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April 30, 2014, 10:47 AM

Good Can Still Come

For a number of years now I have abandoned certain cliches.  "If it's meant to be, it will be", "If it's God's will, it will happen" and others similar.  Before you label me a heritic ... How many times have you seen people mess up God's will?  Think about it, it happens all the time.

Now, I believe God's Word, I believe it is infallible and inerrant, and I hold strongly to Romans 8:28.  Yes, without a doubt I believe that God can bring good even out of bad situations.  But honestly, as I am writing this I am struggling.

Here's the deal, our son Logan graduated from Texas A&M in December (WHOOP!)  He has sent out over 100 job applications, because God is the one who connects us with who we know, through one of those types of connections he was put in touch with a company and got the job!!!  For him, a dream job, right in his field of study, good pay, great location!!!  So we move him to the area, he is to start work and then gets a call that he can't.  Why?  This straight arrow of a young man failed the drug test!  How is this possible?  Well in this case, at first no clue!  Until we realize that the day before his interview and consequent drug test, he enjoyed a large portion of his favorite meal from mom - Poppy Seed Chicken.  Yep.  How stupid could we have been?!  We used to joke when he was in High School and having it for a meal, hoped they wouldn't do random drug testing this week at school...

Another part of my frustration is what I believe to be the epidemic of idiots who are running not only our country but many institutions.  And the zero tolerance policy that allows for no consideration of a situation.  We could send them the recipe and clear it up, but at this point that is not an option.

So, I am frustrated.

Can God work this for good?  Absolutely and that is what we are praying for and trusting in.  In the midst of these kinds of situations the one thing I know without a doubt is that no matter what, God wants to reveal His glory.  And so that is what I am looking for.

I'm still frustrated and heartbroken for him, and mad at myself for letting him eat that Poppy Seed Chicken!

But I will trust in the Lord.

Romans 8:28.

So even when we humans mess up what God has planned, God still has a plan.  It may mean waiting a little longer to see it, it may mean looking in a different direction to find it, but God is able to bring good out of any situation, even heartbreaking ones.

So I wll trust in the Lord.




April 16, 2014, 10:39 AM

What Are You?

Recently I've been seeing a lot of posts on FaceBook (don't judge me) about these character/personality/things tests people are taking.

Did you know you can see what "color" you are?  Some link with a picture of colored scarfs on it... What kind of "bird" you would be, which "Star Wars" character you are, "Hobbit", sitcom "Friends" character, "fairytale" creature, color of "aura" you are, and many other possibilities.

There is even one for which "Peanuts" character you are.  (Interesting, I took two of these and was Linus in one and Lucy in the other???)  Good grief!

 

Anyway, so, in light of these ideas, what about who you are in the local church body?

Several ways to look at this one too.

I mean there are the not so great characters - complainer, whiner, grumbler, controller, manipulater, intimidator ...

Someone with a little creativity could come up with a test to see which brand of soft drink in the church you might be.  Let's see ...  The Diet Coke Christian - only shows up at Easter and Christmas.  The Coke Zero Christian - shows up and sits but never does or gives anything.  The 10 calorie Dr. Pepper - brags about being 100% but only gives about 10% of themself...  We could go on, but this sounds a bit critical.

Here's the point, you are a part of the Body of Christ and as such also a part of the Body of the Local Church.  Now, you are familiar with Paul's writing in Romans 12, I Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4 about the body of Christ and our giftedness to fit in and serve.  So, how about starting a new set of posts on FaceBook, or more effectively just realize who you are and where you fit in within your local church in the Body of Christ and do what the Lord has equipped you to do?  Here's a few examples:

If you are:

Hand - a helper, greeter, server, assistant

Feet - you are a "goer" read to go and do, take things somewhere, take people where they need to be...

Eyes - visionary, able to see needs in folks, observing the movement of the Lord.

Mouth - inviter, encourager, witnesser, teacher.

Knees - you are a person of prayer.

Arms - hugger, supporter.

Ears - good listener.

There are so many ways to consider this and they all speak to the important role you play in the local church body.

And to see how important each part is, if one part is missing or not working properly, then the body is limited.  This means your church will not be able to accomplish effectively what God desires and plans for you to.

So rather than taking tests to see which cartoon character you would be (I would want to be Marvin the Martian) look into the Bible and discover how God has gifted you and wired you to serve, and then be that.  You will be blessed and you will be a blessing!

 




April 9, 2014, 10:11 AM

The First Church of Buc-cee's

The First Church of Buc-cee's

Recently on a Sunday evening I was traveling with 3 pastors to an event in Dallas.  We stopped at Buc-cee's on I-10 in Luling and the place was packed.  The biggest crowd I have ever seen there, and this is a place I go by somewhat regularly.  It was about 4pm on this particular Sunday.

Of course my first thought was "Why aren't all these people at home getting ready for church?"  But then I remembered that we were traveling too.

When we left I said to the pastors, "One of you, or all of us need to put together a sermon on what a church can learn from Buc-cee's."  And the brainstorming began.

One of the pastors, Dr. Ira Antoine said, "Ok, what is the one thing Buc-cee's is most known for?"

That was easy, large clean restrooms.

So the first lesson - make sure your restrooms are large and clean.

Did you know that at Buc-cee's there is an employee whose primary responsibility is to keep the restrooms clean?  Yep.

So, behind this great attribute - Buc-cee's is saying that family is important.

No one wants to take thier child, much less themselves, into a dirty restroom.  We want to go into a place where we are not afraid to touch anything wondering what we might catch!

Another observation was made by Dr. Ira and Pastor Robert Krause, heading Southwest out of Houston on Hwy 59, there is a billboard for        Buc-cee's.  This billboard is about 20 minutes from the next location and it says "Buc-cee's 20 minutes, you can hold it."

Now, it is a humorous idea, but what is it saying?

It's saying, it will be worth the wait.  It's worth the extra time passing up other places to get to Buc-cee's.

That what you find at Buc-cee's will not disappoint you and that you will be glad you waited in order to get there.

One more, I commented that what I have observed is that every time, and I do mean every time, Ihave entered a Buc-cee's, before I am 10 feet in the door I have heard at least one employee say, "Hi!  Welcome to Buc-cee's!"  Did I mention that it happens every time?

I can't tell you the number of times my wife and I have gone to a church, even when I am the guest preacher, and upon entering the sanctuary, not one person greets us.

One church we went to, entering the sanctuary where there were about 20 people already seated in various locations, we walked up the center aisle to the front where a staff member was, and that staff member was the first person to say something to us.

But not a Buc-cee's, try it, within 10 feet of entering you will be greeted warmly ad with enthusiasm!

Now, what does this mean for churches?

Think about it, gasoline prices are gasoline prices, you can get gasoline at any number of places.  Why then is Buc-cee's always packed?  And what can your church learn from them?  3 simple observations.

1.  Their facilities say to families, "We expected you and we have a clean place for you."

2.  Thier advertisement is creative and fun but more than that, is backed up by th proof when you arrive.  Along with clean facilities, besides the gasoline, you're going to find something you want while you are there!

3.  They are friendly!  And I mean enthusiastically friendly, the moment you walk in!

There is another side to this - all of this is in an effort to win you as a customer so that when you are on the road there will only be one place you want to stop - Buc-cee's!

Church member, why not learn from this and apply it to your church?  It's not your pastors job, it's YOUR job!  Find a way to be involved to accomplish one of these 3 things in your church or improve an area of your church, and get busy!

I believe you will be pleasantly surprised at the difference it makes and the results that come.

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