“The Gospel is—we are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared to believe, and at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.” — Timothy Keller
Today I was thinking about how imperfect I am. Yeah, you might think this is totally strange, but it’s not. I always enjoy a nice walk to work so that I can clear my mind and reflect on my life. Today, two things jumped out at me.
1) God is always in control. What I mean is that I am here for a reason… and that reason is to help bring people closer to Him. And in this side of eternity, God also has allowed sin to stay for a bit. With sin and sinful nature still an annoyance, this makes me imperfect. So today I was thinking about how because of sin, there will always be a need for Jesus. He is the remedy. Not only that… but God is perfect and we are not, so therefore we need to rely on Him. I’m sure He loves the fact that we need to trust and rely on Him. One of the more famous scripture passages is Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all of your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” really puts it well. We need to rely on God and His understanding. He knows what is best for us.
2) The second thing was that despite our imperfections, God still takes delight in me. Zephaniah 3:17 says, “…He will take delight in you…” Man, this idea has never hit me like it did today. I wonder if it’s because I always focus on how imperfect I am, instead of remember how with Jesus’ help I can be made clean again.
Just some random thoughts for the day.
I was planning my talk for youth tonight, and the topic is Spiritual Gifts and Purpose. As I was planning, I stopped in a spirit of worship. I like how sometimes we read through scripture and find we are remembering something from a different part of the Bible that fits in. I like how the Holy Spirit works. I was reading Ephesians 4:11-13, and caught with the idea that we are all different, yet all made in the image of God. Some people are made for one thing and others are made for another thing. The reality is, God made us for His purpose.
Yes, God made us all in his image… yet we all look differently, act differently, sin differently and are gifted differently. And as I pondered this, I thought about how I’m going to teach a group of students about how special they are, how gifted they are, and how important they are to the Kingdom of God. I cannot take this lightly, because I know that I have the opportunity to really speak into someone’s life. They need to know (not just that God loves them) that they are needed to do God’s work. I say often that God doesn’t need us to do his work, but He chooses to use us anyway… despite our frailty.
We are all the same though, too. We are all imperfect, we are all good at something, we are all made in the image of God, and we are all useful in God’s Kingdom.
So the next time you feel down, the next time you feel like you are worthless, the next time you feel that you aren’t special… remember that you are. You are made in the image of God. Bask in His presence and know this in your heart today.
Some of you know that I love leading worship. I want to share a couple songs with you that have been transforming my personal worship times, both of them also will be played at our next worship time at youth. Here there are, enjoy and bask in the presence of God as you listen and worship. Check it out!!
At the beginning of this blogging journey, I asked my beautiful wife to help me in my writing skills, especially with editing, grammar and sentence structure. I’ve learned a lot about blogging, but nothing more profound than the point she told me the other day. This time though, she pointed out something very obvious that I hadn’t seen before.
I ask too many questions.
Yes, way too many.
And now that she pointed it out, I see it clearly.
In my attempt to capture the application of a story, or emphasize the potency of a message… I end up nullifying it with too many questions. And she was right (In fact, she’s pretty much always right!). She told me that asking one simple question after telling a story is way more effective for getting comments and feedback.
Anyway, it’s fun to laugh at yourself, especially when you know that you aren’t the best writer to begin with.
What are your thoughts about questions in blogs? (ha, see what I just did?)
Some of you may have read my last post called Ethical Dilemma. You may have also read my response to one of the comments, where I said that I sent a message to this “unnamed coffee shop” (which you probably have all guessed by now that it was Starbucks) to alert them of the problem. Here is a response I got when I was completely honest and told about the whole situation.
My name is Mary and I’m from Starbucks Customer Service.
Thank you for contacting Starbucks.
After looking over your account I was able to view that not only is your birthday reward still available. I’m not exactly sure what’s going on with your account or why your reward will not show a redeemed status. As you’ve stated it very well maybe a application issue. The way I can suggest to correct this is by un-installing and re-installing the mobile application.
Once you’ve done that if the reward is still showing a available status attempt to tell the barista again the you have a birthday reward that you would like to redeem. After they attempt it a second time, if the reward is not showing a redeemed status please contact us with the following information.
Store # reward was used at as well as the date reward was used.
Thanks again for writing us. If you ever have any questions or concerns in the future Wes, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
We would love to hear your feedback. Click here to take a short survey.
This was not what I expected.
All I was hoping for was for them to fix the problem, no strings attached. I just wanted to be honest, making sure they didn’t get hosed if this fell in the wrong hands.
I then got an email this morning from someone named William (Senior Management) who accredited my account with two free drinks after reading my email. He thanked me for alerting them of the problem. This was also unexpected.
So this was the follow up to the crazy birthday drink story.
Meanwhile, I’ll be uninstalling my app and reinstalling it.
If the birthday drink still appears I will contact them to make sure they know that it is still there… without trying to get a free drink again.
Thanks for listening to the follow up of this story!
As you may have read from my last post, I recently said au revoir to the 33rd year of my life and entered the (not quite as dramatic) 34th year of my life. I guess one good thing that matters about being another year older is that on my birthday I get a free drink from my favourite unnamed coffee shop (of course, this is because I’m a gold card member and I spend way to much money there).
Well, a few days ago I went to redeem my free drink… and it was a doozie of a drink! I ordered a Vente Peppermint Mocha. Mmmmm… not too shabby for sharing my birthday with the international mint-chocolate day, eh? Anyway, I went to zip to pay with my shnazzy app on my phone and it didn’t work. The barista was surprised and told me that I had already redeemed my drink. This was very odd and I assured him that this wasn’t the case. I nearly became livid but quickly realized that I could just pull out my account on my phone and show that I still had one birthday drink available and will expire on March 29th. The barista told me not to worry and I won’t have to pay for my drink since it was my birthday. Aw. So nice, right?
Fast forward 24 hours and I find myself at a different location (of my favourite coffee shop) to redeem my drink. The rationale was that I thought that the barista made a mistake and that the app should work and I can finally redeem my free drink. I strolled up to the counter to order my drink, zapped my app… and the same thing happened. It didn’t work. The girl behind the counter assured me that it was their mistake and that the vente caramel macchiato will be on the house!
Ok. Hold up. Wait a second here…
Following my order of that drink came some thoughts… some nasty thoughts, some humanly-sinful-desire-side-of-myself type thoughts. It occurred to me that I could be getting a free drink every day until March 29th. There is a glitch in the app. If I were a dishonest person, I could really milk-it! However, that isn’t me. I quickly realized that I just couldn’t do that. I couldn’t go back in to another one of these stores in full integrity and redeem yet another free birthday drink. Some people might. In fact I’m sure a lot of people might. A lot of people might even get away with it. But that isn’t me, I just can’t do that.
It wouldn’t be right. It would be dishonest. That wouldn’t be consistent with my value of living my life with integrity. It would be stealing, because I wasn’t paying for it. This was my ethical dilemma.
Let’s be honest here… if you were in my shoes, what would you do?