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 Youth Sunday

Sermon - 10/14/12
Kelly McCornack and Meagan Reid
First Christian Church, Eugene, Oregon

 

"Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" -- Kelly McCornack

Even though the verses deal with not having to worry about finding the right words, I did write down what I was going to say just to make sure I did have the right words and would not forget them.

 

“Don’t sweat the small stuff.” I think it is humorous that I am “preaching” on this topic as I find myself more anxious than the average bear in most situations. Of course normal things like making important phone calls or going to new places still stress me out  so imagine how I am feeling now that I have to speak to you today. Talk about being anxious... Anyway... the stress got to the point where even talking to people I have known forever would make me nervous. I could feel my heart rate elevate. I would start this weird combination of holding my breath and breathing really fast. I was miserable.

 

Most people might find it strange to hear I have such anxiety. I do have this quirky personality, but telling jokes and making fun of my “forever alone-ness” was just a way I could avoid sharing  my actual thoughts and feelings. Sharing these very personal feelings would just increase my anxiety. Cracking jokes and trying to avoid the subject would help me calm down.

 

I felt the worry and stress starting to effect my life in major ways. I seriously felt like not leaving my house because just the thought of going outside would make me feel like I was going to have a panic attack. I felt my anxiety getting worse. I would like to say it was a good prayer and a God sent holy sign from the heavens that cured everything. I was waiting for my flash of blinding light. Or maybe an angel to tell me I was going to be ok But there was no light. There was just a voice. It was a little voice from inside. It told me to embrace my inner Gryffindor. For those who know nothing of the Harry Potter series, Gryffindor is one of the four houses at the school that the students of Hogwarts can be in. Gryffindors are known for their bravery, while my Hogwarts house, Ravenclaw, is more based on being witty and wise. So the fact I found myself speaking up about this anxiety to others shocked me. I then started my journey in dealing with it instead of just keeping it locked up inside. This was my “little miracle”. And my first opportunity to really step out of my comfort zone came at church camp this past summer.

 

Camp has always been this major part in my life. I’ve learned more about myself at camp than anything else I have done in my life. It is a place where making mistakes is ok. You would not be judged. Just loved. Being there for three weeks this year, really helped me to take on a leadership role. I did some counseling, but I mostly ended up leading music for the worship services the whole time. It was nice having Chris Turner there the first week to help me and it made the next two weeks of leading the music myself a little less stressful. I got an understanding of how to lead music in worship. It was nice to be in a space where if I terribly messed up a song, it was ok. And I could move on and learn from it.

 

It was probably the best experience I had starting out on my road to learning to worry less. It was a place where I could let go and have that “ inner voice” take over. I am still trying to take that mind set of “it is ok to make mistakes” to the world outside of  camp, where there are going to be people who will judge you for your mistakes. But there are also those people, just like you find at camp, that will always love you in spite of the mistakes you make as you journey through life. 

 

We all have to find our own ways to not sweat the small stuff. Some people might choose mediation, while others might find writing a way to help them overcome their anxiety and stress. Songwriters are especially good at expressing emotions through their lyrics. I would like to leave you with a quote from a Andra Moran’s song, “Worry”:

 

“I ain’t gonna worry ‘bout tomorrow, maybe joy or maybe sorrow

Either one is gonna happen either way

I could scream and holler but I think if I could follow, 

You could show me where I’m going to today”

 

"What is Faith?" -- Meagan Reid

What is faith? Faith can be interpreted differently by different people. According to the dictionary, faith is “a firm belief in something without the slightest doubt. But then I saw something even better. Faith is not belief without proof, it's trust without reservation. Even non religious people have faith. One of my favorite bands, Mumford and sons were quoted saying “we are fans of faith, not religion." Don’t tell God how big your storm is; tell the storm how big your God is.. Do not despise the small things for the Lord rejoices to see work begin. Zechariah 4:10.

God owes us nothing yet he gives us everything.

This is going to be a compilation of quotations and stories.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf ball s. He then nasked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous “yes.”

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else—the small stuff. “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first—the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

When things in your lives seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

Sincere prayer changes everything.

One day a father and his rich family took his son to a trip to the country with the firm purpose to show him how poor people can be. They spent a day and a night in the farm of a very poor family. When they got back from their trip the father asked his son, “How was the trip?”

“Very good Dad!” replied his son. “Did you see how poor people can be?” the father asked. “Yeah!” “And what did you learn?” The son answered, “I saw that we have a dog at home, and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden; they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lamps in the garden; they have the stars. Our patio reaches to the front yard, they have a whole horizon.” When the little boy was finishing, his father was speechless. His son added, “Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are!”

The perfect cure for worry is faith in God, and faith in his timing.

Any person can count the seeds in an apple. Only God can count all the apples in one seed. ~Robert H. Schuller
 

A CONVERSATION WITH GOD

Me: God, can I ask You a question?
God: Sure

Me: Promise You won’t get mad
God: I promise

Me: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?
God: What do u mean?

Me: Well, I woke up late
God: Yes

Me: My car took forever to start
God: Okay

Me: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait
God: Huummm !!!

Me: On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call
God: All right

Me: And on top of it all off, when I got home ~I just want to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn’t work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?
God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one
of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that

Me (humbled): OH
GOD: I didn’t let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.

Me: (ashamed)
God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I didn’t want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn’t afford to miss work.

Me (embarrassed):Okay
God: Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn’t even let you talk to them so you would be covered.

Me (softly): I see God
God: Oh and that foot massager, it had a shortage that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn’t think you wanted to be in the dark.

Me: I’m Sorry God
God: Don’t be sorry, just learn to Trust Me…. in All things , the Good & the bad.

Me: I will trust You.
God: And don’t doubt that My plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.

Me: I won’t God. And let me just tell you God, Thank You for Everything today.
God: You’re welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I Love looking after My Children…

 


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