Monday, August 29, 2016

There are those times when you can't figure out why certain things are happening.
The times when you are supposed to be asking, "What are you trying to teach me here God?"

The answer is certainly difficult to find...or hear sometimes.

Thankfully, I'm not alone.
A guy named King David had that same problem, and his problems were WAY worse than mine...at least so far.

The Bible says that David was a man after God's own heart.
Sometimes I think, "Yea, right on David! You are a man after God's own heart!"
Sometimes I think, "What's wrong with you David?  Clearly you haven't a clue how to live a decent fellows life."

Often, I want to get judgemental about him.
Often I put on my E.R.A. hat and have a hissy fit when I read about him.
(No, I don't really own an E.R.A. hat).

Then I look at my own life which I like to think of as super great and godly...and sometimes, it is.
Sometimes I think,"Yea, way to go ME."
Then sometimes I think, "What's wrong with me?  Clearly I have no clue how to live a decent life."

Then I become very thankful for that ancient king.  He is just like me, plus, he never had the advantage of Christian self help books and 2000 years plus of scholarly research to help us all live a life pleasing to God.

Thanks for telling us a very human man could capture your heart.

That means that maybe I could capture your heart too God.

I love you God.
Thanks for sending Jesus.

 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

So What?

 
 
I Corinthians 5
 
This morning I was reading 1 Corinthians.
 
Those people were pretty "out there".
 
I'm not sure what they were thinking in chapter 5.
Paul wrote to them in part to deal with a really bad situation.
 
A man was sleeping with he father's wife and the church at Corinth was apparently okay with the whole situation.
 
Now, we aren't told if this woman was his mom or step-mom, but either way this is a case of something gone terribly wrong.
 
The majority of people even in our culture would say that a person should not sleep with your mom or step mom.
 
Now, remember, these were people in the church, so they were held to the standard that God says is good....and Paul was kind of taken back by the behavior not only of the guy and his mom, but also that the people in the church there didn't say anything to these two about this love interest being problematic.
 
Well, so what?
 
What does that have to do with anything?
 
Well, the truth is, that if you are not a follower of Jesus Christ you really don't have any reason to care about this at all.  You are not obligated to follow God's moral code and there is no reason that this scenario should bother you.
 
But it might anyway....
 
This brings me to my next and more relevant question.
How should we decide what "sleeping arrangements" are okay and which ones are not?
 
This is a big topic today.
 
If you don't subscribe to God's way of doing things, then frankly any arrangement is alright.
You may marry your mom if you like.  You can marry John and William as long as everyone is okay with the arrangement.  I have even heard of a woman who married the Eiffel Tower which is pretty weird, but if you're not a follower of Christ...well, you know....
 
But if you name the name of Christ then you should feel a tension to line your life up with that which he says is good and right.
(God will work through you to do this by the way...you really can't do it by self will).
 
You will never be able to do it perfectly, we come to Jesus as we are and he sheds his grace on every part of our lives.
 
But, when we are involved in something that God says is not good (there's a short list in 1 Corinthians 5)
AND you're a follower of Christ...well, somebody who loves you ought to say something to you about it.
 
And that's all I have to say about that.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Fishing

 
It's been a long time since I have written in Purchased.
 
This morning I was reading John 21.  It's where Jesus appears to the disciples after he has been resurrected.
 
He stands on the shore of the lake of Galilee and asks Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel,  and four other disciples how the fishing went during the night...because it had been a bummer of a fishing night again.  There weren't going to be any great fishing stories because they hadn't caught a single fish.
 
The first time Jesus asked about the fishing was the day he called Peter to follow him.
 
Jesus was coming full circle.  Visiting some of the guys again after another unproductive night of fishing.
Both times Jesus pulls in the mother load of fish for them, and both times the massive amount of fish are left and we don't know what happens to them.
 
I imagine in a culture without a stock market and retirement plans that someone claimed the fish...but it wasn't the guys who pulled them in.
 
This could be a lesson in itself, but that's not where we are headed today.
 
After a great reunion the guys sit around a fire with Jesus and roast a couple of fish for breakfast.
 
And Jesus starts to question Peter.
 
You know the story right?  Jesus asks Peter three times:
 
Do you love me Peter?
Do you love me Peter?
Do you love me Peter?
 
Peter gets kind of angry, but in the final  response he gives Jesus the answer for which he has been "fishing".
 
The first two times Peter answers, he uses a word that in the Greek is phileo (I am your great friend) but Jesus isn't looking for a great friend.
The last time Peter answers Jesus, he uses the Greek word agape (I am wholly committed to loving you no matter what happens).  When Jesus hears this, he is satisfied and gives Peter his life assignment.
 
