Materialism and Jesus

I woke up this morning to a small dusting of snow on the roads. My wife went to work, and I cleaned the house. The best way to clean is listening to podcasts, in my opinion. My podcast of choice was Timothy Keller: Treasure vs. Money.  His analysis of our materialistic inclinations as Americans was quite astounding. Definitely worth a listen.

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My life is at a weird point. I am in a job I enjoy for the most part (auto technician) an I am heading up the shop’s social media as well. It is a cool job description, but still not what my end goal is.

 

I am also dabbling in helping other people grow their business brand. I do not have a whole lot of experience other than my business podcasts and building a small landscaping company that turned a decent profit over the summer. I am essentially learning as I go and seeing what works. Currently I am helping friends and family.

These thoughts brought a lot of insecurity to my soul. Questions ran through my head, wondering if i would be “stuck” at one job, or that I would regret not doing this or that.

It is no coincidence that as I was stressed and frustrated over my lack of “direction” in life, Tim Keller’s voice rang through the house as I was putting away the dishes. His challenge in his message was to reconsider all of your ideas of materialism. Most Americans do not consider themselves materialistic.

This thought challenged me, because I do not consider myself materialistic. But as He spoke and revealed Jesus’ words about money, The Holy Spirit revealed to me my indwelling materialism. What were my end goals for my business? For my job? For my life? Subconsciously it is to make money. Not to glorify God, not to make God look great, but rather to make money so I will not have to work as much. This is materialism.

The thing is, making money and aspiring to make a good living (by american standards) is not a bad thing. If my goal was to make more and work less so that I could serve the Lord in more sacrificial ways, then that is a good God-glorifying goal. But all my heart has been set on is that savings number we are shooting for.

As God checks my heart, it is so freeing to know that God is greater than all these things, and that the Holy Spirit can break down all materialism in our souls. This is so encouraging to me.

Tim Keller – Treasure Vs. Money

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Three Ways Marrying Young Helped Our Marriage

wedding-3013449_1920.jpgMy wife Rachel and I married at the young age of 18.

No, we were not pregnant, and no we weren’t desperate either. The fact that those questions were raised by nay-Sayers says something about our changing culture.

Back in 1960 72% of all adults age 18 and older were married. In contrast, barely half of all adults in the United States are currently married. If this trend continues we will see an even further downturn in the coming years.

Anyways, being the “60’s couple” that we are, we met and dated at 16, were engaged at 18 and married a few short months later. We dated for a total of one year (“total” because we broke up for a couple of months, but we do not talk about that…)

All that to say we have seen that although marrying young has its difficulties, we have seen some significant benefits as well. As a disclaimer, marrying at any age is a beautiful thing. We just chose this path for us.

One: Financial Communication

Finances are a huge factor for a good marriage. When you disagree on money fundamentals, than you will have problems.

When you’re married before any significant “career” you tend to handle money loosely. You have not established much of a portfolio other than some savings and a vehicle. The simplicity of two hard-working young people coming together financially in marriage can yield great fruit.

I have met other couples who have become very established with bills, subscriptions, etc. before marriage. This isn’t a bad thing, but I have witnessed couples refusing to combine checking accounts simply because of “inconvenience”. I believe that when the Bible calls couples to be “one” that includes one bank account.

Simply said, starting with nothing and combining nothing allows both parties to contribute and grow financially together. And the sooner you establish financial oneness, the better.

Two: Emotional Baggage

Simply because of the passage of time, you will not have as may serious relationships beforehand. This does not apply to all couples, but sexual baggage is a significant issue in today’s day.

Toxic past relationships wreak havoc on the soul. If you are into “serial dating” as the phrase goes, you just date and date and date and date. No thought of marriage whatsoever. This is toxic.

I am not speaking of a serious relationship that have gone bad. Sometimes that is unavoidable. But rather I am speaking of a mindset many young people have of “test driving” a relationship before “purchasing” in marriage. This analogy is terrible on many levels.

Find another young person with the same general life outlook, love for Jesus, and love for you. If you like them and enjoy their company, maybe consider dating for maybe a year and marrying them shortly after? Is that a controversial thought? Maybe not 50 years ago.

Three: Worship Jesus Through the Highs and Lows

Marrying young is not frolicking through the fields, eating skittles, and talking about unicorns. That actually sounds pretty terrible, but that is me.

Marriage, no matter what age has its highs and lows. We are only three years in and we fight about the dumbest things. Can you relate?

The beautiful thing is that we have gone through so much in the most foundational years of our lives together. The human brain is not fully developed until age 25. We still have three more years of neuro-formation until our brains have matured into adults. We get to experience all of these developments and trials together!

The greatest of all is watching each other conform into the image of Christ. From finding a Church we both love, to struggling to learn how to pray together. The beauty is that we can look back in five years (at age 27 and 26) and see how we have grown to love Jesus and each other more and more through the struggle and joy.

It is not a burden to be married at a culturally young age. It is more difficult in many ways, but it is so rewarding! If you are married, when did you get married and how have you seen each other grow through the years?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theology Matters – Remembering R.C. Sproul

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A great man used mightily by God has gone on to experience true fellowship with Jesus. Dr. R.C. Sproul died on December 14th, 2017. His legacy of as a great reformer and deep thinker will not soon be forgotten.

“The Holiness Of God” is one of his books I’ve personally read. It’s a beautiful masterpiece showcasing how God is about making His Holy name great.

In an age of irreverent babble from top

christian “leaders”, a sharp exposition of scripture strikes through the heart of thirsty souls. “Renewing your mind”, the podcast from Ligonier Ministries would daily teach myself and millions of others the holiness of God and the art of critical thinking and exposition.

The Church has lost a great man. But we know that He stands before a greater God, clothed in Christ’s righteousness.

Let us a be a thinking people, a praying people, a bible-studying people. Let us remember His legacy.

For more information: https://www.ligonier.org/