Monthly Archives: June 2014

6.30.14 Insight from Chris Holliday

Rev. Chris Holliday serves as the associate minister at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection West

As I read and pondered today’s scriptures, I found myself reflecting upon my recent mission trip to Honduras. From June 14 – 21, twelve adults from Resurrection West went to minister alongside our Methodist friends in Ciudad Espana. It was a truly amazing and transformative journey, and we were blessed to have some awesome writers in our group who worked diligently on our blog posts each night. I would like to share one of those posts with you (if you’d like to read more, click here). This post was written by Jill Hartquist, who attends Resurrection West and serves on staff at the Leawood campus. I hope this gives you a glimpse of what it was like for us to live out our call to be Christ’s witnesses in Honduras. Blessings to you–here’s Jill’s post:

The day started off with the usual amazing breakfast prepared by sweet Katia (our chef). The smell of French toast and scrambled eggs with ham filled the air as we all gathered to prepare for our day. We loaded the van with the many bags of computers we brought to equip the school; then we set out on our journey. I’m still in awe of the beauty of Honduras and the countryside. The simple homes set in the hills surrounded by plush greenery never gets old.

Our arrival at the church the first couple of days has been nothing short of exciting, and today was no exception. There were no bands playing, but we heard the familiar “they’re here” shouts from the children and as we walked in the entry of the church, I can’t explain the feeling that came over us as we were greeted by all of the tiny little preschool children. Dressed in their red and black uniforms, they cheered and ran to each of us in a bundle of emotion. Chad was promptly surrounded by several kiddos hoping to be swung around. “Anna” was greeted with children knowing that she was our source of “translation” as they spoke. I was greeted by 3 little girls who could not WAIT to share with me the fact that they knew their ABCs… and proceeded to happily sing their song to me, looking for praise and a response in the only way I knew how… “Muy bien!! Well done!!” These are the moments that we are completely embracing: Happy, smiling children from a different culture who are absolutely DELIGHTED to share their joyful abundance with us. We could not feel more welcome. Praise be to God…#1 for the day.

From there, part of us went into the classrooms to spend some time with the children. We were able to spend time in the 4th, 5th and 6th grade classrooms and thoroughly enjoyed our time working with the kids on their English. Amazing how eager they are to learn the language. We used flashcards and games (think Hokey Pokey, Head/Shoulders/Knees/Toes, Bingo) to teach! I think my Spanish vocabulary may even be increasing as a result! Praise be to God #2!

After lunch, we split again. A small group went outside to help clear the way for a small parking lot to free up the sport court for the kids. They worked hard to clear the heavy rock and move sand. Paul earned the award for the “I forgot to wear sunscreen” trophy and Paula came out with the “Iron Woman” award for her dedication to the construction team! Praise be to God #3!

Inside, we worked on fine-tuning sewing machines and prepared for the upcoming banner ministry. There was in incredible sense of unity in the room as 3 Honduran women joined us (Pastor Daniel’s 2 lovely daughters and Leslie, a sweet lady from the church). We turned on the Christian music and an amazing sense of calm came over the room as we all worked together to accomplish these tasks. These women were as happy to share time with us as we were with them. The Holy Spirit is alive in this church and the connection between us all is beyond heart-warming. Praise be to God #4!

The day closed with a trip back to the Mission House and some down time as a group. I’m so thankful for the time we are having together as a group and the connections we are making with the Honduran people. Praise be to God!

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

6.28.14 Insight from Todd Maberry


Todd Maberry is an Associate Pastor at The Church of the Resurrection’s Downtown campus.

Psalm 90 is distinctive among the 150 psalms because it is the only one that claims Moses as its author. Did Moses really compose the psalm? Perhaps, but a far more interesting exercise than the impossible task of discovering the true author is to read the Psalm through the lens of Moses’ story.

