Thursday, July 30, 2009

Places for Grace

Do you have places in your life where you need grace? Do you need to give some grace?

Who are "they"?

"They" say you should walk and you will lose weight. "They" say you should drink more water. "They" say weigh yourself once a week. "They" say don't eat after 6 p.m. "They" say weigh yourself every day. "They" say you should pay cash. "They" say it's going to be a hard winter. "They" say you will go blind if you sit too close to the tv. "They" say it's going to be a good year for corn. "They" say . . . WHO ARE THEY?

If you really think about it, how many times do you say or do you hear others say: "They say"? Why don't we ever question who "they" are or what "they" say? Sometimes we just take it as gospel and go with it. If "They" said it, well then it must be true.

Maybe we should take a different approach. Jesus says "Don't worry about tomorrow". Jesus says "love your enemy". Jesus says to give to the poor. Jesus says to take care of the orphans and widows. Jesus says to cast all your anxieties on him. Jesus says to forgive as you have been forgiven. Jesus says to tell others about him. Jesus says to love your God with all your heart. Jesus says . . . . Do you know what Jesus says? How different would our lives be if we thought about what Jesus says as much as we do about what "they" say.

Monday, July 27, 2009

This will be funny later . . .

Two weeks since I last blogged. Finally thought I was having something worthwhile to say tonight and then life happened. My ear is still sweating after having had the phone to it for the last hour listening to various forms of elevator music while I held waiting on customer service.

1. Car needs repaired. Leave early for work, drop off the car. Turns out the parts (not including labor) would cost more than the value of the car and that was assuming they could find the parts. Needless to say we will drive this car until it literally stops running on the side of the road somewhere. The thought of car payments makes me cringe.

2. Making supper last night and microwave just quits. No bang. No dramatic fire. No burnt food. Just quits. Not the fuse. Not the plug. Just done. One year warranty technically expired about a month ago, although the microwave has actually only been used for about 10 months. Will cost more to fix than to buy a new one. Didn't put anything out to thaw for supper because I needed to drop the car off to get it fixed. Making comfort food.

3. Making comfort food while I am on hold waiting for customer service with a different company. Returned items (that I didn't order) two weeks ago. Still hasn't come off my credit card. Open jar for sauce for the comfort food sandwich I really want by now - mold on the inside of the jar. Plan B.

4. After being on hold listening to really loud, really bad music, I hear "our systems are down and we won't be able to help you locate your order until tomorrow."

5. Have now doubled up on the grilled cheese and added extra cheese.

Maybe the 'profound' thoughts will come to me tomorrow. But for now - looking for something chocolate.

Friday, July 10, 2009


I love it when you can feel the momentum shift in a situation. Sometimes you feel like the battle is headed for your side to be defeated and then . . . GOD! You bow down, confess your sins, thank God for his faithfulness and when you lift your head back up, you can see the enemy retreating and you regain your passion to fight.

That's what happened tonight. Our team just took the offensive.

Stand firm then and resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Maybe you have your own story of God's
faithfulness when you thought defeat was imminent. I would love to hear it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Written on Me

What is written on me? What message am I sending as a Christian? What image do I convey to the lost, the cynical, the scared, the hopeless? If I am the church, what does the sign in front of my building say? Is it cheesy, hypocritical, indifferent, uninteresting, judgmental?

Like a whirlwind in my mind, these thoughts are spinning faster and faster and faster. Not out of control, but clearly with a purpose that the momentum in my brain will ultimately cause a reaction in my physical being in how I act and speak and think.

A postcard invitation for our church was laying on our kitchen counter. The upcoming service will be about "If you only had 30 days left to live" and how it would effect your life. Sadly, I really hadn't thought about what my response or answer would be. I still haven't, because my thoughts were radically redirected. Someone I care very deeply for and who is far from Christ, picked up the postcard and read it. They asked lots of questions. Not about Jesus. They asked questions about our church and why certain service times had changed. They asked about other matters concerning the church and the people there. They looked the card over so closely and noticed the finest details that I had honestly not seen. There was small print in the background. I thought it was just a design and never noticed the words. This person read those words and contemplated them. They spent time considering how they would live out their life if they only had 30 days left to live.

Their reaction to the postcard impacted me greatly. What is the message I am sending? Would anyone want to know Jesus after having spent some time with me? Would they think that I am any different than the rest of the world or am I just boring and indifferent? What about me would make them think that Jesus is worth following? I know this person is reading the 'fine print' on my invitation to come follow Jesus.

I have to wonder - what is written on me?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Resentful or Grateful?

Do we resent the responsibilities that come with answered prayer? That was the question posed to me last week. Before you read further, please stop and reread the question slowly: Do we resent the responsibilities that come with answered prayer?

If God has blessed you with a home - do you resent the time it takes to keep it clean and cared for? If God has placed you in a ministry of some sort - do you resent the time it requires or the sacrifices you must make? If God has blessed you with a job (which can be an answer to all sorts of prayers) - do you resent going to work? Are you being responsible in how you handle the money God has blessed you with?

Seriously, do we resent the responsibilities that come with answered prayer? Think about some of things that God has blessed you with in response to the prayers you have prayed. What is your attitude towards those answers? Are you being a good steward with whatever it is He has entrusted you with?

Does your gratitude and stewardship warrant God entrusting you with more? If God has found you worthy to be the caretaker of something He needs done on this earth, how would your performance evaluation read? Do you resent it? Do you even think about it?

Do we resent the responsibilities that come with answered prayer? I don't know - do you?