From the monthly archives: September 2015

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'September 2015'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

All This Healing You're Trying to Do: Justin Bieber on Jesus and the Christian Life


 


Apparently, we can’t get enough of Justin Bieber around here. Last week, we pondered our cultural proclivities of wanting to be the Biebs instead of, say, his lawn mower. Now, it’s his interview in Complex, which hit (and won) the Internet yesterday (the piece is the cover story for the magazine’s October/November issue).

It’s quite the interview. To say he “opens up” about faith and other deep topics would be an understatement. But open up he does, and the confessions of this artist are striking for a number of reasons. Here’s Bieber on finding joy in his creative work:

 

. . . you go through a point where—I don’t know if he’s gotten this or not—but for me I went through a point of doing it for myself and doing everything in the industry for myself and I was unhappy because being able to do stuff for others is the biggest gift of all. I was robbing myself by not enjoying the moments where I should’ve been enjoying them and doing stuff for other people.


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Serve 6.8 Needs Help in Their Food Pantry


 


Our good friends at the Serve 6.8 Resource Center need some volunteer help in their food pantry. The volunteer hours for the food pantry are Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. They’re asking volunteers to consider signing up for one four-hour shift per week.

If this is something that you — or you and your family, small group or neighbors — would like to consider doing, contact the Resource Center’s Food and Clothing Coordinator, Joan Kraus, at joank@vineyardotr.org or (970) 449-5402. It’s a great, practical way to seek the welfare of our city (Jeremiah 29:7).

The Serve 6.8 Resource Center opened earlier this year — thanks, in part, to your generosity. At the Resource Center, our Fort Collins neighbors facing financial difficulty and possible homelessness can find food, clothing and financial counseling/resources. The Resource Center operates because of the collaborative effort of several churches across the city, including Summitview. Real good is being done and real hope is being offered to people in need.


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Look Up and Consider the Greatest Challenge Facing the Church and Your Faith


 


Look up. No, not in that way. Literally, just look up. The sky is still there (there's even going to be a "supermoon" this Sunday!); the firmament is still firmly in place.

It's necessary to do that from time to time. In all of the changes and uncertainty in a post-Christian culture, we have to remind ourselves that God is still, you know, God and that the world has not come to an end (but there is a "blood moon" this Sunday, as well). And in all of our talk about hitting curveballs, living as exiles and dealing with sobering realities, it's good to gaze into that beautiful blue expanse and simply exhale.

You might be thinking, "Yeah, right. I wish I had the time to stare into space." Hold that thought.

While the challenges I listed about living in a post-Christian culture are indeed real and require serious care, we must be willing to ask ourselves if those things are the biggest challenges facing the American church and your personal relationship with Jesus today.

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Almost Famous: Why Your Boring Life Is Awesome


 


Justin Bieber or Joe Schmoe? Kim Kardashian or Jane Doe? Which life would you choose — gossip-column fame or anonymity? According to Psychology Today, 31 percent of Millennials and those in Generation Z believe they will be the famous ones, not the unknowns. In other words, one-third of teenagers will be famous or one-third of teenagers will be very disappointed.

With the advent of American Idol, YouTube and viral everything, becoming a celebrity today is like winning the lottery. Just keep buying tickets and maybe you’ll win. Just keep making funny cat videos or auditioning for a reality TV show and maybe you’ll end up there. Then you’ll be somebody. The worst thing in the world would be to live a boring life with no great claim to fame.

This leads us into crazy pursuits in order to justify our existence. Instead of being content as Justin Bieber’s lawyer, doctor or tailor, we aim for being the Biebs himself. When we think “celebrity,” we think about someone in sports, music, fashion or media. According to 99U:

 

One study of Canadian college students found that 84 percent of them had passions, and 90 percent of these passions involved sports, music, and art. But only 3 percent of jobs are in the sports, music, and art industries. The result is massive competition for a few highly-prized jobs.

 

Essentially, there are millions of people looking for gold at the end of distant rainbows. Aside from being pragmatically difficult, here are some divine reasons for you to love your anonymous life more than the lifestyle portrayed in the grocery store magazine rack.

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Till We Find Our Rest in You: On Resting while Working


 


“I don’t need another thing added to my schedule!”

This is what my wife, Brenda, declared to me in our living room as we discussed ways to lighten our stress after the birth of our second child.

More children; more responsibilities; more work. Life never asks less of us. Our jobs never ask less. Our family never asks less. Our church never asks less. Whether we’re mothers, fathers or working singles, how can we find rest in the growing complexities of life?

We can practice the habit of turning work into rest.

Traditionally, we understand work and rest to be mutually exclusive. We are either working or resting but we don’t think of ourselves as resting while working. Why not? What is it about work that makes it tiring? And what is it about rest that makes it refreshing? Solomon tells us that everything is draining, but that we don’t see it. Everything is wearisome, but we’re not able to tell (Ecclesiastes 1:8). And when everything is wearisome, nothing is. Nothing has to be wearisome. Work doesn’t have to be work. Work can be restful.

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