Friday, December 5, 2008

The Middle Ground

My wife was bragging last week that she was a better blogger that I was. That thought sent chills down my spine. Nevertheless, as of lately, it's true. So hopefully I'll get to blog more...

As for today's post, I've been having an internal battle. Let me give you some background.

I grew up in a church with a lot of screaming. The pastor was a should I say....passionate person. It seemed that every week there was something new that would send me to Hell. It's funny to me now. The music I listened to. The shows that I watched. If I ever danced. (it's lucky I have no rhythm) Even back then, it struck me as a horrible method of telling people about God. In fact it made more people afraid of Hell than excited about God. Where was God's love? Where was God's grace? I sat and thought. This can't be right. Those things should be instrumental in telling other about God.

Fast forward to today. For the most part the Hellfire and Brimstone approach to preaching has been left to the past. In the things I read and in the sermons that I hear (God bless Itunes!) a new approach is being taken to tell people about God. It's full of God's love for us. That's great news! We don't have to worry about having the Hell scared out of us anymore. No more screaming that everything we do is wrong. As this trend has continued, I've begun to notice something. All I hear is about how much God loves me. Not only is there no hellfire or brimstone, There isn't a lot of mention of our sinful nature either. It's just simply God loves us.

There has to be a middle ground. If dwelling only on our sin is wrong, isn't completely ignoring it wrong as well? God loving us is true indeed. However, if we don't talk about our sinful nature, God's grace becomes irrelevant. There has to be a middle ground. A place where we can address our sinful nature and God's loving response and sacrifice.

This is what I struggle with. In a culture that usually tunes you out when you start talking about mankind's sin, how much should I confront it? As a speaker it kills me to know that someone is going to tune me out. It's a horrible feeling. But there is an even worse feeling. That is short changing the true and complete love of God. Here it is:

We are sinful. We have screwed up and turned away from God. Because of that we deserve death. We deserve to be separated from God for eternity. God loves us in this: that when we screwed up, he sent Jesus to die for us. We're completely sinful, but God completely loves us, and through Christ, He has completely saved us....

That is the middle ground of evangelism.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Why naps are amazing.

I've been awake for way too long. It started at the National Youth Workers Convention that started last Friday. It was four 16+ hour days that started early and ended late. As a result I got used to staying up late. When we made it home on Monday night I couldn't sleep until after midnight. As a result, I've gotten way to little sleep for the past week. The past two days I've been living off of sweet tea. Today I just want to crash. I want to sleep for days. This could have been avoided if I took naps. Naps aren't the best kind of sleep but they are better than nothing. In college they are almost necessary.

I get the same way when it comes to spending time with God. I get busy and go for long periods of time without spending any time with Him. As a result I just want to crash spiritually. I want to give up and not worry with it anymore. But the more I put it off, the worse off I get. I long for time with God but I don't make time for it. I just keep putting it off.

We can take naps with God. I don't mean that we can snuggle up and catch up on sleep with God. I mean that we can take more brief times with God throughout the day. A lot of people that the only way to grow closer to God is to take a longer period of time (30 min, 1 hour, 40 days) and spend it with Him. I challenge that. Those might be the best ways to spend time with God, but they aren't the only way. Sometimes we can take multiple short times with God throughout the day. It can be a quick prayer. It can be a short time reading a psalm. It can simply stepping outside and thanking God for the beautiful day. (or the rain for that matter)

I'm not saying that these shorter times should replace the longer times. But they are a good way to keep close to God when the longer times just aren't happening.

Perhaps I'll go take a nap right now....


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What I have to say about politics

OK. It's getting close to that time and I'm tired of political ads. I long for the days where Virginia wasn't a battle ground state. Then no one really cared because they just assumed it was republican. Now all I hear are ads talking about John McCain is at carbon copy of George Bush who is at death's door. Or about how Barack Obama is a liberal muslim who hates Joe the plumber. I mean how can you hate Joe the Plumber? If you read anything in this election read the following...

Here's the deal. The one concern that I have is that people are making their decisions based on stupid things. They think that Obama is hip and young. He's a great speaker and able to make people jump on board just by talking. On the other side people look at McCain and think that he's a maverick and gonna shake things up. Plus he's a republican and that's better than being a democrat.

