Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Etch - Green Paint and Compassion

Etch - To Impress Clearly / Clarifying words and phrases we use, hoping to nullify argumentative semantics

I recently heard a story of green paint.  The soft kind of green, designed to be welcoming and open to those who enter its realm.The kind of green paint a man would coat his living room with to create a trusting, hospitable atmosphere.  The kind of green paint the God of the universe would instruct me to purchase to fulfill this endeavor.

Wait . . . Huh???

That was my response at least, why would someone pray about the color of their house?  Admirable, the desire to live out the call to hospitality down to the detail, but really?  "Dear Lord, The 'Bring Em Back Olive' has a nice tone but the 'Go Mango' could be both calming and fun.  Please illuminate the color You would desire my humble abode to be."

My initial reaction - God doesn't CARE about the color of my house, as long as it's not black with a deep red trim like some heavy metal band album, right?  He does CARE though about where I live and what I do, right?

Time to Etch:  "Care" as it relates to God.

We use this word to portray depth of importance or meaningfulness.  Does He CARE whether we are obedient to His Word, His Scripture, His leadings.  Yes, John 14:15, and the following speaking of the Holy Spirit helping us to obey, because we love.  He cares, it matters in the scheme of our relationship with Him, it is important.

Does He care about who my spouse is.  Don't hate me here, but our romantic comedical culture says "the one."  My wife is perfect for me, she is beautiful, exciting, fun, & I look forward to spending each moment I can with her, she is the one, she is perfect for me, because I married her.  Because we chose each other.  (This could be a blog itself, and it may be!)

Does God care about the color of my house.  Here's the point, it does not matter what I choose here so I can say that God does NOT CARE about the color of my house in that sense.  But saying that seems to take away from His love for me, right?

No, and this is why, because of how we used the word CARE.   IT doesn't really matter, it isn't important.

God DOES CARE about the color of my house in this sense . . . He created the colors for me to enjoy, he designed certain greens to be calming so when I thought through them I would see His love, His caring nature for me.  He cares in the sense that He wants me to joy in Him through His gifts, and this is one of them.

Now I know there is a depth I'm not touching here, I'm not writing a book, but the concept remains.  His love is beyond what we can imagine, beyond the vasts of creation, He loves us and desires our joy in Him, through His creation.  God's favorite color isn't green, but He loves if yours is!

So as we argue about words, try to etch meaning into each confusing part of our language.  He does care, but possibly not the way you are thinking.  I will not argue semantics in this way anymore.

Etch:  To Clearly Impress


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Backstory - Of Mice and Mickey

This is backstory on me, on some of the reasons why I think the way I think and some of the people and events that have helped to shape that. In other words these are the who's and what's you are to blame for me being me!

The English language is moronic!  We have all these letters that don't mean anything, or mean more than one thing, and some that are there to just look good.  That is where this embarrassing story begins!

As a child I heard people say Disney, I said Disney, and I read Disney.  But look at the picture, it doesn't look like it spells Disney does it?  Come on, be honest, I always believed that P at the end was silent.  Look at it!  Disnep!!!

I had several conversation, that I remember about why this spelled Disnep but pronounced Disnee!  I was distraught when I realized that the letter I was so sure was a P was only disguised that way to make me look dumb, I was the real life comic relief character in all of their movies.  Thankfully this happened before I took my trip to their world in Florida.

This trip happened during High School over an Easter with a group from church and a local school with a man who coached the HS football team and was the Youth Pastor . . . Coach A, Micky Atkinson.

While we were in the park once I got distracted, focused on something else (as if that ever happens) and the next thing I know I am alone in the park, the group had wandered away without asking me!  No problem for me, I knew where we stayed, I had a great day in the park.  When I met back up with them by chance later I learned that Coach A had yelled my name everywhere they went, continually searching for me.

This man did this for me far more often than I realized in the time we were together in church.

While there were others, this man directed me to think like a minister, he recognized in me that I would lean towards Strengthening the Souls of men (Acts 14:21 & 22) and pushed and encouraged me to fight for that.  It has played out differently than I expected but I can trace my heart for discipleship back to Mickey and that is where I will continue to focus.

No matter the circumstance or position this is where my passion lies and this is part of the reason why.  This is why I have coffee with guys, love small groups, believe in discipleship.  This is why I think the way that I do.  This is my backstory.