Wednesday, June 17, 2009

it ain't easy.

I had a thought. And this is it-- We've gotten so use to things in life being easy, that when things get hard, we think something is wrong.

I think we're mistaken.

Who ever said life was suppose to be easy?? More specifically, the Christian life. Jesus never said it would be easy. In fact, this is what He said:

"If the world hates you, know that is has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." John 15:18-19

"Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles.... Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name's sake." Matthew 10:16-22

"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few." Matthew 7:13-14

But why is the narrow gate so hard?? Why is it hard to follow Christ??

Because He requires everything of us.

"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple....So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:26-27;33

It is more than simply giving Christ a part of your life. It's giving Him everything. And that is hard. It's more than giving Him Sunday morning. It's more than giving Him 10%. It's more than saying the right prayers and following the rules. Following Christ is realizing that there is absolutely NOTHING on this earth that compares to Him and living accordingly.

I think of the disciple's. For example, Peter & Andrew and James & John (Matthew 4:18-22). Peter and Andrew were casting a net into the sea. Christ said "Follow me". And Scripture tells us they immediately left their nets and followed him. As they were walking, they passed James and John, in their boat fishing with their father. Jesus called to them and "Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him."

So then I try to picture myself in that situation. I'm pretty sure this is how it would play out: Let's say I'm at work. At the Vineyard (the christian bookstore i used to work at). Jesus comes in. "Hey Megan, come with me." My response, "Jesus. Fancy seeing you here. But, can you hold on just a minute? I'm right in the middle of trying to convince this customer to buy this awesome ESV study bible.... oh hey, I bet you could help me sell it to them!! But then sure, I can come with you. Well, I don't get off work for another 5 hours, but maybe I could talk with my boss. Um, but where exactly are we going?? I should probably run by my apartment to get a few things. Then I will come with you. Well, actually, just so you know... I have to be back at work tomorrow at 8am."

I just simply cannot imagine stopping what I was doing and leaving EVERYTHING (and everyone) behind without question. Oh sure, it's easy to THINK or tell ourselves that we would. But you know, even though Jesus can't physically come up to us and tell us to literally follow Him, as a believer the same thing is required of us as was required of the disciples. We ARE called to drop everything and follow Him. He might not tell each of us to sell our homes or to leave our families. But we all must LOVE Him more than any of those things. If we love Him and seek to glorify Him as we should, we would not hesitate to walk away from and give up anything else.

I heard a preacher (I believe it was Paul Washer) say that he disagrees when people say we must seek to make God number 1 in our life. To make Him number 1 implies He is simply first on a list with many things following. We should not seek to make Him number 1 in our life--- He should be ALL of our life. It's not God first and then this or that. It's simply God. He is everything. And He requires we give Him all of ourself. Like the widow.

"And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, "Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing tot he offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in EVERYTHING SHE HAD, all she had to live on." Mark 12: 41-44

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

restaurant fun in haiti...

it doesn't so much matter what you ordered or what you want. you just take what you get.

I was at a restaurant with some friends. one friend and i decided to try the pizza. we wanted a medium pepperoni pizza. we were told they couldn't serve us a medium, only a large. for whatever reason- their medium pizza pan just wasn't working... only the large. okay. then we'll take a large pepperoni pizza. come to find out, they are out of pepperoni too. (please note- we weren't just making up things that we wanted, we made our choices off of a menu). okay. then we'll just take a cheese. she then asks if we want anything on it. yes, we do. we wanted pepperoni but you told us you didn't have any so we settled for cheese. we finally get the pizza ordered. unsure of what we were going to end up with. we got a large pizza with green onions and tomato.

at another restaurant. we were a fairly large group. our orders are pretty simple, mostly sticking with cheese burgers & chicken sandwiches, with a few exceptions. i ordered a ham sandwich. the waiter brought out about half of the orders and we had to wait a little longer for the rest. the other orders kinda came out one at a time. a lady was brought her club sandwich. the waiter was also holding a chicken sandwich. we told him no one else was waiting on a chicken sandwich. he walks away. then comes back, still holding the chicken sandwich. he then tells her that what he gave her wasn't the club, he accidently gave her the chicken. except, it didn't look anything like the other 6 chicken sandwiches that were ordered. and what was in front of her and exactly what the menu said a club sandwich would have. we just shooed him away and told him it was fine. though he insisted she had the wrong thing. me and one other girl are waiting for our ham sandwiches. the waiter comes holding two plates. he says one is a ham sandwich, i take it. he says the other is a club. we told him we were needing another ham, not club. so then he just changes the name of it. oh, well, then this IS the ham sandwich. my ham sandwich had no ham on it. just cheese, lettuce and tomato. her ham sandwich was actually the club.

Epi'dor is fun because you never really know what you are going to get to drink. they might be out of coke, but they don't tell you that. they just let you order a coke, then they hand you a luke-warm fruit drink. or, from our team's experience--- you try to clarify that you want a coke to drink, and they yell at you telling you that a coke comes w/ the meal. yet the people before you didn't clarify they wanted a coke, and they ended up with.... something else. or, you say "two cokes" and the receipt says "one coke one sprite". you just never know.