Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Springfield Today, February 6, 2018

February 8, 2018 by  
Filed under Blog

Good Moanin’ Springfieldians,

I love this story.  It’s a mom telling of her experience in taking her son into a restaurant.  Listen to what she wrote.

“Last week I took my children to a restaurant.  My six-year-old asked if he could say grace.  As we bowed our heads he said, ‘God is good.  God is great.  Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert.  And liberty and justice for all!  Amen!’

Evidently he said this prayer loud enough for others to hear, because others customers began to laugh.  And one woman made this remark, purposely loud enough, I’m sure, for this mom to hear, she said, “That’s what’s wrong with this country.  Kids today don’t even know how to pray.  Asking God for ice cream!  Why, I never!”

Well, not only did the mom hear the comment but her son did as well, and this little guy burst into tears and said, “Did I do it wrong?  Is God mad at me?”

As this mom scooped up her son, she assured him that he had done a terrific job and God was certainly not mad at him, and right at that moment an elderly gentleman approached the table.

He winked at the boy and said, “I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer.”

“Really?” the boy asked.

“Cross my heart.”  Then in a theatrical whisper he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started the whole thing), “Too bad she never asks God for ice cream.  A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes.”

The mom went on and said, “Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal.  My son stared at his for a moment and then did something I will remember the rest of my life.  He picked up his sundae, and without a word, walked over and placed it in front of the woman.  With a big smile he told her, ‘Here, this is for you.  Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes, and my soul is good already.”

Now I don’t know if I like that story so much because I now feel justified in eating ice cream, after all it’s good for the soul.  Or whether I like it because of the elderly gentleman and what he did for a little kid, or whether I like it so much because of the example set for me by a six-year-old.  That’s a pretty good Christ-like response to someone who has said disparaging things about you.

Here’s the question.  What kind of example are you setting for others to see, especially when you are in a difficult situation?  What do others see when you’re the only Christian in the situation – whether it’s in your home or on the job or at school, and maybe you’re being verbally attacked by someone?

What kind of example are you setting?

Here’s another story that I think relates.  I think if we realize the truth of this story then we’ll be able to respond like the young boy did to his grumpy complainer.

Richard Foster wrote about a dad that was walking through a mall with his two-year-old son.  The child was cranky; he kept whining and wiggling, and complaining about everything.  And the dad was struggling to remain patient.  Every one of us who has had a two-year-old with us in a store knows exactly what that Dad was feeling.

Usually stories like that don’t have a happy ending.  I remember hearing another story about a dad, who was walking through a grocery store with an out-of-control two-year-old.  And this Dad kept repeating in a very calm voice, “It’s okay Danny.  You can do this, Danny.   We’re almost done, Danny.”

And then a mom, who I’m sure was trying to be helpful, smiled and said, “Is your son Danny having a bad day.”

The man looked at her and said, “My son’s name is Josh.  My name is Danny.”
We’ve been there.

But the father that Richard Foster writes about adopts another strategy.  He scooped up his little two-year-old grumbler, held him close to his chest, and began to sing an impromptu love song.  None of the words rhymed.  He sang it off key, but as best as he could.  He sang things like: “I love you.  I’m so glad you’re my boy.  You make me laugh.”

From store to store the father kept going, words not rhyming, notes off-keyed.  And all of a sudden the son relaxed, captivated by this strange and wonderful song.

Finally when they finished, the dad went to the car, buckled his son in the car seat, and his son reached

out his arms and lifted up his head and said as only a two-year-old could, “Sing it to me again, Daddy.  Sing it to me again.”

(I tried that when my kids were two and all of them cried louder and said, “Stop, stop, I promise I’ll be good.”

I want you to slow down, maybe even stop, and think about the song God is singing over you.  It doesn’t matter if you’re the grumbler or the one being grumbled at – if you know God as your Father He is singing over you.

Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Do you hear your Father singing over you?  If you do, you’ll be able to handle the grumblers – if you don’t eat a bowl of ice cream – it’s been known to make it easier to hear God singing.  After all a little ice cream is good for the soul.

 

What You Need to Know…

We are well on our way for paying for the new furnace/ac unit in the kids’ area. We have received $7,230 of the needed $12,000. If you can help with this need it would be greatly appreciated.

Trivia Night was a great success! Thank you to all who participated and help the teens raise over $2,000.

There will be a Come-N-Go Bott’s Bash this Friday, February 9th from 6:30-9:00pm in the church gym. Come say hi and catch up with Chris and Julie Bott.

A multifunction printer is available free of charge if you are in need of one. Call the church office for information.

Organic Outreach Intensive Training – A Deep Dive into Organic Outreach for your Church
March 21-22, 2018 Decatur First Church of the Nazarene ~ $150 Registration includes 2-day intensive training; 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 1 dinner; Resources for 3 full years, help in designing a customized outreach plan for your church; Opportunity to join a leader’s cohort for 2 years; 3 Organic Outreach books. Register at www.illinoisnaz.org as soon as possible. March 21st starts with registration at 7am and sessions starting at 8am and concluding with dinner at 5pm. Sessions begin again on March 22 at 8am and will conclude after the session at 2:15pm.

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