Sunday, February 25, 2007

Beaches, Parking Lots, And Box Breaking

Since moving here to Florida, one of the simple pleasures my family and I have come to enjoy is an afternoon on the beach. The kids had never been to a real beach before, whether back home in Michigan on the Great Lakes, or an ocean beach. So, one thing I personally looked forward to upon our relocation down here was occasional beach trips. And there is such wonder in the eyes of kids who get to take in the greatness of the ocean. Even after seeing it a few times, they still get excited about heading to the Gulf of Mexico and splashing around the surf. Hey, I can’t blame them, I think it’s pretty cool myself, and I’m not new to the Gulf, having been here as a child on vacation, splashing in the same water I did some 20+ years before.

Well, Saturday was one of those special days that we took a family trip to Clearwater. And once we got parked and changed, we had a great time. The only downer was that I think we spent more time searching for a spot to park the van than we did actually hanging out on the beach! Man, if I learned anything from this trip, it was to be out of the house about sun-up so we don’t have to fight for a parking space. Everyone and the dog happened to be at that beach. Every lot we sawed was closed due to being full. And just when we saw the car ahead of us pulling into a lot, the parking attendants quickly put the sign back out saying that the lot was full again. Right in front of us! It was like being in a sit-com.

I have to admit, I was getting annoyed with all those parking attendants. Even when there were obviously open spaces in the lot they patrolled, they still wouldn’t let us in. They just waved us on. But tonight, as I thought more about the people working the lots, I realized something. These folks are regular people just like me. There isn’t really anything unusual about them. But they have something I don’t. They have the authority of the Clearwater Police backing them up. They have the authority to close off lots and wave us by. They are simply using the authority and power that has been entrusted to them.

We too as Christians have an authority backing us up. We’re just regular folks like those in the world that don’t know the Lord Jesus. By ourselves, we don’t have much to offer. But our power comes from who we have residing in our hearts. We have the Spirit of God Himself in us.

All day long, I have been reading and meditating on a portion of Scripture in the book of Ephesians. It is in the third chapter. Here it is from the NLT:

“When I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit.” (vs. 14-16)

The context behind these verses is that these non-Jewish Ephesian Christians had just as much of God’s favor as the Jewish Christians did. Many of the Jews back then, even those that had placed their faith in Jesus, felt that God looked down on non-Jewish people, who they called Gentiles. Yet, the Apostle Paul had been given the privilege to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles and he was letting them in the city of Ephesus know that God doesn’t play favorites. He loves Jew and Gentile alike. And so because of that fact, he was telling them that the same resources that the Jewish believers had, and the apostles had, they too had. They had God’s unlimited resources backing them up.

I don’t know about you, but for me to think of God empowering me with heavenly resources via his Spirit, the possibilities suddenly seem endless. The roof has been blown off, so to speak. There is no limit to what God can and will do through us who love him. He is able to give us greater knowledge of Himself and His love, as the chapter continues to say. He is able to give us the strength we need to make a splash for him in this world. He wants to use us for things that we can’t even begin to imagine. I like what the 20th verse of Ephesians 3 says: “Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.” On my most creative day, I can’t even scratch the surface of God’s power working through me. God is so much bigger than me and my little imagination.

Friends, imagine what God could do through us if we could only grab ahold of this truth. Be encouraged today to let God break out of the box that we all tend to put Him in. Avail yourselves of the unlimited resources in Christ!

God bless!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

It's A New Season!

Hey, folks! I decided to make some changes here at the blog. Gone is the MPSoundingboard, really, since MP means Michigan Preacher, and I am in Florida now. I decided on the title Itch's Desk because Jr. Itch is a screename of mine on a message board I post on. I just thought it worked good.

Anyway, things are going good here in Lakeland. I am working and assisting in the church however I can. God is blessing us!

Keep tuned in to Itch's Desk. The name may have changed, but that is about all!

God bless!