Digging in Deeper: Philippians 2:12-13

“Therefore, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, so now, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to his good purpose.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Do the things you do matter? How do you know? What is it that gives our lives meaning? These are big questions for a Friday morning, but they are ones the latest offering from Disney+ has me thinking about. The series is the next chapter in the ever-unfolding storyline Marvel has been weaving together on both the big and now small screen for the last 12 years. Like Wandavision and Falcon and the Winter Soldier before it, this one picks up right where Avengers: End Game finished and reveals what happens next with one of the characters. This time, the character is Loki, the villain-turned-hero brother of Thor and a fan-favorite. Let’s talk about the series that bears his name.

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Morning Musing: Mark 10:45

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

Humans are addicted to purpose. We can’t live without it…literally. Right now our culture is in the midst of a crisis. I’m not talking about Covid. We are in the midst of a crisis called “deaths from despair.” It started before Covid, takes nearly as many lives as the pandemic did, but unlike the virus, it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. A death from despair happens when a person ends his life either intentionally or incidentally by taking actions intended to escape a sense of hopelessness, purposelessness, meaninglessness that has taken hold of his heart. Purpose matters. A lot. Well, here Jesus reveals the purpose of His coming. Let’s pay attention to what He has to say.

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Morning Musing: Psalm 71:17-18

“God, you have taught me from my youth, and I still proclaim your wondrous works. Even while I am old and gray, God, do not abandon me, while I proclaim your power to another generation, your strength to all who are to come.”‬ ‭(CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

When the Social Security Act was first passed into law in 1935, its purpose was to help take care of seniors. The idea was that people who had worked their whole life shouldn’t have to worry about how they were going to be provided for when they couldn’t work anymore. Interestingly, though, the enrollment age was set at 65. The average life expectancy then for men was 61, for women, 63. For most people, there was no real idea of retiring and just being old. They worked until they died. We as a culture don’t have any real idea what to do with age. That’s too bad, because the Scriptures envision something entirely more noble for it.

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It Matters

Something special for you for Mother’s Day this morning. I had a great time celebrating the moms in my life yesterday and I hope you did too. What follows is a reminder of just how important the work they do really is. Thanks for reading.

It Matters

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for this season to be over. Like, really ready. I know things won’t be the same on the other side of this, but I’m ready for them to not be like this. A great man passed away this past week and I was honored with the chance to celebrate his life yesterday. That makes two funerals for two great men two weeks in a row. In normal times that’s just part of being a pastor. Pardon my crassness, but socially-distanced funerals suck. That’s not how things are supposed to be. Going to the grocery store with a mask on is frustrating. Seeing people in the store and not being able to shake hands or have a close conversation is awkward still even after seven weeks of this. Doing school packets with kids at home and trying to work around that is a drag. It’s hard to be productive even on days when they all play really well together after the schooling is over. It’s all wearying as a starting point.

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The Secret to Mattering Most

This past Sunday morning we kicked off a brand-new teaching series called Being Useful. That’s something we all want, isn’t it? We want to be able to confidently say that we have made a difference in the world. Our heart pulses with that beat. Over the next few weeks, we are going to be examining the character that will guarantee we reach our goal in the areas that matter most. I look forward to going on this journey with you. Thanks for reading.

The Secret to Mattering Most

Let’s start this morning with a quick pop culture survey for you.  Shout it out if you know the answer.  What do Dude Perfect, PewDiePie, HolaSoyGerman, and elrubiusOMG all have in common?  They are all YouTube stars.  PewDiePie leads the pack with 96 million subscribers to his YouTube channel.  The other three all sit north of 35 million, with Dude Perfect leading the second-tier pack at over 42 million.  A lot of subscribers translates into a lot of money because of the way YouTube shares ad revenue with its viral video producers.  In 2018, Forbes Magazine reported that the highest grossing YouTube channel was not actually one of the top 10 by subscriber totals, but rather Ryan ToysReview.  This seven-year-old whose channel started when he was four and features him playing with toys…really, that’s it…made him (and his proud parents) $22 million.  The Dude Perfect channel—which is produced by some friends from Texas A&M whose stated goal is to glorify Christ in all they do—made $20 million.  That kind of income allows them to keep making videos like this one as their full-time job. 

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