I’ll never forget my time in Montana this past summer. Not only was I surrounded by some of the most amazing mountain ranges, but I had the opportunity to drive across one range called “The Road to the Sun” in Glacier National Park. It’s only open for about 4 months of the year. I was there in July, and they had only just cleared the last of the snow off the road to make it open a few weeks earlier. WOW! It was one of those bucket list items I didn’t even know to have on my bucket list.
Many of the prayers I was praying and seeking God for answers to, came over this 8-day excursion to 6 states, 5 cities, 2 national parks, and hours of flying and driving in between. There was something overwhelming about the GEOGRAPHY being so different than my normal surroundings that I felt closer to God, and maybe more attentive to the experiences I was having and how God wanted to speak through them. I tried to put it into words, but struggled to do so until just recently.
I’m currently reading “Chase the Lion” by Mark Batterson. It’s a follow-up book to his first work “In the Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day.” It is a great book about chasing the dreams God has for you and how to dream bigger.
He tells the story of how Joel Malm was ice-axing his way up Mount Elbrus when he received his big dream from God. It led him to create the Summit Leaders. Why go to a conference and passively listen to a leader when you can hike the Inca Trail or raft the Colorado River with other leaders and live an adventure?!
Mark has lived by this saying, “Change of Pace + Change of Space = Change of Perspective.”
As we kick off another year of resolutions and clean slate thinking on our dreams and desires, I wanted to share a verse with you that has been floating around in my head.
Matthew 25:19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used what He had given them.”
Not the most inspirational passage – I know.
This passage is near the beginning of a memorable parable that Jesus taught as He was getting closer and closer to Jerusalem and all that would then transpire (betrayal, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension). Most people think it’s just a lesson about money, and it is to some degree. However, I get lost in this particular verse because of the grand narrative of life and the kingdom of God that Jesus is talking about.
If you know the story, the master gifts 3 servants with talents (talent = amount of money) to use and invest for Him while He’s gone. It then says in verses 16-18, that the one who received 5 talents went out and put it to work and got back 5 more. The one who received 2 talents gained 2 more, but the man given only 1 talent went and hid his in the ground. Most people focus on the one who disobeyed and use this parable to make other people feel guilty.
However, that’s not what has had me pondering this passage for the last couple of months.
It’s these words that get me, “after a long time…”
You see, I think Jesus was talking about our entire lives, and the account we will give for the life we’ve been blessed (by Him) with. We quickly RUSH to the point of the story where the first two servants DOUBLED their investments and get congratulated by the MASTER (verses 21 & 21 “Let’s party together”).
I get lost thinking, “WHAT HAPPENED IN THE MIDDLE?’ What happened during that period of “a long time…” the life that those persons lived? They obviously didn’t IMMEDIATELY double their investment. This wasn’t a “one and done” action or decision. It must have each taken their ENTIRE LIFE to see this come to fulfillment.
We fear many things in this life, but one that I’ve personally encountered over this past summer is the FEAR OF REFLECTION.
Reflection is simply that time of pondering over, asking questions of, and interpreting things internally. Some people do this through meditation. Some make this a daily part of their prayer life. Some do it as a deliberate practice when considering a major decision. Others simply are forced to do it when something goes horribly wrong and are working to assess what happened and when.
But I’ve noticed in conversations with people that taking time to reflect and ask personal questions (to ourselves) is not something they WANT to do. There is a FEAR that shows up that they didn’t even realize was there.
- A Fear of what they will find when they stop moving.
- A Fear of what they will hear when they stop talking.
- A Fear of what they will feel when they stop rising to meet the expectations of others.
- A Fear of what answers they might get to the questions they need to ask.
Blog post from blog.thejourneyonline.com on August 10th, 2016.
In case there are some people in our church who missed the memo over this past summer, I recently partook in an 9 week Sabbatical and spent my 10th week (transitional week) participating on our Journey GO trip to Peru!
As with most of my content, I struggle to be brief. I would love to have coffee and spend a few hours with each and every one of you to share what an amazing time this sabbatical has been for me (and for my family) but that’s just not possible.
However, at our Partner Night on Thursday August 18th, I will be sharing in more details some specifics from my time away and how I believe it has impacted my heart for the mission and ministry of Journey Church!
Here are the TOP 5 Takeaways from My Sabbatical:
1) I’m Overwhelmed with Gratitude in God’s Plan. Leading Journey Church was never something I had planned to do. The God ordained movements and opportunities that facilitated my leadership here were the last things I expected, but am overwhelmingly grateful for them. I’m so grateful to not only be a part of this Journey family, but to also lead our amazing leaders as we walk towards the future God has for us! I’m still shocked sometimes that He decides to use me and my leadership for His purposes – and I never want to take for granted the call He’s placed on my life.
