Tag Archives: Faith

What did you say?


I was at the check out of a bookstore today and found myself in the middle of a rather amusing conversation. The customer behind me was looking for a particular product and, while the clerk was finishing my transaction, she asked the clerk where she could locate it. The clerk gave directions where to look, and when the customer found the location she began giving more details of what exactly she was hoping to find.

“Don’t you have any in a six pack? I was hoping to find them in a six pack- because who doesn’t want a ‘six pack,’ right!” *snicker*

The clerk looked at her, completely unamused, and replied in all seriousness, “A lot of people don’t really want a six pack.”

This is where I had to refrain from snickering. I realized the confusion (I’m not convinced the customer put it together). I had gotten her little joke, but apparently, the clerk did not.
The customer was referring to the type of “six pack” one develops when the abdominal muscles are toned and built up. I’m pretty sure the clerk thought she was referring to a six pack of beer- that just has to explain the look on her face.
So here where the three of us, all standing in a silent moment of awkward. I wanted to laugh, the customer was confused, and the clerk was rather unamused. So I left. Well, not quite that abruptly, but almost.

As I drove away, I began thinking through that little conversation. It made me think about how often we try to communicate something but end up misunderstanding one another. This seems to especially happen when it comes to faith. There are times when we are in conversation with one another but we have completely different definitions and meanings to the words we are using. This is what makes it so important for me to know how to explain what I believe- and why. When I am talking about my faith, it is not enough for me to assume the other person in the conversation understands all my words. I don’t want to end up in an awkward conversation when it comes to that which is so important to me…
Just a little thought.


Amazed (or Mark 2, part 2)


Yesterday I posted some thoughts from Mark 2:1-12, but I really only made it through part of the story. So here are a couple of thoughts on the rest of the story. Let me know what you think about the passage.

Mark 2:1-12

New Living Translation (NLT)

When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”

But some of the teachers of religious law who were sitting there thought to themselves, “What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!”

Jesus knew immediately what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk’? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”

And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!”

I’ve been thinking about this story in two parts. First, the friends and what they did to get the paralyzed man in front of Jesus. Second, I’m not sure Jesus’ response was what the guys were expecting.

It is pretty awesome to me that it is the faith of the friends that moves Jesus to respond. But I have been wondering if his first response was what the guys expected. At this point in the story, people have heard about Jesus healing people with incurable illnesses. So that makes me think the four guys were taking their friend to Jesus so he would heal him. But that was not Jesus’ first response. Did you read what Jesus said?

“My child, your sins are forgiven.”

It surprised people! I think it may have even surprised the four guys on the roof looking down. But here is what I think is significant about that.

Jesus knew what the guy really needed.

Even if his friends did not know the depth of the man’s need, Jesus knew and Jesus went straight to it. He went above and beyond their expectations. He takes care of the real issue (forgiveness of sin), and then Jesus turns back around and heals him physically too. People can’t believe it. They were amazed. I think the four friends had to be amazed as well!

So here is what this part of the story says to me:

Sometimes I don’t know what is needed, but Jesus does. And Jesus will do what only he can- if I will just go to him.

What about you- what does it say to you?


Counting On God


Last night we had a special service at our church. Since it is an extra time of gathering, we have not had our kids in the services but instead, the kids are gathering for their own worship and learning time.

One of the things we like to do when it’s just the kids is crazy songs with lots of actions! They really like to dance around and sing super loud. Well, one of the songs we did last night is a song we often sing as a whole congregation. The music video started and most of the kids jumped out of their chairs yelling, “I love this one!” and began singing as loud as they could. It was pretty impressive. They really liked the song!

Well, when it was done, I asked them, “So what are you counting on God for? We just got done singing over and over, ‘Counting on God, I am counting on God.’ So what is in your life that you are counting on God to do?”

Their answers were amazing. A few were of course a little silly! But for the most part, they were identifying relationship that they are trusting God to take care of, friends who they are trusting God to care for, and needs for which they believe whole heatedly that God will provide. It was encouraging and challenging to me.

So my question for you today is the same, What are you counting on God for? What is happening in your life that all you can say is “I am counting on God!”