My wife Tammy and I don’t plan to move out of Illinois (though many are), and plan to stay in our home as long as we can. After reaching out to a number of firms, we settled on one to do our remodeling project. And, over a five-week period, they did a great job for us, remodeling our kitchen and bathrooms. We are extremely pleased with the work that has been done. But you know what? Now that I see the beautiful new kitchen and remodeled bathrooms, the rest of our home looks, well, like it needs some work – at least a fresh coat of paint. Is this a lack of contentment?
I can’t help it, but I always seem to see what is wrong with something. That’s just the way I’m wired. Just like in our home, in our yard, my focus will go to the tree or plant that isn’t doing well, rather than the many that look beautiful. When driving on our streets in town or the highways we travel, my eyes go to the potholes and repairs that need to be made as a result of our extreme winters. And just today, Tammy mentioned what a beautiful day it was. And I kid you not, the very next thing out of my mouth was that rain was coming and the temperatures tomorrow would be ten degrees colder. I just can’t help it. Continue reading
Jesus taught much on the subject of money. In fact, you may not know that he taught more often on money than He did on love or on heaven and hell combined. Since Jesus spent so much time on the subject of money, we should devote some time thinking about it as well.
Gene Veith, in his excellent book God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life, writes that the purpose of vocation is to love and serve our neighbor. How is the believer to apply the purpose of vocation to our use of money?
R.C. Sproul, in his book How Should I Think about Money? writes that one of the most important things to consider is how we allocate the resources that God has given to us. How do we make important and wise decisions about how we’re going to spend our money?
There is much that we could talk about in regards to money. In this article, I want to briefly look at just five aspects: Continue reading
He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting. Psalm 104:18
I’ve lived in Illinois my entire life thus far, and have no plans to change that. One advantage of living in the Midwest (according to my wife Tammy) is that we get to experience all four seasons – spring, summer, fall and winter. If I had my choice however, I would leave it at summer and call it a day. San Diego’s climate sounds good to me, but I remember a team member who absolutely loves the winters in Minnesota, which are even worse than Illinois.
Tammy tries to talk me through the winter. She’ll tell me that in December we have the holiday season, so it will go quickly. We also have the shortest day of the year, so the days will begin to get longer. Continue reading
I’ve read a lot of books about prayer, including a few about “The Lord’s Prayer”. Probably the best book I’ve read on prayer is Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God by Tim Keller. In that book Keller states that there are many different ways to organize our prayers. I often use the ACTS method for my prayers. In ACTS, the “A” stands for adoration, “C” stands for confession, “T” stands for thanksgiving and “S” stands for supplication, or request. Many times I’ve found that our prayers jump right to supplication. I like the ACTS model because it starts with adoration.
I want to address the “T” in ACTS – thanksgiving. The Bible tells us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). I think being thankful is an aspect of prayer that we (or at least I) tend to overlook. I think thankfulness and contentment tend to go together, when we are thankful we are also content. What would it look like if we lived a life of thankfulness? Here are five great verses from the Bible about being thankful:
- Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever! 1 Chronicles 16:34
- And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15
- And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:17
- Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2
- Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6
I recently enjoyed spending some time thinking about what I am thankful for, the blessings in my life. Here are a few of them:
- Being saved through Christ (salvation).
- My immediate family – wife, parents, brother, sister, and my extended family.
- State Farm for a nearly 38-year career and all of the wonderful people I worked with.
- Our dog Molly, an Alaskan Malamute.
- Our church, pastors, elders and deacons.
- Covenant Seminary.
- Our home.
- The Bible and other good books to read.
- Music to listen to.
- Watching movies.
- Good health.
- St. Louis Cardinal baseball.
- Ligonier Ministries and R.C. Sproul.
- God’s creation.
Take some time and reflect on what you are thankful for in your life and click on ‘Leave a comment’ to let us know.
IN THE NEWS:
- LeBron James closed his eyes and began vocalizing various imprecatory Psalms Friday night during the postgame interview, appealing to God directly into the microphone, asking him to utterly destroy the Golden State Warriors and their leader, Stephen Curry. http://babylonbee.com/news/lebron-james-invokes-imprecatory-psalms-curry-warriors-postgame-interview/ From The Babylon Bee ~ Your Trusted Source For Christian News Satire.
- The Toxic Lie of Me Before You. In discussing the new film Me Before You, based on a popular book, Samuel James writes “Moyes, the novel’s author, acknowledges that she was motivated at least in part by her sympathy for patients who desire assisted suicide. “There are no right answers. It’s a completely individual thing,” she explained. “I hope what the story does, whether it’s the book or film, is make people think twice before judging other people’s choices.”
- Mel Gibson Planning The Passion of the Christ Braveheart screenwriter Randall Wallace says he is writing a follow-up to the biblical blockbuster that will focus on the resurrection of Jesus.
- Can We Talk? Why I Think a Trump Presidency is Intolerable Even Though You Might Not Agree. Thabiti Anyabwile writes “This post is for that larger percentage of the Christian public that actually feels little threat from differing opinion, even benefits from it. This post is for folks who can affirm a brother as a brother while pushing back—even pushing back hard.”
Contentment. It’s something that I’ve needed to work on for some time.
How about you? Are you like me, always looking forward to the next (you fill in the blank) – vacation, concert, movie, book, album, dinner at your favorite restaurant, etc.? Are you not content with your current vocation, relationship(s) you are in, or the church you are attending? How about the discontent with your house, car or version of iPhone that you have, or even the number of blog followers or Facebook friends that you have? Does the grass always look greener somewhere else? Is it someone else receiving the promotion that you deserve? Do you look forward to the quitting time, the weekend and ultimately retirement?
As a Christian, I know I should be fully content in what God has provided for me, mainly Him! Short of that, a life of discontentment is a sin, a lack of thankfulness for what we have already been provided.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading and study on the subject of contentment of late. And sometimes, God just puts something on a subject you are studying before you without you specifically looking for it. For example, I came across this section of a prayer entitled “Fullness” in the wonderful book of Puritan prayers The Valley of Vision: