Monday, March 25, 2013

Dancing with The Star

I think one of my favorite books that we have on our bookshelves at home is the book about the "Sneetches". I love to read this one to our kids and not just read it but explain something so very important about this book. Not only is it a very entertaining story, but God can be found in this story.


No, I am not starting some radical "Sneetch" cult sect, but I am a firm believer in the Bible as our final authority. If the Bible tells me something, I DO believe it!

I believe that God desires for us to look for Him in everything we do, everywhere we go, and in everyone that we meet.

This concept of Proverbs 3:5-6 CHANGED my life!

I truly feel bad for a child when they are not able to see their Dad. I believe that God can be found in a child's story about Sneetches just as easily as He can be found in a rainbow. I believe that the heart of God can be expressed in EVERYTHING!

Not sure if you believe this?

"Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually" ~1 Chronicles 16:10-11 

"Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God..." ~ 1 Chronicles 22:19 

"And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever." ~ 1 Chronicles 28:9

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." ~ 2 Chronicles 7:14

"And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD..." ~ 2 Chronicles 20:3

"The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts." ~ Psalms 10:4 

"When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek." ~Psalms 27:8

I especially love these passages about seeking to find God in everything we do, every place we go, and in everyone we meet.

 "I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me." ~Proverbs 8:17 

"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."  ~Jeremiah 29:13

"And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. " ~Luke 11:9

So I guess you could say that I truly want to look for God in everything, and true to His word, He is waiting to be found!

There are two main things that I as a father want to teach my children. If they never learn to shoot a basket, change the oil, or hang a sheet of drywall that is ok with me, but there are two things I want to teach them.

1.How to see God. I want them to be able to identify His voice in their lives and see His direction.

2.Who they are IN Christ. What their identity is IN Him. I want them to realize that Christ was not just sent to die for their sins, but that He rose to be their very LIFE! He did not go to the cross just to love them, but rather so that they could love like Him! The Christian life is not  just about a book and a building. The Christian life is about Jesus expressing His life through them!

This takes us back to the bookshelf where we find ourselves looking at the Dr. Seuss's classic tale of the SNEETCHES!

The Sneetches were these tall yellow creatures who loved walk the beaches and have frankfurter roasts, picnics, parties, and Marshmallow roasts. There were two different groups of sneetches that walked the beaches and this created a problem.


There was a group that had green stars on their bellies and a group that did not. As you can see by the picture above, if you did not have a green star, then of course you were shunned by the sneetches who had the green stars. After all, you were not as good as them, and you were not invited to attend the starred sneetch's parties or assemblies. This made the un-starred sneetches quite discouraged as you can imagine

So the idea that un-starred sneetches were somehow not as good or "perfect" was passed down from generation to generation. Isn't it funny how having something someone else doesn't affects the way we treat them or determines their value to us and to how we think the creator of the beaches sees those sneetches?

The star bellies made up songs praising the fact that they had stars and that there were others that did not. They had their closed frankfurter roasts around the light of the fire and the un-starred group had to stand off in the darkness.

Then one day, a slick salesman by the name of  Sylvester McMonkey McBean showed up with a solution for the un-starred sneetches. For a price he could make them appear to look just like the star bellied sneetches! That's right! For a very small fee, this salesman could make them able to be what these plain sneetches could not seem to ever be, accepted by those with stars on their bellies. So with some outward conformity, the sneetches all looked alike.

There was mad race that ensued to remove and add stars that left the poor sneetches broke, and ultimately frustrated and confused on their identity. They tried so hard to gain acceptance from one another because of outward status symbols and they missed the only important factor. They were all sneetches. The stars they displayed on the outside were not what made them sneetches.

I see a message from God in this story.

The outward star is not the thing God is looking for. He is looking for The Star (Christ)on the inside. We do have it mixed up a bit. We determine our value on how we compare with the others around us and we worry about the size and positioning of our displayed stars. For most of my life I determined another persons spiritual state on the star that they displayed.
The stars were the amount of events that they attended at my church. It was whether or not they joined a cause I had an interest in. In fact, it really did not matter how they behaved behind closed doors just as long as they had that star.

I saw salesmen who tried to "sell" acceptance to others and have observed  frankfurter roast conferences where sneetches gathered together to compare stars and feel elevated because they had a star to display.
I saw sneetches who were mean, critical, hateful, and manipulative who showed up to present the "Star" that gained them access to the club and challenge others to just "Get a star and be accepted by me and our particular club". The outward star or lack of it was really not the important issue. The issue was, who made them, and did they know Him?

I understand that this message can be totally misread, and in fact I am sure that it will. I am ok with that, because the star on the outside only admits acceptance to those with stars upon thars. I know the one who made the beach and the sneetch so to speak. I have His Star on the inside! Our identity should not be based upon the stars that others wear nor should they be based upon the lack of a displayed star. Our identity needs to be based on The Star that indwells the Child of God. The Star named the Lord Jesus Christ!

I want to just throw this out there for a minute.

Do you know the one who made the beach?

I did not ask if you knew about Him. Do you know Him?

Stars come and go with the salesmen who peddle them. The Father is constant!

If you can at best say, "Sure I know His name, and yes I believe in Jesus". That is a star on the outside. Believing in and believing on are two different things.

God wants to be found by you! He made you Sneetch, and He made the beach you walk on. He wants you to know Him and the invitation is out there. It is us who need only to call on Him!

If you want Him to reveal Himself to you, just ask!

Climbing with you,

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