Tuesday, October 4, 2011

forever is composed of nows

Edited. Of course! Can't seem to let something go these days without tweaking it later - and then again - and again, etc.... ;) 

Church was full this past Sunday. We hadn't been in church in a while. We sat in the
second to the last row. And I wonder ... What in the world was everyone else doing while our Pastor stood up there and talked directly to me the whole time?!  (- ever feel that way??)  Truth be told, this seems to happen quite often when I'm in church and it's one, if not the reason I still go to church. 

October is the month that several ministries kick back into full swing at our church so it seems that's why our Pastor took time on this first Sunday of October to remind us that according to Revelation 3:1, 2 there is such a thing as dead ministry (my note: wasted time!) and that:

According to Jesus, it is possible to do much we might call Christian work or ministry which, in the end, amounts to nothing. 

If I was a bit more charismatic I might have shouted a hearty "AMEN!" right then and there. But I'm not. So I didn't. But I thought  "Did he read my blog/most recent post?!" Could he have possibly known that I was in the midst of wrestling with what he was speaking on?! 

With the understanding that it's not possible to spend too much time serving God and that God knows I'm only human, I've been wrestling with how and where to best "spend" my time. If you read my most recent post perhaps you sensed my frustration? After pondering Sunday's sermon it dawned on me that what I really want to do is invest my time wisely - in things that will have eternal value. 

Intentional is today's buzz word. You've got to be intentional if you want to get something/anything accomplished. To some degree I agree but I also believe the road to hell is paved with good intentions - and there have been times when I've had well planned and thought out "good" intentions and have even crammed them into boxes that weren't necessarily big enough on my calendar in an attempt to be intentional. If you judged my work by the volume of commitments on my calendar, you might be impressed by all the "ministry" I was involved in ... some of which took place in a much bigger box which, by the way, never seems big enough to me either (perhaps a subject for a future post)  - or full enough for that matter (aka: church). But if you judged my work the way God does (see sermon notes at the end of this post), by looking at my motives/attitude ... my heart,  it would be a much different story. A story too much about me and not enough about Him - and I shudder to think about all the opportunities for real ministry that I missed completely because I was SO busy preparing to go to a place I committed to being and doing things I committed to doing and sticking to an agenda that a lot of time and energy had gone into planning and preparing.  Please, don't hear something I'm not saying here. This post is going to be plenty long as it is without adding to it what I'm not saying. But let me just say here for the record:

I love my church - and the problem I am trying to address here ..well, that part of the story really IS all about me.  And I am involved in ministry at church...one that I believe encourages relationship - but we're modifying it for various reasons, some of which are totally related to this post.   

Our Pastor also reminded us that ministry is worship and worship isn't something we are just called to do at church. It should be a way of life/living! 

Long story a little less long ... 

I'm at a place where I sense God is drawing me to.  

It is not away from church 

tho' for a bit I was beginning to wonder if it was.

But it is 


"Forever is composed of nows."

(Emily Dickenson said that long before I ever did :)

and for this reason

 I can't help but wonder

if I might actually serve, worship and honor God more consistently and effectively

if I don't schedule time to do it.   

What if instead I consistently

(faithfully - as a way of life/living - day by day & moment by moment - the way life is lived) 

try to be sensitive and attentive (listen) to 

what God wants me to do for Him


("now" being the key word here)

 that I'm not SO busy?


38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
   41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”


Sermon Notes - Sunday, October 2, 2011:

- motivated by self-glorification is dead. (It's not about me!) 
- motivated to fit comfort's demands is dead. (Take up your cross. Self Denial)
- managed w/o recourse to the Holy Spirit's involvement is dead.
- missing Divine authorization is dead.
- miserly performed is dead. 
- modeled on the world and not upon the Kingdom of God is dead.
- ministered without love is dead.
Ministry is worship - and should be a way of life/living. My thoughts: - I know this! If anyone knows this, I know this  - I even did a "Time for the Kids" about this and wrote a post about this... sooo... why can't I seem to figure out how to actually "do this"?!  

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