Greetings From The Curb

When I get an idea while walking, I pull out my Iphone and attempt to capture my thoughts.  While sometimes the voice capture feature does okay, most times it leaves me a little wanting.  If I capture a note and fail to review it within a day or so, I often can’t recognize my original thought.  Today’s thought was supposed to be, “Grading on the curve”.  My chosen English female friend on my Iphone chose to record this as “greetings from the curb”.  I can blame the wind or my inability to enunciate clearly.  The point is if I were writing this next week, I might have no idea what the note was a reminder of.

Why did I feel the need to capture this thought?  I was trying to find a way to describe what God does with us.  Does God award heaven on a curve?  No.  This is assuming you have already confessed you are unable to “do” salvation on your own.  You recognize you need a Savior, and His name is Christ.  My thought comes in a post-conversion situation. (Or post being born-again or being saved or “washed in the blood”.  I hope this is completely clear what I am referring to.)

God had given us all different abilities.  He has given us different strengths and weaknesses.  He does not hold us all to the same level of service.  He wants all of our hearts and our lives.  We don’t become us thru the efforts of a cookie cutter.  We are all uniquely made and given unique talents and abilities.  We may be similar to others on the outside, but on the inside we have talents given to us by God.  These talents allow us to reach unsaved people in a variety of different ways.

As I live my life, I often ask the question, “Am I doing enough? With all of the potential I believe I have, am I doing enough to justify a “C” grade?” (Depending on another person’s ability, if they were to do what I have done, they might justify an “A”. )  So, if I am figuratively on the curb, what more can I do to give a better witness of He who gave all for me? When I get off of the curb is there a grading curve?  Are all types of witnessing good action or does God make us accountable for the decisions we make in regards to how our witnessing/evangelizing time is spent(or not spent)?

I know we don’t just get an “A” for effort.  I regularly seek God’s will, and I encourage you to do the same.  If there is a good-better-best plan for my life, I want best.  If there is a plan that involves lots of trusting God, I pray I have the ability to turn all of my fears over to my Maker. And, if there is a plan that relies on us depleting our savings and relying entirely on God, then may our kids forgive us for doing what God has asked us to do.

I know God realizes what I wrote, but do I?  I think I do, now may He put the pieces in place to allow it to occur.

 

Blessed Eggs

As the “alarm clock” (My mother calling from a time zone to the east) went off this morning, the day began.  With everyone needing to be out of the house by 10:00 (or so I thought), the coffee got going and the breakfast options were decided.

I had boring toast. Even though it was some special new flavor from the discount bakery, it worked well with peanut butter, so I was content. My wife pulled out the eggs to get her diet its necessary protein fix.  I wrongly assumed the eggs were for her, when she had already decided they were for my son.  As my son (the one heading to a day of food prep at Chick Fil A) watches my wife make his eggs for his breakfast this morning, I scold him for letting her do it.

He casually replies, "I am making the toast."
Unfazed, I reply, "I could make toast in a body cast."

My son and I laugh.  My wife glares.  My daughters look annoyed as they turn up the volume and continue watching the DVRed “Once Upon A Time.” As my sons scrambled eggs are plated with toast on the side, my wife finishes the carton with the eggs that will serve as her breakfast. Before putting the egg carton in the trash, she glances on the inside lid.  She is rewarded with a bit of inspiration.

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Psalms 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Prior to realizing this message was inside the carton, I was just glad to get eggs at $0.79 a dozen from Aldi’s .  (Below cost, but it certainly sucks me in the door.) Now that I know this message is there, I think I will smile a little bigger knowing somebody, somewhere cares enough about my eggs and my day to sneak in a bit of encouragement.  If an egg carton can encourage, what can I do to encourage the people I interact with today?

Conversation While Cleaning the Wok

As we did a little Korean cooking this weekend in our wok, the need to clean the wok for that meal and for sins in previous cleaning was scheduled with our Chinese student on Sunday afternoon. She has such a great heart to take the lead in this task, so even though I had done yard work already, I was glad to find out proper wok maintenance from an expert.

As we used a green scratchy pad and a little “soft” soap to clean the wok, we did quite a bit of talking. She told about her experiences with the exchange student process. And, she informed me she was not very interested in attending the orientation weekend with the other exchange students this weekend – her mother would not sign the paperwork to grant her permission. I am sure I volunteered some other info on our family as well. As the wok got shinier, our conversation got deeper.

“Is your son a Christian?”, she asked. (This question surprised me a bit. Culturally, she is not any religion. She has been willing to participate in the parts of our life that actively make us Christians. We hope all areas of our life reflect our faith, but she has actively participated in church and attending Christian school with my daughters.)

I replied, “He has chosen not to be right now.”  (Of course, this is a disappointment to us, but we are working on understanding why this is so.  We are trusting God to bring him back in His time.)

“That is odd.  I thought he would be a Christian if his parents were Christians.”, she stated.

I replied (I don’t remember exactly, but it went something like this), “He went to a Christian school for 13 years.  And, once he graduated, he decided it was not important to him right now.  He still has a good heart, but he does not see the importance of many of the things his mother and I believe.  He knows Jesus died for his sins (I tried to make sure she had some knowledge of this.  I did not want to over explain.  I wanted to answer her question w/ the hope I would give her enough to think it over further.  She is almost certain to think something over before she speaks.), but he is not interested in that right now.  We hope he chooses to make the decision to follow Jesus again.  It is his decision to make to follow Jesus – his mother and I can’t make it for him.” (Due to any language and or “Christian-lingo” words, I may have had to state or restate the above in a slightly different way.)

There was additional back and forth to clarify a couple of details – I didn’t take the reigns of the conversation.  She asked, and I answered.  Based on knowing her 2.5 weeks, she is a thinker.  She will have more questions, and when she does, I hope and pray I am able to provide information to allow her to continue to be curious and ask questions.