I Had No Business…

If ever I were to write my life story, this would probably end up being the title.

What does “that” really mean?

That my life has been characterized by my feeling that I’m a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.

That as a square peg in a land full of round holes you will do a lot of searching to find a place where you fit in.

Which also means that chances are you’ll become involved with a lot of stuff that you really…

“Had No Business”

being involved with.

I’m not saying it’s been all bad or anything, or that I’m really any different than you are.

In fact, I’ll bet you probably know exactly what I’m talking about.

A couple of weeks ago one of the transient cats that frequent my yard decided to have seven kittens and abandon them there.

My wife was the first to hear something crying, we found most of them inside of an old cabinet next to our house.

All efforts to reunite them with their presumably overwhelmed mother failed and so the task was taken up by my daughter, who passed it off to my wife…

Without getting into the details of my personal financial situation, let me just say that

“I had no Business”

spending the money I did on “cat formula replacement” or the eye dropper and tiny bottle that I bought at Wal-Mart.

I didn’t even know there was such a thing, it’s about $10.00 each, I bought two containers.

(I call this “one” Don King)

Now it’s a week or so later, six have died from aspirational pneumonia which is caused by formula getting into their lungs and causing an infection, one is left…

But he is SO cute!

What the head makes cloudy,the heart makes very clear…

Last November I decided to rent a building in a nearby city and try to establish what I called a “ministry center”

It was an idea based not only on what I believed to be an unmet need in the community, but also on what I perceived as being a need to “walk the walk”  in the Christian community.

For eight months I showed up five days a week during the scheduled hours. I promoted it, and I paid every bill associated with it’s operation.

Including but not limited to…the rent,electric,phone,water,to the tune of about $500.00 a month, and during the entire time I think I might’ve talked to a dozen people about their drug/alcohol problems.

It’s sort of a double entendre

I had no business spending that money, and I literally had no business going on!

“I Had No Business”

When people use that phrase to describe someone else what are they really saying?

At least in part I think it means that there’s no profit in what you’re doing.

maybe it means you were involved in something that was better left alone or that wasn’t your affair.

And in these times we’re in right now, minding your own business is a pretty easy sell when it comes to doing something towards meeting the needs of our fellow man.

(or beast)

Do you think that “minding your own business” is part of being a Christian?

In the story of the good Samaritan that Jesus told to His disciples, I’ve always thought it was interesting that the first two people who came across the man in great distress were representatives of the church…

If we fear becoming involved, whether it’s financially, personally, or BOTH! And we rationalize that fear because of our circumstances or based on the possibility of negative outcomes, it may well be said that we’re simply “minding our own business”. And although the primary motivation I mentioned is fear, we can further rationalize that our choice’s are right by referring to them as being

“self-love”

But that’s in stark conflict with my understanding of what being a Christian is about.

It’s definitely not loving God and others as yourself.

It’s not trusting that God has all of our circumstances under His control.

Not being interested in expressing love can only mean you’ve yet to receive it.

Lately it seems to be a popular thing for Christian people to refer to themselves as

“followers of Christ”

Luke 2:49

And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business

Many church’s and individual Christian’s are seeking a move of the spirit, and yet they’re standing still! One possible interpretation of Luke 2:49 is that the church is seeking Christ in the wrong places. That if we’re seriously interested in following Jesus or in being used by the Holy Spirit we’ve got to come down off of our mountain and move towards the front line’s of this battle for souls that’s going on, that’s where the Spirit of God is, and I believe that’s where the Father is looking to “do business” and that’s where He needs His church to be!

So go and rescue some kittens, and then go and volunteer at a rescue mission if you want to see the spirit move!

Well, not exactly…but what I am saying is to let it be your constant compulsion to find a way to

“let your light so shine”

among men that your Father in heaven is glorified!

Never be convinced by the apparent lack of results from your efforts to serve the Lord that you

“had no business”

In attempting to do something.

Our adoption into Gods family makes it our family business to proclaim Christ!

I have no business other than the Fathers

In closing, this quote from C.H. Spurgeon

“If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.”

Also this…

Evangelism is a process of bringing the gospel to people where they are, not where you would like them to be… When the gospel reaches a people where they are, their response to the gospel is the church in a new place…–Vincent Donovan

A Life Sentence

I don’t think I’ll get an argument from anyone that we aren’t living in “troubled times”. Whats that you say? That it’s all about money and that rich people have it made…That must be why celebrities are so happy then, they’re rich and famous! I felt so badly today when I heard about Patrick Swayze’s death. And while of course I don’t know him personally, the few times I’ve seen him and his wife Lisa together on television I could see how much in love they appeared to be.

