Sunday reflections...from Matt

This morning, Debbie Frick, from Food for the Hungry, helped paint a picture of the relief efforts in Haiti. I am currently watching 60 Minutes - and my heart is aching for the people of Haiti. What they are experiencing is unfathomable. I can't believe the piles of dead bodies and the scores of people in need of basic and major medical aid. These are people lying on the side of the road left for dead. As followers of Jesus, as people of God's love, we must do everything we can to provide what they most need. If you'd like to help, visit one of the great organizations that is providing relief: Food for the Hungry, the Red Cross, World Vision, etc.

Today was probably one of the hardest messages I've ever preached. I think it was difficult on a number of levels. Money feels like such a personal thing - and it is a challenge to talk about something that feels so personal. I also know that we have a great flow of visitors and guests - and a message on money can feel like a plea to give more and more to the local church. That wasn't my intention - but I am aware that it can often be heard in that light.

I made a statement that I know can be misunderstood...and I wrestled with saying it. I said something to the effect of 'If you don't give to the things that move God's heart, you don't really love God.' That is a harsh statement. I said it for a couple of different reasons: 1. I believe that what Jesus said in Luke is absolutely true: Where your treasure is, there your heart is as well. I believe that we love what we give our money to. 2. We often believe that our lives are measured by our possessions. Who we are does not equal what we have or what what we have achieved - we are children of God, desperately loved by Him. And He wants our hearts.

To experience life to the full, we must fight against materialism - and we must become generous people, sharing all we have been given. I want to experience the best kind of life possible. And I know you do too. What we do with our money will help us experience that or will prevent us from experiencing that. It's up to us.

Some other random thoughts...

  • I love the song You Alone. It is one of my favorite worship tunes.
  • I love worshiping with a room full of people. It's exciting and engaging.
  • I talk too much during announcements. I've got to cut back on the number of words I use.
  • I'm bummed that the Cardinals lost. And the Chargers (but only because San Diego is Joe's favorite team. I really don't care too much about them). I'm rooting for the Vikings and Colts now.
  • I love Charlie. He's awesome.
  • I love Jesus and am so thankful for His grace and mercy in my life. Without it, I am nothing.

Hope you have a great week-

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