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Tag: Ephesians 5

Provision and Protection

This week – as a good chunk of North American sat under the infamous polar vortex – as cold weather records were broken all over the country – in the midst of all the -30 degree temperatures we experienced here in Penhold – this week, I put in my order for my garden seeds, perennials, and fruit trees.

I think ordering seeds in February is a great expression of faith. I have faith that winter will not last forever. I have faith that spring will come and things will grow in my garden once again. There’s a great verse in Romans that speaks to this issue.

But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with endurance. Romans 8:25 NET

I think that describes every Canadian every winter. We hope for what we do not see, but we must eagerly wait for it with endurance.

Well, this morning, I’m not really intending to talk about the weather and not even so much about faith or hope at this point – but rather, I want to talk a bit about gardening.

Some of you know that I like to dabble in gardening and landscaping and all that good stuff. It’s one of my hobbies that keeps me busy in the summertime. 

And for the most part, I think I’m pretty good at it, but you won’t know that by looking at the plants we have in our house right now. 

For some reason, my outdoor gardening goes really well, but the indoor gardening… not so much. Outdoors, I’ve grown plums and cherries and pears and apples and grapes and watermelons, and all kinds of delightful things. Outside in the yard and garden, things seem to flourish –  In fact, I have a well visited blog where I’ve documented most of the things I’ve grown – you can check it out at AlbertaHomeGardening.com

But when it comes to my indoor gardening, most of our house plants struggle to stay alive. I bought a fig tree on a wim last spring – but of course, fig trees can’t survive in this kind of winter, so brought it in to the house last fall. Well, this week, I snapped a picture of it for you so you can see just how well it’s doing. 

This is my fig tree. As you can see – it is not exactly thriving. It is barely surviving! It’s got like six leaves on it. Now just to give you a comparison, here’s a picture I found of a healthy, flourishing fig tree.

That’s what my fig tree should look like. There’s a significant difference there. And there’s a lot of reasons for that – it’s winter, so there’s not much sun in general.  Our house doesn’t have any good south facing windows, so that really minimizes the sunlight. The pot it’s in is much too small for the size of tree it is. And I rarely make the effort to give it any fertilizer. 

So while I think it will stay alive until spring – I’m pretty confident that there will be next to zero growth and there will certainly be no fruit – no figs this year. It’s surviving, but it’s certainly not thriving.

Now I want you to keep this image of my fig tree in your mind – we’re going to come back to it in a little while, so just hold on to it for a bit. But first, I remind everyone what we’ve been talking about for the last several weeks.

We’ve been talking about the church in your house.

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The Roles of Men & Women in Marriage

Well, last week we almost started a new message series. It was the first Sunday of the new year, and so we started off by talking about how we spend our time.

I gave you some interesting stats on how the average person will spend their life. For example, an average person will spend a total of about 33 years of their life in bed. 26 of those years will be spent actually sleeping – 7 of those years will be spent trying to get to sleep. And then when you’re not in bed, statistics say that you’ll spend 4.5 years of your life eating, 3 years on vacation, 8 years watching tv – and so on…

And the main point in all of that was to spur us on to consider how we spend our time. We centred our conversation around a verse in Ephesians chapter 5 – which said, in the Old King James Version… 

“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:16

We certainly live in a time when the days are indeed evil, but we can redeem or buy back that time from evil and use it for good. So Paul is encouraging us in this verse to make the most of every opportunity we have for the kingdom of God.

And we ended last week on the point that we spend way more time at home than we ever will at church. To go along with those other statistics that we shared, the average life expectancy of a typical North American is about 28,835 days (just under 79 years) – and we will only spend about 173 of those days attending church. That’s 28,662 days not at church. So by far, the majority of our opportunities to ‘redeeming the time’ will not be happening at church – it will be happening within our own homes. But that doesn’t mean the church will not be involved.

One of the points that I try to bring out in the kids features every so often – is that the church is not a building or an event – the church is actually the people in the building or at the event. Specifically, it’s the people who have put their trust in Jesus and have been adopted into the family of God. But we don’t often communicate that to our kids very well.

For example: think about the ways most Christians use the word ‘church’ – We say things like…

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Redeeming the Time

I want to start by just throwing out a question to get your minds working this morning. How do you think you will spend 2019? What are you going to do with the next 365 days? (359 as of today…)

I ran across some interesting statistics this week about how we spend our time. You might have heard these before, but I found them to be very enlightening.

Currently, the average lifespan for people in western civilization is 28,835 days (that’s just under 80 years).

Of those nearly 80 years, statistics says you will spend 33 years in bed. (Not consecutively of course, but if you add together all the time you spend in bed over your lifetime – it would total 33 years of your life.) That’s a pile of time to spend in bed!

But get this: only 26 of those 33 years in bed will be spent actually sleeping. The other 7 years will be spent trying to get to sleep. Can you believe that? 7 years of your life trying to get to sleep!? That’s crazy!? That’s 9% of your life spent just trying to get to sleep! That was amazing to me.

Well, what about the rest of your life? How do you spend your time when you’re not in bed? According to these statistics, you’ll spend 13 years and 2 months (on average) at work. Tack on to that another 14 months if you want to include overtime.

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