Of Crooked Pictures and Vegemite
We just finished Revival services at FBC Pelham ... known this week as Pelham First Assembly of Baptists ... last night. This year, we had as outstanding a lineup of preachers, producing as outstanding a series of sermons, as have ever been seen or heard.
On Tuesday night, Dr. Robert W. Smith Jr. brought the message. I'd heard him preach twice before: once at our State Convention and once when he came to FBC Pelham. Our pastor, Daven Watkins, refers to him as his father in the ministry, having been a student and friend of his at Samford University's Beeson Divinity School, where Dr. Smith holds forth.
He preached about David's sending for Mephibosheth, and taking him into his home as family. One of the things he focused on was Mephibosheth's crippled feet; he focused on that in one portion of his sermon, stating how we tend to first notice what's wrong with people, rather than focusing on what's right.
This has already dug a big hole in my soul. The next day, for example, I saw a lady at the desk in a doctor's office, signing out after her visit. She was riding in a motorized wheelchair, and I was surmising it was because of her size. Well, God got all over me ... and suddenly my thoughts turned to "There may be the finest mother and wife ever, and there might also be the finest Children's Sunday School teacher in all history." And more such thoughts.
We traveled around a bit that day, and I let my Spirit tell me about folks, rather than my judgmental eyes.
Wow. The difference was remarkable for this set-in-his-ways 70-year-old.
As to the picture up there: It's the wall in our dining room, one of two where we display a lot of family pictures. The ones on the wall are me & Peggy, and our two sons and their wives, and our two grandkids. The one in the center is a picture I had professionally done, of our two sons and me. It was a Christmas Present to Peggy, perhaps 10 years ago.
You may have noted that many .. if not most .. of the pictures are crooked.
Wanna know something? I don't care!
When I look at them, I see family. My most prized possessions on earth. (My most prized possession anywhere is Jesus, who doesn't actually live on earth, except through His appointed Representatives ... a-k-a you and me). I don't see crooked pictures, and I don't care if others do.
If you'll notice, there's some other stuff on the serving cart. Pictures of the grandkids and the spouses, among other things. And a little yellow-labelled bottle in the front. It's Vegemite.
Vegemite is a yeast extract that's made in Australia. I have absolutely no idea how or why anyone ever came up with that product, but all I have ever heard about it was that it tasted terrible. That it was a really-acquired taste. That and various derogatory jokes. So I, of course, had to try it.
I ordered the smallest bottle I could find on Amazon. Suffice it to say it had to come from overseas ... from the company headquarters of the Australian firm that manufactured it ... from Great Britain. It took the longest time to get here, of anything I have ever ordered from Amazon.
I happen to have a FB friend in Australia ... I'm not saying I've known her a long time, but she was, for some years, a friend in Prodigy network Chat Rooms. She told me several ways to try the Vegemite so the taste wouldn't be so off-putting. And I had those in mind when the bottle arrived, but I couldn't wait: I opened the jar, took a bit of the stuff on a fingertip ... imagine sticking your index finder in an old crude-oil slick and you'll get the picture ... and tasted it.
I LOVED IT!
Since then I have had Vegemite nearly every morning. Usually on toast. Sometimes with cheese, and occasionally on crackers. All of which Gabe from Australia suggested.
SO TELL ME: How do Vegemite and family pictures tie in to revival services? Simple:
- Do not base your thoughts about others on what your eyes see. On what you think is wrong with them.
- Do not base your opinions of others solely on what others say. I dare say every friend I have is disliked by someone out there. And I refuse to let the opinions of others dictate my relationship with other people. Note I'm not saying to ignore the wisdom of others; just remember everybody out there is wrong about somebody.
And so will God.