Archive | July, 2012

How long have you been waiting?

26 Jul

Is there something that you are waiting for?  What is it, and how long have you been waiting?

Are you going through something difficult that doesn’t seem to end?

I was in seminary for 8 years, and that seemed like a long time.  For the first 4-5 years it seemed like there was no end in sight.  Ever been there?  Know what I’m talking about?

Would you be willing to talk about it here?  If so, comment below.  Then read James 5:7-12 in preparation for this Sunday.

Paying our workers

24 Jul

So to continue where we left off, you are rich, and you are not paying your workers fair wages!  Yes, you.

Take a look at the tag on the shirt you are wearing right now.  Where was it made?  What is the name of the person who made it?  Chances are they were not paid fairly.  How about the toaster you used this morning?  If it wasn’t made here in the USA, it is highly likely the worker was not paid fairly, might have been a child, might have been a slave.  Is that okay with you?

Maybe you’ll consider reading what James had to say in James 5:1-6.  Or check out the sermon podcast.  Then continue the discussion here.  What can we do about this?

Global Rich List

21 Jul

Thanks to my friend Rich Peachey, here’s a strikingly visual way to see how rich you are.  Check out the Global Rich List!  All you do is key in your income, and click “show me the money”, and the site quickly shows you where you rank. 

Are we rich?

19 Jul

I know almost no one who would say “Yes, I am rich.”

Here’s a fact: the US Census reports that the average income in the USA between 2006-2010 was $52,000. Some of you might read that number and think to yourself, I would be loaded if I had that much.  Others would not be able to stay afloat.

Rich is relative.

So how do we decide who are the haves and the have nots?  ((But hold up a second…why are we even talking about this?  Well, the next section of James is about rich people.  Brace yourselves by reading James 5:1-6 ahead of time.  He’s let some strong words fly already, and this passage might feel like a flamethrower in the face.  James talks about it, so we’re going to talk about it, melting flesh included.  Now back to the question…))

Check out this thought-provoking article using recent world stats.  Who are the haves and have nots?  I think you’ll be able to decide for yourselves.  Take note of the comparison between the poor in the USA and the rich in India.

Before we come to hear this teaching from James to the rich it is vital that we make the leap from seeing ourselves as just barely making it America to seeing ourselves as wealthy by world standards.   So read the article and let’s discuss: are we rich?

Knowing and doing what God wants you to do…easy, right?

17 Jul

Did you ever wish God would visit you, in the body of Morgan Freeman, and tell you what he wants you to do?

Like this.

I have wished for that, even the Morgan Freeman part.  But it has never happened.  Well, not quite like that.

Does God still speak?  In this past week’s sermon James talked about how our plans for the future should be “God-willing”.  Makes you think, “Thank you very much, James, for making my life more confusing.”   How many of you have wondered how we find out what God wills if he rarely visits us like he does with Evan Baxter?  We had a great sermon discussion about this on Sunday, so let’s continue it here.  Check out the sermon podcast if you need a refresher, or just start commenting below!

 

What are you waiting for?

13 Jul

Over the last few weeks on Facebook people have been posting errant pictures from the movie Back to the Future.  The occasion is the so-called “Future Day”, the date that Doc types into the time machine, when he goes to the future.  As a kid I was, and as an adult I still am, fascinated by the various conceptions of the future we find in literature and film.  Flying cars, light sabers, time travel.  What are you waiting for in the future?  By asking that question, I’m not just referring to technology.  Perhaps you’re waiting for a dream to come to fruition.   Maybe a relationship to blossom.  Maybe a pain to be healed.  Let’s discuss!

Taking back our words

13 Jul

This post is late because I was away for the first half of the week enjoying Dads & Lads camp with my son at Twin Pines.  It is a kid’s paradise.  Twin Pines has a variety of camps, and they still have room this summer.  Check them out here.  But now to discuss this past Sunday’s sermon.  If you didn’t get a chance to listen, just check out the podcast.

I really appreciated all the input, and some of you stories made it in the sermon.  We had a lively and helpful discussion in our sermon discussion group following the sermon.  Perhaps you want to keep that going.  Take a listen to the sermon, ask questions, comment further.  How can we not just manage our sinful talk, but instead have a Spirit inspired change of heart?  As Jesus said, “out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.”