Bite Me, Joel Osteen

'VATICAN SURPRISE' photo (c) 2005, Tim Engleman - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Bite Me, Joel Osteen.

My Best Life Now? Seriously?

Does that best life include:

My sleep apnea

My wife’s:

Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, and allergies so bad she can’t breathe through her nose for months on end?

My son’s chronic back problems?

Loved ones dying of cancer?

What part of this is “best,” Joel?

“But, bless God, brother,” you say. “You just need to take a hold of it.” Well, d’oh! What do you think I’ve been doing? Playing tiddlywinks? I pray–I believe–everyday.

You say “Well maybe you just don’t have faith? Pray for faith, brother.” Doing this, too, bro.

Everyday.

By my reckoning, I’d say that I have much the same faith as:

Abraham–who died without receiving his inheritance

Gideon–who twice laid out his fleece before God

Barak–who wouldn’t go fight unless Deborah accompanied him

David–who killed Uriah to cover up his sin

Job–who suffered it seems so God could win a bet with the devil

The Apostle Paul–who was shipwrecked, stoned (with actual rocks, not pot), and cast adrift in the open ocean

It seems to me, Joel, that their hope was not in having the best life now, but in having a blessed life now.

Which meant walking with God, and trusting him, through hard things. Not being delivered from those hard things, but rather being delivered through them.

Because it seems to me that having the best life now means having a hope in the hereafter, where “He [God] will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4, ESV).

Bite me, Joel Osteen: the best is yet to be.

Prayer Request

All, if you could please be praying for my wife, Lisa, at 1:15 EDT today. She’s having a procedure done to reduce the extreme swelling in her nose. We are truly hoping this gives her some relief.

Thanks and God bless you all.

Does Your Jesus Taste Good?

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Bloggers are a weird lot. Literally anything can inspire a post. This
past Sunday at church, as I was taking communion, I thought “Jesus tastes good.” Then I thought why don’t the majority of folks agree with this assessment? Is it because of us–because of me–leaving a bad taste in people’s mouths? Are we like Moses at the waters of Meribah, misrepresenting God? Is he angry with us because of it? Someone (I don’t recall who–maybe Louie Giglio) once said:

“Christians are the single biggest cause of atheism in the world. They acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the [church] door and deny him with their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”

I agree with that assessment, and am ashamed to admit that it’s true of me: I live far more for my comfort than I have concern for the fate of lost humanity. In fact, much of my thought this week has been spent wondering how I’m going to repair and/or replace the one of my TV’s. As priorities go, that one’s pretty low on the list.

Yet it vexes me. But there’s a whole lost, starving, poor world out there that I give little or no thought to. A wretched creature of habit am I. I get put out when something, or someone interferes with my T.V. watching plans (I watch three shows–stay out of my way, and get off my lawn!).

So, you see: the problem is me.

I am what an unbelieving world finds unbelievable. I am why more people are disinclined to find that Jesus “tastes good.” God forgive me.

How about you? Do you give off the sweet-smelling savor of his presence, or like me radiate the aroma of selfishness?

Does your Jesus “taste good?”

Buddy the Elf Likes Sugar. Do You?

If you’ve seen the movie Elf, then you know that Buddy (perfectly
played by Will Ferrell) likes sugar. Likes it so much that he puts
Maple syrup on spaghetti!

The dialog in the scene goes like this:

“Do you like sugar?”

“Is there sugar in syrup?”

“Yes.”

“Then I like sugar very much.”

'still-of-will-ferrell-in-elf-large-picture' photo (c) 2012, travis - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

———————–

I guess I’m like Buddy in that I, too “like sugar very much.” I’m
especially drawn to it in times of stress, when sleep has been
fleeting, when life is hard. I’m sure there’s solid science behind
this–the way sugar lights up the brain’s pleasure centers, etc.
That’s what keeps me coming back. I know sugar isn’t good for me, and
did at one time drop forty pounds from my frame by restricting my
intake of it…

But it might as well be cocaine–because it makes me, for a time at
least, feel good. But what goes up must come down: the “sugar crash”
comes altogether too soon. Leaving me looking for more… Sugar! So I
chase pizza with a candy bar, a soda, etc.

And isn’t that just like human nature to turn time and time again to
things that just aren’t good for us? It could be food, drink, sex,
sin… Wherever we look apart from God for solace, comfort,
significance, for that warm ooey, gooey rush that floods our dopamine
receptors and dulls our common sense.

Today alone, I’ve had three Krispy Kreme Original Glazed doughnuts,
and the equivalent of a pot of coffee (it takes quite awhile to build
up that level of caffeine tolerance). It’s not good, but it’s my
crutch to get me by because–especially since my wife and kids have
been ill–I haven’t been getting nearly enough sleep.

I know I need to cut it all off, but I don’t want to, am afraid to.
Where would my energy come from during the day? Maybe–and this is
crazy–God meant it when he said that his grace was sufficient? But
how come I don’t trust him, and keep shoveling sugar down my gullet,
following it with quarts of coffee? Maybe, just maybe, his strength
really is perfected in my weakness?

Could be. Could very well be.

But how about you? What’s your “sugar?”

Do You Suffer From Allergies?

Do you suffer from allergies?

I ask because my wife has them pretty severely–to the point where her breathing is obstructed.

What have you done to get relief, which remedies do you use? Are there any natural/homeopathic medicines that have worked, or do you stick to over-the-counter/prescription drugs?

I’ve been all over the Internet, looking at this, that, and the other, and thought I would just ask you, my faithful readers.

Where your allergies are concerned, how do you spell relief?

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