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Category Archives: Humor

Wind-up, Walk Into Walls

V6AM65Recently, I had the privilege of attending the Breakaway retreat with our youth group. All together, there were about 250 people at the camp and we had a fantastic time of enjoying the activities, praising God, singing, and worshiping together. We also had multiple opportunities for our particular youth group to gather as a small group and discuss the things that we were learning. I mention this because the timing of the retreat was a real blessing to me, as I had just received some disheartening news about a job that I had interviewed for, and in one of our discussions, we talked about how God guides us and protects us. Sometimes it seems as though His plans get in the way of what we want to do. As I was talking with the teens, an image came to my mind that I shared with them and they suggested that I share it with others.

Have you ever seen one of those old walking wind-up toys? You wind it up, put it down, and aim it in the direction that you want it to go. It seems simple, except that those things never go where you point them. They stumble and fall down, or start going in the wrong direction, fall off the table, or just run into the wall repeatedly until they run out of energy. They then need to be wound up again and pointed in the proper direction only to run right back into that wall. Sometimes I feel like a wind-up toy. I get all wound up, I’m focused, and I am marching in the right direction. It isn’t long though before I crash into the wall and run out of energy. The thing that I need to remember is that I can no more function effectively apart from God’s power and guidance than that wind-up toy can get from point A to point B without someone winding it up and directing it. I also need to remember that sometimes, God puts a wall in my way to prevent me from falling off the table.

Romans 8
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

If we continue to read through Romans 8, we see that God’s plan for us included much more than winding us up, directing us, and protecting us from the occasional calamity. God’s plan, which demonstrates the depths of His love for us, included the sacrifice of His Son so that we might be justified. Christ was tortured, crucified, killed, and overcame death in order that we, His enemy, might experience a personal and eternal relationship with our Creator.

29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Praise God for his direction, correction, mercy, and love!

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Posted by on February 28, 2013 in Christianity, Faith, Humor

 

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Best Laid Plans…

funny-to-do-listTime and again, I find myself making plans and then getting frustrated when they don’t work out. I wake up each day with a to-do list that looks almost exactly like the to-do list from thee previous day, because – more often than not, something or someone gets in the way and I don’t get to do what I want to do. In the moment, it is very easy to forget that I am not my own – but if I take a step back and look at my past, I can see that my life is filled with pivotal moments that weren’t of my own planning. These moments are like God’s signposts on my life’s journey.

Just a few of these moments:

  • My wife – When I was in college, marriage was the furthest thing from my mind – and then I met Marcia. Her influence has, in many ways, protected me from myself and I am far better with her than I would be without her.
  • My daughter – While she wasn’t unplanned, I had no idea what I was in for when Marilyn was born. She was a strong-willed child who was quite difficult to handle at times. Apparently I had behaved in a similar manner because my father used to chuckle and tell me that “I got the child I deserved.” As difficult as she may have been, God used desire of her little heart to attend Sunday School in order to draw me back to Him.
  • Unemployment – Years ago, I had an excellent job at Laminations in Scranton. I had practically rebuilt the company’s network infrastructure from the ground up in the three years that I was there. Losing that job to outsourcing was devastating to me. As I look back, I can see that my identity and sense of self-worth was too tied to my job. Instead of thinking of myself as a Christian, a husband, or a father – I thought of myself as Laminations’ network engineer. God removed that job to make me more reliant on him, and then led me to a new job at Lamplighter which caused me to grow in other ways.
  • Car Accident – Not long after losing my job at Laminations, our car was totaled when someone ran a red light and hit us. Thankfully, no one was injured. As it turns out, without my job, we wouldn’t have been able to afford the payments on that car. Sometimes, God provides by taking things away.

I am sure that each of us have similar events throughout our lives that, while often unpleasant during the event, turn out to be beneficial in the end. God always has our best interests at heart even when our shortsightedness prevents us from being able to recognize his blessings.

Proverbs 16
1 The plans of the heart belong to man,
  but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
  but the Lord weighs the spirit.
3 Commit your work to the Lord,
  and your plans will be established.

Jeremiah 29
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2012 in Christianity, Faith, Family, Humor, Personal

 

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Stalker!

Luke 19
10 And I, the Son of Man, have come to seek and save those who are lost.

i-love-my-stalker_designI find this verse to be very compelling. This isn’t a passive verse. This verse does not describe a savior who is sitting around, waiting for people to realize that they are lost and in need of saving. This verse clearly depicts Christ actively seeking us out and finding us in a very effective manner just us we might search for a lost child. This description, this pursuit, reminds me of the way that my wife and I met.

My wife, Marcia,  and I met in college, although she didn’t tell me until years after we were married that she had had her eye on me for over a year before our first meeting. I was in my first year at Keystone Junior College when her high school class took a tour of the campus. During this tour, she noticed me in the computer lab where I worked as a lab assistant, ostensibly to assist students in need of help (this was in the early 90s before students had their own computers). When she saw me, she apparently told one of her friends that she liked me and seeing me was one of the reasons she chose to attend Keystone the following year. During that next year, I was still working in the computer lab as a lab assistant and Marcia approached me for the first time because she needed help using the computers. I was not very kind I’m afraid, and suggested “Do it yourself.”, or something equally helpful. To me, she was just another helpless freshman in a crowd of helpless freshman. Nevertheless, she was not deterred and continued to visit the computer lab and continued to ask for help. Eventually, we met at a roller-skating event sponsored by the college and with the encouragement of my friends, wound up skating together and have been together ever since. The rest, as they say, is history. Until that point, I had no desire for a girlfriend and was less than clueless when it came to girls. If it hadn’t been for her tenacity, I have no idea where I would be today but I am certain that I would not be any happier or better off. I fell in love with Marcia, married her, and enjoy her companionship to this day because she loved me first, pursued me, and continued to pursue me even when I was rude, brusque, and undeserving . Although I jokingly refer to her as “my stalker”, I am ever thankful for her pursuit.

I am even less deserving and more thankful for the pursuit of Jesus Christ, without whom I would have nothing.

1 John 4
19 We love because he first loved us.

 

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