I’m supposed to love the idiots?

In a very light and slightly judgy situation, I was reminded of my favorite chapter in the entire Bible. I’ll leave it to you to look it up, but I’ll point you in the right direction at least… it’s between Psalm 140 and 146. There, that’ll give ya somethin’ to do after this!

The particular verse that came to my mind was one about God having compassion and mercy for everything He’s made. To confess honestly, I don’t have compassion and mercy for everything He’s made. This revelation came to light today at the dog park…

The story starts with me and my rule-following personality, which can definitely be a nuisance for me and anyone I annoy with my tattletaling. So I drive up to the dog park and within a stretch of about 60 or 70 feet of roadside grass, there are 2 signs which couldn’t say more clearly not to park on the grass. It’s not for me to understand why the city or county has made this a rule, but nonetheless the rule exists. So of course, there are going to be people that think rules don’t apply to them. The rebels.

Exhibit 1:

I happened to be parking (not on grass) as the black car pulled up to park. I immediately started making a mental list of burns I’d use about his idiotic disregard for the rules. Sidenote: I love making lists. I had time to cool off, though, while I was at the park with the dogs and that’s when I was reminded about God being patient and loving towards most things He made. Wait, I’m kidding, the Bible says all things. So if I’m striving to live a life pleasing to Him, I should be loving towards all things He’s made… but man some people make it a real chore! Like the owners of these two cars, who’s combined IQ, if converted to Fahrenheit, wouldn’t melt an ice cube.

And that red car is a Prius. Psssshhh, they don’t care about the earth at all, parking right on top of the lovely grass. #PriusFail

Later, I thought a better idea than using a snide remark would be to say something like, “Hey, not sure if you knew this but we’re not supposed to be parking on the grass.” Simple enough right? The tattooed Californian would then get all huffy and puffy (wouldn’t he?) and I’d explain by saying that “if we don’t abide by the rules set before us, that’s when privileges get taken away. You’ve been a 3-year-old before, right? It’s the same thing.” He’d be offended and for the rest of his days he’d think about how right he is for doing his own thing, for blazing his own path, for being a hero… or whatever.

But to circle back to the point of all this, I learned that even people that really annoy me are loved by God, and I should love them, too. Even if they’re idiots who drive a Prius or come from California.

-Out of the Wilderness

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The first Bachelor contestant, Adam

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Does anyone else’s mind wander during church sometimes? Only me? OK then! That’ll give me something to confess the next time I’m in prayer.

“God, I’m sorry for thinking about ABC’s The Bachelor and what if Adam was the contestant picking from 25 women. I know it’s weird. Thank you for loving me anyway.”

…is pretty much how that prayer would go.

Today in church there was a brief mention of Adam and Eve, and my mind ran with it. Somehow Adam became the star of The Bachelor and Eve was just one of the 25 women competing to guard and protect his heart, which leads to a flurry of questions:

Where would the other 24 women come from?

Would they all be vegetarians?

They’re already in a beautiful garden, so where’re the “exotic” dates?

Who is “there for the right reasons”?

I can see the first caravan of camels pulling up now. Adam, here are the first five women… Mary, Esther, Sarah, Ruth, and Jezebel, who simply winks and says, “Let’s do the d*mn thing.” Adam looks off to the side, “Boy, am I in trouble.” The next five arrive: Rahab, Zilpah, Ashleigh R., Ashley K., and Ashlee M. He whispers under his breath, “So many Ashley’s.” On and on it goes and maybe Eve doesn’t arrive till the final five, since the host (God) wants to save the best for last.

Adam notices Eve right off the bat so she gets the first impression rose. He feels like somehow she’s already a part of him. Get it? Ok, anyway. The first date card arrives…

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So that date will end badly. A combination of fruit, a snake, and all the contestants are banished from the paradise mansion in Eden…FOREVER!!!!! No Bachelor Pad, no Bachelor in Paradise, and dare I say not even an episode of The Women Tell All. But there is a wedding. Adam eventually picks Eve and they get married.

Years go by and many more seasons of The Bachelor, then along comes the star of the first Bachelorette season ever, Ruth! You can read her story in the Bible but I’ll say this, it includes a sizzling overnight encounter!

-Out of the Wilderness

 

What changed with the roosters?

I wanted to write up an extremely insightful post about the deep spiritual message about Peter in the last few days of Jesus’s life on earth. Something about the time between when the rooster crowed and when he ran to the tomb to see if what he’d heard was true, that Jesus wasn’t there.

You see, Peter was a disciple, a devout follower of Jesus, and was willing to die for Him, as recorded in Luke 22:33. So I am trying to put myself in Peter’s position, with such a confidence in my relationship with Jesus.

Then you get to the part where a rooster crows and everything changes. Fast forward to a few days later and women who had gone to visit Jesus’s dead body in the tomb report that HIs body is no longer there. Those women tell the disciples and who was it running to the tomb? Peter.

