Tag: gospel

Go Into All The World And…Stereotype?

20140311-211806.jpg

Ever hear the word – “stereotype“? People who use that word always act defensive; about nothing!

Like…

Whenever you see someone who’s dressed in dirty, raggedy clothes, hang on tight to your wallet or purse. Bums can’t be trusted.

A person too lazy to shave doesn’t make a good employee. Don’t hire him.

A person of color isn’t as intelligent as the Caucasian. Deep conversations will confuse them.

Men have only two things on their mind. Sex and sex.

Women only have two things on their mind. Marriage and shopping.

A Christian is an idiot. They use their brain less than a Rush Limbaugh ditto head.

All democrats are liberal, and all republicans are Christians. Now you know how to vote.

Young adults prefer Starbucks and Obama over sweet tea and G.W. Bush. They know who to blame.

Texans think they’re better than anyone else in the world. Californians know they’re not.

All West Virginians are hillbillies and chew tobacco. Don’t walk down wind of them.

People who play golf are loaded with money.

Soldiers only want to kill. Marines make terrible marriage partners. Navy Seals are half crazy. No, completely. Army soldiers are the bottom of the barrel. Air Force troops are sloppy. Coast Guard…they’re lost at sea.

A true patriot will own at least one gun; an AR-15. Commie’s don’t think guns are necessary.

Fat people are lazy, selfish, and only think about stuffing their face. Fat people stink.

Preachers are money grabbers and egomaniacs. They don’t know how to actually work for a living. They don’t have to, as long as I pay them.

Tree huggers and Prius drivers only vote for liberals. Same with Subaru owners.

Police officers consume more donuts than those of any other profession. That’s why a donut shop is never robbed.

Postal employees are unsafe employees. They cannot control their anger.

Lawyers, politicians, and used car salesmen are liars. Stay clear of them all.

Immigrants, legal and illegal, only want to take our jobs.

Welfare recipients are bums. All they’re looking for is a hand out. They live for the stamps.

Women on welfare keep having babies because they receive more money each month.

People who stereotype others are always making false assumptions.

Assuming someone, anyone, believes a certain way, or IS a certain way, because of their age, dress, amount of education, speech, color of skin, vehicle, bumper sticker, living conditions, bank account, occupation, or any number of such things comes under the heading of “stereotyping.”

We all do it. See? Even I do.

Why? Maybe because it’s easier to know someone from a distance that way. If I already know what they’re like, I don’t have to waste time, or risk anything by trying to build a relationship with them. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

On the other hand, what if I’m wrong? What if my opinion based on my stereotypical understanding is 180 degrees off?

How are these types of opinions formed? Things we hear, observations we make, things we read, friends we trust; all help to define what we believe to be facts about people we see for the first time.

Did you know people have a preconceived idea, a stereotypical image, of what God is like?

“He’s old and grumpy, he hates fags (right, Westboro?), he thinks women who have abortions are monsters, and he’s just waiting for us to mess up so he can clobber us.”

“He hates tattoos, sex is taboo (unless you’re planning a family), piercings are of the devil, and so is Obama.”

“Christians are just like him. They are two-faced, self proclaimed saints. They quickly judge others but not themselves. They build big buildings, wasting millions of dollars, but won’t help a woman whose husband rapes her and beats her 5 nights a week!”

Stereotype.

When Jesus told the Christians to, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to everyone”, he wasn’t telling them to go and “rack up numbers of ‘converts'” like they’re individual conquests. He wanted them to go, meet the world one by one, find out what makes them “tick”, and represent Jesus to them like he represents us to his father.

How can people (we) get close enough to help, and to be trusted to help, if they (we) judge (sorry, stereotype) from afar?

God believes in drawing near to us, us to him, and us to one another.

If I’ll drop my preconceived notions, I just may learn something, hear something; and who knows what that may lead to?

God.

Do YOU prejudge others? Have YOU PREJUDGED God?

Thank you for reading this post. Please comment, I’d love to hear what you think. For more posts and a weekly newsletter delivered to your email address, please go to http://eepurl.com/PaJK5 and sign up. Thanks.

A Valentine Poem

20140213-222526.jpg

A heart’s the symbol of a valentine,
the valentine, a statement of love.
The cross is the picture of love divine, painted by the Father above.

O love divine, O perfect one,
your love has ransomed me,
O lamb of God, O glorious Son,
forever I am free.

Love dipped his brush into the crimson pail
His weeping endured through the night
The sorrow he’d known
soul wrenching travail
Burst into joy and danced with delight!

O love divine, O perfect one,
your love has ransomed me,
O lamb of God, O glorious Son,
forever I am free.

