It’s just a fact:a man’s calendar and bank account paints the most accurate picture of his true affections. (See Luke 12:34)
Today, I found myself looking in a mirror: my check register; in it, I asked God, “am I obsessed with my own comfort?” You decide what He had to say…
Oil change –Cost: $24.95.
Reason – not “because it was overdue”, but because I was uncomfortable with how my wife looks at the “next oil change” sticker on the windshield. (Avoid discomfort.)
Box of 72 Pizza Bagel Bites – Cost: $7.49.
Reason – not “because it was a killer deal after my coupon”, but because I wanted something quick and easy that they wouldn’t complain about. (Avoid discomfort.)
Pair of fluffy, winter socks for my wife – Cost: $6.99.
Reason – she loves them and it makes me feel comfortable when her love tank is full and discomfort when it’s not. (Comfort/Avoid Discomfort.)
“So what?” you say, right? “Regardless of your selfish, comfort laden motives, things that needed to get done got done, Aarron. Quit being so picky.” But, was God’s agenda accomplished or merely mine? Or, did I spend money and time trying to walk around my discomfort rather than through it?
What if the point of those tasks wasn’t my comfort (or avoidance of discomfort)? What if God was out to forge and strengthen my character via discomfort? What if my sanctification – growth into Christ-likeness – was what God was after, rather than mere stewardship of van, household food shopping, and husbanding my wife?
Paul David Tripp took a quick look under the hood of our hearts in his excellent (short read) article with a brief (5-6 min) video clip. I hope it challenges you to walk through, not around, the divine discomfort. >>> Uncomfortable Grace
This time every year, our church, (NPCC) runs a massive giving campaign, raising millions to benefit really worthy causes. And, I love to see what happens to the charities they support; unfortunately,we’re just not one of them.* Not a complaint. Just an observation… and a challenge.
Every year after it happens one or two people tell me – “I wish I could have given Seasons of Life more, but I just gave North Point a bizillion dollars…”? Um… yeah, we only needed a few thousand…
My reply to them has to be “It’s not your fault North Point asks before I do!” My bad. I need to plan further ahead. Again.
So here’s me, asking you: before you consider the big guys (who actually do take care of a lot of really important little guys), would you set something aside for the cause of discipleship?
Would you consider Seasons of Life Ministries, the men, women, and couples we’re caring for, marriages we’re partnering to restore, the Clean Slate and That Day projects we’re nurturing to maturity, and our very family in your year end or even monthly giving? We don’t need millions of dollars to finish the year. Maybe only a few thousand.
In 2016, Seasons of Life may look very different – already scaling back, it may:
Scale back even further to very part time while I seek a traditional job to keep the lights on. No problem. Whatever God wants. Or,
That Day and Clean Slate may transform into an engine that funds the non-profit side of people-care and biblical counseling.
But, those outcomes are in God’s hands, your knees, and your response to this appeal. My job is just to get the information out in a timely manner. So, here we are… Before you write a huge check to any huge church, would you cut a small one to Seasons of Life Ministries?
Our current giving need is always listed on the website, (just look for the menu tab in the top right corner under “Give Online”) or, you can give by clicking here. We hope to have your prayers and support however God chooses to move us forward. Thanks!
* We are registered with the program for the first time ever this year, but have no way of knowing if we’ll “make the cut”. If we do – we’ll not only make a big, public deal of it, we’ll even refund everything we raised in affiliation with this post!
By the way, we have a friend who works for another ministry that is very bible based counseling, too. She’s undergoing chemotherapy right now and can’t work as much as she used to. If not Seasons of Life Ministries, would you consider supporting Anne’s work at www.woundedheartministry.org?
Discipleship is about growing in intimacy with Christ and maturity in the faith, so we know it’s a handcrafted thing vs. something that’s mass produced. Plus, you and I both know that an app isn’t a replacement for intimacy with Christ. So, I was very hesitant to respond to opportunities to create a Seasons of Life Ministries mobile app.Until two things came our way.
Meeting with men, women, and couples, one of the most frequent barriers to intimacy with Christ people tell us they’re struggling with is this: “I haven’t been in the word as much as I should.”
Enter “Back to the Bible”… These guys have made it their mission to get the bible on the “airwaves” ever since there were airwaves. Now that the world is so heavily shifting from radio to internet to mobile, they’ve begun creating private label apps for organizations just like us. Our Stay in the Word app is designed to help people do exactly that – stay engaged with the word of God. All you do is answer a few questions about who you are and what you believe and you’ve created a spiritual profile. From there, SITW will begin sending you biblical content based on this spiritual profile.Take the profile again as often as you like.
Second, our merchant services provider (eChurchGiving/PushPay) gave us the “Get Aligned” app along with our regular monthly service. So, the price was right for both Seasons of Life and for you!
After 8 years, September saw us on the verge of cutting way, wayyy back to part-part-time ministry and me going out and getting a full time job. Some of that is still a possibility; I’ve cut way back on one on one and leaned efforts into maintaining our SOLM apps, That Day rehearsals, and Clean Slate coaching. In the meantime, I’m entertaining a couple of career change ideas that will keep both my family and the ministry afloat. Plot thickens…
Then, THIS happens…
A friend and I were discussing “That Day” and landed on a performance date of Friday, November 13th, here in Alpharetta! For a long time, I’ve been ITCHING to create a compelling, SHORT (90 sec.), trailer video for That Day… So, we did it. And, it… came… out… AWESOME. (see below or click here)
We released the video to YouTube and social media and in just a couple of days, we’re at 100 hits. Now, it typically takes a while (especially when an event is 5 weeks away) for advance ticket sales to gain strong momentum…
Apparently, that’s not the case with “That Day”. God must have a faster plan:
This morning, 30 tickets blew out the door before I could even eat lunch, and a number of people have spoken with me about bringing their small groups to the Midway Community Church event! To GOD be the glory for THAT!!!
What I’m Freaked Out About?
With less than 300 seats at this venue, I’m a bit freaked out that this performance will sell out pretty quickly. So, I’m giving all of you a heads up – if you’re planning to come and don’t buy a block of tickets next week, CALL ME or shoot me an email to let me know to protect your seats. Some of this is out of my control and if you’ve got unchurched (or even churched) friends that you want to bring to see Dan Matthewson’s wild story, I don’t want them to miss out.
What You Need to Do (in No Particular Order):
Decide to be an organizer – organize a group to come see the show. (Hey, you did this for the game last week, give it a try for something about Jesus, mkay?)
Share the video with your friends, coworkers, staff, small group, etc.