Super Bowl Sunday

rambling on logo for newsletterSunday is Super Bowl Sunday, the day that the supposed best two teams in the National Football League play each other to prove which is superior.

If you’re looking to travel to the Bay Area from Denver or Charlotte, N.C. on Saturday, stay in an average Airbnb listing for two nights, attend the game and depart Monday, the cost would exceed $7,300.

The average ticket resale price for a single ticket to Super Bowl 50—hosted by the San Francisco 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Feb. 7—was $5,335 on Sunday night. That price went down slightly on Monday to $5,178 (since the Patriots will not be playing this time around), but still topped last year’s average of $4,271 and is the highest average resale price recorded since the site began tracking data in 2011.

However, not everyone wants to be at the game. They have some very good reasons not to attend. For example, Every time I went, they asked for money. The people I sat next to didn’t seem friendly. The seats were too hard and not comfortable at all. I went to many games but the coach never came to see me at home. The referees made decisions I couldn’t agree with. The game went into overtime and I was late getting home. The band played numbers I’d never heard before and it wasn’t my style of music. It seems the games are scheduled when I want to do other things. I suspect I was sitting next to some hypocrites. They came to see their friends and talked during the whole game. I was taken to too many games by my parents when I was growing up. It rained the whole game. It was cold. It was hot. The stadium is in a dangerous part of town. I just needed to rest up, and the game requires I get dressed and leave the house.

The reason I know they are good reasons is because I’ve heard them before…

We labor Together With God, Wes

Are You Happy?

Did you win the lottery? I guess if you had we would have heard about it by now, unless you are playing it on the “down low.” Would winning the lottery make you happy? Sunday begins a new theme in our small groups from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. In it, Jesus talks about being happy. Funny thing, he doesn’t mention winning the lottery as a condition for happiness. Whatrambling on logo for newsletter would it take for you to be really happy? What would need to change in your life?

David Jeremiah comments on this question and here is part of what he has to say: (tinyurl.com/trc-happy; page. 114-15)

Not long ago, ABC television ran a special called “The Mystery of Happiness.” They went to those we would normally expect to be happy to find out if achieving their dream had changed their lives. For example, they asked a woman who had won $26 million in a lottery if she was happy. “Not really,” was her response. They asked European royalty and Pulitzer Prize winners if they were happy, but they weren’t. They even talked with sports stars, but most of them could only talk about their dissatisfaction with their contracts. One guy, the quarterback of a Super Bowl winning team, said that after winning the big game, all he could think of was, “Is this all there is?”

I was amazed that non-Christians put this together, since the entire program pointed out the unhappiness of man. About all they could do was reveal how babies get happy when they get what they want and become unhappy when we take things away. But anybody can find out what God says will make mankind happy—just read Matthew chapter five.

Jesus says to us that we won’t find happiness in the things of the world. We can devote our lives to pleasure, accomplishment, fame, money, or anything else that the world values and promotes, but they won’t make us happy. Instead, Christ offers a series of startling messages on how to be happy, stating things in complete opposition to what the world says will make us happy.

… Let’s continue the conversation Sunday at 9 AM.

We labor Together With God, Wes

I Want To Be Buff

rambling on logo for newsletterJesus comes to Jerusalem and walks by a pool where many invalids are waiting for a “stirring” in the water and the possibility of a healing. He walks up to this one waiting man and asks him if he wants to be healed. (John 5) It would seem like a foregone conclusion that the man would want to be healed. But with the healing comes responsibility and change. He would have to get a job, provide his own transportation, pay his taxes, and a plethora of other brand new undertakings.

Often we would rather mosey along in the routine rather than embrace a future requiring changes on our part. If you were to ask me whether I wanted to get in shape, be fit and trim, I would say yes. However, when you ask me if I am willing to cut down on my Oreo consumption, eat kale, increase my exercise, and begin a weight lifting regimen, I’ll probably tell you that, round is a shape, offer you a double stuff Oreo, and just smile.

I want to be buff, but not enough to make the necessary changes.

The beginning of a new year is a great time to prayerfully consider goals and develop a vision for the future ahead. I would be happy to hear your personal goals and vison for the future. Just remember, achieving those goals and making our preferred future a reality requires us to embrace the necessary changes to make it a reality.

“Do you want to be healed?” Do you want to ____________ ?

We labor Together With God, Wes

I Found Extra Time

rambling on logo for newsletterHow often have you said, “If only I had more time …?” Well I have great news for you! This year we have more time! Yes it is a leap year, giving us 24 EXTRA hours. Rather than the usual yearly amount of 8,760 hours we can finally “catch up” since we have been gifted with 8,784 hours.

I wonder whether we will make any better use of our EXTRA time this year. When the year ends will we look back with joy or regret? Will we look ahead to the next year with anticipation or dread?

Here is some sage advice from Paul to lead us into this New Year. “Be very careful, then, how you live not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” Ephesians 4:15-17

Paul presents at last three important lessons we need to consider in this New Year.

  • Our time on earth is limited – All we have on earth is right now.
  • Make the most of every opportunity – Be careful not to become so preoccupied with the good we are doing that we miss seeing God. When we get so caught up in the here and now we fail to deal with the eternal.
  • Understand what the Lord’s will is. What do you think God’s will is for you in 2016? Is it to saturate yourself with worries & anxieties that you can’t think spiritual thoughts? Does God want your calendar so crowded that you don’t have time for the important things?

We labor Together With God, Wes

On Being Thankfull

rambling on logo for newsletterSunday night, previous to the observance of the Lord’s Supper we spent some time sharing what we were thankful for this year. It was a precious time.

I’m sure at first some might have thought this was a kind of grade school assignment given on your first day back from vacation. Yet when I then phrased it in terms of an offering to God, others assumed I was asking for a financial gift and came prepared with their checkbook in hand.

However when we actually started offering up to God our testimonies of Thanksgiving everyone seemed to be on the same page. For almost an hour and a half, one by one, we offered up sacrifices of praise to the Lord.

I must say that this was one of the most meaningful services of worship that I have attended. So many came prepared and took the risk of sharing aloud. We encouraged each other with our words and tears. We gathered close together as a family would at the dinner table for a meal. How appropriate for an observance of the Lord’s Supper. In addition, we gave thanks even in the midst of sadness, challenges, and differences.

Thanksgiving is not waiting for the perfect circumstances to be thankful.

Thanksgiving is being thankful especially when the circumstances aren’t perfect.

Thank you for making Sunday Night’s worship so meaningful and such a blessing.

We labor Together With God, Wes