Weekend Wisdom / Living with Open Hands

FI Index Weekend Wisdom

The first thing generosity brings to mind is giving — giving of time, or money. Talking about giving in church is notoriously awkward.  The conversation is usually laced with oughts and shoulds, and focuses on obligation and obedience. But that’s a stunning misunderstanding of the point.  Our attitude toward giving is a direct window into our faith and our fear.  And if we want to grow in our trust for God, we can start by practicing giving.

This is the 2nd presentation in the series, “A Generous Life.”

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Hey busy person, how do you remember God?

FI Something To Help You Remember
I'm so distractable. Learning how to remember is a big part of my spiritual growth.  Photo Credit: Flood G

I’m so distractable. Learning how to remember is a big part of my spiritual growth. Photo Credit: Flood G

Did you ever tie a string around your finger to remember something? Not sure why, but that was a common solution in books I read as a child. I tried it once. All I got was a purple finger.

Since childhood I’ve been distractable. Maybe it’s undiagnosed ADD, or just the fruit of a very busy mind and a performance-orientation. I’m not sure. Urgent things grab my mind.

No matter how important my other goals are, the urgent things always seem to win.

This has proven to be a hurdle in my spiritual life. It’s important to me to connect with God throughout the day. My level of peace and happiness is always better when I do. Yet the urgent things around me never fail to keep my mind pre-occupied.

Of course this means another day slips into the past, and I spent it with my heart and mind fully occupied with the urgent. This is not who I want to be. It’s not who you want to be either.

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Is Spiritual Growth in the Middle of Busyness Possible?

FI Too Busy to Grow

Busyness is the enemy of spiritual growth. Busyness is a trap, mindset, a wall of self-defence, an addiction. Busyness is about lack of focus and confused priorities. At least that’s what they say. Surely there’s something true about all of that.

But what about those times when life is just full, full of commitments and obligations and unexpected requirements that you can’t do anything about? What then?

Is it just impossible for a single mom with three kids to be spiritual? Is it an unreasonable expectation for a guy trying to take care of his family, support a hurting friend, and run a business to have a real and on-going relatonship with God? Is the only answer to go on a retreat?

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Weekend Wisdom / Living Like There’s More

FI Index Weekend Wisdom

Every decision you make passes through the same filter.  How you relate to money and time, how you treat the people around you, even your family.  The way you deal with people you disagree with.  Your response in these situations is filtered through your core sense of generosity.  Your level of generosity comes from a perspective you hold.  Either you live like there’s not enough and God’s essentially not trust-worthy, or you live like there’s enough.  This shapes everything you do.

This is the 1st presentation in a series of 5 called “A Generous Life.”

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An Apprenticeship with Jesus: Something More than a Relationship with God

FI Learning From

I grew up in the church, and did all the church things you do when church is your natural habitat. Church school through 8th grade. Attended and later worked at Christian summer camps. Countless VBS’s, sermons, prayer meetings, and discipleship classes.

I don’t share that to brag. I learned lots of ideas about God and scriptures about God, and all the assumptions our community took as facts about God. I learned what behaviors were affirmed in our community and what behaviors were looked down on. I learned that I could get a great deal of affirmation by doing certain things the right way, but I never really gained any sense of an ongoing, vital relationship with God.

I heard that phrase repeatedly. “Relationship with God.” We talked about having one. We talked about how we could do damage to our relationship with God. We were asked the big question, by pastors and leaders: “So, how is your relationship with God going these days?”

But I knew, my friends knew. That question was code.

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