So, we need to be be exceptional peopl

May 20,2012
Wading Shallow, Diving Deep
Life is unfair, unjust, complicated, and messy…
So, we need to be be exceptional people diving deep into God’s Holy
scriptures, mining for the purest gold of His will and His way. We need to
structure our lives to be effective and efficient Christian soldiers producing
fruit for the Kingdom of God. We need to be well organized as proper
stewards of the riches of God that we might be a beacon on a hill to the lost
souls in a sin darkened world.
Who said that?...I did…
And now a recipe from Debbie courtesy of her Mom’s WWII cookbook.
Crow Pie:
1 crow
stuffing of your choice
salt and pepper
2 Pie crust mixes
2-3 hard-boiled eggs
Stuff the crow. Loosen joints with a knife but do not cut through.
Simmer the crow in a stew-pan, with enough water to cover, until nearly tender,
then season with salt and pepper. Remove meat from bones and set aside.
Prepare pie crusts as directed. (Do not bake)
Make a medium thick gravy with flour, shortening, and juices in which the crow
has cooked and let cool.
Line a pie plate with pie crust and line with slices of hard-boiled egg. Place crow
meat on top. Layer gravy over the crow. Place second pie dough crust over top.
Bake at 450 degrees for 1/2 hour.
What is Crow pie?
Where do you eat it?... In the dog house.
I had to apologize to my wife yesterday
We had a week and a half…
High pressure…
A couple of days ago she came and said…
Later I asked how many…
I spent some time on the Waaahbulance…
Good for PR but I wasn’t feeling very PC but more like ‘PO’ed
So later that evening we did our normal routine.
There’s an old saying that in a marriage you should never bring your anger
into the bedroom
…so I didn’t … I left my anger sleeping on the mattress in Arthur’s room.
I don’t know about you, if any of you have ever participated in ‘passive
aggressive’ behaviors in your relationships but I generally don’t…they do
occur to me but I generally don’t…
So I felt bad and brought out Debbie’s Mom’s cookbook and apologized.
If you need the recipe sometimes it will be on the website…for all to see.
I spent some time chasing off visitors who wanted to see what ‘that grumpy
guy’ was working on.
I had set up barriers to ward off the curious and protect our areas of freshly
poured concrete
But they would climb over barriers, hike way around barriers, and a couple of
kids who probably went under the barrier.
People seemed to generally think ”Oh, that barrier doesn’t apply to me”
One guy whom I stopped with one leg across the barrier and admonished
‘gently’ Don’t’ walk through here we have freshly poured concrete answered,
“well you’re walking in there”…Oh, that grace may abound…
People…several people felt… “I am the exception …that barrier is for
ordinary people, not for me I’m extraordinary.”
We want to be extraordinary, special, exceptional.
We don’t want to be just one of the great unwashed masses, the hoi polloi,
commonfolk, the muchadumbre.
People want a backstage pass to life….like the guy yesterday going up Sinaloa
the wrong way…
Not a mistake…a VIP pass…just a half block, then a block, then two
blocks…then what the heck.
Everybody does it or so he tells himself…I’m not a jerk…I’m saving gas…
yeah I’m green
So, justifying illegal action is done by pushing it into an imaginary world
where everyone does it.
If immorality is perceived as normal then it allows us to perceive ourselves as
normal and good no matter how twisted askew our actions are from what is
actually good and right.
Simply put we lie to ourselves to cover up sin. We can then feel good about
ourselves while we leave anarchy and damage in our wake.
Prisons, hospitals and cemetaries are full of these exceptional people.
If you are a Christian and work at it and pursue the ‘narrow gate’ or ‘path’ it
gets harder because as your moral compass points truer North successful selfdeception gets harder to come by. As Christians our deception process takes
on acrobatic skills to help adapt Christianity to our preferred lifestyles.
I heard an expression a while ago that said: When an honest man discovers
that he is wrong he will either cease to be wrong or cease to be honest.
Devotedly honest and moral people are actually the exception.
They stand apart from the unwashed masses while living among them.
They actually are special people and at the same time want no special
I am going to read a description of someone. I want you all to listen carefully
and when I finish
I will say ‘go’ and I want you to raise your hand if you are the person
You have a need for other people to like and admire you, and yet you tend to
be critical of yourself. While you have some personality weaknesses, you are
generally able to compensate for them. You have considerable unused
capacity that you have not turned to your advantage. Disciplined and selfcontrolled on the outside, you tend to be worried and insecure on the inside.
At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right
decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and
variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and
limitations. You also pride yourself on being an independent thinker and do
not accept others’ statements without satisfactory proof. But you have found
it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. At times you are
extroverted, affable, and sociable, while at other times you are introverted,
wary, and reserved. Some of your aspirations tend to be rather unrealistic.
Does this sound accurate? Does it describe you?
It should. It describes everyone. All the above statements came from a 1948
experiment by Bertram R. Forer. He gave his students a personality test and
told them each one had been personally assessed, but then gave everyone the
same analysis. He asked his students to look over the statements and rate
them for accuracy. On average, they rated the bogus analysis as 85 percent
correct—as if it had been personally prepared to describe each one of them.