In thinking about Moses’ story in the light of work, he had 3 separate careers. His first career role was an Egyptian Prince. It was a career that he was born into, and he stayed in for about 40 years until he got involved in a conflict that made it impossible for him to stay in the job. He quit and picked up a much more humble position – as a shepherd of someone else’s flock in the desert out in the middle of nowhere. He stayed in this job for another 40 years until God talked to him through a burning bush and convinced him to make a radical career change. It was in his last 40 years that Moses had his most vibrant job as the leader of a new nation. The skills required for his job included conflict management, logistics and operations, strategic planning and vision casting, navigation, and communications director on behalf of God.

By any measurement, Moses lived an incredible life and his story has been told and retold for thousands of years. It is difficult to imagine having a more illustrious career than Moses had. Take a moment and read Psalm 90 while remembering Moses’ remarkable life and career. [Go ahead, I will wait]…

As you just read, Psalm 90 is all about recognizing and lamenting the fragile and fleeting nature of human life when viewed in the light of God’s eternity. A thousand years to a human is like the passing of one day to God. Human life is kind of like grass, which seems like it is growing one day, but is cut and dies the next day. If that is how Moses felt, a person who lived one of the greatest lives in the history of humanity, how much more hopeless should we feel?

However, the psalm does not end with hopelessness. It ends with a beautiful and humble prayer – “God, make the work of our hands last.” And God promises to answer that prayer through the work of Christ. Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, God invites us to participate in God’s eternity. The particular way Jesus lovingly lived his life will not, and cannot, die. If the work of our hands is infused with the same love that Christ demonstrated, God promises the benefit that it will not and cannot die or fade away. Sign me up for that kind of work!

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

6.27.14 Insight from Chris Folmsbee

Chris Folmsbee is Resurrection’s Director of Discipleship Ministries.  He is the author of several books, with an extensive background in applying principles of spiritual growth to real life. He, his wife Gina and their family have been attending Resurrection since 2008.

I love coffee and so, according to recent statistics, do 54% of Americans over the age of 18. In the US there are 100 million coffee drinkers, of which 24% drink more than 13 cups of coffee (9oz) a week. I confess that I am one of the 68 million people who have a cup of coffee within an hour of waking up, and I drink way more than 13 cups a week. Here is a staggering thought—Americans spend $18 billion on specialty coffee yearly. I also recently learned on a tour of a local coffee factory that 9 out of 10 coffee drinkers don’t know that coffee is a red berry (called a “coffee cherry”) before it is a bean, which is actually not a bean at all. That’s right, a coffee bean is only called a coffee bean because of the way it looks, not for what it actually is. It is actually a seed from a fruit that merely looks like a bean!

Like any other tree that bears fruit, the coffee tree is most productive when the climate conditions are best for the health of the tree. When the altitude, soil, water amounts, sunshine, and all the other variables are spot on, a coffee tree bears the best and most fruit. For this reason, the best coffee comes from the equatorial zone, between latitudes 25 degrees North and 30 degrees South.

Enough about coffee—let’s talk about bearing fruit. In our reading today we see that Paul, the author of Colossians, along with Timothy, prays for the people of Colossae that they might “…live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” What does it mean to bear fruit in every good work? It means you and I are called to get practical with our faith by reproducing the life and ministry of Jesus within us. We do this in order that we might develop a set of practices that glorify God and make an enduring difference in the world, beginning with our neighbor. We might call these the “little things” that happen on the local level, but when lived out in a community (church) within an even greater community (Christianity), these Christian practices e.g. hospitality, generosity, faithfulness, care, etc.) can make a global impact. The fruit, therefore, that we bear or make real in the world around us is an opportunity for the people that we interact with to encounter Jesus—the real Jesus.

Using the coffee statistics from above to illustrate a point, do 9 out of the 10 people in our lives know that Jesus is a seed and not a bean? In other words, do the people we interact with on a regular and sometimes daily basis know the real Jesus and not the popular concept of Jesus? Does the fruit of the good work in our lives point people to the real Jesus? It is when we stand as trees of righteousness, and bear fruit from our good work (which is really Jesus’ work in us) that local efforts can create global change.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

6.26.14 Insight from Shawn Simpson

Shawn Simpson serves as the Director of Technical Arts and Operations at The Church of the Resurrection’s West campus in Olathe, KS.

