Hello church! The best part of the end of Sunday’s sermon is no more pain, right!? Yes, that was a loaded question. It’s always awesome watching in hindsight how God’s plan comes together. We have so many awesome programs going on that I couldn’t help but see the correlation between the three weeks of pain that align with what we have going on. The first week of pain (and possibly the worst pain) covered being a good steward with the finances He has entrusted us with, and me painfully owning the fact I am dead broke with nothing to my name. Refreshing isn’t the word I’d use for that week, but it was a GREAT sermon and reminder of who is the true supplier of our financial house. God is faithful and “is a debtor to no man”. I stand on that truth and am thankful for the weeks upon weeks upon weeks of pain via the financial class Nick Netherton is leading that continues to show me ways and training in how best to manage the finances entrusted to me and Shannon. “To whom much is given, much is expected”. I don’t have much, so thankfully much isn’t expected so I dodged that bullet…..well, not entirely. 1 billion people on this earth survive on less that ONE dollar a day. An additional 2 billion people survive on less than TWO dollars a day. So close to half of the world lives off of what we spend for a drink at lunch. No one in America dodged that bullet. That being said, my mismanagement of money is in direct relation to the painful realization Dave Ramsey’s program helps bring to light of how much more improvement I can make to manage money better, not because God needs my money to spread the good news of Jesus Christ, but because I need to show Him how much I want to be a part of that process and to show my son and daughter, as they grow, where their parents’ hearts lie and to help facilitate the instilling of that principle deep into their own hearts, “teaching them in the way they should go so when they’re older they shall not depart from it”. This class has been and is great, and an awesome tool God has blessed us with through Dave’s own trials in life and there isn’t one person that wouldn’t benefit from it in some form or fashion.
Our latest helping of pain came in the form of looking at how we spend our time. Oh how easy this one is to look at and relate to in many aspects of our lives. When we look at our day to day activities it’s easy to spot areas that we are wasting the time given to us and improve that management each day to be a better steward of the time we are allowed, because as Andy said Sunday, our time is the very most precious resource we have as we can never recoup it. Maybe that is why I waste so much of it to frivolous activities because I want to spend this resource in the way I want, because I will never get it back, instead of the way God would have me spend my time. If I’m truly honest with myself then that is the truth of why my time is spent the way it is. Enter Men for Ten. The easiest, simplest, most fool proof plan of attack for being the spiritual leaders of our house by taking such a small fraction of each day to DISCOVER God’s word, DISCUSS God’s word, and DIRECT God’s word into our lives. Breakfast time lunch time dinner time any time find a time make a time. So easy! In theory anyway. It takes a serious effort of wanting to be a good steward of the precious resource of time for God’s will of us and our family and actually doing, not just intending. For me I intend to be this man EVERY morning and before I know it we are saying good nights and it ends as another day in which I wasted the time God’s given me. Consistency is a huge struggle for me and I shamefully share that I haven’t been consistent every day in doing my part in this area. I have done it, but not consistently. I find myself wanting to spend my time where I WANT to, not the way God wants me to. Whew. The conviction is strong with this one. Not only is there the Men(and women, for the single moms out there) for Ten program, but taking the time to be a part of the bible studies that have recently started that aren’t too late to join. We also have R3 on Tuesday night, the men and women groups meeting on Wednesday, and the Sunday morning bible study before church as well as the women’s study that’s meeting before church. If you’re not plugged in yet, I encourage you as a brother to take the time to grow with each other by joining in the many places that have room for you to be a part of! If you’re anything like me -and I pray for your sake that you are not- then it’s easy to find time to carve out and make room for spending time with God as a family, as a church, or as brothers and sisters diving into his word everyday, not just Sundays.
Lastly and just as painful is our energy. Its mind boggling thinking about the scenario of the 25 million Christians being healthy and adding a year to their life bringing 25 million combined years of impact and outreach for Gods kingdom. Typing this email and being 50 pounds heavier than I used to be a couple years ago while starting on the subject of being healthy is pretty painful. Also just as disconcerting is when your son says “hi baby!” and rubs your pregnant wife’s belly then walks over and says “hi baby!” and rubs your belly. Ya, not a confidence booster. Motivation to lose weight? Definitely. If only losing weight were as enjoyable as eating a second and third piece of cheesecake. Last year we had a biggest loser challenge that I feel had a great success. I don’t have the number but if memory serves me slightly well I believe it was in the hundreds of pounds lost as a congregation! None of which I was a part of. Gets back to the whole consistency and intention part of the last paragraph that I don’t need to rehash. So, who would all want to take part of another biggest loser/fitness challenge? Its the only program we don’t have in place that relates to the continuation of pain from the last week, and if being a steward of the time, energy, and money that God entrusts to us causes pain, then we should proudly be gluttons for punishment. Keep an eye out for a sign up sheet on Sunday. Love you guys, and am thankful to call you all family!
In most sincerity,