Posted tagged ‘miracles’

Spiritually-Addicted Christians

December 14, 2018

WORDS FROM W.W.                                         December 14, 2018

                  

“It’s spiritually dead here!” explains the middle-aged woman to me.

“How so?”

“Nothing ever happens here!” she says, using her hands to exaggerate the point.

“Nothing of God ever happens here. Is that what you’re saying?”

“Yes, Pastor! It’s dead!”

“I’d beg to differ with you.”

“You’re the pastor. I would expect you to disagree!”

“Like last Saturday morning when the men’s bible study group prayed for a problem that Bobby was dealing with, and then we gathered around him and hugged him, and gave him encouragement! Or last week when I was out changing the letters on the church sign, and I got into a conversation with an 84 year old lady who lives a block away from our church. A few of us are going to walk up to her house and trim her bushes and fix her screen door next Saturday! Or last Sunday when Patty brought out something from the scripture story we were studying that caused a light bulb to go on in the minds of a few of us. I’m not sure what criteria you’re using to determine whether God’s involved or not, but those were all signs to me.”

She looked at me and bit her lip.

“Say it!” I urged her.

“Those things just aren’t very exciting, pastor! I’m looking for miracles and people who love the Lord, and I’m just not seeing much of that here.”

“So…have you been to see Widow Samuels? Because, even though she is in a care center now, whenever I go to visit her I experience a spiritual blessing and marvel at her love for the Lord.”

“I don’t really like those kind of places.”

“And last week I was sitting beside Joe Skinner’s bed and talking about the end of his life, his looking forward to experiencing the glory of the Lord in heaven, and how God has walked with him through a multitude of life valleys.”

“Those aren’t the things I’m talking about, Pastor. I’m talking about spiritual highs!”

“So you’re an addict?”

“Excuse me!”

“You’re a spiritual addict, whose addiction can only be satisfied by an experience that is high energy and high emotion.”

“I knew you’d blame me!”

“I’m not blaming you for anything. I’m just stating what the situation is. You don’t seem to see God working in our midst unless something awesome happens. What is awesome, however, has to be defined by your standards. Am I right?”

“No, you aren’t right!”

“Then we will just agree to disagree. The spiritual life I’m seeing is different than what you’re looking for. I mean no disrespect in saying this but there are some people who go to an amusement park and define its impact by how many roller coasters it has and how thrilling they are. When I go to an amusement park I evaluate it on being able to ride the merry-go-round with my grandkids. Different perspectives, neither which is wrong.”

“I’m not addicted, though!”

“And I’m not spiritually bored! So, I guess we’re both where we need to be!”

She smirks, starts to say something, but then turns and walks away. She has moved on to the next church down the road. 

Five years after the conversation she has moved on three other times. Sometimes, it seems, we minimize the power of God by not allowing him to be involved in our rhythms of life. There is a hunger- an addiction, if you will- to wanting to see smoke on the mountaintop while missing the nearness of His presence.

Pregnancy Stories

December 5, 2013

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                 December 5, 2013

 

                                     

 

     When pregnant women converge it is best for men to keep some distance! That isn’t because the women become violent, but rather that they share a bond together that, try as we may, men don’t quite understand. Pregnant women speak a different language. They talk about baby names, breastfeeding, the doctor who will deliver the baby, “Babies-R-Us”, labor pains, and swelled ankles. 

     Most men want to talk about some of those things, but only with the woman that is going to give birth to their child. Men rarely mix conversation of deer hunting season, the BCS football national championship game, and the best tires to buy for their vehicles with talk about 2 A.M. feedings and what they will do to pass the time in the birthing room. 

     When I read the birth narrative story in Luke I notice the moment where Mary greets expectant Elizabeth. She has been told by the angel that Elizabeth is pregnant and is “in her sixth month.” (Luke 1:36b)

     The story proceeds this way:

   “At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored that the mother of my Lord should come to me?’” (Luke 1:39-43)

     There was a bond between two pregnant women, and more than that, a revelation within both of them as to what was going on- an old woman expecting her first child, and a virgin impossibly pregnant. They begin speaking a new kind of language that only the two of them could understand. Something of the Lord was happening in each of their lives. 

     It was an improbable meeting. Elizabeth great with child, and Mary, were assuming, just beginning her pregnancy. For three months they shared pregnancy stories, but more than that, shared stories about expectancy…what was God going to do through their two sons!