All of us want treats and blessings – take the good and leave the bad! I read this morning about how Jacob dressed up in his brother’s clothes to pretend that he was Esau, attempting to trick his dad into believing that he was Esau. With his mom’s help, Jacob’s efforts worked and he received his father’s blessings through being tricksy.
I used to wonder about why God would “reward” this kind of deceptive behavior – seems really unfair and inconsistent with God being just. After some long reflection & consideration, I’ve come up with a few thoughts that might be helpful:
Jacob’s deception was really quite expensive: he was ostracized from his family & came to live with an extremely manipulative & deceptive uncle for close to two decades; it also appears that he never attained the closeness he once had with his family & particularly with his mom
by Jacob receiving his dad’s blessing, we clearly see that God blesses us not because we’re worthy, we’ve earned it or because of our “birth right”, but simply because God loves us inspite of ourselves rather than because of ourselves
God redeems our “tricks” and transforms them into “treats”
Last night, our church had our first alternative to the alternative Halloween celebration. Normally, we have the annual “harvestfest” where families can bring their kids for a safe alternative to Halloween. Last night, we decided to go rogue & try something new. As you can see from the picture, it was seriously FUN!!!!!!
Here are some possible ways to add some fun in your life:
laugh at yourself: less serious & more levity
tell goofy jokes: what do you get when you mix a rabbit & a snake? a jump rope ,)
do something different: sometimes the status quo can get stale
focus: look up and look around rather than looking down & inside
stay positive: pessimism requires more energy to manage than optimism
Over the weekend, I tried to make chili (a good Autumn meal) & it was entirely a catastrophe: the beans didn’t cook, the meat was yucky, it was flavorless & even my kids were warning each other about eating what they perceived to be the borderline poison and life-threatening chili. I tried to fix it with more spices and seasoning, which only made it even worse – so salty that it could be a formaldahyde substitute. To which my strategy was to add potatoes & hopefully soak up the overkill salt.
Hmmmmmmmm – obviously, it’s easy to overdo something good.
In relation to God, let’s have our eyes wide open that too much God will create some important casaulties. Too much God in your life will ruin deception, insecurity, depression, pride and many other things that need to be wrecked
If you come to my house, I can show you a series of “do-it-yourself” shortfalls:
attempts to clean up melted wax that’s been infused into our white carpet
katty whompus wallpaper that hangs neither horizontal nor vertical
I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s a reason we have experts for house projects & the same principle is equally true for the stuff with which I struggle in my heart. Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to be our counsellor and stop trying to fix ourselves with no Help. You and I need more Help than the DIY approach
Right out of the gate, you need to know that I’m EXTREMELY amped up about this post. I’m amped up, because it seems to me that virtually no one in the international community is making a REALLY IMPORTANT CONNECTION. Here’s the deal: ebola is an epidemic that has been ravaging three countries in West Africa (Sierra Leone, Guinea & Liberia) for this entire year. The international community has become increasingly attentive and responsive to this awful disease that currently has no known cure & with an 70% mortality rate. Ebola is really serious!
But here’s the WAKE UP CALL: While the US has currently given over $200million for ebola aid & assistance, China has given less than $10million to the ebola crisis up to today. The reason I’m so amped up about this discrepency is because China is the leading economic partner for Sierra Leone, Guinea & Liberia. Feel free to research the recent economic agreements that China has negotiated with these three nations in the last 5 years & you’ll rapidly see that China is acquiring vast amounts of wealth & natural resources from these nations, but up to this day, China has been shamefully silent and virtually absent from providing any noteworthy support against ebola.
My rant in this post isn’t based solely on Judeo Christian values. My rant in this post is based on human dignity & I would urge you to put pressure on the Chinese government to save their own economic face & put some hefty finances toward stopping the spread of ebola in these three nations. Please post this blog on your Facebook page, pass it along to your friends and let’s bring to international public awareness this shameful neglect from the second biggest economy in the world, China.
There was a catchy pop song in the 80s, “you spin me ’round” that still occassionally gets some play time in my brain. The song reminds me of when I was little and would spin to the point of getting so dizzy that I’d fall down – ring around the rosie (but that’s for another blog). I used to be really amazed at ice skaters and ballerinas who would do the spinning top trick, always wondering how they could do that without falling down. Then I learned their secret – focal point. They spin without falling because they keep their eyes on a main focal point (dancers have an easier time doing this).
So here’s my point: keep Jesus as your focal point so you don’t dizzy & fall down in life
Do you have some decisions to make or concerns about the future that are a struggle? If you or someone you know has this challenge, then these next few words, with Jesus’ help, will be valuable
This morning, I read about how Abraham’s servant set off on a journey to find a wife for Isaac, Abraham’s son. This servant was tasked by Abraham with clear & precise instructions to find a wife for Isaac & the servant was rightfully jittery with such heavy duty responsibility. Nevertheless, the servant moved forward & found exactly God’s provision for Isaac’s wife.
Here are a few helpful points:
*take one step at a time – sometimes the big picture can get overwhelming, so decide to take one nibble at a time
*test the waters – Abraham’s servant asked Rebekah for a drink of water to open the possibility of discussing her future; he didn’t jump in the deep end with his initial words
*trust God – Abraham’s servant relied on Gods loving kindness to Abraham to find Isaac’s wife; God has a good track record & God is faithful!
*follow through – keep taking one step at a time until the final completion; don’t quit before the end