Archive for March, 2014

School Bus 6

 

 

 

 

This week’s insight comes not from the students but actually from an external source.  Usually the students provide me with thought provoking insights, make me question the norm, or just make me laugh and want to tells others.  However, in this post I want to discuss a man that I meet nearly every day on the route.  Depending on how many or which students are present, I can usually tell you when we will pass this man.

Many of you have heard about The Man with Yellow Hat:

The Man with the Yellow Hat

 

 

 

 

George does not know his name, thus he describes him as he is seen.  I have taken after this and since I also do not know the man’s name I have decided to reference him as “The Man in the Black Jeep.”

There are few things I know about this man.

  1.        He drives a black Jeep Wrangler
  2.        He is likely in his 60s-70s
  3.        He waves with only his right index finger
  4.        He is either going to or from work around noon every weekday

And that about does it.  But can I tell you something that is kind of strange?  I miss him when I don’t see him.  I feel like that somehow by passing each other 5 days a week we have this mutual connection.  He has become a staple in my driving.

Maybe you also have this type of relationship with someone.  Whether you have a commute to work, or run errands around the same time every day, if you have a “Man in the Black Jeep” that impacts your day you know what I mean.  If you don’t it is hard to explain.

But how to relate this to God…let me see.

While I do feel as though there is a strange connection between The Man in the Black Jeep and myself, can I truly say that I know him?  Of course not.  I don’t know his name, if he is married, what year model the Jeep is or other important features about him.  In fact, if I really get down to it and am truthful with myself, I don’t really know The Man in the Black Jeep at all.

There is a false connectedness.

I have had this false connectedness before.  Not with another bypassing car or person on the street, but with God himself.  See I have had times in my life where I would simply see God in passing, nod my head or lift a hand and wave and then carry on about my day.  This interaction gave me a false sense of relationship.

I might read the Bible, even pray and thank God for things, but at times I would not actually seek to know his character, his attributes, or even his features.  I wasn’t really interacting with him at all.  I was considering myself to have knowledge about God without ever really knowing him.  Paul warns Timothy of this in 1 Timothy 6:20-21 “O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.  Grace be with you.”

See, this “knowledge” that I thought I had of God was really false.  It was simply babble in my life that I believed to be genuine connections.  It would be as if I thought The Man in the Black Jeep and I were best friends because we passed each other on the road.  That sounds crazy right?

But I believe that this is one of the most common interactions Christians have with God.  And no. That’s not a good thing.  Many times we think we are interacting with God, but in reality we are simply seeing Him as we pass by, acknowledging him, yes, but rarely more than that.

Have you connected with God today?  I mean truly sought to know him more?

Philippians 3:8-11 “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of KNOWING Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may KNOW him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”

Please do not be won over by a false sense of connectedness with or knowledge of God.  He knows your innermost self, seek to know his.

In Christ’s Love,
Josh

School Bus 6

 

Well, it has been a couple of weeks since the last insight.  This is partly due to a well needed break known as Spring Break and some other circumstances.  Luckily, the Pre-K bus route supplies me with enough material that I can go ahead and tell you about something that happened a few weeks ago.

Again, this was after the short bus had ceased to run properly so we required the big bus to get the students home.  One thing about small children is that they are very curious.  Even though the difference between the two busses is really only size and date manufactured, the students feel the need to explore the big bus.  Some are happy with simply sitting in their seat and looking around, picking up things off the floor that have been there since the dawn of time, or seeing if the holes made in the backs of the seats are big enough to fit an entire hand through.  However, there is one student who takes this exploration and discovery to a new level.  Lewis and Clark would be proud.  This student begins to lick and taste the backs of the seats.  That’s right, in the exploration process everyone knows that we must use all of our senses to experience the new.

That got me thinking.  What if adults did this with new things?  While looking for a new car they stopped the dealer mid-sentence to taste the new leather seats.  Before entering a house for sale, one tasted the door posts.  At a new job, instead of the simple handshake while meeting new co-workers, we took their hand and gave it a good lick.  Of course these things sound absurd, and a little funny. (I dare you…)

But what it really got me thinking about is how much more children enjoy discovery and exploration.  Maybe not enjoy, but certainly practice and seek out discovery more than adults.  Grant it, they have more time on their hands with little to no responsibilities.  However, they seem to be more resilient in their efforts and more ok with failure.

Let’s look at this idea of exploration and discovery from a spiritual stand-point.

When is the last time you explored God?  When is the last time you discovered something new in the Word?

Everyone likes adventure.  Even the hermits of the world like adventure.  Their adventure simply does not include other people.  Why are television shows about Alaska and survival techniques so popular?  Because people like exploring and discovering new things.  It is at times a way to challenge ourselves.

In the book of Psalm David uses the idea of taste in discovery and searching.  Most are familiar with this verse. Psalm 34:8 “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”

Who is he talking to?  He is talking to anyone that does not truly know or has not truly experienced the goodness of God.  Just as I would hold up my cup of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Blue Bell Ice Cream and say to you, “Taste and see that this is awesome!”  I have experienced the goodness of Blue Bell and so should you.  David has experienced the goodness of God and he wants us to do the same.

Exploration is not easy.  Usually is means going where we have not gone before.  Experiencing new, harsh landscapes that will challenge our maturity and will power.  The same is true with God.  When we see to discover Him in a new way, it will be full of hills and valleys.  We will feel on top of the world and then convicted by the Spirit when reading a single verse in Scripture.  Go places in the Bible you have not gone before.  Seek to read Leviticus, Joel, Zephaniah, Haggai and all the other books that we easily skip over.

Put on your hiking boots.  Get your tent ready.  Pack the supplies you may need.  As you read through these books use resources to aid in your understanding.  Bible Gateway is a great resource.  As are Bible dictionaries and commentaries.  Grab a study Bible and get to it!

Explore.  Discover.  Taste and See.

In Christ’s Love,
Josh

The Year of Change

Posted: March 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

Mountain Movers

In July, Josh and I will have been married for 5 years. In August, we will have known each other 8 years. In those 8 years we have continually sought to do the Lord’s will in our lives. When we first started dating I told Josh that I would support him 100% but that he needed to know that I was called to do mission work and that no matter what he did I would also feel that I was needed in the nations. Since that time, I went to India, we went to China and Africa. We also went to Alaska and Avoca, TX. God has been doing some work in me the past few years, he has been clarifying his plan for my lives. While Africa is a place that will always be on my heart, God has taught me that wherever I am is my mission field.

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