This is what Jesus wants from us.  Full commitment, full trust, and that we love him more than anyone, anywhere, at any time.
This won't come as any surprise to most of us.
 
The surprise may come when we find out that Jesus loves us this way.  He loves you more than a mom and dad love there kids, more than the love you felt when you fell in love with your spouse.  Yep, Jesus is massively in love with you.
 
He loves you enough to give you everything you need.
He loves you enough to give you a purpose.
He loves you enough to care about every tear that falls from your eye.
 
He loves you enough to cover your sin with a costly sacrifice so that where he is, you can also be some day.
 
Yep, it's all true (I've been reading up on it for a while now).
So go ahead and ask him to show you if he's for real.
If you are looking for him honestly, he will show himself.
 
 
 


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ravens

I spent time with a new friend of mine today.

Anxiety had gotten the better of me today and I burst into tears in her kitchen.

She hugged me and began to pray for me.

She prayed for me and asked God to send the ravens.

The ravens are birds that came to Elijah in the middle of nowhere-ville and brought him meat and bread twice a day while he was hiding from a king and his wife that wanted him dead. 

That's kind of an unusual way to provide for someone.

But I don't mind unusual things, especially when they are yummy.

Then tonight on the radio I heard a woman talking about the ravens...AGAIN.

An obscure passage reference twice in the same day?  Really, nobody references these ravens.

Okay, God, I'm listening.

Perhaps the ravens are on their way already.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Do Not Be Afraid

I'm not afraid of a lot of things.

New situations don't scare me, change doesn't scare me, physical danger doesn't scare me.  I don't mind my kids climbing trees or learning how to shoot guns.  If my son wants to play football...that's fine.  If my daughters want to bungee jump...that's okay too.

In fact when I was 19 years old my dad and I tried very hard to get into East Berlin when there were riots going on.  He is probably my genetic link to danger and excitement.

I still regret that we were told we couldn't cross the border.

I've never seen a riot in person.

I like to think I am bulletproof.

But I'm not.

The things that scare me are far more insidious.

The creep of moral decay in our culture and what effect it will have on my children and grandchildren....THAT scares me.

A culture that is slowly turning against Christians...
FRIGHTENING.

The Biblical prophesy of Christians suffering...
YIKES!

Bitterness, regret and cynicism sneaking into my life...
TERRIFYING!

I worry about those things.

But do you know what God told me this morning?

He told me that all these things that I'm scared of could happen in my lifetime.
Christians could be persecuted in the United States
(They are being persecuted right now all over the world...if you don't believe me
it's an eye opener.

But in the same chapter that talks about persecution God says this:
"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside of your Father's care.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don't be afraid; you are worth much more than sparrows."

God does not say that nothing bad will happen.

He says that when the bad things happen he will be right by your side caring for you.

Even in death or torture or hunger or complete terror...he is not gone.

He sees everything you are going through in this sad, sad world.
He does not look away or flinch.
He is well aware of what is going on down here and we weeps for us and is angry that everything has gone this far awry.
And one day he will come back and wipe all the tears from our eyes.
He will get rid of every evil thing...every evil thought...every evil action.

He will bring justice.

When it all ends (and it ends for everyone), he will be the face we see as we pass from this life to the next.

And then we will feel foolish for thinking he had forgotten us.

He'll tell us the numbers of hair on our heads if we would like to know that crazy thing.

He will have the answer because he know us so intimately.

He will have the answer as to why things went as they did in our lives.

And we won't be scared ever again.





Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Rock Verses Bread, Snake Verses Fish

I started reading through Matthew a few days ago.  
I like calling in The Gospel of St. Matthew in my head, it makes me feel more important somehow.

I read the first 12 verses of chapter 7 today.

Part of it talks about not judging others,
and that's always a good reminder.  Another part talks about seeing what you do wrong before you see what others do wrong.

Oh man....I don't really want to go there now, because last night all I caught a glimpse of how wrong I can be.  But I'm so self deceived in areas that I quickly piled that stuff under a bunch of mental pillows and suffocated it.
(Don't worry though, God has a way of bringing that kind of stuff to the surface again).

Today I was cut wide open to the heart when I read the section titled ASK, SEEK, KNOCK.

I know some of this applies to seeking God and salvation.  When you honestly seek God, you will find Him.  And when you knock He always opens the door.  He's a welcoming kind of fellow.

Well, I hope I'm not alone, but I spend a lot of my prayer life asking, asking, asking.

I'm at a point in my life right now that is incredibly difficult.

Some of what I have asked for has been denied or at the very least delayed.

