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When you think of tattoos, one of the things that comes to mind is the word, “permanent.” Although tattoos can fade over time, there is something that God gives His servants that never fades and can never be removed. When we begin to grip these permanent, eternal gifts that God has given us, we begin to see life differently, see others differently, and live life beautifully. In the introduction to this five part series, Pastor Jamie discusses the most important Jesus tattoo a person can have. #theJesusTattoos
Feel stuck in life? Are you in the right place? Are you thinking that life is going to be what it is and there’s nothing you can do about it? This is how it will always be? In “The Deep,” Pastor Jamie encourages those struggling with these questions to keep moving because you may just be one space away from the purpose and place God has always destined you to be.
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We’re all sinners. And for the follower of Jesus it’s easy to place good things at the center of our every day lives. And yet, somehow, although we’ve placed good things at the center of our lives, we end up down the road wondering how we lost intimacy with God. Where did we go wrong? Join me in this episode as we talk about where we can ultimately find peace, comfort, and strength. Having a sinner’s peace has everything to do with your centerpiece.
I don’t mind flying, I really don’t. People make flying really convenient these days. The airports are full of stores and restaurants for your liking. Now they’re expensive, but if you want it or if you need it, you can probably find it. Convenience is king. On the airplane there’s free peanuts, pretzels, and pop served to you any way you want them. If you like, you can even buy beer or mixed drinks. Everything is convenient. But there’s one thing that is convenient, but at the same time frustrating to me. The WiFi. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful to have WiFi at all. I remember the days when there was absolutely no WiFi and you were pretty much forced to talk to the person sitting next to you. I like to talk, but that’s just me. Most people I’ve discovered don’t. But that’s another subject for another time. To each their own. But the WiFi is a great idea, but it crawls. I’m telling you, it is S….L….O….W….slow. I have a connection, but it’s a weak one. I can barely type out this blog as I sit here on the plane. It’s a long flight from Chicago to Portland, which is hard enough, and now my connection with the world below, namely my wife and kids, is anemic at best.
I feel like that in my spiritual walk sometimes. I know I’m going somewhere, somewhere important, but my connection with God feels weak. I strain to hear Him at times and at other times I strain to even remember to talk to Him. It’s like life moves at 500-mph and I’m flying right by or right over time and the next thing I know I feel like I’m 36,000 feet from the Person who’s most important in my life. The most stunning part to me I think is that God lets me do it and doesn’t send a bolt of lightning my direction. Grace. Total grace. So I’ve been thinking on this flight about how I can do less sky travel with a weak connection. And I’ve come up with two things that might help me and, hey, they might even help you too. I don’t know, but here’s what I’ve got.
- Drive more. Stay grounded. Don’t move so fast and don’t travel over people. Pay attention to the
people in your circle. After all, you share space with them. You know, those little ant-looking people you see when you occasionally look down from your proverbial aircraft. Yes, those people. Time to get a closer look. Land the plane and take a drive this year. In other words, map out your weekly schedule and don’t work too much. I’ve been to many funerals and I’ve officiated many funerals and no one remembers much or gives a rip about how you sacrificed your family and close friends for your job. When it is mentioned, they never mention it with a smile because the person traded the lasting rewards of loving relationships with the temporary satisfaction of money or the concept of “providing.” Ask the widow who’s spouse worked so very hard to “provide” whether or not they were happy in their relationship. Stay grounded by making a weekly schedule that includes your work, relaxation, church attendance, and social time with friends. Do you want joy or do you want consistent and continual dissatisfaction? Drive more. Stay grounded.
2. Stay connected. I’m not talking about that malnourished WiFi connection. I’m talking about major broadband. The kind of connection you get when you’re sitting right next to the WiFi router. The kind of connection that allows you to stream Fox Sports, ESPN, and Dr. Phil at the same time without missing a beat. How do you stay connected? You stay in the Word of God. Read the Bible consistently and regularly. Talk to God in a time of silence or quiet. Talk to God throughout the busy day. Talk to Him during your tasks. Talk to Him during your meals. Talk to Him when you’re driving. Remain aware of Him. Your spiritual WiFi signal strength is completely determined by your mindfulness of His presence in your life and your acknowledgment by prayer. Without a strong spiritual WiFi connection, your car will either quickly turn into an airplane once again or you’ll drive around with no GPS guidance. Remember, it’s dark down here on the ground and you’ll need more than headlights to guide you through to your destination. We need all the help we can get right? Stay connected.
