September 22, 2014
Working, but still no job
I’ve been out of a job for an entire month, but I’ve got lots to do. I was terribly sick all last week. All the cleaning and dealing with dust and dust mites, not to mention the mold. I think my old place was secretly the kingdom of mold. I also hadn’t really had any proper time off since April. I am one tired out little dog, let me tell you. I have no doubt I became sick largely due to exhaustion. This is the second time in two months I’ve had to take a round of antibiotics.
I’m much better now, but I’m behind in my work at the church. I have this week to pull everything off, and that includes a sermon for this Sunday. That’s why this is ‘writing day’. I’ve got to get a list of sources and Bible verses I’ll be using, plus an outline to my pastor, who is in Brazil visiting with his wife’s family. So here we are on “writing day”.
I would be remiss if I didn’t write something here as well, since I’ve already promised to do so. I like Iowa, it’s a beautiful little place. They can’t make up their mind if it’s going to be warm or cold, Related Thought: Perhaps this is why so many in the North are such rude jerks, the weather is such a rude jerk? But, I digress…
Iowa is not unlike the place I’ve visited in my mother’s home state of Wisconsin. If I didn’t know better I’d honestly think I was living somewhere in Wisconsin. There are gently rolling hills, lots of farming, and small communities which have come together to create the large community of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I’m hoping it doesn’t mean I’ll be getting a complete Wisconsin winter. Since I’ve been living in South Carolina any winter threatens to be psychologically overwhelming, and potentially physically overwhelming as well. I’ll have to remember to get a space heater soon. I like to keep the thermostat low, and use a little space heater to offset. Iowans, so far are very nice and warm people. It could be people are warm because they come from anyplace else but Iowa. So far I think I’ve met more non-Iowans than actual native born. Most of the outsiders I’ve met have lived here for decades. I don’t know if all these people are trapped here by jobs, or if they really like Iowa. My suspicion is that Iowa is one of those places that is a fantastic secret most people never find.
Of course I could be anywhere, and I would have to find something workable about it. I’m here not for Iowa, but in the service of Christ. If God had called me to Mexico, I’d find something to like about it. It doesn’t matter where I am, so long is it’s where God is calling me to be. I have sense this will be a short stop off before God moves me to the next place. I couldn’t tell you why, but I’ve had this sense before and I’ve never been led wrong yet, but we shall see.
Since coming to this church, two weeks ago, I’ve accomplished a lot of cleaning and organizing. There are so many things this church needs, and most of them are little things I can do. No one should ever confuse me with a person who is handy. I am not a handy person. I have none of those things most American males may boast of, i.e. the ability to build, repair, patch, or ‘fix’ engines, plumbing, electrical appliances, putting up walls, and etc. If you want to see my older brother, who is himself a handy man phenom, double over in laughter, all you need do is put a hammer in my hand. I must have a serious talk with God when we meet face to face, because it is clearly unfair to be left without what the majority of men hold as simply a common ability. Sure some men have more or less ability to work with their hands, but I’m left absolutely in the cold.
I could tell you horror stories, well not horror exactly, more like hilarious stories about my handy man exploits. I’ve been horrified at the results of my work, but none of them have truly risen to the level of horror. My older brother, the handy man phenom, once told me I could replace my own burnt out headlight. He was right, I successfully got a new headlamp into the housing, and even got it plugged in, but the result was still completely unsatisfactory. With one headlamp I could see the road in front of me, and with other I could see all the tree leaves and power lines above me as I drove. With my walleyed headlight no squirrel, opossum, or raccoon could ever execute a surprise attack on my car at night. Never you mind that I’d never been thus attacked, previously, before I replaced the headlight. Please don’t confuse me with the facts!
In any case here I am, my second week, as a functioning human, working at the church to prepare my sermon for Sunday. The sermon is based in Romans 8:1-3. ”Therefore there is now no condemnation…” I’ll take the various uses and meanings for the word ‘condemnation’ and show how Christians have a tendency to live not very Christ centered and therefore free lives. The first of ‘condemn’ from Dictionary.com, is, “to express unfavorable or adverse judgment on; indicate strong disapproval of, censure.” Wow! The Dictionary.com definition could be made a footnote to Romans 8:1! If there ever was a message Christians need today it’s that God is not speaking to us with angry words; isn’t offering adverse judgment; and isn’t giving us words of censure. The problem is that we do not recognize the work God has done for us through the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. “Therefore there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ (Messiah) Jesus.” The problem with Christians, as I see it, is that we keep condemning ourselves and we heap it upon everyone around us. When we bring our thinking into line with what the Bible actually teaches, and ditch what we’ve been thinking all along, our “merely human” way of thinking, then we’ll know that God does not condemn us. Too many of us think, and say about ourselves, “I’m ugly, worthless, and hopeless, while I might be a ‘Christian’ I am still ugly, worthless and hopeless.” Now we may not say, literally, “I’m ugly…” we’ll compare ourselves to others around us, and once we’ve found what WE think is better we’ll once again put OURSELVES into the “I’m ugly” SELF-concept prison, that WE’ve always had for OURSELVES. Notice please that I’ve capitalized all of the self pronouns, because ME, MYSELF, and I are the greatest problem in the world for ME. When I come to Romans 8 it is GOD who become huge, and it is i who am made nothing. What GOD says about me is that HE is conforming me to the IMAGE and LIKENESS OF JESUS CHRIST!! Romans 8:29 “For those GOD foreknew HE also predestined to be conformed to the image of HIS SON.” Whether you are supremely gorgeous or butt ugly physically is irrelevant. If you truly belong to CHRIST then GOD is conforming you to the image and likeness of JESUS. Even the ugliest of us in Christ are beautiful, and that is GOD’S truth!!
Anyway, that’s what I’m writing about on WRITING DAY!!