G'ampa C's Blog

Saturday, September 16, 2006


This evening we're hosting some college students from ACU for supper(and other kids, probably). I was out on the grill from 10:30 until 1:30 cooking chicken, pork ribs, beef ribs, and stuffed Jalapenos. The house smells good enough to make you want to eat the furniture right now, as the goodies finish in the oven.

This is really all about adoption, believe it or not.

When I was in school at OCC, a family from the church I attended on Britton Road adopted me and my roommates. We were invited to eat on weekends and especially Sundays. We often went home with them for Sunday lunch, walking into the home smelling of roast and fresh bread and desserts. We were asked over for their kid's birthday parties. We were included in family get-togethers and devotionals. They sent us cards on special days and had us over before finals and mid-terms to relax and study while doing our laundry. Along with their 5 children, we ended up calling them Mom & Dad. Their home was home to us. Those times are so memorable, although nothing spectacular ever really happened.
Today while I was cooking, I was wondering what made that so special. I think it is the adoption. The welcoming home. College students being allowed to be kids again. To have someone treat you like their own children. Lots of students didn't get involved in the adoption program, and they really missed out. Highland has had a similar "official" program in the past, but right now there don't seem to be enough families interested to keep it going. That is sad, so we invite new students to be our kids, just like the Willis family, the Watsons, the Barbers and others. Some take us up on it, some don't.

While I was mulling this over (and smoking the ribs), I realized God has offered us the same deal, with bonuses. Come, be my children, let me fix something for you. Take your shoes off, "set" a spell. Stay in my mansion for an eternity or two. Be one of the family. Have some banana pudding, and lick the bowl when it's done. Sit on the front porch and I'll make it rain, just for you.

See, how great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called his children.....(and that is what we are)..., for through Jesus, we have received the adoption as sons of the Most High.
Nice. REALLY nice.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Law of Christ

Several things have happened over the past few weeks to make me think about that familiar passage in Gal. 6:2.
"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." What law?
Maybe it is the second greatest commandment; Love your neighbor as yourself.
I am guilty of neglecting to always show that love and carry others' burdens. I am also guilty of preventing others from doing that for me.

How is it that I think I should be able to do everything on my own? Is it being American, the old pull-yourself-up-by-your-own- bootstraps?
The more I think of it, I become more convinced that carrying each other's burdens has two parts, not one. Not only must I be willing and ready to bear other's burdens, I must be willing and ready to let them know what my own are, *** AND *** permit them to do that carrying. Simply put, I am to ask those close members of the body to help me with my burdens. Even God, who knows what our needs and struggles are before we ask, still wants us to ask. He really, really wants me to ask. I think maybe the asking is a way of inviting him into my space, my private place. It is necessary for a healthy relationship.
Last Sunday morning I woke at 4:00am trying to pass a kidney stone, my 13th or 14th, I think. They are very painful. This time, for the first time, I prayed that God would make it pass, and he did, before 7:00am. Somehow it has always seemed too self-serving to pray for something like that before. Why? What I think I am learning is that God wants to be asked, invited, beckoned, begged into our own holy place. He wants to be that one individual I can always go to with a request. His help is there, available, but I should not assume he will take it on himself to step into my holy place.
In my own circle of friends, I find it much easier to be on my own than ask for help. Do I treat God the same way? We discussed this in our bible study, as well.
Recently, I have had a close friend come to confess with me and ask for help, and another friend has tested the water to find out if I would be willing to help financially. It is so rewarding to be invited into someone's private place so I can try to help. What richness and relationship lies beyond my grasp because I just won't ask for help? What blessings do I withhold from my brothers and sisters by not inviting them into my needy places?
While it is true that God knows what I need, he still wants to be invited to my private place to help.
Is it possible that the invitation to serve and the serving creates a bond like no other, a blessing for both the "server" and the "servee", the inviter and invitee? It sure seems so.