Skip to main content

Daily Journal September 8 Part 1

Daily Journal—September 8 2009

Between traveling for seminars and the long weekend, I've made coffee 5 days in a row at home, and not in my study here at church. Why does that matter? At home, I have a little 4-cup capacity Mr Coffee. It's great, because that's how much coffee I drink. Please keep in mind that a 4-cup capacity Mr Coffee makes no more than 24 ounces, and really more like 20 ounces. I can fill a mug up, when it's half-empty, fill it back to the top. That's my daily coffee amount.

Anyway, back on track. My Mr Coffee here at church is an 8-cup capacity. It makes twice as much as my home brewer. Why do I have a big one here? In the off chance that I have a meeting with someone who likes coffee. I usually don't. So, this morning I put the coffee grounds in the filter, and looked at it. It looked like so little coffee compared to what I've been using. Here's the deal: the office brewer basket is more than twice the size of the home one. It's the same amount of ground beans. It's the receptacle that's different.

Now, at the risk of over-spiritualizing my morning coffee (Cameron's Caramel Cream, by the way), how many ways are we like this? Do we judge someone else's relationship with Christ in comparison with our own? Have we stopped to consider that maybe they've got a bigger basket than we do?

The other thought was this one: sometimes we think that we are really and truly full. That we've got all kinds of greatness within us. After all, our skills and abilities, our faith and commitment, when compared to the present surroundings, are tremendous! We've got all we can stand, and probably have a little more than is necessary.

But what happens when our surroundings change? The same God is God whether in Monticello or Moscow, in Arkansas and Arabia, in church and at work, in your quiet Bible reflections and your marriage. Don't make the assumption that since you can handle one, that since when you do one, it goes nice and smoothly, that you're automatically prepared for the larger. God can handle it, but have you grown to the point that you trust Him to do it? A quick tip: however you practice in the little things of life will be how you perform in the big things. Practice trusting in God in small things, and the big things will work out. You see, you're not supposed to fill your surroundings. God does that. Do you recognize Him?

And then there's this thought: with your church exactly as it is, your efforts may be just fine. True, it's not stellar. And you really intend to read your Sunday School lesson before you teach it. Yes, you want to be on-time, you want to be faithful, but it's just so hard. Are you limiting your effectiveness? Do you realize that the effort that's enough to maintain is nowhere near the effort it will take to get where God wants you to go? That if you aren't striving now, there's not much chance you'll strive then, and so God will bring up someone else that can be trusted. This is why you see some churches blessed, and others not. Why some lives seem to constantly be used by God, and some don't. Be faithful now. And when the big pot comes, you'll be useful then too.


Popular posts from this blog

Book: By the Waters of Babylon

Worship. It is what the church does as we strive to honor God with our lips and our lives. And then, many churches argue about worship. I have about a half-dozen books on my shelf about worship, but adding Scott Aniol’s By the Waters of Babylon to the shelf has been excellent.

First of all, Aniol’s work is not based on solving a musical debate. While that branch of worship is often the most troublesome in the local church, By the Waters of Babylon takes a broader view. The starting point is the place of the church. That place is a parallel of Psalm 137, where the people of God, Israel, found themselves in a strange land. The people of God, again, find themselves in a strange land.
Second, in summary, the book works logically to the text of Scripture, primarily Psalm 137 but well-filled with other passages. Then it works outward from how the text addresses the problems submitted in the first chapter into how worship, specifically corporate worship, should look in the 21st century Weste…

Put Down That Tablet! Exodus 35

Moses assembles the people of Israel at Sinai one last time before they set out into the wilderness, headed for the Promised Land. He gives them a reminder of some portions of the commands of God and emphasizes the construction of the Tabernacle (Exodus 35 link).He also gives the one Biblical mention of tablet-type mobile devices in Exodus 35:3, where the command is given not to use your Kindle Fire on the Sabbath Day. Some of you just groaned. Some of you skipped the one-liner, and others just missed it. I’ll address you all in turn, but first let us address the person who thought this might be the hidden meaning of that command. After all, we are so easily distracted from our worship and commitment by all of the digital noise around us, why would we not take this text in this manner?The quite simple answer is: because it is not about digital devices. In total, the command to focus the day on Yahweh, Covenant God of Israel and all of Creation, and if your device subtracts from your f…

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…