I have a question.
If we, believers in Christ, have been raised with Him by the same death defeating and sin defying supernatural power of an incomprehensible, uncontainable, and infinite God… why do we not live and pray and wait with the expectation that one supernatural act will provoke another?
If we are no longer of this world, but merely in it, should we not anticipate more supernatural movements and moments of God?
Perhaps you do. But I realized this week that I do not.
I preach a lot bigger than I pray. And I pray a lot bigger than what I believe I’ll actually see. Which brings my faith average out to be a whopping zero. Zilch.
Because faith is believing in what we do not see, but hope for, according to Hebrews. This means that I am, more often than not, only fifty percent of the way there because while I pray, I’m often scared to hope.
What’s more sobering is this statement by Richard Sibbes.
It is atheism to pray and not wait in hope.
God, may we pray with deep, unwavering hope and expectation. Recall to our minds Your faithfulness that we may wait on You to move supernaturally in and through us again.
I received the following email from my mother. My guess is that it’s a warning.
DEAR DESPERATE , (I take it that’s me… kinda harsh)
First, keep in mind that Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an operating system.
Please enter command: ithoughtyoulovedme. html and try to download Tears 6.2 and do not forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update. If that application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications
Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5.
However, remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0 or Beer 6.1 . Please note that Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will download the Farting and Snoring
Loudly Beta .
Whatever you do, DO NOT under any circumstances install Mother-In-Law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources).
In addition, please do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0 program. These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0 .
In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend Cooking
3.0 and Hot Lingerie 7.7.
Tech Support (Momma Dunn)
I used to be a waitress.
I can honestly say that I not only enjoyed it, but I miss it from time to time. It’s one of the few things I have come across in my life that came very naturally and easily to me; I did it well.
Waitressing, for me, was never really a job, it was an outlet.
Talking and listening to people feeds something in me that I can’t quiet describe. I jump at opportunities to serve people because I like to feel needed. I like to do for people what they can not do for themselves and waitressing seemed to supply that environment for me.
I couldn’t have asked for a better setting either. Whitefish, Montana is one of the most breathtaking places in the United States. Something about that place beckons people to come and be a part of it. It invites and then transcends every expectation. And tens of thousands of people from all over the world flock there every summer to witness it for themselves.
Rumors of its beauty, tales of its grandeur, and pictures that attempt to capture its essence compel people to go and see if such a place exists. It demands, and rightfully deserves, to be experienced personally.
Waiting on tables of visitors that had just come from Glacier National Park always brought a smile to my face. They were exuberant. The views there will do that to you. The air will leave you feeling exhilarated. The breeze will woo you and the fragrance of wildflowers will intoxicate you.
Back to waitressing.
Tourist and locals alike seemed to always come into the restaurant after their adventures famished. Exposure to that much beauty is exhausting. Many weren’t prepared for the altitude adjustment. Others didn’t hydrate properly to compensate for the dry climate. Still others didn’t prepare for the hiking to be quite as exhaustive and so they didn’t eat enough.
They all came looking for sustenance. They needed to be replenished. They needed nourishment. They needed rest. It’s not that they couldn’t have gone home to cook for themselves, it’s that they didn’t have the energy.
Being a waitress reminded me a whole lot of church.
Isn’t that what people come looking for? A promise of God that will quench their need for assurance? A truth that will satisfy their hunger for hope? A bench to sit and rest on with others who are travelling the same road? And a waitress (or waiter) that will be happy to accept them, serve them, and bring them love enough for the next day’s journey?
We’re all waiters. We are all called to serve what we know: Grace. Freedom. Forgiveness. Joy. Hope. Peace. Life. Love.
Some of us are openers. We meet people before they have ever even heard of this place called church. We give them directions.
Some of us are scheduled for the mid-afternoon lull. We have the opportunity to pay careful attention to the customers who come in alone and stay long.
And some of us are closers. We’re there for the evening time rush. We have seven tables instead of three. We get to serve the customers with complicated orders. And we’ll stay there as long as they haven’t paid their bill.
All shifts are equally important, all serve a necessary purpose.
So whether you open, close, or keep the old company in the corner booth after the lunch hour, never forget you were scheduled for your shift for a reason.
I recently returned from a quick trip to Florida. What took me to Florida, you ask? THE MAN THAT I AM DATING. (This is my first attempt at subliminal messaging… how’d I do?)
But this blog post isn’t about him.
This post is about another guy; the guy I sat next to on my flight home. He was tall, dark, handsome, foreign, and had an accent.
If you don’t know, talking to total strangers does not bother me in the least. Fact of the matter is it gives me a rush. So I began as I normally do.
“You headed home?” I asked.
“Yes,” he replied with a tired sigh. “Twenty-four hours of traveling. I’m ready to be home.”
“Twenty-four hours? That’s quite a trip. Where are you coming from?”
“Morocco,” he said. “My first home, where I was born.”
Now I’m pretty geographically challenged. But believe it or not, I knew where Morocco was and I also knew that in that country, the name Jesus was not spoken in freedom or with joy. Allah is the god they pray to.
So I decided that since we were 35,000 feet in the air with nowhere to go for about 3 hours, I would ask him to tell me about his faith. Outside of the media, which is biased, I didn’t know much about the Muslim faith, their beliefs, convictions, or practices. And since he sat trapped in the middle seat, I figured I would make the most of the occasion.
“Would you mind telling me what you believe?” I asked.
He looked at me with wide eyes and a slight smile. “You really want to know?” he asked in disbelief. I nodded.
As he unpacked what he believed and why he believed it, it dawned on me that Christians aren’t the only ones that are passionate and faith filled witnesses. Millions of people all over the world don’t believe blindly the way we automatically think they do. They may be compelled by different standards and a false god, but they are convicted and convinced all the same.
I asked him how he got to heaven.
“Well, I have to work very hard to do all the right things and at the end of my life, they must outweigh the bad things I have done. I have to strive for perfection. And when it’s all over, which way the scale trips determines where I will go and I won’t know that til I’m dead.”
“Interesting,” I said. I took a deep breath and then said, “I believe in another way; a sure way. It’s guaranteed.”
He just looked a me with a skeptical smirk.
So I told him about Jesus and grace. I explained the price for our sin was paid and that eternal life and freedom from death was merely a decision away. Choose to believe and trust the Gospel and life here and after changes forever.
He looked at me, at the head rest in front of him and then back at me.
“It’s too simple.” he said plainly.
That little statement struck a big chord with me. Is that why there are so many dispassionate, stagnate, and diluted people ho-humming along claiming that they know Christ and yet living as if doesn’t affect them?
Is the simplicity of our faith our stumbling block? Does its simplicity deter from its depth?
Because truth be told, it’s not simple. It’s actually hard to believe that the God and Creator of the Universe, who knew me before time, would love me so extravagantly so as to send His perfect, holy and blameless Son to die my death, to pay my debt, and make me an heir to His throne. What is simple about such a love?
It may require less effort our part, but it requires a greater faith, a deeper joy, and more desperate need for grace.
May we never reduce the simplicity of the Christian faith to a morsel good fortune.