Posts in Glory Minute

“I am not content”

October 10th, 2018 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on ““I am not content””

Sunday we kicked off a new message series diving into something that is both very practical and very elusive: contentment. It’s practical in that it deals with our everyday lives and how we live; it’s elusive in that even though we are all desiring it, it’s very difficult to actually obtain. Sunday we took a solid look at what God actually says about contentment, landing on the idea that contentment is not circumstantial but rather is ultimately found in a deeper connection with God.

After worship, I got a flood of replies to what we touched on, and one was rather surprising. One person shared these words with boldness and raw honesty: “I am not content”.

At first, I didn’t quite know what to say. But after a moment, I celebrated this person for their honestly. I then shared that the first step towards finding contentment is realizing that you don’t yet have it! Said a different way, once we admit that we don’t have it, and we ask God to help us find it, He begins His work in us and among us!

So perhaps this is you right now. You echo the statement, “I am not content”. If you are there, or, when you get there next, take a cue from this wonderful sibling in Christ from the Lord of Glory lobby and admit it, name it, and bring your desires to God.

“And the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9).

Have a blessed day!

Pastor Brian

Dealing With Change

September 25th, 2018 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “Dealing With Change”

I’ve heard it said before, and you likely have as well, that the only constant anymore seems to be change! That is, the only thing we can seem to know and count on is the fact and reality that everything is constantly changing! We see it in relatively small things, like technology, and in much larger things, like cultural trends. And if you’re like me, you feel like it’s happening too fast!

Sunday in worship we looked at the story of Isaiah, a man who found himself in a hurricane of change. In a real-to-life vision, he is brought before the Lord and it’s quite the multi-sensory experience! Six-winged angel-like creatures flying, doorposts and thresholds shaking, and a temple filled with smoke all bring Isaiah to repentance. But the change continues as a live coal is brought to his lips as a cleansing and forgiving agent. And in that moment, a seismic change is worked in him, going from inadequacy, shame, and guilt to a willingness to serve and be sent!

We used Isaiah’s story as a springboard to talk about how we deal with change, and I want to invite you today to continue to process the change that is likely before you now. Because, as we said above, it’s not a matter of if change will come to us, but how we’ll deal with it...

As humans, we’re wired to favor equilibrium, yet God promises- in the midst of change, He is there. Sometimes God actually facilitates change in and around us to work something better in us and for us. And while what’s before us might be stumping us and challenging us, I can assure you, it doesn’t surprise the Lord, and He’s working it for our greater good!

So as you process the changes around you these days, I pray you see the Lord’s hand in the midst of it all. He has not left us, and when we truly call upon Him, He does His greatest work.

“Change and decay in all around I see: 
O thou who changest not, abide with me!”

(Abide with Me, Henry Frances Lyte)

Have a blessed day!

Pastor Brian

One Small Step

September 17th, 2018 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “One Small Step”

In a recent Glory Minute, we touched on the idea of connecting with people who “like Jesus, but not the church” and who consider themselves “spiritual, but not religious”. This is a rapidly growing subset of our culture, and we would do well to listen to them and meet them where they are.

A few Sundays back, we touched on a challenging passage of Scripture- II Corinthians 5:16, where we are challenged: “from now on, we no longer view from a worldly point of view.” What do you think that means, to not view others from a worldly point of view? Tough one. We landed on the notion that the world invites us to see others as people to evaluate, to judge, to compete with, and the like.

Yet what God has done for us in Christ Jesus changes not only how we view ourselves, but how we view others. Rather than people to critique or compete with, we now see others as folks for whom Christ died. Because Jesus declares they have value to Him, they ought to have value to us.

Bottom line- as we seek to engage a changing culture, it all starts with a small shift in how we view others.

And as we do so, and we listen, and we pray the Lord facilitates good spiritual conversations, know that there is good news here: survey results confirm for us that in many cases, the folks on the other end will feel good about it! Recently, Barna Research and Lutheran Hour Ministries teamed up and researched best practices regarding spiritual conversations. Most interesting to me was this- the majority of people in the “spiritual, but not religious” camp reported that they enjoyed engaging in such conversations with thoughtful, caring Christians!

