So, Who Would Choose This?

Who would choose this? That’s what I’m wondering today. Who would choose this? What you ask? I had my first colonoscopy this morning. As you may know, it is quite an adventure. First is the very restrictive diet the day before. My wife Beth had her’s a month ago. What I don’t get is even though I’m twice as big as she is, I was only allowed to eat the same as her. What’s up with that. Two eggs and white toast for breakfast? For lunch 3 ounces of meat? Who eats 3 ounces of meat? Plain white rice? 1/2 a cup of ice cream? That’s it for the day? You’ve got to be kidding.

Then there’s the GoLYTELY? Again, you’ve got to be kidding. If you aren’t old enough yet I’ll give you a heads up to what you have to look forward to. You receive this gallon jug with a magic powder in it. Its called GoLYTELY. You fill it with water and drink half over a two hour period the previous day. No, it does not taste good. All the creative inventions in the world and you can’t make it taste good? BTW, you can add Crystal Lite to it. I makes it bearable.

So who named it? Why, you ask? Because it completely cleans out your system. You go anything but lightly 🙂 To make a long story short, you sit on the toilet for a long period while your insides run out of you. Then you get up 6 hours before the procedure and repeat it all over again. 4:00 in the morning for me? No coffee, just GoLYTELY. What a fun two hours that was!!! Did you know there’s not much on TV at that time?

So, I’ll skip the rest of the prep. My nurse is a young lady my kid’s age. Why does everyone have to be my kids age in these humbling experiences? Can’t an old person ask about my last bowel movement and tell me to get completely undressed and put the gown on that opens in the back. I know why I’m here! Of course it opens in the back! She asks if I need anything? “A cup of coffee would be nice,” I said. “First time I’ve heard that today,” she quipped.

You meet the doctor and all you can wonder is, why would you choose this? Is it because you were at the bottom of your class in medical school? (Get it? Think about it a second). Do you just tend to like ass holes like me? (Hey, no one is making you read this).

So during the procedure they push air into you, so guess what you get to do for the next few hours? Yes, what goes in must come out. At least its excusable! They told me to 🙂

Honestly, I’m thankful today for the medical advances we all benefit from. We complain, but God has truly blessed us with such help and hope. Now, it will never ward off mortality. I think that is pretty sure. Only one thing does that. The cross and the empty tomb. But for now, I’m thankful that there is help in staying healthy.

Okay, gotta go….No really, I gotta go!!!

See you at the Lighthouse,

Dale

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The Day In Between

We don’t often think about this day in our life of faith. Today is the Saturday in between Good Friday and Easter. My guess is it is a day of preparation for you. Perhaps you’ve been getting groceries, cooking, traveling, enjoying family or just doing normal stuff. We just don’t talk about this day. We skip over it in the church. Maybe its because the Bible says little or nothing about it. Jesus was dead until Easter morning we think. Lying in the tomb. The last word was abandonment. “Why have you forsaken me!” The next word is a word of hope. “Christ is risen!” In between, we’ve got today. The day in between.

I’m mindful though that for some of you this day defines your life right now. I’ve been there. You are still left with the abandonment of Good Friday. God, why have you forsaken me? Why have you forgotten me? For some tomorrow morning may seem months, perhaps years off. The tomb is a dark place. There is a stone rolled in front of it, and it blocks any sign of light and life and hope from your heart. Yes, you know some talk about tomorrow, and you smile and reply happy Easter to you, too. But inside you wonder if there will ever be hope again. If you will see a glimmer of light in the darkness of the tomb.

Of course the list of things that leave us in the darkness of the day in between are almost too long to list: grief, illness, disease, addiction, loneliness, a strained marriage, a lost relationship, a prodigal loved one, depression, loss of faith…Oh my, it can be hard to write it.

So, in Fargo it is a beautiful day! There is a smile on people’s faces, at least most of them. We are having family over for burgers in a bit! Whatever you are up to, take a moment to reflect on this day. Let’s not jump too quickly from yesterday to tomorrow. Remember those who don’t think light and hope will ever come again. Perhaps reach out to them today. It might be a very dark day for them.

And then finally, hear me clearly. Light will shine again! Hope will come! The stone will be rolled away! You will smile again! Your sin and pain and brokenness is not the last word. The last word is Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed!!! There is a God who loves you and gives meaning and purpose to life. Yes its Saturday, but not for long. Sunday is coming!