Here's the thing. None of those are good reasons to choose who to vote for. I don't care if Barack is a great speaker. I don't care if John McCain is a war hero. Just voting on those things doesn't make sense. Do me a favor. Go to the website .

Take time to click on the picture of Obama. Read where he stands on actual issues. Read where he stands on the economy, abortion, foreign policy, crime, education, .etc. Then you go and click on the picture of John McCain and do the same.

This website will tell you what the people have said about certain issues as well as how they've voted in the past. If you agree with Obama, vote for Obama. If you vote for McCain vote for McCain. If you agree with Nadar...well I don't know exactly what to say to do.

In an election year, people will say anything to get elected. It's time to not listen to the politicians but to look at where they have voted in the past.

That's all I have to say about politics. Go Vote next week. But be educated before you do.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Working out kills me

I went to the gym this morning. I went when there weren't many people there because I hate for people to look at me when I look like I am about to die. I went and I took a treadmill at the back of the room. I ran/jogged/walked/stumbled for 47 minutes. I burned 505 calories. I felt great....for about 6 seconds. Working out kills me. Correction, not all workouts kill me. Just workouts after long absences from the gym kill me. I've gone 4 times in the last 7 days. Before that, I hadn't worked out since....May. From January-May I went to the gym at least 3 times a week. The treadmill was my friend back then. I left the gym and felt great and in shape. I was almost fit. Then I got my job and working out wasn't as much of a priority. Quickly I stopped going at all. Until this week. Where in May, I would feel great; Now I feel like I can't even walk. The impending pain that I know is coming has almost kept me from the gym altogether. I don't even want to go because of how much it will hurt afterward.

My spiritual life is the same way. At times, I'm going strong. I spending time in God's Word. I'm spending time in prayer. I feel great afterward. I have a spring in my step and my thoughts aren't far from God. Then for whatever reason God loses priority in my life. Work is keeping me busy. I want to spend more time with my wife. I love sitting on the couch eating Chick-Fil-A. None of these things are bad, when they are prioritized behind God. It's when the replace God altogether that they are detrimental.

At some point I realize that I've gotten pretty far from God. My personal time with Him has shrunk to almost nothing. I find myself thinking, I'll pray after I finish writing this talk. Then it hits me. I need to get away with God. I need to spend time talking to Him. I need to dive into His Word. I'm terrified though because I know it's not going to be pleasant. While I was away I did some things and thoughts some things that I know weren't good for me. I rationalized things that I know were wrong. I know that coming before God is going to be painful and that I might find it tough to walk at first. It's going to hurt confessing and repenting of some things. But just like the gym if I can have the discipline to get through those first moments back with God, then I'll start feeling good again. I start to grow closer to God. My life will receive joyfulness and peace in Him. I'll start to become spiritually fit.

So I think I'll go work out for a change.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's been a while

So it's been a while. I miss blogging. It's one of those things that really excites me but that I don't ever remember to do. So here goes. I'm going to make a new effort to write more.....I also made an effort to lose weight. That's not going so well. So I'll blog while I'm on the treadmill and we'll see where it goes from there.


Monday, June 2, 2008

Waiting on God pt 2

It's been one month since I last updated. Wow, time flies. Since then I've landed a job and met 412 different people. I've been thinking about something I wrote a little while ago. I wrote the following....

And yet here I sit, waiting. I'm waiting on God no less. I
find myself in an interesting position. I'm annoyed that I have to wait but then
again it is God. At this point I don't have a job or even a lead on a job. I'm
just waiting. Sure I'm putting my name out there and trying to network where i
can but it always leads me back here to just sitting in my chair and waiting.I
think that God might be telling me something. I need to wait more often. I need
to wait on Him and for Him. In my desire to get everything as quickly as
possible I've tried to eliminate all of the waiting in life. But when it comes
to God, I should always be willing to give up the fast track and wait for Him.
We have made our lives so busy that we no longer wait on the one who gives us
everything in the first place. Even when I worked at a church I kept busy
because that's what I was supposed to do. Keep busy, get things done. It's
remarkable how our lives can suddenly become so busy that we neglect to wait on
what God has for us.As I sit here and stare out of the window on a rainy day, I
think, and hope, and pray that from now on I can just stop and wait on God.
Maybe that's what this time off is all about.

