Thursday, January 23, 2014

MICK'S MUSINGS; Gods showing up in defunct freezer

Freezers are for freezing belabor the obvious. Old Brownie kept Martha's stash of edibles (dinner table occupants have a way of multiplying around here) ready for over 35 years. Think we got our money's worth here.  A couple of Saturday mornings ago I heard Old Brownie whining. Not a good sound from a freezer. Sure enough, the compressor apparently decided it was time to retire. Checking the contents found just the beginnings of thawing out. Now Saturdays don't offer the best opportunities to purchase a freezer AND have it delivered that day. Checking the biggies, most did not even carry upright freezers and none offered delivery that day.

Now here's where God showed up. Handy TV and Appliance Store to the rescue. A phone call indicated availability of both freezer and delivery that afternoon. But there was a prior issue...footing the bill for a costly item not in our limited budget.

Two days before Old Brownie kicked the bucket we received a hefty check from a travel coverage (if you go down in a plane crash,etc), ten bucks a month, JC Penny Insurance policy. The amount of the check was  more than we put into the policy. Another episode of God showing Himself faithful to us, the first show up of God on our behalf in this scenario. Then Saturday delivery...the next show. But it gets better. Two hefty African American brothers delivered the freezer. They were Brothers...believing, knowledgeable, on fire brothers. The fellowship quickly hit the more than common level. Last scene: standing in a circle, arms around shoulders, praying God's goodness on each other. Couldn't get much better than that.

Old Brownie, your demise "done us good".

Friday, January 10, 2014

MICK'S MUSINGS: Love God - Love People; Serve God - Serve People

Not far into the pages of Scripture you run smack into love. Adam and Eve did not invent love. They were privileged to be the first to experience love on the human scene ...which had rapidly turned sour. Our ancient ancestors messed it up royally for us when they decided tasting forbidden fruit a more attractive alternative than heeding the One who knew best - our Creator. Don't knock them for the mess the human race is in. We'd all do same.

With Adam and Eve the love of God literally covered their sin. Innocent, helpless sheep paid the price for that covering. For God's love to cover our disobedience - both in terms of needing One who could bridge that eternal gap between sinful man and a Holy God, and covering for sins we followers of Christ find so easily beset us - demanded The Lamb of God be sacrificed. Love - bloodied, bruised, despised, rejected, nailed to a cross - provided that Lamb for us. "God so loved the world..." And I am eternally grateful.

Then God comes along in His Word and lays on His people His standard for how we are to love in the here and now. "We love Him because He first (in every way) loved us."  "Beloved, if God so loved us then we ought also to love one another." "...If you do not love your brother whom you have seen, how can you love God whom you have not seen?" (Read I John ...full of love). We don't get off easily. God knew He was pushing our buttons in holding us to His standard. Walking wounded dot the Christian landscape where His followers failed miserably in the love department because that standard was not practical or too tough (our cop-out).  But hang on...He's not telling us He requires we get the warm fuzzies over every weird character flying the Believer Banner, or the pure pagan.

Here's a simple biblical and practical love lesson liveable by any of us.  You love God by loving people. You serve God by serving people. Again, warm fuzzies are not the issue. Giving even a cup of cold water in Jesus' name is. Anyone can live that love. Even us.

God knew (Mick especially) we were not wired for the spectacular or awesome in our corner of His Kingdom. But people...that's our turn on. And hosting three MK college students headed back to Texas was just a cup of cold Jesus' name. We are privileged to do a lot of that. Funny thing...we were the refreshed ones. Thanks, Rochelle, Nathan, and Daniel. Our prayer in our unspectacular, awesomeless, niche in His Kingdom is that God senses our love for Him in our feeble attempts to love people practically, and that He finds our service for Him acceptable as we seek to serve Him with our cups of cold water - simple things like accommodations, Martha's touch in the kitchen, a place to crash or spend R & R time, a listening ear and heart, or a word of encouragement.

Love God by loving people. Serve God by serving people. Anyone can do that. And an overseas, distant land, strange people experience is not required.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

MICK'S MUSINGS; God's "things" - enjoying them...without guilt.

In our connections with the servants of God around the world we discovered a blight on the Christian psyche among many wide-open-for-God servants....a conviction that somehow to do anything even a tad bit extravagant in our celebration of life is spiritually suspect. So anniversaries go unballyhooed (sp?).  Events meriting killing the fatted calf wind up a hot dog at home and watching a DVD. More often than we wanted, we heard servants convey their fear a $25 restaurant night out to mark a life moment would offend some of their supporters. Like the Apostle Paul, we need to learn how "to be dead broke or to be loaded" (Mick's loose translation of Philippians 4:12). Having too much? Rarely. Not  having it? More than we liked. But God, whose faithfulness kept us clothed, fed, and not head over hills in debt, also called us to enjoy what we did have. A family of imperfect lovers but who are committed to living it, offspring of the best friend kind, the necessities of life, amazing friends, and an occasional over the top extravagant gift like a week in Vail, CO trying not to break a leg skiing in that winter wonderland. The list is endless because God is endless in His goodness.

Here's the latest extravagance...Sir Gibby, Mick's Christmas gift from his offspring. Gibby is a Cavachon, loves people, doesn't shed, not yappy, smart, and has already let me know that my shoes are fair game. He is and will be "richly enjoyed".

Enjoyment of life's "good things" ought to mark us who have found in our Lord the ultimate "good thing".
Enjoyment is not sinful. It is expected of us on God's part. Otherwise we're wasting His "richly".