Preparing our Hearts, Remembering our Lord

Have you ever been STRESSED OUT?  Maybe I should rephrase, are you STRESSED OUT?  Stress is something that we all have…way too much.  I like what Winston Churchill said about stress, “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.” I find that it is very seldom the big things that stress me out.  I have never worried for any length of time about whether our house will catch on fire or if I will get caught in a hurricane or if my tire will blow on I-70 (now that I mention it, I probably should check my tires).

Do you want to know what gets to me?  The little things: a pile of bills, a list of small tasks, a dirty car, a mind that is working to remember all the things I haven’t written down, etc. etc.

This may be a stretch, but imagine the feeling that you have when you get a whole bunch of little details done and somehow hit delete in your brain and you feel totally liberated from the to do list.

In a unique way this is what we are going to do on Sunday when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper.  We have planned the service for you to have time to reflect on your own spirituality during the past weeks.  There will be time to read Scripture, sing, listen, pray and then remember the fact that Jesus allowed His body to be broken and His blood to be shed.

Often we fail to find or make time to really focus in on our own spiritual life.  This is one reason why God has commanded us to partake in the Lord’s Supper…to remember Him.  There are so many times in our hectic lives that we fail to remember Him and each time is another mark on the list.  The Lord’s Supper provides an opportunity for Him to erase all the times we forgot God in our daily lives and then remember Him together as a church family.

If you are reading this and are not sure about the Lord’s Supper, you do not have to participate.  In fact, it is much better not to participate than to participate unprepared.  There are several great passages that you can read to prepare for the service.  I suggest reading Matthew 26:17-30 as well as 1 Corinthians 11:23-34.

I hope you have a “New Life” day….the way life is meant to be!!!



Spiritual ‘Selective Hearing Disorder’ (John 4:31-42)

It has been said, “Confession is good for the soul.”  So here goes…I have a disease called “selective hearing disorder.”  Although, this is not life threatening, it does take its toll on me.  It can be dangerous. For instance, there was the time when I had just settled into the couch after a long day, my whole body had just relaxed, Sports center had just returned from a commercial break, and all of a sudden I hear (I mean, I don’t really hear it…it could be that squeaky garage door or maybe even something from next door…) a scream from upstairs that sounds an awful lot like S-P-I-D-E-R.

Now I have been through this drill before….Leigh-Ann sees a spider.  In reality (I hope you are reading this Honey) the spider has probably been there all day and will continue to be there until I get up to go to bed.  In addition, I think spiders are valuable…maybe in the time it takes me to get up there, the spider will have a few more minutes to catch a few more smaller insects in its web.  So after careful consideration, I make the decision.  Due to the fact that I am not completely sure I heard Leigh-Ann (99.9% is not completely sure) and even if in fact it was Leigh-Ann, by stalling I could help her in the long run by allowing the spider to trap more insects, I decide to wait.

By now I have totally lost track of Sports Center and am holding my breath waiting for the next loud T-R-O-Y (usually this is within 5-10 seconds depending on the size of the spider).  This is where my disease (selective hearing disorder) can become dangerous.  So I have learned a few coping mechanisms.  This may be helpful if you have ever experienced some of these same symptoms.

First, I become very involved in what I am doing (back to Sports Center).  Then I get really comfortable (one ear against a pillow) and start to doze off.  When Leigh-Ann comes down the stairs looking for me I wait until she is right next to me and then sort of jump awake.  This buys me some time to think of a way to dart upstairs and kill the spider before getting killed (If you are still reading this Honey…I love you).  Once the spider has been disposed of Leigh-Ann is so relieved she will forget to ask why I couldn’t hear her.  This is fine because “selective hearing disorder” is hard to explain as you can see.

Wow!  I feel good now that is off my chest.  So good that I think I will preach on it Sunday.  Not exactly “selective hearing disorder,” but a strain of it that affects our spiritual life.  Often we know what the right thing to do is and we fail to do it.  Just like me on the couch we think of excuses and then rationalize our failures.

Jesus told his disciples in John 4:34, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish his work.”  Jesus was committed to a life of obedience.  Without getting any further into the sermon for Sunday, I encourage you to spend some time reading from John 4:31-42.  I also hope that you will join me in praying for God to work in our lives as we study His teaching.

I hope you have a “New Life” day….the way life is meant to be!!!