There's an App for That: Busyness

This month we’ve been sharing a worship series entitled, There’s an APP for That.  In this series, we’re exploring how we can apply our faith to some of the challenges we all face in life.  So far, we’ve learned that our faith has an APP for transition, work and worry!  This morning I want to talk about the fact that our faith has an APP for busyness. 

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There's an App for That: Worry

I want to begin this morning with some riddles? Are you ready? Here we go!

Number 1: What lies at the bottom of the ocean and twitches?
Answer: A nervous wreck! 

Number 2: Why was the baby inkblot so worried?
Answer: His father was in “the pen” and he didn’t know how long “the sentence” would be! 

Number 3: What did the astronaut say when he saw the eight-legged alien? 
Answer: “Don’t worry, its armless!”

Those, of course, are children’s riddles! But the topic they refer to is certainly not childish, is it? That’s because “worry” is something that many of us spend an enormous amount of time doing every single day.

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There’s An App for That: Work

This is the second week in our series, There’s an App for That, as we talk about how we can apply scripture to our daily lives. Last week, Pastor Morris talked about transition. This week, we’re talking about work. It’s appropriate, right? I mean, it is Labor Day weekend. Tomorrow is set apart to honor the labor movement and the contributions of workers to our country.

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There’s an APP for That Part 1: Transition

If you have a smartphone you probably know what an app is. Just in case you don’t, an ‘app’, or “application,” is a software program that can be installed on a smartphone or mobile device to help you do just about anything. As the iPhone commercial reminded us a few years ago, (1) “If you want to check snow conditions in the mountains? There’s an app for that! If you want to see how many calories are in your lunch? There’s an app for that! And if you want to find out exactly where you parked the car at the college football game? There’s an app for that!” There’s an app for just about anything in life. In fact, I as a new grandparent, I recently discovered a new app called JBaby! The app allows parents to send pictures from their smartphone to WIFI connected picture frames in the grandparent’s home. That way grandparents will always have up-to-date “framed” pictures of their grandchildren to obnoxiously share with their friends. By the way, have I shown you a picture of my new granddaughter? 

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The Main Thing Part 3: Serve

Last Sunday, Duane Munford, a retired clergyperson in our church, reminded me of a scene from the Billy Crystal movie City Slickers. In the scene, Curly, who is played by Jack Palance, asks Mitch, who is played by Billy Crystal, if he knows what the secret to life is. Mitch says, “No, what is it?” Curly holds up one finger and says, “This.” Mitch says, “You’re finger?” Curly says, “No. One thing. You stick to it and the rest will fall into place.” “So,” Mitch says, “What’s the one thing?” Curly says, “That’s for you to figure out!” Well, at Christ Church we’ve figured out what our “one thing” is! And we’ve been talking about it for three weeks.

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The Main Thing Part 2: Grow

Maybe you’ve heard the story of the woman who bought a talking parrot? After a few days, she returned to the pet store to complain that the parrot wouldn’t talk. “Does the parrot have a mirror in his cage?” the pet store owner asked. “No”, the woman said, “why does he need a mirror in his cage?” 

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The Main Thing Part 1: Love

A number of years ago, Steven Covey released a bestselling book entitled, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In the book, Covey explores a number of traits highly effective people have in common. And one of these traits is that highly effective people are people who understand that “the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing!”   

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Journeying with the Good Shepherd

A few years after my husband I were married, friends invited us to stay at their beach front condo. As time drew close for our week away, we had lists of items to pack (beach towels, sunscreen, flashlights) and a set of very special directions. These were special, because they were not like the expected I-40 or Hwy 74 to the beach directions. No, our friends had provided us with their well-worn, back roads path that was sure to get us to our desired destination as quickly as possible, avoiding the beach traffic. The only catch was you had to pay close attention. Leaving town was easy enough, but mid-way through our trip the directions began to read “once you pass the yellow painted house with the shell gas station next door, take the first right. When you encounter a fork in the road, turn right… it will only be a dirt road for ¼ mile. If you get to the house with a picket fence, you went too far so go back until you see the Coca-Cola machine, and remember to turn left over the railroad tracks when you see the farmer selling watermelons out of the back of the 18-wheeler.” 

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Set Apart to Serve Within

Well, it’s been a fun week at Christ Church. We had Vacation Bible School this past week, during which hundreds of leaders and participants come together for music, drama, crafts, and more as the kids learned about God. This year, Christ Church was transformed into the 18th century England–the time of John and Charles Wesley. It was pretty comical walking around Christ Church and seeing everyone in period costumes. They even gave me a hat to wear, so I could blend in somewhat. Which was great until one of the youth asked me who I was supposed to be, thinking that my normal clothes were actually a costume. I’m not sure what that says about my fashion sense. But, from firsthand experience, I can tell you that the leaders did a great job and the kids had a great time.

