It seems like we all can’t wait for things to get back to normal. We need haircuts, we need our jobs, we need chips and cheese dip! But if we’re honest, normal wasn’t all that great either. When life was normal, many of us were busy, broke, and burned out. Some of us have discovered in this time of quarantine how overscheduled our lives had become. We realized how unprepared we were for financial uncertainty. We learned what was really important when everything else stopped. Maybe we can take some of that with us and learn to Say No to Normal.

Theme

Busy is a badge of honor in our world. Kids activities, volunteering, staying late at work all make us feel successful. And leaves us overcommitted and under slept. In quarantine, we’ve been forced to work less, go slow, and find a new routine. Turns out, it’s what God has desired for us all along. Stop. Just Be. Take Sabbath.

Busy is Normal 

Week 1 – May 24, 2020

Rev Dr Ricky James

Deuteronomy 5:12-15

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

 12 Observe the sabbath day and keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 14 But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, or your son or your daughter, or your male or female slave, or your ox or your donkey, or any of your livestock, or the resident alien in your towns, so that your male and female slave may rest as well as you. 15 Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day.

Busy Is Normal

by Rev Dr Ricky James

Theme

We’ve all seen how fragile our economy truly is. Most Americans live pay-check to pay-check and can’t afford to miss even one. Added to that, we often use debt to live the life we wish we could afford. When the topic of money comes up, we get anxious. The pandemic has exposed patterns of spending and saving that do not bring peace. But God desires us to be content with what we have and live within our means. We can’t change the past, but we can start today and build financial peace.

Broke is Normal

Week 2 – May 31, 2020

Rev Dr Ricky James

1 Timothy 6:6-10

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

 

6 Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; 7 for we brought nothing into the world, so that[a] we can take nothing out of it; 8 but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. 9 But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.

Broke Is Normal

by Rev Dr Ricky James

Theme

I know lots of us are just weary with everything in this world. The news is depressing and we don’t really know when this pandemic will end. Even before this, many of us were just going through the motions and silently carrying our burdens of disappointment, anxiety, or grief. Maybe going to church was the one bright spot of our week, and now that has been taken away. We’ve been forced to learn how to be church in a different way. And so maybe we can also learn to face our burdens differently too: instead of hiding them taking them, to Jesus who promises rest for our souls and a way of living that is easy and light.

Burned out is Normal 

Week 3 – June 7, 2020

Rev Dr Ricky James

Matthew 11:28-30

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

28 “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

 

Burned out is Normal

by Rev Dr Ricky James

Broke is Normal – Rev Dr Ricky James