Tami and I recently got a dog from Skip and Betsy Devin-Smith. She's a 10-year-old boarder collie that we've renamed after Tami's great grandmother, Augusta (seemed appropriate for an "old lady"). We call her "Augie Doggie" -- she seems to have gotten used to the name. Dogs need more attention than cats. With our two cats, we just make sure the food dish is full and they eat a bit at a time over the course of a few days until it needs to be refilled. Augie gets a certain amount of food in the morning and again in the evening. If we took the same approach to feeding her as we do with the cats, she'd soon be back to the over-weight status she was in when she first arrived at Betsy's "fat farm"!
Our appetites are a good thing, but can become destructive if we're not careful. That goes for the desires we have for freedom, love, power, honor, sex, and anything else you may think of. When our "hunger" becomes the primary thing we focus on, it easily pushes God off of his throne and takes his rightful place as "king" of our life.
This Sunday we pick up in the story of the Israelites after Joshua has passed away. In the book of Judges, Israel enters a dark period in their history of continually replacing God with their own selfish pursuits. In a very real sense, a hunger for freedom drives them -- but not real freedom. It's more of an "I-want-what-I-want-when-I-want-it" freedom to be selfish. And there are real consequences.
I came across this short film illustration of the perils of this way of living. Check it out:
The danger is just as real for you and me! I hope you'll be able to join us this Sunday, November 2nd as we begin this 5-week series I'm calling "The Hunger Games".
A Few Announcements...
I grew up watching reruns after school on channel 11. AS a result, I've become a walking Trivial Pursuit Game in the category of 1960's and 1970's TV sitcoms. I know, pretty impressive thing to put on your resume, eh?
One of those TV sitcoms I watched over and over again was "Gilligan's Island". A couple episodes featured a famously poor-navigating pilot of an old biplane known as "Wrong Way Feldman". His appearance on the island provided the castaways with one more failed attempt to be rescued. The plot is besides the point, but whenever I've experienced someone getting turned around or lost I find myself calling them "Wrong Way Feldman". I'm pretty sure no one knows what I'm talking about, but such is the curse of a head filled with silly things like this.
The Israelites were precursors to Wrong Way Feldman as they spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness - a trip that could have taken no more than a couple of months. Why in the world did it take them so long to arrive in the Promised Land? It was their own bad choices and self-focused attitudes. But before we're too quick to criticism them, we need to take a moment and consider our own wandering. How are you and I guilty of the same attitudes and actions? Join us this Sunday, October 19th, and let's consider what we can learn from the Israelite's poor example.
Rising Up From the Ashes...
Do you have a smart pet? Take a look at these impressive problem-solvers:
These are hilarious - mostly because they aren't my animals! But think about the motivation that inspired the trial and error and countless attempts before they mastered the escape technique! We're only seeing the result of all of the work.
Being imprisoned is undoubtedly frustrating and usually leads to focused dreams and determination to get free. That's where we'll be picking up The Story this Sunday: the Israelites have been enslaved in Egypt for over 400 years! But God's UPPER story plan is still at work and He has a jail break plan He's ready to put into action - one that is WAY more spectacular and unexpected than even the most clever animal in the video!
But, when it really comes down to it, we're all in need of a jail break. Our prisons don't always have physical bars, but that doesn't mean they're any less debilitating. As you read chapter 4 of The Story (Exodus 1-17) take some time to consider how you need God to set you free. He's more than capable and ready to do it!
I hope to see you this Sunday, October 5th!
A few announcements/reminders:
Thoughts about living as a Jesus follower and life at Community Covenant Church