Finishing worship services last Sunday, we immediately transitioned into one of the craziest and potentially impactful events of the year: Vacation Bible Camp!  The worship platform turned into a news set.  The sanctuary floor was cleared of chairs and turned into a recreation area.  The lower level classrooms became arts and crafts spaces.  The normally reserved and professional Travis Morgan (Resurrection West’s staff director) transformed into Don Purpley, complete with purple nail polish, lipstick, and a purple 80’s wig that would make Steven Tyler jealous.  I even got into the act by taking on the role of Gary Sheepzak with my trusty pet sheep, Thunder and Lightning.

The lesson for this year was based around the Christmas story.  Not only were we reminding the children of the birth of the Christ child, but we were also able to teach them the difference between the Christmas “characters” and the historical realities…as much as you can, anyway, with a bunch of antsy little kids.  For my part, I got to make fun of Don Purpley’s hair AND get the kids excited for our VBC missions partners in downtown KC (collecting winter coats) and Rev. Harrison in Jamaica (purchasing fence to build a sheep farm).  That means I had the pleasure of telling the kids at the end of the week that they’d reached their goal of $5000 and brought in a massive pile of winter coats.  The campers were really excited to do something tangible.

Some of my earliest memories of church are from VBS.  I can remember going with my cousins and writing what I was thankful for on one side of a slip of paper, and something I wanted to pray about on the other, then taping the slip into a ring and making a chain with the other kids’ rings.  I can’t remember WHY we did it, but I can clearly remember how much we enjoyed doing it and how much love we all felt from the teachers.  That’s my earliest memory of learning to thank God for what we have and to ask him for what’s heavy on our hearts.  Another year, we stained and sealed key shaped blocks of wood, then added hooks and gave them as gifts to our parents at the end of the camp when they’d dried.  That craft still hangs inside the door to my mom’s house with the keys to all the vehicles, lawnmowers, and tractors on it.

I’m not the most outgoing or evangelical person in the world, to be sure.  Hanging out in the back of the room where all the technical stuff happens is a lot more my speed.  But, being able to get in front of the kids at VBC and have the chance to give them a memory that will last a lifetime is amazing.  I’ve written before that, to me, sharing Christ with people isn’t always about quoting chapter and verse from the Bible, but is instead making sure they have a great experience that helps them open up to the teaching of the pastors.  During VBC, I get to share Christ by dressing up and being goofy in front of the campers.  My hope is that one day one of these campers will tell their own children about how they learned sheep make great pets and it was the shepherds who were present on the night Jesus was born.  They won’t remember that I forgot half the lines every day and had to ad-lib.  They’ll only remember that they learned the lesson with two stuffed sheep and a guy who walked into the room with a heavy metal song and a THUNDER! THUNDER! chant rocking the house.

 

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

6.25.14 Insight from Rev. Steven Blair

Rev. Steven Blair is the Congregational Care Pastor of Live Forward and Live Well Emotional Wellness Ministry. www.cor.org/liveforward

Poor Ol’ Jonah, Now’s He All Alon-ah
WEDNESDAY 6.25.14   Jonah 3:5, 9-10, 4:1-5, 10-11

Like other stories we tell children, the Bible Story of Jonah has even more to say to adults. You may remember the story: Jonah was a prophet who didn’t like the people of Ninevah, capital of the Assyrian Empire. The Assyrians had a reputation of being cruel and filled with religions that seemed to intentionally break as many of God’s Commandments as possible. God did not give up hope on the Ninevah. God sent Jonah to give Ninevah a chance to turn to God. Jonah said no and ran away. God sent a whale. Jonah reconsidered and went to Ninevah. Well, Jonah’s body went to Ninevah but his heart didn’t make the trip. (Youtube clip of VeggieTales song about Jonah. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qLhAdA5ZXI )

Jonah’s big sermon to the Ninevites is one verse long. “Forty more days and Ninevah will be overturned.” No sermon illustration. No heartfelt desire to persuade them back to God. Jonah simply preached one of the worst sermons ever, dropped the microphone, and apparently waited for the destruction to take place. But something happened. Even though the sermon was poor, God still spoke to the hearts of all the people. (A sermon’s power is in God’s Spirit not the preacher’s talent.)   After the Ninevites turn to God, Jonah is upset. He wanted to see fire and brimstone and instead saw changed hearts.  Very disappointing. The final image the story offers us is Jonah pouting that these sinners received mercy.

