Can Your Dishwasher Save You?

We just bought a sweet dishwasher.

Man…I must be getting old because I never thought I’d ever say that.

But…honestly…it is really freaking awesome.

Of course, as a guy, all I care about is the cool features.

For starters it’s stainless steel which means it looks more manly and why I can brag about it.  It has hidden buttons on the top edge of the door so Easton and Aniston can’t pretend to “launch rockets” while flooding the kitchen.

Easily the biggest difference between our old dish washer and our new one, beyond the fact that it’s not 12 years old, is it’s quiet.  I mean you can actually carry on a conversation with someone without having to go into the neighbor’s garage to do it.  God love the other one, but our ears would literally be ringing after each cycle like enduring a MegaDeath concert in a bathroom.

But the coolest feature is that the inside has turbo jets that will blast away any caked on garbage you couldn’t scrape off before you put it in.  It will literally pressure wash the dishes clean as if it was peeling paint off my deck.  This feature alone should let you know I will never rinse another dish as long as I live…or until Cherie finds out and makes me do it.

All those features are great, but it still isn’t perfect.  The glaring missing piece is that it won’t load the dishes for you and start itself. I mean come on!  In our technological day and age don’t you think someone can figure out a way to make a robot maid from The Jetsons and take me completely out of the equation?  Is that too much to ask!?

Nope, my dishwasher can’t do its job unless I put my dirty dishes in it and give it permission to make them clean by starting it.

Your life with Christ is the same way.

You can buy the best Bible on the market, download all the WOW 2000-whatever music you want, order all the coolest Christian swag, and even make it to church every week and still not be a Christian.  I can pray before meals, join a small group, and volunteer at the local homeless shelter and still have no idea who Christ is.

The reason is that you can have all the accessories, gadgets, tchotchkes, and features of the Christian life, but until you actually turn God on in your life He can’t work.  Until you give Him permission to start cleaning your dirty, junky, sin-filled life He’s as good as a dishwasher full of dirty dishes, soap ready to go, and the door open.

Jesus tells us clearly in the book of Revelation,

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” - Revelation 3:20

Jesus won’t load the dishwasher.

Jesus won’t start the load.

Jesus is waiting for you decide you want to be clean.  He is willing.

“So he(Jesus) traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.

A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”

Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”  -Mark 1:39-41 (emphasis mine)

Jesus is willing and able to clean you up, to make you new, to give you a new life with a spot free rinse like none other.

He is willing, but you have to be willing to give Him permission and push start on the dishwasher of your life.

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What Future Are We Leaving Our Kids To Choke On?

This very moment only lasts as long as the breath we have to live it and beyond that nothing is promised.

The moment between that next unpromised breath is called the future.  This future is something we have no control over but is what we leave for those left behind when we are gone.  In most cases, this is our children.   These are the recipients of the future we leave them whatever that may look like.

In today’s world we have lost sight of the future we are leaving our kids.

It shouldn’t surprise us though because as the world thrust itself down the Slip and Slide   of individualism and self promotion there is little time or energy to think about what our selfish lives leave in it’s wake.

Instead of leaving our kids a healthy legacy to look to as an example we are leaving them the residue of a life scraped for every last morsel spent on ourself.  Our kids are choking on our life exhaust and are gasping for air as they live their own.

Here is some of our life’s second hand smoke they are choking on:

  • Marriages – Parents we are leaving over 50% of our kids with the stain of divorce to  deal with and overcome in their relationships.  Even as Christians they will now have to wrestle with what the Bible says about marriage and divorcee and what we’ve taught them through our actions.  We need to leave our kids a better future.
  • Finances – Adults are leaving the next generation saddled with more debt than the world has ever seen.  Cost of living, buying groceries, owning a home, and even student loans for college will be more difficult than ever before because of the decisions we are making now.  We need to leave our kids a better future.
  • Addictions We have found a way to become addicted to more and more things every day.  Gone are the days of “simple” drugs and alcohol addiction because now we’ve added the complexity of social media, prescription drugs, pornography, cell phones, sports, and even our kids!  We need to leave our kids a better future.
  • Individualism - Never before has the world been more focused on themselves.  Reality TV, plastic surgery, Twitter followers, Facebook friends, and even Youtube hits all are two thumbs pointing back to who we think is most important.  “This guy”.  We need to leave our kids a better future. 
  • SpiritualismOur world has diluted itself into a spiritual soup that believes in nothing and everything at the same time in order to maximize our happiness.  Right and wrong our now relative to the greater position of “only if you think so”.  The God of the Bible has had to share the stage with the god we want Him to be and our world slowly fades the True God into the background of our lives.  We need to leave our kids a better future.

