So, my wife gets an IPhone 4. She does not know what she has. She had some sort if goofy flip type phone that texting was hard and did not show all of the message, did not get email, did not get internet, …. it was just like an old technology phone that was klunkier than an Edsel.  I hated it. We would laugh at it.   Me and the kids have macs.  All in.  But she resisted….until today.

Now, let me tell you this.  She does not know what she has.  She has an Iphone4 but does not know how to work it.  She does not know all it has to offer.  She does not know all that is is capable of.  She does not know all that it can do.  She does not know all that it was made to do.  She does not appreciate the power of it in a traffic jam to get around stuff.  She does not know the power it has to skype all over the world.  She does not know the power of money and purchasing it has.  She does not know …… well, the power and ability of all it was meant to be.  Then, I sit on the porch and think about me and God.

God has all this power, all this salvation, all this healing, all this provision, all this peace, all this love, all this joy, all this forgiveness, all this righteousness…… and I don’t just grab it!  Me!  I don’t access the application.  I don’t use it.  I don’t call on it.  I don’t just get into it and just soak in all that God has for me.  What am I thinking?  My wife has this powerful product and she got it because me and the girls have apple stuff and she sees it and says I want that too.

God has it, I want it too.  I think I can still learn from my wife.  God has all these applications for my life and I don’t know what I have.  I thought she did not know what she has…..it is really me.  God has it for me and you.

Not talking about what you say at supper.  Not talking about the old lady across the street.  God’s Grace is what I am talking about.  Think I might do a couple of gigs on this.  Might be what I have been looking for too.

This concept has been working on me for years as I struggle to understand it better…..but really understand what the finished work of Jesus on the cross means.   Well, truthfully, to try to come to grips with my sin and junk and figure out what God thinks about all this.  Which is partially the total forgiveness for what we have, are and are going to do as it relates to sin and our penalty for sin.  Stuff I can’t pay for on my own.

Romans 6:14 says this in a neat way.  It says sin can’t have dominion over us any longer.  I mean, I have struggled with sin….worried about how it effected my relationship with God.  Shoot, I have even been pretty darn judgemental about others’ sin….Christians I know.  Then I began to realize more and more that what Jesus did on the cross has dominion over everything else….especially sin. 

The sacrafice of Jesus, grace given to us, has dominion.  And this dominion is paid for……one time.   Will do a couple more on this.  Don’t want to go too far and get out of breath.

Good to be back.  louie

We had Swervechurch this Saturday.  It was a Valentine’s Day sort of Swervechurch.  We had oldies music, that the young folks even knew, and a great crowd.  As usual we had (weather permitting…and it was here in Port Orange, Florida) a blow up obstacle course for the kids.  The kids were all over it.  And we had pizza….a lot of it.  A typical Swervechurch.  All in one  hour!

Well, we were into the message and had a video about forgiveness…..something we need in families and it was keyed upon here on Valentine’s Day….because we tend to hold offenses against our family the most and that is exactly what Satan wants…well, at least I do..  so I preach about stuff that I really screw up on all the time thinking everyone else does too!

So, I am teaching and see the pizza man hanging out in the back after he delivered a bunch of pizza….I know he is paid because my wife handles that and always tips them good because stats show that Christians are stingy tippers….so we really try to bless folks…(we even give away a 25 dollar gift card at each Swervechurch).

So, the pizza man is hanging around….talking with my wife as I am getting to the end and my wife hands him some paper…..

The Pizza Man….well, wants to know about God….about this Jesus that I am talking about…..about this forgiveness that I am telling everyone that is for them….but he has pies to deliver…and he leaves.

After it is over….my wife tells me about the Pizza Man wanting to know about Jesus…and she tells him about Him…and gives him our phone number on a napkin.

You see….God can meet us at any time, at any place,…. even the Pizza Man.  God cares about us all.

God is so cool.

louie

Doesn’t seem to go together?  You are correct.  They don’t….unless you are a 4 year old little boy.  Then it seems to make sense. 

My youngest child, Tyler, is 4.  He found the special and unusual  light bulb I set on the table to take to the hardware store to find out how to replace it.  He found the hammer I had on my tool belt in the garage.  The hammer and the light bulb met….much to the dismay of the light bulb.  And, of course, the light bulb went all over the living room floor.  About 200 pieces.

