"...and I will dwell in the House of the LORD forever!"

Monday, March 18, 2013

What's Your Story?

Before you jump down to the bottom of this article to unlock the answer, see if you can guess who this riddle defines:

36 have been accused of spousal abuse.
7 have been arrested for fraud.
19 have been accused of writing bad checks.
117 have bankrupted at least 2 businesses.
3 have served time for assault.
71, repeat 71, cannot get a credit card due to bad credit.
14 have been arrested on drug-related charges.
8 have been arrested for shoplifting.
21 have been defendants in lawsuits.
84 have been arrested for drunk driving.
Total # of People: 380

It’s not the NBA or the NFL. It’s the alleged 2009 United States Congress. That’s right—it's rumored that 380 of the 450 members had these plots attached to their stories (100% confirmation can't be found). And since many of our current Congressmen were serving in 2009, it's possible not much has changed. We can see why words like “Fiscal Cliff” and “Sequester” so easily roll off the tongue in Washington.

I realize Congress shouldn’t be elevated to a platform of spiritual virtue. Many recent morality legislations, which have been supported and approved by Congress, break my heart as a disciple of Jesus, and I find them in direct violation of God’s will. 380 Congressmen have made significant mistakes and committed grievous sins, yet they still have held, and some continue to hold, high positions in our country.

This political example makes a spiritual application. God’s people have always been “mess ups”. Abraham lied about Sarah being his sister, but he still became the “Father of Many Nations.” David committed adultery and murder, but he was still a “Man After God’s Own Heart.” Zacchaeus was a deceitful tax collector, but salvation still “came to his house.” The church at Corinth was full of division, sexual immorality, idolatry, and confusion, but Paul still called them the “church of God in Corinth.” (1 Corinthians 1:2)

What’s your story? It’s not any worse, or different, than a story that has already been written. But, here’s the good news—regardless of our resume, God, our potter, can mold the clay of our lives into what it needs to be. Don’t allow a troubled past to determine a terrific future. God won’t give up on you. Don’t give up on Him.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Unknown Secrets

How well do you know people? Probably not as well as you think.

I read an interesting article last week that mentioned secrets travelers don’t know about Flight Attendants. I spend a fair amount of time in airports, so I found some of them to be eye-opening, and fairly humorous. Here are just a few from the list:

1) When the plane door is open, we aren’t getting paid. (That explains why Attendants are so adamant about overhead bins and finding a seat quickly. Every minute spent boarding and de-boarding is time off their pay check—they’re paid for “flight hours only”, which begins when the plane pushes back from the gate. So, when they rush you to find a seat, it’s nothing personal—they just want to be paid.)

2) We can be too tall or too short. (This sounds pretty shallow, but in reality, it’s much better than it used to be. During the Pan Am era of the 1960’s, Stewardesses had to be at least 5’2 and weigh no more than 130 pounds. They also had to retire by the age of 32. Today, those restrictions are gone, but female Attendants must still be at least 5’3, and no taller than 6’1.)

3) We hate pouring Diet Coke. (No wonder I always get a roll of the eyes when I ask for my favorite beverage. Diet Coke takes twice as long to serve because the fizzle from the carbonation takes twice as long to settle. Attendants say they can serve three beverages in the amount of time it takes to serve one Diet Coke. This is a significant factor on the short, 45 minute in-state flights.)

I realize these secrets aren’t “Breaking News”, but they do explain why Flight Attendants often seem irritable. In one way or another, it serves as a reminder for the church. How often do we share our struggles, fears, pet-peeves, and disappointments? Church should provide an environment where we feel comfortable to share our unknown secrets. When we do, people understand us better and can relate with us more. Granted, these secrets may not be life-shattering, but it’s comforting when people listen and care.

Find someone to listen to you. Find someone you will listen to. You will be glad that you did.