Monday, June 30, 2008

A Little Exhortation

I always used to slightly envy those who worked at Wal-Mart - they were the only ones allowed to go through the "Employees Only" doors. That is, until I became an employee of a business, and passed through one of those hollowed portals. It's not so glamorous as you might think - believe me. ;)

I think it was my dad who told me that once, when he was young, he saw one of those "Pedestrian Crossing" signs that you notice every so often. Mistaking "pedestrian" for "Presbyterian" he hollered indignantly, "Hey! Why don't they have Baptist crossings?"

It's probably not just me that's noticed it - there are a lot of invisible signs around that seem to say, "No God Zone" and "Shhhh. Non-Christians at Work". Nobody really has to say anything that blunt. Mocking and teasing seems to get the hint across just about as well. And while we often start out really good, weeks on end of the stuff tends to wear you down, until you'd rather just keep your mouth shut about anything Christian- they know where you stand, you know where they stand, etc. It gets hard after a while.

Well, here's a friendly "tough" to us all. ;) Keep it up, I say.

"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding {in the matter} for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:10-11
Whatever you do, don't ever stop speaking truth. You don't have to worry about their growth - that's God's work. It may take years and years, or you may never see anything at all, but nevertheless, you have a job to do - go into the world and tell what Christ has done for you.

Now, everything you do should be in love, of course. While it may be true that certain people, at the rate they're going, will burn merrily away in hell, we shouldn't go and smash that in their faces. That wasn't Jesus' way at all. "Turn or burn" wasn't His message. I think that His main point is easily covered in two words: Follow Me.

So just do that, and leave the rest to Him. :) And dance a jig or two on those signs.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


This is going to be one of those "no duh, you're preaching to the choir here" kind of blog. I know, I very much am, but I have to say something about this - if only to let off a little steam.

"For I hate divorce," says the LORD, the God of Israel, "and him who covers his garment with wrong," says the LORD of hosts.
Due to an acute shortage of workers I have recently been assigned to deliveries at work, which means I go with whichever of the two drivers manage to show up. This isn't a bad thing - at least it's never really boring. Whenever the task seems to be getting slightly tedious, we'll get a... how shall we say... interesting customer. But all that aside, there's only one thing that I've begun to dread about deliveries with one of the drivers. You see, this particular fellow has recently been a partner in destroying his second marriage, and is currently working on a third. All throughout the day, I am treated to the never ending tale of how bad his ex wife was, how much he can't stand her, and how much better his new girlfriend is. This might have been bearable, except for one thing.

His four children that he left behind.

He says she's turned them against him - if he was a good father she'd never have been able to. He says they don't want to see him - understandable, but that's NEVER a good enough excuse for not trying.

I'm not a massive KJV fan, but I like the way it puts the last part of Malachi 2:16; "for [one] covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts". This may or may not have been the way Malachi intended the verse to be read, but did you notice the little difference? The one who divorces "Covers his garment with wrong," or "covereth violence with his garment". There may be a little something in the KJ version.

Remember, in the book of Ruth, when Ruth went to where Boaz was sleeping in the middle of the night? When he awoke that morning (shocked as anything, I'd expect), he asked who she was. Her answer, "I am Ruth your maid. So spread your covering over your maid, for you are a close relative." It was a request for marriage - the covering with the garment signified protection; a drawing close together.

What drives men to throw their wives and children out from under that protection, and instead invite evil to share the cloak in their place?

Now I know God gives one valid reason for divorce - marital unfaithfulness (Matt.5:32). But, if we take God as an example, even that should not keep us from attempting to find reconciliation.

This is not at all to sound judgmental toward those who have been divorced at all - many have had very good reason for doing so, and even if they didn't, God's love is more than sufficient to cleanse them from that sin. But this is something that wounds me deeply - to see relationships and lives destroyed by careless and selfish people, who merely move on and leave in their wake the twisted wreckage of one more marriage, one more family.

I've met this man's girlfriend's kids - four adorable redheads; two in glasses, the oldest perhaps 12. Their father died this year - supposedly a loser who never gave two cents about them.

If he does the same as before - if he hurts these kids, there's no way of being sure what I would do to him. I know what I'd like to do though, and I'm afraid it's not at all godly.

I pray that that never becomes the case.