Free Parking

Welcome back! At least that is what I am saying to myself right now. I feel like I have been really busy lately.

Oh wait, I have. Being a school teacher, this is a crazy part of the year. So yes, I have been busy but now I am ready to write!

I started a series back in August. Here is the first post, and also the second. These can help give you context.

Free Parking

You have probably figured out by now that this series will all have Monopoly titles. While these titles may not be specifically related to the content, they will be directly drawn from the game.

Hence, Free Parking.


In the rules of Monopoly, Free Parking is just a space. It is a free space on which to land. You don’t get anything or pay anything. There are house rules that are certainly different from the original though!

On my road trip, we had one day in which we took a mini trip to Philadelphia.

Even though I had never been to Philly before, I had some places on my wish list that I needed to visit.

Liberty Bell, check.

Liberty Hall (where the Declaration of Independence was signed), check.

See the steps where Rocky ascended in the movie, check.

Eat a Philly cheese steak sandwich, check.

These were places (or food items) that I knew about. We also discovered a few more hidden gems along the way.

So in order to keep this to two minutes, I will have multiple posts regarding Philadelphia.


Here is the first connection from Philly that I would like to share.

It involves the Declaration of Independence, more accurately, the signing of the Declaration.

I am not concerned with how many signers there were.

It doesn’t matter where they were.

The signatures are of differing sizes, so what.

I am intrigued by the timing of the signing.

When these men laid ink to parchment, they were not free men. They were still under British rule.

The founding fathers chose to identify with the spiritual King, not their earthly king.

They were acting on their future freedom in America, not their present prison from England.


For me, the connection came to me when we were standing in Liberty Hall.

It hit me about the timing.

Technically, British rule still applied. But these men did not want that fact to determine the outcome of their life.

They were free. They said it, signed it, and sealed it!

What will you do with your freedom?

Better than a Golden Ticket

Remember Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?

There were 5 Golden Tickets hidden in five random Wonka Bars. If this is not jogging your memory, the book, the movie, and the remake movie are all fairly accessible.

golden ticket

I preferred the book.

Charlie, the poor little boy living on scraps with his parents and extended family, finds a Golden Ticket! He won!

That might be the shortest movie synopsis ever.

Charlie gets invited to Willy Wonka’s candy factory!

It would have been the most exhilarating and memorable occasion in Charlie’s life!

charlie and golden ticket


If you were wondering about this blog turning into a modern Siskel & Ebert, no worries. I would not be very good at reviewing and rating movies.

But I can draw connections from the things we know (movies and such) to the things with which we are not as familiar (God and His Word).

This post starts a series called “Better than a Golden Ticket” It will be taken from John 2, in the New Testament.

The chapter starts with a wedding. Jesus, his mother Mary, and the disciples are all present.

And that’s all you get for now.

sad charlie

For now, ponder this: If you were the one sending out golden tickets, who would you invite?

Lent, pt. 34

Ready for this? I am attempting some poetry!

 

They go out,

But never return.

All things affected,

Sometimes hurting,

Other times, healing.


Words are powerful. And once we speak them, they cannot be pulled back.

I heard many words today. Honestly, most of them were not positive.

It really made me think how strong our words can be.

I also listened to many good words today. They felt refreshing.

words

Isaiah 55:11 speaks about words going out of God’s mouth and accomplishing His plan.

I softens my heart to know that God never speaks anything that is harmful or wrong.

There are times when His words are not welcome but they are always needed.

Read God’s word today. You can’t go wrong.

bible

And by the way, I think my poem really stinks.

 

 

Lent, pt. 20

Traditions. Lent is a tradition.

When I think about what the word tradition means, I realized that it was not clear to me.

So I looked it up.

This what you get when you type ‘tradition definition’ in Google:

tra·di·tion
1. the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.
“every shade of color is fixed by tradition and governed by religious laws”
2. THEOLOGY: a doctrine believed to have divine authority though not in the scriptures.
It was the second portion that caught my attention.
It seems that millions of people observe Lent even though it is not in the bible.
I am going to chew on that for a while.
Initially, I want to say that we should disregard Lent because it is not scriptural.
But the motive behind it seems worthy. Doesn’t every believer want to know Jesus better?

I guess it goes back to motives.

Why?
As we are about to start the second half of Lent, check your motives.
I can say that there have been less-than-noble motives on my part.
I am ready to change some things.
May God grant you peace and mercy during this time.
Thanks for reading and I hope to see you tomorrow.

Surprise!!!

You know that moment…the lights are off, people huddled in every corner of the room. The unsuspecting victim walks through the door and with the turning on of the lights, everyone yells Surprise!!!

I was that ‘victim’ on my 40th birthday. Without all of the details (which would take way more time than two minutes), my wife threw the biggest surprise of my life.

I walked into the large room at our church and there were over 100 of my friends and family waiting for me. SURPRISE!!! Totally and completely surprised. I had no idea.

surprise

The Word – surprise

The Worth – Why is it that we are surprised when God does something great?

Sure, it is understandable when the Red Sea parts. Exodus 14

Or when the walls of Jericho fall down. Joshua 7

Or when the bush is on fire but not burning up. Exodus 3

Or when Jesus turns water into wine. John 2

Or when Paul prays and the boy returns from the dead. Acts 20 

In 1 Thessalonians 5, there is a single verse that has had my attention for many years. I would say it is in the top three of my favorites.

vs. 24 “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”

Or, in my translation, “If God said it, it will happen.”

It may not happen when or how we would like to see it but God is sovereign. It will happen as He said it would. So I ask again, why are we surprised when God moves?

The Work – Can I challenge you? This is a challenge for all who follow Jesus.

Live in such a way that you are not surprised when God does something awesome.

God gives us so many promises in His word. We can count on every one of them. So when you pray, let your faith expand. Know that God will accomplish what He said.

And don’t need to be surprised when it happens. =-)