Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Procrastinator's Creed

Mark Twain

"Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

God's Interstate & Highway System

Isaiah 40:3-5
A voice of one calling:
"In the desert prepare
the way for the LORD;
make straight in the wilderness
a highway for our God.

4 Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.

5 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
and all mankind together will see it.
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

The point of this passage is to remove all obstacles in front of people so that they can see/experience God. In the in the New Testament this passage is used by John the Baptist to prepare the nation of Israel for the coming of Jesus.

Around my hometown they are making a highway that streches only about 17 miles. The old highway was two lanes, but led to the city of the old part of the next town. So, the Highway Department starting preparing the land for the new four lane highway. If you've spent any time on the interstate/highway system (at least where I'm from) it takes a LONG time to get the land ready for a highway. They survey, and survey, and survey the land again. Then they plan, re-plan, and plan. They negoiate with the landowners, homeowners, and figure out exactly where the roads are going to be. After the plan is done, the land mover rigs come in. They grate, flatten, and move earth around until they have a solid road.

Only after all of this does the actual road go down. This is a whole other process. Packing the dirt, paving with the asphalt, both lanes, putting up barrier if needed, painting the lanes, putting up the speed limit signs, and I'm sure a dozen other processes I'm not even aware of.

I wonder, do we put that much work into "making straight paths" for Jesus? Do we take this amount time, effort, money to ensure that people see Jesus and not all of the stuff that gets in the way? Or, do we just clear a walking path that slows people down, or worse, one that no one can use or even knows exists?

Should we not have a spiritual/cultural DOT for everyone of our faith communities? Perhaps a group of people that keep their eyes on the road, so to speak, for those things that get in the way of people seeing Jesus? At the very least, should we not view all of our processes in the same manner? Should we not look at everything we do with "highway tinted glasses"? Isn't this what being relevant to our culture is all about?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Weaked Eyed Blessed One

Genesis 29:17 Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel was lovely in form, and beautiful.

Genesis 29:31
When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. 32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, "It is because the LORD has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now."

33 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "Because the LORD heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too." So she named him Simeon. c]">

34 Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons." So he was named Levi.

35 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "This time I will praise the LORD." So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children.

Leah, the "weak eyed" unloved wife of Jacob was the mother of Levi (The Priestly Tribe) and Judah (The Kingly Tribe).

No application here. I just find this interesting.

Seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines

Judges 14:1 Samson went down to Timnah and saw there a young Philistine woman. 2 When he returned, he said to his father and mother, "I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife."

3 His father and mother replied, "Isn't there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?"
But Samson said to his father, "Get her for me. She's the right one for me." 4 (His parents did not know that this was from the LORD, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel.)

Interesting. God was seeking an opportunity to confront the enemies of the people of God. He used an outside the box (at least culturally to the Israelites) solution to create conflict in order to bring peace.

I wonder, what in our lives is Jesus pushing us into conflict in order to bring peace?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Opportunity dresses down

“Trouble is only opportunity in work clothes.” - J. Kaiser

Monday, May 18, 2009

I'm Investing in You as a Person

Cara said this to me last night. The context was I requested Coke Zero from the grocery store per my sugar fast with my Pastor Jon Hammond. My request was for one 12 oz - 20 oz bottle. One drink. Cara brought back a 12 fridge pack of 12 oz cans. I said, "I really only wanted one." Her response, "I'm investing in you as a person. If buying you a case of zero calorie soda keeps you from eating donuts at work, then it's worth it." Wow. I've never seen marriage as an investment in another person. Maybe more marriages would be saved if we all viewed our marriages this way (example: Fire Proof movie, Love Dare book). Perhaps all of our relationships should be viewed this investment in another person.

The result? I've only had one of the Coke Zero's today and have not been tempted by sugar at all. This investment makes me want to give Cara a greater return on her investment. Her return? A healthier Monty.

Thursday, May 14, 2009