I love to tell stories. They are rarely short. They are sometimes embellished. But, they are almost always filled with details. I love details. I am all about talking about them and exaggerating them, but, let me be clear, my husband would be the first to tell you that I am not a detail oriented person. At all. Like, not even a little bit.
For instance, I can appreciate that my friend got a new SUV a few years ago. She was excited to have something that would hold her three growing man-boys and all of their gear. I remember when she showed it to me for the first time. I remember that it was pretty and shiny and warmed my hiney
hey, that rhymes! when I sat on the leather… but I can’t, for the life of me, remember what color it is. Seriously. I have seen her every week or two for years now, yet it doesn’t stick in my brain. I think it’s white…or silver. Ok, maybe gray. Shoot…I actually think it might be that pearly white color. Either way, that is sort of a big detail.
completely embarrassing perfect example is that I can appreciate how my husband loves it when people fly the American flag in front of their house. We live on an older street and have a few veterans who proudly fly the flag daily. In fact, one precious neighbor rides out to his flagpole on his hover round and puts that flag up and down each and every day. Awesome. So, I respect this concept, and I listened as my husband talked about getting one for us. I can even recall that he mentioned hanging it soon. But, I exaggerate not when I say the thing was hanging above our front door for a couple months before I noticed it. That’s right – months. Again, a pretty big detail.
As a wise thirty-something, I have learned that not everyone is built like me.
Somebody say “Hallelujah!” I have quite a few friends, actually, who are built very differently than me. I often drive them crazy but they often keep me functioning. I add something to their lives too, I believe, although I’m afraid they aren’t quite sure what that is yet! One friend might say, “Oh Caroline, I love the pattern on your new shirt!” to which I may reply, “Huh, whatd’ya know?” or (while leaving Target) “Boy, Target sure hits the target!” to which I reply “Oh wow, their logo really is an actual target, like for archery or something.” Sigh. Yes, that actually happened.
I only mention this flaw of mine because I have never
ever, ever, ever been one to only give the facts. It just isn’t in me not to expand the story with dialogue, sub-plots, or anecdotes. I have actually been known to tell a story that leads me off into seven two or three other ones before I was done. So…in honor of all of my friends who by bribery the grace of God have stuck by me, I am going to try and defy the odds. I am going to try and give “just the facts, ma’am” about my trip to the Mayo clinic. Many of you have enjoyed hearing about what God has done, but then you are still waiting to hear what the doctors did, as well. Shocking.
But before I begin my brevity, I feel compelled to share what God told me to write about. (Don’t you love how I need to expand on the fact that I am about to be brief? Old habits die hard.) As I have seen and heard from friends since we have been home, they want the medical details about the trip. And so I knew I needed to blog about it. But, I also knew that would be very boring. And I rarely do boring. So, I thought Ok, how can I relate my ‘fact-giving’ to Jesus? Then, He hit me. I believe that, as Christians, we
ok, I can always sometimes get lost in our story telling. Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing about what God has done in people’s lives from their point of view. But, I am merely suggesting that when we talk to those who don’t know God, it is good to keep our foundation built on facts. Not feelings. Not opinions. Not interpretations.Just the facts, ma’am.
First, as my pastor says, “God stepped out of nowhere, into nothing, spoke something in order to make everything come into existence.” God made the world.There was no Big Bang, or if there was, God did the bangin’. There was no lightning that struck a pond and organisms “evolved” from there, or if there was, God made the pond and told the lightning, “Ok, now!” He is it – the Creator. Period. (Genesis 1)
Second, everything the Bible says was inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and is true. Everything. (Psalm 33:4) Jesus came to this earth as a perfect Savior for the sin of mankind. (John 3:16-17) You sin. I sin. Everybody sin sins. Anyone who ever drew breath in and out of their lungs, sinned. Jesus, however, lived a perfect life (Hebrews 4:15) and died a criminal’s death to pay the cost of our sin.(2 Cor. 5:21) He rose from the dead three days later (Luke 23:52 – Luke 24:8) and He will return someday to this earth to claim His own. (1 Thess. 4:16-17) It’s going to happen, people. I am not predicting when. The Bible says that is futile. (Matthew 24:44) In fact, if some wacko starts predicting a date, then you can be fairly certain it won’t be that day. Only God knows. (Matthew 24:36)
Third, good people go to hell. It isn’t generally how you would greet someone at a dinner party, but it’s true. “Believing” that there is a God isn’t enough. In the Bible, good ol’ James tells it like it is. I love that about him. James 2:19 says “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder.” Unless you have a specific time in your life where you have 1) believed that Jesus was God’s only Son, that He literally came to walk on this earth, died on the cross and rose again at Easter and 2) then have confessed with your mouth that you need God to pay for that sin with the death of His Son and 3) submitted your completely sinful heart and your destined for hell life to Him, then you are not a Christian. Just because your Mom is a doctor doesn’t make you ready to perform open heart surgery, does it? Physically being inside a church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than being inside your garage makes you a car. Have you had a change of heart? Have you had a change of action? Do you love the Lord? If you aren’t sure, friend, contact me, your church, or my church. We will be happy to talk it through with you. Trust me, you wanna be sure.
But, I feel the need to confess that I have typed most of this post while sitting outside in our front yard. And, I just looked up and noticed our flag isn’t hung over our front door anymore. Hmm? That’s weird, I thought. I just asked Ryan when he took it down?