Building Community Through The Word
How We Cultivate The Earth
I work in a café business. You could say I am the boss of Rio Coco Cafes, although I never allow myself to think that way. Mostly. I have various executive roles to play- financial accounting and planning, cost analysis of our products, managing labor costs, purchasing green coffee, purchasing coffee and kitchen equipment, training our team members.
Then I have my other collateral duties: I’m the maintenance department; I fix toilets, paint walls, repair plumbing, change light bulbs, repair equipment.
But my most favored job is washing dishes. There is something about the effect of a five second scrub and rinse on a dirty plate that brings me great joy. Something that was dirty and useless becomes clean and an instrument for service. I have worked with many people over the years attempting to help them understand God and His plans and purposes for our lives. Many times I see no response on the part of those who have decided to walk their own path. They are valued creations of our father, but they are not useful to His purposes to invite many to spend eternity with Him. Others do respond and become world changers. I guess that is why I enjoy washing dishes. With just a few seconds of effort on my part that dirty dish or pan becomes shiny, fresh, and ready for the next use.
New Year's Eve Meditations
From The Speed Of Sound To The Speed Of Smell
The God Breathed Book
How has God spoken to you specifically through His written word? Sometimes it’s reading something that you may have read before, but because of the circumstances of your life, suddenly the words jump off the page and into your heart. You know these words are for you and you alone this moment! You have just experienced a veritable encounter with the Maker of the Sunrise and Sunset- your Creator, who knows you, your thoughts, your concerns, and your needs. You know that He has just reached out and touched you!
Although there are many explanations why the Bible is special, this is the most significant reason- an encounter with the Living God.
When Problems Arise, So Do We!
A Lifestyle of Making Disciples
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matt 28:18-20 NAS
This is a passage of Scripture that is often called the “Great Commission”. It is where missionaries have traditionally gotten their “marching orders” to go to other countries and evangelize unreached people.
I first heard this message at a concert on Maui by a famous Christian singer, who’s latest album was titled “Jesus Commands Us To Go!”. I was so excited afterward that I told my cousin Kean that I was ready to go to any place and tell the people about Jesus.
He looked at me, and with a smile asked me: “How would you like to go to an island in the Pacific where less than five percent of the people attend church on Sunday?”
I responded excitedly: “Let’s go!”.
He calmly said: “You are standing on it!”
Why Are There No Cheeseburgers At The Jerusalem McDonalds?
The first time we took our family there, I noticed the absence of a cheeseburger on the main menu. I was really disappointed! No Big Mac either! So I ordered a quarter pounder, along with other sandwiches for our family.
Later my son Lukas went to a register on the far end of the counter where he ordered a McFlurry- a thick milkshake. When he got it, he was taken by an armed guard through a glass door to a separate seating area. He was just seven at the time, and really didn’t want to go there, but the security guard insisted that he stay in that area as long as he had his milkshake. We observed all this at a distance. Finally, I went over to retrieve him, and the guard said that he must drink that milkshake in that separate room. Eventually Lukas finished the drink and we left McDonalds.
A few days later I asked Dr. Smith why Lukas had to sit in the separate room to drink his milkshake. He told me it was all about kosher dietary laws. Religious Jews don’t mix meat and dairy. It was because of the way the rabbis interpreted Exodus 23:19 (and Exodus 34:6)
“You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.”
The rabbis understood that prohibition against boiling a calf in its mother’s milk as God’s commandment to not mix meat and dairy products. Religious Jews never serve meat and dairy products at the same meal. We discovered this at our meals in various hotels. Religious Jews even have two refrigerators and two sets of dishes: one for meats, and the other for dairy.