As you head into the new year, commit to not flying. CHECK YOUR NO FLY ZONE FOR 2017. It’s convenient, but it’s not worth it. Live amongst your family and friends daily. Love them while you can. That is a journey worth pursuing and experiencing. And stay spiritually connected. God loves you very, very much. Only He can be trusted to get you to where you’re going. Only He knows the best way. And only He can rightly guide you. Trust Him. Talk to Him every chance you get. These two things will guarantee that you experience the people God has placed and will place in your life for all that it could be and should be. Start 2017 by committing to living a quality life, an on the ground life with a spiritual WiFi signal that will guide you into all truth and purpose.
In Christ Alone,
During the Christmas season the main focus for Christians is the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. And before His birth and before His conception, another arrival happened that would change the course of human history. A disruption, a great personal disruption that had the potential to wreck the life of one man and woman as they embarked on their journey to a life together. A faithful response to this disruption would be necessary. You and I experience disruptions in life. Many are minor, but some are life-changing. As we take a look at Luke 1, we’ll see how the Virgin Mary responded to perhaps the greatest disruption in human history and we’ll extract three life principles that will help you face, survive, and thrive through life’s toughest disruptions.
Introductory Story: Heidi Thies
Producers: Missy Clary, Stephanie Wallis, & Audrey Thies
Speaker: Jamie Worley
Pastors, no doubt, have a lot on their plate. The emails, phone calls, complaints, hospital visits, weddings, funerals, staff meetings, administrative meetings, planning, sermon preparation, weekends,…and the list goes on and on and on. And pastors typically do not enter into the fiscal management of the church, so what is this about the dangerous spending habits of pastors? Well, there are at least three ways pastors can spend their time and energy that will eventually lead to their personal destruction and perhaps even the destruction of the church they lead. I’ve named three.
- You spend more time focusing and imagining how you look giving your message than you spend on your message.
In 1 Corinthians, we read how the Apostle Paul, before addressing the people at Mars Hill, debated with Barnabas about which robe and sandals to wear. He was concerned that the people might be offended by his dress or put-off by his choice of open-toed sandals. That’s ridiculous! Of course, that isn’t in the Bible, but it’s in today’s churches no doubt. When you dress for delivering your message in a way that doesn’t reflect your genuine personality, you dress inappropriately. You’re being dishonest before God and before man. But when you dress according to your personality and contextual appropriateness, then you dress appropriately. Be authentic before God and man. If you’re humble, you’ll dress as such. If you’re not, you’ll dress as such. It’s not a show, it is an opportunity for people to meet Jesus in a sacred space and you’re the host, the servant. If you’re not the servant, then you’re not the right preacher for those people.
- You spend much time hoping you become a megachurch speaker/teacher/pastor.
If you’re sitting in your study or lying in your bed and imaginations of you preaching to a stadium of people or a megachurch are replacing your imaginations of unicorns and rainbows, then you may be off-course. Now some have been given a vision by God that drives them in that direction. No criticism about that. But if that’s what you’re dreaming for and it’s your dream and not God’s clear vision for you, then you need to step back and evaluate your heart. The desire to pastor a megachurch comes from a heart that wants to be recognized, well-known, maybe even famous. It could be masked with a desire to want to reach thousands, but beneath that seemingly noble hope could be the desire for personal recognition and fame.
- You spend much energy criticizing the motives of other pastors.
There’s no better way to have your church known as the best church in town than to criticize other local pastors to your staff and congregation. Now I can’t say that I’ve ever heard a pastor publicly, on-stage criticize another pastor, but I’ve heard pastors criticize other pastors semi-publicly and even to other pastors. If you’re spending energy criticizing other pastors, then you may have some issues with competitiveness, pride, and insecurity. Perhaps you feel as though you don’t measure up anymore or you feel threatened by the possibility that the pastor in question may be a better leader or speaker than you. Whatever the case, God has called you to preach and he’s called the other pastor to preach. Two different people with two different skill sets leading two different dynamic congregations. Don’t compare yourself to other pastors. Just don’t. It’s not biblical and it’s not healthy for you or your congregation.
If you’re struggling with any one or more of these spending habits, get some help before things turns south. And they will turn south if you don’t, it’s just a matter of time. So if you’re struggling with any of these spending habits, then you truly should take a break from it all and spend some time talking with a mentor or Christian counselor well-versed with pastors. Fasting and praying will also help you to recalibrate your heart, hopes, and desires to God’s. I’m not saying quit. I’m not even saying you need to announce it. I’m saying take responsibility by getting some help, insight, wisdom, and accountability from some people you can trust. You’ll be a better pastor in both the short-term and in the long-run. Further, your congregation will be healthier because you are.