" Look here, you people who say, "Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit." 14 How do you know what will happen tomorrow? For your life is like the morning fog-it's here a little while, then it's gone. 15 What you ought to say is, "If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that." 16 Otherwise you will be boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil. 17 Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it."-James 4:13-17
What’s the hurry? Why is everybody running like a chicken with their heads cut off? I’m sure you have heard this before, but have you actually take the time and answer these questions? I decided to finally write about this aspect in life after many circumstances leading to this-especially this past week! I had the opportunity to take a “break” from the daily Morris life by going to the cities last weekend for the T-Wolves v.s. Lakers game. Fortunately, our very own Minnesota T-Wolves won as this was my first game to attend at the Target Center ever as a Minnesotan! People were surprised when I told them this, which I told them I’ve been busy or just never had the priority to do so when I lived in St. Paul.
Message-Helter Skelter Socity
During the weekend before I left back to Morris, I attended my local church in St. Paul. I was blessed to hear a message/sermon that was very timely! Greg Boyd, pastor at Woodland Hills Church, shared on the “Helter Skelter” society we live in-how the world is just going too fast, meaningless, and crazy!-more in America and the Western world! He shared some questions to think about….
-What are you living for?
-Where are you going?
-What is in your plate (e.g. spend your time in, activities, etc…) that you should keep? What should you throw?
-What’s your vision?
-What’s your passion?
-Where in the Bible does it say Jesus had to rush?
We need direction and purpose in life. Also, we need to do some “editting” in our life?-mentioned Boyd. I personally believe all these questions can be answered through the help of the Holy Spirit with the Bible! Read it and learn from it! Boyd went on about Jesus didn’t have to rush on healing the handicapped, feeding the hungry, or the many other miracles He did mentioned in the Bible Jesus said, ”Do not worry about tomorrow, let tomorrow worry about it self” in Matthew 6-meaning chill! Boyd then gave a list of phrases that I wasn’t able to all jot down:
1. Life is not striving for “stuff”
Yes, I agree with this as I used to have this mentality. I used to be in this business one summer where we were repeatedly shown “material success” (mansions, boats, nice cars, and many extravagant “things”). I actually was bought into this whole “wanting more” concept. I wanted to show the world I can succeed by “possessing” all this wealth and materialism. This actually occurred after my first year of college-still fresh out of high school- when I wanted to make an impression to my former high school class before our reunion! Yes, this too happened after my decision to follow Christ, but I wasn’t in the right place for growth. This was part of my life learning experience, I’m guessing this was all part of this contribution to this website story!
Boyd then challenge us with this question, what occupies your time? As the popular saying goes-”the cheese that makes the mouse run”. …As you think about this and are making your list, this might help you to expand on this too….What “stuff” controls your time? How would you react if “it” was gone?…..For me, it has and is my car? I was doing this financial budget analysis to see where all my money goes based on my credit card bill and checking book. I discovered it was my 96’ Chevy 4X4 Suv Blazer that has “slaved” me ever since I got it after college. The gas, car insurance, and maintenance has ate up my pocket book. I’ve now began to stop hitting myself for this. I was encouraged by others in my local church body that this has been a blessing. How? In the part that I’ve been able to help a lot of people move with this vehicle. I don’t feel as bad anymore after I first got it, but we can all make use of what we “materialistically” have. For example, a former co-worker of mine has these ATV’s and a snow mobile for recreation-fun! I told him that there is nothing wrong have these as long as they don’t “control you”. You can be a blessing to others-as he did with me-when he invited me to ride on them during this winter. It was my first time and it was fun! We had great fellowship over a mexican meal supper and movie later on that “restful” day of the weekend! I say, share with what God has blessed you with as we have been given so much in various ways! Ask God how you can be a blessing to someone with what He has blessed you already with? This will make your “stuff” more significant and more of a blessing !
Here are some additional questions Boyd gave us…
-Where did our time go?
-Where did our relationship go?
-Where did our money go?
1. Life is found in seeking God’s Kingdom and NOT just happiness!
2. Trust God-not in jobs or stuff
Story-Greg shared about his recent trip to Cambodia, where he was able to witness with his own eyes the “poverty” there and realize how much we-as Americans-are blessed and to be thankful to God for! Yes, we may not be living in the best economic times, but we are far better off compared to Cambodia and many other poverty stricken nations out in the world today!
3. Kingdom work-purpose
Above is part of a list of a category I kind of missed in this particular Sunday (3/14/04) service. With part of the notes, I pray that God will minister to you personally….
