Sometimes the POINT must be made.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Not To Worry. The Packers Won!

I have two cats.  Their food is all gone.  Has been since yesterday.  The Packer game is on. 

Do these sentences relate?  Why or why not?

Jackson is waiting
I always did prefer multiple choice or True/False questions over these "explain your reasons" type questions, didn't you?  What do you mean, "No, because I'm a girl and girls are more verbal blah blah blah"?

Anyway.  Yes.  The sentences relate because...if you have the authority, you have the responsibility.  Even IF the Packer's are playing the Vikings in an important game right now, I must take care of my cats.  Yes, really.   I have authority over my cats (not that they understand that), meaning that if I decide to get rid of them (don't tempt me) I could.  And if I decide to give them tuna everyday (and yes, I did just that before I sat down to make A POINT about this situation), I could.  Or if I decide they will live in the basement (perish the thought), then they must.  But I also have a responsibility to them.

My authority has limits, however, because I am under the authority of God.  He does not grant me ultimate and absolute authority.  If I were delinquent enough to torment my cats (perish that thought too!) I may be free to act that out, but my conscience would rightly declare me corrupt and I would eventually be judged guilty. But THE POINT is that every authority you have comes with an equivalent measure of responsibility.  

Orion expecting more tuna
Do you have a sidewalk?  Shovel it.

Do you have a car?   Always drive seriously (no texting, no drinking, no listening to depressing Bear's games).

Do you have kids?  Your life is not your own (worse than cats!) anymore.  You know that.  Act on it.

Do you have a spouse?  His or her needs come first.

Do you have a body?  Take better care of it.

Do you have a soul?  (Yes, this is a rhetorical question.)  Your soul consists of your mind, emotions and will.

    Do you have a mind (Then why do you have cats?)?  Work it with real problems instead of drivelly TV  shows and pointless games (No, playing chess is not pointless).

    Do you have emotions?  Use them to express your feelings, rather than to badger others.

    Do you have a will?  Use it regularly, otherwise your lazy body will take over!

Do you have a spirit?  Yes, you do.  That's the part of you that relates to the Spirit of God.  The part that chooses whether or not you will obey the voice that is telling you to go shovel the sidewalk, and drive with two hands on the wheel, and stay up all night with the sick baby, and exercise patience with your spouse, and get up and exercise, and read something beneficial, and limit the crying or the yelling, and to put the Packer game on pause while you go get the cat food you've been forgetting to pick up every time you were in the store this week.

Rather than dismiss Him, connect with God; your spirit to His Spirit. And yes, THAT'S THE POINT

"Miller will be at the store for a few minutes, but you can leave a comment now."

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Out of the Miry Clay

I would much rather start a building project with a truckload of fresh lumber and an unopened box of nails at hand, but sometimes you get stuck putting together an old chicken coop. The thing was taken apart by force of crowbar and sawzall over a year ago, and all of its various parts were shipped and left scattered in the yard for the new owner's chickens to explore.  This week the time finally came to pull the parts out of the mud and puzzle the pieces back together into a coherent egg-producing shelter.

The guys and I started with the floor framework, which had been cut in half for transport, and then we lugged the heavy double sheeted and thus doubly sodden wall sections across the yard.  Warped and twisted, crowned and bent they were, but soon stood cobbled and coerced, wrestled and wrangled into working shape like an wild mustang forced late in life to pull a wagon of chicken...debris.  Next we put the old roof framework together again, and sheeted it with steel, while barely risking even one man's weight on its tremulous timbers.

Vinyl siding has its place in this plastic world of ours, but like an estranged cousin, vinyl siding once removed and left in the wet grass for a year does not even deserve to come home to the old chicken coop.  We bought new steel siding.  Not just to make the old dirty storm door feel conspicuous; but to give the rooster something to crow about.  The old shack looks nice.  If I were ever to come back as a laying hen, I would be proud to be seen pecking around the likes of this new chicken coop!

So are you still here waiting for THE POINT to emerge?  How about this?

I think that our creator would have preferred that his two new perfect creatures, Adam and Eve, had chosen to obey Him and stay away from the forbidden fruit.  When they rebelled against God's simple instructions, and became fully aware of the option of evil, their entire lives were reduced to mere survival mode.  Kicked out of the Garden, left to fellowship with only each other, Adam and Eve were forced to endure a newly cursed thistle-strewn ground and pain wracked child birthing.  Their God-given mansionesque bodies were relegated to something more like, oh I don't know...two dilapidated chicken coops maybe.

(I'll be the colorful one with someplace to go!)

And yet, even before the curses were pronounced, even prior to the broken parts of their lives being scattered outside the garden gates, their gracious Creator promised that a Savior would come offering to reassemble, refurbish and fully restore their lives.  Jesus, the promised Savior, said: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life,and have it to the full.  (John 10:10)  He has come, and He has suffered the full deadly punishment that our sinfulness deserves. When we find ourselves guilty and ashamed after walking in our own ways (here comes THE POINT!), we can find hope in the Master Builder's saving work 

When God "got stuck" with having to put together our deliberately broken lives, He did not shirk the task, but gave it His all.   For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  (John 3:16)

Contact me to hear more.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

What Happened to Larry?

When long time friends grow up and disperse into their own worlds, nobody knows where they will end up.   Having had so much in common around their school or neighborhood or through whatever activity brought them together, each member of a close group eventually moves on and makes his own path.  That is when the splintering begins.  Case in point:

A "people watcher" like me judges a good restaurant by the proximity of tables, rather than by the food served.  What is overheard can be much more satisfying than what is overeaten!  Recently, I witnessed a group of old friends getting reacquainted over pizza, and after good laughter and stories about what they pulled over on their poor old Dads, I heard this paraphrased exchange:

"So what happened to Larry?  You really mean that none of you guys have seen him?"

      "Oh, nobody sees him anymore.  He has a girlfriend."

"Oh, yeah.  That'll do it."

      "And he has religion now."

"What!?  Oh no!"

Apparently Larry, who had been one of the prime members of this group, went off the deep end.  At one time everyone loved, respected and admired Larry. But something terrible happened to Larry!  He "got religion".  He didn't just join Al Qaeda, or become a serial killer, or cut down a tree, or eat something that once had a face; he "got religion"!

I wish I could have made the following POINT to this group of friends.

If you can't pick up a rock, what do you say?  Do you say "That rock is SO heavy, that even I could not pick it up!"?  Or do you say "I am SO weak that I could not pick up THAT rock!"?

Well instead of saying "Religion is SO bad, that even LARRY, whom we all loved and respected and admired, has now been ruined by it and we must avoid him.", please consider saying "We all love and respect and admire Larry SO much that maybe he has now given even RELIGION some credibility!"

Here is THE POINT:
Use what you really know (Larry) to judge what you may not really know (Religion).