Taste the Miracle

26 05 2009

Brandee, Topanga, Tehillah & I recently returned from a weekend away in Naramata, BC, with 52 members of my family. It was an incredible weekend of family. Most of us work in the same family business, so it’s nice to get away from work and just have fun together.

Naramata, located in BC’s Okanagan region, is often referred to as Napa North, as the wines from this region of BC rival those found in California’s Napa Valley. One of my life dreams is to own a vineyard, and as we drove for thirty minutes through beautiful vineyards, my mind was wandering, simultaneously daydreaming of both the future and a time long, long ago….

In John 2:1-11, we read about Jesus’ first miracle, the turning of water into wine at a wedding in a place called Cana. The long and the short of it? Jesus took dirty water and instantly, miraculously turned it into the finest wine! 

When I read that passage, and think about it a bit deeper, all I can do is wonder what it tasted like…what would wine made through the miraculous power of God taste like? It had to have been amazing! The guests of the wedding confirm this, praising the director of the feast for saving the best for last, rather than switching to the cheap stuff once everyone had their fill.

Jesus’ first miracle often gets ignored, or at least passed by quickly by teachers/scholars because of our tendency to go all self-righteous on Jesus, getting caught in debate over whether it was alcoholic wine he made miraculously, or whether or not he drank it…or, whatever! It was a miracle, an amazing act of power by an amazing God. We spend more time reading the commentary one these verses than we do reading the words of Jesus. The fact of the matter is, He did it. He turned water into wine. And that is amazing.

Don’t let Jesus’ miracles become lost in a sea of self-righteous-red-tape! Maybe that’s why we experience miracles less today. 

Stop spending all your time reading the labels. Taste the miracle.

Cross Culture

11 05 2009

Cross Cultural – adj. Comparing or dealing with two or more different cultures.

Genesis 1:31a
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good…

At the garden, we fell from God’s grace, separated from him by sin; yet, at the cross, Jesus redeemed us, giving us an option of choosing life in Him, putting us back in communion with God through Him, our saviour. He defeated the curse of sin & death, replacing us to our pre fall-of-man relationship with the Creator.

The culture of the world and culture of the Kingdom are very interesting. Sometimes, they are at such polar opposites that it is easy to distinguish where we as Christians stand. Other times, these two cultures are so closely aligned that either position could be considered “christian.” 

Whether recognized or not, Jesus is Lord over every culture. In Genesis 1 there is a Kingdom mandate: Take dominion of all creation for the glory of God. We’ve been redeemed to a place where we are equipped and authorized to fulfill this mandate!

It’s time to move into becoming proactive, and away from being reactive. It’s time to spend less time nitpicking, less time fighting the little battles ourselves, and letting God fight our battles. 

My daughter, Topanga (she’s 3), when frustrated with her sister, Tehillah (she’s 2), asks her beautiful mom,  “Mom, can you fight my battles?” and sometimes, “Mom, can you fight my battles…and win?” Topanga noticed that handling these conflicts herself usually results in both girls in tears and heading to their room for a nap, however when she rises above the conflict, turns to her higher power, her mom, she usually gets the outcome she’s looking for.

1 Corinthians 4:20 says, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” In Romans 14, Paul says that “the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” In John 17, Jesus prayed over his disciples (us) and did not ask that God take us out of the world, but protect us from the Evil One. 

Perhaps we need to look at this whole thing differently. A word picture comes to mind from the movie Armageddon:

Imagine a firecracker in the palm of your hand. You set it off, what happens? You burn your hand, right? You close your fist around the same firecracker, and set it off. Your wife’s gonna be opening your ketchup bottles the rest of your life.

Don’t attempt to influence a culture you refuse to be a part of! All we do is burn bridges and annoy people. Let’s get inside our culture and make a real difference!

We need to realize that we need less movie/music boycotts, less poorly made art with a thinly-guised Christian agenda, and more talented, artistic believers infiltrating the industry, influencing culture from the inside! Sure, we may be in the minority, but once we’re in…BOOM!

James 3:4
Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.


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