Digging in Deeper: Luke 2:1-4

“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole empire should be registered. This first registration took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So everyone went to be registered, each to his own town. Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

There are two basic categories of things that can get in the way of our pursuit of our plans in a given situation. There are distractions, and there are interruptions. Those may sound like synonyms, but I would argue there is a subtle difference between them. Distractions are obstacles we don’t mind and may even choose to have on our path. Interruptions are frustrations over which we may not have any control. Distractions we have some measure of control over stopping or even preventing. Interruptions are often things we are powerless to stop or avoid. Joseph’s life seemed like it was one big series of interruptions. But as it turns out, God was the one pulling the strings. Let’s talk about why this matters for us.

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 10:1

“He set out from there and went to the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Then crowds converged on him again, and as was his custom he taught them again.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been interrupted? Of course you have. Life is, in some ways, a long string of interruptions from what we’d rather be doing. Some of the interruptions we invite into our lives, but others just happen. Learning to successfully manage interruptions is a critical skill to develop if we want to get along well in life. If we are going to learn how to manage interruptions better than we already do, one of the first things we need to learn is how to discern what kind of interruption we are facing. Is it an interruption over which we have some measure of control, or one that is completely out of our hands? Those are the two main options for what kind of interpolation our schedule is going to have to manage. But there is a third kind and a third way of looking at things here. We catch a glimpse of this here in Jesus’ life. Let’s look closely to see what it is and what it means for us.

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Stay Focused

In this second part of our series, After Christmas, I answer the question I left hanging last week: How do we keep following Jesus no matter what? The answer is found in an episode from out of the life of Nehemiah. Nehemiah accomplished some great things in a fairly short amount of time. His secret is one we can use in our own life to make sure our after Christmas times aren’t the letdowns they so often are. Keep reading to find out what this is and how to implement it in your life.

Stay Focused

Have you ever been distracted?

So, just the other day I was looking at the NFL schedules for next year. Guess who faces off at some point in the season? The Chief and the Panthers. In Kansas City. Boom. We’ll have to have a watching party.

In any event, have you ever been distracted?

Many of you know I enjoy building little metal models. I got some for Christmas this year about which I am most excited. One is this really cool looking blue dragon. They also make a red version. There’s also a grand Chinese gate. There is also a new design line that is various suits of armor. Those are next on my list.

As I was saying, though, have you ever been distracted?

Have I mentioned how excited I am for Celebrate Sunday next week? It is going to be a party. God has done many, many great things around here in the last year and we are going to celebrate them in grand fashion.

But what I really wanted to ask you this morning was if you’ve ever been distracted? Personally, my own focus is like a laser. Do you believe me? It focuses directly and steadily on whatever it happens to be pointed at in a given moment. Did I mention that this laser is actually a laser pointer residing in the hands of a two-year-old? Yessir, my focus is just like a laser…pointer…in the hands of a sugared-up two-year-old…who’s entertaining himself by tormenting a cat. Squirrel! What were we talking about again?

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Digging in Deeper: Psalm 123:2

“Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he has mercy upon us.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

On what have you placed your eyes?  Our world is like a carnival in the manifold of things for us to look at as we navigate through it.  There are more things to which we can direct our attention than we could possibly count.  What’s more, many of these things are not silent and waiting.  Like a carnival barker they call, no, they demand, our attention. Read the rest…