Love’s painting is finished
but not complete
Until all have come, he’ll not be through
Love’s invitation,
“please come and meet
This one who’s called Jesus. He died for you.”

O love divine, O perfect one,
your love has ransomed me,
O lamb of God, O glorious Son,
forever I am free.

A Tip From Bob The Trainer

20140103-220543.jpg

Back in 1995 I began my career with the United States Postal Service. Yep, I was a government employee! I worked for the postal service 17 years, as a Letter Carrier, Customer Service Supervisor, and a Station Manager. It was a great job, for the most part. I am thankful for the experience I gained, the people I met and worked with, and for the friendships that developed through the years.

As a “mailman”, I had to take driver’s classroom training, safety training, and actual hands-on training with their right-hand drive vehicles, the LLV (Long Life Vehicle).

I can still hear old Bob the Trainer telling us the route we were supposed to drive for vehicle orientation. Bob the Trainer would explain in a manner totally unlike any other trainer I’d ever had. Bob had been training new drivers for years, had worked for the USPS for at least 75 years (just guessing), and had quite a personality.

I learned real quick like NOT to bring up politics or religion to Bob the Trainer. He would tend to get a little heated in discussing such things, and then would forget all about the training. Oh well, most people have at least one fault or another.

The BIGGEST, most important thing Bob taught me was to “look both ways, more than once. Look to the left, right, and at least once more to the left. Bob your head back and forth several times”; if he said it once I know he said it at least a hundred times!

That tip from Bob the Trainer has kept me from an accident more times than I can count.

“Look both ways, more than once; left, right, and back to the left. Bob your head, back and forth…”

I remembered old Bob the Trainer today, thinking about the thing a lot of folks don’t like to think about. Eternity. Yep, thinking about eternity made me think of Bob the Trainer.

He came to my mind, not because of anything “religious” he might have said. No, that’s not the reason.

I thought of him because of that great tip he taught me. You know, the “look both ways, more than once; left, right, and back to the left. Bob your head, back and forth…” tip he was famous for.

Eternity. Look both ways. So true.

See, there’re only two directions one can go as they cross the intersection that separates this life from the next. There IS a next life; no one has a choice about that.

“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment…” (Hebrews 9:27 ESV)

But we must choose between Heaven or Hell, Life or Death, Forgiveness or Eternal Damnation.

Look around, to the left, then to the right. Decide what there is to lose, and what there is to gain. But look carefully, because your choice will matter. And should you decide NOT to choose; well, the default destination is not the choice I’d make.

God sent His Son to give us a choice, a choice worth making. He who decides on the Lordship of Jesus will not see death (spiritual) or walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

So, take a tip from old Bob the Trainer. “Look both ways, more than once; left, right, and back to the left. Bob your head, back and forth…”

And before you pull into the “intersection”, make certain you’ve chosen LIFE!

Snake On A Stick

20130818-220644.jpgWell, the 2013 edition of the Iowa State Fair is just about wrapped up. I didn’t go this year, in fact I seldom do. Not enough interest to justify spending the money or coping with the crowds.

However, whenever I talk with someone who’s been to the fair, I have to ask them one question: “What did you eat?”

For the next 10 minutes I hear about all of the food one can get “on a stick”. In case you didn’t go either, here is a list of all the “stick” food you and I missed:

