Forbidden Pomegranates?

pomegranate-1516600Every now and then I get a crazy idea or two. I got the crazy idea to go talk to a beautiful blonde who attended my grandpa’s church. A few months later I got the crazy idea to propose to her. Fortunately for me, she had the totally insane idea to say yes. We must not be too crazy, we have lasted together almost 35 years.

I have told anybody who would listen, and many of them didn’t want to, that the apple was not the fruit that Adam and Eve ate in the Garden of Eden. Apples are colorful, tasty and easy to eat. They are beautiful. No, I am pretty sure that God intended for us to eat apples. The Bible doesn’t say apple, it just says, “fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.” Now, assuming that this tree still exists and didn’t get locked up when they closed the Garden of Eden, I think the fruit was most likely a pomegranate. Continue reading Forbidden Pomegranates?

The Death Stare

michael-phelps-game-face-large_trans++O98ycFATayOMYZMYchRAhDz60MLShTGSjzQPgXOJ4FcLike many people, I’ve been watching the Olympics this week. I have seen some amazing, and not so amazing physical performances, but my favorite part of the Olympics didn’t happen on a court, a field or in a pool. It happened in a waiting room, and it was awesome!

Michael Phelps is one of, if not the, greatest Olympians of all time. He has enough gold medals to fill the cavities of every child in America. Fort Knox asks Phelps for gold loans. Phelps is amazing! Some guy from South Africa named Chad Guy Bertrand le Clos decided to tug on Superman’s cape and called out Michael Phelps. First of all, this guy has way too many names. Pick a first, middle and last, anything beyond that is just pretentious and makes you look bad. Also, le Clos is not real smart. I mean lightspeed unintelligent. He owes IQ points. Continue reading The Death Stare

Getting Old

Dentures in a glass of water on black background.

My youngest son turned thirty years old in July. Thirty years old! I never thought that I would live to be thirty years old, let alone have two kids in their thirties! My seventeen-year-old self could not begin to comprehend the 57 year old me.

When I was seventeen I had hair. I even made fun of my uncle, Pastor Bill Brewer, because of his lack of hair. I asked him if he “combed his hair with a washcloth.” He chuckled, but I am sure that a little part of him died. It wasn’t his hair, because he didn’t have any, but something died, I am sure. Little did I know then that my uncle and I would share a hair style. Well, technically, a lack of hair style. Continue reading Getting Old

Orlando…

Orlando Police officers direct family members away from a fatal shooting at Pulse Orlando nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

I turned on the television Sunday morning and was greeted by horrific news. In the wee hours of the morning, a gunman had killed 50 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Another 53 were injured, and many of them may not make it.
Pulse is advertised as the hottest gay club in Orlando, and it appears that the motive for the killing may have been homophobia in addition to a devotion to ISIS. The combination led to the senseless loss of lives. Continue reading Orlando…

Broken, But Beautiful

imageIt was the last day of our mini-vacation. As my wife, Lanette, climbed the stairs into our motor home I heard a clatter and then a groan. My wife’s iPhone 6 Plus had fallen right onto the concrete driveway. I’m not sure if you are aware of the effect of gravity and concrete on a cell phone, but let it suffice to say that it does not have a happy ending. Lanette’s screen was shattered, and the phone was almost unusable. Sure, she could have kept using it, but trying to look through the labyrinth of cracks and miniature glass shards would have certainly driven her crazy. If you have been married any length of time you know that crazy is passed on from wives to husbands.
Since our cell phones have become almost as necessary to our lives as oxygen, the phone had to be fixed. I found Tyler in Brawley and he made an appointment to fix the shattered screen. He met Lanette at a coffee house and while they talked he replaced the destroyed screen, and just like that, Lanette’s phone was good as new. The phone went from unusable to as good as new in just a few minutes. You can’t even tell anything ever happened to the phone. Well, except for a small blemish right where the phone hit the concrete. The small mark in the metal will always be there as a subtle reminder that it may be good as new, but someone had to fix it to make it that way.
The Japanese have a practice called “kintsugi.” Kintsugi is the practice of joining broken pottery with lacquer resin made to look like gold. The finished project is even more beautiful, not despite of the repairs, but because of them. Instead of hiding the scars of brokenness, kintsugi highlights them, showing the beauty of being broken.
In our lives, all of us have moments of brokenness. Very few of us grew up in perfect homes. Our teen years can be a mish-mash of uncertainty and insecurity. As we moved into adulthood we found new opportunities to be hurt. And through it all, we have been chipped, broken and often felt destroyed.
Into our pain and brokenness comes a savior who is willing to mend us and make us better than new. Just like kintsugi, as we are repaired by God’s love, become even more beautiful because of all that we have been through. Every scar, every ding, every chip is another opportunity for us to be made more beautiful through God’s grace.
Jesus knows all about brokenness. Matthew 26:26-28 says, “During the meal, Jesus took and blessed the bread, broke it, and gave it to his disciples: Take, eat. This is my body. Taking the cup and thanking God, he gave it to them: Drink this, all of you. This is my blood, God’s new covenant poured out for many people for the forgiveness of sins.” Jesus understood that he had to be broken in order to accomplish God’s work in us. Without Jesus’s death on the cross we could not have salvation. Once again, brokenness leads to grace and beauty.
So what about you? Are you ready to let God have your pain and hurt so he can make you something beautiful? Sitting right where you are, you can begin the process of letting God begin repairing, beautifying and making your life whole, all you need to do is reach out to him. Your words don’t have to be fancy, they don’t even have to be the “right” words. Just tell him you are ready. Ready to give him your hurt, your pain, and everything you are. Like Japanese pottery, you will be even more beautiful once you are repaired.
Glad for repaired hearts… Jerry