“How Can I Possibly Hinder God?”

This line comes from Peter. (Full story in Acts 10-11)

He has just come off of Pentecost. Holy Spirit came down, people started speaking in tongues, thousands of people gave their lives to God.

Off this high, God comes to Peter in a vision. He tells Peter to eat foods he thought he was forbidden to eat. God’s like, it’s cool. And Peter goes back and forth on this for a while but eventually digs in.

Then he gets a visit from the servant of Cornelius, an important Roman dude. The servant calls Peter to come and, though Jews did not usually hang with Gentiles, Peter goes.

Once he arrives, Cornelius tells Peter that he’s had a vision and Peter takes the opportunity to preach about it. Afterwards the Holy Spirit comes upon the whole house of Cornelius and Peter realizes that, like the food he thought was taboo, the Gentiles are now just as welcome at God’s table as the Jews.

But we know from later in Scriptures that Paul calls Peter out on withdrawing from this conviction, of just hanging out with the Jews even though God’s message is for all.

It just goes to show you, the greatest inhibitor of the Gospel is us. God is out there in the trenches, letting His presence be known. He just needs hands and feet and mouths and hearts to work through to give the whole message traction.

Will let His word work through us, even though it challenges everything we know or are comfortable/familiar with, or will we be another road block on other’s travels to the Divine?

Drinking Dobrá with Jeremy

We sit in the tea shop. Jeremy reflects on his mission trip and the vacation that followed.

“It’s funny,” he said, “when I went to Kentucky, I wondered what I would do there, and they told me ‘just be.’ When I went to Hawaii, I was searching for a feeling, and missed all the wonderful things I did.”

Life isn’t one thing or the other. Every situation calls for a different response. The trick is to listen, to be present, and let God instruct us on the specific way we should go.

A Little More Like You

The pastor who leads Haywood Street Revival is a man named Brian Combs

He leans in, looks at you, and smiles

Makes you feel like a million bucks, like he actually cares what you are saying.

LORD, help me be a little more like Him each day.

Better yet, let me be a little more like You,

for You made Brian to be the man he is today,

just as you made me.

Just Another Day

“Play me a song,” he said, seeing us leave the restaurant with our guitars.

“We don’t have the chords,” M said.

“Play it anyway,” he replied.

And so we started, roughly. The chords came, but the words didn’t. The words came, but the chords didn’t. Eventually, both aligned. Then, we sang together the songs that stuck with us, the ones deep down. Always a surprise to see what sticks.

“Play ‘Jesus Loves Me,'” he said.

And we did. The simple, fleeting words resounded through the parking lot and into the night sky.

Soon, we were all out of songs. They thanked us. His buddy, he told me stories about Vietnam while the others mused over M’s dreadlocks.

“My leg’s all tore up. Not a leg no more,” the veteran said, “Got two purple hearts out of it, though. I have trouble sleeping sometimes. All times. God forgive me.”

And he wiped his face with a dirty napkin.

I ran into the car and pulled out the McDonalds napkins I had stored there, you know, for emergencies.

“Here,” I said.

“Thanks,” he said while using the napkin, “for listening.”

M nodded me forward and we walked together to the nearest convenience store, picking up hot dogs and beer for the guys.

“Do you have a Bible?” said the first guy. I handed him mine, “what’s the shortest verse in the Bible?”

“‘Jesus wept,'” I said.

“And where is it?” he said, “What verse?”

I told him I didn’t know. he flipped right to it.

“Saint John eleven thirty-five,” he said.

 

I nodded in amazement.

We all hugged. M and I went to our respective way.

“I’m glad you didn’t die,” M’s girlfriend told her, later.

For us, it’s just another day.