top3 for August 5, 2022

Before you head off into your weekend plans, here are three things that I’ve been reading and/or thinking about this week. I hope they are as helpful to you as they have been to me. Have a great weekend!

#1

When we are no longer able to change a situation—we are challenged to change ourselves.

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

I’ve written before (and it is not my original idea!) that we are unable to change others. If that is true, then the one area we are left to focus upon is ourselves as Frankl asserts.. Therefore, do you want better relationships in your life? It is not about changing our friends but being a better one. Do you want a better church family? Then begin with your own commitment to that family. Jesus said get the log out of your own eye is the way to begin helping others.

#2

When you fall in love with the system, you lose the ability to grow.

Tribes by Seth Godin

This is similar to one of  last week’s readings where personal preference can undermine community if we are not careful. What we are doing, not how, is the key. The how can be changed. The “what” stays the same. 

We in the church make disciples. That is our what. How…that changes based on our context. For Jesus, it was mostly about walking around a lake (Tiberias/Sea of Galilee). For us today, it will look different. When we get hung up on the medium in which the message is contained instead of the message itself we are on our road to being ineffective.

#3

But the essential and the helpful thing can be said in a few words.

Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, J.W. Doberstein (Translator)

“I am sorry to have written you this long letter…I did not have time to write a shorter one.” I love that quote even though I don’t know where it came from!

This sounds contradictory but it is full of truth. A few words that express the precision, depth, and width of what you are trying to communicate is much more difficult to craft than a long rambling communication that covers it all. The rise of Ted talks shows that this is true. What is funny, however, is that the most often listened to preachers regularly go 30-50 minutes.

I would prefer to be around 18 minutes for a sermon most weeks. It forces me to be concise with my words, choosy with my stories, and clear with the main subject. Do I always succeed? Nope.

Sorry for the length of this post for I didn’t have time to write a shorter one! 🙂

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