A Catch for every morning

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I was working on a Catch at a local coffeehouse when a bus rolled by with a sign: “There’s a McDonald’s for every morning.” It got me thinking, and a few minutes later I had written this poem. I hope you enjoy it, and that it will make you smile… givepray… whatever is appropriate. Thank you for helping keep us going.

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Get up and get out

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Your mission today, and every day, (should you choose to accept it), is to get yourself up out of bed and throw yourself out into the world. That’s right: Get up and get out.

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What’s your horse?

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I have not seen the motion picture, “True Grit,” but I have noticed a few favorable reviews, one of which lauded the moralistic virtue that comes through the film especially embodied in the character of young Maddie. The review quoted her as saying: “My father would want me to be firm in the right, as he always was.” And then… “The Author of all things watches over me … and I have a good horse.”

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Church after the flood

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Yesterday there was an article in the Los Angeles Times about church last Sunday at the First United Methodist Church in Dickinson, Texas. The week before Pastor Jack Matkin had canceled Sunday services due to the growing floodwaters. When the sun finally came out there was two feet of water inside the church building that was only six years old. All week long volunteers from Dickinson and all over Texas went to work pumping out the water and removing everything that was wet. By Saturday night the building was mostly dry with piles of pews, files and debris stacked outside, but a homemade sign was hung there, “WORSHIP SUNDAY AT 11.”

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Love beyond reason

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Conflict is an inevitable part of life — a function of being connected to one another. If we were more open to embracing conflict instead of avoiding it we all would be voices of reconciliation, showing those around us that conflict is more than an opportunity to learn and grow and often to grow closer, but also an opportunity to recognize the contrast of who we are compared to the Lord and his amazing grace. This requires us to recognize we are sinners — all of us — and not just minor sinners compared to the great big SINS of others; we have to recognize that we cannot be better people trying really hard to do good for God, but that it is through us real sinners that the Lord chooses to work.

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Close to you

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Remember this one by the Carpenters? It should be a theme song for Christians as a reminder of what we want to do with people….celebrate their uniqueness and get close to them.

Someone asked what to do with an atheist friend with lots of objections to Christianity. Well first and last, you love her. Then you realize she is seeking the same God you know. She may be a Christian on a path to truth, and though that path may look like it is aimlessly winding nowhere, as far as God is concerned, it’s a straight line to Him.

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No longer dodging Jesus

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I understand why Marti is asking that I stop avoiding conflict. How can I sing a new song of deliverance to those who have no hope, if, at the same time, I insist on remaining comfortable among those who do?

 She reminded me of my early Christian days where I was honored to be part of a movement built around songs of salvation. We were personally involved in ministries of mercy and issues of compassion and significance. We took on the voice of the prophets, penetrating into those aspects of our culture where the truth of God had a sure and true word for us. We articulated the vision of a radical kind of Christian discipleship. Our voices shined the light of God on the darkness of racism and injustice, and we awoke others to the realities of poverty and corruption.

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‘They will in a minute…’

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I love the story of the young kindergartener who, when asked by her teacher what she was going to create for her art project proudly announced she was going to draw a picture of God. To which the teacher announced, “But no one knows what God looks like.”

“They will in a minute,” came the bold reply.

She’s right, you know. She’s about to paint what God looks like to her, in her imagination, and she will be right. Not that God is relative to everyone’s idea of Him, but that He is so multifaceted that no one picture can capture all of Him, nor can all of the pictures together make Him up.

She is also right about the fact that we bring God to people, not only because are we are in His image, but because He dwells in us by faith.

What I love most assuredly about this statement is its audacity. “Oh, they’ll know all right, because I am about to reveal Him to them.” Would that we were all that confident about our ability to represent Christ to the world.

This was a major part of Christ’s role while on earth — to represent God to the world. “He who has seen me has seen the Father” He said many times.

Our task is no less significant. If part of Jesus’ purpose was to reveal God to us, part of ours is to reveal Jesus to others. “Christ in you, the hope of glory,” Paul wrote.

What a great thing to focus on as you prepare to go into your day today: “No one knows what God looks like,” we can say to ourselves, “but they will in a minute…”

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