So I waited. And God came through. It's crazy how He always does. It didn't happen how I thought that it would. I thought that I would have a job within a month at least. But 6 months later there I was. God rarely actually does things the way that I want him to do things. It's starting to make me think that maybe He knows what He's doing. In fact I'm getting to the point where I'm almost sure of it. So maybe, just maybe the next time that something is happening in my life , i'll skip the stress and look straight to God. He's always been faithful. Try it sometime. See what happens.


Thursday, May 1, 2008

They Will Call Me Jonathan the Terrible

When the pages of history are all written out and complete, there will be a mention of my name. It will say something like "Jonathan Greenhill: Killer of Thousands". No, change that. "Jonathan Greenhill: Killer of MILLIONS"....that's more like it. How can I be so cruel you ask? It's easy when what you are killing are small and evil and live in a nest in the ground. I'm talking about ants. Yes, ants. Not the typical larger black ants that somehow get into your picnic baskets. I'm talking about the little red ones that show up in your yard one day and the next 100,000 of their friends join them. I'm talking about the ones that bite and cause a little bump on your arm or leg. Those are nasty little evil ants. And our yard had a lot of them. That is until "Jonathan the Terrible" came along. I counted at least 4 separate nests of the evil ants. (not to be confused with evil Aunts which are totally different) I bought some ant spikes at Lowe's and put a spike into each of the nest. Ants came and got "food" and took it back to their fellow ants and Queen. What they didn't know (because they are ants and not capable of deep abstract thought) is that the "food" was actually poison! Within 24 hours all 4 ant nest were gone....

On a lighter note, "Jonathan the Terrible" can also be referred to as "Jonathan the partially environmental" For 3 weeks ago I put out a lot of grass seed to cover the spots of my lawn where there was no grass. (my lawn looked like a leopard) This week I have noticed roughly 46
new blades of grass growing into the yard. I must say I felt very proud and showed my wife at least 4 times the amazing feat of growing grass. Of course now that I think about it, I just through grass seed where there was no grass (i did kill most of the grass in those spots myself last summer) and that's it. God watered it, gave it heat and sunlight, and caused it to grow. So even though I take pride in my lawn, I suppose I should give credit where credit is due. Thanks God. I just hope He doesn't have anything against me smiting ants....... :-)


Monday, April 28, 2008

The One about Canada and Chicken Restaurants

*This was written in early January of 2007 after a Christmas time trip to Canada to go skiing. By the way, Canada is awesome because they sell their milk in a bag!*

So we went to Canada for a family trip. I was eager to go despite having to fly to get there. In Canada they have lemmings, and mounties, and milk in a bag. All the things that make a great country. We flew up to Philadelphia and then on to Montreal. The interesting thing is that once we got to Montreal, everything was in French. I figured wow, I like French. I took it 7 years ago in high school. I should be able to hang and understand people at least a little...then I tried to order a combo meal at a local restaurant. I was all suave in approaching the counter. In French I asked for a "number 8, please". I was like this is cake. Little did I know that the combo 8 came with the option of soup or cole slaw. Since I had ordered in French the lady behind the register took no pity on me in asking me in French(speed French if you ask me) which i preferred. I stared at her like a monkey doing a math problem. She obviously understanding that I was a tourist that had been in her country less than an hour took pity on me and spoke English(very well i might add)...I don't know if I've ever felt like such an outsider in my life. The whole week I had to decide was I going to look stupid speaking English or look stupid speaking French. That's a humbling feeling. To know that there is so much that you want to say but you are limited by how much you know. You want to communicate but you can't. It's incredibly frustrating.