So as we continue to pray that the Holy Spirit helps us view others differently, we also trust that he’ll work in these conversations. Have a blessed day!

Pastor Brian

Say Yes

September 13th, 2018 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “Say Yes”

This past Sunday was one of my more favorite Sundays that we’ve had around here in recent memory. I loved a lot about it- the games in the lobby, the notes written to our military friends, our pantry families, our shut-ins, and our college students, the red boxes we created (and are using!), the popcorn, and so much more. I also loved the massive, awesome, team of people who made that morning happen. I was rejoicing Sunday afternoon. Did I mention the popcorn?

Yet best of all, I loved our theme for the day. The language we are using this month is “Say Yes!”, and we introduced the ‘why’ behind it on Sunday and we’ll circle back around it in the coming weeks.

Why “Say Yes”? Three quick reasons I love where we’re going:

  • It seems like to a skeptical culture around us, the church is becoming increasingly known for what it says ‘no’ to. When people think of the church, they often think about what the church is against. I say it’s time we introduce (reintroduce) our culture to what we are indeed for! We are a “Yes” people!
  • The bottom line focus is that in the midst of all that we say yes to, our most important and our best yes is the “yes” we say to God. Although we are pulled in so very many directions, and it would be so easy to just let faith matters slide, saying “yes” to the things of God does wonders in our lives.
  • Finally, and most importantly, we celebrate that we worship a God who said yes to us in Jesus. Even though we don’t always say yes to Him, He relentlessly says yes to forgiving us and giving us new life again. We have a God who said, and continues to say, yes to you!

This Sunday, building off this, we’ll be invited to actually put this into practice. It’s true, and you know it- faith is not just an abstract concept, and it impacts more than merely how you think… it changes how you live! God wants to help how you live “life to the full” (John 10:10). See you Sunday as we discover how.

Have a blessed day!

Pastor Brian

I like Jesus, but Not the Church

August 27th, 2018 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “I like Jesus, but Not the Church”

I love it when it happens, and it happened on Sunday- the message spilled out into conversations in the lobby, and even the Grayslake pool! If you missed it, we talked about how culturally the influence of the church is on the decline, people are attending worship less, and more and more folks are staying away completely. That doesn’t mean, however, that interest in spiritual things is declining- somewhere between 8 and 9 Americans say they believe in God. The latest language seems to be that people self describe as “spiritual, but not religious” and they “like Jesus, but not the church”.

I asked the question Sunday- what are we to do with this? For this Glory Minute, I’d like to summarize what we said, and invite us to apply it this week as we live.

We were reminded Sunday that even with its warts, the Church is indeed God’s idea. It’s built on Jesus, and because it is His creation, it has His hand of blessing. And the best part- because it has His blessing, we receive His benefits. We talked briefly Sunday about the Community we experience, and how that indeed is a gift from God.

Not everybody gets this, however. Some have been hurt by the church. The take home- we bring the Spirit of the church to them! After all, the church is not a building, it’s not an entity that only operates on it’s home turf. Instead, the church, the people of God, are always on the move. And when we encounter the “spiritual, but not religious”, we do as Jesus did- we listen, we ask questions, we break bread. We don’t make them come to us to experience God, we bring the gifts of God and the Fruits of the Spirit to them.

I’ll be praying that each of us get opportunities to “be the Church” this week!

Have a blessed day!

Pastor Brian

Perseverance

August 14th, 2018 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “Perseverance”

Ever feel like giving up, throwing in the towel? We’ve all had those moments, those days. Perhaps you are there right now. Life and pressures and uncertainties can lead us to those moments,

You’ve probably never heard the name David Bote; until Sunday night, I really hadn’t either. Drafted six years ago by the Chicago Cubs, the 554th player drafted, I’m sure he felt at times like giving up. Finding yourself in the low level of the minor leagues in baseball is no picnic. Yet David persevered, and Sunday night, he got his reward. With his team, the Cubs, down 3-0, he entered the game as a pinch hitter with two outs and the bases loaded. Perhaps you heard what happened next. It’s called an “ultimate Grand Slam”, and it’s a rarity in baseball- a game winning Grand Slam, when down 3-0, with two outs.

