Church Notes: Chapter One

August 30, 2020
Reading Time: 5 minutes

I decided to add my weekly church notes to the blog! I’ll mash them together for a monthly update on my church services. Amen!

We used to have two services P.C. (Pre COVID) but now we have one. Our church restarted in-person services on July 26th and people are encouraged to make reservations online since the church needs to keep their numbers down. Overall, I think they’re doing a great job of doing everything they can in this crazy corona period.

What are you doing for fellowship? Do you attend church in person or watch online? Do you have bible study video chats or other ways to connect? It’s such a strange time and I’m not sure how we’ll all look back on this era. Did we take it too far? We’re we suppressing our immune systems? Were we not doing enough? Were we being reckless? 

I JUST DON’T KNOW.

I don’t think anyone will look back super fondly on the year 2020.

The only thing we can do is take the information we hear and make the best decision we can. Do what’s best for your family and don’t put yourself down for what you think is right! 

Cardiology: You Become What You Desire – What Do You Want?

Today, our pastor talked about who and what we worship. He posted a quote from an author I’ve never heard before, James K.A. Smith, who wrote, “In fact, Paul’s……” 

I actually googled James K.A. Smith and found out he’s from my hometown Grand Rapids, Michigan! Maybe my pastor knows him? Anyhoo…while stalking him the internet, I stumbled on one of his book excerpts, You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit. I haven’t read it —it’s not necessarily a recommendation, no affiliation, but I thought I’d pass it along. I’m definitely going to read the excerpt and I’ll let you know if I buy the book! I found a $9.99 kindle version here on amazon.

This was the big question pastor asked several times — Who are your heroes?

It made me think of who I look up to and where my loyalties exist. A lot of my heroes are musicians and artists. Do I check if these people are Christ followers? Not often. Do I feel the Holy Spirit in my conversations, the shows I watch, or the music I hear? Sometimes, not always. Do I know God is everywhere, all the time? Yes, of course, but I don’t think that’s what James K.A. Smith means when he talks about “you are what you love.” I think he means for us to connect with others who DEMONSTRATE the love of God most of the time and other times, it’s up to us to DEMONSTRATE the love of God to others.

Philippians 1:3-8 | I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:12-14 | Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

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One of the points that pastor made was to imitate & practice. He said to find people who have a good relationship with God and grow in fellowship with them and when you’re around others who do not put God in the center of their lives, lead by example but consider limiting your time with them. He said to think about what you “worship” and ask yourself, does work consume your life? Does your phone consume your days? Do you turn to God when you’re anxious and in need or do you turn to shopping, food, alcohol, sex, or another obsession?

Pastor used the example of shopping, whether it was at a mall or online. He made some pretty solid “dad jokes” about malls during the time of corona virus. Actually, I think that’s a pre-requisite for being a pastor…the “dad jokes.”

MINDSET

Pastor discussed a mindset using the shopping example. The word “SHOP” can be exchanged for any sin or vice or any other addiction that brings you further away from God.
  1. I am broken so I SHOP.
  2. I SHOP with others.
  3. I SHOP therefore I am.

Proverbs 22:24-25 | Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.

Corinthians 15:33 | Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

The pastor also talked about a verse he remembered as a bumper sticker on his school bus. He said it wasn’t a real bible verse, but that it stuck out to him: James 8:15 “If you want to fly like an eagle don’t run with turkeys.”

Pastor is really good about challenging people and tying things back to Scripture. He gives real-life examples and is never afraid to say “I do that too.” When he talked about heroes and who we hang out with and what we consume, he was so honest and said how he would get caught up in wanting the right clothes and material possessions. It’s refreshing to hear anyone—not just a pastor, be honest and vulnerable when it could be so much easier to not say anything.

Maybe you’ve heard this quote before but I had not. Pastor made this quote but I don’t remember where he said it was from: “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” This quote really made me think even more about the people I spend time with and who I’m around. This could pertain to family members too and I had to ask myself — do I have a positive and Christ-like future talking/seeing these friends weekly? What about certain family members? Those are such hard questions to  ask & answer honestly. I’ve also seen a quote online somewhere that talks about how maturing and growing sometimes means shedding unhealthy relationships.

1 Timothy 4:15-16 | Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Stay safe out there sweet people! 

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