Now, a few  years ago, I would have been a stern, teach a lesson…..maybe even time out….maybe even cross comments about why this could happen.  Bad looks and the whole thing.   But God has changed my outlook on this sort of stuff…..because….as I examine my life….I realize…..I have busted a bunch of lightbulbs in my life too…. Maybe not literally…. but figuratively.  Like when I spoke crossly to my niece the other day,… like when I made the crude joke at work….like when I judged the guy that I don’t really like…..like when I did not deal with my children like I really wanted to….well….glass all over the floor im my life.   And when I realized what I did….well, God just reminded me of His love for me and I repented…and I apologized to the ones I offended.   Dust busted the glass on the floor.

My little boy cried when he knew he did wrong.  So, …. I got him out of the danger zone of all the broken glass. (it was everywhere)  I sat him on a chair and let him watch me pick up the broken glass….like God has with me….. and he said, “I’m sorry daddy”, and it was over.

1 John 1:9 says that he is faithful and just to forgive us of all unrighteousness.  I am glad because I have broken a lot of lightbulbs.

louie

I milked one of those artificial Walmart, have the lights already on it, Christmas trees for about 10 years.  My wife balked and it went out this year…in the trash.  I thought we could keep it for another year.  But, as usual, she wins.  However, we will be gone the bulk of the Christmas holiday.  So we decided that we could go without a tree, lights, all the decorations that go with it.  At least this year.  Now, this is fine for me and my wife,….really ok with the 12 and 15 year old.  They understand the rationale of being gone and not back until January 4….then having to take everything down, all the fuss…… Santa Clause is out of the bag……  But then my little 4 year old is not quite as understanding….  and he is still looking for Santa.

One of my co-workers found out about this and bought a tree,..ostensibly for my office….but she carried it out to my truck and had me take it home yesterday.  I went home early, set the tree up, plugged it in…..fiber optic, blinking lights…solid white, red balls on it….   Then my little boy came home.  He was blow the top off exuberant.  He said Santa Clause can now come to our house.  Santa Clause can now come to our house….because daddy put up a tree.

I could not help but think what things at my house ,….that my family saw,….not just a tree, that represented barriers to not just Santa Clause, but also,…well, Jesus, to love, to access to their dad, to belongingness, to self-worth….  I began to think about my attitudes, my words, my actions, my judgements, ….. my personality or demeanor…. that may….truthfully, at times, limit stuff in my life and my family’s life.

So, this tree is sort of helping me understand just how important I am in what I represent at our home.  Santa Clause can come now….hopefully a whole lot more too!

louie

This is a video from my buddy Mike Ellis, he gives the appropriate credit to  Kevin Martineau and Desperate Pastor

I could say an awful lot about this but will save it for a teaching.  Few words are necessary.  Take a look.   This will  be an upcoming Swervechurch topic.  This is from the notebook of  the young woman that inspired the words at the end of the video.  Here is her story.   

louie

forgiveness2

I was talking with my buddy Steve today, who also works with me.  He was telling me about a message he will be giving this coming Sunday.  His folks don’t visit my blog…..so I won’t spoil it for them.

He will be doing a gig on the Lord’s Prayer.  Yep, that thing we call the Lord’s Prayer.  It is in Matthew 6.  Check it out. 

He will be focusing on one part of it……forgive us our debts or trespasses…..or just plainly….forgive us……as we forgive others or a clearer translation is…as we have forgiven others.  That aint cool.  Jesus slipped that one in on me.  You see, when I am wronged…..I really deep down do not want to forgive others.  Now, sometimes I will, other times, I do….. but when someone really hurts me….I sort of want them to get what they deserve.  Now, by doing this…wanting them to get what they deserve…..I am ….. well, getting what I deserve.  

I never did like this Lord’s Prayer thing anyway..  A rote memorization of scripture, just said blindly when we were  told… “lets join together and say the Lord’s Prayer”.  Then I really started to listen to it.  To internalize it.  To break it down, word by word.  It began to mean something.

Then it hit me one day….well, like today, when Steve asked me…..as you forgive others.  That hurts man.  How could he do that to me….? 

louie