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The Best Version

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The Best Version of Me!
How do I include God in the various aspects of my life? Is God a true priority in my daily activities? In what ways does God provide meaning to my work, marriage, family, possessions, ministry, and personal interests? Am I striving to be "the best version of me that God created?"
Our study in Ecclesiastes 6:1-12 brings us to an often difficult section to wrap our minds around.  If you have read ahead in the scriptures you know exactly what I'm talking about and you could understand why some might want to obviously "shy" away from this section. Shying away will not be my intent this week rather there is much to learn and to take away from this very illustrative section of scripture.  
The fact is, in order for you and for me to be "the best version of me that God created"  we need to enjoy what God has given us while we can. There is no guarantee that we will have our health and loved ones tomorrow. Therefore, live your life with enjoyment today! And remember satisfaction in life is found by enjoying God's blessings.
The teacher (Solomon) concludes this section by observing that life is too short to worry about behavior, miscues, or shortcomings. The challenge becomes that we need to learn to be submissive to our great God for He alone knows the end from the beginning. He is the only sovereign One.  God is the potter and we are the clay - the clay that He is shaping to be..."the best version of me that God created."

Pastor Jeff
Posted by Jeff Williamson with

4 Reasons to welcome smartphone use...

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Rarely a week goes by without me receiving an email, message, or tweet from a pastor or church leader asking about church apps, social media strategies, or mobile website functionality. “Don’t leave home without it” applies more to our smartphones than it ever did to American Express. And it applies when people are headed into their weekly worship service as well.

Before I get to the specifics of the post, allow me a couple of caveats. I’m not saying people should be piddling away on their smartphones in the worship service. If you can’t have your phone out and refrain from playing games or catching up on email during a worship service, then keep it put away. The same would go for tablets. But as you will see below, these four reasons all involve using your smartphone to share or enhance what’s going on in the worship service.

  1. Using a Bible app. This may be the most basic use of a smartphone while in a worship service. While many still prefer a hard copy of God’s Word (myself included), a digital app version is quite convenient.

  2. Taking notes. Many, if not all, of the leading Bible apps allow for note taking. This is helpful if you like to keep digital records of your sermon notes. Evernote, the native Notes app, Pages, or even Word can all be used to catalog sermon notes as well. For some, digital sermon notes are actually preferred to handwritten ones simply because they can be searched and indexed so much easier.

  3. Tweeting quotes. This is the main way I use my smartphone while in a worship service. This is similar to taking notes, but you share the quote instead of keeping it to yourself. One piece of advice on this particular smartphone use: ensure that you use an app like Buffer or Hootsuite that doesn’t automatically pull up your social media feed. You’re less likely to be distracted by what’s in your Twitter feed if all you see is an input box. I only use Buffer for sending out sermon quotes for this particular reason.

  4. Online or text giving. As online giving and text giving become more prevalent, smartphone usage for them will only increase. If you’re promoting online giving or text giving during the offertory, it only makes sense that people would use their smartphones to participate in worship through giving.

Two final reminders: Pastor, when you see someone on his/her phone during worship, it’s not always a bad thing. Worshipper, if you’re on your phone during a worship service, make sure what you are doing is related to what’s going on in the service.

Do you use your smartphone during the worship service? If so, do you use it for anything else?

Posted by Jonathan Howe with