“Time – Where Did It Go?”

LIFE N TIME

James 4:14b, “. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”

         Each day, week and year I am finding that time moves faster and faster. I was reflecting back on my life a little bit yesterday, and just could not believe where time had gone. In my reflections I thought; I have been married 16 years now, we have three children, been at our current church for 7 years total, my parents are retired, I have no hair, and kids look at me as old. Wow! Where has time gone?

In my mind, I think I can still do all the stuff I used to do. I can ride a bike, skateboard down the street, play football with friends and so on. Whether or not I can actually still do all of those things or not I don’t know, but I THINK I can. Then there’s the other question. How can my kids think I’m old? I’m only 39 years old. Did I think my parents were old at 39? If so, why couldn’t I see I was wrong, and why can’t my kids see the truth. I’m not old either.

However, though I refuse to act older and feel old, I am getting older each and every day. Time is moving at the speed of light!

James was addressing the issue of time with the listeners around him. He was telling them don’t boast about tomorrow, because we are not guaranteed a tomorrow. In fact, if we read just another verse or two in James chapter 4 he says that we should have the mindset to say, “If the Lord wills, we will do this or that” but ONLY “if the Lord wills”. In other words, we do know how much time we have on this earth so time is important.

As we get ready this week for our sermon series on Home Improvement, this issue of time really made me think about a few quick things.

    First, realize what you have TODAY. Last night, Rachel, me and our children sat around the coffee table and played the game of life. We are trying to work harder on making sure we spend as much time with our kids as possible because TIME IS FLYING BY. So, we must realize that we have our children with us still and I want to live life to the fullest with them while they are still in our house.

      Second, understand that tomorrow is not guaranteed. The Lord could come back tomorrow, or ( I’m sorry to sound so brutal ) your heart could stop beating tonight. If the Lord wills, we will be here tomorrow and have another day, but you and I must realize it is not guaranteed. So, realizing that tomorrow is no guarantee for us, we must use today wisely. Make sure your relationship is right with Christ. Make sure you have done everything you can do to make mends with people whom you need to make mends with. There are all sorts of things that come to mind. Examine yourself, and take care of business.

        And third, don’t forget to have real clean fun. Life is GOOD when you have Jesus in your heart. Sure, it’s not always easy. In fact, sometimes it does get messy. Even, in the hardest times, if a person has Jesus, life is GOOD. Christians can have the most fun on earth. Our God is not a cosmic-killjoy, but a loving, majestic, awesome God who loves His children and is always rooting for their victory through Christ. Don’t get bogged down in the pressures of this life and forget to have fun. Enjoy life, because the Son has set you free to live a wholesome, authentic, clean and joyful life in Jesus, and that is FUN!

In thinking about how time flies so quickly, you can see in the above picture our family took a little time out from life, to play the game of Life. It’s not about the game so much, but more about enjoying the blessings our Father in Heaven gave to us – our children.  Enjoy life, because it’s here today, and gone tomorrow.

Sincerely,

Bro. Bryan

Advertisements

“Melt My Cheese!”

Melt my cheese

Philippians 4:11, “11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:”

             You may be wondering right now what in the world does melted cheese have to do with Philippians 4:11. That’s a great question! For those closest in my life who are reading this blog post there will be no question. Those who have known me for a long time know that I am very particular about my cheese. IT HAS TO BE MELTED or Bryan is not eating it. I have grown to make a few exceptions as I have gotten older. Sometimes I will have a tiny bit of FINELY shredded cheese on a salad. If a cheese ball is done just right, there’s the slight possibility that I might spread a TINY bit on a cracker, but it would have to be covered with pepper-jelly or some other topping too. The only other way I will eat unmelted cheese is Easy Cheese out of the spray can. Some close to me argue that Easy cheese is not real cheese, but I will argue that because you can actually get it in cheddar or American. The can says, “Cheese” in really big letters. I have to believe it’s cheese. ( hahaha )

             Nonetheless, there have been times I have ordered a burger at a restaurant. The burger comes out to me. The meat is sizzling hot. The bun is sweating, and yet it appears they just laid a cold piece of cheese on it. I think to myself, “What in the world have they done to my burger? I did not order a cold-cut sandwich from the deli shop.” In my mind, it’s almost as if they have committed some kind of food crime that should be punished. It’s poor etiquette for a cooked piece of meat.

             You see, there was a time when this troubled me so that I would immediately have a talk with the food-server and send the burger back requesting that when my burger came out, the cheese should be melted appropriately for a cooked burger. This seemed really picky to a lot of people. In fact, I have gotten some pretty weird looks over the years. You may be thinking now, “Bryan, you’re a weirdo and there’s something wrong with you.”.

             What I have been sharing with you is a very small picky representation of what many of us battle with every day. I no longer send my burger back if the cheese is not melted to my liking. I do not have that discussion with the server any more. What I have realized through my weirdness for melted cheese is that most of us struggle every day with wanting things just the way we want it. If the circumstances are not just right, if the scenario does not line up with the way we think things should go, many times we have attitudes that are not reflective of Christ living within us.

             Has your scheduled been abruptly changed during your day? Did you get a phone call that you were not expecting with news you didn’t want to hear? Have you had to cancel and engagement you had been looking forward to for quite some time? Is there a time when you had to spend money unexpectedly, but it could not be avoided? These are just a few of the interruptions we experience in life. The unmelted cheese was a small interruption that needed to be put into perspective for me.

             Paul is explaining in verse 11 that he has experienced all sorts of challenges and scenarios in his life and ministry. He had times where he had what he needed, and even more than he needed. There were other times when he didn’t have enough resources and food to get by to the next day. Paul had been on both the mountain tops and in the valleys of ministry and life. Here, in verse 11 he shares that either way he has learned to be content in whatever state God allowed him to be in at that time. He shared that he would be content and thankful to the Lord when he had more than he needed and everything was going just right. He shared that he would praise God when he didn’t have enough to get by and was even experiencing hunger. Paul had learned to be content!

             The melting of cheese seems almost comical, and even petty to mention, but how many times do we get upset when things don’t go our way in life? How many times are you frustrated after being disappointed over something whether big or small?

             Like Paul, we must learn to be content no matter what our state in life is. If I have plenty I must be content. If I have nothing I must be content. Yes, even if my cheese is not melted I must be content. Everything pails in comparison to the great love we can experience through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Let this truth about contentment remain in you, even when you pull through a drive-through and order your next cheeseburger.

Sincerely,

Bro. Bryan