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

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Honey vs. Vinegar

I met up with a good friend last week. As we discussed the various events taking place in our lives, and the different courses our lives are beginning to travel, he told me about one of his favorite “sayings”, but it didn’t originate with him. It’s a saying that is packed full of theological importance; a saying that contrasts the difference between honey and vinegar; a saying that he learned from his grandmother.

She would always say, “Some people are as sweet as honey. Some people are as sour as vinegar. But, I will choose to be sweet like honey—because honey is stronger, stickier, tastier, and it always lasts longer.”

 As God’s people, we need to remember that wisdom. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Two rights never make a wrong. Our words and actions need to be as sweet as honey, because these are the virtues of God. “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103)

Are you sticky and sweet, or slick and sour?

Held Any Money Lately?

One afternoon, a woman was relaxing on the beach under her umbrella. A little boy in his swimsuit, with towel in hand, ran up to her and asked, “Do you believe in God?” She was somewhat surprised by the boy’s question, but she answered, “Yes, I do.” Gaining confidence, he then asked her, “Do you go to church every Sunday?” Again, she answered, “Yes.” Finally, he crossed his fingers and laid it all on the line “Do you read your Bible and pray every day?” The woman was baffled and said, “Yes, sweetheart, I do. Why are you asking?” He smiled and asked, “Will you hold my money while I go swimming?”
This story paints the beauty of Christian character. Because we have been washed by the blood of Jesus and brought into the Kingdom of God, people should see our worth and esteem our values. The Apostle Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4:12 that our daily lives can “…win the respect of outsiders…” You see, when we follow the steps of Jesus, and live in harmony with the Spirit, daily respect hovers over our existence, even when others don’t admit it.
When was the last time someone asked you to “hold their money”? Granted, they may never hand over the cash, but if they can hand over their trust, the goal has been accomplished.

Top Five Benefits to Being a Man

What are the top five benefits to being a man? Consider these “blessings” in disguise:

#1) Phone Conversations rarely last more than 30 seconds.

#2) Wedding Dress Purchase: $2,000; Tuxedo Rental: $75.00

#3) If a man shows up wearing your same outfit, you will most likely be life-long friends.

#4) You aren’t expected to know the names of more than five colors.

#5) One wallet; one pair of shoes; one color; all seasons.

Now, what are the top five benefits to being a Christian? Are they easier to recognize? Do they slide off the tip of your tongue, or get bogged down in the muck of memory? I’ll get you started:

#1) You don’t deserve any blessing you can list, but you receive it anyway.

Think about that this week.

Paying it Forward

In our capitalist society, deceitfully driven by the great American dollar, it’s refreshing to hear of occasional acts of good will—particularly when these “acts” are anonymous. In a chain of grocery stores and a few Wal-Marts in Oregon and Southwest Washington, some good citizens have literally, yet secretly, been “Paying it forward”. The last few weeks, stores have confirmed that their customers have found $100.00 stashed in egg cartons, shoes, ice cream containers, and other grocery items. When customers found the money, and reported the discovery to managerial staff, they were allowed to “keep the change”.

 The news has been buzzing around Oregon, even developing a conspiracy about the identity of this generous donor(s). The rumor mill produced a steamy myth that the anonymous gifts were from a recent lottery winner. After more digging, it has been discovered that the $100 bills are being deposited by a local radio station in town, trying to encourage others to “Pay it forward” as well. I wish some radio stations in Texas would get the same idea!

 God expects this same generosity from His people. With the physical blessings we receive, we can bless others. With the emotional strength we gain, we can strengthen others. With the security of faith we enjoy, we can help others feel more secure. We may not have money to stash in the shelves of the local supermarket, but we can improve the daily lives of our friends and family. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

You’ve been paid by God. When was the last time you paid it forward?