Even a Booger

20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Romans 1:20

Once upon a time, in a very distant church, a young pastor was given the task of providing children’s stories during the Sunday morning worship hour. That pastor was me and I loved it.

It was so much fun to bring spiritual applications to the wide open minds and hearts of children.

It wasn’t hard for me because I grew up believing Romans 1:20. I sang about it in church choir. I can still sing the song. “There is enough of God in nature, his power is clearly shown. A man has no excuse for wandering. God and heaven are known. God and heaven are known.” (You can find the whole musical on youtube: The Apostle-Continental Singers 1973.)

I am wired to see spiritual things in common place things. This is so true one girl told her mom she thought I could make a sermon illustration out of a booger. I probably could, but I’ve refrained and restrained myself.

But it all came back when I was making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

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My grandson is in a PBJ phase. But a simple sandwich is not enough for him. He prefers one that looks more like this:

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He is happiest with a super thick layer of chunky peanut butter and a thin smear of strawberry jam…and it has to be triple decker.

So can God be seen in a triple decker PBJ sandwich?

I don’t mean like some people see him:

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What I referring to is seeing God in the ordinary, the everyday.

What spiritual implication is there in a PBJ? I think we all go through phases where we want to taste and see that God is good (Psalm 34:8), but he wants to be the God of exceedingly, abundantly, above (Ephesians 3:20).

When we reach for all that God is, we find satisfaction and fullness of life.

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Where will you see God today?

PRAYER: God of everywhere, thank you for wanting to be seen, wanting to be known. Open my eyes to see you, my ears to hear you…my heart to receive you. Speak to me in the ordinary, plain, and everyday things around me. Amen.

Blinded by the Light

Yesterday we considered God appearing as a gentle nudge, how he arrives gently and naturally on the scene. This appearance is comforting to me.

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Sometimes, however, he has to explode onto the scene to get my attention. This is what he did with Paul:

But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him.And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank. (Acts 9:1-9, ESV)

Do you find it interesting that Paul knew immediately who was speaking to him? He knew who was showing up in that blinding light. It was the Lord. Instant recognition and obedience. Paul’s companions were there as witnesses–a good thing to have when you’re going through a major life changing experience.

God burst into Paul’s life. Was that the only way he could have gotten Paul’s attention? Would Paul have ignored the gentle nudges? Can you relate? Have there been times when you stubbornly ignored God’s more gentler attempts to get your attention? Did it take a more earth shaking, life changing, event to break through your reluctance, your arrogance?

I know what it’s like…perhaps that why I prefer the nudges.

But either way, it’s good to know God knows how to get our attention.

PRAYER: God, thank you for breaking into my life, my awareness, my mess just the way you need to in order to get my attention. Nudge me or blind me, but don’t let me get away from what I need to hear today. My ears, my eyes, and my heart is open. Amen.

When Will I See You Again?

For we walk by faith, not by sight, (2 Corinthians 5:7)

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I’m at Florida Christian Writers Conference. It’s a great place to be on so many levels. For one thing, the weather here is delightful. I’m also improving my craft, networking, and making new friends.

So, it might make more sense to you when I tell you I walked out on my balcony and prayed: Lord, where will I, when will I see you again? (And then I started singing, “When will I see you again?” by the Three Degrees…it’s on youtube if you need an earworm)

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I love my regular times with the Lord. Morning routines of prayer and attention to the Word can put such a positive energy into the beginnings of my day. If there’s a sunrise or a sunset filling the sky, it feels like God is tapping me on my shoulder reminding me he’s still there.

I have an “unscheduled” personality. When I take personality trait inventories, I come out on the side of less consumed with calendars and organization and with a far greater need to “fly by the seat of my pants.” (Ok, in MBTI terms, I’m off the scale P.)

Maybe that’s why I find it much easier to walk by faith. Sure, I’ve had to learn my God will provide and he has a plan. Trust often comes slowly. But I don’t need to know exactly how he’s going to do it. I’ve read the end of the Book, I know how things are going to end—we win! (Hope I didn’t spoil it for you.)

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Walking by faith doesn’t mean I’m walking blindly. I know how God operates. And I’ve learned I can trust him.

Walking by faith means I expect to see God at every turn, around every corner, in every encounter.

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And when I chose to walk this way, it is amazing what I see!

PRAYER: When will I see you again? Oh God, those words do not come from a doubting heart, but a heart believing you can be found all the way throughout my day. Those words come from a heart anticipating you will show yourself in amazing ways. Looking forward to seeing you.

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