Friday, September 29, 2006

Hidden Killers

This week on Google I looked up the phrase "hidden killers in homes" because it has been my observation that in our society we are overly concerned about a lot of little things that have only a miniscule chance of harming us, while at the same time every day we encounter "hidden killers" that, unbeknownst to us, are hurting our health and preventing us from being all that God wants us to be.

These are some of the "hidden killers" that Google brought to my attention: carbon monoxide, lung disease, colorectal cancer, and super evolutionary germs. They all sound quite scary. Just the other day Valerie and I were talking about installing a carbon monoxide detector in our home. I guess I found the $30 price tag more frightening than the actual carbon monoxide.

Sin is the hidden killer in our journey of faith that too often goes un-noticed. In every person there is darkness that pulls us away from faithful living, discipleship, and being all that we are capable of being. The solution that exposes this hidden killer is the Word of God. "Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)"

In Psalm 19 we lift up with joy our experience of God in his creation and in his wonderful Word: "The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. (Psalm 19:8)" We also recognize that sin keeps us from expressing such a rejoicing heart. Therefore call upon the Lord to forgive your sin, even of those hidden sins you don't even think about. "But who can detect their errors? Clear me from hidden faults. (Psalm 19:12)" As forgiven children of God, our sins are exposed and neutralized. Now you may live free from worry and the power of sin.

There are many hidden dangers out there. But the biggest danger we face is in our own hearts. Through prayer and study of God's word be protected from these hidden killers and rest assured that the Lord is leads you along every path.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Trading Spaces

It hasn't taken much time for me to get settled in here in my new office. It drove me crazy a couple days to be in here with clutter, boxes and chaos. With each box emptied and each piece of furniture moved into the "right" place came more of a sense of peace. By the time I was finished I was a little surprised because my new office was looking a whole lot like my old office. I guess there is a little bit of Rainman in all of us that insists on putting the bed by the window, having 8 fish sticks for dinner on Thursdays, and watching Jeopardy at 5:00 no matter where you are.

The Rainman in all of us is the desire to control our surroundings. It is human nature to want to make our space our own. The cable networks HGTV and TLC have made a living showing programs of people moving into perfectly fine homes and then changing every room in the house in some frenzied attempt to make it over. We want control and don't you dare stop us.

In reality God is in control. When we insist on control we miss the fact that what God has blessed us with just might be better for our lives and our souls than what we want. Jesus gives us permission to give our lives over to him. We don't need to obsess about our space or stuff. Instead the Lord provides for our every need so that we can concentrate on more important things like loving our families and neighbors and helping those in need.

If we are in control then all we have to look forward to at the end of the day is that scene from "About Schmidt" from my last post. If we faithfully give the Lord control then we can look forward to a place being prepared for us at the great feast to come. And at that feast in the Kingdom of Heaven it is the Lord who will design the space and the Lord who will set the table. Give control to Christ and enjoy the ride.