Monday, May 23, 2016

Dining for Jesus

So much fuss lately about who pees where, why, and how, and with what equipment...

So much fuss...all...the...time over what everyone does.

The fuss from the left is always shouted from the rooftops with words like:

"discrimination!" 
"war against..."
"bigotry!"
"racism!"

And the left demands that everyone be allowed to do whatever they darn-well want...(so long as it's what the left wants.)

The fuss from the right is always shouted from the rooftops with words like:

"God's judgment!"
"sin!"
"repent!"

And the right demands that everyone be allowed to do...only what their brand of Christianity deems God-approved.

My advice to the left would be to...pay more attention to science. Science has the answer about abortion, what "it" is or isn't and the effect on mothers and on society...and it has the answer to the gender fuss...and just everything if only you look.

My advice to the right would be to...go out to eat with the left.

Huh?

Really. Have you ever gone out to eat with someone? You know...you sit at a table, look at the menu, and you order stuff to eat, right?

Sometimes the person you dine with will look to you and say..."I don't know what I want? What do you think I should order?" And you give them a suggestion. "Order that." Sometimes they take your suggestion. Sometimes they order something else. 

When this happens...what do you do? Do you lecture them? Hound them? Look at them in disgust and tell them they are NOT going to like what they just ordered then chase down the waitress and make them change their order?

That's silly, isn't it? What's it to you what they order?

And then...have you ever been out to eat with someone and after the food has been delivered and you're eating...they look down at their own food with disgust and regret...then over at what's on your plate with longing?

Are you good at metaphors or do I need to explain this?

See...that's how it's supposed to work with your life.

Christians...you've at the "table of life" right now and have checked out the menu. You've made your choice (and really are making choices every day) and you have before you "on your plate" what you've ordered.

Your friends and neighbors...have likewise looked over the menu, made their choices, and their choices are now "on their plates" before them, as well.

If their choice really doesn't "taste" that good...if it's making them feel sick...and they're regretting their choice and look over at "your plate"...what do they?

Do they see you enjoying a "plate" full of awesome, happiness, and success? Or do they see you gagging down a "plate" full of anger, frustration, complaint, and nastiness? 

If what you chose from the life menu really is better than theirs...they should be able to look across life's table at you and see you enjoying your "meal" more than they are enjoying theirs...and it should be appealing to them. They should want to try it. And rather than trying to push your choice on them, you need to work to make your "plate" more appealing than theirs so that they come to want it...all on their own. Their own choice. 

So stop worrying about what everyone else does. Stop worrying about all of it and make sure your own order is the best "meal" life has to offer. Make sure your side dishes, your drink, and dessert are top-notch, nutritious, and delish...and let your joy be evident as you sit at life's table with your "meal" before you.

And if what you have on your plate before you isn't appealing at all to the other person...to the world...maybe you need to look down at your own plate and see if what you've got before you is actually rotten...Bones and other things that need to be cut away are one thing and part of everyone's "life plate" but if what's on your plate just plain stinks...there is a problem. 




Examine your own plate to see if you need to scrape your own plate clean and order something else.

Basically...
Worry about the log in your own eye.
Show the world that a life lived for Christ is better...don't tell them.
If you're actually living a life for Christ...you won't have to tell them...so if they don't see it...you aren't livin' it.


Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.

if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen 
and save some of them.

But prove yourselves doers of the word
and not merely hearers who delude themselves.

Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in yourown eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.

in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds

John 13:14-15 
If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. 



Saturday, May 14, 2016

$1,300-worth of fun!

I took my kids to a theme park this week, finally buying annual passes for me and the 4 youngest kids. That's 5 annual passes to an Orlando theme park. 

At some point in the day, I jokingly said to one of the kids, something to the effect of, "They'd better have $1,300-worth of fun!"

And that...got me thinking.

What's the point of a theme park, anyway? 
To have fun.

That's it. 

And the theme park is a wonder in and of itself, if you really take time to look. So much planning, designing and building to create the fantastic rides! And the daily running and maintenance of the park! Whoa! What an enormous undertaking it would be!

All for...fun.

So like seriously...what a total bummer it'd be to take the kids there and watch them...as they spend the day...fighting.  Not enjoying one bit of their time! Like...what if my kids spent their entire time in the park...complaining about the rides, protesting the park's policies, and demanding the park change things they disliked?


Wouldn't that like...just totally suck? 
Wouldn't that be a complete and utter waste of $1,300???

Well...once upon a time someone spent time planning, designing, building, and creating this world. And just look around this world...the natural world. So much beauty and wonder. The stars. The sun. The clouds. The rainbow after a rain. The ocean. So many creatures! Eagles! Cats! Dogs! Fireflies! Butterflies! Flowers!

There is so much beauty and wonder in this world. Though some highly depressive religious folks see this world as some sort of...negative place God made for negative and unhappy things...Why would our good God bother with all the really neat things He made, all the beautiful wondrous things He made...unless He wants to see us...enjoy our time here?

And He paid a little bit more than $1,300 for us to be here, didn't He? 
He paid with His life. 
His very blood!

And so now look around this "theme park" of earth. What's God see when He sees us passing our time here where He paid so much for us to be?

Bickering. 
Fighting. 
Hating. 
Blaming. 
Whining. 
Complaining. 
Protesting.

I mean, c'mob! Really. Can't we be nicer kids? Can't we?

Just...seriously watch yourself from His perspective...and quit making God sorry He paid for you to be here...

"Worship" isn't a few sentences sung repetitively for 3 minutes in church on Sunday. It's an attitude. 


Look around this world and put on an air of appreciation and enjoyment for everything you see...and that will give God something to smile about.




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