It is similar to the story of the Prodigal Sons. The youngest Prodigal Son returns to the Father after years of rampant sinning. The oldest son is angry that the Father is so merciful with his wandering brother. The parable ends with the younger son’s heart reunited with his Father. A big celebration takes place and the last image we see in Luke 15 is an image of the older son pouting about a sinner who receives mercy.

These Scriptures pose difficult questions.

Do we want God to hate the people that we hate?
Would we celebrate our enemies receiving mercy or do we wish pain on them?

The Book of Jonah challenges all the religious folks with the pervasive, and often annoying, message. Our God is a merciful God. We can either join in the fun of seeing hearts change or we can sit outside the city pouting.

In Christ, Steven Blair Pastor of Live Forward Program


 

 

 

 

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

6.24.14 Insight from Brandon Gregory

Brandon Gregory is a volunteer for the worship and missions teams at Church of the Resurrection. He helps lead worship at the Vibe, West, and Downtown services, and is involved with the Malawi missions team at home.

As a kid, the Jonah story was one of my favorites, although I’m a bit ashamed of the reason. But I’m willing to admit it to you. Are you ready?

I liked the story because it was silly.

You have a guy that gets a clear request from God. Some would have followed it, some would have ignored it—and that covers most people—but Jonah actually pays for passage to another country in an effort to get away from it. And when you read the story, you find out that Jonah is a serious whiner and a bit of a jerk. I’m sure the real-life prophet Jonah wasn’t quite this bad, but his book in the Bible doesn’t really paint him as a guy to look up to.

But, as with many stories in the Bible, there’s a deeper truth there that I didn’t see until I was much older.

Later on in the book of Jonah, we find out that God’s message, delivered through Jonah, led to the salvation of the entire city, which had more than 120,000 people. So in the end, despite his best efforts not to do so, Jonah was responsible for saving not only the 120,000 people of Nineveh, but also all of the people that those people would go on to help. I don’t know much about Jonah, but I don’t think he had ever done anything as noteworthy as that, and I don’t think he ever did again. Saving Nineveh became Jonah’s defining moment, and was probably the single greatest thing he had ever done. And he almost missed it.

It sounds like the fish that swallowed Jonah and forcibly delivered him on Nineveh’s shores was a blessing in disguise, not only to Jonah, but also to the people of the city in need of repentance. Truth be told, I’m kind of envious of the fish, because I know the greatest obstacle between me and God’s plans for me is my own ambition. When I choose to ignore God’s will, I don’t get a fish—most of the time, I get to sit back comfortably and do what I want, while the people I could have helped sit uncomfortably and wait for help which may never come. And both of us are worse off for it.

It could be little things, or it could be big things (and I have no doubt that some of you reading this are ignoring big things), but they’re all hard things. Nobody turns away from the easy things. It could be warning your friend about the bad consequences of their relationship choices when you know that it’s not going to be well received. It could be trading in a lucrative career to apply your business smarts toward helping people. It could be tithing when you can think of ten practical reasons not to. It could be clearing some time up in your schedule so you have more time to volunteer and help people that way. There are a hundred things it could be, but chances are, when I’m running, I know what it is.

In these situations, I have to ask: What would my fish be? What sign from God would be so powerful, so undeniable, that I would have no choice but to do the good that God wants me to do? Would it really take a giant fish, or a giant Lord of the Rings-style eagle to carry me somewhere else? Chances are, no (but I’ll admit, it would be really cool in retrospect).

But whatever my fish would be in that situation, I then have to ask myself: if that really happened, would I feel the same way about my story that I felt about Jonah’s? Am I running so fervently that my story would seem silly, even embarrassing to tell others? And even if I then choose to follow God, would my reaction after the fact be as laughably bad as Jonah’s? I have to wonder, if the story of my life was being recorded for others, what kind of story it would be, what kind of character I would come off as?

