July 29, 2019

Did you know that this is officially SHARK WEEK? Well at least it is on the Discovery Channel. What I didn’t realize was that this is the 31st year they have been having a Shark Week. Why the fascination with sharks? Not too many sharks around here and yet lots of people in Texas and all across the country tune in. Why do we fear sharks so much and yet we are fascinated by them? More on that in just a minute. I hope your week is off to a great start . . . and it is if you are living and moving under His Grace this morning!!
Each week I try to bring you what God has laid on my heart in this blog. Today as I sit here I am a little overwhelmed by all that is going on in my life. Exactly 2 months from today will be our last Sunday at FBCWS. If you read this blog you know where we are going and the stress that is on us. Someone yesterday asked when we were going to share more about what God has planned for us as we leave. I was thinking this person doesn’t read my blog – ha – which is true for most. So yes, the last few weeks at FBCWS we will be sharing more about God’s calling and where we are going and what God is doing in our lives. One of the big topics that I think God wants me to address in September (from the pulpit) is the subject of Trust. And even more specifically than that is the idea of Trust & Obedience. We all know the old hymn “Trust and Obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to Trust and Obey.” What happens when God asks you to trust Him in some very scary things in life? What happens when a loved one is sick and you don’t know what to do and God says, “Trust Me.” What happens when you have a financial situation that is beyond your ability to figure out? I can remember when my parents were alive I always knew I could turn to them if I had to. They wouldn’t let me end up on the street. They have both been gone almost 10 years and longer. How do we trust God? How do we trust Him when a relationship seems to be falling apart and no matter how hard we try we can’t fix it? How do we trust God when He says “Go to Jamaica. I will provide the way.” God’s Word says to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) Most of us know those verses but what about the next two verses? “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” (Proverbs 3:7-8) Here is a link to a good article called “What It Means to Trust the Lord with All Your Heart.” In that article the author says, “In a culture of misplaced trusts, broken promises, and damaged lives, only Jesus is unshakable, unchangeable, unbreakable, and worthy of all our trust.” He is worthy. But it is still difficult. I pray for you, and me, as God calls us to fully trust in Him today. His ways are higher than our ways and he knows what is best for us. I pray that today we might lean on Him and lean into Him and learn what it means to fully trust in Him. We’ll talk more about trusting and obedience in the coming weeks.
So back to Shark Week. In Jim Denison’s article today, written by his son Ryan while Jim is on vacation, he addresses our fear of sharks and then takes a turn to talk about slothfulness since so many people will be binge watching all the Shark Week shows. Here we are in the middle of vacation season talking about slothfulness. Most think of that word and they think of laziness. That is not entirely true to the definition but there is that element. Ryan says this:
“. . . for the majority of Christian history, slothfulness has been seen primarily as a sin associated with the kind of loveless apathy and depression that would drive a person to seek escape from their obligations to those close to them. 
     As a result, slothfulness can appear in a wide variety of ways. For some, slothfulness may be as simple as losing themselves on Facebook when they should be working. For others, it could manifest as making sure the TV is on instead of talking with their family at the dinner table.
     Yet, because the root cause of slothfulness is more about the selfish search for escape than the manner in which that escape takes place, even outwardly beneficial and praiseworthy behaviors can be sinful at heart.
     For example, the most industrious workaholic you know could be guilty of slothfulness for the simple reason that they’ve chosen to arrange their priorities with little regard for those around them. They might justify the extra hours by saying they’re doing it to provide a better life for their family, which might be true in some cases or for certain seasons.
     But I suspect that a great many of those who lose themselves in their work do so because it seems easier than listening to their spouses discuss the day or helping the kids with their homework.
     So, how do we determine when our actions, whether centered on rest or work, are sinful versus when they are correct?”
And that’s a great question. How do we decide when rest and relaxation are appropriate and when they are sinful? For many the natural tendency is to just lay around and eat our favorite foods. That can be OK for a day or two or maybe for vacation but imagine that as a daily lifestyle. The problem is that lifestyle will make you sick and weak very quickly. As I was discussing with one of our church members Sunday, you have to keep moving. That was their advice. Don’t rest too long. And that is my experience as well. Do you ever feel tired and listless and so you rest and it doesn’t do any good? You just end up feeling more tired? Sometimes we don’t need rest, often in fact, but what we need is purpose in living. We need to get up and keep moving. In much the same way that we don’t like change we know we need it. On those days when I don’t want to work out (like today) I know those are the days when I most need to just press on and do it. I know my body will feel better on the other side of that workout. How many of us press on doing our daily quiet times even when we might not “feel” like doing it? How many of us tithe our money because we know God will honor that in our lives? Let me encourage you to seek God and ask Him how He wants you to spend your time and your resources. And when He tells you what to do. . . then do it.
Last Word: This Thursday, August 1st, my mother would have been 87 years old. Happy Birthday Helen Grace Moravits Hixon! I look forward to seeing her again in Heaven!!
I am ON MISSION Today! Are You?