I have a hard time in church.
I guess I always have, and it has nothing necessarily to do with the sermon preparation and delivery of the pastor (Ok, for one it did) and it has nothing to do with the people that go to my church. I heard a story one time about that one and it made me laugh
One balmy day in the South Pacific, a navy ship espied smoke coming from one of three huts on an uncharted island. Upon arriving at the shore they were met by a shipwreck survivor. He said, "I'm so glad you're here! I've been alone on this island for more than five years!"
The captain replied, "If you're all alone on the island why do I see THREE huts."
The survivor said, "Oh. We'll, I live in one, and go to church in another."
"What about the THIRD hut?" asked the captain.
"That's where I USED to go to church."
I have a problem with church because I have the mind of a cartoonist. I see a person and I instantly break their posture, facial expressions and mannerisms down into shapes on the tablet sketch pad of my mind.
If you ever see me laughing as I talk to someone, please understand that I am fighting for my sanity with an internalized war to keep from mentally cartooning the person I am speaking with. I blame my dad because I have a love for the bizarre from him. I really do fight it, but for an ever running mind and imagination church can seem like a cartoonist's mental buffet. You may have shared a church service with me and are wondering even now, "Was I cartooned? Did he just cartoon me?" The answer is, "Probably yes".
For this blog post I would like to give you my brain for a minute. Please, don't thank me and yes I know that you would have preferred to just take a solid sock on the jaw and be done with it but really, it won't be that bad.
Are you ready?
Ok, the word is... Heart.
My wife and I used to be slightly addicted to watching this show some time back called “CLEAN SWEEP” it was one of those “Let me have your house overnight while I show you what you could have if you weren’t such a slob yourself!” shows.
We used to watch it all the time and I remember that there was a bubbly host, several designers, and some organizers; one of my favorites was a guy with a kind of British accent. There were some carpenters, and then there were the homeowners. The host of the show and his crew completely took over your house and your life and gave you a newly redecorated room by the end of the show. Now I know you get a remodeled room out of the deal, but the price you pay is just a little too much in my book.
They trot into your house with there TV cameras, and present your poor up keeping abilities to the rest of us in the world so that our up keeping abilities don’t seem nearly as shabby as yours.
They then show us how in twenty four hours they can do with our house, and personal lives what we have been unable to do since we were born. They clear out all the unnecessary junk.
The first thing they do is put everything in the house on the yard and the reason for this is so that you can better see what all you have.
This alone can be a shocker. Just seeing all the junk sitting there and asking yourself, “Did I really have all this stuff in my house?”
Almost always, these people ultimately discover that if they just cleaned out the stuff that did not really matter, they could have the house that they always wanted to have.
I am amazed at how much junk that people have.
One of the organizers refers to the sweep as “PURGING” .The designer will pull the owner of the home to the yard, and make him or her justify why certain things should stay, and why certain things should go.
They show you what is important to have in order to have the house the way you always wished it could be, and what is causing it to not be that house you always wanted it to be.
One person had big pink rabbit chairs for there kids (who were now married and living our of state)
One person had 32 pairs of shoes. It was really sad when they were exclaiming that ”I have shoes that I have never even worn…”
Some people had furniture, exercise equipment, clothes, bikes, and electronics that have never even used before.
Just clutter that has all that time been piling up to the point that they no longer have any room to have what they have always wanted…a neat, clean and organized house.
I used to love watching people part with things they didn't need. I have seen people cry, yell, pout,throw things, argue and make fools of themselves.
However, when the moment arrives to see the redesigned rooms they gasp, and cry, and jump up and down with excitement over the clean, neat design they now have. They hug and praise the same organizer that they have been screaming at.
They had the beautiful room long before the designer came along; they just needed an organizer to help them “PURGE” away the junk from what really mattered.
Almost all of the people on the show would say basically the same thing.
“I NEVER THOUGHT I COULD HAVE A ROOM LIKE THIS!!!”
Now my house is not the largest house in the world, and there are a lot of things that I would not mind having in that house, but the realistic truth of the matter is that my house is not the largest house in the world.
