Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Buying Green Bananas

One of my favorite passages in the Bible is Jesus’ promise that His followers will not only do what He had been doing but would do even greater things.  The Apostle Paul captured some of that thought when he wrote that God is:

able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.

It’s a promise that believes in a bright future, confident that the things to come will be immeasurably greater than the things that have been.

Lately I’ve noticed that confidence in the future doesn’t come easy for everyone.  Perhaps it’s an uncertain economy or a world that seems to be in constant motion and change.  We start to imagine a future filled with lesser things and our confidence wavers.  Last week I overhead one church leader remark:

I don’t even buy green bananas!

If you don’t believe tomorrow is coming there’s not much point in having a bunch of green bananas around.  Only people with confidence in the future buy green bananas.

I am convinced that its time for the church to buy green bananas.  Its time to not only believe but to proclaim that that the promise God made through the Prophet Jeremiah is true:

I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

A hope and a future – that sounds like a good time to buy green bananas!

What are the green bananas you might confidently buy?

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Law of the Spill

When you are bumped you spill whatever is inside you….

Jim Herrington, who is the Team Director for Mission Houston, shared that wisdom with me recently (and I promised to give him credit the first time I used it).

When you are bumped you spill whatever is inside you…

I get bumped a lot – most of us do.  Some of the bumps are intentional; many are unintentional.  Criticism, suggestions, criticism disguised as suggestions – they all bump me.  Interruptions, changes to plans, poor communication and misunderstandings are other ways that I get bumped.  And when I’m bumped I spill what’s inside me – it isn’t always pretty.  Sometimes what spills out of me makes quite a mess and my “spills” almost always seem to splash on others.

Think of it as the Law of the Bump or the Law of the Spill (can’t decide which one I like better).  We will always spill whatever is inside.

So I’ve been paying attention to what spills out of me when I get bumped.  It’s lead me to work on what’s inside.  I’m discovering that just by being aware of my “spills” I am filling myself with better things.  The Apostle Paul called them those things that are pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).

You will probably get “bumped” today.  Pay attention to what spills.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


It’s been an unusual summer for our family – one daughter moving back home after graduation, another getting ready to leave for college and the third working at a camp in Alabama.  Then we tossed into the mix two more recent college graduates creating a very full house (I’ve suggested putting Greek letters over the front door and creating a sorority).  One of the impacts has been less time for reflection and blogging – but summer is nearing a close and I am writing again.

It’s also been a summer in which is seems that the lives of so many of our closest friends (all across the country) are in turmoil.  Words such as cancer, death, adultery, affair, unemployment, addiction, rape, drugs and depression have been a part of far too many conversations.  God continues to write stories of restoration and redemption but it seems as if too many of the people we love are in seasons of too many wounds.

Many of those wounds are leaving scars.

And I’m reminded that God has scars.

After His resurrection, when Jesus appeared to His disciples

He showed them His hands and feet
Luke 20: 40

In John’s revelation of heaven he describes the Lamb as:

looking as if it had been slain…
Revelation 5: 6

Our God has scars.

I can engage in theological debate on the persistence of evil.  I can find encouragement in the promise of a future glory that far surpasses our present suffering.  I can even understand how trials develop perseverance that leads to completeness.  I don’t have a lot of easy answers for cancer, death, adultery, affairs, unemployment, addiction, rape, drugs, depression, wounds and scars.

But I know that our God has scars too – and for today, that’s more than enough.