Archive for July 2009

Biscuits of Life

garchsbiscuitsYes, I did indeed eat 18 of them.

Year’s ago, Denise and I went to Red Lobster in San Diego for our anniversary. It was a grand evening for two broke bible college students to splurge and ‘live it up’ for a night. Just so you know, I have a thing for Red Lobster. I always get the Admiral’s Feast and I load up on those amazing, little garlic butter biscuits that they serve with the meal. And when I say ‘load up’, I really do mean it.

On this particular evening I was pretty feisty and jokingly bonding well with our server. I asked her to keep those hot little rolls coming because I am ‘quite fond of them.’ Well, she did. She kept them coming, and I kept eating them. And eating them. And eating them. I also ate my entire Admiral’s Feast (the sin of gluttony, I know, I know).

To make matters worse (or better so I thought), when the meal was over and we were getting ready to go, I asked our server if she could sneak us a baggie of those little biscuits to go! She did. Bonus!

On the way back to our beach cottage, I ate some more of the buttery goodness. A few more were consumed while settling in for our romantic evening together. While my beautiful bride was snuggling up with her Admiral (that’s me), I was beginning to feel something swirling in my stomach, and it was not good. I officially had a big gut-ache. Upon further review we determined that I had single-handedly eaten…wait for it…wait for it…18 Red Lobster biscuits. Yes, I did indeed eat 18 of them!!!

In John 6, shortly after Jesus and the disciples feed over 5000 people with bread and fish, they gathered again on the other side of the lake and Jesus said some important words to his team:

“You are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you” (John 6:26,27).

I believe Jesus is challenging his disciples (which includes us) to work for that which lasts – the stuff of eternal life. So often we look to Jesus to only get our fill rather than partnering with to see the miraculous happen in the lives of others. The disciples had just had the opportunity to join him in feeding over 5000 people with a very little amount of food, which is nothing short of a miracle. And now, one day later, they are coming to Jesus looking for more food for their belly’s. Jesus called them and continues to call us to something greater.

There has got to be more to life than eating 18 Red Lobster biscuits.

Imagine how many people don’t have any bread while I was gorging on mine. Worse yet, imagine how often we gorge on the presence of God while there are so many that have yet to experience it for themselves. Perhaps all they need is for those of us that enjoy Jesus greatly to simply share with it with them!

Jesus is the Bread of Life and he wants to be freely shared with others.

Maybe the old saying by Martin Luther is true: “We are one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.”

Direction Determines Destination

PioneerSignOrchard Heights Road kinda bugs me. I know I’ve been living in Salem for about 6 months now but I still can’t seem to figure out which way is which on that particular road. I’m constantly having to pull out onto Orchard Heights from the smaller side streets and every time I do I sit there for a moment and wonder: “Which way do I go?” If I go one way it leads me back to the church or to our home but if I go the other way it leads to…who knows where! Actually it leads to Wallace Road and I only go there if I must (because it’s always packed with cars)!

If my wife is with me she instantly knows which direction to go. She’s a keeper.

But me, well…thank God for my Garmin GPS. You see, I am directionally challenged. I am a man that gets lost. But the crazy thing is that I rarely know that I’m lost WHILE I’m getting lost – it occurs to me only after I am officially lost. I wish I would realize it WHILE! It would be great to have that moment of clarity 100 or so yards after going past the point of not-lostness…then I could back the car up and get back on track. But no…the revelation of lostness occurs to me much later and takes me much farther!

When you want to get to a particular destination you better know what direction you are going. Direction determines destination.

Not intention. Intentions are not enough.

Intention says: “I want to go to Canada.” If that is my destination then I would be foolish to hop onto the I-5 Freeway heading SOUTH. That happens to be the direction to…um…Mexico. To get to Canada I must go NORTH. Direction determines destination, not just simple intentions (as pure as they may be).

In any organization, including that of a church, we must know what our destination is then take active steps to go that direction. Good intention is not enough. The same is true for our personal lives. I can’t tell you how many folks I encounter that want be in a specific place spiritually or relationally and yet fail to purposely go that direction. It is what I call The Great Disconnect. The destination does not match the direction. The beliefs are disconnected from the behavior.

God, through his Scripture, has given us a map for charting our direction. I want to continue digging into the Bible to discover where we are going!