Tag Archives: peace

snow day whatever makes you comfortable

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snow day whatever makes you comfortable

zionone of the things that i think folks always get caught in is law versus faith.  the law is easy. it’s a set thing. the law is readily available. the law is quantifiable. the law is tangible. you can FIND the law. you can read the law. you can justify the law. the law and the following of the law is measurable. there can be clear judgement based on the the law. the law is comfortable. that’s it. In the law there is comfort.  everyone wants to do and think and believe that which makes them comfortable.

what i have found is that which makes us comfortable is not the same as that which God requires, desires or even has prescribed. the things that make us comfortable are also the things that have broken up our households and families. the things that make us comfortable are generally the things of least resistance. comfort keeps us in our homes watching tv and cooking more food than we will ever eat on a snow day, instead of serving God by serving people.

it is definitely easier to write off everyone who does not look like act like walk like talk like live like love like think like us.  when folks and situations don’t fit into a quantifiable equation, then life stops being easy. relationships require thought and consideration, people become more than just people, but become human and we have to begin to imagine them not in the image of the law, but in the image of God. that’s work, that’s hard work, that’s uncomfortable work, generally, because it makes us have to know God. yea, i know, we all know God, the heaven and hell and law God, but do we know the compassionate, living, loving, merciful, just, forgiving, healing, faithful God?

getting to know God, really know God can put us in an uncomfortable situation. the uncomfortable part comes mainly because to know God is to faithfully trust God. to faithfully trust God, means to in all situations and relationships asking God for wisdom and discernment. getting God’s wisdom and discernment  means that once we know better, we must do better. treat people better. have better relationships. live better lives.

lol the crazy and most uncomfortable part about all this is that all of a sudden when we are no longer bound by the law, but operating in faith and thereby grace, we realize that life isn’t and never really was about us. our living is about God and all about glorifying God. we glorify God through reconciliation and forgiveness and compassion and respect and tolerance and healing and comfort and caring for others the way that God cares for us.

snow days are great ways to start becoming uncomfortable. we are already not doing what we would normally be doing. let’s take the next step

loving God. thank you for your faithfulness even and especially when we haven’t been faithful. thank you for the opportunity Lord to spend quality time with you. Lord in the name of Jesus help us to not get caught up in the expectations and normalcy of others, but strengthen our resolve that we are able to operate and love and live our lives in faithfulness to you. healing and delivering God, help us to see our children and our families and our associates and even ourselves as you do – in your image. in the name of the One who came to abolish the law that we might operate in faith and in your grace. amen

giving

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Last night, I went to Target to get some thank you notes.  Of course I could have gotten them from anywhere, but I love Target.  I was in my neighborhood not the church one, but my home one.  When I walked up talking and laughing and being my usual jovial without a care in the world self, I heard a woman talking and I realized she was talking to me.  I saw her as I walked up and my eyes caught hers and I smiled as she and her kids were standing by the door.  I am accustomed to folks standing and waiting on rides and I wasn’t in Edgewood where it is bound to be someone asking for something so I was a little taken aback when she started talking to me.

“Ma’am do you have any money?” Of course living in that VISA commercial I very rarely have cash and so I immediately was saying no when I remembered my nail tech’s tip money that I didn’t give her and I passed her the money.  “What’s going on with you?”, my pastoral concern was taking over.  She told me that she didn’t have all of her rent money.  I apologized for not having more to share and went into the store.

As I checked out, I looked out the doors to the store and saw the family standing there and I chose the cash back option.  When I went back outside, as I handed her the money, I asked the mother what was the problem with the rent.  Being in Edgewood, I have grown accustomed to parents who have not gone to their required classes or met their requirements of working.  I hadn’t heard this one though.  The father of her two oldest died and his SSI check was now being split between them and another child that she didn’t know that he had.  I apologized and we spoke briefly about her options in finding an apartment that could be afforded on her new lower income.  Immediately, a woman walked briskly up and passed a bill to the mother and said, “here, take this $100 and I sure hope you’re not lying – go take care of those babies”.  The mom exclaimed in excitement and asked God to bless the woman and assured her she was not lying.  The woman said uh huh and walked away.

So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).

I felt some kind of way when the woman gave that $100.  I remember growing up in the church and at every benevolent offering you heard “so let each one give as he/she purpose in the their heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” while the lady gave $100, she seemed compelled and not very cheerful to me.   Sometimes it seems that we have to do something to make ourselves feel better – not necessarily because it is the right thing to do.  I see folks all the time give money and say, “don’t buy a drink”, “you better spend my hard earned money on food”, “I pray to God you’re not tricking me”.  I often wonder if they spend their time wondering what their money went for.

I know in the economic times it may seem hard to give cheerfully or it may appear prudent to question where your money is going, but imagine if that is how God treated us. We are to give from our hearts cheerfully because that is how God has blessed and continues to give to us.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17). “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16). Jesus “gave Himself for our sins” (Galatians 1:4). “Walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us” (Ephesians 5:2). God is a giver and He wants us to be like Him.

Every time I find myself in need, my God restores me and heals me and encourages me and cheers me on with compassion and mercy and grace.  The way that God takes care of me encourages me to be like God – gracious and merciful, compassionate and loving.   The way that God gives to me, despite who I am, despite my shortcomings, despite my thoughts and despite my actions, makes me realize that I have an example that is so easy to follow in my giving, not just in my money, but in my time, in my heart strings, in my talents.

I want to be like Christ not just when folks can see me, but cheerfully at all times and in all places in my heart.  I want to love as Christ loves, I want to give as God has given to me – at that point I recognize that God blesses me with peace that surpasses my very understanding.