An Asterisk-free Life

3d-asteriskI was watching television the other day and a commercial for Stouffer’s frozen lasagna came on the screen. I like Italian food so I started watching. I love lasagna so kept watching.

As I leaned toward the screen to get a better look at the noodles covered in rich tomato goodness and cheese, I discovered something quite disturbing: While the announcer stated that Stouffer’s is “America’s favorite lasagna”, an asterisk on the bottom of the screen reported, “*Based on frozen lasagna sales”; meaning that they aren’t comparing their lasagna with ALL other lasagnas from ALL other sources. They are only the best selling product within a very small category of all other lasagnas. Their tiny-asterisk-marked notation leaves out any hot, baked lasagnas from Fazoli’s or Carrabba’s or Olive Garden. It doesn’t take into account local vendors. It doesn’t weigh the sheer volume of lasagna sold in Italy. Most hurtful, they didn’t even consider my dear, departed grandmother’s recipe.

I was shocked! I was insulted. I was disappointed. But I soon realized that it isn’t just Stouffer’s that employs the helpful and sometimes deceiving asterisk.

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Catching Up

For those of you who read this blog (both of you), you may have noticed that it’s been a while since my last post.  There is a very good reason for the delay:  I’m exhausted!

I am constantly amazed at the hectic, busy life I live.  I work hard days and long hours. After finishing my work, I drive another hour from my office to my home and by the time I’ve settled in, I’m often tired, ready for dinner and bed.  Doing devotional study is hard enough on these days.  Writing about it is even more taxing.

I suspect you have the same type of life.  On days like those, the best we can do is read a quick verse, close our eyes and say a short prayer.

That’s what I have to offer you today.  A verse and a prayer.

I never cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.”  Ephesians 1:15 b

Dear Lord,

Today we pray for all those faithful servants in our lives; people who serve us in order to faithfully serve you.  We give thanks for them and their great love and devotion to you.  They are model examples of your grace.  They are instruments of your mercy.  They shine like a bright light in a dark world.  Thank you.

AMEN.

Galatians 5:22 – Faithfulness

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,”

Last year we decided it was time to stop repairing the Dodge Van.  It had over 200,000 miles on the odometer and we were never sure if it would start in the morning.  When it did run, it pulled to the left, made funny noises, leaked oil, transmission fluid and water.  It left us stranded more than once and we never had a sense of security when we drove it.  It was no longer reliable.

Paul is using this same term in this passage.  When we are filled with the Spirit, we are reliable.  We exhibit faithfulness.  We do what we say we will do.  People come to expect us to fulfill our promises.  We say we will be there at 9:00 a.m., and we are.  We say we will pray for our friends, and we do.  We commit to helping with that activity, and we help.  We promise that we will keep the confidence and our lips are sealed.

Too few people are faithful, even those who claim to be faithful followers of Christ.

The faithful, the dependable, the reliable.  They pray fervently.  They study daily.  They give freely. They love deeply.  They are there for you and me.  They honor the God they serve by serving the God they love, faithfully, reliably, dependably.

How many times have you left people stranded?  Isn’t it time to turn in your old life of unreliable behavior and become a faithful follower?