• South Lyon Church

I have come across different people in my service to the body who have opinions that are interesting. Some felt that a certain verbiage had to be said at someone’s baptism or, well it just might not take. I was visiting someplace once and at the beginning of the class the instructor started off by railing on a particular translation of the Bible. It happened to be the one I was using and I assume a lot of others were, because when he asked for volunteers to read, there was silence. And we don’t even need to get into the different opinions as to what and how we do Sunday mornings. We all do have our opinions.

There was one individual who had a opinion about a part of Sunday mornings and while I did not feel as strongly, I did see his point. Now, this is usually an opinion about the Lord’s Supper. Or is it Communion? Or Breaking Bread? No, it wasn’t about that aspect of Sunday mornings. It was dealing with something that is usually “separate and apart” from that, though done in connection with it because of convenience. Yes, the particular aspect we were discussing was the contribution.

Now, the problem wasn’t that we collected: We both felt very strongly that there should be a collection. The problem wasn’t when we did it or how we did it. It wasn’t the message spoken to encourage us to give, or even setting it apart at the beginning of every week. It was with one word. Not contribution, but giving. He felt giving wasn’t the proper word we should use and thought bringing back to God was more appropriate. He said the money wasn’t really ours to give to God. He had already given it to us and we were just bringing it back. His feelings about this were very strong. Though I have no problem with the word giving, I did get the point he was making. I also see the problem he felt it caused with the collection we take up each week.

We have a tendency to become attached to what we have earned. And why not? “I get up in the morning and go to work to earn what I have.” “I put in long hours to accumulate what I have.” “ I make wise decisions to make sure I don’t squander what I have.” “I am not a slacker, I put a lot of effort into what I have.” I think you see the point here, it is the “I” along with the “have.” We also think in terms of what we have, as items we can give. They are ours after all, and we can give them to whomever we want. How nice of us to give something to God!

Perhaps having the mindset that we aren’t giving OUR money to God, but just bringing back some of HIS money back to Him would keep our perspective right. Maybe instead of deciding each week, “How much of my money am I going to give to God?”, we should look at it as, “How much of God’s money am I going to keep for myself?” It would definitely remind us of where our financial blessings come from. . .and who we are devoting them to.


Bringing back,

Randy

  • South Lyon Church

When I was growing up, Memorial Day was a super time! It signaled only a week or so left of school. There was a parade in the morning. A trip to the cemetery at some point in the day. A cook out with family or friends at lunch and then it was the kickoff of the Little League baseball season. There were six teams and we played twice a week so a total of six games. We would have two games a night on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. But on Memorial Day, it was a triple header! We would start around three and go into the evening. A great ending to a great day.

But as I sit here thinking about this year, a movie ending comes to mind: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas! Think about it, all of the trappings and activities that were associated with the day were stolen, but not the spirit. Taking away those things altered the day, but not the underlying purpose of the day. The Whos all came together and still sang the Welcome Christmas song. All of the “stuff” associated with the day had changed, but the day had not changed at all. A great ending to a great movie.

As we ease into this Memorial Day weekend, a Grinch called the coronavirus or COVID-19 has come in and stolen all of the trappings. No baseball games to attend, be it the kids at a local ball park or heading down to Tiger Stadium. Schools closing? Well, they have been closed for a couple of months now. Sure you can gather in your backyard and have a cookout, but not with a big group of friends or a large extended family gathering. Cemeteries can be visited, but the Boy Scouts will not put out flags like they have in the past. On one hand the day has been stolen.

But Memorial Day is about more than all those events, it is about a heritage and a time to remember those who have gone before us. We can still celebrate these things in a smaller setting, maybe simply talking with family about family. The heritage of what led your family to where it is today. Remembering fun times from the past or that relative you enjoyed so much. Look at some old photos and take a trip down memory lane. We are usually too busy to take the time to do some of these things. This year we seem to have more time, because that is one thing that wasn’t stolen.

We can also take the time to think about our spiritual heritage. Share with your family the events that have happened in your life that brought you to where you are today. What friends or relatives had an important part in that spiritual journey. Then there is the trip to the cemetery--or should I say empty tomb. Time to remember the sacrificed life that was the starting point of our spiritual heritage.

It can be the best Memorial Day ever. Not because of the events, but because nothing can steal or suspend what is really important: family. Remember your physical and spiritual families and take the time to make it a Memorial Day that wasn’t stolen, but enriched.

Grateful for the Day,

Randy


  • South Lyon Church


I am still trying to figure out where we’re at. Now, I am pretty good with maps and know where we are geographically. It would be at 42 27 38 and 83 14 13. For those that are familiar with the spacing of the numbers you know and understand the numbers are latitude and longitude respectively with degrees, minutes and seconds. If those numbers are then plugged into any coordinate program you can pull up online, it will give you South Lyon. If you want to go further down that rabbit hole, a solar calculator for today, Friday, May 15th, gives you an apparent sunrise of 6:45 am for today and 8:10 pm for the sunset at those coordinates. (Apparent because of the refractive nature of the earth.) And now I probably have some of you thinking I really am lost.

The lost I am referring to, is in figuring out where we are with the color coded phase chart that we have for the reopening of Michigan. On one hand it appears we are still in the section “Stay Home, Stay Safe” with remote working which puts us in Phase 2 or the red box. But then again Phase 3 or the orange box allows construction and real estate to start back up, which it has. Both of them have “no gatherings,” so coming back together is still out at the moment. When we get to Phase 4 or the yellow box, we are allowed to have small gatherings, though it doesn’t actually define small.

All of this can be a little frustrating at times. The restrictions placed on us and the staying at home can be very frustrating, especially for those who like to go and do. Believe it or not, it has been less than two months we have had to deal with all of this. What if you had to deal with this for three years? That would put us in the same timeframe where Jesus dealt with some frustrations of His own.

I remember first reading this verse that follows Luke’s account of Jesus being tempted. It is verse 13 of Luke chapter 4 and states, “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left Him until a more opportune time.” What!? Satan didn’t leave Jesus permanently?! No, for the three years of Jesus’ ministry Satan was always around looking for an opportunity to pounce on Jesus, to get Him to sin, to go against God. Three years Jesus had to deal with these temptations coming at Him. What these temptations were we don’t know, but most likely of the same nature that we read about in the first 12 verses of chapter 4.

So, we are continuing to deal with our current situation. The frustration of not knowing what phase we are in. Not knowing when we will be able to go back to work. Not knowing when we can have people over for dinner again. Not knowing when sports and other activities will resume. Not knowing when we will be back at the building for services, classes, the JOY Group or other activities. In all of the not knowing where we are, there is one thing we do know. We are children squarely located in the family of God. I John 2:12 “I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.” Now, those are coordinates that can make us feel peacefully grounded wherever we are.

Happy where I am located,

Randy

South Lyon
church of christ

248-437-3585

office@southlyonchurch.com

21860 Pontiac Trail

South Lyon, MI  48178

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