God is amazingly awesome. We know that. After my french encounter I began to think. The language of God and the language of man is so incredibly different. I can't even begin to describe how i'm different than God. I mean that whole thing about me being a sinner is a good start. God is a perfect being. Unbelievably huge and magnificent. He is perfect without a single flaw. He is the creator of the universe. I am a sinner. I am one measily little person on a small planet in a remote neighborhood in the universe that God has made.(He made it by speaking no less). I sometimes feel that I a foreigner to God. I try to talk to him, and I utter some phrases that I know in his language. Lord, I beeseech thee. Thou thine heareth myeth prayers-eth.(king james in not actually God's language but a lot of people think so!) I feel so helpless sometimes when I talk to God, as if God could ever understand little me. But i'm reminded as I look through the Bible that God finds ways to communicate with us. Through prayer, we can talk to God in any language and He hears us and can even speak to us in the quietness of our hearts. God has talked through a burning bush and even the jawbone of a donkey. You see when that girl at the register finally spoke English to me it was a relief. I could finally get my chicken sandwhich(with soup not slaw). I finally got the nourishment that I needed. Likewise, when we stop and listen and trust in God, He will speak to us in a way that we can understand. He will speak to us so that we may be nourished on his word.

*The chicken sandwich was delicious as well. This is one of my favorite stories. *


Monday, April 21, 2008

The One about Rain

*this blog was written in 2006 during the annual summer drought that we had. Since it's been raining lately I thought I would re-post it for all to read*

So I was thinking about hearing God. What does that sound like? And then it hit me. What does God sound like? *Drop*

........I'll explain

In February, I bought a house. I moved in and began the wonderful world of home owning. It was an accomplishment to say the least. Well the first thing you learn when you own a house is that you are responsible with the upkeep of it. After all, one of my biggest concerns I've had since Feb was that I'd get a letter from all of my neighbors saying that the weeds in my yard were larger than the trees and that I'd have to move out due to the ugliness of my yard. For real, I actually have spent time worrying about that! It's sad, I know.

So it really hit me hard when there was dry weather for over a month. Do you know what happens to grass when it's dry for a month? It's turns brown, then white, and it cracks under your feet. I have to admit, i was now the owner of home with a dead crackly yard.....i was devastated.....*Drop*

That's the background....let me bring it back to current day. Yesterday was a tough day. Not a tough day like, someone hit your car and then you get home and someone else ate the last cupcake. It was a long day with a lot of work to do and not finishing it. My wife Mollie had the same day. So much to do. No relief in sight. Mollie had a grad school class last night and afterwards she needed to go back to her job in order to finish getting ready for teaching school. I agreed to pick up dinner and meet her there.

You ever have a long day like that? You are just tired and all you want to do is go home and go to bed. I was feeling that. I was thinking that. Sitting in the drive thru at Chick-Fil-A, and just wishing the day was over. I was next in line. My arm was already out the window in preparation of paying and grabbing my food. I looked out over the short pump mall and watched the lightning in the sky. If that didn't totally match how I was feeling. My frustration was beginning to overwhelm me, and I said it. I don't know why I said it but I did. maybe my thoughts were on the dead grass sitting in my front yards but I said it...OUT LOUD! in my car in the drive thru of Chick-Fil-A. "God let it rain." It hadn't rained all month. Countless storms had come and gone without rain. I didn't expect it to rain. But for some reason my plea was honest. I wanted God to make it rain. "God, let it rain."....*Drop*

I pulled my arm in the window and stared at the beaded drop of water now in the middle of it. It can't be. I stuck my head out of the window. The water must have blown off of the air conditioner on the roof. It couldn't be rain. I scanned the windshield for more water to be sure. Nothing. Seeds of doubt planted themselves in my heart. The lightning went on in the distance....That's what it was...air conditioning.........*Drop*....there it was...right in the middle of the window. This can't be....this can't be. I moved up and got my food and began to leave.....*Drop*........*Drop*.....*Drop*....*Drop**Drop**Drop**Drop**Drop**Drop**Drop*

It was raining. No air excuse for doubt....just rain. I drove to Godwin and by the time that I got there it was pouring. I wanted to jump out and dance in it...but it was lightning and my brain told me to find cover. Once I got to cover, i just turned around and watched it....

Here's what I thought....5 minutes ago I said one sentence to God. "Let it Rain." and within 5 seconds a raindrop hit my arm. It takes longer than 5 seconds for a rain drop to reach the ground. Could it be that that raindrop was meant for my arm? You are probably saying...Jon it was probably gonna rain anyways...and i know that it probably would have. But the fact that the line of storms traveled thousands of miles to short pump just in time for a rain drop to hit my arm 5 seconds after I pray for it really took hold of me.

