What happened to last weeks podcast? Tune in to find out! Also, we talk about the downtown area of Danville and it's current heavy construction. It's been a huge hastle to everyone, and our once beautiful and quiet downtown is a loud mess. But, it will be worth it, because when they're done it will be more beautiful than ever. Well...all of us are similarly under construction. God is working at chipping away in our lives at the things that need to go. It's not easy, but you know what? It's worth it, because when he's finished we will be more beautiful than ever, resembeling his holiness & righteousness.
What if I told you that God could be seen in the most ordinary things every day?
What if I told you that every day, ordinary events could teach us extraordinary eternal truths?
Would you believe me?
Hi, I’m BJ Sipe – and you’re listening to the Set Your Mind Above Podcast.
I am a Christian, a preacher, a husband, and a father.
Thanks for tuning in!
What happened to last week’s podcast? Well, that is a very good question. Allow me to give you a rundown of how the past week has gone without going into too much detail. It all started Tuesday when Ava got the stomach bug. Then I got it Wednesday and couldn’t even leave the bathroom. Then Dane got it. Then Kylie & Finley. Thursday night Kylie and Finley had to go up to the UK ER because they were so dehydrated. Friday both Ava & Dane then came down with high fevers. Saturday Dane ended up in the ER here in town and we discovered they have parainfluenza #3. Monday Ava went to the pediatrician. And as of yesterday, the kid’s parainfluenza has given way to croup cough. Needless to say…it’s been a LONG, long week full of all kinds of nasty, nasty not niceness and very little sleep. Lord willing, we are on our way towards full health for everyone. In the meantime, thank you so much for your patience, understanding, and especially your prayers. It felt so good today to get out and work outside of our home for the first time in over a week. I packed up my things and headed off towards downtown to link up with one of our recent converts for some Bible study & fellowship. If you are not native to Danville, let me paint you a picture of our historic downtown area for a few minutes. While it is very small, it is quaint but beautiful. Well, at least it used to be. When we showed up 4 years ago almost to the day, the sidewalks of main street were lined with beautiful trees. Wonderful local shops ranging from boutiques to coffee roasters were easily accessible by parking out front right off the street, where you would enjoy the quiet of our little downtown. Well, about a year ago now, they began to take on a large project to better our downtown area. It started by ripping up all of the trees that used to be adorned with lights strung through them. Instead of shade and cover on the store fronts, the sun or rain now beat down upon customers. Then came the construction crews with jackhammers, bobcats, backhoes, and all kinds of other heavy equipment. Naturally, these take up all the parking off main street out front. Soon the sidewalks were ripped up in whole sections as they started their work. Their loud work. Their very loud work. There were days I was inside my coffee shop working and you can hardly hear the person sitting next to you because they were drilling and working right outside the store front. Not to mention rerouting traffic – turn lanes are closed in several places – causing backup and lots of delays to just get through one light. I think you get the picture at this point – it’s quite the mess. It’s loud, it’s congested, it’s taking a very long time, but you know what? It’s worth it. While this period of our historic downtown being under construction is certainly not convenient, I have seen and heard about the improvements they plan to make when everything is said and done. It’s going to be beautiful. The expansion of the walking paths will allow restaurants and coffee shops to place more tables outside to be enjoyed during the spring, summer, and fall. The trees they are planting won’t cross pollinate and smell so terrible during certain months out of the year. There is a lot more, and if you’re curious, you can download the downtown 52-page master plan from the city’s website and see for yourself. Construction is never fun or convenient, but the results speak for themselves.
If I’m being perfectly honest, I have to say that many times in my faith I feel a whole lot more like the current state of our downtown area. And by that I mean I am a person who is very much still under quite a bit of heavy construction. Day by day I feel like God continues to drill and chip away at different pieces of me that need to go. Whether it’s pride, lust, anxiety, anger, or a host of other things – the Holy Spirit has his jackhammer out and he’s going to town on a daily basis. It’s hard sometimes, and it is certainly not easy or convenient…but the Hebrew writer reminds me that it’s going to be worth it. Let’s read Hebrews 12:5-11, “And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons: My son, do not take the Lord’s discipline lightly or lose heart when you are reproved by him, for the Lord disciplines the one he loves and punishes every son he receives. Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline—which all receive—then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had human fathers discipline us, and we respected them. Shouldn’t we submit even more to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time based on what seemed good to them, but he does it for our benefit, so that we can share his holiness. No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” In this text, the Hebrew writer shares some comforting words with us about how we should view our relationship with our creator. He likens it to how a loving father deals with his own children, citing Proverbs 3 in the process. A loving father does their best to mold and shape their children into becoming God fearing, loving, responsible, independent adults – and part of that molding and shaping involves discipline. As a father of three, I do my best to practice this very thing – and often my children resent me in the moment for it. Discipline is never fun as a child. But as they get older, I hope they will appreciate the “master plan” that our Master has laid out for them. I hope that through our diligent, consistent, and loving discipline and instruction it will produce faith, love, and righteous fruit in their lives. Until then, my children are very much under construction. As the children of God, we are very much in the same situation. In each of our lives, there are different areas that are currently under construction by God – things that are being torn down and work that is being done. Perhaps it’s in your marriage, or in your work ethic, maybe it’s in your attitude, or even in your faith overall. What you’re experiencing is difficult, uncomfortable, and inconvenient – trust me, I know. But you know what? It’s worth it, and to our benefit. When we submit the God’s will and allow him to break us down, it allows him to also build us back up again into something far more beautiful that resembles his holiness and righteousness. Even if you can’t see it right now, do something for yourself…be patient. God isn’t finished with you yet, and one day you might look in the mirror and be amazed because you don’t even recognize yourself anymore because you’ve been transformed by the discipline and grace of God. To quote the old-time hymn, “His pow’r can make you what you ought to be; His blood can cleanse your heart and make you free; His love can fill your soul, and you will see - ’Twas best for Him to have His way with thee.”
Thank you for tuning in for this week’s episode, and I would invite you back every Wednesday for a brand-new episode each week. If you haven’t already, be sure to find us on Facebook for future announcements or even some special video sessions. If you have benefited from this podcast, share it with someone else that you think would benefit from it also. Until next time, know that I love you, that God loves you, and may we all each & every day set our minds above.