Sunday, October 11, 2009

What God Has Done For Me

“Go home and tell your family how much the LORD has done for you…”
Our minister, Jim White, challenged us this morning to tell our stories. I started to wonder what I would tell someone if they asked how Jesus had worked in my life…

The LORD put me under the supervision of two loving, Christian parents. They have shown me what it means to truly live as Christ did. They taught me to be color-blind when it comes to skin, forgiving when it comes to offenses, polite when speaking to others, and loving in all situations. I often wonder what my life would have looked like in another home…and then I thank God for my family.
Since I started following Jesus, I have been relieved of trying to control the world.
Yes, you read that right. I don’t have to worry about “getting ahead in this world.” I don’t have to fret, position, maneuver, plot, or use guilt to try and control situations or people. I have come to trust that God is in control, and I am not. Because of this, I have been relieved of SO much stress!
Money, popularity and “stuff” are not the driving factors in my life. Do I still struggle with desire for these things? Sure. But when I see the unhappiness of so many rich people, I’m thankful that my bank account doesn’t contain 6 digits! Once, when walking through a rich Omaha neighborhood, Tracy and I wondered what it would be like to live in one of those homes. Then, the thought came, “Yeah, but I wonder how much screaming goes on behind those doors.” Using God-instinct, we know those things won’t purchase the contentment we so desperately seek.
My faith also makes it OK NOT to know the answers to everything. An atheist reading this might mock me for this, but that’s OK. My friends know that this does NOT mean I put my brain on the back-burner and bury my head in the sand. I am actually quite a curious person. I am currently trying to teach myself Hebrew and one of my favorite books is “The Case for Christ,” in which an agnostic journalist researches the story of Jesus and comes to find faith in Him.
However, I don’t have to live in mental agony, trying to understand all the unanswered questions of this world. It also means that I don’t have to PRETEND to know everything. That’s too much hard work! I know a lot of people who “know everything,” but still fail in life and love. Knowledge is good, but it’s still secondary to love put into action.
Because of God, I have a GIGANTIC family! I have been blessed to travel to Africa, Jamaica, Brazil and most of the United States. There are people there who treat me like a brother. I have a “brother” in India, Ricky Gootam, who is doing wonderful things for God! My network is larger than any cell phone company!!
Lastly (for the sake of this post) knowing God gives me JOY! This one is a little harder to explain. I guess the joyful part of knowing Him came when I found out He was a God of love. My Father is the BEST at loving! He loves scores of undeserving people, and has WAY more patience than any human I know!

And now, I put the question to you: “What has God done for YOU?”Feel free to answer here, on your own blog, or tell a neighbor!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Uh-oh, Soapbox Issue!!

Soapbox topic tonight...

Omaha City Council is digging into old law books to find out if it's legal for city firefighters to raise money for MDA while on the clock.

Hey, City Council, don't you think you could spend your time on worth-while conquests?
Your people are NOT worried about this issue! They are worried about the number of shootings in our city, which continues to rise. They are wondering why you are tearing down a beloved city landmark (Rosenblatt Stadium) when there is no money to build a new stadium (and not much room downtown, either.) They are wondering why already-high property taxes are being raised.
I don't know how much influence you have over these things, but I am VERY upset at your use of time in fighting the firefighters on the above-mentioned issue.
If anything, MORE companies OUGHT to encourage their employees to raise money for charities while ON THE CLOCK! Why can the city not get behind the firefighters for this? Is this not "in the city's long-range plans?" Why is helping others with a debilitating disease so taboo?
Come on, City Council. Let's focus on things that will improve this great city. Let's encourage our people to be generous, benevolent, and to help one another!