And this question has sneaked into my mind:
Is God's plan to give me a bad life?

Because it seems like that right now.

Don't get me wrong, there are things in my life that are good, but the general trajectory of my life seems at best directionless and at worst on a hell bent on imploding or exploding...whichever comes first.

So I ask myself, "Is God giving me a rock when I ask for bread?
Is God giving me a snake to eat when I asked for Mahi Mahi?"

He says he won't.  He says that good earthly dad's don't even do that.  So why would a perfect heavenly dad do that bad thing?

Well, he says he will give us good gifts.

So I ask myself, "What am I not seeing?"
"Is this where I thank God for the "trials of many kinds"?"
(I'm sorry about that horrible punctuation).

Is God developing my character by testing my metal?

I find myself talking to God and saying, "Please give me bread and fish.  I'm so hungry for something good."

No doubt he will deliver at some point.
He says that's who he is...and God is not a man that he should lie.

Amen.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Laugh

Sometimes you just need a good laugh.

My daughters wrote this "newspaper" a few years ago and we cracked up when we read it.
Hope you enjoy it.

(I especially like the tax ad...where do they get this stuff)?
P.S. I know about rendering to Caesar.....sigh. 

Randomness Gazette

                Today will always be known as a grim day in history… we don’t know why but I’m sure something bad happened! Anyhow, happy birthday because it’s someone’s birthday today and merry Christmas, because that’s what it is somewhere in the world, and also happy Halloween, happy thanksgiving, happy Hanukah, good evening, good morning, good afternoon, good day, and mazel tav! And a few more happies, goods, and merries besides.
            Anywho, since your reading the randomness gazette, you may want to skip this section… it’s the random thing to do! Or you can read this boring story about a stupid girl who’s puppy is pink. But since we’re random as well, we may as well skip that part!

            Read on!

Advertisements that you may or may not want to read

WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE:
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ALICE. Y’KNOW, AS IN ALICE IN WONDERLAND… THAT ALICE?
AND THE MAD HATTER, IF POSSIBLE.
HE’S MAD AS A HATTER AND DANGEROUS TO SOCIETY.
THAT WILL BE ALL.
THANK YOU.

Charlie’s Cha-cha Palace!
Got a Sweet Sixteen coming up and not sure what to do? Come to Charlie’s Cha-Cha Palace for dancing and fun! Only a couple bucks, but hey, who cares?! It’s cheap and fun!

New Thrift store in town!
The new thrift store on main street, an amazing place, truly, just opened! It’s called “A Shack of Cheap Stuff,” and sure enough, it’s cheap! Visit our website at www.ashackofcheapstuff.com!

Graffiti Busters!
Is graffiti tearing up your neighborhood? Call the Graffiti Busters. We get rid of graffiti like nobody’s beeswax and we do it quick!

Come on, dude! You know you need to!

Have your add in this paper!
Only five bucks a week- must be real venison, no does please.
Fonts:
Boring
Really Stupid
Computer Nerd
Up to 4 lines! Call today!

Nerd Squad inc.
Need some geeks to fix your computer in a jiffy? We can do it! (but not in an actual jiffy, of course!) call Nerd Squad today!

 Bill Di Vinci
Art show this week. Please attend. :0

Need someone to engrave something on something for you?? Call us today! The engravers, © today or maybe yesterday but who cares!

Are your pants on fire because you’re such a liar? We’ll put’m out for you! The fire-putter-outers- call us today!

Do you like to brag? I love to brag! So come to the brag-a-thon! All the biggest braggers in town will be here! It’s gonna be sweet, dude!

Need Latin classes? Call us today at WIDE LATIN!

Smile and say cheese. Don’t ask.

i cant seem to figure out this darn puzzle out! Can you solve it?!!!

HpwSignsnds,areas,nconfusings,dm UNCONFUSE YOURSELF! TAKE SHERRY’S SIGN READING CLASS!

The name’s Bob. If you want, I’ll fix your car. But only for a price… ten bucks. You willing to pay? Call me.

Do you need something engraved on a piece of candy? Call us now!

Need someone dead? Call us. The Ninja, www.theninja.com

Having trouble with your taxes? Don’t worry we’re gonna kill whoever makes you pay your taxes! Go to www.governmentkill.blogspot.com

Tired of getting mail every morning? Let us help you! We’ll burn your mailbox down! then you won’t have to get those sickening letters and bills every day!

Need a ride? Now? Call Han Solo. He can get you anywhere, anytime, anyplace… as long as you cough up the credits, that is.

Rouwwereao! Rreoahoaore! Roughhh! - <3 Chewie