Question to consider- I almost wonder if David was uniquely emotionally strong in that moment, with the deck stacked against him, because he had labored so hard just to get to that moment?

Challenges and struggles can do that- they refine us, they strengthen us, and they uniquely prepare us for what’s to come. So if you’re in a “ready to give up” season right now, consider this- God might be using this to prepare you for something greater to come.

One more thing that helped Bote- his Christian faith. Take a read here.

Pastor Brian

A Lesson From a Foul Ball

July 26th, 2018 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “A Lesson From a Foul Ball”

You’ve probably heard this one before- there was drama involving a ball going into the stands at a recent Cubs home game! But unlike the famous “Bartman ball”, this one was quite different.

Long story short- video is released of a man grabbing a ball that was tossed into the stands from the field and handing it to his girlfriend. Only problem- there were a number of kids with gloves in the vicinity. Almost immediately, social media begins roasting the guy. “How could he not give the ball to one of the kids!” “This is what’s wrong with baseball!” You can probably imagine how it went downhill, fast.

Only problem? There was more to the story. Turns out, the guy in the stands had been tossed multiple balls, and was over and over giving it to the kids around him. And that one ball he gave to his girlfriend? Moments later, after the camera turned away, that ball too went to a nearby young fan.

The Book of James in the Bible gives wisdom here: “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak” (1:19). In our world of instant reactions and opinions, the Spirit of God slows us down.

Where have you been quick to speak, and opine, and perhaps some listening and reflection is in order?

Have a super day!

Pastor Brian

Need Some Help?

July 18th, 2018 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “Need Some Help?”

Life can do a wonderful job beating up on us. Ever feel like you are at your max, like you cannot take one more thing? Perhaps that’s you, now. Your energy levels feel drained, and you feel like you have limited capacity for just about anything else.

I can identify, and even better, Jesus can identify.

Think of Jesus, on the eve of his crucifixion, drained. So drained in fact, it’s the only time recorded in the Bible where Jesus asks the disciples to do something for Him (“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me”, Matthew 26:38).

The Bible talks about these moments, and there is a good word to share. It talks about the “incomparably great power” that is in us, calling it that same power that God “exerted in Christ when it raised Him from the dead” (Ephesians 1:19-20).

Wait…hold on…what?

Process that for a moment- the Bible, which is true, just shared that the very same power that God used to raise dead Jesus from the grave is at work in you and me!

Implications- as tired and drawn as you feel, there is another power source within you that knows no limit- the power of God working in you.

So quick thought- if you are feeling drained… sapped, take a cue from Jesus, and connect with the power of God. Find strength and refreshment in Him and in His Word, and see if your perspective doesn’t change, even a bit.

“The same power that raised Christ from the dead is living in you” (Romans 8:11). Plug in!

Have a super day!

Pastor Brian

Never Too Far

July 11th, 2018 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “Never Too Far”

Quick Bible trivia question- in Luke’s Gospel, who is the first sent missionary? Who is the first person sent out to tell the good news of the coming of Jesus Christ to earth? You might be surprised, but first a little background…

Luke 8:26-39 tells the story of a seismic transformation. It’s the story of a demon-possessed man, who leaves his “home” among the tombs to run up to Jesus, who has just arrived in town. Naked, and not in his right mind, He encounters Jesus, and Jesus brings healing. Casting out the demons, the man is then transformed to someone who Luke describes as dressed, in his right mind, and sitting at the feet of Jesus. What a transformation!

After hearing this narrative read in worship, someone remarked to me after worship that this scene should cement for us that no one, no one, is ever too far from God to experience redemption and restoration. What a great observation. Think on that for just a moment…

Consider who in your life seems far from God… Whether it’s because of busyness, or bad experiences, or whatever it might be, we can sometimes think the journey for some to come (back) to God is just too far. But the reality is- that is never true, and Luke 8 is a perfect example! Great news.

And now back to that trivia question- the first missionary in Luke’s Gospel is… you guessed it… this transformed man! Not only is He not too far gone to come home to God, He’s not too far gone to be used by God! Let that one sink into YOU for just a moment!