Could it be a coincidence, sure, could it be God revealing something about the following moments I took time to pray and something was put on my heart..."I'll take care of you. " That's what God was saying to me...was it audible?? No. Do I know that it was God? Yes.

Before writing this post I was reminded of the verses in Mathew 6 (25-34) where Jesus talks about how God will take care of us no matter line stuck out to me...."If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?"

You see God made the grass and he will take care of the grass with rain even though one day the grass is going to die anyways...How much more will God take care of us His beloved creation? That's awesome.

So in the end, this whole thing wasn't about rain watering grass, it was about God watering my soul. You see on days like yesterday, my soul becomes dry. I tend to not spend time with God because I feel that I don't have time. My soul becomes dry and crackly....But last night in the midst of a downpour, i realized that God is here to water my soul. He's here with a water that doesn't just quench thirst but so much more...

I guess i should end my story (which is 100% true), but i have a couple of questions for you.

1. Is your soul dried and crackly?

2. How is God speaking to you??

He is absolutely amazing!


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The problem with yard work.

Weeds are evil. Straight from Satan. There are a number of things that get me riled up. They include taxes, bad mexican food, fluffy things , and weeds. But lately it's been the weeds that have gotten to me. Here's why:

For all of you who don't have yards, weeds just spring out over night. There's no explaining it. You go to bed with perfectly clean flowerbed or yard and you wake up and it looks like you've abandoned your yard for months. It's so frustrating. The weeds in our yard picked the prime time to sprout. It was during a week where it rained part of everyday so that yard work wasn't an option. Then we went out of town for the weekend....the weeds grew and grew. Then they called their friends from my neighbors yard to come and grow. When we got back everything was covered. the flowerbeds, the yard, that area around the mailbox that is supposed to be decorative, everywhere.

So this past Sunday night I set out to begin to rid my yard of weeds. I worked for an hour and really put a dent in the amount of work that I have left to do. But as I weeded, I learned something. I hate weeds. Because the weeds were given so long to grow, they began to grow with the other plants. I was having trouble telling which one was which. Is this a flower or is this a weed? One of my wife's pansies (is that not a ridiculously stupid name for a plant?) just happened to be intertwined with some weeds. That poor pansy never saw it coming. Unfortunately I didn't see it either and so I ripped both of them out of the ground.

Weeding is never fun. It's somewhat easy if you catch the weed right as it's growing out of the soil. But if by chance you don't get to it and it grows for a week, it's much more diffecult to get it out without some sort of damage.

This goes the same for sin in our life. It creeps in out of no where. Often times we rationalize our way into sin. We tell ourselves that it's ok. It's not hurting anyone. The mexican food looks good here( ok maybe not that one). Sin creeps in and springs up overnight. If we address it immediately it's not hard to get rid of. It's simple to go to God and look for forgiveness.

It's different when we let sin grow into our lives. Sin becomes a part of us. Something that we live. Something that we live for. It happens to all of us. Pride. Anger. Jealousy. Lust. Selfishness. If we let those things continue to grow they become so intertwined in our lives that when we do finally decide to return to God it's much harder. We almost have to uproot the entire way that we live in order to get away from the sin that entangles us.

the problem with yard work is that it's hard. No one really likes to do it. You have to get your hands dirty and get on your hands and knees and dig. It's almost humbling in a way. If you are down on your hands and knees weeding in your yard and someone drives by it feels as if you are saying "Hey, don't mind me, I have a lot of crap in my yard!" Often we do the opposite in our lives. When people inquire about how we are doing we say things like "I'M GREAT! LIFE IS GREAT! " when in reality we have weeds growing everywhere.

My thought is this. Perhaps a little life maintenance is on order. I think it's time for us to take a look at our lives and start to do some weeding. What do you think?


Thursday, April 10, 2008

pins and needles

dang, while writing that last post, i had both feet, one hand, and my butt fall asleep. So currently I cannot stand, sit or lean against anything until they all wake up....

