Posted by: Bob Clark | May 16, 2017

Matters of the Heart

Each year in January the financial stewardship team at church sends out a letter to provide a record of our financial contributions, ostensibly for IRS purposes. But the truth is, the meaning of that letter can go much deeper. It gives all of us an opportunity to consider our stewardship, specifically in how we have worshipped God with our offerings and how we can grow in the year to come. After all, we are encouraged to “grow in the grace of giving.”

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Posted by: Bob Clark | May 11, 2017

Thirsty

“Thirsty” is used in pop-culture to describe someone who craves attention. The church needs to learn this word and understand the concept. Numerous articles I’ve read recently warn against appointing someone who wants to be the center of attention to a church leadership role. Why? Because it’s a sign of immaturity. Mature Jesus-followers do not demand attention. They do not thrive on being liked. They are not “thirsty.”

Posted by: Bob Clark | May 9, 2017

What’s Your Plan?

Peter writes “Make every effort to add to…” (2 Peter 1:5-7). Eugene Peterson renders it, “Don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given….” These words — effort and building — remind me I cannot be satisfied with just drifting through life. Instead, I need to pay attention to what I am doing so I am continually growing. Faith. Goodness. Knowledge. Self-control. Perseverance. Godliness. Mutual affection. Love. What’s your plan?

Posted by: Bob Clark | May 4, 2017

All of Them

Some people are bitter. Some people are hurting. Some people are stressed. Some people are hardened. Some people are lonely. Some people are overwhelmed. Some people are directionless. Some people are entangled in sin. Some people are desperate. Some people are confused. Some people are fed up. Some people are running on empty. And all of these people need love. May the church be a people who loves them. All of them.

Posted by: Bob Clark | May 2, 2017

Words

In the wake of the terrorist attack in his city, Paris Mayor Hidalgo said, “Parisian society is wounded but it can overcome hardships. I ask everyone to abstain from divisive speech and anger.” I not only appreciate the mayor’s sense of optimism, but also I appreciate his reminder about the power of words. James reminds us that the tongue is a fire (James 3:6). Our own experience validates that claim. May God help us control our tongues!

Posted by: Bob Clark | March 16, 2017

3 Lies

In his writings, Henri Nouwen warns against these three lies we believe: I am what I do. I am what I have. I am what others think and say. Nouwen says the way to overcome these three lies is to remember this truth: I am God’s beloved. It is my hope and prayer that at Christmas we will be reminded yet again that we are God’s beloved. The message of that baby, the Word become flesh, is unmistakable. God loves me. God loves the world.

Posted by: Bob Clark | March 14, 2017

Before Posting

I spent some time reading James and the following passage has me considering the tone of my social media posts. Before I post, I am evaluating what I am about to post in light of these words: “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be” (James 3:9-10).

Posted by: Bob Clark | March 9, 2017

Beautiful

Donald Miller writes, “I’m convinced most people have no idea how beautiful their stories are.” I have a front row seat at my church from which to watch God transform lives. God has written some beautiful stories in the lives of people here. God has rewritten some life stories, taking a sad song and making it better. God continues writing some beautiful stories. Slow down long enough to realize how beautiful your life story really is.

Posted by: Bob Clark | March 7, 2017

Stirring

When people gather in groups, they often stir up emotions. Unfortunately, they often stir up fear and hatred. But church is different, right? Church gatherings are a great place to stir up peace and love, faith and hope, security and serenity, courage and resolve. In fact, the writer of Hebrews writes of the need to think about how to spur one another to “love and good deeds.” Are you thinking about it? How are you going to encourage today?

Posted by: Bob Clark | March 1, 2017

Comparison Fatigue

Ever suffered from comparison fatigue? Comparison fatigue sets in when you are constantly comparing yourself to others. We see the possessions other people have. We see the experiences other people have. We see the character other people possess. We see all that, look at ourselves, and conclude we don’t measure up. Contentment breaks out when we stop looking at life as competition and everybody else as competitors.

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