using

storytime :)

Yesterday, I read a thought-provoking story that I think you’ll also find to be at least curious. I read about this wealthy businessman who was really into Jesus, having been heavily influenced in very transforming ways by a pastor whom he greatly admired. This particular pastor only briefly passed through the businessman’s life, but his impact was revolutionary. Subsequently, this businessman began to treat his employees with more grace and generosity. But here was the rub, one of his employees severely ripped him off and then went missing. After several months, the wealthy man received an email from the distant pastor that he’d accidently bumped into the rogue employee and the thief had repented and decided to give his life over to Jesus’ leadership. The pastor was sending the thief back to the businessman! In the email, the pastor put the squeeze on the businessman, requesting him to do two things: forgive the thief & then let him go back to the pastor to help in his pastoring work. Clearly, the businessman was in a quandary. Justice said that the thief should pay for his crime, but grace said that the businessman should forgive his fellow brother in Christ.

When I read this story, there was a totally riveting sentence that keeps echoing in my thoughts. In the email, the pastor told the businessman that the former employee was useless as an employee, but now he was altogether useful as a fellow member in Jesus’ family: useless as an employee, but useful as a brother. Seems to me that we often determine the value of a person on their function rather than their relationship with Jesus.

This story is my paraphrase of the story of Philemon in the Bible – a super short epistle from Paul to Philemon, the businessman. Philemon had a slave, Onesimus, who stole from him and ran away, only to bump into Paul, who helped Onesimus become a follower of Jesus. Upon returning Onesimus to his former owner, Philemon, Paul placed the supreme value on Onesimus being a fellow brother in Christ & made his position as a slave a virtual disposable value.

As a follower of Jesus, we need to be better at loving people than using people 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, nightcare, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, values, watch, 0 comments

old shoes

I have these shoes that I really like – they’re beyond old.  I’ve worn them for more than 20 years & I could easily wear them another 20 years, especially if I don’t think about style (which is already a pretty sketchy topic for me).  These shoes are leather with a CRAZY durable sole & I often wear them without socks – so their perfectly molded to my feet.  I always throw them on as my old stand-by’s because I know they will be comfortable, sturdy & reliable. 

I’m using the shoe topic to help me talk about what I think it means to have a deeply satisfying relationship w God.  You see, in my mind, I want my life to be like a pair of shoes that God wears & uses everyday.  I want my life to be His faithful stand-by, that He will pick everyday to wear.  While I may not be very ornate or sparkly, I want to conform to His preferences, let Him walk wherever He choses & be trustworthy and reliable for His usage.  I fully believe that a person can be sparkly & ornate and be mightily used by God, so please don’t take me the wrong way.  For me personally, I want to conform perfectly to His ways, His feet, His steps.  I want God to fill me with His presence not only for my benefit, but also to activate His will & for His pleasure.  I want to God to wear me in – that I’m not too small, or uncomfortable for Him to use.  I don’t want for God to only use me on special occassions & I don’t want to give Him blisters when He choses to use (wear) me.  I want to be His “old shoes.”

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Posted by sarahbowling in living, spiritual, 0 comments