Friday, November 8, 2013

Vocational thoughts - Work as worship

Reflecting on some of the things that I've listened to recently on the White Horse Inn - God of the Ordinary and Ordinary life and vocation - it has really increased my desire to see my work in another light.  I believe that no matter where we go, we are ..."ambassadors for Christ"...2 Cor. 5:20, we are therefore worshipers of the One True God in our ordinary vocation.  The problem is that we forget this and it becomes a drudgery and this is a very easy thing to do in our "workaday" world.  We work, we go home, we bath the kids put them to bed, watch a show, to bed and back up the next morning to "go at it" again.  It can be horribly mundane and I'm not denying the facts of that.

What the world says to us is, "that's not good enough, you need to strive for more".  There are the type A personality people who take that message and drive themselves and normally their families into the ground trying to be something "more".  No doubt that even some great missionary people drove their families half insane doing some of the things that they did, take for example Wm. Carey and his drive to go to India.  I would not, for one second, take away the great things that he's done and even the ongoing work that is done because, he did!  But his family paid the price - I believe he had one wife go insane and another die on the mission field, including some children.  I digress because that can get into some things that I don't feel the need to go but point taken that it can become an obsession - even God given ones doesn't permit the servant of God from side stepping that responsibility.

Here is where it really comes home for me, The Church, the local "c" if you will.  In fact there is one song that is on the stations, it says, in effect, "I'm about to get my worship on", I guess meaning the time when they come and "worship" at church.  Now, I don't think that anyone get's their "worship on", if they do than that entails that you took it off or never had it on.  But this is the nature of what goes on in the local c or church, what do we say, "we want to worship you now God", it's like a team taking the football field and getting in a huddle, "alright, Love Lifted me 3 verses, mix it up with some I'm a friend of God and end it with like a rose", ready break, then we go on with the play.  Worship isn't just that and in fact it entails more than just singing - I know - shocking!  Preaching, offering, communion, baptism are all forms of worship that we have relegated to the back seat because we deem it more necessary to draw attention to ourselves through expressions of worship.

We don't come to church to "worship" and when we're at church, that isn't just the time to "worship", manifestly in the time that we meet together corporately.  We are worshiping God when we are at home fixing the B'Fast before church, serving our families through discussing the scripture throughout the week, when we are taking the opportunity afforded to us via our commute to commune with God via a podcast or just turning everything off and reflecting.  That is worship.  When you get to work, you don't turn that off!  Paul says in I Cor. 10:31 that we should do "all things to the glory of God", eating, drinking, driving, our jobs!  Paul didn't just stop worshiping when he was tentmaking - glorifying God entails worship, glorifying God looks to God in all things - that is worship.

When I'm at work I seek God in finding solutions to problems, in conflicts with others seeking peace and pursuing it.  I'm desiring the best for that particular employer or if you are contracted out, that you would be a good example of your company and for the company that you are actually working alongside.  See that takes more than just going to church to learn - that is a move of the Spirit of God in your life.  No doubt that the local "c" is of primary importance because it is God's chosen way of expressing what we cannot in our other forms of worship, i.e., preaching of the Word, communion, baptism, etc., these are the sacraments that are the life blood of the local "c", if you don't have these then you cease your purpose as a church.

So, I'm not saying that the worship of the local "c" should be diminished or in any way changed to fit a particular liking per say - that is another discussion for another post.  What I am saying is that we've diminished the working person's worship in favor of struggling through another week complaining and scowling so that we can come back to "worship".  Don't miss the point of I Cor. 10:31 and how it should perfectly weave into everything you do in your job.

Boasting in the Gospel,


Thursday, November 7, 2013

The promise of Mammon - a reversal of Matthew 6:25-34

Have you ever thought of what some of the promises or favorite verses in the Bible would look like if they were turned around.  Needless to say, I have. :)  Jesus says, "Therefore" in v. 25 to kick off the section of many quoted lines that many Christians have held to down through the centuries and for good reason.  Verse 24 lets us know what the "Therefore" is there for - namely two Masters - one God and the other mammon or money or stuff.

If we're sold out to one Master over the other, think about what that Master would be saying to us - CS Lewis' Wormwood from The Screwtape Letters might have something similar to say.

Let's listen in on what Master Mammon might be saying:

"Therefore I tell you - worry about  today, be genuinely anxious - let others know about it.  Worry about everything, what you'll eat, what coffee you'll order and how much you're working out.  Isn't life about food and the body about great clothes!

Look at the birds of the air, they work hard, get there early and stay up late.  They're not fed just by sitting there you know, you can add some value if you could just work a little harder or better yet, get more successful, but, always make sure you get yours by getting more of what we like - MONEY!

You know, your internal clock is ticking - your not getting any younger, don't just "let yourself go", we've got some living to do, after these little brats - ahem, I mean blessings - grow up and then we really start living!  Eat right and exercise so that it'll give you more time for where it really matters - HERE!

Isn't it time for a nicer dress, maybe a better pair of pants - I mean look at the "lilies of the field" - God dresses them beautiful and "your of more value than they."  You need to look just as good.  Look at Solomon, he was successful and he dressed decent, just sayin'.  So, if you can clothe yourself now, the way you should look and put a little "play" money away for the future - SCORE!

You know the grass - it always needs to be mown and your neighbors yard always looks better than yours.  Hopefully you can get that taken care of but don't sweat it, just remember to live for the here and now, get it?  "O you of little faith."

Keep getting more anxious about eating, I mean "where should I eat" and "picturing it on Facebook" should be highest priority, shouldn't it?  What should I drink - oh, lets see, caramel machiatto or salted caramel, latte or frap?  This should be your highest priority and remember to put it on Facebook!  Yes, what should I wear, this is a good one - you need to be noticed and remembered for how you "dressed to impress".  Start spending more time thinking about this, it is the more important things and remember Hell is just around the corner.

You know what? Your neighbor just got that new crossover SUV - hybrid, I think God knows that you want to create a better environment and your car is already 2 years old!  That, Master God, is such a killjoy at times, I mean, all the time for me, but, you, how can you stand it?  You want something and you cannot have it because He "knows what you need".  Huh!?!

So, take it from me, your Master Mammon and be anxious for tomorrow because the "early bird gets the worm", might as well beat everyone to it, so there's more for who matters...right?  You rascal.


Yours Terminally - Flesh"

BTW, those are my favorite S'bux drinks. ;)

Let's all boast in the Gospel of our true Master Jesus!

Your friend,