Let’s play make believe!

I have a little sister who is 6 years younger then me. When we were young, my sister had a friend named Keekee. Now Keekee was a great friend. She always wanted to play. She never argue or fought with my sister, Caren. They really had a great time together for hours playing in Caren’s room.

There was one problem – nobody else in my family every got to meet Keekee – we always heard about her but we never met her.

Why? Because Keekee was my sister’s “make believe” friend. She was just a product of her imagination. And because she wasn’t real – she was the perfect friend. My sister was not going to make up a friend in her mind who argues with her. Who tells her she’s not playing the game right. Who treats her toys badly. Of course not.

When it comes to God, we sometimes like to play make believe. But it doesn’t work the same way as with Keekee. God is God.  Doesn’t really matter what kind of ideas we have about him – He’s still the same.

Sometimes our ideas of God don’t fit God as revealed in the Bible.  When that happens, we have two choices.  Continue with our “make believe” God who never crosses us and “plays” with us exactly as we want Him to.

Or humbly submit.

Let’s be careful how we think about God.  It’s time to stop playing “make believe”.

(This is part of my sermon based on the 2nd of the 10 commandments; Exodus 2:4-6)

Forget you!

As a child or maybe even a few times as an adult, I have screamed at someone in a fit of anger, “Forget you!”  Saying, in effect, that I’m done with this argument and I’m done with YOU as a person.

But now, I don’t have to be angry to forget people – it just happens as my life has gotten more complicated over the years.  I was reminded of this the other day as I read the story of Joseph as he was unjustly sitting in prison.  In Genesis 40, Joseph interprets the dream of the cupbearer of the king who is then released from prison and returns to his job.  The chapter ends with, “Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.”

Now it’s easy for us to relate to Joseph – “Oh my life stinks, no one cares for me”  There is a lesson here for us as God does remember Joseph and he remembers us in our pain.  But I think I often find myself more in the cupbearers shoes then in Joseph’s situation.

The cupbearer moved back into the palace.  Started working.  Life became comfortable.  He did nothing horribly wrong – he just forgot.

I have people in my past whom I have forgotten.  No big fight.  No problem relationally.  We just moved on.  Circumstances changed and our lives didn’t intersect as easily as before.  Some of those friends walked with me through my dark times.  Some were just casual friends who happened to be in my life for a short bit.

Time to remember a few of those guys.  Send them an email or make a call.  I don’t want be like these Muppet chickens taking Cee Lo Green’s advice and happily (or ignorantly) singing “Forget you!”

Learning from Mrs. McGhee

I found out that a friend of mine, Mrs. Ellen McGhee past away last week in Chattanooga, TN.  

In the late 90’s, my church was asked by the city if we could help a widow pay her rent.  She needed $100 or she was going to be evicted from her apartment.  The deacons paid her rent and our church gained an elderly, African-American lady as a new member of our community.

Folks in the church helped Mrs. McGhee find work cleaning at a large insurance company in town, including the office of a friend, now one of her fellow church members.  I always enjoyed the smile on her face as we talked a bit before or after the service.  But I was most touched by the gifts Mrs. McGhee gave me.

She would find me in the hall of the church and slip a card into my hand – a Christmas one in Dec, birthday ones in February and September for my kids.  In addition to a nice note, she would always include a few dollar bills.  At first, I felt guilty taking the money.  I am a white, middle class guy; I don’t need a few dollars from a poor, elderly widow.

But God used her generosity to teach me.  Yes – my life was very different from Mrs. McGhee.  But I am just as needy.  Different but needy.  She had been touched by grace and now that grace was flowing over to others.  Who am I to think that I’ve got my life together so don’t need anything from a lady like her?  I need to receive grace as well as give it.  Mrs. McGhee’s generosity broke my proud heart and showed me a little deeper insight into God’s grace.

God’s community is one that should give and receive grace. Thank you, Mrs. McGhee, for teaching me.  See you on the other side.

I didn’t marry the right person!

Congrats to my friend, Edd, who asked his girlfriend, Katie, to marry him last week.  Edd bought her this wonderful ring:

But Edd has a problem.  He’s not marrying the right girl.  I know this is true because I  didn’t marry the right girl 18 years ago.  After reading this from Tim Keller, I see that none of us marry the “right” person.

But there is hope for those of us looking for or married to Mr./Mrs. Right (at least they seemed Right on that wedding day!).  Keller does a good job in this article in showing how our marriages bring out both the best and the worst in us.  None of us are Mr. or Mrs. Right.  Marriage changes us but more importantly, marriage is a union of two sinful people.  There are no “right” people.  But there is hope and marriage is an imperfect picture of this hope.

I just bought The Meaning of Marriage by Tim and Kathy Keller last week and will try to read it together with my Mrs. Right over the next few months. So if you see Edd or Katie, congratulate them, but gently remind them that they aren’t marrying the “right” person.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...