We don’t really know who wrote the book of Jonah, but if it was indeed the prophet Jonah, I have to hand it to the guy—it took guts to portray himself like that. It goes to show us that waiting for that undeniable sign can be a little silly. There are better ways to follow God than spending days in the belly of a whale—and I guarantee you that whatever the outcome of your obedience, it will not be as bad as Jonah’s journey to Nineveh. It may lead to the salvation of an entire city, or it may lead to the salvation of one; but the point is that it’s your story, and it doesn’t take a fish to get you there.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

6.23.14 Insight from Jeanna Repass

Jeanna Repass serves as a leader in Resurrection’s outreach programs to neighborhoods surrounding the Leawood campus.

One of my son Adam’s best friends is a young man named Derek whose father started working as a fry-cook at a McDonald’s when he was fourteen. Eventually through hard work, Derek’s father went to the Mc Donald’s academy and now owns a very successful chain of Mc Donald’s restaurants. Derek is following in his father’s footsteps. After graduating from high school and college, he has attended the official “McDonald’s U” and is working towards being the next owner/operator in the family business.

Even with the line of succession as a part of Derek’s path, Derek is working his way through the ranks. He works every shift at the restaurant from the early morning shift to the overnight (late-late night) shift. He is the one who covers for any employees that don’t show up for work and at the ripe old age of 24, he is a young man that has over a decade of hard work experience in an industry that many people leave after just a few weeks or months. Many leave claiming that the minimum wage pay is not commiserate with the demanding work load.

Bob Jones of “Gentlemen of the Roundtable” will tell you that the men he works with (all formerly incarcerated) whom are all seeking employment, often turn their backs on a “Mickey-Dees” (Mc Donald’s) job. Some of the men see “hustling” in the streets as a better means of gaining money. Hustling pays more than minimum wage ($7.25 in KS; $7.50 in MO), you set your own hours and you do not have to smile and give good customer service to a rude patron. Why bother standing on your feet for hours slinging burgers and fries for a few bucks?

On the surface – they may have a point. There are a lot of hard-work jobs and hard workers who get paid minimum wage. You certainly can make more money doing a host of other jobs – especially jobs that fall outside of the societal norms and laws. But the issue at hand is not about the minimum wage pay. The real issue for the men of Gentlemen of the Roundtable is the cost that they will pay for the choice of work they decide upon.

“What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?” Mark 8:36

Hard work – honest work – is good work. The scriptures from Proverbs today reinforces this. “Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice”. Prvbs 16:8 I often wonder if angels sometimes visit earth disguised as minimum wage earners – whether at McDonald’s or cleaning a hotel room. There’s always that one worker with the big smile, giving their all to a service job and making someone else’s day with their joyfulness and enthusiasm.

OK – maybe they are not angels in disguise. Maybe they are just like Derek, hard-working people who “get it” and know that: “In their heart, humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Prvbs 16:9. There is honor in good work and God provides the joy along with every other good provision. He loves us enough to have died for us. He loves us enough to provide for us. May you find joy today in all your work, giving praise to God for the journey and the path that he has established for you! Amen.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

6.21.14 Insight from Michelle Kirby

At The Church of the Resurrection, Michelle Kirby is the Program Director for Learning Events such as the Journey 101 courses and Destination Resurrection.

Final words are interesting. Bing Crosby’s final words were reported to be, “That was a great game of golf, fellers” and Thomas Edison’s last words are recorded as, “It’s very beautiful over there.” And who will ever forget the words, “Let’s roll,” uttered by Todd Beamer on September 11, 2001 as he and and others attempted to gain control of United flight #93?

Last words can make us smile, break our hearts or move us to action, but we always seem to pay attention to them.

Some very important final words in my own life came from the last conversation I had with my dad. Our final words to one another were, “I love you.” Those words certainly summed up all that was in our hearts and I’ll never forget them and treasure them always.