My prayer is that we all can break out of the cocoon of “me” just long enough to truly examine what is being left in our wake.  As Christians, we need to decide now that we want our kids to have a strong marriage to model, a financial pattern to mirror, a healthy balance of life, a value of loving others more than ourself, and a life anchored, centered, and unwavering around the God of the Bible.

Then and only then may the words of Solomon ring true in our life and the future of our children.

“My son, pay attention to what I say;
listen closely to my words.

Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;

for they are life to those who find them
and health to a man’s whole body.

Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.

Put away perversity from your mouth;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.

Let your eyes look straight ahead,
fix your gaze directly before you.

Make level paths for your feet
and take only ways that are firm. 

Do not swerve to the right or the left;
    keep your foot from evil.”  - 
Proverbs 4:20-27

Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in what the world wants your life to look like and let yourself get overwhelmed with what God wants your life to be.

If we allow God to do that, we are sure to leave a brighter, cleaner, prosperous future for our children that won’t leave them gagging.

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I Hope My New Year Sucks And Yours Does Too

Gym memberships skyrocket, diet supplements fly off the shelves, and wedding vows are renewed.  Yep, it’s a new year and a new you is just on the horizon…or at least that’s what you hope.

After all if you’re able to fix just those one or two things in your life everything would be perfect.  Right?

I need to confess something.  I used to prey on that mentality this time of year when I worked in the fitness industry.  Every January we would prepare for the first of the year and waves of out of shape, overweight, mentally psyched up people to come streaming through the doors.  We would sign them up for memberships, get them all set up with a personal trainer or dietitian, follow up with them from time to time, and then just wait for them to drop like flies.

After all, the best type of gym membership a person can have from the business point of view is one that is always paid, but never used.  Think about it…all the revenue with none of the expense.

Sad to say, but it’s true.

What I know about you and I is that we all desperately want things to be better in our lives. But rarely do we choose the right things to start with in order to fix them.

We’d rather fix the exterior stuff like fat and muscle instead of dealing with the inside stuff like doubt, self confidence, and loneliness.  If we can create a faux version of ourself that looks great on the outside, maybe the world won’t know we’re rotting away on the inside.  Slowly we are dying from internal bleeding caused by deep wounds from our past and present sin.

Well let me tell you something.

You and I don’t need more makeovers we need to stop the source of our pain and that will suck for sure.

In the world of medicine there is a revolutionary treatment used to help with healing large wounds in patients.  It’s known as a Wound V.A.C and in laymen terms it helps to suck out all the infection and nasty that prevents healing so that the wound can closer sooner and healthier.  Patients that don’t utilize this treatment are nearly assured to have longer hospital stays and are at more risk for infection.

You and I need spiritual wound VAC’s in our lives this year.  We need this year to suck more than it has ever before if we ever want to start really living.  When we stop believing the lies that Satan wants us to believe about what “really needs fixing” and start trusting the Godly makeover that our Father really wants for us only then will we really see life changes that will stick.

And as Christians we know this is what God wants for us and Paul reminds us of that in Ephesians.

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” – Ephesians 4:22-23

My prayer for you and I this year is simple.

I pray God sucks as much garbage as possible out of your life as possible this year as He heals you from all of your wounds.

Don’t let Satan convince you that all you need to do is slap some lipstick on your “pig life” to make it look better this year.

Believe that God’s plan of internal healing may not bring external perfection, but it WILL bring you the life He’s always wanted you to have.

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