Heaven on My Mind: June 19th - 25th

This Week & Beyond...

Hey friends,

As per the usual, just a few things to bring to your attention this week:

1. Summer!!  Yes!! One week until the summer months are upon us, Lord willing the heat will follow shortly and it will be warm enough to wear shorts.  But seriously, just wanted to take this opportunity to ask you to start praying about your involvement for next year.  It's never to early to let me know, and, it's never to early to ask the Lord how He wants to grow and challenge you through your gifts, talents, and abilities.  As you feel you get a handle on your thoughts for fall, feel more than free to let me know!

2. Appreciation Dinner:  My apologies about some of the poor labelling on emails that have gone out about the appreciation dinner this coming Sunday, June 25th @ 6pm.  I have corrected the issue, and if you check the schedule, it should now make sense.  If you haven't yet confirmed your attendance... Adam, Lindsay, Steven, Tony, Greg D.... make sure you take a moment to let me know!  Looking forward to eating and hanging out with y'all.

3. Babies:  Two out of our three regular drummers are going to be dad's yet again!  PTL!  Let's keep them in our prayers and minds as to how we could be a blessing.  Pre-congratulations Greg & Jermey & wives!!

Be blessed everyone!!
Gregory

Devotional...

Heaven on My Mind
by Fran Moore, Imperial, Missouri

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)

There was a Christian chorus that was very popular during the early '70s: "Turn your eyes upon Jesus; look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace." This song was actually written by a lady named Helen Lemmel in the early 1920s. The second verse says, "Through death into life everlasting He passed, and we follow Him there; over us sin no more hath dominion for more than conquerors we are!" Obviously, this sister was familiar with this passage from Colossians.

As a young believer, I struggled with the idea of trying to be "in touch" with the things of heaven while my 5-foot frame, carrying its bushel of books, was jostled and shoved through the halls of my high school. My eyes and ears too frequently witnessed the profanity and shallowness of the daily zoo. I remember closing my eyes and imagining that my friend Jesus was by my side, pushing through the whirlpool of sweaty athletes, the cigarette smoke seeping out from under the door to the girls' restroom, and the overbearing perfume of the covey of pom-pon girls just ahead of us. Indeed, He was there with me...but how I longed to travel in His stomping ground instead of mine.

There is a reason we, as believers, are to set our minds on things above the level of this earthy existence. It is because we died. The stuff of the world ought to mean nothing to us, really. The things that make "normal" people tick should seem distant and odd to us. It is not that we should act or put on an air of being better humans than any other humans; the fact is that we are now beyond human, but not in the neo-evolutionary sense. Now the only life we have of any significance is that which springs from our spiritual birth, given us by no expenditure of our own.

So what is happening beyond the things of earth... before the throne of God? At any given moment, we can expect worship to be surrounding the Almighty. True worship, untainted and unhindered by the things of earth swirls about Him continually. (see Revelation 4:8)

So, if we're to set our hearts on things above, then worship should be going on in us, too. Yet, I must live in this world: I work, I walk the dog, I check my e-mail, I plunk around on my guitar, I throw a pizza in the oven, I clean a toilet, and perform a million other tasks in an average day. What should continually be in my heart and mind, though, are the things happening in the kingdom of God. My heavenly "ipod" should be playing in my spiritual ears all the while I am doing what must be done to function here on earth. I should be speaking with the Father, interacting with the Holy Spirit, fellowshiping with my Savior, Jesus, much the same way someone might text message friends while standing in line at the store or walking down the street.

As those involved in the worship ministry of your church, I would challenge you to consider: where is your heart? Is it really on things above? As we focus there and worship Him, the things of earth will, indeed, grow dim.

GOING DEEPER:
1. What should it mean for us as believers to "set your hearts on things above"?
2. The author asked if your heart really is on things above. How would you answer that question? A resounding "Yes"? An embarrassed, 'No"? What would it take to move your answer in the right direction?