In today’s Scripture reading we hear Jesus’ final words, or instructions, as he ascends to heaven. We call this passage “The Great Commission” because Jesus is commissioning and empowering all of his followers to do something. And what is that “something” Jesus is referring to?

I like how the translation of The Message puts it:

“God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”

This is the last thing Jesus said as he was going up to heaven. He could have said any number of things but he chose to say this. Obviously it must be pretty important—and it should make us stop and pay attention to what he’s saying.

He was empowering us to make more disciples—or learners—but how do we do that?

My job title here at Resurrection is Learn Events Program Director. In a nutshell, my job is to help people learn about Jesus. I carry out my job by organizing and teaching Journey 101 classes, Alpha classes, Tuesday Bible Study classes and Destination Resurrection Summer Teaching Events. But Jesus’ words take in so much more than me performing a job.

His words take in more than just knowing facts. There’s a Bible Trivia game on my iPad that I score fairly well on. But Jesus’ words are so much more than a high score on a trivia game.

His words challenge and call me to know him, follow him and fall in love with him and help others to do the same. And in order to make more disciples or learners, we all need to continue being learners and disciples ourselves.   We can never teach about something we’re unacquainted with.

My favorite part of any day is sharing Christ. Whether it’s praying with someone who’s going through challenges in life or helping someone understand how to interpret Scripture, or serving alongside others—it’s all part of being a follower of Christ. While doing these things I’m also hoping to be showing others how to do them and inviting them to join me.

The way I interpret the command that Jesus gives us is this, “Invite more people to the party—then have those people invite people…and so on…”

So who are you inviting to the party?

I want to extend a summer challenge for all of us:

Over the next few months, make a commitment to be a more deliberate learner of God. Be intentional about opening the pages of Scripture and listening to what God has to say to you. Learn more about who he is and how much he loves you. Speak with him about what’s going on in your heart—whether happy, sad, or confused. And then tell others—have conversations with people about what is going on in your life and invite them in.

Honoring someone’s last words is evidence of devotion to that person. May we be disciples who honor God by inviting others to the party.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

6.20.14 Insight from Darren Lippe

Darren Lippe helps facilitate Journey 101 “Loving God” classes, guides a 7th-grade Sunday school class, is a member of a small group & a men’s group, and serves on the Curriculum team.

As today’s passage suggests, there are times when, to put it mildly, our jobs may be less fulfilling than desired. This can occur for a variety of reasons:

Perhaps our job doesn’t capture the glamour & imagination of our youthful hopes & dreams, like the story of the gentleman who cleaned up the elephant’s cages for a traveling circus. A friend urged him to quit since it was a lousy job with equally lousy pay. The guy looked shocked and exclaimed, “Quit? And get out of show business?”

Or to be completely forthright, there may be times we aren’t particularly excited to work at all, like the old preacher story of the company owner informing his employees that the plant was to become completely automated. As the gathered employees started grumbling, he quickly assured them that no one would be laid off and that compensation & benefits would be completely unchanged. He added that the employees would only need to work one day a week, on Wednesdays, to recalibrate the machines. There was a stunned silence. Then a voice called out from the crowd, “What? Every Wednesday?”

And finally, sometimes our jobs aren’t working due to lack of skills or training, like the new employee (whose name is known only to God) who began to work at the A&W Family Restaurant in Topeka, Kansas. He was asked to start warming up a refrigerated pot of chili for the World Famous Chili Dogs on the grill. Instead of placing the 10-gallon pot on the grill as expected, the trainee proceeded to dump the chili onto the grill. As he fought through the steam & was frantically using the spatula to keep the chili from draining down into the grease tray, he called out to the manager, “How will I know when the chili is done?” (It was you, wasn’t it? – Editor. I said, “His name was known only to…” R-i-i-ght. Editor.)

When I started working in the operations side of the energy industry after college some 20 years ago, I quickly realized that none of my peers in the industry lasted very long. Since my task is to make sure natural gas flows from Point A to Point B in the most effective/efficient manner possible, there are a multitude of factors within & beyond my control that can impact my performance. (I don’t have a legal background, but I am quite familiar with a man named Murphy.)