So my questions for you are these:

  1. What happened in Peter’s mind and heart between the rooster crowing and the empty tomb?
  2. How can this part of Jesus’s life and story, relating to Peter and his own personal journey, be applied to our lives today, in 2018?

I’d truly love to get a conversation going in the comments and I will definitely be anxiously awaiting your take!

-Out of the Wilderness

Driving by the Golden Rule

In church today we discussed the meaning of the parable Jesus uses in Mark 4, which says in part, “By the measure you use, it will be measured and added to you.” To translate, it’s the Golden Rule, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”

I didn’t feel convicted until I thought about my experience on the road. Not necessarily how I drive, but my attitude while I’m driving. I’m very decisive (totally opposite of how I am normally, which is quirky), and in turn I expect every other driver to be decisive, too.

With that in mind, here’s the catch: I don’t extend much grace or forgiveness to any other drivers, but I expect it in full from them.

Basically I act like I’m right you’re wrong, and if you can’t make a decision just get out of the way. I also get angry, anxious, impatient, perturbed, fed up when motorists think laws don’t apply to them. I’m very legalistic when it comes to obeying the rules of the road. Check out Steve McQueen here…

In the moments following this Hell’s Angel’s disregard for the law, nothing I thought about was very Golden Rulish.

So now I have something to work on while I’m in the car. Extending grace. Forgiving these inferior drivers. Not honking so much. Hitting the brakes to let someone make up for their idiotic decision.

I know there’s a place for administering justice and correction, so I guess I can be praying for discretion and discernment on which battles to fight, and which to let go.

-Out of the Wilderness

Trusting God to sustain

…at times the path way has been steep and rocky, sometimes treacherous even, but by going to Him in prayer, in medication, in reading His word, He has sustained me EVERY TIME.
Grand-daddy Davis

My grandfather wrote those words to me in 1991, not knowing that 26 years later his grandson would be self-employed and learning what “sustain” really means. And I love that he capitalized “EVERY TIME.” It’s like having a best friend that never can’t hang out,  that won’t ever decline to show up. I also love to think about God using this definition from dictionary.com

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That’s what God promises to do for us. Amazing! It’s so much farther beyond just the physical (money, food, etc), too. It’s also emotional, spiritual, sanity, temper, fear, anxiety, worry. This whole interest in God as sustainer and provider really gained traction this year, 2017. But I guess the story dates back to when I was laid off a couple years ago (early 2015). That year flew by as I rode out my severance package. 2016 was an adventurous year as I pursued less traditional forms of income (I wrote a book!). When 2017 rolled around it was a lot like the previous year, until tax season.

You dropped a bomb on me!

I didn’t realize how much I’d owe till I totaled up everything from 2016. And I also tithe around tax season, so my checking account was about to take a hefty hit. Thankfully, I survived… though there’s a water line on the wall of my checking account, much like when a flood recedes. This line here is how much you used to have… now, you’re waaaaaaaaay down here.

So as I was monitoring my accounts more closely, I began praying more earnestly. What does the Bible say about who to trust, who will provide, and all that? Well, the answer is easy: God. But I guess when I was on a salary, I never really thought about that sort of stuff. The checks go in automatically, the health coverage is taken care of, there’s not a scramble to make ends meet.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Matthew 6:26

This is the year of trusting God to sustain me, like Grand-daddy did. The first real example was tax season, like I mentioned. But then not too long after that, my computer froze up. One Apple computer later, I was actually excited to get to trust God for a way to keep working (I edit videos as part of my income) and at the same time, not losing my mind out of frustration!

Don’t get me wrong, I have a long way to go. It’s a daily thing, and often I’m like:

But I love Proverbs 23 and 30 that have two great advices…

“Don’t wear yourself out to get rich; stop giving your attention to it.” Then in chapter 30, “Give me neither poverty nor wealth; feed me with the food I need. Otherwise, I might have too much and deny You, saying, ‘Who is the LORD?’; or I might have nothing and steal, profaning the name of my God.”

I think we all have an opportunity each day to trust God to sustain us. And it’s amazing, SO AMAZING, when we recognize Him doing it.

-Out of the Wilderness

 

Baby, You’re the One

If I can be transparent with you for a moment, being single in my mid-thirties is sometimes difficult. Granted, it’s been mostly my choice all along the way but the resolve to ‘not settle’ brings questions. Mostly the “there must be something wrong with you” kind. It can come from friends, parents, and especially the voices inside your own head! That’s why I’m thankful for 1. the Bible. For an example,  one of the most Godly guys to ever live, Paul, says that he hopes we can all be single like him. And 2. music. I recently remembered a song I loved in the mid-90s that is encouraging to me today, almost 20 years later. I may be single the rest of my life, and I’d count that as a blessing, but it would also be a blessing to find a best friend to share the last few years of my life (sarcasm… I hope I’m not even close to halfway!)… here’s the song: