Unexpectedly Better

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Weddings are one of the joyous occasions we have to celebrate someone else. One of my favorite weddings, of course, was my son’s. I love his wife; I did then and I do even more now. My husband performed the ceremony outside in July in Baton Rouge – so you can imagine the heat! But, that didn’t matter to me – I was so tremendously happy. The reception was indoors, though, with plenty of air conditioning, food, drink, and dancing. It was in an old plantation house that rents out for weddings and such.

The first dance with my son, that I wasn’t warned about, was to the song “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder. He picked that, which shows his love and respect for me, not only because of the lyrics but because he knows I’m a big Stevie Wonder fan.

I am reminded of the wedding of Cana, where Jesus turned the water into wine at the request of Mary. Many say this was not really wine, but some sort of grape juice. I beg to differ.

From John chapter 2:

When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,

10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.

11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

There is a difference in drinking wine and being drunk:  “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit..” Ephesians 5:18.

Woodrow Kroll puts it this way: “Jesus…transformed a wedding …. Jesus will make the joyous times unexpectedly better. “

Connections

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First off I need to preface this, and really many of my posts, with the fact that these posts are for me, too. Or mainly for me. Writing helps me to stop and reflect.

I have been saying for a long time, to myself and sometimes to others, that I need to quit wasting time online (read: social media).

Here are some insightful words from Woodrow Kroll, written in 2007 and even more applicable today – “Why would we give others so much access to our lives? Perhaps we have come to believe that any connection is better than no connection at all. When does our total connection to the rest of the world become a distraction? When we don’t choose wisely between competing connections.”

Wow. Think about that.

Then think about our Main Connection as Christians .

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. –John 15: 1,4

One Way

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There are “many roads to get from point A to Point B” works well on maps. But, as Woodrow Kroll says, “As soon as you begin to drive, you will have to choose which road you will take. When you decide which road to take, you have excluded all others.”

Religious pluralism goes beyond simple toleration. It’s the active seeking of understanding across lines of difference.

I’ve not given much thought to pluralism before, and don’t claim to be an authority. I just know what scripture has to say.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. – John 14:6

Seventy Times Seven

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“We are quick to find fault and slow to forgive…To our amazement, when we turn toward Jesus as light and truth, we find, not condemnation, but grace and forgiveness.” – Woodrow Kroll

How many times do I think I have learned this lesson, only to have to be taught it over again? Too many to count.

I, we, need to be slow to find fault and quick to forgive. And we need to forgive over and over, as Christ told Peter, and us, in Matthew 18:21-22.

Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times’ Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

Conversations

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The conversations we have at the water cooler, coffee machine or lounge can be used by God to transforms people’s lives. People meet Jesus in unusual places all the time. ” – Woodrow Kroll

Think about the woman who met Jesus at the well, or Zacchaeus who was summoned down from the tree where he had climbed. Or the fishermen who were called away from fishing to follow Christ. Jesus preached in the synagogue, but He didn’t stay there. He went to where the people were. That’s something to think about.

And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house’ – Luke 19:5

He Does All Things Well

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Picture taken at my niece’s wedding

“Jesus knew when to be restrained and when to be radical. He transformed a wedding party and demolished a shopping mall” – Woodrow Kroll

You can read the full story in John 2:1-25

At the wedding, Mary went to Jesus with her need. We can follow her example in going to Jesus with our needs, too. And we can trust Him to do the right thing. He always does. He made the best wine. What an example to us in the way we treat our neighbors. We should give the best, not the leftovers.

Just as with the wedding, Jesus did the right thing when he cleansed the temple. He does all things well!

And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, ‘He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.’ – Mark 7:37