Category Archives: Christian Living

Posts that deal with Christian living and its issues.

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

The Bible And Church Potlucks

imageThe sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and it is a beautiful day for a church potluck. I see Mrs. Smith has brought her world-famous, make Colonel Sanders weep, fried chicken.
Somebody else has brought peach cobbler. Oh, I will definitely have some of that after the chicken. On second thought, I might as well eat dessert first, you never know, a meteor could fall and wipe out civilization before I get to it. I don’t want to be stuck scanning the sky for falling space rocks while I eat my fried chicken. Yep, peach cobbler is definitely first.
As I walk down the table full of bountiful delights, a couple of things stick out. Some do-gooder brought a kale salad. Who brings kale salad to a church potluck? I guarantee you that they are going home with almost the same amount of kale salad as they came with. Broccoli! Not broccoli casserole with cheese and ham, not even broccoli in cheese sauce. It’s not even the raw broccoli that you can dip in ranch dressing to give it taste. It’s just, broccoli, steamed and green and lifeless there in a bowl. Blecch. Continue reading The Bible And Church Potlucks

The Christmas Birds

gooses-1523997On a cold, snowy midwest Christmas Eve…

I can’t believe my wife is getting dressed for church. Church! It’s snowing outside, the fire is going and it is nice and warm in here. What is she thinking?

Knowing I am better off not to even try, I say “Babe, I know you like going to church, and hey, I’m not usually against it, but tonight? It’s Christmas Eve, and it is freezing out there. Can’t you skip church tonight?” Continue reading The Christmas Birds

Uncle Jer’s Christmas Decoration Guide

fruitcakeWell, it’s that time of year again. As the Thanksgiving turkey was still digesting, Christmas decorations were popping up all over town. Frosty the Snowman made an appearance or two. You see a lot of elves, and Santa is stinking everywhere! For an old fat guy, the dude sure gets around. Being an old fat guy myself, I kind of admire his spunk… Continue reading Uncle Jer’s Christmas Decoration Guide

Starbucks Hates Christmas?

red-cup-600x800A couple of weeks ago somebody sent me a video of a guy named Josh. I won’t give him any publicity by giving you his last name. Trust me, he doesn’t deserve it. Anyway, Josh’s video was all about how Starbucks hates Christmas because they took the snowflakes, poinsettias and Christmas ornaments off of their holiday cups. He angrily, and pretty boastfully, pointed out how he had put one over on Starbucks by giving his name as “Merry Christmas.” When Starbucks called out “Merry Christmas” to give him his order, he pointed out that he had found the loophole in their system and “made them say Merry Christmas.” Congratulations, Sparky, you just made millions of Christians look like morons. I’ve seen two or three of his other videos, and to be honest, I have seen better film on dishwater. Okay, that last bit may have been mean. Continue reading Starbucks Hates Christmas?

Kryptonite Donuts

Kryptonite donutI looked out of the corner of my eye at the table in the back of Remnant. It was a nice table. There was a nice tablecloth, and some flowers. All very nice. Then I saw it. My nemesis, my kryptonite. A chill ran down my back as I was immediately tempted to do wrong. I instinctively began making my way toward it. Slowly I crept, not wanting to make a scene or cause anybody to see what I was doing. Inch by inch, closer and closer. Someone called out to me, and I jerked upright, “Hi, I wasn’t doing anything…” not cool, Jerry, not cool. Continue reading Kryptonite Donuts

Mixed Up Lyrics

accordion-1252524I was reading about the most misquoted songs of all time. Most of them are pretty funny, and I must confess, some of them are lyrics I have mangled.

For instance, Jimi Hendrix sang “excuse me while I kiss the sky,” not “excuse me while I kiss this guy.”

Creedence Clearwater Revival sang “there’s a bad moon on the rise,” not “there’s a bathroom on the right.” Continue reading Mixed Up Lyrics

Down To The Felt

Gambling2The gambler looks for his chips and sees nothing but the vast green top of the blackjack table. He’s got nothing left, no chips, no more markers, no money, no hope. He’s down to the felt. He’s lost everything.

Our Christmas series at Remnant was called, “God’s Big Gamble.” If you think about it, the whole Christmas story seems like one big roll of the dice. Everything about how Jesus came to this earth is different than you or I would have done it. Continue reading Down To The Felt