Sunday, November 13, 2011

If I could change the world (Mikey's year 6 speech for tomorrow)

I wonder what I would do if I could change the world. Would I stop world hunger, make world peace, or something different altogether? Well…I’d prefer to combine all three.

Most people think world peace is a great idea. I agree, but I like to take it up a notch.

So if I could change the world, this is what I would do:

Guns will turn into carrots as soon as they are fired.
Grenades turn into apples just before the explosion.
Bombs turn into watermelons just before impact.
This is just the first dish I’m thinking of serving.

The nuclear reactors in the USA would turn into giant tubes of tomato sauce.
All the Middle eastern tanks would turn to bread, that roll into circle bases.
The landmines in Pakistan would turn into jalapenos as soon as they are activated.
All the German air force would be in trouble, because as soon as the planes took off, they became anchovies.
Aussie Missile Jeeps would turn into pineapples and their missiles would turn into sausages.
The swords of the Japanese samurai would turn into long, juicy spears of capsicum.
All of the bricks on the military walls throughout the world would start turning into olives, making the walls collapse.
All of the Russian submarines would turn into fried chicken.
All remaining military supplies would be turned into shredded cheese to top it all off.

Think about that! Once all the weapons and military supplies were turned into food, no one in Africa would be starving anymore! And when there are no more weapons, the entire world is at peace! But that isn’t where my story ends…

Once everyone realizes what has happened, they will bring all the food bits to the middle-east and store them in large metal containers.

As I said earlier, Most people think world peace is a great idea. And yes, I do like to take it up a notch. Some of you may know what this was all leading up to, others won’t. But at the end of the day, the entire world would come together not only to make world peace, oh no, they would come together to make world pizza!

Thank you for listening to my speech and I hope you enjoyed it.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

It's Only Me

Since meeting the serpent in the Garden, humanity has been prone to hiding in fear when God approaches. Is it our relative nakedness both spiritual and emotional that drives us away from His presence?

And yet, at every visit, God repeats, Do not fear!He said it to Abram, Sarah, Hagar, Isaac, Jacob The list goes right through the Old Testament. Finally, at Jesus birth the angel choir bursts on stage with a mighty, Fear not!

When God or an angel enters human sight, the inevitable opening line is, "Do not be afraid." Why is this? Is it the brightness of the new arrival in comparison to the darkness on Earth? Is it the unexpected nature of the appearing? Is the human fear justified?

After Jesus mission on earth was finished and He stood ready to return to Heaven, His parting words were, "I am with you always." What happened between the "Do not be afraid" heralding Jesus' life on earth and His "I am with you always" farewell? How was it that He no longer needed to say, Do not fear? How did Jesus replace the fear of Gods appearance with longing for His presence?

Jesus was a beacon of Gods love. He revealed the true nature of Gods character to the world through His compassion for the broken and His desire to seek justice for the downtrodden. Jesus was God in humble human flesh. Children flock to Him and yet demons flee at His command. What manner of love is this?

To know Him is to love Him. To know who He is without desiring Him is to be truly terrified. The demons believe in Jesus and yet tremble because they do not desire a loving relationship with Him. Jesus revealed in relationship the joy of knowing God. Between His “Do not fear” entrance and His “I am with you always” exit, Jesus’ threw His arms open and embraced humanity – broken and fearful as it was – saying “It’s only me!”

Jesus, took his disciples well beyond their faith pay grade by walking on water in front of them. They panicked, screamed and looked for somewhere to hide. Jesus soothed his disciples saying, "Do not be afraid" ... "Its only me." what does this imply about His relationship with the disciples? They had become comfortable with Jesus human nature but when divinity peeked through He had to remind them who He was.

During our spiritual journey, we all experience things that take us beyond our faith pay grade" which scares the "Do not be afraid" out of us. Just when we thought our relationship with God was fully embraced in the gentle arms of Jesus an new unexpected experience of faith shocks us. Something a Bible verse, a youth rally, a sermon, a personal retreat, a prayer group it can be anything. Something approaches us, walking on the water, and we hit the deck in fear and trembling. It is then that we need to know we are not alone.

When we Christians begin to speak to a nonbeliever about our faith, we often begin with a "Do not be afraid" statement or setting. A chat at a cafe. A conversation that uses "real life" stories. Our goal is to lead people from a "Do not be afraid" introduction to a joyful "I am with you always" experience. The temptation is to take them to the last page before theyve read the book. A butterfly helped from its cocoon will never fly. The struggle develops strength and readiness for the next stage. Like Jesus, we need to stay close enough for them to know who we are through the entire journey.

It is only by maintaining a healthy and long-term friendship that we can get to the "it's only me" phase with our young-in-the-faith friends and family. When they have that spiritual experience that challenges their faith, how can our presence be a reassuring and comforting one? Our its only me will only calm them if we mean something to them.

The disciple-making journey is a gentle process of handing them over to Jesus. Our reassuring its only me is heard less and they begin to hear, its only Jesus. And when they hear that, when they hear Its only Jesus and they relax then we know we have done our job. They have Jesus and us for eternity. Then we can decrease while He increases. Our friend in the faith continues hand in hand with Jesus and we seek out another to whom we can say, Do not be afraid.

Be patient. Jesus took more than three years of daily relationship before He moved from "Do not be afraid" to "I am with you always." Surely there were many its only me moments before they relaxed into His presence.

Be patient. Be authentic. Be loving. And be present. Your example will speak volumes to those walking with you between "Do not be afraid" and "Jesus is with you always."

Dave Edgren ~ Story: Teller, Author, Trainer ~

BOOK DAVE NOW! Dave Edgren is passionate about creating a values-based storytelling culture. In his engaging and often hilarious way,...