Understanding God

I doubt that I'll ever be able to....scratch that....I know I'll never be able to understand God. There are way too many complications and God is far too intricate to understand. And because of this fact, I simply sit in awe of where I am today....let me explain:

It was roughly 10 years ago. Somewhere around the end of my sophomore year. I remember going to school and not fitting in. I wasn't the "stand all by himself in the corner" not fitting in. I was more of the " I'm going to try to join every group and find where I fit in" not fitting in. I didn't have a base group of friends. I was also in the middle of a tough time with some depression and I desperately longed to belong to something. I wanted to feel as if I were a part of a group. Plus I wanted to be strikingly handsome.(which was difficult for someone with acne who parted their hair perfectly every morning)

I remember spiraling down this slide of depression and wanting to belong the whole time just feeling worse and worse about myself and life. It's weird to think about those things now. I remember that I wanted desperately for someone to just ask me what I was thinking or feeling. I would walk away from my small group of friends in the middle of a conversation. They would just look at me and try to laugh away my oddness. I was low.

I once got in trouble for having people over to my house while my parents were out of town. In fact my parents were out of town and my friend's parents were out of town. So we just did whatever we wanted. And we got caught. Which led to me being grounded for 2 months. I wasn't allowed anywhere except school, work, and church.

Enter God. Since church was the only non-painful place that I could go during my 2 months of punishment I went there as often as possible. I hung out with my youth pastor who talked to me about God and who God is and about me and who I was. And strangely I felt like I belonged there. I felt accepted. I could be myself and not worry about what brand names I wore and I could go knowing that they would accept me even with perfectly parted hair. I loved it. I had found my place at last.

But I was still struggling. Years of being down on myself and having a bad attitude at life left me in a fragile state. I couldn't be positive. My family situation wasn't the greatest (compared to my friends) and I still couldn't turn the corner on my life. I remember vaguely one night just crying out to God in complete frustration. I wanted to done with the crappiness of life. I wanted something more...Thinking back I probably said that prayer dozens of times...

And then one day it happened. It just happened. This is where I can't explain God. I can't even fathom why or how this happened. I woke up and everything changed. I remember the day clearly. It was early spring(you know when you are still really excited about wearing shorts). I woke up in a good mood which was weird but a nice surprise. I got ready and left for school. I remember hearing birds singing and I remember looking up at the blue sky and thinking; "This is stinkin amazing!" I hadn't noticed the world in a long time. I had been so down and depressed that I walked around, looking down. I never looked up! I never saw what God had created. I never saw the people around me. I never watched them and observed them. But now my eyes were opened. For the first time in my life I felt like I belonged to something and that something was God. All the circumstances of my life were the same. I still had family issues. I still didn't belong to a huge group of friends.

But my outlook has changed. There was hope. That's what it was. God had given me hope. Something to live for, to truly live for. And it came to me one morning when I woke up. I can't understand this. I can't understand how it completely changed my life. It picked me up and dropped me on my head (in a good way). But ever since then my life has been one heck of a roller coaster ride. Not always great. in fact sometimes life has been extremely crappy. but there has always been the hope that God has given me which makes life bearable in the hard times and unbelievable in the good times.

this has been a long one. thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I became a Christian and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

Every once in a while I get to read a book. Correction; I read books every single day but every once in a while I'll finish a book. Over the past couple of days I've been reading a book called I became a Christian and all I got was this lousy t-shirt by Vince Antonucci. I must be honest, I picked it up because I thought the name of it was funny and I hate those t-shirts. I read through the first couple of chapters and liked the style of the writer so I picked it up.

The general premise is based on the comparison of a little girl whose family
goes to Florida without her. The author states that the little girl is still part of the family but she missed out on the adventure of the trip. Likewise there are people in the world who become Christians but they are still become unsatisfied with life. The author contends that they are like the little girl in that they are part of God's family but they are missing out on the adventure of truly following after God.

This isn't the deepest book on spiritual matters but it's not supposed to be. It's about looking at your life and figuring out if you are truly on the adventure of following God or are you simply wearing the t-shirt saying that you missed the adventure all together.

