we need. This hope comes to us through our suffering, our pain, and our unrest. Romans 5:3-4 “Not only so, but we rejoice in our suffering, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” So as we follow the path that leads to hope, we must remember that this path begins with suffering. So rejoice in your suffering, not that you are in the midst of it, but in the promise of what is on the other side, hope.
Prayers for all of you who find yourselves in this season of life suffering. Amen.