"Mark, my words"
October 4, 2019, 11:00 AM

October 4, 2019

Mark, my words…


Many people don’t know this, but I love the study of economics. I’m not kidding. From my first economics class at Anoka Ramsey Community College, I was hooked. I found it fascinating. I know some of you are reading this and thinking I am setting up a big joke, but I am not. I have re-read that first textbook at least a dozen times. I listen to economic podcasts. I check out library books on economic theory. Yes, friends, your pastor is a real nerd. It is time you come to grips with it.

One thing that economics has taught me is that you need a certain amount of data to accurately assess anything. To rightly gauge job growth, you don’t look at a week’s worth of statistics, or even a month. You need at least a quarter, or three months. Even then, you only get a snapshot of what has happened. To determine a trend, positively or negatory, you need a few quarters worth of information. The words “sustained” and “long term” need to be part of a definition, especially if a major trend is to be discovered.


That’s why it made me laugh so hard recently when a BBC news reporter was ready to declare bad economic times based on the figures from only one month. Not only is that inaccurate, but it can have negative consequences on the very thing being reported. If the general public hears a ‘bad report’ on the economy it can affect the way people participate in the economy, which can then cause the economy to worsen. It’s a bad cycle. It’s even worse if the negative change or behavior is predicated on faulty or incomplete data.


(Be honest, how many of you are wondering when or even if I am ever going to get to a God idea?) Don’t worry, here is the God idea.


In the dark ages of my youth, people got reflective once or twice a year. Birthdays were good times to reflect on how things were going. New Year’s Eve or day was also a time to assess the past year.


What I see happening now, from the metaphorical window of my pastoral office is a much more disturbing trend. I regularly talk to people who are convinced that their life is going poorly, and they are basing it on a bad afternoon, day or maybe a week. Friends, we will have bad days. We will have bad weeks. We will have bad months or even seasons! I want to encourage you to base view of how things are going on some longer-term measurements.


How has your year been? Are things generally getting better? Are things generally getting healthier? Are you more connected to people? Are you more aware of God moving on your life?


Think in terms of eternity! When you consider the good that we have waiting for us, there are very few problems that need to be seen as overwhelming. There is almost nothing that cannot be endured. As the Apostle Paul reminds us in his second letter to the Corinthian church “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (4:18 NIV). Look long. Think eternal.


The reality is that if we put too much stock in short term measurements, it can have a disastrous impact on our participation. In life, in faith or even in the economy. Please, take the long-term view. Consider carefully all that God has been doing in your life. Stay involved, stay plugged in as you look at the eternal picture.


In God’s Grip,

Pastor Mark


10-07-2019 at 3:07 PM
Heidi Wurm
I love that you always speak your heart and also speak in words that are relatable and covered in God’s truth. It also helps that you can give us a chuckle (who says chuckle?) every now and then. Love this Pastor Mark!! Keep it up!
10-05-2019 at 4:41 PM
Joyce Quast-sister of Glo
Wow, love the way you think! Gives a person a lot to think about!
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