It's pretty funny although there are a lot of over the top jokes that make you roll your eyes. It's definitely worth reading and giving thought to where are we when it comes to joining God in his grand adventure...

talk to you later.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Absurdity of It All

I have a gift. That is to say that my wife and I share a gift. It's not something that we asked for and worked hard for but it is something that we have somehow obtained. Our gift is that somehow we are always around annoying people or annoying situations...perhaps you are thinking that maybe my wife and I are just easily annoyed...that may be so, or perhaps it could be that we are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Let me give a few examples of what I mean.

  1. We are usually near a crying baby in a restaurant. The nicer the restaurant the louder and closer the baby. Just think of how nice a dinner at The Melting Pot could be.
  2. At the movies we are always behind tall people and always in front of people who like to kick the seat.
  3. On airplanes we usually sit near a couple making out...apparently PDA rules don't apply in the air.
  4. We do usually get a waiter/waitress that is extremely odd. We once had one who would sneak around and then pop up at our table scaring the crap out of us. We had another who said that following "now that you've ordered you have to wait for your food." umm ya think? But we have countless stories of weird waitresses and waiters.
  5. When we get a hotel room we have gotten multiple rooms that "used" to be smoking rooms but now smell like the backseat of a chain smokers car.
  6. Anytime we go to a place that has a mascot(sports,red robin, etc.) the mascot always comes and tries to talk to Mollie.
  7. Anytime we recommend a restaurant to someone, the food/service/bathrooms are all terrible at once.
  8. Any number of other random things that would cause someone to question their sanity.
I don't mention these things because that have happened to us once or twice....these happen multiple times, every where we go. The weirdest part of it all is that we've actually grown accustomed to it. And now we think it's funny. It happened to us a couple of weeks ago. We were at a Wendy's with a couple of teenagers grabbing some dinner. One of the kids we were with went to the counter to get some barbecue sauce. He waited at the counter for someone to get him some sauce, and waited, and waited, and then waited some more. I decided to go up and get a refill and help my friend in his quest for barbecue sauce. When I got up to the counter some other guys were ordering and asked for barbecue sauce as well. So after their request I made our petition for barbecue sauce as well. the woman turned around grabbed two more sauces....Amazing! Our waiting has finally come to an end. We are overjoyed with the expectation of our barbecue sauce. She turns puts our sauce into the other guys bags and walked off. We were left standing there, no sauce no one to help us. My friend walked off beyond frustrated. I decided to get my refill on sprite. I asked for no ice so that I could get more sprite in my cup. The gentleman behind the counter still filled my cup up enough so that it would be full.....IF THERE WAS ICE IN IT! A full 2 inches remained in my cup. I got some sauce, took my cup and sat down. I laughed the entire way.

I'm sure that annoying stuff like this happens to everyone. I'm sure it might happen to you on an expensive date or when you are in a hurry or otherwise easily annoyed. The one thing that I've learned through the years is that these annoyances are really just petty. We can either let them overwhelm us or just laugh them away. So the next time you are sitting in a restaurant and the kid next to you start wailing like an air raid siren, just deal with it and laugh at the absurdity of it all and don't let it ruin your night. Let it happen enough times and you might just have some good stories to tell to your friends...

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Moment of Truth

So I was watchign T.V. a couple of weeks ago and saw the show, "The Moment of Truth". In case you've never heard it before thebasic point is this; A person answers 50 incredibly personal questions while hooked up to a lie detector. Not simple questions like, "did you eat the last cupcake?" or "are you a closet hillary duff fan?" More like, "have you flirted with anyone since you've been married?" or "do you fantasize about a member of the New York Yankees" the person's husband, sister, mother, etc. are sitting there while you answer these questions ON T.V.!!!!! You get money for each true answer that you give. My first thought is this.

What kind of moron would go on t.v. to tell their deepest darkest secrets for money?!?!?! why?!?!

There's something about that idea that bugs me. Perhaps it's because I've come to realize that EVERYONE has those secrets that they don't anyone to know. Everyone has screwed up in life. Everyone has at one point treated others poorly. Everyone has done things that they wish they could take back. Everyone has cared less when they should have cared more. We've walked past homeless. We've ignored people looking for someone to pay attention. We've been selfish.

