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Archive for the ‘it is what it is’ Category

Let’s go!

“Let’s go, so we can die with him.”

This line sounds like an action adventure thriller.  It’s buried in a story about a friend receiving a message concerning a sick loved one.  For the friend to travel to visit his sick friend would be dangerous, because people in that area want to kill him.  What are we missing?

Thomas…said to the other disciples, “Come on.  Let’s go, so we can die with him.”  John 11:16 CEV

Thomas, a follower of Jesus, most well-known for his doubt, is voluntarily going with Jesus into dangerous enemy territory and encourages his friends to go as well.

Jesus received a message that his friend, Lazarus is sick.  He knows what will happen to Lazarus.  His disciples don’t.

Enter sickness of a friend.

After two days, Jesus gathers his disciples and tells them that they are going to Judea.  The disciples question Jesus’ decision to venture into a place where people desire to stone him.  Why would Jesus want to go where people want to harm him?

Enter the possibility of death for Jesus and his followers.

Jesus has to speak clearly to his disciples and tell them that Lazarus is dead.

Death has struck.

Jesus addresses his disciples with these words, “Lazarus is dead!  I am glad I wasn’t there, because now you will have a chance to put your faith in me.  Let’s go to him.”

That little 5 letter word is what trips us up every time – faith.  Put your faith in Jesus.  The questions with faith begin with what we hope won’t happen.  The disciples’ focus probably isn’t on Lazarus or his circumstances when Jesus challenges them.

Thomas is the first to respond.

Thomas…said to the other disciples, “Come on.  Let’s go, so we can die with him.”  John 11:16 CEV

It is what it is.

Right?

Jesus is leading the way.

Death permeates this story.

Yes, we know that there is more to the story,

John 11:17-45.

Faith.  Do we say “It is what it is”

or do we put our faith in Jesus?

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Matthew 9:10-13

Later, Jesus and his disciples  were having dinner at Matthew’s house.  Many tax collectors and other sinners were also there.  Some Pharisees asked Jesus’ disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and other sinners?”

Jesus heard them and answered, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor, but sick people do.  Go and learn what the Scriptures mean when they say, ‘Instead of offering sacrifices to me, I want you to be merciful to others.’  I didn’t come to invite good people to be my followers.  I came to invite sinners.”

Are you a good person?

I want an invite.  Don’t you?

Look who gets the invite and who doesn’t.

You just can’t say “It is what it is.”  You might be surprised.  Who are the good people?  Who gets the invite?

Who might Jesus invite today?

How surprised would we be at his guest list?

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Markers

The end of the year is a marker.

We look back.

We wonder.

We review.

We remember.

We conclude…

Then we make plans that all involve change in our lives

based

on the past year

past decisions

hopeful thoughts for a better “me”

a better “year”

better “decisions”

better “opportunities”

better “relationships”

I am reminded of Tim Elmore’s blog post

At the Corner of Big Dreams and Harsh Realities.

We could say “it is what it is”

or

we could accept the challenge of a new year!

The great thing is “we” all get to choose individually.

It’s coming.  Choose well.

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Parables

When I was studying one of Jesus’ parables, I  discovered a new way to consider parables in William Barclay’s Daily Study Bible Series.  Barclay reminds us that when the crowds heard Jesus’ stories (parables) that they only heard them and took away one point.  They didn’t have them in writing to read again and analyze to figure out the meanings.  The crowd got one point.  Jesus would later explain the entire meaning or points to the disciples at a later time.

I experienced this phenomenon recently. A comment after a speaker was made about now much time the speaker gave to a story.  What this person didn’t realize was that the speaker was sharing a parable and then explaining the meaning.  The speaker however allowed the audience to connect the dots themselves and to see themselves in the story.

Interesting note:  The crowd probably won’t remember the points, but they will remember the parable when their attitudes and behaviors mimic the story.

The wonder and power of a parable!

You certainly can’t say “It is what it is,” when talking about a parable

or maybe you can if you have ears to hear.

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I have raved about an establishment for four years as a weekly customer.  I drove out of my way to patronize their establishment.  I filled out every customer survey with the highest marks possible.  I talked about their great customer service to a repeat customer (me).  I raved about them.

Then they had one miserable fail, and I wanted to rant.  I wanted to give in to that one incredible injustice that they did to me their faithful, loyal weekly customer.  Yes, I wanted to rant.  They didn’t apologize.  They didn’t offer to make it right the next time.  They disappointed me.  I was disappointed by one of my favorite places.

As you have probably noticed, I didn’t tell you the name of this place, and I won’t.  One mistake.  One time.  I don’t think it should undo the service that I have previously received.

What I am intrigued about is how quickly a rave can turn into a rant?

Definition of rave

speak or write about someone or something with great enthusiasm or admiration;

an extremely enthusiastic recommendation or appraisal of someone or something

Yes, it can mean a party with dancing and drinking.  I’m not talking about that kind of rave today.

Definition of rant

to talk loudly and in a way that shows anger

to complain in a way that is unreasonable

Now look what happens when you add the two words together

Rant and Rave

shout and complain angrily and at length

Bottom line

I can choose to rave or to rant (even rant and rave)

Let’s do more raving about people and life.

Life is good.

Love God.

Love others.

Let’s rave about our blessings.

Don’t just say, “It is what it is.”

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It’s Saturday, and we all know Sunday is coming!  We celebrate Sunday.  We long for Sunday, and yet we mostly live in Saturday.

Saturday the day when all is lost– hope, joy, love, a new way, a new teacher…..

On Saturday he is not Messiah or King or Redeemer or Deliverer.

On Saturday he is dead.

The glass is empty

or. . . is it?

Is Saturday the end?

In the midst of  pain, we easily forget what we know.

Jesus told his followers many things.

I have prepared a place for you.

When I go, I will return.

I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Time to live every day remembering…

Jesus  is alive again!

and

His words are true for us every moment.

Saturday or Sunday?

It is what it is . . . Or is it?

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The new question:

Will we enjoy twice as much football next season

or

look back and have to say “it is what it is”?

And doesn’t that just make you wonder what the next season will look like?

Go Colts!

Hopefully we will be able to cheer for Peyton next season

and that all depends on the team he chooses.

Will we be watching in utter fascination or abject horror?

to be continued…

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