After the sermon, I left smiling and free as I felt that God has already let go of some “stuff” and will continued to do some fine tuning-as long as I obey and let Him do so-I pray that you let Him do so to you too! I wrote this verse from a song that relates to the message on my sermon notes…
Recently, I had a conversation about how busy college students are at UMM with an "anonymous" professor/teacher at the RFC Men's Lockerroom. He told me that too many of his students are not committed in his class as many of them are "too involved" with "too many" activities. They want to do "everything", which I told him that it's because of the Liberal Arts and many are probably trying to find their "clique" in life. I told him that I used to be like that as I was searching on what I want to do in life. However, I suffered the cost of being "too busy" as I wasn't able to enjoy myself as I'm making it up by living in Morris now.
Doing "god" stuff or God's stuff
Many Christians get caught in the trap of doing too much "good" and feel that they have to be the "savior". No, Jesus did that already as displayed in "The Passion" through the crucifixion for the forgivenss of our sins! I personally was a victim of this as I wanted to "help" everybody and "solve" all the problems as I was heavily involved in many student activities. We can do so much, which we need to ask God to help us choose what He wants and know what's best for us to get involved in. Greg Boyd, pastor, shared a story how a college student fell victim to this on another Sunday I attended Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul.
More on Time...
This morning (Sunday, December 16th of 2007), I just went to my local church in Morris and hear the message more on this topic, which we all need to hear constantly. Jim McCracken shared this earlier this month at a Men's Retreat (Parable of the Good Samaritan), which I decided to put this...
A Time for Everything
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What does the worker gain from his toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. 13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.
15 Whatever is has already been,
and what will be has been before;
and God will call the past to account. [a]
16 And I saw something else under the sun:
In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
in the place of justice—wickedness was there.
17 I thought in my heart,
"God will bring to judgment
both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
a time for every deed."
18 I also thought, "As for men, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. 19 Man's fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath [b] ; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless. 20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. 21 Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal [c] goes down into the earth?"
22 So I saw that there is nothing better for a man than to enjoy his work, because that is his lot. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?
....more from Proverbs-Ecclesiastes....
Rest for the Soul
Along with the message or topic above, I’ve been meaning to write about rest to go along with part of the notes above. Today-the Sabbath, I’m writing this to really engrain this in people’s lifestyle. Yeah, what’s up with everybody rushing in life for. At my local church-Morris-today, a sister-in-Christ shared how (similar to last Sunday’s message in St. Paul with Grey Boyd) we need to rest and enjoy the “banqueting table” that is mentioned in the Bible. When we eat at the “banqueting table”, it takes time and not like what we do at a fast food restaurant!
Then another shared about her recent cleaning of her personal computer of viruses that came from surfing the internet. She realized how the computer has slow down because of these viruses that came along from constant surfing the internet and opening all these files. Her son came home recently to clean-up all that junk and the computer is back to normal speed and a lot faster than before! Well, we need to do that in our lives too, stated by this lady at church this Sunday. I personally received it as we go in life rushing and collect sin not noticing it at times. That is why I try in my quiet times at night before going to bed to do this! This enables me to have a clear conscience from worry and burdens from a long day at times. When I wake-up the next morning (mostly), I’m more pumped up and ready to do what God has me to do for a new day!
”Heavenly Father, open my eyes to all the sins I need to ask you for forgivness that I’ll be clean and pure to be a brighter light for you to the people you’ll put in my path in the dark world tomorrow! In Jesus name, Amen!”
A brother-in-Christ shared how we are a new creation or creature no matter what mistakes (sins) you committed each day. Then Pat, pastor, continued to share on this topic that we need to go before God as he shared about Naumun from 2 Kings 5. This Sunday’s message has tied up many things recently and the message last Sunday. Now, it’s up to us that “heard” this to act upon it and practice this in our daily life!
You think this message ended after church service at noon! Well, when I dropped the two consumers I usually I take to church from the group home, my co-worker answered on how it’s been busy with classes after I asked “how is this final stretch of the semester going?” Then this other co-worker responded, “I hear that all the time”. Yes, we do as this “helter skelter” society is rampant all over!
Your "busy" lifestyle affects your health-you know? Why is that the #1 killer in this country is heart disease? Yes, bad eating habits and also stress!
Recently, my younger brother told me that he has been stress lately that may have contributed to some of his health problems.
....more on health