Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Considering the cost

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Many years ago, there was a ridiculously young couple who had their first child. He was a healthy boy, and he was named David Adam. I was working a pretty dead end, high effort low reward job, and Bunny was doing the same. We were doing our best to provide for our family, but we thought it took everything both of us could earn to make it. So we looked for someone who could keep Adam, and after looking, talking to people, and choosing a woman who was a stay home mom herself, Bunny went back to work.

It wasn't very long until the day that Bunny picked up our baby boy on the way home from work and our treasure had a scratch on him that he couldn't have made. His nanny's explanation wasn't one at all. That night, we looked at our income, then we looked at our son, and Bunny went to work the next day and quit.

The cost was so high that we couldn't pay it.

A few years later, I still wasn't getting anywhere at that dead end job. I was always interested in electronics so I started an electronic technician course. Four days a week I would leave work and go directly to my class and get home after 10:30. About half way through the course, Adam started asking where daddy was all the time. I quit.

The cost was so high, that we couldn't pay it.

On this night sixteen years ago, Bunny, Sean and I spent our first night in Valparaiso. It was also the first night we were ever apart as a family, since our oldest son Adam decided to stay in Macon, and we decided not to force him to come. Out of all the decisions we have ever made, it is this one that carries with it the deepest regrets.

There are many moments, many events that we have been through since we have been here that I remember through my grin as I remember them. And there have been times when we've been wounded that we work to not remember, believing that the salve of grace and forgiveness would heal. And it has, though there remain the faint outline of scars.

We'll bear that cost..

Looking back, we have literally chosen to forgo what the world would call a comfortable life again and again because for Bunny and me, to not do so would have been to turn our backs on the things that matter most to us - our God and our family.

And we would do it again, considering the cost.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

A New Operating System

You're reading the very first devotional I have ever written using the Windows 10 operating system. For the less geeky among us, the operating system (Windows, OSX, Linux) is what makes the computer more than a collection of interesting electronic parts. Valuable those parts may be, but unless some program tells them how to live and how to live together - they're just parts.

I'm kind of liking it. Sure there are some things that I am having to learn, and some things that were in Windows 7 that I'll have to do without, but life is lived forward and I want to be sure that this guy stays up to date and ready for the next challenge.

Well, I'm sitting here thinking that there are some real parallels to what happens when a person begins their journey with Jesus. When they allow God to work within their lives, they receive a new "operating system." Then God uses them to bless other people and to tell everyone who will listen that what He's offering can't be bought for any price, He's already paid that through Jesus. But that in order to use the new operating system, you have to choose to change.

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life— your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life— and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. 2 Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2 (MSG)

Changed from the inside out. That's how God works within us to change the way we think and make us what we were created to be.

Think about it. Maybe it's time to change your operating system.

Grace and peace to you,