Monday, June 26, 2017

Then Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made to serve us; we weren’t made to serve the Sabbath. The Son of Man is no lackey to the Sabbath. He’s in charge!” (Mark 2:27).

This verse came to mind as I was heading out on vacation. Only this time, in addition to reading this verse in my New Revised Standard Version Bible, I also looked it up The Message Bible (quoted above).

That wordlackey” jumped out at me. It’s not a word I use, nor is it a word I come across very often. A quick Google search took me to and its definition: “Servant...someone who does menial tasks or runs errands for another.”

Jesus came to serve; yet nothing He does is menial. After all, as God coming to us in human flesh, Jesus Christ is in charge.

I find this “lackey” definition a helpful reminder when it comes to taking time off; particularly with technology following us to nearly every corner of the globe. You see,

You see, I was debating whether or not to turn off my cell-phone during vacation because there’s always the thought that if something comes up I can always be reached…and I must always be reached – right?!?!

Yet if I leave my cell phone on, am I really fully taking time off? But, when I turn my phone off, why do I feel guilty? Especially when almost ¾ of people surveyed say cell phones add to the stress in their lives. Isn’t the purpose of vacation to be a stress-reducer?  

We come across lots of occasions in the Bible when God’s people took way too much control of way too many things, and that still happens today. This would explain my own conflict about what to do with the cell phone on vacation.

I think the struggle I felt about turning it off is a symptom of something more; that is that we get used to taking charge, and our controlling things then becomes a habit that leaves God standing there on the sidelines.

May this conflict be our reminder that God being-in-charge is God giving us a clean and clear conscience to renew ourselves – it’s God saying “I got this…so go ahead, enjoy yourself!”

Together We Serve,
Pastor Mike

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

“If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” (Philippians 2:1-2)

I’ve been thinking a lot about laughter lately. There was lots of laughter throughout everything tied to our recent Yard Sale and Plant Sale, and with those proceeds going to our General Mission Fund, our prayer is those funds will bring laughter to many parts of the world where laughter is hard to come by.
Instead of laughter, what is heard is weeping.

Might the best way to measure a community’s health begins by listening for laughter?
Something laughter and weeping have in common is they’re both an emotional reaction.

A study was done by the University College London involving two groups of people; people living in Britain, and the Himba tribe. The Himba live in an isolated part of Namibia with no electricity, no running water, no formal education, and no contact with people from other groups.
In the study, participants listened to a short story based around a particular emotion. At the end of the story they heard two sounds from the other group such as crying, and laughter. They were asked to identify which of the two sounds reflected the emotion in the story.

Researchers found that basic emotions including amusement and sadness are among the most easily recognizable -- and one positive sound was particularly well recognized by both groups was laughter.
What if we imagined people very different from us yet laughing like us…

...and laughing with us as we laughed with them…

...and let that guide our every action?
Based on Scripture and based on science laughter is the one emotion we all desire and the one language we all understand.

Join us Sundays at 10AM as seek, and work, to make laughter very real for all.
Pastor Mike