Now serving number 6,989,999,999

Berlin, Michael Jackson-Konzert, Wartende

I’m not a line guy.

Waiting in line is hell for me.

I have left a full shopping cart of groceries at the front of the store because I didn’t want to wait in the check out line.

I have traveled an extra 30 miles out of the way to avoid being stuck in a traffic jam.

I have driven for 3 years without an updated license and registration to avoid the lines at the DMV.

Okay, that last one is a lie.  But I’ve THOUGHT about it!

I don’t like lines.  I hate waiting, which has me worried.

What if I get up to the Pearly Gates, and there’s a line?

Jesus kind of implies that, you know.  Remember when he says “The first will be last and the last will be first”? That kind of sounds like there will be a line.  Potentially a LONG line.

And I hate to admit it, but I don’t see myself very close to the front.  Quite the opposite.

If there are 7 billion people on this planet, surely most of them have suffered more than I have.  And of those who’ve suffered less than me, surely a bunch of them have been more devoted servants in their lives than I have.

I may be stuck towards the back!

Which brings me to my new definition:

“Hell is the length of the line between where we are and Heaven.”

It’s something for us to think about, as we make choices about how we will live, and who we will serve, and what we will worship.

It’s something to ponder as we take or give, as we consume or create, as we live gracefully or selfishly.

The line between us and our God does not involve standing and waiting, but loving and serving. The distance between our lives and the Kingdom of God is set by our own willingness to PARTICIPATE in the Kingdom in our lives, right now.

So, don’t worry about the Pearly Gates, friends…

The line forms HERE.

Have a great week,

Mitch

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TOP TEN LIST: How is paying taxes different than tithing?

How is paying taxes (which, by the way, are due Monday) different than tithing? 
My top 10 answers.
10.  Taxes are a civic obligation.  Tithing is between you and God.
9.    You won’t be audited for not tithing. (At least not in this life)
8.    Taxes require forms and calculators.  Tithing requires scripture and prayer.
7.    The IRS makes allowances for tithers, but Jesus actually loves tax collectors.
6.    God asks for 10% as a goal.  The IRS thinks of 10% as a good starting place.
5.    Your tithe will be used to build something better than bombs.
4.    Death and Taxes?  Christians believe there is life after both.
3.   The Church is a place where Republicans and Democrats CAN work together.
2.   When you tithe, you always get something back.
1.   Taxes go to pay off a huge debt.  Tithes thank Christ for paying an even bigger one.

Have a good week,

Mitch

A Perfect Pause

images (5)At 3am this morning, I woke up to the sound of it.

It was the sound of quiet.

I turned over in bed and rubbed my eyes, and just listened.

What an amazing sound.  I was aching for it and hadn’t even known.

Just…quiet.

I lay there, not thinking.

That’s what typically messes up my attempts at quiet–my own thoughts start filling up my head.

But not this morning.  I think my brain was still mostly asleep.

And that was nice.

I wish I could convey the peace of that silence,

but it’s hard to use words to describe a lack of words.

There. It was like that.  A perfect pause.

I was listening to God, listening to Me.

And it sounded wonderful.

Have a great week,

Mitch