Practice Makes Permanent

Many years ago I had a PE teacher tell me what I’m sure you had a teacher tell you, “practice makes perfect.” That simple statement applies to a variety of skills in our life: academics, athletics, musical performance, as well as the simple tasks of making our bed, or cleaning the house. There is only one problem, that statement is dead wrong.
Practice does not make something perfect, practice makes something permanent. Whatever you were doing, right or wrong, you are going to get better at it, and it will become part of the ingrained habits of your life. It will be a near automated response, healthy or unhealthy – whatever it is that you do daily. So what is it that you are now practicing that is becoming – or already feels – permanent in your life?
What financial habits feel permanent in your life?
What daily rhythms of prayer or lack thereof feel set in your life?
What conversational habits that either encourage or denigrate other people are becoming constants in your daily conversation?
How has being stubborn with your grudges – or giving people grace – become a permanent habit of your soul?
Make no mistake, spiritually, practice makes permanent. What you are doing right now is what you will likely continue to do – without a God-guided intervention in your life. And the less you are asking God to help you change… and then following through on His leadings… you will simply become better and more ingrained at the unhealthy and sinful habits that we all so readily adopt as adults in the world.
It isn’t impossible to change course. Far from it. One simple habit that I would encourage you to make a priority this weekly worship. Many of us will say how busy we are, and how overextended our calendars have become. But that itself is a bad habit that has become a way of life. Busy-ness is not a badge of honor, but consistently seeking God in worship, and placing your soul before God with others IS.



Opportunities

My mother-in-law is an avid gardener. She was talking this week about the “January thaw”. She contends that each January there is a break in the weather, the snow melts, and we are given a reprieve from the brutality of winter life in the upper Midwest. And it’s here! We are looking forward to the experience this weekend! Temperatures are forecast to be in the high 40’s all weekend. Enjoy the “January thaw!”
Here is the question: what will you do with this window of opportunity? Saturday and Sunday will feel like a heat wave compared to the last few weeks. Will you simply load up on sports and Netflix, or will you make the most of the opportunity?
I’ve come to believe that what we do with windows of opportunity are what forms our character. An unexpected opportunity will enter each of our lives at some point. It could be an open door to an important conversation. A person could pop into our lives for an unknown reason that simply needs a listening ear. We could be asked to pray for something, knowing we’ve never really prayed with passion for God to move. It could mean a sudden influx of unexpected income (have you seen gas prices? We all got a raise.)
What is undeniable is that windows will open for each of us, not at the same time or the same way, but unplanned opportunities to follow Christ WILL present themselves. It will require your openness and follow through. These two things are faith traits that we do not just ‘oops’ our way into. Preparing for God’s opportunities IS the expectancy of our Christian character.



Serving In the Church

Are you getting the most you can out of coming to Church?
The Church is unlike any other entity on earth. Organizations like McDonalds and Walmart were founded to make money, to employ people to meet the needs of their customers. Their end goal is profit.
But the Church is wholly different. The Church was founded by Jesus to serve and worship God on earth – whose goal is saving His children. It is already eternal, and those who work for the church are not employees but children – children who love and serve their Father in heaven.
Everyone who believes in Jesus is a child of God – a child whose life purpose is to serve God. I am a child of God who serves. You are a child of God who serves. Regardless of education or experience, we are children of God who serve.
As brothers and sisters, we serve one another during our time together by encouraging one another to love God better, give God better, and serve God better in all that we have and all that we do. And we serve the world that God hopes for – by inviting others to join us and be born again as children of God – regardless of someone’s history or their background – because God has not authorized us to judge one another, in fact He forbids it.
So every week we show up Sundays, and as brothers and sisters, we work side by side. We unload, we plug in cords, we set up signs, we brew coffee and set out chairs – hoping they will be filled by people seeking Jesus. We offer encouragement and try to align our thoughts and hearts with God’s Word and God’s works. We sit together and pray and worship with song. We color with children and teach the Bible. We encourage one another, and we ask for help from our brothers and sisters to share more of Jesus.
Our hope is that you won’t leave the building on Sunday without having been a part of this wonderful work. It may be hard to believe, but without being a part of serving one another, you are missing out on the very essence of being children of God alongside one another as the Church.
And good news! There are lots of helping needs every week – you can sign up and get reminders through the link below! 🙂
Sign Up on VolunteerSpot to Serve at Big Life C.C.
Here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:
1) Click this link to see our Sign-Up on VolunteerSpot: http://vols.pt/PEk9jZ
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you can serve.
3) Sign up! It’s Easy – you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on VolunteerSpot.
Note: VolunteerSpot does not share your email address with anyone.