Know that I truly understand the place you are in, if you are in the day in between. I have been there and I know that of which I speak. Tomorrow is a new day. The best day. Easter.

I hope you can join us for worship tomorrow at 10:30. We have an Easter Egg Hunt at 9:15! Join us to hear a message of transformation and new life. Invite someone you know who is now in the darkness to join you in finding the Light. At the Lighthouse we simply point to the one who lies in the tomb on this day in between.

Dale

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All In!

I’ve been thinking about the first 12 disciples who followed Jesus. Last night at the Lighthouse lenten service I talked about how they always amaze me. I decided I would also share it here. Sooo, if you were with us last night you are excused from reading this (unless you weren’t listening, which I know cannot be possible!).

I wonder if I would do the same? Those disciples left everything to follow Jesus. It’s quite amazing. I know they didn’t leave a wonderful job like yours, but they left all they knew. They left their security. They didn’t drive a car like yours, but perhaps they left a donkey or camel to walk with Jesus. The didn’t leave a 4 bedroom, 3 bath house like yours. It was probably a hut with an outhouse, but it was home. They didn’t watch a flat screen tv, but they left family and friends.

I read the stories of the calling of the disciples and I wonder, would I do the same if Jesus came and called me to follow Him. Would you?

I think there are 5 things we can learn from these disciples. I hope they are helpful to you. They are to me.

1. The disciples reveal that Jesus calls ordinary Joe’s and Josephine’s like you and me. These 12 men were not the most religious or holy people of their day. They weren’t necessarily the brightest bulbs on the tree. They were regular people. Jesus calls regular people, like you, to follow Him.

2. They were looking for a savior. Take a moment to read John 1:35-51. It is obvious that these men were waiting for, anticipating the coming of the Messiah. They recognized Him in Jesus. We can learn from these men to look ourselves. Do you know you need forgiveness? Do you know you need a savior? Are you looking for Him? Are you looking in the right place? We go through much of life searching for meaning and security in all the wrong places. Look to Jesus!

3. They were all in! Read Mark 1:16-20. They left everything to follow Jesus. Everything! They were all in. I ask myself the same question. Am I all in? Are you? They are roll models of faith for us.

4. Following Jesus did not mean they were now perfect. In fact, they screw-up again and again. They argue about which one of them is the greatest. Who will sit on Jesus left and right in the coming kingdom. Peter denies Jesus 3 times when asked if he knows Him. Judas betrays Jesus. And frankly, none of them really get what Jesus is up to until after He is raised from the dead. We stumble and fall, even when we are following Jesus. Forgiveness and grace are sure! God’s mercies are new every day. Jesus knows you will not be perfect, He simply calls you to follow Him and to walk in His presence. He will work in your life and take care of the rest.

5. These disciples changed the world, one person at a time. Their impact in history is incredible. We believe in Jesus because of their work. We name our kids after them; Andrew, Peter, John…

You and I are called to follow and change the world as well, one person at a time. As we share Jesus and our faith with our loved ones and acquaintances there is a ripple affect. God’s word and kingdom spread. Teach your kids about Jesus. They will teach their kids. Their kids will teach their kids… Got the idea?

At the Lighthouse there are people who are searching spiritually. They are not sure they know what they believe. They’ve struggled and walked through the darkness but they want to know a God of love and grace and experience a community that models it. Isn’t that what we are all after? If you are following Jesus, then it is up to you and me to create such communities where past and present struggles and doubts are understood and accepted. Where we love like Jesus loves. The Holy Spirit who will work through us and do the rest.

Jesus tells a story about a man who found a treasure in a field and when he did he buried it, went and sold all he owned and bought that field. Jesus says that is how valuable the Kingdom of God is. When you discover God’s love and grace you soon find that it is that precious. That valuable. The man was all in! I sometimes wonder, am I all in? Are you? The disciples were. Are you all in?

Oh, by the way, Jesus is! God loves you so much He came as His only Son, Jesus Christ. He died on the cross taking the punishment you deserve for your sin and brokenness. His pain, His blood, His agony, His death…it was all for you. You know how much you mean to Him? Do you know what your relationship with Jesus means to Him? Well, let me tell you…HE’S ALL IN!!!

See you at the Lighthouse,

Dale

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