Sundays?

One common question we get is this, “Why don’t we meet every Sunday?” And a common followup is, “What are we supposed to do on those Sundays?”

There’s a larger and longer response to the first question that we’ll tackle later. But for now, a simple response is this: there’s a greater goal of helping all of us nurture greater intimacy with Jesus and follow Jesus intentionally into the world to live out what he teaches us in the Bible. And believe it or not… we may achieve this by doing less, not more.

But let’s tackle the second question, “What are we supposed to do on those Sundays?”

Jesus says this

Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.” [Matthew 22:37-40]

The pace of Silicon Valley lives is hostile to genuine relationships. Both with God and with people. There is so much pressure to achieve and produce; we have so much and yet have so little. We’re surrounded by tons of stuff and yet we’re so alone.

So what to do with those Sundays?

Love God

Spend time with God. Really. Talk to Him. Listen to Him. Not through a sermon or a choir. It can happen that way. But it can NEVER replace… you and God, together, face to face. These times will fuel greater intimacy with Jesus. These times will unearth areas where you’re mad at God and the world and begin a process to heal. These times will lead you to see the world differently… through His eyes and not your own.

Truth be told, we need to hear his voice daily, every moment. We need time daily to enjoy God’s embrace and embrace him back. But Sundays can be a jumping point into your week, to refresh, refuel and respond to a God that knows you inside and out and has way bigger dreams that you could ever have.

Don’t know how? Try this:

  1. Carve Out Time – At least an hour. Take your time. Turn off your phone, computer, pager, fax, dog, etc. You’ll need some time to quiet your soul. Parents take turns taking care of the kids. Serve each other by giving the other some time.
  2. Talk to God – Try this, “Father, thank you for loving me. What is your heart for me today?” And then listen for at least 2-5 minutes.
  3. Bible – Choose a book in the Bible to read and start from the beginning. If you’re lost, try John. Ask God to show you what He wants. Read about a chapter [slowly] and listen for God as you read.
  4. Journal – Write down what you’re learning, what you feel God is saying to you and whatever you want.
  5. Pray – Talk to God. You can. In your normal voice, no need for big words. Share your heart with him and be quiet for a moment so he can speak to you.
  6. Repeat – Throughout the week [sometimes in smaller time increments] and on other Sundays we do not meet.

Love People

What else might you do? Love people. We’re so busy that we often do not have time for people. Not just do stuff – but be all present, listening, engaging and being with people. Especially with people who have yet to know Jesus. How can our lives intersect with other’s lives? How about cooking breakfast, helping a neighbor paint, taking a hike with a friend? Help someone out or invite a few friends and go do something. It’s not rocket science… you know what to do.

The key is this… how will you give away the love Jesus gave you? Jesus said this:

“Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” [John 13:34-35]

So give it a go. Find simple ways to love people, be friends and be open to how God might use you to bless people with the message of Jesus or simple acts of love.

So if you’re thinking to yourself… “man, no Sundays… sleep in! AWESOME!” You’re missing the point. Really.

Questions? Comments? Objections? Throw ‘em out in the comments. Thanks all.

Bread

Some words for the day:

I am the Bread of Life. The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever. I have told you this explicitly because even though you have seen me in action, you don’t really believe me. Every person the Father gives me eventually comes running to me. And once that person is with me, I hold on and don’t let go.

<John 6:35 MES>

Which part of that hits you?

Test of Fire

Thanks to Alan and Luanne for investing in our couples… I am more and more convinced of the critical need for whole and intact families – especially for our generation. We are experiencing the fall-out from the lack of whole families as we speak. Read this interesting article in TIME.

A short story from Alan about being a man for our wives and families… timely exhorting and very Alan-esque!

THE TEST OF FIRE

We were sitting around the other day with our adult children when the subject of future spouses came up. I mentioned how I would find the right man for my daughter. As the family braced themselves for another Gospel According to Al, I proceeded.

First, in the middle of nowhere, I would build a campfire. All men are attracted to fire, you know. Then I would find a place away from the fire to observe who it will attract.

  • Man #1 comes up to the fire, sits down and begins to warm himself and stay hunkered down. Not good…
  • Man #2 comes up to the fire, sits down for a bit. Then he gets up, goes out to gather more wood and come back to tend the fire. Better…
  • Man #3 comes up to the fire, sits down for a bit. Then he gets up, goes out into the wilderness. When he returns, he has one arm full of wood and the other arm full of meat…

That’s My Man!

My observations?

Man #1 is worthless. He comes into a nice situation, does nothing but fill his needs. He will either move on to another location when the fire dies or just freezes in the dark and die. I call him a sluggard to nth degree or worthless pile of pud.

Man #2 is better. He observes and takes the initiative to maintain the fire. He goes out to gather more fuel and tend to the fire making sure it does not get too big or too small. This one has potential.

Man #3 is a lot like Man #2, he observes the situation, assesses the needs of the future and goes out to fulfill those needs. He recognizes that there is more to life than just the fire and brings things in to maintain not only the fire but also the body. A Keeper!

Men, this is how our marriage relationships are. Your marriage/relationship could be like Man #1 – you just ease back after the wedding, not do anything and just let things happen around you without you doing anything about it. Your marriage/relationship will be like the fire and eventually it will burn out. You’ll either move on or just die.

Or like Man #2 – you work at your marriage and when things come up, you go fix it. Always steady, making sure things do not get out of hand where you cannot handle it. And if told to do something, it gets done.

But, Man #3 – not only do you work on your marriage, but you strive to make it better. You want to do more than just maintain. You want to begin building on it, feeding it, giving it strength and growth. You look far enough ahead to know what it takes to maintain the marriage/relationship now and in the future. You put forth the effort without having someone to tell you all the time. You share what God has given you into the marriage/relationship.

Want to keep that fire burning?
Want to keep that marriage hot?
BRING ON THE MEAT!!!!!