210402109_db19ffe16f Photo credit Alan Light

I live pretty far off of the beaten track,  my yard is a community of animals! Dogs, cats, chickens, and a few others that are thankfully only visitors like the skunks. Among all of those animals I have my favorites. I have a kitten who gives me such enjoyment to watch him play that he’s found favor in my eye’s. I feed him before I feed any of the others, I let him in the house, I look after his needs especially among all of the others.

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Yesterday, one of my other cats gave birth to three kittens and it appears as though she has abandoned them. I feel badly about their inevitable death but at the same time I can’t justify an intervention on my part because I already have too many cats to feed. I guess that may seem cold hearted, but I just really can’t take on that commitment.

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I also have a chicken that likes to jump up onto the window sill by where I write and boldly ask me for food in her own way. To me, there’s something about any created thing that has the courage to overcome it’s fears and stand up in a world it has very little understanding of to earnestly seek the fulfillment of  it’s individual needs.  I’m compelled to feed her simply because she’s come to the right place and has asked me…I’ll most generally feed that chicken whenever she does.

I don’t know what if anything all of these stories have in common. I wondered if maybe they were some kind of parable explaining  our lives or how God looks at us. Perhaps this, that death truly is the great equalizer, and life is for those who truly live it,  for those who will ask for what they need or want from whomever or whatever they feel is able to provide it.

All of us are here under a sentence, unfortunately its not a life sentence. I hate to spoil all of the cute animal stories and celebrity news but I’ve got bills to pay. Did you know that the wages of sin is still death? And that all of mankind is under the curse of that death sentence because of our sin?

Whoa,whoa, whoa, right there Alton…Easy killer, you kind of hit me over the head with that! I mean, one minute I’m sittin here reading your blog about your pets and that dirty dancin guy n’ the next minute you’re telling me that I’m cursed and that I’m gonna die…I suppose next you’ll also tell me that after I die, I’m going to go to…that place! won’t you?

I mean, what about all of that “God is love” stuff ?

You know, that’s what I don’t get about the whole “God thing”, He puts us here in this world and tells us how much He loves us, but what does it get us? sometimes it gets us abandoned to die like those kittens! Or we end up feeling that we’re not Gods favorite because otherwise He would’ve blessed us like He does others. This is a tough world that’s full of hurt and pain! And God has His nose all out of joint because we’re “sinners” give me a break…

Who does He think He is? oh, that’s right He is God.  Okay, wait a minute…So what your tryin’  to tell me is that just because He created everything in the whole universe, that He has the right to make all of the rules for everybody? I understand that He’s God and all but why can’t He just make a place for all of His children and a different place for everyone else where they don’t have to follow His rules? Yeah, I do remember we sort of covered that already…that’s the other place, that by refusing to choose what Christ did on the cross as being “for me personally and my sin’s” that people will go to on account of the wages of our sin still having to be paid by someone. Hmmm,  It’s starting to make more sense to me but I read it in the Bible where it says that God is no “respecter of persons”, but it’s kind of like that cat story you told, doesn’t God play favorites? I mean we all know that the Jewish people are “His People” It’s almost like it’s not a level playing field or like the rest of us don’t have the same opportunity to be blessed because they’re always up in the window gettin’ fed just like that chicken, So He’s a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him? I guess that makes sense too, Kinda like that kitten…you chose him because he was joyfully blessed by what you had already provided for him instead of just hanging around waiting on the next meal to be provided like the rest.

He’s a Holy Sovereign God, whose judgments are just and whose thoughts and ways are higher than ours. He has a personality and feelings, and He responds to people who reach out to Him in pain because He first reached out to each of us through the unthinkable sacrifice of His own Son here in this brutal and barbaric world so that you and I might have a hope of an eternity other than the “unthinkable” one we would be facing otherwise. Would you be so bound by our enemy here in this world and by your pride, your “intellect”, or by fear that you wouldn’t accept His offer of salvation? The ramifications of this one choice will echo in your mind through eternity weather it’s yea,or nay! You had the opportunity to respond either way, to choose a death sentence…OR

A Life Sentence…(need a minute?)