Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Southern Hospitality - somewhat a thing of the past

It is always said that people in the southern United States are naturally more courteous than other regions.  Let me start off by saying I think this is true, for the most part; now the genuineness of it is for another post and another day.  However, yesterday I had a glimpse of how real people are in our area.  Jesus tells us in Matthew how we are to show Him love:

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.

The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."   Matthew 25:35-36, 40 NIV84

So basically if we love everyone and help those in need (in the name of Jesus) we are able to metaphorically wrap our arms around our heavenly Father and tell Him we love Him.  Now, me and my wife are in the process of getting out of debt and therefore I am driving a 1992 Cadillac Deville that belonged to Elizabeth's grandfather.  Now this car had not been moved, started, or really touched in probably 5 years. However after a few minor investments I am driving this classic car.  That being said its no Corolla when it comes to dependability.  Yesterday morning I was driving to work and when I made a left hand turn the car just died, and stayed dead for the next few hours.  No big deal right?  Kind of expect that with an old hooptie.  True, but not in the middle of a highly traveled road at 7:45 am. 

Here is what happened that while was not really shocking, it really impacted me.  I don't know exactly how many cars drove by me but I would bet it was at least 200-300 in a roughly 30 min time span.  Guess how many people stopped to help:


Now, I can be transparent and tell you there have been many times that I have drove on by as well; and I understand why women would not stop to help a random man sitting in an old hooptie.  But, there us no excuse for us as men to not stop and at least offer to help, which is showing love to our creator and savior.  Rather we drive on by and say "that's no fun".  I wouldn't have likely allowed anyone to help but still, not one person even batted an eye. 

So this poses another question, if we are not helping those in need then are we choosing to not show love to Jesus?  Compare that to a husband and wife, if I walk by and my wife is sitting on the side of the road and I just wave and blow a kiss what will that do to our relationship?  I'll let us chew on that one for a while.

Now, what does all this say about the state of our city/state/country?  We are in the middle of an unreached people group every day.  Are we denying our savior love?  We can tell Jesus we love him until we are blue in the face, we can go to church, and we can tell people about Jesus; but if we don't show it through actions it is nothing.  Jesus demonstrated his love for us through his action, who are we to overlook those in need?

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." 
Romans 5:8 NIV84

How are we going to show our creator love today?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Our Lives - Who really cares

It's 115 am and I am sitting here rocking my 1 year old little girl.  I have been thinking a lot about this blog and figured it would at least keep me from falling asleep in the glider.  Let me go ahead and make a confession, me and my wife watch the tv show "Friends" way too much.  We were watching it this afternoon and realized something that really made me step back and evaluate a few things.

If you watched Friends when it was on during primetime you probably remember the final season and how it lead up to that final episode.  The one we watched today happened to be the very last one. What was so amazing was that even though it was a tv show I remember going through the same emotions the characters were going through during that last episode.  Now I didn't cry or anything like that, buy I remember being sad that the show was over.

Now, that is just a tv show with actors portraying characters from a script.  But it is amazing to me the impact those people had on our lives.  Typical weekly conversation invlolved what was going on with friends.  We didn't know these people, in reality they weren't even real people.  This poses a couple questions.

First, if a tv show impacts us that much how much more impactful are our lives on the people around us.  If we live our lives for Jesus Christ, who was 100% God and 100% man and radically changes our lives; then the impact it has on people should be infinitely greater.  If we live for Christ then our lives are such that people do discuss them often, and people are wondering what us different about us.  This should open doors for the chance to share the gospel.

However, there's a little detail we must remember about tv shows, we basically see the most intimate portion of their lives.  We see things that a lot of people wouldn't share with their family.  That poses my second question, do we open our lives up to the level where people can see exactly what we are about?  They see our hope in Jesus, and our desire to live for Him?  Or do we keep that part of our life private because it will expose our weakness (according to the world)?  I think if we want to impact people for Christ we have to let our lives be as transparent as tv shows in order to expose our understanding of our depraivity and the only true antidote to that.  Once we allow people to see that we open the door for the gospel to be shared.