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Green Pastures and Still Waters

Some stores have become so accustomed to complaining that they have Complaint Departments!  I feel bad for those who have to work there every day. Who do they complain to? Complaining is so entwined in our culture that we don’t even see it as sin anymore. Sin!? Who said anything about complaining being sin?    Moses seems to have implied it in Exodus 16 when he said, “You are not grumbling against us, but against the LORD…because He has heard your grumbling against Him.” Our passage for Sunday is Philippians 2, Paul wrote, “Do everything without complaining or arguing.” Does this mean we should never express when something is not right? Does this mean we should never bring up problems? Does this mean we should all be “wall-flowers?” We’ll talk about it more on Sunday. I’ll give you this to think about; why do we complain? Is the customer always right? What drives the cultural “right to complain?” How does complaining affect our mission? The English word complain means “to express dissatisfaction or annoyance about something.” Are there constructive ways to do that? This is a bigger deal than we may realize.  If you are unhappy with this blog, please address your complaints to 800-TRY-smileysmileysmileysmiley.   

Have you ever needed an attitude adjustment?  I’ve needed a quite a few over the past 14 months.  It’s not easy to get a bad attitude converted.  And, the longer we keep a bad attitude, the more we justify whatever it is that put us in the mood in the first place.  Oswald Chambers once wrote something like, “Moods don’t go by praying, they go by kicking!”  I know what he meant but sometimes the only way to kick them is by praying!  We have to invite God into the narrative that is feeding the bad attitude and let Him speak to us so we can speak to ourselves in ways that are true.  Sometimes we have to allow others to speak truth to us.  Pastor Bouman had to give me a little pep-talk to help me out of a bad attitude just this week.  I need all the help I can get because my mind so easily drifts to secondary things.  What we need primarily is the attitude or the mind of Christ.  It is a fight to keep that attitude.  Apparently the church at Philippi was struggling with some internal disunity, they had some attitude problems.  Paul’s appeal to them was Christo-centric.  In other words, he appealed to them on the basis of what they had in Christ and what they knew about Christ.  The passage we’re studying this week is one of the most beautiful and clear descriptions of the nature and example of Christ that we will find anywhere in the Bible.  I hope you will join us in person or on-line.