Running With Mark 33

Day Thirty-Three – January 30, 2020  

Read: Luke 16:13-19

“No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other,

or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

Luke 16:13


“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:19-21


To start off today’s blog, please watch this old, very funny, and very true video from Saturday Night Live.  Don’t Buy Stuff – SNL


A wise spiritual mentor once suggested that my calendar and my checkbook are a good indication of my values.  They show the things I choose to invest in with my time and my resources. 


I took a look at my checkbook.  Right away a couple of things stood out.  The first thing that stood out was the number of checks/debit transactions for restaurants.  I had a lot of excuses.  I’m working full-time.  I have a lot of evening meetings so I can’t cook.  Restaurants had become a convenience, and maybe even a crutch for me.
There is something spiritual about taking time to prepare healthy meals.  The chopping of the vegetables, preparing the meat/protein, smelling those delicious smells as things cook, setting the table, all of these are ways that God can use to slow us down and to make us aware.  Sharing a meal with someone is a great way to get to know a new neighbor, co-worker, family member or congregational member.   


Jesus spent a lot of time eating meals with people.  The meals were times for connection.  The meals were a way to show that the guests mattered.  Feeding people, whether that was just a few around a table, or 5,000 hungry souls, was a practical and a spiritual experience.

The second thing that stood out was how I use my money.  There were lots of checkbook/debit entries for Target runs, because, let’s be honest, it’s hard to go into Target for just one item, and leave with just that one item.  There were more orders from online websites like Amazon and Lands End than I would care to admit.


I also noticed that we have grown in our generosity.  When we were young and raising a family, finances were always tight.  But early on in our marriage, we made a commitment to support the local church with our tithes and our offerings.  It took us a couple of years from giving 3% of our take home pay to where we were giving 10%.  It seemed daunting to go from 3-10% overnight.  So, each year we took the next step, adding another percentage to our giving.  For many years now the first thing that comes out of my checking account after payday, is an automatic deduction for my tithe to the church.  Tithing has become a spiritual practice and discipline.  I’ve learned to budget based on the money that is left over after my tithe.


There’s still a whole lot God needs to help me with surrounding finances and resources.  I can find myself grumpy and envious when friends go on trips overseas, or when they seem to have resources to do interesting things.  Sometimes I need an attitude check. 


Lorrie Sandelin is the Director of the Joyce Uptown Foodshelf.  She shares stories of clients who use the services of the food shelf.  They are just trying to feed their families.  It is a good reminder that most of us have way more resources than we will ever need.  We are merely conduits through which the resources of God can flow.  What a joy to be able to freely and generously share the good gifts that God has given us.


  • What would your calendar reveal about your values? Are you making time for worship? For a small group? For service?
  • How much of your time can get eaten up by Netflix, surfing the web on your computer, or playing games on your phone?
  • What opportunities do you miss because of those time-suckers?
  • What are your feelings about your finances? Do you struggle with debt? Impulse buying?
  • Are you generous in your giving? Do you have room to grow?



Money, Money, Money by Abba

Seasons of Love from Rent


Prayer Focus:

Bring your finances to God.  Ask God to help you make wise decisions about spending, saving and giving.

Talk to God about your calendar.  Could you block off 30 minutes a day on your calendar to read Scripture, devotions, listen to music and pray? 


Grace and peace,

Pastor Karen Bruins