Have a super day!

Pastor Brian

A Word for the Lonely

June 25th, 2018 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “A Word for the Lonely”

To me, it’s perhaps the ultimate irony of our present culture- social media should theoretically make us more connected than ever before, yet loneliness is on the rise! Folks smarter than me are observing this, and getting a handle on why. Some say it’s because we’ve substituted deep, authentic relationships for social media “friends”, others say seeing what other people are up to makes us feel like we’re constantly missing out. I’d say it’s that and a whole lot more.

This week is Vacation Bible School, and I love that we’re addressing this in a very real way. The take home point from today was basically that when you are lonely, Jesus rescues you. Notice that I didn’t say “if” you get lonely, but “when”. Loneliness hits all of us. And knowing this, Jesus acts.

The visual today was of a life vest. When you are struggling, a life vest doesn’t magically yank you out of trouble, but instead comes to meet you in the midst of it. In a similar way, Jesus doesn’t just pull you out, he dives in with you.

Jesus pledges “with you” promises all over the Bible. He’s proven Himself to be true by going all the way to the cross to prove He is “with us”. And that “with us” reality continues today, as He is with us in His Word, in His body and blood, through people, and in so many other ways.

When you are lonely, I pray you feel and know Jesus diving in to be with you. He is.

Pastor Brian

Dealing with Doubt

June 22nd, 2018 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “Dealing with Doubt”

Not too long ago I sat across from someone strong in faith, and I listened  as they expressed some feelings of doubt. We prayed.

Do you ever doubt? Ever have legitimate questions about where God is in a difficult and uncertain situation? Ever been deep in the muck and mire and wondered if and how God would make it right?

You are in good company.

One of the most well known doubters was actually one of Jesus’ disciples, Thomas. When we think of Thomas, we often think of his doubting moment- wondering aloud if Christ was truly resurrected. Often times, that moment is shared as a “what not to do”. Said a different way, we think of faith and doubt as two distinct options, and you are either “in” one or the other, you are either faithful or doubting.

I believe there is a better way of thinking about this.

What if instead of one or the other, you can have both at the same time. Author James K. A. Smith puts it this way: “We don’t believe instead of doubting; we believe while doubting.” That is, sometimes the walk of faith will lead to moments of questioning, wonder, even doubt.

And it’s in those moments of weakness that Jesus shows up and does His best work.

So if you’ve had moments of doubt lately, like my strong-in-faith friend, know that you are in good company. Bring those feelings to the Lord, and be open to Him forgiving you, meeting you, and making Himself known to you.

He’ll show up, just like He did for Thomas.

Pastor Brian

A Meaningful Haircut

June 4th, 2018 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “A Meaningful Haircut”

Someone from within the Lord of Glory family who shall remain nameless recently got a hair cut and donated 9 inches of her hair! Shout out to Sarah Polsgrove! (Oops, did I say that?!) Is that awesome or what?

Sometimes, the church can make giving and stewardship super complicated, when in reality, it’s actually quite straightforward. Here goes: When we recognize that what we have comes from God, and can benefit others, in thanksgiving and with a desire to bless others we are generous with what we’ve been given! It’s that easy. Whether it’s with our finances, or our hair, because HE gives it to us, and it because it can SO bless others, how awesome is it to give some away!

So real quick, I want you to think about what you’ve been given, and what you’ve been uniquely or especially given. Then after you’ve taken inventory, consider what giving some away might look like for you. Some examples, building on Sarah’s example:

An encouraging, energetic person gives time to coach a youth sports team.
A retiree with a free afternoon volunteers a few hours to hang clothes for the rummage sale.
A young girl at school with a lot of friends ensures the new girl makes some too.
A woman with leadership gifts helps make sure the church organization runs efficiently.
A good listener gives a few hours a month to help expecting Moms through Informed Choices.
A bonus at work is tithed to make a difference for God’s Kingdom through the local church.
A socially confident person takes a moment to engage and compliment folks around them.