So I went to the library to find books & articles on coping with job-related stress. (For our younger readers, we frequently had to drive some distance just to access information. Take 10 seconds & Google The Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature & you’ll see what I am talking about.)

Some of the advice was quite helpful: Read something light each evening to cleanse the mind of work-related thoughts; so I read comic books & joke books each evening just before going to sleep. Pick a spot on your commute home that is your “drop off point” for all work-related worries; if you aren’t being paid to work 24/7, why think about work 24/7?

Some of the counsel was solid, but needed a little God-infusion to be really effective:

Your job is just that, a job. Your title, or lack thereof, has no meaning beyond the walls of the office. Don’t pigeon-hole yourself via your job description; begin with the thought that you are a child of God who thinks you rock and THEN determine the value of your skill set.

Invest your time/energy in people/tasks outside the office. Develop a Godly passion that will give you something to look forward to during the workday.

Lose yourself in reading. Have some fun meditating on a Bible verse. Read a story/parable/Proverb in the morning & ponder on it throughout the day. See if there are instances where the Scripture’s meaning might come to you from a different perspective.

Consider your life’s purpose. What do you want to be remembered for? We can put a lot of pressure on the expectations of our job if we seek to value our entire existence based on an annual review by someone in HR who can’t even pronounce “Lippe” correctly.

So whether you work only on Wednesdays or are in show-business, the job you do in God’s Kingdom will be the only work truly remembered. (Well, unless some bitter old manager still recalls the time a young man understandably confused 8 gallons of pancake batter for ice cream mix.)

 

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

 

6.19.14 Insight from Kaitlyn Stout


Kaitlyn Stout 
is serving as a summer intern in the Children’s Ministry department at The Church of the Resurrection. She is studying elementary education and church service/leadership.

I attempt to live every second of every day in the glory of God, but I continuously fall short. Imagine living a life like Paul’s as described in Acts; one of total submission. I believe that living a life like this would be both extremely difficult and extremely rewarding.

I find the symbolism Paul uses to describe spiritual guidance as a shepherd very intriguing. I have never thought of a shepherd as someone who guides and protects people on their spiritual journey, but I now see that the connection is quite reasonable. A shepherd’s responsibilities are to guide and protect their flocks, just like my “spiritual shepherds” have guided and protected me.

I grew up here at COR and credit many parts of my faith walk to some of COR’s living and breathing “spiritual shepherds.” I remember numerous times Jason Gant guided me on my Christian journey through scripture readings, lessons taught at RezLife, and one on one conversations about life. I have fond memories of times that Taylor Ogden Thomas helped to mentor my call to ministry through the MAC Track program. I can honestly say that I would not be the person I am today without Jason and Taylor being the “spiritual shepherds” who helped to guide me on my journey of faith.

I currently serve at The Church of the Resurrection as the Early Childhood Intern in the Children’s Ministry Department. I hope to someday utilize the experience gained while serving to become a “spiritual shepherd” to young children and their families. I hope to guide families through good times and dark times. I would love to become a youth pastor someday; helping to guide and minister to others on their spiritual journey. Helping people is something that I am very passionate about, and an opportunity to play a part in someone’s spiritual journey through “shepherding” would be a dream come true for me.

In verse 35 Paul stresses the importance of acting as “spiritual shepherds” to those seeking Christ. “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” Paul quotes Jesus as saying. Ask anyone who has participated in a mission trip, served in the inner city, painted the hallway of a lower income school–each will agree on one thing. They received more of a blessing than they felt that they provided to those they were serving. Paul understood the importance of this message and as we see daily, the timeless teachings of the Bible can be applied to our daily lives whenever we listen for God speaking to us. The nudge to get involved through service to others opens the door of opportunity to be blessed while serving others, acting as a “spiritual shepherd.” They recognize the blessing they receive, and it inevitably brings them closer to Christ as each of the recipients lifts up thanks and praise.

I challenge all of you to be the hands and feet of Christ. Go and be a shepherd. Shepherd a friend, a coworker, a neighbor, a stranger. You will be amazed at the blessings you receive through your service. God bless you all.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.