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10/31/18 A Message From Chris

As I write this “Thought for Thursday” on Wednesday afternoon, it is Halloween. Halloween is truly a day for children (and dentists also love Halloween). In all of their child like wonder, the quest for candy and make-believe are at an all-time high. I know there are some adults who like to dress up, but I was never one of those. When Brooke and I were first married with no children, Halloween was date night. We would turn off our lights and head to the movies (there is nobody at the movies on a week day Halloween night), and we wanted nothing to do with children and candy.
I don’t know what it is with adults, but many of us lose our child-like wonder and curiosity as we age. Jesus once said, “2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. The famed cellist Pablo Casals was once asked why he continued to practice his instrument at age 90. He said, “Because I think I’m making progress. Now that is an example of a child-like spirit. As we look at children tonight (assuming it does not rain the rest of the day), may we be reminded of the child in us who said “Yes” to Christ. May we once again have that child-like spirit awakened in us where every scripture and every worship service becomes an opportunity to be awed by the God who loves us. If you need a little help with this, come join us at Trunk or Treat tonight from 5:30 p.m.- 7:00 p.m. You don’t need to dress up as a child, but being around children might do your soul some good.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Chris

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10/4/18 A Message From Chris

People who are afraid of spiritual discipline will not produce very good disciples. I don’t know if it the legalistic upbringing of so many or just laziness, but discipline is not a buzz word these days in church.  Spirituality, Community, Authenticity—people are drawn to these words… but not discipline.

However, anyone knows that a lack of spiritual discipline leads to sloppy Christian practice and witness.  It is also evident that any sort of discipline leads to a radical lifestyle.  I recently read an article about Tyler Blevins.  Tyler Blevins is more commonly known by his online alias Ninja and is an American Twitch streamer and Internet personality. As of September 19, 2018, he is the most followed streamer on Twitch with over eleven million followers and an average of over 43,000 viewers per stream.  He plays video games online for 10-12 hours a day, six days a week.

Discipline is all around us.

  • My 8th grader is dropped off at school at 7:00 a.m. each day so she can run her 2-3 miles for Cross Country practice.
  • I had a professor once who read one book a week
  • Dave Ramsey has helped thousands of people by helping them become disciplined with money and living in a budget.

Discipline is all around us.

Without discipline, it leads to sloppy Christian practice and witness.  In Mark, chapter 10, Jesus has set his face to Jerusalem and is resolute in his calling that will lead to the cross.  During this journey, Jesus will speak of the radical discipline that is necessary in being one of his followers.  Jesus will proclaim that there is a new way of living in marriage, in finances, in service, a new way of seeing things in life.  Over the next four Sundays, we will explore this Mark, chapter 10.  Dorthy Day wrote: “We have to create an environment where it is easier to be good”, and if we realized that discipline can cultivate such an environment, I wonder if it might become a buzzword in the church once again.

 

 Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson- Hartgrove and Enuma Okoro, Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals, Nashville: Zondervan, 2010, 462.

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