Categories
Christian Living

Master of His Craft

“Whatever you are, be a good one.”

Abraham Lincoln

Our youngest son washes dishes at an upscale restaurant in the city where he lives. The other night we took him out to dinner and I asked him, “How’s your dishwashing job going?” You could’ve heard a pin drop. “Dad, it’s not just dishwashing. I’m the executive director of cleanliness and order!”

He went on for the next five minutes about how every type of squeaky clean dish and utensil has its proper place. This way the line cooks and servers always know where to find things. “Proper dishwashing is an art,” said our son Clark, with an unmistakable passion in his voice. “You have to LIKE the dishes.”

His older brother later told me that the head chef raves about how passionately Clark approaches his craft. Apparently everyone knows better than to mess with the flow in his dish pit. “Dude, haven’t you ever played the video game Tetris?!” our son says to the “non-executive” back-up dishwasher.

Such passion for a job many consider a no-brainer is inspiring. It reminds me of Paul’s words to the Colossians:

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” — Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)

In my Christian service, I sometimes feel like I’m stuck back in the dish pit, doing the same monotonous job over and over. I long to be an “out front” leader, like the apostle Peter, but keep finding myself in the background, like his brother, Andrew.

Does anyone even know I’m back here?

Your job (or mine) in God’s “kitchen” may not be high-profile or glamorous, but somebody’s gotta do the “dishes”. And a good dish washer is like the drummer in a band, says Clark. “As long as he plays, pretty much nobody notices. But watch what happens to the music if he stops.”

Kind reader, whatever the Lord has given you to do, please continue to serve in HIS strength with ALL your heart, mind and soul. And I will do the same.

Your Work in God’s Kingdom Matters!

“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.” – Hebrews 6:10 (NIV)

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Categories
Christian Living love

Famous Last Words

The Setting: Christ’s final Passover with His closest friends. (The time has come to sacrifice his life as a ransom for many. He shows the full extent of His love.)

Here’s how an epic Hollywood movie would have envisioned the moment:

As supper is served, Jesus rises from his seat, unsheathes a gleaming sword and says (holding it up to bask in His own reflection),

“Men, this is our finest hour. It’s time to show these religious bigots who we really are–warriors of the Living God! (raises sword toward ceiling) So be brave. Be strong. We shall all die well–except for the traitor.” (drops sword to His waist and stares out the window)

But we both know that’s not what happened.

What Jesus actually did was wash His disciples feet; something none of them was willing to do. His final act of love for them–before His death–was an act of service.

“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” Jesus – (John 13:15 NIV)

We are all aware of the seven last words of Christ, the things He said while hanging on the cross, but this was at His very public execution. What was the last thing he said (before His death) to those closest to Him–in a more private, peaceful setting?

Back at the supper table, sandwiched between His prediction of Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s denial, we find these famous last words:

“A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Jesus – (John 13:34 NIV)

Service and Love

These are twin beacons of a true follower of Christ, reflections of God’s nature shared with the world.

Sadly, this is not what we see so much today. Many Christians now act more like Simon the Zealot than Simon the Leper (who hosted a dinner in Christ’s honor).

We have politicized and marginalized the simplicity of the Gospel, mixing it with a militant piosity that would make a proud Pharisee blush.

And how does this look to a lost world?

Perhaps Mahatma Gandhi said it best:

“Jesus is ideal and wonderful, but you Christians–you are not like Him.”


Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Categories
Christmas servanthood

King David-Doorkeeper

“I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” Psalm 84:10 (NIV)

Back when I worked for Frito Lay, Inc, there was a story that circulated about a fellow RSR (Route Sales Representative) who had a chance encounter with the company CEO.

It happened on Christmas Eve in picturesque Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The RSR was busy stocking the displays at a local convenience store, when in walked the CEO! As it turned out, the BIG BOSS had a home in the area and was spending Christmas in snowy Colorado.

“Steamboat Springs, Colorado Mountains” by DaggieW is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Well, as the story goes, the CEO saw the young delivery driver surrounded by boxes of salty snacks on Christmas Eve and decided to “chip” in.😉 For the next 30 minutes the top executive of Frito Lay worked side by side with one of the rank and file— stocking shelves!

What a picture!

King David imagined a similar role reversal when he said he’d rather be a doorkeeper at the synagogue than hang out with the wicked.

Picture the scene: You show up at the temple for worship and one of the ushers is the King of Israel!

“Would you like a bulletin? There are still a few empty seats down front.”

“That’s prince Solomon’s dad!” you stammer out loud, taking out your phone for a picture.


A similar spirit of service and humility made Jesus willing to be born in a barn. And God’s equal becoming humanity’s servant is WAY bigger than CEO’s stocking shelves or kings handing out bulletins!

“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:8 (NIV)

And He did this only for kings, CEO’s and other very important people? Nope.


Christ died for us ALL!

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (NIV)

To a delivery driver stocking shelves on Christmas Eve, or the shepherds out in the fields keeping watch over their flocks by night, it’s just another day on the job—until THE BOSS shows up!

“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10 (NIV)

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, to men on whom His favor rests.” Luke 2:14 (NIV)