26 September 2012

DC Talk and "The Trash Can Party"

We live in the woods. 

At the end of a two lane gravel road.  Close enough to a Walmart and city folk to be comfortable, but just off the beaten path enough to have peace and quiet…most of the time.

This is great for my wife and me.  We love it down there.  Private, secluded.  The only people who come onto our property are there for a reason.  You don’t just “happen by” our house.  In 12 years, we have had 2 Jehovah’s Witnesses and zero Mormons.  And zero protestant churches.  (Perhaps a post for another day.)

My Children though…they aren’t keen on it.  Yet.

10 September 2012

Spaghetti Sauce Stains, Restoration, and Justin Bieber

My kids are awesome. So fun. Love life. Moody. But sweet as can be.

One of the best traits of my kids(BB and Peach, for those who haven't read from when I first started ths blog)is their desire to help out around the house.

BB is my 6 year old, flighty boy who will gladly help out...for a good, rock solid 20 seconds before he wants to move on to other things. He is the same way with schoolwork, and is probably how I was at that age.

Peach is my almost 4 year old little girl who is doggedly determined in everything she does. Very temperamental. But when she sets her mind to something, she locks in and gets the task done. And she wants to do it right, or she starts crying.

This difference, as you can imagine, can lead to some vicious fights that would make the Hatfields and McCoys cringe.

That's a post for another day.

Last week, BB decided to help wash the dishes.

That's right. I said WE wash our dishes...WITH OUR HANDS. No fancy, new fangled electronical machine to do it. I often kid with people that our dishwasher is 41 years old...get it? And we still don't have internet at the house. Our house was built in 1969, and we have decided to live that way still today! (For some reason, my mind just started singing "Party Like It's 1969"...no offense, Prince, but I like my version better)

After cute little BB went off to bed, I went into the kitchen to put the dishes up. BB only washed his and Peaches' dishes that are those 2 compartment plates like some cafeterias have to keep the mystery meat from getting green bean juice on it. (Hey, I wrote a post about Green Brean Juice...go read it!) One is an Owl and the other is a Dog.

Well, in the drying rack, they fit stacked perfectly together. The Dog was on bottom and the Owl on top. I grabbed them both and was reaching to put them in, when I decided I better check them.

If you are a parent of a 6 year old flighty boy, you know what I found. The top plate was clean. The Owl was very clean. But the bottom of Owl and the top of Dog was filthy. Covered in spaghetti sauce and flecks of beef and tiny smashed noodle shards (does that work?) were all over them.

So, here's the question...what did I do?

COMMON SENSE would say...I cleaned them up.

I grabbed the washrag and detergent and got them clean. And that is what I did. Doesn't that make common sense?

What does NOT make sense would be if I said "I was grossed out by them, so I just threw them away." Agreed? Please say that you agree with this, or the next portion of my post will be useless to you...With some effort and time, I was able to get the plates usable again. Throwing them away would be..well...stupid.

Now...let's go to church.

What do we do when we find out that Deacon Jones, who looks clean on the top--- he is addicted to porn?

How about this...we find out that Sally-Sue in the youth group who goes on missions trips and sings solos on Sunday nights--- she's 2 months pregnant.


What should we do?

"Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should RESTORE HIM in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."- Galatians 6

Now, there will be a follow-up post written about my own train-wreck experience that started this entire blog and also gave me the name Lazarus...

I don't know much...but I know this. There is time for proper church-discipline. A good friend of mine and I have been hashing this issue out lately, and the Bible teaches there is a time for this.

But those times are rare.

Yet, I have seen many of my friends hurt, damaged, shunned, belittled, thrown out and banished without ANY effort on the part of the church to RESTORE the person.

Like me having to physically invest TIME and EFFORT to get that plate as clean as I could, so should the church invest TIME and EFFORT to restore.

I have no idea who reads this blog. I don't know where you are, who you are, or why you happened here. So, even though I don't know you, I still want to challenge you...

DON'T THROW PEOPLE AWAY WHEN THEY GET DIRTY! Put TIME and EFFORT into RESTORING THEM! Perhaps on the other side, they will be stained. They may never regain the luster they once had, but that's o.k. LOVE them and help them clean themselves up the best you can.

There have been a few people in my life who have come along and, whether they know it or not, have been vital in the process of my personal restoration. I was one of those thrown out, shunned and damaged. I have teetered on the brink of...alot of things, but there have been a few people who KNEW what I had done and LOVED me anyway and PRAYED with me and for me, and took genuine interest in my life...

So, to Joe, Eric, Lamar, Angela, Lindsay, and Scott....thank you.

Only JESUS could save my soul, but you saved my LIFE.

Don't throw people away.

I beg you.