This Coffee Break is a little different than normal. Instead of giving you several links that have caught my attention this week, I want to give you one single link to explore, and encourage you to take a coffee break and take a look.
This week is the Missouri State Fair!
And it is a fun place to be!
I don’t know if you have ever visited a state fair or not, or if you even have one near you or not. But if you ever have the chance to take one in, I encourage you to do so. And, if you are close enough to come visit the Missouri State Fair, I believe it is one of the best around.
When we moved to Sedalia, Missouri, home of the Missouri State Fair, I wasn’t too thrilled with the prospect of all the crowds in town, all the traffic, all the hassle of dealing with so many people in so small of an area. I enjoy crowds up to a point, but when they slow down the drive across town, or make it hard to pull into the bank, I can get kinda grumpy.
But with the fair in full swing this week, my perspective has shifted somewhat. I am helping run the booth for Show Me Christian Youth Home, drawing attention and awareness to the ministry that happens there, and have met a lot of people. And when I’m not working in that booth, I have wandered around the fairgrounds, looking at other booths and exhibits, watching and meeting people from all over the state and even the Midwest.
Frankly, it has been a very fun and energizing experience.
The first half of this stanza showed one reason that the psalmist was certain that God would deliver him. The rest of this passage gives two more reasons. Take a look at this passage in Psalm 119:125-128:
God is a loving God. Of course, that goes hand in hand with his holiness and the need for righteousness in our lives. As the psalmist has discovered and revealed in this stanza of Psalm 119, God will deliver his people because of his love; and, in fact, God will deliver the psalmist because of that love.
The psalmist has enemies, and his enemies are the enemies of God. This is perhaps the lowest point in the entirety of Psalm 119, and we see the writer cry out for deliverance. His first reason for requesting that deliverance is because of God’s love, in verse 124.
The second reason the psalmist gives here is because he is God’s servant. The writer is basically declaring, “I belong to you, God! Help me because of that!” And like any good earthly master, who cares for that which belongs to him, should God do any less than care for those who belong to him?
The psalmist also seems to understand that God’s deliverance can be seen in the Word. He asks for deliverance, and he asks for it in the form of discernment to understand God’s statutes completely. You can see this clearly in verse 125.
When a man truly sees himself, he knows nobody can say anything about him that is too bad.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
We are not primarily called to do something or go somewhere; we are called to Someone.
The Effective Executive (Harper Business, 1967, 2017)
Ministry requires that I wear many different hats. And while I provide a lot of team leadership to the staff I work with, and other leaders within the church, I’ve never though of that role in terms of being an executive. That has always help corporate overtones in my thinking.
But that’s not necessarily the case. According to the back of the dust jacket, “it doesn’t matter what size your organization is, or even whether you run an organization at all. Anyone who has responsibility for getting the right things done — anyone who seeks how best to self-deploy on the few priorities that will make the biggest impact — is an executive.”
In that light, I think The Effective Executive may be a helpful book for my leadership growth. It will encourage maintaining the right priorities, and help accomplish them effectively. And it has helped people for more than fifty years.
If you are in a position of leadership, no matter what the organization might be, you should probably read this book as well. You can pick up a copy on Amazon.
Vacations are hard for me. As near as I can figure, I haven’t taken a real vacation, other than a day off here and there, in over twelve years. But I did this summer. And it was great.
I have lots of reasons for not taking a vacation regularly. I have a large family, and it can get expensive. There’s too much to do here, both in ministry and at home. It’s tough to find people to care for the pets, get the mail, and water the garden while we’re gone. I live by structured routines, and vacations mess that up. And I could go on and on.
But we decided that it was time to take a week away for a change this summer. We settled the details on all of my objections, found people to check the mail and feed the cat. Someone else watered the garden and checked the tomatoes. And we took a week and spent it with some friends on Table Rock Lake.
Because I am a structured person, and live by my routines and like to plan things out, I deliberately did not plan any details for this trip, other than the day we spent at Silver Dollar City, a theme park in Branson, Missouri. My ten-year-old son saved his money for almost two years to buy the family tickets to go there, which is an incredible story in itself. But that’s the only thing I planned.
Besides that one day, my goal was to get up when I wanted to, sit on the dock, or in the water at the end of the dock, and drink a few cups of coffee. That’s it. And for someone who loves a good routine to his day, that was a very difficult thing for me to do.
For the first time in several years, my family is taking a vacation for a week. Before you start in on me about the need for regular vacations, let me assure you, I have already heard it.
Our problem for the past few years has been our efforts to eliminate debt and get rid of that weight hanging over us. We have made some incredible progress in that area, thanks in large part to Financial Peace University, and have decided to celebrate with a week at the lake.
Our goal is to do as little as possible. We are headed to Branson, Missouri, to spend the week with some of our best friends. We will probably take in Silver Dollar City one day, but for the most part, I plan on sitting on the dock, or on the deck, or in the lake. That’s it.
Maybe I’ll do a little reading. Maybe a nap or two. Who knows? Either way, it will be relaxing.
I hope you have a great week! I’ll see you back here in a few days!