“I’m Just Getting Started…”

SpraySo on Sunday I talked about one main question: when does life peak? This is a pretty relevant question to me because I hit a big milestone on Saturday: I turned 30. So I wanted to explore what is the Biblical view of growing older? And we did that through looking at, of course, Joshua Slocum, Johnny Cash, and Isaiah 44.

We looked at how Isaiah 44 tells us unequivocally that God is about doing a new thing. We read this “But forget all that—
it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? “ God is about doing a fresh thing. God is about creating new life, new creation, and new transformation. The word new in Hebrew is “Hadash”. It means a new thing, a fresh thing. Its root means to renew or repair something, bringing out a freshness and a newness to something that wasn’t previously there. This isn’t the “cult of the new” culture. This isn’t “newer is always better”. This is God promising that the best is always in front of us. That he is always in the business of taking our lives and using them to bring new depth, new life, new meaning to the world around us.

The answer then to our question “when do we peak” is never. In God’s Kingdom our usefulness never expires. Our ability to contribute to the world is never over. If we follow the God above we never ever peak, but are in a constant search to pay attention to the new thing God is doing and join him there. We talked about how Joshua Slocum at 50+ fought off pirates, and sailed the world alone. We talked about how Johnny Cash at 70+ covered a song by Nine Inch Nails and brought such depth and beauty to it that he made it new. Because age never defines our ability to contribute to life. Our willingness to see and respond to the God who is doing a new thing is the crucial point. So we landed asking ourselves – do we believe that the best is before us? Do we believe in the God who does a new thing? Do we believe in the God whose future is full for us? Because God is clear, “I’m doing a new thing…it’s already started”.

So how do you follow God into the newness he has to bring through you? Well, first start to pray to God to use you, because it is only through God that we discover new life. God is the originator and creator of life, so it starts there. Then start to pay attention to what God is doing around you. God says it has already begun, it is before us, around us, and before us. So open you up your eyes and see what God is doing. Pay attention to the moments full of hope, promise, and life. Pay attention to the ideas, dreams, and crazy thoughts that capture your spirit and soul. That could be the new thing God is calling you to. It could be to start a business, to fix that relationship, to launch a new chapter of your life.

So that’s where we went on Sunday believing that God is never done with any of us. Believing that God wants to do a new thing in and through all of us, if we’d pray, pay attention, and follow. So as a new 30 year old I ended with this thought that I believe is true for all of us: I’m just getting started. And I think this is true for us in our 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, or even 80+. So I’m just getting started because I follow the God of new life, and who does new things. What about you?

Sermon Notes

Big Idea God wants to do a new thing in and through us

Take Aways…

  • We are all getting older
  • When does life peak?
  • Our culture says, “Newer is always better”
  • God’s newness, isn’t about new packaging, but new creation
  • Our temptation is to believe the best is behind us
  • “Forget all that…”
  • God’s best is always to come
  • God is in the business of transforming old things, into brand new things.
  • I am just getting started.
  • God is the one who wants to do a new thing in us
  • We don’t need to force it to happen, we need to see it and follow it.

Adult / Group Discussion Questions: What surprised you? What made you think? What did you take away? What was new?

When do you feel “you’ve peaked?” Do you feel that the best days are before you or behind you? What makes you feel this way? What type of “new thing” might God want to do in your life? How can you start to pay attention to what God is doing? Are you ready to follow God into the newness he has for you? How can you get started?

Discussion Questions for Young Families: Talk with you kids a bit about getting old. Ask them, “How “old” is “old”? At what age are you old?” Then talk to them about not matter how old or young they are, God wants to use them. Ask them how God might want to use them right now (reach out to friends, feed the hungry, adopt-a-sponsor child etc)? And then follow through with how God is leading them.

Challenge for this Week: Let God do a new thing in and through you

 

Turning 30….

249086_10152854027280643_1779388097_nSo tomorrow is a milestone for me. I will officially no longer be a cool twenty-something. Some of my friends would probably debate if I was ever a cool twenty-something, but that’s besides the point, because tomorrow I turn 30.

I will be officially old tomorrow. 30 was always the magical number in my mind when I was growing up when someone was “old” or an “adult” or should be able to grow a beard (which I still cannot do). 30 was a big number and a big milestone.

And that’s what is before me tomorrow.

Lots of people dread turning 30. Lots of people hate the idea of it. Personally it doesn’t bother me that much, although while I write this I’m 29, I might feel different tomorrow. But I have a great wife, two great kids, a fantastic job that I love, a church I care for deeply, and a God who is invested in my life. So things are good, but it is still a big milestone.

So since I only turn 30 once, and since I turn 30 on a Saturday, I figured why not preach on getting old on Sunday. So that’s what we are looking at, the biblical wisdom of getting old. Because on Sunday I will be officially old, or at least older.

And I think that this matters for all of us, because we are all getting older. The truth is at some point in our lives we will all listen to the “oldies” station on the radio (or whatever comes after the radio and Songza). My brother currently only listens to music pretty much from the 90’s even though he’s younger than me. Culture and life moves past us all, at different speeds but it does happen.

The question then that I want to really explore on Sunday, is when do we peak in life? When is most of life behind us? And what does the Bible have to say about getting older? We know what culture says, “Newer is always better” and getting old is bad. But what about God, how does he view aging, and when we stop being able to contribute?

So join us on Sunday to explore what God’s view on life and growing older is. And if you think of me tomorrow, pray that I can grow a beard tomorrow, because I’ve always wanted that by 30.

Birthday’s, Blessings, and Books

I always found the stories in the Bible of the father’s blessing their sons a little weird. Just read in Genesis and you see it all the time. I pictured this weird ceremony where they would kneel or something and have these words spoken over them. I didn’t get it.

Then I had a son.

Yesterday was Hudson’s birthday. He’s two. He’s almost a man now. And I bought him one of the coolest kids books ever called stuck.

The book is great about things getting stuck in a tree. On the inside though I wrote a long note to Hudson, that I read to him now and I hope he’ll read later too. I wrote about how heis so fun and wonderful. I wrote about why I love him, what good things I see inside him. I wrote where I see him going. I spoke into his life words of trust and promise. And at the end I promised that no matter what happens, and no matter what gets “stuck”, I’d be there.

So I talked about his past, present, future and where I’ll be in all of it.

When I was done writing it – I knew what I would then do. Whether he gets it or not, we’re making a blanket fort. We’re crawling in it. We’re getting his Thomas the train engine flash light and cuddling up close together. And I am reading / speaking this blessing over him, because that’s what it is. It’s a blessing just like in the Old Testament where father’s would speak over their sons, shaping them, building into them, and creating hope. And maybe the Old Testament fathers didn’t say they’re blessing under blanket forts. For me though, the point is not where or when you bless someone but the actual act of taking time to speak blessing and life into someone.

So here’s my challenge to you. Bless someone else. Mother’s bless daughters. Father’s bless sons. Friends bless each other. Make it a habit and make it meaningful. Because for today more than any other day, I get why it matters. Because there is something powerful in sharing where someone is at, what you see in them, and where you see them going.

So why not share something meaningful with someone. Share why they matter, share who they are, and share blessing…