Young or old, busy or boring, comfortable or not, what is God calling us to?

We’re always headed somewhere– even if it doesn’t feel like it. Some of us may not think our lives are flashy enough, others wish for a more boring existence. There are those who feel like they’ve paid their dues and done their part for the cause, and still some who are comfortable right where they’re at.

Yet the call of God continues to go out. What is God asking of you?

You may want to check out Michael Kelley’s book, Boring: Finding an Extraordinary God in an Ordinary Life.

Think with Darryl about the difference between being comfortable and being content.

And let a member of the retired population challenge you with God’s word in “Bearing Fruit in Old Age.”

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Sunday Follow-Up: Joining God’s beautiful moment

On Sunday, Pastor Chelsey led us through an exploration of Ecclesiastes 3.1-15, that famous poem about the times and seasons of human existence. Her message, “The Power of Reflection” is available on our church’s sermon website (or in the archives).

We were challenged to use the power of reflection in the moment, not just looking at the past to make a better tomorrow. Instead, through the poet’s words, God is inviting us to join him by looking for what God is making beautiful at this time by reflecting in the moment. Though life is full of experiences that we don’t have a choice about, we do have choices about how we are going to react, think, respond, and live.

Consider these two examples of seeking a better way to live when faced with unpleasantries: “The Spiritual Practice of Making Mistakes” tells the story of a man who found out during a half-marathon that his pedometer was off by two miles, calling into question all of his training and shaking his confidence. “How to Love Meetings” chronicles one person’s approach to using godly wisdom in even the most boring or exasperating times.

After the Lord’s Supper, (so it may not be in the recorded sermon) Pastor Chelsey talked about the times when God is asking us to do something other than what we may want to do; for example, God may be asking you to make peace when all you want to do is war. “Don’t Follow Your Heart!” continues that challenge.

Finally, here’s a short review of a book called Difference Makers: An Action Guide for Jesus Followers. M Scott Boren’s book is described as

“a gift for us ‘ordinary’ Jesus followers whose plate is full… by showing us how to find God and join what he is doing even in the most apparently mundane aspects of our lives…”

 

This post is a follow up to a sermon preached by Rev. Chelsey Harmon at Christ Community Church on Sunday, July 28, 2013 in Nanaimo, BC. The stories and resources challenge and inspire us for godly living in the present moment.

New on the bookshelf: Deliver Us from Me-Ville

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Deliver Us from Me-Ville by David Zimmerman has been added to the Goodreads bookshelf.

Building on the teachings of Thomas Merton and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, David Zimmerman outlines the journey from Me-Ville to God’s Kingdom that all Christians must travel (and often, re-travel). The good news is, Jesus is the one who comes to Me-Ville to lead the way out!

Each chapter includes ways that the journey changes us, practices we can actively engage in as willing participants on the trip (we aren’t just along for the ride, after all), and “Escape Routes” or spiritual practices to try when we find ourselves back (or headed back) to Me-Ville.

As an added bonus, the book includes discussion guides for each chapter, making it suitable for both individuals and groups to read together.

 

“Everybody’s Workin’ for the Weekend”

Everyone’s watchin’ to see what you will do
Everyone’s lookin’ at you, Oh
Everyone’s wonderin’ will you come out tonight
Everyone’s tryin’ to get it right, get it right

Everybody’s workin’ for the weekend…

Loverboy

Funny how Loverboy’s song hits on two different- yet important- views. First, there’s the opinion that work is about getting us to the weekend, filling the time between the fun with the money that funds our adventures. And then there’s the view that everyone’s watching, looking, wondering what we will do.

As Christians, our whole lives are a testimony to God, including the day jobs that get us to the weekend. How can we think about our daily work as part of our discipleship?

There are a number of good books on the subject to get you thinking. Check out a list of them here to get you started.

Or, here’s a shorter piece that will challenge you to see yourself as a contributor– the first role given to humans in the Garden of Eden.

Finally, be inspired by a real life story of faith, work, and doing things ‘right’ for the glory of God in “The Moral Mattress Kings of Denver” from Christianity Today’s series This is Our City.

This post is about work and our everyday jobs. It provides inspiration, a challenge and resources for thinking theologically about our callings.

Sunday Follow Up

Yesterday, March 17, 2013, Pastor Chelsey shared a message from 1 John 1.5-10 entitled “God is Light.” You can listen to that message on Christ Community Church’s sermon webpage. By the way, if you listen to the sermon, you’ll notice that it ends abruptly with a lot of coughing. Here’s the quote not heard:

There are two ways of spreading light– to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.

-Edith Wharton

One of the things from that message concerned the freedom- or lightness- in decision making that we have in and from our fellowship with Christ. As we seek “to be in the light as God is in the light,” our choices, actions, and attitudes seek to please our Saviour before anyone else.

B.J. Stockman expounds on this idea in his post, “The Goal of Life is not to be Liked.”

This post is a follow up to a message preached by Rev. Chelsey Harmon at Christ Community Church in Nanaimo, BC. It is meant to challenge followers of Christ in their everyday living.

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.