No Excuses!

Petals and Swirls

     I hate it when my kids give me excuses.  Especially when I’ve given them a task I am counting on them to finish.  It is so disappointing to realize that what I thought would be done wasn’t.  Then my plans for the next item (which is sometimes fun and relaxing) have to be put off.

       My boys and I had a long talk about excuses.  Someone who gives excuses is painting themselves as powerless to effect change.  It’s not attractive in women or men but is particularly unsavory in men in whom we expect to find high levels of ambition, resourcefulness, and determination.  I don’t want to be like the Spartan mothers who told their sons to “come back with their shield or upon it,” but I do expect some brainpower to be applied to the problem of breaking up a large cardboard box so that it fits in the recycling bin.  “It doesn’t fit,” is not good enough for me when I’ve seen entire forts erected in a day out of sundry materials.

     I guess resourcefulness and determination is a character trait we need to build into our kids.  We need to demand it from them because Christ demands it from us.  He asks us to do more than we can so that we develop determination to try what He tells us to do despite the odds surrounding us.  At the same time, we learn that true resourcefulness means devoting what we have to the cause and depending on Him to make it enough for the task.

     When Jesus asked his disciples in John 6 to feed the five thousand, Andrew went and brought what he could find.  He was as resourceful as he could be.  It took  a degree of determination to try of fulfill Christ’s desire by searching the crowd for food rather than throwing up his hands in despair.  Jesus blessed what he brought and accomplished the feeding of the crowd through His power.

    Christ expects us to answer the call He puts on our lives.  Not having what we think we need doesn’t matter.  The master of the servants (who represents the Father) in the parable of the talents states, “You knew that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I have not scattered seed.”  Do I really believe that?  Then I might as well keep bringing Him my resources and asking Him to make it enough for the job.  To do less is to disappoint him and I hate the thought of that more than anything.  Dear Jesus, grace me with the determination to be truly resourceful–to bring what I have before you and to depend on your power to enable it to be enough to feed others.

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The Wonder of People

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Flowers from a dear friend 🙂

I love all my friends.  I am so thankful for each on of them.  I think people are fascinating creations of God.  You could spend years with someone and still learn that you don’t know half of who they are.  Like an inverted universe, the end of a person’s soul is unfathomable.  Perhaps that’s because we are made in the image of God.  We possess an immortal soul and are designed to live forever.  Truly it is as the Bible says, “He has put eternity in the heart of man.”

So Close and Yet So Far

42-15559882  Friendly’s Youth Group in school went down to the local homeless shelter to serve lunch.  On the drive,  I saw a part of our town I hadn’t seen before.  Ramshackle strutctures filled with the homeless lined part of a street and filled half of a dirt lot.  They’re only twenty minutes away from me, but I’ve never seen them until today.  I guess that’s my fault.

The Man in My Life

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Much is made of Christ’s divinity but how often do I reflect on what His humanity has done for us?  His humanity means that, for a time, we saw the fullness of God among us.  We saw His heart, His confidence, His mercy, His pain.  We saw what it means to live a life of following the Father.  His humanity also means that the cost of human failure was paid for by the sacrifice of a sinless human life.  He is the man we needed. 

In the account of the lame man by the pool of Bethesda, the crippled man explains to Jesus, “Lord, I do not have a man, that when the water is agitated he may throw me into the pool [to be healed].”  John 5:7  Hearing this, Jesus healed him. This is exactly what Jesus came to be…the only man who can do what we and no one else can do.  Heal us.  He is our man.