Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Zip It- Thoughts on Complaining

This note was uploaded to Facebook via the author's blog.

Do you ever get sick and tired of complaining? You go to work and people are complaining. You turn on the news and someone is complaining. You open up Facebook and people are complaining. Complaining is all around us. And, just as the Apostle Paul and I are chief among the sinners, I am chief among the complainers. I will admit it. If you want to hear a bunch of complaining go to lunch with two or three pastors. Good grief!

I was recently reading this post by Steven Furtick that helped me put my complaining in perspective. In the post Furtick writes:

"Make sure you measure your circumstances from the baseline
of what you really deserve.

The reality of grace invalidates any claim to complaint you may stake.

The basis of all complaining is one of the following two erroneous beliefs:

1. I deserve something good I didn’t get.
2. I don’t deserve something bad I did get."

End quote.

If you are a follower of Jesus you have received salvation and a relationship with God through Jesus Christ for this world and the world to come. If you and I receive nothing else in this world we have nothing to complain about. After we have received salvation we have already received more than anything we deserve and we just need to zip it. Grace says we deserve none of it yet God in his infinite love gives it.

I find that helpful when I want to complain (which is often). But I would not stop there because that is approaches the issue of complaining from the negative. I don't deserve any good thing apart from what God in his goodness and love gives me. Yet, how much God has blessed me. When I count my blessings, especially all the things I take for granted, I stand amazed in the presence of a God whose love I cannot even begin to comprehend. No, I don't deserve anything, but look how good God is that he would become like me and take on flesh, that through his life, death, resurrection and return so that a sinful complaining person like me could have life.

So, when I want to complain, I just need to zip it!

I will stop complaining about people who complain now and be thankful to God even for people who complain and especially for a God who loves and blesses me and those I love even though we do not deserve it. That is grace.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Financial Peace Friday- The Emergency Fund

This note was uploaded to Facebook via the author's blog.

I hereby declare today Financial Peace Friday.

As we as a church have been learning to better handle God's resources he lends to us through following the Bible based principles and teaching of Dave Ramsey I have come to appreciate the importance of the Emergency Fund.

The first step in any Total Money Makeover if to set aside $1,000 for emergencies. How do you get this $1,000? Have a yard sale, spend less than you make for a few months and save the difference, sell something. It doesn't matter, just find a way to put the money aside. Do this before moving on to Baby Step 2- paying off debt. The Emergency Fund of course comes into pay when you have an emergency (this is deep stuff!). The next time the furnace breaks, there is an unexpected car expense, you have to fly across the country for a funeral or whatever, you do not have to use a credit card or skip your car payment to pay for the emergency.

A few other things about the Emergency Fund. Just put it in a savings account, money market or under your mattress. This is not investing money. Put it in a place where you can get to it easily. If you do a great job and get your Emergency Fund and then have to use it then replenish it. Build it back up. Once you complete this step and once you move to paying off all your debt, you can then build a 3-6 month fully funded emergency fund. This fund will cover your expenses for 3-6 months if you lose your job, get sick or have some other calamity that affects your ability to work and earn money.

Let's face it. There will always be emergencies in life. The one thing we can bank on is that emergencies happen! Shouldn't we prepared?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Supernatural Recap

This note has been uploaded to Facebook via the author's blog.

We have completed the Supernatural message series at New Season. If you missed any of the messages you can find them below. You can always find the text and most of the time the audio at our website's Message page.

Spiritual Warfare

The Holy Spirit

Angels and Saints

Satan and His Demons

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Don't Go To Church- Be The Church

This note has been uploaded to Facebook via the author's blog.

One thing we at New Season have learned being portable and meeting in schools and various venues is that the church is not a building, but a people. I think there is an old hymn about that. I think that is an important concept. One of the ways we seek to live out this conviction at New Season (in addition to slapping anybody who asks "When will we be a real church?" ((i.e. when will we have a building)) is to hold our annual Faith in Action Day.

Faith in Action Day is a day when we cancel morning worship and worship by serving in our community. We clean up yards, do minor repairs and paint indoors, go to serve at the nursing home, deliver goodies to emergency personnel, and more. In the evening we come back and eat together and worship. Part of why we do Faith in Action is to send the message that serving is not a once a year activity but a way of life and part of how we worship God. Faith in Action also teaches that the church is not a place where we go, it is not a destination, rather the church is a people and a movement.

Why not join us for Faith in Action this Sunday? You can sign up here.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Just Eating the Frosting

My three boys love cupcakes! When they eat cupcakes they really do not eat the cupcakes. They really only lick the frosting off. I always tell them they are missing out because the cake part is pretty good too! They don't listen, they continue to eat just the frosting.

This makes me think of my own journey of faith and how sometimes when it comes to receiving all the love, mercy, forgiveness and relationship God offers me in Jesus Christ I sometimes only eat the frosting and not the cake.

I only eat the frosting and forget enjoy the cake and miss out on God's grace when...
  • I do not spend daily time with him in prayer and in his word.
  • I do not seek to see the lesson and the truths he is trying to convey in difficulties and suffering.
  • I do not stop long enough to appreciate and give thanks for the little things (that are sometimes really big things)- a healthy family, the colors of fall, a great church, etc.
  • I am too busy to gather with other Jesus followers and miss the community he created me for.
  • I neglect to live in the moment and see his grace in the moment and am too busy thinking of what lies ahead.
  • I find it easier to engage in transactional mission and witness and send money instead of building relationships with the poor and those far from God.
  • I do not take time to worship apart from leading worship on Sunday morning.
  • I do not invite him to invade and rule over every aspect of my life.
There is so much God's love has to offer that can be experienced if it is possible to move from just eating the frosting.