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Monday, September 30, 2013

Ugh. Monday.

GRR.  It's Monday.  We hit the snooze.  We roll over.  We groan.  "Do I have to get up?" we say to ourselves.  "Only headaches await me."  It's all about survival from here to Friday.

I'd like to have some fun and think about what the beginning of the Book of Genesis would look like if God started off the First Week with our modern day attitude?

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"In the beginning, God groaned.  "Must I begin this DAY?" The Father says to the Holy Spirit. 
 
"Ugh."  Jesus chimes in. "This is going to be one heck of a Week ahead.  I already feel my stress levels rising.  Angel!  I need more coffee over here!"
 
"I'm so anxious." the Holy Spirit says in a faint voice.  "I mean, what if this whole 'making the world thing' completely flops??  I'm scared to even face what's ahead."
 
"How do you think I feel?" Jesus snaps. 
 
"Well, how do you think I feel?" the Father says grumpily.  "Ya know what, maybe this Week isn't even worth the effort.  Let's just can this idea."
 
And so no Light was created, no world was formed and you and I were never made all because God had a lousy attitude at the start of His Week.
 
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Phew.  Good thing that never happened.  Good thing God has a much better perspective on Life and the Beginning.  Good thing God sees great potential in the Beginning of Things.  Good thing God has a handle on the fact that Great things have to start somewhere -- at the beginning of a work week.  Good thing God takes on Projects with JOY and ENTHUSIASM and OPTIMISM.  Good thing God's not scared to create.  He's not intimidated by challenges.  Good thing LOVE motivates Him to do amazing things and knows that His whole Week is hanging on His very Perspective of it. 
 
And Good thing God offers us this same Joy, Enthusiasm, Optimism and Fearlessness.  If we grab a hold of it, Mondays could even start becoming our favorite day of the week!
 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Hungry Waiter

During my high school and college years, I pulled in some extra money through waitressing at various places like pizza shops and diners.  I loved the job. I loved being able to talk to so many different people, I enjoyed the laughs I had with the employees, and I especially loved the fact that I was given free food!  I was not only able to serve the delicious grub, I was also able to partake of it myself -- without charge!

I can remember a certain waitress, though, who never took advantage of the free food.  She was an excellent waitress and knew how to serve well. She just didn't stop to enjoy it for herself.  When people asked her why she didn't stop and eat a meal, she would explain that she was watching her figure and she wasn't very hungry anyway.  But the look on her face, when she saw other people eating, told a different story. She was like an onlooker staring into a wonderful world that she would not give herself permission to touch or enjoy. Though she helped to feed many, ironically, she, herself, was starving to death. 
 
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We are Food-Distributors in the Kingdom -- a Waiter in God's Restaurant.  He doesn't ask us to create the Food.  He simply asks us to take it from His Hands and give it to the people.  What a fantastic job!  What a privilege to work in this kind of Restaurant and have such an amazing, kind, and generous Boss!  And the fringe benefits are great!  We not only get to distribute the Food, we get to help ourselves to as much of the savory delights as we wish!  Free food for all -- customers and employees alike -- all day, everyday!
 
But, though the Food is free for the taking, the choice remains ours if we will sit and eat.  It is our decision whether we will partake or not.  It is up to us whether we will receive and be nourished, or close our lips tight and starve. 
 
Some of us are like the young girl from the restaurant I mentioned.  We love to give, give, give.  We are the Martha's in the Restaurant.  For us, serving is not only enjoyable, it is a passion.  But, what we may fail to do is stop long enough to grab some Food for ourselves.  We work right through our 'coffee breaks', 'lunch breaks', and 'dinner breaks'.  And even if Jesus Himself comes into the Restaurant, we won't even break our stride to properly welcome Him.  We wave as we pass by His table and say, "I'll be right with you, Sir." 
 
The result is this:  We end up exhausted, hungry and malnourished.  If we stop for a moment and contemplate that, even the hardest worker would recognize that they are not doing any favors for anyone if they allow themselves to get to this point.  How can we continue to give if we are not replenishing ourselves from the Source?
 
Believe me, I totally understand this place.  I have been there and I can still find myself there sometimes.  I can feel guilty if I stop long enough to actually enjoy the Food I'm serving.  But we need to remember that just because we are serving, it doesn't mean we're not allowed to eat.  Even our earthly laws require that the employers give their employees breaks and time to refuel.  How cruel an employer would be if they didn't! 

So, if you are serving, continue to serve!  Just make sure you stop at Jesus' table and enjoy your lunch break with Him.  

Saturday, September 21, 2013

If It Could Be Measured In Money

When I was younger, I went to Montreal, Canada on a school trip.  It was so neat to cross the border from the US into Canada.  One thing I thought was really cool was being able to trade in my US dollars for Canadian dollars.  They had to translate the value of my dollar for their dollar. 

Can you imagine if we were able to do that with our Kingdom Riches -- if we were able to measure with our money the wealth we have in God?  I think we'd be stunned.  I know I would be.  Those in Christ have access to a spiritual goldmine.  If we really grabbed hold of what Jesus did for us and the riches we have (not just in heaven, but NOW), we'd be floored.

Many of us, though, live in ignorance to this wealth.  We have a huge bank account with our Dad that we can withdrawal from freely, but because we don't know how rich we are, we write very small checks and make very small withdrawals.  We live as poor folk, though in reality, are very rich.

It reminds me of a story about a woman who lived at poverty level for most of her life.  By appearance, she was frail and clearly just scraping by.  When she died and her house was cleaned out, there inside her home was found a fortune of money that had never been touched.  She had been storing it up for years.  The woman had enough to live on and even share with others, but because she chose to never tap into it, she lived as a poor woman -- though in reality was very rich.

Our accounts are filled with "Kingdom Dollars" to spend.  I'll be the first to say that I want to use every cent!  I don't want to die a spiritually poor woman and find out later in eternity that I was sitting on a fortune my whole life but never thrived off of it or shared it with others.