God’s Value System

God’s Value System

God’s Value System January 12, 2020 Luke 7:36-8:3 I have in my hand two bills of different values.  Same weight, same material, same production costs, but different amounts.  So why is one bill more valuable than the other? We have determined that one of these bills will trade for more goods and services than the other. One of these bills is worth more because the treasury department says it’s worth more. It has been assigned a higher value than the other. Just as we assign value to money, we also assign value to people’s time. Our society has determined that an hour of a doctor’s time is worth more than an hour of a cashier’s time, unless you happened to be standing in the line of a cashier. An hour of a teacher’s time, unfortunately, is worth much less than it should be, which is the reason it’s becoming more challenging to attract people to the teaching profession. An hour of my veterinarian’s time is worth more if my dog is dying than if my dog just needs a yearly vaccination. We’ve determined what people’s time is worth based on which skills we value most, and which skills we need the most at any given time. We value people’s time on how much we have to pay for it or how much intangible benefit it brings. Can you place a value on the time of a friend, a parent, a child, or a grandparent? When we only value people for their profession, power, or money, we’ve left out some of the most important values like love, wisdom, friendship, companionship,...
Are You Just Spinning Plates?

Are You Just Spinning Plates?

January 5, 2020 When I did clowning, I had a plate spinning routine where I’d spin a plate on a stick. I’ve not done the routine in many years, but I used to perform the comedy sketch at R.B. Wright Elementary School when my children were young. Tizzy would spin one plate on a stick and place in on a stand. Then, he would spin another plate and put it on the stand. By then, the first plate started to wobble, and the children would scream and tell him it was falling. Tizzy would run back and spin that plate some more. By then, the second first plate started to wobble. Once he had those two plates spinning fast, he started spinning the third plate, and so on until five or six plates were spinning. Of course, each time a plate began to wobble, the children started to yell and scream. Each time, Tizzy would run and catch the plate before it fell and give it an extra spin. After all the plates were spinning, Tizzy would take his bow. But filled with arrogance and pride at his great accomplishment, one by one, his plates started falling off of their sticks to the great pleasure and amusement of the children. Does this sound like your day, your week, your life? Maybe you are a great multitasker. Or perhaps, you would admit that your life is sometimes in a tizzy because you are overextended with commitments, projects, or financial obligations. Didn’t life use to be simpler? I realize that whatever age you are, life at times seems complicated. We always...
Shine a Light on Your Noise

Shine a Light on Your Noise

December 29, 2019 John 17:25-33 How many of you are going to stay up and usher in the New Year Tuesday night? It seems like the older I get, the more of these I sleep through. New Year’s Eve is a young person’s thing, I suppose. When you are young, you haven’t experienced many New Year’s Eve celebrations, so you want to stay up and see what all the fuss is about.  After you get older, wisdom sets in, and you remember someone wise once told you that not a lot of good happens past midnight so you stay home and watch all the young people celebrate on television. You promise yourself you’ll stay up and watch the ball drop in Times Square, and about 12:30, you wake up and discover you missed it all, so you drag yourself to bed while all the young people or young at heart continue to party and make a lot of noise. Why noise? Why not enter the New Year with some peace and quiet, with nothing but the sound of a clock ticking away on the mantle? Though few are aware of the custom, making noise as the New Year comes in was once thought to be an effective way of pushing away the evil spirits so they would not enter the New Year with you. I guess if we thought that worked, regardless of our age, we’d all be making a lot of racket as the New Year came in. Eventually, though, all of us want some quiet. Even the rowdiest, party animals eventually have to sleep, and most people...
Are You Troubled?

Are You Troubled?

Luke 1:26-38 A couple of weeks ago, when I was purchasing some food, I heard some Christmas music playing in the background. I said to the cashier, who looked to be in her thirties, “I hear you’ve got your Christmas music playing. I guess you are already getting into the Christmas spirit.”  Her reply surprised me. “If it were up to me, there would not be anything playing but Scrooge music. I’m not in the mood for anything Christmas.” I guess she could see I was a bit surprised by her answer.   She said, “I was in a relationship for ten years, and it just ended.”   She went on to tell me that she was depressed. She said she cried every day.  In addition, she came in to work one day and dumped her anger on her boss and had gotten written up.  Since there was no one else in line, I continued to listen. I asked if she had anyone to talk with about her grief. I figured since she was talking to me, a stranger, she must not have anyone to tell her troubles to.  She said she had been thinking about going to her church to find someone to talk with. I encouraged her to do that. I told her if she found a good listener, that person could help her process her grief.   I asked her if I could pray for her, and she “yes.”  So right there in the store, we bowed our heads, and I prayed. I acknowledged that God was with her, that even though others would leave her, God never would....
Does God Wear a Watch?

Does God Wear a Watch?

Does God Wear a Watch? 2 Peter 3:8- 15 December 1, 2019 What does it mean when the preacher takes off his watch and lays it on top of the pulpit before his sermon? Usually nothing.  Time is relative. We never seem more aware of it than when we are in church. I’m aware of it because I know you are aware of it. If I can’t say it before noon, I know you aren’t likely to hear it.  Time is relative. How often do you look at your watch when you attend a ball game? Not one time. You watch the game clock but never your watch. You are there for the experience, and time is of no essence. The truth is, if the message is good, if the worship experience is a good one, the preacher will get to the end of the message you’ll realize you were so engaged that you lost track of time. Or, as some of you say, “Preacher, the message was so good today, I didn’t go to sleep.” So, it is a good thing or a bad thing to lose track of time?  Teenagers are out together on a date. They are caught up in an evening of fun, and the enjoyment of one another’s company. They are not into anything sinful; they are simply having fun, and enjoying each other’s company.  But they lose track of time and one of them says, “Oh, no, look at the time; it’s 12:30 A.M! I’m already 30 minutes past curfew.  My parents will ground me for a month.”  They lost track of time. That’s...