Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Wuv True Wuv (August Synchroblog)

 One of my favorite movies is The Princess Bride. The story is so incredibly ridiculous at times you can't hep but laugh but at the same time the theme of true love and the redemption of the good guy winning strikes cords with us all. We all want to ride off into the sunset at the end of the story knowing all is as it should be. How incredibly UNLIKE life! One of the quotes from the movie, however, is much more like the life we experience, "life IS pain, Highness, anyone who says differently is selling something." Pain, regret, consequence, failure, loss, all part of our human experience. All these and many more are the result of the fall of mankind into sin. While this is a word with much baggage, its simplest definition is things not being as they were created to be.

     It doesn't take much life experience to know that things in this world are not right. We all have to deal with this not-rightness on a daily basis. The pain of this life can be almost overwhelming both in our experience personally and as we watch others experience the not-rightness. Fortunately, God didn't leave us to live here all by ourselves. He created us to walk with Him, but he also created us to walk together. Sometimes, when we can't see God clearly, we need our Jesus-with-skin on people to walk with us. As the theme of "connection" was revealed for this month's synchroblog, it was this idea of walking together that came to mind. This is not just a picture of two people walking along, but in my head it is more like the story of Moses in Exodus 17:8-15. Here Moses tells Joshua to select men for a battle. Moses tells him he will stand at the top of the hill and hold the staff of God in the air. As long as he holds the staff up the battle goes to God's people, when he lowers it the enemy takes ground. There comes a point in the battle when Moses becomes so tired he can no longer hold his arms up. Aaron and Hur, two men who had already walked with Moses through many battles, sat him on a rock and each one held an arm up. The end of the story is, of course, that Joshua defeated the enemy. This is, for me, the greatest picture of community, connection, walking together, whatever verbage you choose to use. This is us together, when one is faltering, we come together to hold them up. When one can't see God, we show who He is by being Jesus-with-skin on to one another, reflecting His image in the places where the reflection is distorted.

     This level of connection sounds nice, but how does it work in real life? For me, I always think of the day one of my closest friends came to my house. We were in a terrible spot. Business was bad, we were losing our house, there were many other things that were happening. Life was overwhelming! Her answer was not to preach or tell me what I should have done differently. She simply sat with me on the corner of my bed and said "I don't know what God is up to, I know this stinks, but I am stinking with you." It had all the elements of connection. She tried to understand, she was with me, she pointed me to God and she held my hand. I have tried to walk with people in this same way, it is risky and hard, but we need each other. We were created to be connected to each other.
     Ecc. 4:12 says "though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken." Threefold cord, we are in this together and pointing each other toward the God who created us, binds us together and not only walks with us, but paves the way. This week we had the experience of this yet again. A friend that we have walked with for a long time came to Ed and asked him to pray. The reason for the request was simple, she was overwhelmed and told him her prayers "felt small". It was an incredible opportunity to pray together and we saw God answer. God was faithful once again and already on the scene working out the details. As we walk together in this way we have the opportunity to see those around us grow in faith and our own faith cannot help but grow in the process.

This post is part of the August Synchroblog "Connection". Please use the links below to read the posts from the other authors who participated this month.

Jerry Wirtley – Connection
Sara Quezada – Can You Really Know Someone In A Different Language?
Ford – Interindependence
Michael Donahoe – Connection
Minnow – Our Dis-Connect
Justin Steckbauer – Connection in Love, it’s what Life is all about!
Carol Kuniholm – Disengagement and Connection
Wesley Rostoll – Finding Jesus In Different Places
Doreen A Mannion – A bunny, a fawn and some geese walk into a bar …
Leah Sophia – Touch of Life
Karen “Charity” Aldrich – Wuv True Wuv
Abbie Watters – Connection – Addicted to the Buzz
Liz Dyer – Human Connection and the Power of Empathy

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

"Just Stop It" and other terrible advice.


      I spend a lot of time driving, in fact, when traffic is bad, I can spend more than four hours commuting each day. While I am driving, I listen to the radio, I listen to a lot of radio, talk radio, sports radio, christian music, rock music, a little bit of everything. Often, on my drive home, I listen to a Christian call-in program, you know the kind, a caller has some question about faith or the bible, and they call, and then the host gives them his best biblical answer.