January 27 – This Thing Called the Body

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 When it comes to Christianity, I struggle sometimes with the “how comes.” Why are there so many fragmented pieces? Why is there so much duplication and yet, limited unity? And why, if our Savior and Lord came and healed the sick, prospered the poor, fed the hungry, gave sight to the blind, and opened prison doors for the captives, why do we struggle so in doing the same?

In all honesty, there are many times I get so caught up in this type of thinking, I lose sight of what God taught me years ago. During a time of “wandering through the why’s,” I asked God for help with some of these questions. And instead of answering me in an audible voice, He led me to the prayerful words of Christ in John 17.

There I saw the Lord prophetically praying His will for those who would one day be known as Christians. He knew unity and harmony would be a feat that only His Father could muster. There would be so many from different walks of life, with so many mindsets. That is why it is a sign of maturity when we choose to pray as Christ did for the Body of believers instead of critiquing and criticizing its shortcomings.

This morning I was moved by the thought of this great Body, more than a billion strong world-wide, united through prayer and harmoniously representing Christ in its manifold languages and flavors! There is nothing like it in the entire universe! So I commit once again to pray for her and play my role. And may the world feel the weight of Christ’s love for them through our obedience.

I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. . John 17:23

Biblical Meditation: Psalm 2:8 Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations as Your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth as Your possession.

 

March 5 – Don’t Mind If I Do!

“There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, ‘Enough!’ the grave, the barren womb, land, which is never satisfied with water, and fire, which never says, ‘Enough!’” Proverbs 30:15b-16 NIV

Old Bud Searcy was all about helping the women and children while the menfolk were away…helping them right out of a meal!

In the beloved Disney classic, Old Yeller (originally in print by the same name), one of the only characters one would dare not “take a liking” to was Mr. Searcy. This was basically because instead of taking care of those in need, he helped himself (at their expense.)

Even as a little kid, I knew old Mr. Searcy was a bad egg. He made for good comedy, only because we all know a “Mr. Searcy”! But, at the same time, it makes a case worth noting…

To him who is eager for a handout seldom finds value in a hand up. Therefore, the word “enough” will be strangely absent from his verbal repertoire.

Try as you may, life is not complete without the never enoughs. And from time to time, a meal on their behalf isn’t going to break ya. But remember, the Searcys do well to bump up against some, “yes you can” every now and again!

Lorenzo

February 18 – Something is Gained in the Translation

He who pampers his servant from childhood will have him as a son in the end. Proverbs 29:21 NKJV

At first glance, I hear “don’t be too easy” when it comes to those who work for you. If you give them an inch of leniency, they will take a mile. I see truth in that, but at second glance, I see more.

A servant will not be corrected by words alone; for though he understands, he will not answer [the master who mistreats him]. Proverbs 29:21AMP

This translation of the original text suggests that being too harsh stirs defiance in the heart of someone who helps or works for you. First look: be tough; Second look: be kind and considerate. So, which is it?

For me the “third point of view” is the key to seeing contextually what I should be, who I should be, or what I should say. And that view is prayerfully derived. I don’t run with what I think when I read…most of the time, anymore.

I invite God, who is my Father, to translate according to His view and vantage point concerning me, the matter at hand, and the message before my eyes.

Therefore, if we read the same passage and see it differently, neither of us is wrong. We may just be between “looks!”

Lorenzo

January 29 – If It Takes All Night

A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished. Proverbs 28:20

Just the other day, a good friend and I were swapping “fish stories.”

And since I’m still but a young man in the eyes of the modestly mature, my skills are still in the development stage. So I told him about my Grandpa, “Big Daddy.”

In my mind, there was none better and probably never will be any man more skilled at catching fish than my Big Daddy.

Though I didn’t understand it when I was a kid, it makes sense to me now. What he used to be successful at catching fish was the same exact thing he used to be successful in every other area of his life.

It wasn’t patience. It wasn’t intelligence. It wasn’t toys, tackle or bait. All of these played significant roles but only after his faith set the stage.

Big Daddy had faith that he would catch fish every single time he went out. Therefore, he brought sufficient tools to get the job done. And if it took all night long, he would be there just as determined as he was the moment he started.

I never recall a time Big Daddy was found running from one hole to the next trying to land the big one. He wasn’t known for following the advice of others about where the fish were jumping. Oh, he’d listen, but when it was all said and done, his own faithfulness kept the family freezer full of fish.

Whatever you are “fishing for” can be realized. But first you have to make up your mind…if it takes all night! Then everything else will kick in just like it’s designed to do. And before you know it, you will look around and discover there’s not enough room to hold all of the blessings.

Be still. Be faithful.

Lorenzo

January 23 – Knittin’ Tending

Know your sheep by name; carefully attend to your flocks; (don’t take them for granted; possessions don’t last forever, you know.) And then, when the crops are in and the harvest is stored in the barns, you can knit sweaters from lambs’ wool, and sell your goats for a profit; there will be plenty of milk and meat to last your family through the winter. Proverbs 27:23-27 The Message

Some people are quick to tell you what they know. Always having something to say, they create more dissension and distraction than they do any difference in anything worthwhile.

Time always tells on them. Sheep don’t lie. If they have nothing to eat, they don’t survive and there’s no wool for winter. And sheep require careful consideration. My “sheep” and your “sheep” are those people or that business and that something you have been entrusted by God to handle.

Only I can answer what that is for me. But whatever it is, my tending to it or the lack thereof speaks for me whether I want it to or not. And nobody wants to know what I think about their knittin’ when I can’t take care of my own.

Lorenzo

January 22 – Winter is Just a Season

For riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations. Proverbs 27:24

Early last year year, the sand plums were thick. Four years ago, when we moved to the farm, they were everywhere. We picked a few and canned a bit.

But the following years, if you weren’t diligent enough to put up plenty, there was no way you had homemade jelly to last until the next bumper crop.

We as a society are smart and we have figured out ways to override natural order and supply and demand. But, for the listening soul, seasonal abundance is still ever present to instruct.

“Bomb, bam, bang” can’t maintain forever. Winter must come. Fall lets us know times are changing so we can prepare.

True, after winter comes spring, but how long winter lasts has everything to do with…how long winter will last.

January 20 – Buttered Bread

The one who guards a fig tree will eat its fruit, and whoever protects their master will be honored. Proverbs 27:18

My boss, Sandy, called me to come in on my “off” day. This was my first official “paycheck” job. And most of the time, even at 14, I was happy to get the extra hours. But some buddies had invited me to go catch a movie and hang out at the mall.

I let her know I couldn’t, let them know I could, and the next thing I knew I was unemployed.

No, I didn’t get fired for not going in to work. My manager was truly understanding. She just didn’t know the company we worked for was in the process of filing bankruptcy.

This made an impression. Though I can’t say I have always been the best hire, I can say I valued any person for whom I worked and I strived to do the very best work I could.

A boss or company is a blessing. Whether I prefer the work I’m doing at the time, it still provides a means of support, continued learning and personal advancement.

In my estimation that’s “butter” for the bread of life.

And when my attitude is right, the butter is abundant and the bread is worth the spread!

Lorenzo

(P.S. If you haven’t seen my wife’s post about eating real butter, check it out.  We didn’t intend to write in tandem but it happened. 🙂 Here it is:  justafamilything.com