The Dangers Within: Sloth

Seven Deadly SinsSloth can easily be confused with the laziness of couch potatoes.

But sloth goes much deeper than being lazy.

Consider GroundWork’s argument that sloth is being apathetic and disengaged from the things that truly matter- even if your life is full of activity. Listen to the episode for more insight.

A better way for us to think about sloth today is to think of it as busyness, the act of filling our lives with things to do rather than things that truly matter.

Kevin DeYoung warns us of three dangers of being “crazy busy” for Christians.
Danger 1, Danger 2, Danger 3

You’ve come to terms with your busyness and you don’t like it. Now what? Find rest in Jesus. Find some inspiration in Doug Fields’ simple reflection, “7 Promises of Rest.”

Finally, fill your life with what truly matters. “Discover your God Your God-Given Calling” by Julia Mateer offers a number of good questions and approaches to following Christ in all you do.

This post is for adults and addresses lifestyle habits involving work, interests, hobbies, busyness, attitudes and commitments.

Photo by dingler1109. Used with permission. Sourced by Flickr.

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The Dangers Within: Anger

angerThis week’s focus is on anger. There is plenty of it in this world and in our hearts.

GroundWork continues their series with this episode on anger.

Next up are two stories about people who seemingly had every right to live and act in anger. Instead, they chose a different path: forgiveness.┬áJeanne Bishop’s piece on the CNN Religion site traces her change of heart from retribution to forgiveness.
Eugene Cho profiles Curtis Martin in “The soul of Curtis Martin: violence, abuse, poverty, family, faith, forgiveness, and football.”

Handling criticism is difficult, and people’s comments can lead us to a lot of anger and resentment. Mark Altrogge offers some helpful, biblical tips for dealing with other people’s opinions about you.

 

This post is for adults and teens and covers topics like anger, forgiveness, relationships, communication, criticism and reconciliation.

Photo by Shawn Chin. Used with permission. Sourced by Flickr.

Sunday Follow-Up

On Sunday, February 17, 2012, Pastor Chelsey shared another of the biblical images of God. You can hear “As a Father Carries His Son” from Deuteronomy 1.19-2.1a on our Church website.

“I Will Not Let You Go” is the true story of a father loving, struggling, disciplining and learning about carrying his son– all the while falling more in love with the Heavenly Father.

What are the images of God that sustain and encourage you?

This post is a follow up to a sermon preached at Christ Community Church in Nanaimo, BC.

The Dangers Within: Envy

Mustache EnvyHave you ever said, “I’m so jealous!” when you hear of a friend’s awesome vacation plans, promotion, or new car? Most of the time we don’t really mean it. In fact, we may be saying it just to make sure they know how excited we are for them.

But sometimes, our motives aren’t so good and the words “I’m jealous!” tell the truth more than we realize. Looking at what others’ have compared to what we have, we become less content and more restless. Envy lurks within.

“Is Facebook envy making you miserable?” discusses the connection between Facebook and envy.
Michelle Van Loon offers a reflective self-diagnosis on the dangers (and losses) of housing envy at Her.meneutics.
And GroundWork media continues their series with an episode on Envy.

If not envy, then what? How about contentment and simplicity?
Donald Miller offers some thoughts on the downsized life at Storyline.
And here’s a blog list of sites to introduce, encourage and resource simple living.

This post is for adults and families and provides insights, stories and ideas that relate to envy, contentment, and simplicity.

Photo by Hey Paul Studios. Used with permission. Sourced by Flickr.

New on the bookshelf: Creating Space by Ed Cyzewski

Creating Space: The Case for Everyday Creativity

This short book is worth the read simply because it reminds us of two key truths about how God made us: we were made with the capacity to create, and we were made to live in community.

By exploring everyday creativity, Ed Cyzewski challenges us to simplify while also enriching our lives; living your faith means living into your gifts with and for others.

To give you a taste, here’s an excerpt:

God isn’t freaking out that he accidentally made you a poet, seamstress, chef, or musician. These are sacred gifts that you dare not neglect.

The Dangers Within: Pride

Over the next number of weeks, the blog will be using the Seven Deadly Sins as its guide for themes and resources. We live in a dangerous world; the important- yet tricky- part is recognizing how much of that danger lies within ourselves. It’s easy to focus on the external, but in the weeks leading up to Good Friday and Easter especially, Christians are invited to take a closer look at what lies within. Will you join us?

First up, GroundWork is doing a radio series on the Seven Deadly Sins. In the episode “Pride,” the hosts draw helpful distinctions between self-esteem and pride and discuss a couple of biblical stories for contemplation.

Be wary of your self-love and esteem going too far. Mark Fox reminds us,

Looking inward for hope, help, self-esteem, courage, joy, peace or love is the very thing the Bible teaches us not to do.

And yet, that’s exactly what someone with too much pride does. Sadly, most of the time we don’t even realize we’re sinning because we aren’t out for more money or power or prestige, but out for more happiness, recognition and meaning.

Trillia Newbell offers some chastising words on false humility when trying to combat pride in “Wage War by Rejoicing.”

Finally, if not pride, then what? Let Mark Altrogge’s “22 Ways to Humble Ourselves” guide you closer to God.

 

This post is for adults and provides resources and challenges for our attitudes and Christian life. Specifically, it name the sin of pride and encourages humility.

Sunday Follow-up

At Christ Community Church on February 3, 2013, Pastor Chelsey took us on a journey through the book of Job as we were reminded to “Remember Who You’re Talking To” when we pray.

As a follow-up to that message, you’re invited to read this short excerpt from a book on suffering, prayer, and trying to understand it all.

God’s gift of faith is meant to be grounded in him- not our circumstances or conditions.

 

This post is a follow-up to a message preached at Christ Community Church in Nanaimo, BC.