Schadenfreude

Schadenfreude

Its a word I saw used today in an article on Kim Kardashian. She was apparently robbed in her apartment in France somewhere. Her husband Kanye West was live on stage at one of his concerts. So he quit the concert midway and ran to her. Beautiful. She apparently lost millions and that may include her $6MILLION diamond engagement ring.

The world reacted.

Twitter peeps mocked her. Talk show comedian, James Corden told the world to “leave her alone”.

Then I saw the word. Schadenfreude which means “pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune”. And I mused the word and got totally convicted.

I’ve had a few years which contained a fair amount of “unpleasantness”, and in it, and during these times, I have had a few cruel people and a few that have not fully been there for me when I thought they would. I have found that at times, I have derived pleasure at the times when THEY have have had misfortune. Not good.

I have been forgiven ALL of my sins, failings etc by Jesus and given eternal life. Should be enough don’t you think? I have the most beautiful family and live in the most incredible place in the world. I am part of an amazing church. Should be more than enough don’t you think?

Obviously its not. I have been convicted. When people fail around you we must continue to pick them up not keep them down. How many times should we forgive? Seventy x seven; seven times a day if they ask for forgiveness. “Increase my faith” the disciple bemoaned.

Yip. Sometimes I need my faith increased; my humility increased; my empathy increased. Sometimes I just need to grow up and stop being a prat.

alter ego

“the part of someones personality not normally seen by others”

Do we have an alter ego that should come out more often than the main character? As Christians we are to be “new creations”, we are to be “transformed” – becoming more like Christ are we not?

Our church, C3 Whitianga, has a vision that is driven out of Jeremiah 29:7 to pray for the prosperity of our town, so we too may prosper. Normally, we would like to think, that if God blessed us or prospered us then we can prosper our community. But God never seems to work that way. The other way around takes something we call serving and something called faith.

Faith and serving create character. Its not how the world normally likes to work.

Prosper them and I will prosper you.

But thats just what Jesus did. He came down and turned the world on its ear. His character was to bless those that hate you; he said that if someone asks you to go the extra mile you did. Jesus was the King of Kings, God incarnate, and he came to serve!

Jesus was fully man. He is the “man” that we are to portray. He is our character.

A.W. Tozer described character as the excellence of moral beings.

If the excellence of gold is purity and the excellence of art is beauty, then excellence of man is in his character is it not?

Sure. This character that we should be aiming for does take a lot of uncomfortableness. Its called suffering. (Im pretty sure that Jesus death on the cross was fairly uncomfortable!) Romans 5 tells us that suffering creates perseverance, perseverance produces character, and this character produces hope.

Our town needs to prosper. It needs true riches like its never had before…. HOPE….you have that hope. Please don’t hide it.

And our town needs that hope. Please pray that our town becomes incredibly rich.

WORLDS APART

Google is brilliant isnt it! If you need to know something…”Google it”; (but be cautious on medical advice. You check out anything and you’ve got something contagious or fatal).

Often as christians we go to “Google” rather than God, with things that only God can or should give you advice on. Im not saying that advice from good trusted friends and associates isn’t right – Proverbs 11:14 tells us where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counsellors there is safety. Im just saying, like King David said, where does my help come from? and the answer is still the same today my help comes from the Lord.

In Ezekiel 29:16 you find this scripture: Egypt will no longer be a source of confidence for the people of Israel but will be a reminder of their sin in turning to her for help. Then they will know that I am the Sovereign Lord. I love this. Today the word Egypt is a metaphor for the world. Israel is (or are) Gods people. You are Gods people.

When we turn to the world, when we rely on the world, when our heart is in the kingdom of this world, things always turn to poop.

Joshua said choose this day whom you will serve….the gods, the things, of this world…or our Lord. Its your choice. As for me and my family, we choose to serve (have confidence in) the Lord. We’re not perfect, or fully there yet, but we are definitely aiming for 100% confidence. Thats where our hearts lie.

Bring on the Kingdom of God. Lord, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth, as it already is planeed and prepared, in heaven.

Amen

CUSTOMS DUTY

Luke 4:16
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read,

Acts 17:2
As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,

Hebrews 10:24-25
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up (that’s a custom) meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging (imploring, desiring, inviting) one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Meeting, by the way, in the original meaning (Greek) is episunagoge means “gathering together for worship” i.e. church

I know there are reasons for not going.
We can justify these away as they are often hurtful or personal or offence created reasons. Things like:
No one talks to me“.
I get that. Personally I struggle with the crowd, but I made myself join in and start up conversations. I reckon that if you are the type of person that thinks that way, then YOU  are the type of person that has something to say. Therefore, YOU start the conversation. YOU are obviously the person the church needs to fill that space
We have little kids
Awesome! We have four kids and we loved taking them along. It’s truly important that they become a part of the church family too. Hey, If there’s no proper kids program then offer to help set one up. Do it nicely with a servant heart (and yes you may have to take a load of patience with you). I love the chaos we have at times with kids running around in church.

There are many others…..
“I’ve heard it all before”
“I’m busy”
“They just want my money”
“They’re not my kind of people”
“I don’t need to go to church”

Jesus made it his custom, his habit, to get to church.
Do you think he met those that wanted to challenge him?
Do you think he met rude people?
Do you think he met people that were vastly different to him?
Yip.
He met people just like you and me.

If we profess to follow him, his ways, and his word, then we need to also follow his customs. And as we read, Paul made it his custom – and his church experiences were at times very unpleasant!

If you think that the church needs changing, then maybe you are the change the church is looking for.
But then again, if you’ve been to a number of churches and still think the church needs changing then maybe, just maybe, it could be you that needs changing? And before you start putting pen to paper to tell me how wrong I am or that “I don’t understand”, please read this last scripture.
Ephesians 4:2-6
Be completely humble and gentle;
be patient,
bearing with one another in love.
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

See you Sunday (if not before)

Love you!