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Tuesday
Nov042014

The Bowl of Oatmeal

Routine. I feel like I follow the same routine every morning as I assist with getting the kids ready for school. Part of that routine is fixing breakfast. My son is the simplest to please as he wants the same thing every morning...oatmeal. One morning last week I am going through my routine of fixing his oatmeal, heating it in the microwave, putting two cubes of ice (because I don't have time for it to cool down) and then placing it on the table ready to eat. Typically this process goes off smoothly every morning without a hitch but something different happened on this particular day. I placed the bowl of oatmeal on the table and walked away and my son, who is usually pretty carefree, says, “I don't like this bowl.” That statement confused me. What difference did it make what type of bowl the oatmeal was poured into? You could put some good food in a flower pot and I will still eat it (as long as you clean the dirt out first). My response to him was, “son, the type of bowl doesn't matter, it's what's inside the bowl that counts.”

As a parent, do you ever have those moments when you accidentally say something profound? I had to pause after that statement as the Holy Spirit decided to let that saturate for a bit. How often do we look at who we are and complain to God about our “design”? Maybe we focus too much on the bowl when God says, it's what's inside that counts. 1 Corinthians 3:16 says, “Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you.” The important thing is not the look or design of the vessel but rather the availability of the vessel. As Christians, the most important thing is who resides inside of us. Let's focus more on thanking God for what's inside instead of complaining about the bowl.

Bon Appetit,

Pastor Jeremy  

Wednesday
Sep242014

You Were Made to Float

The other night I was getting ready to step into the pool when I noticed what appeared to be a dead bug at the bottom of the shallow end. Before I stepped in the water I wanted to make sure this bug was dead. I looked around for something I could use to poke at it. Being too lazy that night to walk 30 ft to go get the net, I settled for the closet available tool I could find. That tool was a pink pool noodle.

I tried a few times to push that noodle down to the bottom of the pool to move that bug. However, that pool noodle refused to allow me to keep it under water. It didn't take long for me to realize that this pool noodle was designed to float and nothing I did was going to change that. Sure I was able to push it under for a bit but it would quickly come right back up.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 says, “We are hard pressed on every side, but NOT crushed; perplexed, but NOT in despair; persecuted, but NOT abandoned; struck down, but NOT destroyed.” You may feel like you've been pushed down in the water this month but I want to remind you that you haven't sunk yet. You were designed by God to be an overcomer. You will bounce back from this. You may be down but I haven't heard the bell ring. Pretty soon you are going to start floating back up to the top. You were made to float!

Keep your head above water,

Pastor Jeremy

Monday
Sep152014

What is Normal?

You're not normal.” Has anyone ever spoken those words over you? Upon hearing that, many of us tend to be offended or get our feelings hurt. We don't like to be told that there is a standard and we do not measure up to what constitutes normal according to that standard. But if you think about it, who really determines the definition of “normal”?

If you saw someone today who had a pink Mohawk, would you consider them normal? I can answer that for you. I'm pretty sure you wouldn't. Why? Because he isn't like everyone else? Normal is often classified as what the majority looks like or what they are doing. Since when have Christians been called to be like everyone else?

Matthew 7:13-14 says, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a FEW find it.” If the way that leads to life is only traveled by a few then why are we trying to be like the majority? I wonder what we sacrifice by deciding to be normal. If being “abnormal” means being like Jesus, then I don't want to be normal.

So the next time someone says, “You're not normal,” your response should be “I know, thank you.”

Stay different,

Pastor Jeremy

 

Monday
Aug112014

The Unlocking Spoon

In our new house there are several doors that you can open from the inside, even though they are locked. Once you open them, they remain locked so it is very easy to lock yourself out of the house. My wife and 2 yr old encountered this problem the other day. They went out on the screened in porch and shut the door behind them, not realizing it was locked. So here my wife and 2 yr old daughter are stranded outside on the 2nd story front porch with no key and no phone to call for help.

At that moment my wife began to search for anything she could find to get that door open. Thankfully, one of the kids had left a plastic spoon out there and my wife was able to use it to open the door. I didn't realize she had developed such a talent for picking locks. I choose to believe that she learned this skill as a result of having 3 kids. :)

Have you ever been in that position in life where you feel stuck and have no way of opening the doors in front of you. You can yell for help but what do you do when no one seems to hear you? You are lacking the necessary tools (key) to open the doors that you need to go through. That's when you do as my wife did and start looking for what you do have.

When David squared up against Goliath, he didn't have the equipment others thought was necessary to defeat a giant. He didn't have a shield or a sword. What he did have was a stone and a slingshot. He used what he had and God brought the victory. When the disciples went to feed the multitude, they didn't have bags of food. All they had was five loaves and two fish, yet God made it work.

It may be time to stop looking for a key and start using what God has already given you. When we faithfully use all that God has given us, He will make sure the right doors open up for us. A key isn't the only instrument that can be used to open doors. In my wife's case, a spoon did the trick. Don't focus so much on an absent key that you miss the importance of a present spoon.

Pastor Jeremy

Wednesday
Aug062014

8 Ball, Corner Pocket

My wife's family was visiting with us this weekend helping us celebrate her birthday. While the kids were playing, her brother and I had the opportunity to test out the pool table in our house. Now I never have been really good at pool. My strategy has been to hit the cue ball as hard as I can and hope that the other balls bounce around long enough until one of them finds its way into a pocket. My brother-in-law had beat me at the game 8-ball for seven straight games.

On the eighth game something magical happened. I had knocked all of my balls in and had the opportunity to knock the 8 ball in for the win. My brother-in-law only had one ball left so I knew my opportunity to capitalize was now. My brother-in-law sweetened the deal and said, “If you knock that 8 ball in, I will give you one of my cream sodas I just bought.” Since I love cream soda, that was enough motivation for me to hit that 8 ball square into the pocket and win my first game.

Later that evening, as I was sipping on my newly earned cream soda, my brother-in-law asked, “Are you enjoying that cream soda?” I replied, “Yes I am. You don't understand the amount of losses I had to go through to finally get this.” That cream soda tasted better than ever because it was a sign that I didn't give up after the first few losses. If you feel like you are hitting the cue ball of life as hard as you can but nothing seems to be going in the pocket, I want to encourage you to keep hitting it. Eventually your efforts will pay off, you will be rewarded and that reward will be more refreshing than you can ever imagine. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

There's a cream soda in the fridge with your name on it.

Never give up,

Pastor Jeremy