The block of text above was actually a mishmash of lines from horoscopes
collected by Forer for the experiment. The tendency to believe vague
statements designed to appeal to just about anyone is called the Forer effect,
and psychologists point to this phenomenon to explain why people fall for
pseudoscience like biorhythms, iridology, and phrenology, or mysticism like
astrology, numerology, and tarot cards. The Forer effect is part of a larger
phenomenon psychologists refer to as subjective validation, which is a fancy
way of saying you are far more vulnerable to suggestion when the subject of
the conversation is you. Since you are always in your own head, thoughts
about what it means to be you take up a lot of mental space. With some
cultural variations, most people are keen on being individuals, unique and
special persons whose hopes and dreams and fears and doubts are all their
own. If you have the means, you personalize everything: your license plate,
your ring tone, your computer’s desktop wallpaper, your bedroom’s walls.
Everything around you says something about your personality. Cultivating an
incomparable self either through consumption or creation is not something
you take lightly. Yet somewhere between nature and nurture, we are all far
more similar than we think.
You and your friends are almost identical. Those genes create the brain that
generates the mind from which your thoughts spring. Thus, genetically, your
mental life is as similar to everyone else’s as the feet in your shoes. Culturally,
we differ. Our varying experiences in our varying environments shape us.
Still, deep below, we are the same,
David McRaney You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends
on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways
You're Deluding Yourself
Deep below we are all the same… created that way.
So, ponder this question:
What if life isn’t so messy, complicated?
What if living with a living God isn’t about being exceptional people diving
deep into God’s Holy scriptures, mining for the purest gold of His will and His
way or the need to structure our lives to be effective and efficient Christian
soldiers producing fruit for the Kingdom of God. What if we don’t need to be
well organized as proper stewards of the riches of God that we might be a
beacon on a hill to the lost souls in a sin darkened world.
What if living with a living Spirit isn’t searching deep inside to find an innate
God buried inside.
What if it’s not making Christ the center of your life and action.
What if it’s simple…like a child can do it…
What if it’s letting Christ who wants to live in your heart live in your heart.
May be just be there and let His Light and love and power bubble
up…effervesce, saturate, and shine through.
What if you just listen to the Holy Spirit convict you of right and wrong and
just do right and don’t do wrong.
May be I don’t need to figure out who is wrong and how and why.
May be I don’t need to hung up on who is being unfair and how much.
May be I ought to love them enough to just talk honestly with them.
Maybe I don’t need to figure out a policy and plan for dealing with
panhandlers, bums, addicts, and the poor… I just need to keep extra
change around.
A young well-dressed man on Wall Street passed a panhandler and slipped
him a couple of bucks.
A woman watching nearby stopped beside him at a street coner and asks
“why did you give him money? He’s just going to spend it on drugs and booze.
The young man looks her straight in the eye and says quietly,”That’s what I
was gonna spend it on.”
So, that’s a joke but it still takes us to a place of judgement…doesn’t it?
Intentions, first impressions, outcomes, fairness,
When I feel the impulse to go good I need to trust that the impulse doesn’t
come from me as it probably violates my self preservation instinct. It doesn’t
come from me but rather to me!
I need to accept it, act on it, and move forward to thing number next.
Hebrews 6:10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you
have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.
The world is not fair…the world is not just…but God is not unjust.
When Christ lives in our hearts the Holy Spirit speaks, we listen, we act, God
Taking God at his word that He is just is not only a requirement of faith but it
often frees us from a ride on the waaambulance.
So, what’s so complicated about that?
We add the complication because we don’t want to do it. Self-preservation
kicks in.
God sets forth the standard and we bring out the calculator or ipad. We add
layers or complication looking for the loophole, figuring out why we are the
exception to the rule…That doesn’t mean me, just a little bit, just a half block,
just a mile home with a few drinks in me, just one time and I swear I’ll stop.
I’m in a hurry , I’m late for church I can park in front of that driveway (Jesus
saves but he doesn’t cover towing charges.)
How about this excerpt from You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too
Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46
Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself this is called The Bystander effect...
One final, awesome example is the Good Samaritan experiment. Darley and
Batson in 1973 got a group of Princeton Theological Seminary students
together and told them to prepare a speech on the parable of the Good
Samaritan from the Bible. The point of the parable is to stop and help people
in need. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells his disciples about a traveler who is
beaten and robbed then left to die along a road. A priest and another man
walk past him, but a Samaritan stops to help even though the man is Jewish
and Samaritans weren’t in the habit of helping out Jews. After filling out
some questionnaires, with the story fresh in their minds, some groups were
told they were late to give the speech in a nearby building. In other groups the
subjects were told they had plenty of time. Along their path to the other
building an actor was slumped over and groaning, pretending to be sick and
in need of help. Of the seminary students who had plenty of time, about 60
percent stopped and helped. The ones in a rush? Ten percent helped, and
some even stepped over the actor on their way.
Most people are not bad people (per se) these are after all seminary
students… they simply expect that in a busy location like a Princeton campus
surely someone else will come along and help…that’s the loophole…the
logic…conventional wisdom saying “ I am exceptional because of my
important previous engagement.” Conventional wisdom…
James 3: 17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then
peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial
and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of
In the book of James the statement “the wisdom that comes from heaven is
first of all pure” to me means uncorrupted by our logical, rational, sensible,
practical adjustments.
If what you are hearing from God is comfortable, logical, and in your best
worldly interest there is a pretty good chance you have given it a few rewrites.
If you think that the fact that God speaks to you at all makes you
exceptional…think again
It’s not God’s words that make you exceptional…but it can be your own:
Try these:
Genesis 22:11
But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham!
Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied.
Exodus 3:4
When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from
within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.”
1 Samuel 3:4
Then the LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.”
Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send?
And who will go for us? ” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
If you thought you were exceptional and you haven’t heard God’s voice and
answered “Here I am”
Then a bit of humility may be in order:
1 crow, stuffing of your choice, salt and pepper,