No one talks about the son who stayed at home

I sat and talked with a friend the other day. We were talking about life, faith, and stories. As I shared about another friend of mine who has majorly turned his life around, he said “Joel, I’ve grown up my whole life in church, I’ve never partied, I never even touched alcohol until I was 21, I never did drugs, I’m not married, so I’ve never had sex, I’ve never majorly screwed up. I’ve always done exactly what the church has taught me to do. And I feel like that’s not good enough. Like I don’t have a story to tell.”

He paused for a moment and drew a breath as his eyes moistened. Then, with his voice quivering, continued,

“I hear people talk about all these people who are turning their life around, who used to be really bad, and everyone celebrates them. But here I am, and no one even mentions how well I’ve done at keeping all the things that Jesus commands and the church tells us. I feel like I’m not good enough, that I don’t have a story to tell, that I have nothing to say that is worth listening to.” Continue reading

Equal Rights

 

 

I have recently found myself being drawn into a new cause. There is a great injustice out there that I has surged recently.

Rights for Droids.

Droids in today’s day and age, with all of our civil rights talk, are basically modern-day slaves. I mean, we expect them to do all the crap work, we don’t pay them, and they have no rights.

Heck, we even buy and sell them!

This is a great cause that I am very excited to help support, if you are going to throw your weight behind anything, you should throw it behind this, because Droids are not something to be owned, they are friends to be cherished!

 

What does being a servant mean?

30In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
Luke 10:30-35

I was reading through my bible, and when I came to these verses, God laid them on my heart, and my first thought was “these aren’t about being a servant” since the word “servant” wasn’t in there at all, but then it hit me, if any of Jesus’ parables about servant hood, this is the best I think. What more does a servant do? See, the priest and the Levite walked on by, in fact, they walked by on the other side, as far away as possible. They didn’t want to stop and help, they wanted to put themselves away from the problem as much as possible. Now, I do know that in that time, if they had touched a sick and bleeding person, they would have to do a whole long ritual to “cleanse” themselves of the disease and such. But they were so worried about their rituals and being “clean” that they didn’t want to help someone who obviously needed it. But then comes a Samaritan, an outcast, a reject. Someone who would have every right to keep on going past this man who’s people had probably made fun of him and rejected him. But he doesn’t keep going, he stops, and takes pity on the man. What compelled him to stop and do this? I think it is because he didn’t have these times and dates, and rituals and “cleansing” issues to deal with. I’m not excusing the Levite and the Priest because they had to worry about their cleansing. But the Samaritan didn’t have to worry about it, he was free from that to help. I think that is what a servant is, they put others and others needs above theirs. We often get so caught up in our “rituals”, like being in a meeting on time, or going to hang out with friends that we don’t stop to help others. We are no better than the Levite or Priest, so concerned for our “cleanliness” that we don’t stop to help others. Now, I’m not advocating being late, but I think that if you are late because you stop to help someone, that is a better testimony than to make it to that church meeting on time, or that Christian bible class on time. Now there are those who might get mad, and think the testimony is ruined because you were late for something you said you would be on time to because you were helping someone, but it is a greater testimony to God, to whom we do all our service. I’m guilty of this too, I am so worried about being in to Master’s on time (or early even) that I forget to serve, or I am so worried about doing what I need to do, that I don’t take the time to serve and help someone else who really needs my help. This is my challenge: we need to focus more on others and their needs, than to be so concerned for ours.