Pump it up!

I have had a revolution in my thinking on health. For years, I pursued growth in different areas of my life. I studied and worked hard to earn a PhD. I tried to grow and increase to utilize and teach biblical knowledge. On a personal level, I came to Christ and grew in Him spiritually. I even tried to improve in my own communication and relationship with my wife, sought friendships with men, and focused on my own emotional health. These areas were all important for me to grow and improve in as a father, a grandfather, and a servant of Jesus Christ.

However, in doing so I neglected my physical health. I gained weight, I grew physically weaker, and I had less energy. What I realized was that the physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional areas of my life affected each other. I took action to exercise and eat better, and I am making progress while being careful not to neglect the other areas of my life.

I thought about the Apostle Paul, who wrote in 1 Cor 9:25, “Everyone who competes in the games exercises self control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wealth, but we an imperishable.” We are in a race for life, a journey to pursue God’s glory in all things. When we discipline ourselves in Christ, we present ourselves as a testimony of His work within us, His grace. We are sanctified as we humbly surrender ourselves to Christ in all our strongholds.

That’s tough to do, and I am not there yet, but let me ask you: What areas of your life do you need to change?

Snow Day for Worship?!?

First of all, I hate cancelling worship. I have always hated cancelling worship. I avoid it like the plague. Yet though deep down inside I felt that something was not right about it, I could never express what the reason was that I had. Until I read this post.

I don’t agree with everything that was written concerning cancellations, but this post did help me to think a bit more about the why of cancelling. Let me then restate some of the thoughts written and add my own on why I want to avoid taking a snow day for worship:

  • First, I never say never. I realize that some conditions merit cancelling worship. However, worship should be the number one priority for the church. Extreme or dangerous conditions may deem it necessary to cancel in the name of safety. There’s no reason to put people in danger, but this action should be taken rarely (if at all). That said, I don’t cancel worship unless it is indeed dangerous. By the way, 1-2 inches of snow is usually not dangerous. Inconvenient, yes, dangerous, probably not. If you doubt this, ask the Minnesotans or Alaskans and you’ll get a hearty Canadian sounding laugh out of them.
  • Second, I also think that other activities are open to cancellation. Team meetings, bible studies, and other activities are not critical if they are missed. We can be flexible and reschedule many of those events. We also have to be flexible in our use of ministries such as nursery and be understanding of those who can’t make it to church for various reasons.

So why is worship so important that cancellation should be avoided at all costs? As the author of the referenced post wrote, the glory of God is shown through worship. Sure, God’s glory is seen in other places such as our homes, our work, and our lives, yet the corporate gathering of God’s people now is a taste of what we will experience when every tribe and tongue will gather before the Lamb. We worship to give God His worthiness in a sacrifice of praise, and if we cancel because of inconvenience, what are we really telling God? As a leader who will stand before God one day, I must proclaim the worship of God with God’s people as most important.

Besides, again as the author wrote, if our brothers and sisters in persecuted countries worship with threat of physical harm, we should likewise be willing to step up and overcome some inconvenience to worship Christ. Our worship together is a show of solidarity for the persecuted church, that though we are absent from their conditions in body, we at least in a small way, are identifying with them in spirit.

I hope this helps. I am an imperfect and frail human, limited by my own knowledge and lack of gifts. However, by the grace of God, I press forward, hoping to see God glorified in a weak man that I am. May God be glorified today as we worship Him!

Blessings to you and yours,

Pastor Fran