Over the past few weeks, we’ve been diving into the topic of relationships, looking at what makes them work, and often what causes hardships and heart breaks. We’ve been asking you to submit your questions so that we can try to answer as many as we can in the closing session of our series. So join us for a time of conversation that we hope will be informative, enlightening and maybe even entertaining.
Ask people what they value most in the world and many will put their health near the top of the list. New Year’s resolutions usually include renewed commitments to eat better, exercise more or stop any number of bad habits. At the same time, all we have to do is take a quick look around us, in our families, the workplace and our communities, and we might see any number of people who are struggling with things like anxiety, depression and addictions that affect their quality of life. How do we approach the topic of our mind and body? That’s what we will look at as we conclude our series on Stewardship.
It could be the woman at the daycare centre who helps your child feel comfortable in a new environment. Or a teacher who takes time after class to help you through a difficult chapter of a lesson. Or it’s the friend who offers to babysit your cat while you’re away the weekend on an unexpected business trip. What about the caring relative who brings you chicken soup because she hears you are feeling under the weather? These are people who, in their own way, save the day and make your life better. They give you help in a time of need when you’re at your wits end. You can’t thank them enough and aren’t sure how you can ever pay them back for their kindness. In the book of Ruth, a man by the name of Boaz becomes a rescuer – someone who defends, protects and helps our heroine who could not rescue herself. We’ll look at the eternal significance of having a rescuer who gives his all to make your life better. Join us for part 3 of our 4-part Christmas series.
At one time or another, we’ve all asked a friend or family member for advice. We may have been expecting help in resolving a problem or making a difficult choice. If the conversation was a good one, we walked away feeling confident that the advice was sound and we would be doing the right thing. But what if the advice was completely out of left field – the opposite of anything we would have expected to hear? When Jesus spoke, you almost had to expect the unexpected. “Blessed are the meek.” “Blessed are they who hunger.” Without hearing him out, his declarations just did not make sense. Join us as we look deeper into The Beatitudes – declarations by Jesus that seem so counter-intuitive, yet they describe the world as we long it to be.
At the start of a New Year, many of us make New Year’s resolutions, or decide not to make them! They usually have something to do with self-improvement. Eat better. Floss. Stop smoking. Start exercising. There is no shortage of advice on the topic, especially on how to make them stick. It seems that most resolutions fail within the first 30 days.
When you think about it, resolutions require more than simply making a decision. They involve many related changes. To eat better, you would need to inform yourself of healthier options, start to shop differently, and cook differently. But your willpower may start to melt at a moment of weakness when you smell the delicious aroma of freshly baked cookies. At the core is the desire to make the new year different or better than the one before. And why not!
We will take the first six weeks of the new year to approach the notion of living a fulfilled and fulfilling life from perspectives that will not only build you up, but those around you. And most importantly, have the potential to stick with you for the rest of your life!
Have you ever wanted to change something about your life but somehow were unable to do it? Maybe you wanted to eat better or start exercising, spend less time at work, or study more, or give your spouse or children more quality time. All your good intentions, and even will power, did not seem to produce lasting results. There is a truth that applies to all areas of our life – we give priority and make sacrifices for the things or ideals that we value the most. There may even be values that we hold onto that we are not aware of, yet they influence our decisions every day. Jesus told a story to illustrate how what we value ends up determining our ultimate direction in life. That’s what we’ll talk about this Sunday.