It’s not that complicated, actually. When we recognize that what we have comes from God, and can benefit others, in thanksgiving and with a desire to bless others we are generous with what we’ve been given!

And then here’s the kicker- the happiest people I know are not surprisingly the most generous, and the most generous people I know are not surprisingly the happiest. Giving of any kind is really good for you, and just makes you feel better. Want proof? I saw a picture of Sarah post-haircut, and she looked pretty happy!

Pastor Brian

I Think You’ll Want to Read These…

May 1st, 2018 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “I Think You’ll Want to Read These…”

Sunday was Confirmation Sunday, and once again I was blown away by the Statements of Faith prepared by the students. I share a few lines with you here. God is doing a mighty work in the lives of these students, check it out:

“To me God is not an overwhelming, controlling power; instead He is a great father and friend”.

“I learned that God is and always will be with me. Sometimes, you just have to look for Him”.

“…Live a life of kindness and forgiveness towards our friends and neighbors, just as Christ does with us”.

“God always hears me and answers my prayers even if it is in ways I can’t see right now”.

“I now realize I should be just as loving and forgiving to people as God is because I don’t know what they are going through”.

“Everyone knows that having faith in God brings responsibility. But it’s not just that, because having faith in God also means showing everybody the same love, joy, kindness, and care that He has shown me.”

“God chose me without caring what I have done. He flat out chose me. He wanted me on His team”.

Thanks be to God for the faith He is working in these awesome young people. And thanks be to God for their families, church family, Small Group Leaders, and others who are encouraging them along!

Pastor Brian

Foolish Exchanges – Part II

April 25th, 2018 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “Foolish Exchanges – Part II”

Deep question for your Wednesday, but stick with me here: what if we’re taking the very things God gives us as blessings and using them in ways that drive us away from Him and not to him?

It happened in the Bible, and kudos to Lord of Glory member Adam Reh for pointing it out to me after worship on Sunday. It’s from Exodus 32, and it goes like this: After the great Exodus event, and while the Israelites are being led by God to the land He was giving them, they stop along the way and camp out. Moses, their leader, ascends a mountain to meet with God, and the people grow impatient. They gather their earrings and jewelry, melt them down, and shape them into a golden calf. They then proclaim that it is this golden calf that is their new god, and begin worshiping it. Crazy right? We talked Sunday about this being a foolish exchange- trading loving God and receiving awesome blessings from God for a “god” made out of their own jewelry! But as we talked about on Sunday, we make similar foolish exchanges, don’t we?

Yet Adam Reh took it one step further, and he’s right, check this out: the jewelry they had was the jewelry GOD had given them as plunder and blessing from their victory over Egypt (Exodus 12:35-36). So they took what God had GIVEN them, through the victory HE gave them, and the Israelites turned around and used these gifts to create and worship false gods.

Wow.

I’m still wrapping my head around this. What does this look like for me? How do we do the same or similar? What gifts are we turning into idols? What elements of our lives are meant to bring us closer to God, but are actually serving to drive us away from Him? I’ve got a few thoughts… how about you?

Pastor Brian

Slow Down

April 17th, 2018 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “Slow Down”

Driving to an appointment the other day, feeling rushed because I hadn’t left enough traveling time, I found myself stuck behind a slow truck. Does that ever happen to you? My first thoughts were not positive: “I don’t have time for this!” Ever been there?

Then I remembered the old cliche’, which is true- “you better practice what you preach!” We’ve been talking about learning to trust God’s timing this month in worship, and it’s been powerful to walk through it, because waiting is tough. Whether it’s big things- waiting for medical results- or smaller things- waiting while you’re in traffic, waiting is tough.

So here’s what I practiced: I reflected on what God would have me do in the midst of this forced slow down. I’d like to tell you I prayed, because that would been really good of me. Instead, I just took some moments to be more observant. Instead of being laser focused on getting to my destination, I observed. I took in the neighborhood I was driving through, the weather, and who was out and around. And it actually felt good to be slowed down a bit.

In Matthew 11, Jesus observes His disciples being a little too laser-focused on their destinations. In response, He gives them an invitation: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

What will you see, or hear, or find, if you slow down?

Pastor Brian