A Few Thoughts From/On Today’s Sermon

Jude 1.24-25

[24]Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, [25]to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Matthew 7.24-27

[24]“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. [25]And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. [26]And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. [27]And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

The Gospel = we are presented before God as blameless, without fault and with joy.

Stand firm in the storm. Our present circumstances, good or bad, do not dictate God’s presence. He is present always: Our anchor in the storm, our solid rock, our firm foundation.

Revelation 5.13

[13]And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

All glory, praise, honor, authority, power, and worship is due to God. No one and nothing else comes within a comparable scope. He is the saving God, the one true God, our creator and sustainer.

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Finished A Good Book

Today I finished Teaching The Faith, Forming The Faithful by Gary Parrett and Steve Kang. It’s a solid book full of both practical and philosophical insight into educating the Church.

As someone who wants to be an educator in the Church this book was well worth the time it took to get through all 435 densely packed pages. I recommend it to anyone who is responsible for discipleship, education or small group ministry in the Church.

A Few Questions About Mankind

Why is man so self-assured and yet at the same time so insecure?

Why do we feel the need to prove ourselves better than others? To seek after power at great cost?

Is it possible that satan uses the fact that we are made in God’s image against us? He is, after all, very skilled at perverting what God has made for good and turning it into evil.

I Want Less Choice

This idea stemmed from my time this week as my wife is out of town, leaving me home alone for 9 days. Clearly, I’ve had plenty of time to myself, to do pretty much whatever I want. And in that time alone I’ve realized that I am prone to boredom, which is ridiculous and I’ll bet a very modern phenomenon.

I think boredom is inherently linked to my ability to choose from seemingly limitless options.

What do I want to eat? I only have to choose between every restaurant and grocery store in the KC metro area.

What do I want to watch? I only have to choose between what’s currently on, what’s on my DVR, what’s On Demand, what’s on Netflix, what’s on Amazon Prime Instant Video, what’s online, what’s at Redbox, what’s available to purchase, or what I already own. Then I have to choose what I want to watch it on…

What do I want to read? I only have to choose between everything on Amazon, my local library, what is available through Kindle or iBooks, what’s on the blogosphere, what’s on Twitter, or what I already own (which is a lot).

What activity do I want to do? I only have to choose between…this is getting stupid. Hopefully you see what I’m getting at.

I don’t want to have to sort through hundreds of thousands of choices everyday, it’s exhausting. And I think the feeling I equate to boredom is actually sensory overload. I have so much to choose from that I often wind up choosing what is easy. And I don’t like that.

I like to think that in a simpler world, one where I have fewer choices, I’d be more prone to do what is better than what is easy. That I wouldn’t choose to binge watch (seriously, when did this become a thing) a crappy TV show over exercising, learning a new skill, studying scripture, writing, sharing stories, building things, gardening. These are all things that I want to do, and believe that I should be doing, yet I find myself on season 4 of White Collar.

Maybe I’m just lazy and I’m taking it out on technology and convenience. Or maybe I’m correct in saying that I’d be better off with fewer choices. Or, and perhaps most likely, it’s a little bit of both.

It was only a matter of time before having access to the entire world from my pocket became an anchor.

I think it’s time that I start evaluating what I really believe to be worth my time and then removing the things that have prevented me in the past from pursuing those worthwhile endeavors. This certainly means disconnecting from superfluous things in my life but it also means looking in the mirror, admitting that I’m the one to blame for this reality, and consciously making a change in what I allow myself to do. In other words, self discipline.