I've done all of those things and I don't like the idea that my secrets could come out for any price! But after thinking over it for a few weeks I've realized something. Perhaps, just maybe, it might be a good idea to let some secrets out...not just secrets like the fact that I play air guitar when i'm home alone. But real secrets...

One of the best things that I remember feeling is having something weigh me down completely inside and being able to find a friend and tell them. I had to find a friend that I could trust so that my secret wouldn't be all over the halls of the school or on a blog the next day. But it felt so good. It was as if 100 pound weight was lifted off my shoulders.

God is able to do this for each of us. Now i have to be honest, I need some one physical to tell. I try to tell everything to God but I need some support here on Earth as well. Having a friend to talk to has been one of the best things in my life. Not having a friend to talk to has been one of the worst things in my life. Being that friend who listens and helps relieve others amounts to more than words can describe.

So when the Moment of Truth comes to you, tell the truth to God, and find a friend to talk to about it. Maybe our lives will be enriched more than money is worth.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Waiting on God Part 1

I hate to wait. Period. I like everything to happen quickly and smoothly. I look for the shortest line at the grocery store. I pick the shortest lane at a red light. I always look for the internet connection that will allow me the fastest downloads. I am very much a product of today's "give it to me now" society. Last night I went to a mexican restaurant and was frustrated when it took the waiter 4 minutes to get to our table. Our food came about 3 minutes after we ordered. That made me happy! I hate to wait.

And yet here I sit, waiting. I'm waiting on God no less. I find myself in an interesting position. I'm annoyed that I have to wait but then again it is God. At this point I don't have a job or even a lead on a job. I'm just waiting. Sure I'm putting my name out there and trying to network where i can but it always leads me back here to just sitting in my chair and waiting.

I think that God might be telling me something. I need to wait more often. I need to wait on Him and for Him. In my desire to get everything as quickly as possible I've tried to eliminate all of the waiting in life. But when it comes to God, I should always be willing to give up the fast track and wait for Him. We have made our lives so busy that we no longer wait on the one who gives us everything in the first place. Even when I worked at a church I kept busy because that's what I was supposed to do. Keep busy, get things done. It's remarkable how our lives can suddenly become so busy that we neglect to wait on what God has for us.

As I sit here and stare out of the window on a rainy day, I think, and hope, and pray that from now on I can just stop and wait on God. Maybe that's what this time off is all about. What do you think?

in Him,

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

My Little Secret

Everyone has a secret. Yes, even you. I have a secret as well. We live our lives and we try desperately to hide our secrets from the world. Well I can't hide any longer. It's time for me to spill my secret to the entire world. Okay, here goes. When I'm at home all by myself, sometimes I'll close the blinds so that no one can see into our house. I turn on some music. I get myself pumped....and then I play air guitar....whew. That's a load off of my chest. It's true. Air guitar has been my secret joy that I have kept secret since I was in 7th grade. In high school I actually owned a guitar which I would play without strings! Oh the embarrassment of it all.

What brought about my sudden confession you ask? This morning I was indulging in my secret obsession while I was listening to an old school Reliant K album. I was midway through a song when I realized that I was way into it. The words to the songs were hitting me and I was singing them straight to God. The whole time pumping my arms pretending to play an instrument that I own yet can't play. I was worshiping God....playing air guitar?!?!?! An amazing thought (which I've heard a thousand times) hit me. You can worship God anywhere...doing almost anything!!(sinning excluded) I must be honest, I bet that I look like a complete idiot standing in my house playing an imaginary instrument and singing. But As I praised God I bet He was smiling. Maybe He was even laughing at what I was doing. But I'm sure He was happy that I was worshiping. In the Bible right before David became king, he was exiled to live in caves and to run for his life. When the time came for him to come out of exile and to take the throne, he danced in worship before the Lord. And i'm not talking the electric slide or (even worse) the soulja boy dances. I mean an all out "i'm-so-overjoyed-with-God" type of dance. That's worship!

So many times we try to fit worship into a tiny box like singing 3 songs in a church service or youth group, but worship is so much more. It envelops our entire lives. Every minute of every day gives us the chance to worship our King. So perhaps we should all take out our cases, blow off the dust, take out our air guitars, and worship like crazy.

what do you think?