Archive for December 29th, 2007


Saturday, December 29th, 2007

Today’s scripture: Acts 22:30; Acts 23: 1-11 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Tom Chittenden):

Do you recall the movie City Slickers from a while back starring Billy Crystal and Jack Palance? The storyline has a man (Crystal) who, in dealing with with a midlife crisis, decides to go out with some buddies and rustle cattle for a week. Curly (Palance), the trail boss to whom they report, really seems to have his life together and Crystal’s character keeps asking him what the secret is. Curly’s only reply is to hold up his index finger and calmly say, “One thing.”

Finally in frustration, Crystal asks, “Well, what is that one thing?!” To which Curly replies, “That’s what YOU have to figure out. No one can do it for you.”

Any time I have seen someone accomplish something magnificent, they usually pursue their passion with a “single-minded” focus. I shall call it monomania!

With the same single-minded focus as he once displayed when he was persecuting the followers of “the Way”, Paul, because of his heart change and his encounter with Jesus, now stands boldly looking at the Sanhedrin declaring his intention to fulfill his spiritual commitment to God as a man with a purpose-driven life.

The traditional time of reflecting and re-focusing starts to happen at this time every year. Many of us will resolve to make resolutions to introduce or re-introduce an activity or way of thinking, feeling or acting into our life. We say, “I’m going to change, this will be the year that my life will make a difference.”

May I suggest that each of us purpose to choose one of the “Building Blocks” learned in Discipleship 101 and 102 classes? Choose one that you are not currently practicing and with a single-minded focus, intend on becoming a “monomaniac”:

  • Regular Worship Service Attendance
  • Daily Quiet Time for Bible Study & Prayer
  • Regular Participation in a Spiritually Focused Small Group
  • Generous Living
  • Active Use of My Spiritual Gifts on a Ministry Team.

Thought for the day: Do I love who I am? Do I love what I do? Do I love how I think and feel? God, I’m asking for you to speak to my heart and reveal to me where my greatest single-minded focus needs to be at this time in my life!

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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