Friday, August 30, 2013

When He Whispers

wait till you see it on;)

Me: "Lord, I'm tired and hungry... I'm tired of looking at apartments..."
God: "Go home."
Me: "Okay, maybe I'll go out later..."
God: "Stop at that store first"
Me: "Which store?"
God: "Trading Tigers - that consignment store"
Me: "Why?" (stupid question when you are talking to God by the way)
God: "Just go"
Me: "Okay, fine"

I turned into the parking lot and parked my car. I grabbed my wallet from the front seat, shoved my phone into my pocket and locked the door. I walked up to the front of the store, and then I saw it. The dress I have been coveting for weeks... with a sign on it. Shoot, it's probably taken and someone just has it on hold. But, as I get closer, I see the sign doesn't say "Sold", it says, "All Summer Items 50% Off".

Me: "Seriously??"
God: "Well, isn't that what you prayed for?"
Me: "Um, yeah, but..."
God: "But nothing, go try it on, even though you already know it is going to be perfect"

I walked into the store and asked the sales lady if I could try on the dress. She said, "Of course! I hope it works for you. Several people have tried it on lately, but it didn't work for any of them. But maybe it will work for you!"

I went into the dressing room to try on the dress, already knowing it was going to be perfect. However, once I had it on, I couldn't resist stepping out to get a second opinion.

"Oh my gosh! It's perfect", the sales lady gushed.

"You know", I said, "I believe in prayer, and I asked the Lord for this dress last week, and look what happened?"

As I stepped back into the dressing room to change back, she said, "Well, I was kind of tired of taking that dress on and off the mannequin, so I guess we both had an answered prayer today!"

I paid for my beautiful new dress and left the store. Getting into my car, I heard that soft voice say,

God: "See?"
Me: "See what?"
God: "If I can give you the dress you asked for 2 weeks ago, exactly how you wanted it, why worry that I am going to find you the perfect apartment?"
Me: "I don't know.... Because I'm dumb. Thank you for my dress though.... it is amazing"
God: "You're welcome, now stop fretting already!"
Me: "Ha ha, okay! But Lord, where am I going to where my new dress...?"

Sometimes I fret. I fret because the timeline set forth in my mind rarely matches the timeline God has for me. I fret because it is human nature. Because I want to have answers for everyone else. Because I want to have answers for myself. 

I longingly gazed at a beautiful dress everyday as I walked home from the bus stop. And the second time I did, I whispered to my Father that I wanted to have it.

He didn't answer back right away. But today He whispered back to me that I could have it. I'm sure glad I was listening. So as I go about this next adventure in my life, I am going to tell my Dad what I want, and then try and patiently wait for His answer. 

And I better be paying attention, because it will probably be a whisper....

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Big Dude, I Don't Like You,d.cGE&psig=AFQjCNGYCAlmfvL0XghFXer9VpYTszmrmA&ust=1377714518104959
Once upon a time, or something like that....

Dad has two boys. One day, the younger one decides he wants to party it up like a freshman frat boy. So he asks Dad for the cash that is coming to him. Dad obliges and Young Dude (younger brother) heads out to live it up with all the cool kids. All the while, Big Dude (older brother) is staying home, completing his due diligence. Sound familiar yet? I know you guys know this one... 

Well, Young Dude is cool and has a fan club while he has cash, and then when he is broke, his only friends are pigs and his only meal ticket is the trash can. Realizing that this has been a very bad idea, Young Dude heads home, knowing he has to eat some serious crow.

Young Dude arrives home with a tender, broken heart, and is received with love and compassion by Big Pops. However, Big Dude is less than pleased by this arrangement. Big Dude doesn't like the welcoming party for Young Dude, and sits outside nursing his wounds and hurt feelings. Big Pops notices this and goes out to talk with Big Dude. Apparently, Big Dude doesn't think that Young Dude should get a party. Big Dude thinks that HE should get the party. After all, he never left. He didn't waste his money. He stayed back and helped Big Pops.

Big Pops tries to explain that the party isn't to celebrate the poor decisions, it is to celebrate the return of Young Dude. Further more, if Big Dude had ever wanted a party, Big Pops reminds him that all he had to do was ask. Because all that belongs to Big Pops, also belongs to Big Dude. The story ends with Big Dude still being upset and everyone else celebrating the return of Young Dude.

For those of you who grew up in church, you will know that I am talking about the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15. However, Prodigal Son is too long and too many syllables for my liking, so I changed it to Young Dude. Also, Prodigal Son's Older Brother is an even longer title... so yeah, his name is Big Dude. I also feel that it is more forceful when I say "Big Dude" - not sure why, it just is.

I have read this story many times. I have heard it preached many times. Usually the main points sound something like this, "Don't be like the prodigal. Be like his brother. His brother gets the blessing because he stayed faithful. The older brother won't have the same consequences. The prodigal may received grace, but will still have life long consequences."

Now, a lot of what I have heard is true. Young Dude might have some serious stuff to work through because of what he did and where he went. Young Dude might not have the life he always wanted. n But, at the end of every single message that I have ever heard about this parable, I still come to the same conclusion. I still want to say the same thing to the same person. So here it is.... Here is what I want to say to the older brother every single time...

"Big Dude - I Don't Like You"
That's right, you heard me. Big Dude, I don't like you. I think you are a jerk. When you don't run in to hug your brother, I just want to punch you. Furthermore, I think you are selfish. (I also think you need to pull up your big girl panties and get over yourself...)
Big Dude, your ugly attitude is just as bad as the irresponsible behavior of Young Dude. You know what your attitude tells me Big Dude? It tells me that you weren't waiting for Young Dude to come home. It tells me you were finally happy to be top dog and you thought you were #1. Young Dude came home and you didnt even hug him... Big Dude, he is your BROTHER!! Man, what is wrong with you? Your priorities are out of whack. Your focus and your goal is on the wrong thing. You think it is all about being right? About being on top? About flying solo? Sorry Big Dude, that's not what it is all about in this life. I mean, Jesus tells us "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour." Now that Young Dude is back, think about what you can do together for Big Pops! But no, you wanted to be a martyr in your labor and then one day come out on top. Your selfish ambitions were squashed when Young Dude came back.
Big Dude, I feel sorry for you. You missed out on a killer party. You missed out on being there for Young Dude and Big Pops when they needed and WANTED you. You missed out on being happy.
Big Dude? You wasted your time. Because while Young Dude was out being stupid, you were feeling justified and righteous because you weren't being stupid. You spent all of your time stroking your own ego and pride when you could have been learning, growing, praying, loving and LIVING.
We all mess up. Nobody's mess up is better or worse than someone else's. We are supposed to fix our eyes on Jesus and encourage each other with His blessings, commandments and promises. This Christian life is not a competition to see who can be the best and have the fewest regrets. Because everytime we focus on our accomplishments or our failures, we are focusing on ourselves and not on HIM.
So Big Dude, as you can tell by now, I am not your biggest fan. I think you need a hard kick in the butt. And then you need to go hang with Young Dude. He needs you. Get over yourself and go serve Jesus already. That's all. Oh, and hug your bro. Thanks