Romans 8:28 – “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.”
So, I don’t usually make it a habit of recommending movies, but every once in a while one just has to be talked about. Especially one I’ve never heard of.
One night while glancing through the “Recently Added” on Netflix, I came across Hector and the Search for Happiness. I really only stopped on it because I am a fan of Simon Pegg and after recently watching the last Mission Impossible – I’ve been on a spree of watching his old movies I enjoy (Hot Fuzz, How to Loose Friends and Influence People, The World’s End).
This movie is based on a book with the same title by Francois Lelord and is all about a psychiatrist named Hector who takes an epic journey while trying to discover what makes people happy! It’s a more serious film for actor Simon Pegg, and I really enjoyed him in it. His girlfriend Clara, played by Rosamund Pike, is also quite good in her role and I could have used more interaction with her in the movie. A relationship stunted by emotional barriers is the 3rd primary character of this story.
However, the BIG reason I think everyone should now see this movie is because of the questions that are asked 100x in the film.
“What makes you happy? Would you consider yourself a happy person? Where does happiness come from?”
I’m enjoying a new (to me) book titled “4-Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferris. I was inspired to read it after watching an interview with the author about a different topic, and people in the audience kept asking him questions about issues and questions raised in his book.
After realizing that the book is not a “slacker’s guide to life: how to get away with doing as little work as possible off get rich schemes” – I decided to read it. I don’t agree with every conclusion he makes or suggestion he offers, but it’s one of the first books I’ve read in a while where the author truly see’s life differently than I do. I like that.
I’m only half way through the book, but I can’t seem to shake a statement made towards the earlier part of the book that seems to be a common thread through all of the chapters.
“When nothing seems to be working, what is the cost of a little experimenting outside of the norm. Almost nothing… outside of the mental Olympics you will need to play!” – Tim Ferris
I went on Facebook to share a picture of Charlee with friends… and 45 min later I’m laughing at a video of a cat freaking out when a lizard sneaks up behind it!
I can’t tell you exactly what I did for that 45 minutes. I’m sure I’ve seen some post, commented on some friends stuff, maybe even shared something. But seriously… 45 minutes?
I don’t know what your goals or resolutions are for 2016, but I’m a pretty driven person. I’ve got HUGE dreams for 2016 and none of them are going to happen if I’m losing 45 minutes engaged in the never ending vortex of social media.
Don’t get me wrong – I love social media. I love the connectivity and I’m a huge fan of the multiple pieces of technology that allow me to access it during the day. However, I never want to be a SLAVE to my technology. It’s a tool. I’m in control of how and when I use a tool!
So here’s my solution for NEVER again losing 45 minutes on Social Media. I’ve already been doing this for the past week, and I’m about 90% successful so far.
Art by @sylviaduckworth, thought by @OscarNowick
A couple of weeks ago – this cartoon infographic showed up in my news feed. I read it several times and decided that this was the PERFECT lead-in to my FIRST blog post of the NEW YEAR!
Why is there so much TENSION when we step outside of our “comfort zone?”
As a matter of fact, the TWO most important steps in the above graphic are #3 and #6.
As we approach Thanksgiving this week, I had one thought that I wanted to share. One tension that I often experience and realize that living in one extreme or the other is not a healthy way to resolve the tension we feel.
Goals vs Contentment.
If you really break down the true essence of a “goal” – you could just say “more”. Goals are our way of saying we want more. We believe more is available. We think if we can achieve more, that it will result in a future outcome that we think is better than our current reality.
The positive side of GOALS is a driven person who accomplishes great things.
The negative side of GOALS is that is can mask our insatiable envy and greed for more.
If you really break down the true essence of “containment” – you could just say “enough”. Contentment at its root is an attitude of having enough. I have enough money. I have enough joy in my family. I have enough success in my job. Enough is often associated with having peace.
The positive side of CONTENTMENT is a true peace no matter where we happen to be in life.
The negative side of CONTENTMENT is that people use it as an excuse to settle and give up on what God might have for their future.
Welcome to The Tension is Real Podcast. A podcast dedicated to real discussion about the TENSION that exists between Life and Faith and how to embrace it so we can live with purpose and freedom.
Today’s Topic – The Tension of Your Yes and Nos
1. Subscribe in iTunes (Search “The Tension is Real” or plug in this URL –http://mattdawsontv.libsyn.com/rss).
2. RATE and REVIEW the Podcast in iTunes to help us promote MattDawson.TV.
3. Listen to Podcast on this page.
4. Download MP3