Monkey and Banana

YOU have probably heard about a rather interesting method they sometimes use when trying to catch a monkey for the zoo. It seems that trappers take a small cage out into the jungle. Inside the cage they place a bunch of bananas and then they close it, locking the bananas inside. Now a monkey coming along and spotting the bananas, will reach through the narrow rungs of the cage and grab a banana. But he can’t get it out. And no matter how hard he tries – twisting his hand back and forth – he can’t pull his hand through the rungs while hanging on to the banana. And even with the approaching trappers he won’t let go of the banana. For the trappers, it’s simply a matter then, of coming up and grabbing the monkey. Now if you were standing there in the jungle, watching all of this happen, and wanted to save the monkey, you might yell in exasperation, “Drop the Banana!” 

 

 

 

This was taken from an article on Foundations Magazine. Here is the link for the entire article: “Drop the Banana!”


I wanted to start with article because it reminds me of me. I am the monkey.

The banana represents things that I want. It could be anything I desire. And, if I happen to obtain it, I don’t want to let go.

I would suggest that all of us can be like the monkey.

How much of our life is spent in pursuit of the banana? Just for fun, write down how you spend your hours and days. You just might be surprised or even shocked.

If you feel you want to let go of whatever banana is in your hand, good thinking.

If you can’t let go, now is a great time for the Word

I Peter gives some much needed insight.

Here are verses 3-5 in the first chapter:

“3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”  I Peter 1:3-5


We have a new birth.

We have a living hope.

We have an inheritance.

Why in the world would we want a banana?!?!

As much as I write this for you, the reader, I write it for myself.

If I could sum up the Christian life, it might be something like this:

Keep letting go of the banana and turning back to God.

But why would I want to let go when the banana is so fulfilling?

We have a place that is being prepared for us. That’s why.

It can’t be spoiled, ruined, or removed. There is a guard watching it. The enemy cannot taint it in anyway. It is under God’s protection.

And it is reserved for us.

heaven

I don’t really know what heaven looks like but I don’t need to know.

I just need to let go of the banana and trust God in the rest.

 

 

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Who am I?

Who am I? Who are you?

A few days ago, I wrote about being included. Click here to read that post.

I mentioned how the people living in these far off places were included by God. As in, God thought that they were important enough for Peter to write to them.

Here are the first three verses of I Peter for reference.

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.” I Peter 1:1-3 NIV

The saints were included because of the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross.

Let me rearrange the wording: They were Included in Christ.

And because the were included in Christ, they could then Identify with Christ.

  • It is one thing to believe in what Jesus did on the cross.
  • But does that belief equal lifestyle?

When Christ finally died on that cross, something unique happened. It is recorded for us in Matthew 27:51;

“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.”

From top to bottom! God did the ripping!

ripping of the veil

Now, what was open only to the high priest once a year, the holy of holies was open to the public! Anyone could enter into relationship with God.

The invite is there, we just need to accept and then attend!

I am included in Christ. If you have given your life to him, then you are also included.

Now we can go forward and be identified with Christ.

Let your life match up with your identity. If it be Christ, then live that way.

There is unlimited power and resource. We have access to the Word.

Be the person God desires you to be.

After all, he chose you.

indentity print

Where in the world are you?

My son and I traveled from Green Bay to Minneapolis last night.

It was uneventful except for the side trip we took.

Near Wausau, there is a rare spot to visit.

45°- 90°

IMG_20190502_180328573_BURST000_COVER

Once you see the sign “Geographical Marker”, you turn off the highway.

Then drive another 3 miles and turn left. And then right.

You park in the little turn around spot.

Now, we had to get out and walk a quarter mile to the actual display area. There were signs explaining the significance of the location.

I took another picture.

IMG_20190502_180413154_BURST000_COVER

We were standing half way between the equator and north pole and half way between the prime meridian and the international dateline. Wow!

My son, who is 14, thought that it was “interesting because it is in Wisconsin.”

I thought it was great. The first time I was there (in 1999), all they had was a silver plate about 4 inches in diameter and one informational sign. No parking lot. No long walk. No billboards to explain what it was all about.

This visit was really cool for me.

And then it hit me.

God can get to me wherever I am.

I Peter starts by giving some geographical locations.

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father…”  I Peter 1:1-2 NIV

pontus

The green areas contain the locations mentioned in the text. Greece is the red part. Israel being the teal color.

The point is: these areas were out of the way. People living there were not at home.

But God saw fit to make sure that they were included.

God always includes people. In fact, he calls them “elect”. They were specific to God.

You and I are also specific to God.

Don’t let distance keep you from God. That distance could be geographical, mental, emotional, or spiritual.

God will find you and He won’t let go. He loves you too much to ignore you.


On the other hand, maybe you have a message, like Peter.

God may be using you to close the gap. You might be the one to get the message out to people who are not at home.

Either way you look at it, the story of God will get out.

What part will you play?

May Day!

Happy May Day!

So, I was curious.

Why do pilots or captains, when in trouble, use the phrase “May day! May day! May day!”?

Why would some say those words?

According to history.com, that phrase means nothing.

It just seemed interesting to me.

may first

Having explained my odd sense of curiosity, I now come to the real reason for writing today.


I have something to say.

Well, actually, it is Peter that has something to say.

You know Peter. He kept putting his foot in his mouth.

He had many things to say back when he was alive.

In fact, Peter is probably best known for things he said.

Or, more accurately, things he said before he thought about them.

saying something stupid

I have been studying the letters of Peter.

Peter had a lot to say.

And so, I am going to say what I think Peter would say to us, if he were alive today.

To begin, let’s look at the first six words of Peter’s first letter:

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,”

Peter, a man that spent time with Jesus. He was, in my opinion, the closest person to Jesus while Jesus was alive.

Anytime someone spends time with Jesus, they will have something to say.

So come on this journey with me. Let us explore Peter and his words together.

Lent, pt. 40

40 days already? That went fast.

I enjoyed the routine of blogging every night.

Now, I find myself asking what the next step is with this blog.

Do I continue daily? Weekly? Topical or impromptu?

thinking


In a larger sense, my relationship with God is like this blog site.

I can make little effort to contribute. Or, maximum work can be poured in.

Either way, I will get out of it what I put into it.

effort

I AM NOT saying that I can somehow earn a better position or standing with God by doing more stuff. That is not biblical.

I AM saying that I can grow and mature more if I work harder. That is biblical.

See the difference?

And that is what am taking away from this Lent blogging season.

I can put forth more effort to know God better. His Word is available and I can pray anytime, day or night. He is ready for me to find Him.

He loves me in obnoxious and ridiculous ways, that won’t change.

How I understand and receive that love can change.


Good night and find God in a new way this Easter season.