October 25, 2015
My friend Joe was facing great challenges in his job. Demand had recently spiked for the product his company manufactured. At almost the same time, the supplier of a major component had problems with its manufacturing process, and stopped shipping until the problem could be corrected. The pressure was on to meet deadlines that were looming. On top of all this, Joe’s boss was difficult to work for, and several co-workers had quit or transferred to other departments, leaving Joe’s department short-handed, short-supplied, and his boss even more short-tempered than usual. Joe started having nightmares.
One night, as Joe wrestled with his dreams, his wife became alarmed. He was thrashing in the bed, and talking in his sleep. She couldn’t make out words or sentences, but she knew he was having another nightmare. She tried to wake him as gently as she could. “Joe, honey, are you okay? You’re having a bad dream.” Joe’s eyes flew open and he said, “I’m okay. Trust me.” His wife’s face must have looked like she didn’t quite believe him, so he added, “I know you can’t trust me right now, but just trust me.”
Have you ever faced an overwhelming challenge that scared the living daylights out of you? Continue reading
October 11, 2015
From Three Little Kittens, illustrated by Lilian Oblgado © 1974 by Random House, Inc.
When our boys were little, they loved to read books. Well, they loved to have us read books to them anyway. One of our favorites was a beautifully illustrated version of “The Three Little Kittens.” One of the kittens in this story wore a green plaid coat. This was the kitten who was never happy. Arms crossed, brow furrowed, the kitten in the green plaid coat looked stubborn and rebellious. Whenever one of our boys started to pout about something, we’d tell him, “you look like the kitten in the green plaid coat” and he’d know exactly what we meant.
I think, at some point or another in our lives, each of us might be the kitten in the green plaid coat. We rebel a little bit when we don’t get what we want. We pout. We cross our arms and frown, and refuse to be happy. We resist the rules. We dislike authority. That’s why we have trouble with the Ten Commandments. We see God’s rule for life as too restrictive. But God didn’t put these words into place to keep us from being happy. God has something else in mind for each of us. God’s plan is to be with us, to live life with us.
The Big Idea of the whole Bible is God’s declaration, “I want to come down and dwell with you. I want to live among the people I created specifically for that purpose.” Even though humans messed up that plan at the very beginning, God is still working to make it happen. Continue reading