a glimpse towards Sunday 1.10.14


I walked into Panera this morning wearing my warm, gray cardigan.  I asked for a mug of coffee so my caffeine contentment would be satisfied with a preferred dark roast.   The waitress across the cash register seemed a bit grumpy.  With a hint of Godly inflection in my soothing pastor’s voice, I humbly requested a meager mug of java.  She said, “Huh.  What did you say?”  I asked her if SHE needed a mug.  She laughed.  Whew.  That could’ve went either way.

Before the whole exchange was over, we both were laughing, I had my coffee, and an already-tired waitress’s day was restarted in a slightly better way.  It was a small thing, but I felt good about it.  I decided to write.

I’m teaching Michael, as we go about life and the Publix checkouts, to engage people with LIFE.  I’ve made great connections and heard wonderful stories by getting out of the cultural private shell Facebook has forced us into.  People WANT to talk and engage.  Nobody knows how to go first.  I want to go first.  God has blessed me so abundantly, I must go first.  I went first last night at a Cobb County prison AA meeting.  I’m not an alcoholic or drug addict, but I’m just as broken.  I was with 9 guys sporting blue stripes down their legs.  I went first, and afterwards we were exchanging phone numbers and hope for their eventual freedom.

Why does God give us so many blessings… especially in the West?  We’re going to explore the depths of blessings come our Sunday gatherings.

Our text for Sunday finds Jesus being humiliated and mocked.  Why would anyone do this?  Why would we?  Look at how Jesus endures.  Amazing.  (Mark 15:16-20)

There are literally millions of people enduring horrific hardship and mocking because of Jesus.  It may not be so prevalent around Atlanta, but in the 20th century, more people were killed because of Jesus than all the martyrs in the previous 19 centuries combined.  Whhhaaaa?

Can we in America see the excruciating persecution many believers are seeing around the globe?  Moral relativism can be tough.  I said, “Merry Christmas,” and got a few glares this year.  Is this persecution?  Maybe.  Could it ever get tougher?  Yep.

In the meantime, can we really allow our blessings to turn us into privatized, egocentric hermits?  My cardigan-Panera-dark roast morning informs me how God has given me so much.  I must go first.  While we have the chance and unfettered freedom, shouldn’t we, at every turn, infuse life into others because of the life Jesus gave us?  Why don’t we?

The waitress just walked by as I took another sip of coffee.  She smiled.  I wonder if God will do anything with such a scant effort.  See you on Sunday.  9 & 11 a.m.  I’m anxious to teach.



Weekly Giving | 1/5/14


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