Posted by Sondy Eklund on with 3 Comments

I'm thinking about trying something different in posting about Sunday's sermon.  In the past, I've posted detailed notes.  Now I'm wondering if we'd get more response if I just post a summary and ask for comments.  Did the sermon touch your life this week?  Did it remind you of something?  Are you having trouble living it out?  Did God speak to you through it?

Last week, Pastor Ed Allen started a new series.  He's going to be covering Self Management: The Toughest Job. 

This year we're going to look at the basics of Gateway's mission, nurturing a balanced spiritual life by growing UP toward God in worship, IN toward God's people in community, and OUT toward the world.  We have 7 habits related to that mission, and for this series on Self Management, we're focusing on the first habit:

Use resources with wisdom and purpose.

This week we looked at Time Management, focusing on Ephesians 5:15-17.

We want to be very careful how we live, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.  Casual living won't produce dynamic lives, the kind of lives we were designed to live.  For some of us, God's call is to wake up.  For others, God's call is to get still.

At the end, Pastor Ed proposed some practical helps in this quest toward spending today on what matters.

Practical helps:

1)  Get prayer today.

The Prayer Team is always down front after the service, ready to pray with you.

2)  Make the ordering of your inner world a daily priority this week.

Visit this blog (see previous post) for daily devotional thoughts to help you in this.

3)  Start it today, whatever it is.

Procrastination is an issue.

4)  Find a good mentor.

If you can't find a mentor, find a book.  Some suggestions:

Ordering Your Private World, by Gordon MacDonald

The Celebration of Discipline, by Richard Foster

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey

The Spirit of the Disciplines, by Dallas Willard

(More in the Devotional blog post.)

5)  Experiment with a new spiritual habit this winter.



Fasting from electronics?


Okay, now let's use the comments, Gateway.  What happened this week when you tried to live out some of these suggestions?

Tags: resources, time management, up, self-management


Sondy Eklund January 13, 2017 10:09pm

I'll start! :) Talking about "opportunity" reminded me of a sermon I heard years ago. That pastor said that Jesus' parable of the Talents is best understood if the Talents represent Opportunities. Opportunities are things that we indeed get more if we use the ones we have.

I also think that Time Management is a lot more about relationships than we think at first. When I think about "getting things done," I think people get in the way. But when I think about "opportunities," it helps me use my time with people. I think of myself as naturally good at time management -- but that gets in the way of relationships at times. In fact, I was thinking back on my marriage. Am I the only one who actually fights about use of time? I get resentful if I'm spending a lot more time cleaning than he is. Or if he's relaxing when I'm just not. (Think Martha and Mary.) At the same time, I wanted my husband to want to spend time with me. Extra hours at work made me feel like I wasn't a priority. Time management is a *lot* easier when living alone. Because kids throw a monkey wrench into your plans. But it makes me think, since I hope I won't always live alone. Living with others is an "opportunity" to show love to someone.

So this was rambling, but I'd love to hear more comments.... What train of thought did the sermon start for you?

Evie Showers January 14, 2017 10:42pm

Thank you for the summary and comment that made me think. Time management is one of those areas that no matter how well I may manage my time, I always feel that I could have done better and something always remains undone. So it is encouraging to be reminded that it isnt how much we get done but how we do those things that matters to God.

Renee Saunders January 15, 2017 9:18am

I like the segment on spiritual habits. I am going to take in effect the fasting. I find it really hard to concentrate on anything when I am hungry, so this will be challenging for me. It will allow me to focus my energy more on God and what He is asking me to do. It will allow me to follow His will more genuinely.