I read this morning about how Samuel was working on picking the next king for Israel after Saul & was being introduced to Jesse’s sons, from the oldest to the youngest. When Samuel first met Jesse’s oldest son, Samuel thought he was a shew-in, but God quickly corrected Samuel & told him not to make decisions based on external appearances – God looks at the heart & isn’t influenced by what’s on the outside (tall, handsome, suave, etc). After meeting supposedly all of Jesse’s sons, Samuel didn’t pick any of them. Finally, Jesse mentioned that his last son, the smallest & maybe the least likely or eligible, was out herding sheep. Once they brought in David, Samuel knew he was to be the next king. David was the least likely & seemingly most ineligible – tiny but mighty. In my mind, tiny by mighty, was often a theme in David’s life (Goliath, fighting the Philistines, running from Saul, overcoming Absalom’s treachery & more). Tiny can most certainly be mighty 🙂
I was reading this morning in Hebrews 12 about how God corrects, just like a loving father corrects & disciplines his children. I used to hate the whole idea of correction & being disciplined. If the truth be told, there has been an arrogance in me about receiving correction. In the past, I had the mindset that I did things so well that I didn’t need correction – which of course set me up for some very serious confrontations and painful corrections. Being corrected & discipline isn’t fun. It hurts. But here are a few points in Hebrews 12 that have helped me about receiving correction:
- correction is evidence of love – Heb 12:6; no love, no correction
- God’s correction is for our benefit – Heb 12:10
- when God corrects you, decide to endure & change: don’t faint when God corrects you – Heb 12:5
- God’s correction yields good fruit in our lives (peaceful fruit of righteousness) – Heb 12:11
I recently used a parking meter for an appt that I was in and I skimped on the meter. Sure enough, my meeting went longer than I expected & voila, I found the ever lovely parking ticket on my windshield. As I looked at the ticket, I figured out that if I would have added 50cents to the meter, I could have avoided the $25 ticket. I hate making these kinds of mistakes – where I try to skimp with time or money & wind up spending more; hate those kinds of mistakes.
So to get the most out of this experience, here are my learning points that might be helpful to you as well:
- margin – give yourself some cushion so that you don’t spend more time & money than is necessary
- grace – berating yourself for mistakes is wasted emotional energy; learn the lesson & move on
- change – repeating the same errors is stupid; learning & changing is smart 🙂
As a quick reminder, Jesus told a parable once about a fig tree that hadn’t produced fruit for 2 years. The owner of the orchard wanted to chop down the tree but the gardener asked the owner to give him 1 more year to do some intense work to get this tree to be fruitful. Part of the gardeners plan was to throw lots of fertilizer (also known as crap) around the roots of the tree.
In my mind, none of like fertilizer or crap. It’s smelly, gross, repulsive & thoroughly distasteful. Nevertheless, what is most repulsive to us can have the highest powerful of redemption in the right hands. In God’s hand, fertilizer is the stuff of resurrection. So perhaps there is such a thing as holy crap ,)
I’m a speed fiend – I like fast: fast snowboarding, fast travel, fast driving, fast food (sometimes), fast swimming & speedy progress. Being fast yields itself well to the world in which we live. We like microwaves, no lines, phone apps that help us avoid traffic & almost anything that makes us quicker, more efficient & speedy.
The problem with speed is that everything can become increasingly blurry, the faster our lives move. Speed enables us to overlook things, of which some are important beyond description. There is definitely such a thing as too slow, but let’s be careful that our lives get so fast that we neglect to live & love.
Is insomnia ever a good thing? When I do some int’l travel or when I have alot of things on my mind, I can have a few challenges with the insomnia thing & if I’m honest with you, I don’t like it one bit. My brain is hazy, my conversations seem sluggish and I’m just slow. Sometimes at like 1:30 or 2am, I’ll pop in a movie that puts me to sleep, like Return of the Jedi.
But there’s a “person” for whom insomnia is no problem. Consider Ps 121:3, “He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.” I think this is uber cool – God who watches over me doesn’t sleep. God is keeping us, watching over us and is attentive to us 24/7. So for God, insomnia is no problem 🙂
Maybe this is kind of like nightcare/
Greetings & happy Friday!
I read this yesterday & found it super helpful so I want to pass this along for your weekend thinking 🙂
This is from my pastor friend in CA, Joel Phillips – joelphillips
The Office’s Dwight Schrute enjoyed using the Amish technique of shunning people who were guilty of some kind of infraction. Although I laugh when I watch this clip, something about it reminds of how people in the church treat others who have messed-up or fallen.
We can wrap it with all sorts of holy sounding language, like “holding them accountable,” or “stepping them down,” if we’re honest it’s really just shunning. I once heard a leader use the verse, “godly sorrow produces repentance” to justify being flat-out mean to someone under him who had sinned.
Condemnation, guilt, shame, never produces righteous results. Instead, they push people even further from God. What’s weird is that there is a sick side to our souls that actually likes condemnation. We feel like we deserve it, and as the guilt and shame mount within us, we think that it’s all a part of the process of getting back on track, and reinstating our good standing with God.
That’s not the gospel!
I could quote tons of scriptures that point to the fact that those who are in Christ are fully and permanently justified and declared righteous, but the passage I want to go to is the familiar story of Peter walking on the water, falling, and being rescued by Jesus.
So much has been said, preached, written about this story, but one key part of it is hardly ever referenced. It’s the part when Peter got back in the boat. There was no browbeating. No heavy sighs. No, “You’re all wet!” Here’s all we’re told,
“And when [Jesus and Peter] got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Truly You are the Son of God.’” (Matthew 14:32–33)
I wish the church was more like that. Somebody falls, Jesus saves them, they’re soaking wet from their mistakes, but they’re alive and the storm is over! And as they come on board with us we worship God for how He saved them. It reminds us of how he saved us, after all, we’ve all been wet at one time or another.