I would never be able to spend $500 on a cell phone. Ever. However, I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t think iPhones are incredible. Either way, this is painful for me to watch.
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Preparing for Chico has been wild and this scripture is convicting. If I’m being honest, I’ve been WAY anxious about tomorrow. Thank God for his convicting word.
Let’s recap. Finding a place to live? Check. Finally. Finding a job? Pray for me. Three out of five times I walk into a business and ask if they’re hiring they look at me like my hair’s on fire, quickly try to gather themselves, and then respond with an emphatic, “No.” Such is life in a college town in the middle of nowhere I suppose.
Finding a church? That’s a praiseworthy story. No sooner do I finish asking for prayer in church this morning than I hear the announcement that we have guests in Church. “Please welcome Patrick and his family and friends…they’re planting a church in Chico next month.”
Bingo. After talking to them a few minutes and finding out that not only are they not weirded out by our church, they’re thrilled to have another “like-minded church” in the area and plan on visiting at least a couple times before they have their first Sunday morning service. “When is that?”, you may ask. My first weekend in Chico of course! This has been one of those days where something special happens. I call it “slap-in-the-face providence” where, like a slap in the face, you can’t miss it and you always know where it came from.
Praise God for his providence and shame on me for getting worked up about things being taken care of in time for next month.
P.S. In case you missed it, we still need prayer that Bryan (Smith, not me speaking in the third person) and I find jobs. Trusting in God’s sovereignty isn’t a license to be idle! Pray on!
I soaked up every minute of my last chapel at Woodland Christian School back in May. Why? Anymore I never know when the next time I’ll be able to help out with worship will be. Being able to use what little bit of talent the Lord has given me to ultimately serve Him, not only by worshiping Him myself but by helping others to do so as well, is something that I cherish and do not take lightly. As the school year drew to a close and I tried to imagine what life in Chico might be like I was reminded of what it was like being in a college town before: everyone plays guitar. The opportunities to lead worship were much tougher to come by and the entire time I was in Southern California, not once did an opportunity present itself. This is why after my last chapel at Woodland Christian I was pensive about the possibility that it could be months and months before I got to lead again. I am overjoyed to say that the past three Sundays I’ve been able to lead worship or at least help do so. It’s been humbling to realize how overjoyed I am just to be able to have the opportunity to give all glory to God and to help others do so as well. Being excited about being humbled seems so backwards but that’s exactly how it is.
It’s interesting to me to think of how the worship of God affects us as believers. How often do you leave Church on a Sunday morning feeling awesome, energized, refreshed? Is this wrong? Of course not. Do I think that we worship God to “get something out of it”? No. I’m still wrestling with this whole Christian Hedonism thing. Not because I disagree with it, because I know that true worship is satisfaction in God. Sometimes it’s just hard to explain it without making it sound like you’re worshiping to “get something out of it”. My recommendation is that you read The Dangerous Duty of Delight by John Piper or, even though I haven’t read it yet, Desiring God.
Back to my point. Few things make me happier than being involved in worship through music, but I’m just trying to think through my motives. I would hate to find out that I love for any reason other than bringing glory to Him. Piper wrote, “If the focus shifts onto our giving to God, one result I have seen again and again is that, subtly, it is not God that remains at the center but the quality of our giving.” Take the focus away from God? May it never be. All the same, as long as we’re able, let us never quit using the gifts he has provided us to give glory where glory is due. Blessed be His name.
I’m gonna be straight with you. I haven’t been thinking much lately. Today I came to the conclusion that during these first two summer months, the level of thinking that I was once at, although never what i would call exceptional, has plummeted. So if you’ve been wondering, “Where has Bryan gone?”, you’re asking the wrong question. Why can’t Bryan think anymore? I blame public school.