The Bible makes reference to our heart, and the importance of it (Not the organ version of it, but the house version of it)
"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." ~Proverbs 4:23
This is not talking about a magazine collection, it is speaking about the things we go through in life and the importance of protecting our heart because issues of your life will be settled in your heart, and if we fail to protect it we are certain to fail in our Christian life.
"Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee." ~Proverbs 23:6-7
What is in your heart is certain to come out, like a submarine it has to surface some time, and when what is in your heart does there is no hiding it.
When you speak what has been buried in your heart will surface to reveal what has been in there all along…What do you talk about?
I see our heart like a house.
It is not the largest house in the world so when it comes to things to furnish that house with we should be cautious.
Space is a precious commodity.When we choose to put things in, that means there are things that we have to choose to leave out.
Every one of us has this picture of what a walk with God should be like, to pray and really feel as though God stops the traffic in heaven to listen, and wants to talk back to us. We imagine being the strong Christian, and standing for God when those around us don’t.
We have a picture in our mind about how awesome it would be to have a heart for God. But we look around our heart and we see what we have, a cluttered mess, and we think. There is no way I could ever have the Christian life I would like to have, so why even try. After all, that must just be for the designer Christians.
And our heart becomes even more cluttered than it was before.
Paul seemed to know what it was like to have a clean sweep in his heart, because he talks a little bit about it in the book of Ephesians.
"If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." ~Ephesians 4:21-32
I don’t know about you, but if I am saved I am going to enjoy it.
Not a Holier than thou, but happier than thou attitude. For the longest time I was convinced that being a Christian and having a sense of humor was a bad combination. The only time some Christians laugh is if it is at someone else's expense.
I would not want to sit around the house moping through my Christian life because it is not where I wanted it to be.
“Bro.Dan, is your Christian life where you want it to be?”
NO, but that doesn’t have to stop me from trying to get it where I think it should be.
The Christian life is like a hike remember? It’s a journey
If you look at your heart today and see a cluttered mess with bad thoughts on the walls, wrong words littering the room, ugly gossip and bad attitudes strewn all over the floor, or perhaps your vision of what a heart for God should look like is no where close to what you want it to be.You may be in need of a spiritual...
DRAG IT ALL OUT SIDE.
Some times we don’t even know what we have in the house, or how cluttered our heart is until we just get honest with ourselves. What have you been hanging on to?
I heard a question on the radio today that made me think.
"What is it that you know you should throw away, but you probably never will?"
What a great question for us to get honest with the Lord and ask.
"Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." ~Psalms 139:23-24
David was asking God to take a good look with him to see if there were some things that needed to be purged.
The Holy Spirit will show us the things that need to go, but we must be the ones to ask God to help us “purge”.
Once we can see what is cluttering up our heart, it makes it easier to see what needs to go and what needs to stay.
Some times when we can see things for what they are we have a chance to see if it is really what we want taking up space in our heart.
Gossip is not just letting people know what is going on. It’s a fire that destroys without thought, and is difficult to stop.
"Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth." ~Proverbs 26:20
LYING is not just fibbing, or telling a story.It is something that God hates.
"These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." ~Proverbs 6:16-19
Ephesians 4 tells us to choose things to occupy the space that will help, not hinder.
If I am going to have a clean sweep in my Heart, get the walk with God that I want, have the Christian life that I want to have, it requires a daily purging.
A set aside time when I Drag it all out to God, Ask if I really need to keep it, and finally...
TRUST THE DESIGNER.
The thing to do is to ask him to help us, and then keep pushing for the goal.
Choosing the types of things to furnish our heart with that will matter.
It is a process for sure, but it is worth it to be able to fully identify with what Jesus says in John 10:10.
"I came to give you life and life more abundantly"
It is our identity in Christ that when it is fully understood allows us to see the rooms that we always wanted to have. He is a great designer. Keep that in mind as you take some time even today to just get honest with Him about the things that you have allowed in your house.
Thanks for sharing my mind today.
Climbing with you,