Originally preached Sunday, July 1, 2018
Storms. Growing up in Arizona, I have experienced storms, but not that many. A few stand out in my memory—once sitting in the basement of my Grandpa’s house in SE Colorado with my cousin. She lived in Long Beach and I grew up here, so we thought we knew about thunderstorms, but we found out we did not. We sat on the edge of my bed together, jumping whenever a particularly loud clap of thunder would assault the sky, causing everything to vibrate with the air shocks. I did not know what I was afraid of—didn’t really think I would drown, although I was below ground in the basement . . . I didn’t really think the house might blow away, although I grew up trembling during the Wizard of Oz movie . . . I was just afraid. It was truly frightening, and I know many of you out there have felt the same way. [Read more…]
Have you ever picked up a beautiful ripe, red strawberry because you remember how good they taste? And then been surprised because it . . . didn’t? Or took a bite of an apple and got grossed out because it looked perfect, but it was mushy?
Once I ordered some balls for our gym here—soccer balls and a red rubber ball—the kind you play 4-square with. When they arrived in the mail, I thought hmmmmm that’s a mighty small box. I bet I have to inflate them. And I did. The soccer balls are still somewhere in the gym (probably on top of the score board), but the red rubber ball? It fit in my hand. Not at all what I thought I was getting.
Expectations. Disappointments. Prejudices. [Read more…]
Originally preached Sunday, June 10, 2018
Last December I had the opportunity to learn first hand what it is like—I take that back—I was REMINDED of something I would rather not contemplate—and that is how fragile we are. How easily broken. I broke a part of me—a part I use every day—and I had to have surgery to repair it, and it has taken 6 months to begin to regain just a tiny bit of what I used to be able to do before. And the ironic thing is, when I broke it, all I was doing was something I used to do all the time! I was just playing ball in the gym. But in retrospect, I was also reminded that while participating in things I love to do, in the past I have also broken other things: teeth while playing soccer and my nose while diving, and my thumb playing football. A friend broke her wrist while we were twirling on the grass and another friend broke his knee while we were playing Red Rover. Were we more accident prone than other kids? Probably not. I guess I just have a habit of forgetting that we are fragile vessels.
And look at our media—the focus on our bodies—all the ads for products that whiten our teeth, smooth our skin, reduce our size (ahem), make us smell better (thank you), things that companies try to sell us to make us FEEL better, clothes to buy that will make us happier and like the way we look in the mirror . . . You know what I’m talking about.
All of that is because WE ARE FRAGILE VESSELS. We are easily broken, and never satisfied with them. We are incomplete on our own. We are “less than.” By design. By plan. By God’s plan. [Read more…]