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Posts Tagged ‘faith’

Well – I’m stressed.  You?

Throwing caution to the wind, Tony and I went ahead an made an offer on the Potential House.  It’s weird to bid on a Buy Owner house.  I had to find a form myself and fill it out to make the offer, and then I went over to the sellers and handed it to the wife, the very pregnant, husband is working in a different time zone, already has a two-year old, due in less than thirty-days wife.  (Who about did a jig that I came with an offer.)  We will know sometime on Saturday what they will do. 

Tony and I got all our papers for the loan collated last night.   Travis, our mortgage broker, sent us a pre-paid UPS envelope to get the forms back to him.  Tony, who did all the heavy lifting in finding our W-2’s, pay stubs, savings account balances, net worth, kindergarten report cards and a partridge in a pear tree, was baffled by how the return envelope works.  It’s only fair that I figure out how to get the package sent since he located everything therein.  Fair enough.  However, I didn’t have a clue where to drop this envelope.

This morning, in the bathroom, I said my prayers and asked God to help this all work out OK.  I said, “I’m not asking for a sign, just, you know, just a little help.  I’d be truly grateful…”  And I went about my day: delivering offers, dropping Eleanor at pre-school, leading playgroup.  I took the kids up to the church’s front yard to watch for butterflies, and guess what happened…

A UPS truck pulled up beside where I was sitting!  What did I need more than anything today?  To drop off that package.  Did I have a clue where a UPS store was? Nope!  Does the UPS delivery come to the church every day.  No.  Am I EVER on that grassy lawn when the truck comes?  Never.  And yet, there it was: just what I needed right when I needed it.  I asked for God to help make things work out for the best, and all I could think of was that joke about the guy in the flood who insists God will save him and he stays on the roof of his house waiting for his Faith to be validated, and he drowns and God says, ” I sent the boat, I sent the helicopter…”

I’m not going to insist to you that God sent me a sign, but he sure sent a helping hand.  And, I am glad that I was ready.   I feel really good about it.  No matter how this deal goes, I am really going to treasure the warm feeling I’ve had today.  Today, I felt un-alone.  As the economy wriggles on the hook, I feel like I’m connected, and even protected, perhaps even guided.  I’m tired, but at peace.

This feeling motivated me this afternoon to keep moving at my current home.  God can not work through us if we grind to a halt.  In order for us to find the gifts and opportunities God puts on our path, we have to TRAVEL the path.  To which – I painted the stoop.  Who knew that grey paint could be an improvement?  Every little spruce and touch-up makes this house more desireable.   We’ve done so much already, but there is a TON more to do.  I need to finish painting the stoop, washing the windows (inside and out), and cleaning the kitchen, just to name a few.  I have a list.  Lists are helpful…

GO.

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church spam

Nope, the title isn’t the latest in Lutheran casseroles.  I’m just a bit put out by the VOLUME of junk e-mail my fellow churchgoers send out.

Some are laugh out loud funny, but that is the exception, not the rule.  Some are woefully tacky. Many contain airbrushed and computer generated pictures of angles and sunsets and breathy puppies holding blushing virgins.  Wait, perhaps it’s the other way around… Some contain out-and-out lies (the one titled “Can Muslims be good Americans?” just about set my hair on fire.  The people of my congregation, as a whole, are highly educated and well traveled.  How is it that they keep passing this junk around?) 

Today, for example, I got a real mixed bag.  I junked several emails that had more than one fwd: in the subject line.  I read one that had a message that I both loved and hated.  The first part of the message said P.U.S.H.

Pray
Until
Something
Happens

I liked the sentiment. Plus, it’s short and sweet.  But then THAT thought was followed by a TON of tacky pictures of angles and so on, and the JUNK idea that if I didn’t forward the message RIGHT NOW I wasn’t a good Christian, or something to that effect.  It somewhat hinted that IF I forwarded the message, I’d be part of some superior, exclusive, elite group that is in with Jesus – personally.   It’s smells a bit like a Salvation Pyramid Scheme (And I really think Moses would laugh his sandals off about that turn of phrase!)

I’m just a little annoyed with the used car salesmen, pushy, my God can eat your God for breakfastdrivel that’s floating around the internet, and my in-box specifically.

Catholic dogma will tell you that ANYTHING that increases the faith is a miracle.  It seems like a fine theory to this Lutheran.  Growing the community of the church is a big part of my job.  I like helping people find their way to the gifts that God has given them: forgiveness, kindness, compassion, hope, community, strength, good will, grace and so on.  But these chain emails, they are just so much glittery trash.  Blowing leaflets tossed from invisible electronic skyscrapers.  Cluttered Billboards running the length of the information superhighway.

Did you know that, as a tool for marketing, billboards only have one purpose?  It’s to re-enforce a decision you have already made.  For example, Cracker Barrel has some of the best billboards in the world.  They only tell you where the closest restaurant is.  When you see a board for CB, you have to know what a Cracker Barrel is already to understand it.  If you already know if Cracker Barrel is your type of place, then the sign tells you how many more miles down the pike you have to go to get something you already want.  It takes about 10 seconds.  We’ve all seen billboards that suck out loud: usually they are for hospitals or mortgage companies.  Things that we DON’T need or CAN’T use in a car.  There’s way too much writing and no real point, and, occasionally, a vaguely smiling doctoresque person in a white coat.

Which brings me back to the junk in my in-box.  Too much writing and strange pictures to make any sense at all. 

Let’s edit the message:  God Loves YOU.  See His great gifts at EVERY exit, and at all points in between.  Amen.

As for the senders of the Church Spam, my dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I love you all.  There’s no point in asking them to stop.  It’s as important to them to send them as it is for me to delete them.  That, and the friends I have asked to stop sending this stuff haven’t listened to me anyway.  Can I get another AMEN?

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