pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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The One Thing

Reading: Luke 10: 41-42

Verse 42a: “Only one thing is needed”.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are all called to be more like Mary. We are called to not only be more like Mary than Martha but also to be more like Mary than we currently are. If we truly want to have a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, then it must be the priority in our lives.

When one considers the things that keep us from being more dedicated to Christ, the list can be long and it can vary greatly from person to person. For me, busyness can be my greatest challenge. My morning quiet time is pretty set and established. It has been a constant for many years. Where I struggle is once my regular day begins. I have a routine for my “job” and I can struggle when too many other things are added to my standard to-do list. One or two is okay, but I can reach the point where I feel stress. Then I can become much like Martha. My routine can become a barrier. I know I miss some opportunities to minister or the chance to encounter God once in a while because I allow my job to become my priority.

Others struggle with work too. For others, the struggle is with the kids. They want to keep the kids busy and active and they over schedule. Life becomes about getting the kids to the next event or practice, to the next tournament, to the next… For others, technology is the consuming focus in their lives. Scrolling through Facebook or keeping the streak alive or making sure that all they do is pushed to the social media world is what occupies every non-working moment. And for others, the challenge comes from other things – a hobby, an addiction, a loved one in need of constant care… There are many things, often good in degrees, that can become our priority.

Jesus says, “Only one thing is needed”. We try and fill our lives with many things. But only one thing is needed. We try and occupy our with many things. But only one thing brings peace. We try and not look deep within but only one thing brings true joy. Yes, only one thing is needed. May we choose Jesus first every day, the only thing we truly need in our lives.

Prayer: Lord God, much of the time Jesus is my one thing. But not always. Help me to keep my eyes and heart connected to Jesus, each day making him more and more of my life. Amen.


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Boundaries

Social boundaries can be hard to cross.  Maybe your first experience with boundaries came on the playground in elementary school.  Maybe it was in the middle school cafeteria or audition room or athletic court.  Maybe it occurred in a different area or at another stage in life.  Being on one side or the other of a social boundary is something most of us have experienced.

As we grow into adulthood, the social boundaries do not get any easier to cross.  The imaginary lines we draw in our minds can be as tough to cross as the Berlin Wall.  Sometimes we treat the boundaries with the same level of fear as spiders or death.  Yet God, through the work of the Holy Spirit, continues to nudge and whisper into our ears and hearts.  And we can ignore, but that voice just does not go away if you are really working to live out your faith.

Maybe the nudge is to invite the new family who does not speak much English over for dinner.  Maybe it is to stop and offer some food to the man with the sign.  Maybe it is to be the first to welcome the couple who is different from everybody else in your congregation.

James encourages us to walk across that boundary, to quit judging others, and to get out of our comfort zones.  If one is really working to grow in one’s faith, they feel the nudges and hear the whispers of the Spirit.  If we can get outside our box and engage those across the boundary, then we begin to fulfill God’s command to truly love our neighbors as ourselves.  That first step can be hard, but go ahead, take it.

Scripture reference: James 2: 1-13