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Remember Whose You Are

It was just so tempting; my mother was sitting at the sewing machine and there it was… the newly installed closet door that would slide open and closed. The walls of what my mother proudly called “The Gold Room” had been recently painted. In the eyes of a five year old, the sliding closet door looked very much like those elevator doors I had seen in office buildings and department stores. I could just visualize that closet door with an up and down arrow beside it. So, in a moment of sheer abandon to my desire to see this vision realized, I grabbed my crayons and began to draw what was in my mind. At first I felt like an inspired artist as I applied the crayons to the painted wall, but after my vision was complete, remorse began to set in and I cried out, “I didn't mean to!” My mother turned around from her sewing machine and said, “Didn’t mean to do what?”  But no response was needed, for the evidence of my sin was on full display.

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“The Time to Stand and Look is Past” - Rev. Louis Timberlake

I’m starting to learn something about being a parent. I say starting to learn because Felder’s only two, and he doesn’t have any siblings yet, so I don’t think that we have yet experienced the full unpleasantness of this particular aspect of parenthood. But, I’m starting to learn to dread long car trips. Before kids, car trips were kind of pleasant. Depending on where you’re driving, you might get to enjoy nice scenery, you can listen to music or podcasts, and you can take a break from rushing around to just enjoy the drive.

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You’ll Never Walk Alone

As I began to pray and listen to God through our passage today, the Living Word startled me. I heard something new in this passage; namely the closeness, the nearness and the Presence in our lives of Christ and the Holy Spirit. I found myself underlining some of the phrases and promises - listen to them: the Advocate to be with you forever, he abides with you, he will be in you, I am coming to you, you in in me, and I in you. Now of course, Jesus’ words point us to next Sunday as we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the church. But in the context of our passage, much was to follow these words prior to the first Pentecost; the betrayal, the trial, the abandonment, the crucifixion, the resurrection and appearances of Jesus, the Ascension, then instruction to gather in Jerusalem to wait for the Spirit.

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“We Serve in Our Church, Community, and the World”

Well, first of all, Happy Mother’s Day! And in the life of our church what a great theme we have today. Today, we consider our church’s core that “we serve in our church, community and the world.” That phrase describes the very best of motherhood and is close to the original, desired meaning of Mother’s Day. Celebrating mothers goes back to ancient days and occurs in many nations. But in our country, the roots of Mother’s Day are with two Methodist Christian women: Ann Marie Jarvis and her daughter, Anna. Ann pushed Mother’s Day as a time of serving, establishing “mothering clubs” to teach prenatal care and health, friendship clubs between northern and southern veterans after the Civil war, and meeting the needs of children everywhere. After her mother died, Anna relocated to Philadelphia and there, partnering with the famous merchant, Wannamaker, eventually got President Woodrow Wilson to declare a national holiday. The holiday, at it’s core, was to be about loving, humble service, exactly what’s described in the passage Dr. Suzanne just read. This passage, so captured by our core value of service in the church, community and world together, gives us a benchmark for evaluating all we are doing or considering in our church’s life: does it serve the church, the community or the world?

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“We intentionally grow together in the likeness of Christ” - Rev. Michael Bailey

Today, we have our second sermon in our series on the vision for Christ Church, that is, God’s desired future for us! Your Church Council prayed, discerned, and adopted a grand vision: Our mission, why we exist, “to make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world” which leads and aims us toward our vision. We are a church that embraces people, the community, and the world with the boundless love of God. 

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“To grow intentionally together in the likeness of Christ” - Rev. Louis Timberlake

I played sports in high school––football and track. I wasn’t a particularly great athlete, but it was a small school and you didn’t have to be particularly great to make the team. In fact, I think everyone made the team. Now, sports take preparation, right? Most people cannot walk onto a field or a court or a track and light it up. You have to prepare. You have to train. During the season, you have practices and workouts that help you to prepare. But, then you come back from the off season and have to get back into playing shape. That’s when you have to go through two or three weeks of conditioning. And, if you’ve played sports, you know that conditioning is generally an unpleasant experience. Now, I’ve done conditioning for a few different sports--football, track, and wrestling. Wrestling by far was the hardest. Hands down. But football conditioning is no joke. Track conditioning? Meh. Not too bad.

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We Love God, Humanity, and All Creation As An Inviting, Caring Community

My joy is to let you know I’m serving our district headquartered in Winston-Salem! The Bishop let us live as close to GSO as possible; Lauralee and I will be 20 or so minutes from our offices. Here’s the good thing: I’d wanted to serve here for a number of years and then retire in Greensboro. Now, with a gap of a 6 year superintendency term, I may do that and be able to come home to CUMC! But more important to most of you, bring back Lauralee! We went to Gethsemane first and had much pain and grief, but now, realizing the honor and our proximity to Greensboro, we’ve moved to the Resurrection Garden. You all helped me with that; thank you for all your congratulations and well wishes. 

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