In retrospect, I wish I would’ve spent more time studying God’s Word.
In retrospect, I wish I would’ve prayed more and worried less.
In retrospect, I wish I would’ve been a good friend rather than trying to find one.
In retrospect, I wish I would’ve eaten more veggies and less burgers.
In retrospect, I wish I would’ve resisted hitting the snooze button so often.
In retrospect, I wish I would’ve listened more and talked less.
In retrospect, I wish I gave more grace and less judgement.
In retrospect, I wish I looked after other’s interests more than my own.
In retrospect, I wish I would’ve taken more risks than always playing it safe.
In retrospect. What is you’re list? What is your “in retrospect”?
The book of Ecclesiastes is Solomon’s “in retrospect.” It’s a man at the end of his life writing his
book in retrospect. In it, there is both regret and hope. Realism and faith.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
Live your life knowing that at some point you will look back on it in retrospect.
2000 years ago, Jesus took a long walk up a mountain and prayed intensely all night long. What was the purpose of this all night prayer event? The next day He would begin calling His men. If you’ve been around church for long at all you know these men as the twelve, the apostles, and as the disciples. Most people who have no connection to church at all still have some knowledge of this motley crew of common men that changed the world. Their fame exploded from the fishing villages they came from to the globe they now affect. Their story is nothing short of amazing.
This weekend we are kicking off our Summer 2013 sermon series at COTES called The Dirty Dozen. We will spend the summer exploring the story, lives, and transformation of the disciples. If you don’t think they we’re dirty, then you just don’t know the whole story. These were real men with real issues. They wrestled with fear, pride, confusion, and doubt. They had moments of great victory and then moments of equal failure. They often made Jesus smile and often broke His heart.
Jesus didn’t choose religious leaders and society brokers to be on His team. He chose normal guys. The disciples were ordinary men in the hands of an extraordinary God. They were common men with an uncommon calling. This summer we will explore how Jesus transformed these men in a short 3 year time of training, development, and community. My hope is that you will see yourself in these men. Whether you’re a single mom who is new to the faith or a father of 5 in the pinnacle of your career, you will relate to the apostles. Their story will give you hope and inspiration for your story. Their struggles will remind you of your humanity. Their stunning victories will remind you of God’s power. And their relationship with Jesus will show you that you really can know and serve the One True God.
So, I invite you to join us this Summer. This is a series that you can pop into at anytime and not miss a beat. Each week will stand on it’s own. I do encourage you to watch online on weeks you can’t attend a campus. You don’t want to miss a week of this great series.
Also, please invite your friends. We have invite cards at our Fairhope campus kiosks, posters available in our office to hang up around town, and Facebook events (click here) that you can use online to invite friends and family. People far from God can see Jesus in an intimate and powerful way through the lens of the lives of the disciples. I pray that this will be a life changing summer at our church. I hope we all see that great things can happen when ordinary people are in the hands of an extraordinary God!!
I live on the beautiful Gulf Coast where fresh seafood is in abundance. The water is blue, the sand is white, and the fish are wild! This means there is ample supplies for one of my favorite culinary delights, sushi, and I often partake.
My wife will not eat it today, but there was a time early in our marriage when she actually gave it a try. Although I give her credit for giving it a shot, I must point out that she really did it all wrong. My beautiful southern belle bride would take a knife in one hand and a fork in the other and proceed to gruesomely destroy the sushi piece by cutting it in half! Now, any sushi aficionado knows this crucial fact: sushi is made to be eaten one piece at a time.
Our lives are a lot like Sushi. God created us for a specific rhythm. We were made to live a sushi life, one day at a time. Now before you blow me off as simply stating the obvious, let me assure you of my deep conviction that most of us are actually living life completely off beat. You see, this life rhythm isn’t just a physical reality. It must become a mental and spiritual reality as well. The battle for God’s rhythm in our lives is waged primarily internally.
We all have two things pulling against our God given rhythm; the past and the future. Like two bullies on the playground of our lives, they do a terrific job of snatching us back and forth causing the dance of our lives to become a mangled mess of missteps. Some get stuck in the past with guilt and regret or nostalgia and revisionism. Others get caught up in the future with worry and anxiety or control and presumption. Both sides to this viscous coin become extremely destructive to the life giving rhythm God made us to enjoy. Whether it the past or the future, both of which we can’t fully change and control, if we get consumed by either we end up robbing ourselves of the amazing gift of TODAY! Each sushi bite of a day is a gift God has given you and I to enjoy, maximize, and fully live.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting a series of blogs on this crucial subject. Join me in exploring what it means to live in the day by day rhythm that our Father created for us. Our lives can be so much more deep and full, but that cannot happen apart from God’s plan. I want to dance the dance of life, step by step and day by day. I want the same for you.
“Today is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24