2013 Iowa State Fair Food On-a-Stick
(over 60 food options available on-a-stick)

1. Shrimp Corndog
2. Smoothie On-a-stick
3. Bacon Wrapped Riblet On-a-stick
4. Deep Fried Brownie On-a-stick
5. Coconut Mountain On-a-stick
6. Soft Salted Chocolate Dipped Almond Pretzel On-a-stick
7. Deep Fried Sweet Corn Corndog
8. Rib Shack Cowboy
9. Jalapeño Corndog
10. Chocolate-Covered Chocolate Chip Cannoli
11. Chocolate-Covered Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pop
12. Fruit (with yogurt dipping sauce)
13. Double Bacon Corn Dog
14. Chocolate-Covered Frozen S’more
15. Peanut Butter & Jelly
16. Chocolate-Covered Deep Fried Cheesecake
17. Griddle Stick (turkey sausage wrapped in a pancake)
18. Cake Pops
19. Fair Square (Original,Peanut Butter & Graham Champion flavors)
20. Chocolate-Covered Tiramisu
21. Chocolate-Covered Turtle Mousse Bar
22. Twinkie Log (frozen Twinkie dipped in white chocolate & rolled in cashews)
23. Octodog (hotdog in the shape of an octopus)
24. Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Bar
25. Chocolate-Covered Key Lime Dream Bar
26. Carmellows
27. Pickle
28. Pork Chop
29. Corn Dog
30. Cheese
31. Cajun Chicken
32. Sesame Chicken
33. Carmel Apple
34. German Sausage
35. Teriyaki Beef
36. Corn on the Cob
37. Cotton Candy
38. Veggie Corndog
39. Turkey Drumstick
40. Nutty Bar
41. Hot Bologna
42. Chicken
43. Monkey Tail (chocolate-covered banana)
44. Honey
45. Ice Cream Wonder Bar
46. Deep-Fried Snickers
47. Deep-Fried Milky Way
48. Deep-Fried Twinkie
49. Breakfast Lamb Sausage (brat)
50. Deep-Fried Ho-Ho
51. Deep-Fried Cupcake
52. Dutch Letter
53. Chocolate-Covered Cheesecake
54. Pineapple (Fresh pineapple dipped in funnel cake batter & deep fried)
55. Hot Lips (breaded chicken breast smothered with hot sauce, served with blue cheese dressing)
56. Cornbrat (bratwurst dipped in corndog batter)
57. Chocolate-Covered Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich
58. Rock Candy
59. Salad
60. Hard-Boiled Egg
61. Unicorn Lolipops
62. Rainbow Popsicle
63. Push-ups
64. Turkey Tenderloin

Doesn’t the list make you hungry?!? I really like those giant turkey legs! Now, it’s not easy lugging that thing around all day, going in and out of exhibits while brandishing a 10 pound hunk of meat; but one does what one must do. Right?

What if we could get other things, other than food, on a stick? Things like, oh, money, or mail, or, I know, MEDICINE! How about getting our medicine on a stick?

You walk into your local pharmacy, up to the counter, and ask to pick up the prescription you called in earlier. The pharmacist hands you a skinny, hollow stick, about two feet long, filled with your medicine. Not very easy to carry in your pocket or purse, but it’s what the doctor prescribed, it’s what you need, so you hand over the cash and walk out with your “stick”.

The medicine or the stick need not be fancy, tasty, or even widely accepted by everyone in your neighborhood. No, it only has to work. So you deal with it.

Years ago, even before the first Iowa State Fair, in the middle of a desert, there was such a thing as “Snake on a Stick”. The children of Israel were traveling from Egypt to the Promised Land under the leadership of Moses and his brother Aaron. Now the Israelites weren’t known for their congeniality, nor for the way they supported their leaders. In fact, they were downright nasty!

“Then they journeyed from Mount Hor by the Way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the soul of the people became very discouraged on the way. And the people spoke against God and against Moses: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthless bread.” (Numbers 21:4-5 NKJV)

“Worthless bread”, if you didn’t already know, was the “Manna” God had been supernaturally providing for the nation. And they called it “worthless”. How’s that for gratitude?

But guess what? We are no different and can be just as ungrateful!

Look what happened next: “So the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you; pray to the LORD that He take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.” (Numbers 21:6-9 NKJV)

Imagine what that must have looked like! A big “stick” with a bronze snake attached to it! Nothing fancy, actually rather hideous, but it was the “MEDICINE” God prescribed. Medicine on a stick.

When God told them to “look and live”, He wasn’t referring to a ‘casual glance, then go about your day’ kind of look. His instruction, His prescription, was: “if you are dying, forget about everything else and gaze, fix your focus, your attention, on the snake on the stick.”

What would you do if snakes were crawling all around your feet, some slithering up your pant leg, touching your skin with their cold, forked, red tongue? Would you be able to stand still, gazing only at the stick, until you were healed? It would be hard, but that’s what they were told to do.

Because that’s how it is with faith! They got into their mess because they wouldn’t believe God or His leaders. And faith in God’s word would be how they were healed and restored.

The first couple, Adam and Eve, got us all into our predicament, where we were all “bitten by the snake”, due to their lack of faith in God’s word (Genesis 1-3). And faith is how we are healed of spiritual death, return to fellowship with God, and live eternally with Him. Jesus said it like this:

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:14-17 NKJV)

As the bronze snake represented the Israelites sin, so Jesus on the cross represents ours. He became our sin (2 Corinthians 5:21) so we could become righteous. And like the Israelites, in order for our situation to be remedied, we must look at the “snake on the stick”; steadfastly, in spite of distractions, look at Jesus on the cross. We must believe!

It’s nothing fancy, but it is freeing!

It’s not easy, but it affects our eternity!

Who would have guessed it; God was the first One to put something of real value “on a stick”.

%d bloggers like this: