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Waiting to Serve 
Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 07:09 PM - Extra Christy
Posted by Administrator
Being a Server not a Waiter

There are no more waiters and waitresses. They have been replaced by servers. They make sure you know it as well, "Hi! I'm Tiffany. I will be serving you tonight." This could be shorten to just "Hi!" if the management could rely on the public to figure out that the uniformed persons marked with temporary brands, equipped with menus and armed with order pads were restaurant employees and not a migrating flock of insurance salespeople fishing for prospects.

It is reasonable name change. No one likes to wait, having a form of wait wrapped around you like an apron is not a good way to start a helping relationship.

Serving however, is a noble choice. It fact it is in the Bible and honored in the church I serve as a special office. Deacon is from the Greek word for "serving". In fact, the word comes from the verb that might have literally meant "waiting" on tables!

by Archie McPhee Seattle on Flickr
I imagine the homebound, poor, and grieving being greeted with, "I'll be your deacon tonight." ending their wait for comfort and company.

I hope you don't wait to serve.

Serving the Word & Table

Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, "It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables. Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word." What they said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.- Acts 6:1-7

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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When Are You Lost?  
Wednesday, May 12, 2010, 07:35 PM - Extra Christy
Posted by Administrator
Lost a Decision not a Condition

A researcher was checking a radioactive source when his glasses fell into the pit.

He had trouble applying for reimbursement. He couldn't claim they were "lost", he knew right where they were. He just couldn't retrieve them for a couple of hundred years.

Lost is a decision. When we decide something is never going to return, it is lost to us. As long as there is hope of return, it is missing, not lost. When we stop looking for something, or stop hoping for its return, it moves from missing to lost.

by Lost in Scotland on Flickr
I hope you have someone in your life to whom you are never lost. I pray that you are that someone to another.

Restoring the Lost

All who saw it began to grumble and said, 'He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.' Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, 'Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.' Then Jesus said to him, 'Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.'- Luke 19:7-10

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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This work by J. Christy Ramsey is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.



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Press F1 to Resume 
Wednesday, May 5, 2010, 07:48 PM - Extra Christy, Technology
Posted by Administrator
Blessings Don't Make Sense

Computer errors are frustrating. A classic one is when you don't have a keyboard connected when a computer starts. One line on the screen points out that the keyboard is missing, and the next line on the display instructs you to press a key!

The spiritual path is full of such contradictions. In the Zen Buddhism tradition a kōan is statement that cannot be understood rationally, but can be a path to faithful reflection. "Press the F1 key when you are missing a keyboard." might be an update of the classic kōan: "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"

A popular list of contradictions among the followers of Jesus is the beatitudes , ( "Blessed are the poor, the hungry, the weeping..." ). While often read as "Blessed", The Jerusalem Bible and others understand this word as "Happy". This leads to contradictions such as "Happy are those that mourn..." among others. (These lists are found in Matthew 5:1-10 and Luke 6:20-23 ) Like our computer kōan, these do not make sense, but can make faith.

by fazen on Flickr
I include my favorite "key" Bible passage below. (If you have some others let me know!)

I hope the next time you are frustrated by something that is just not rational, you'll pause to hear the sound of one hand clapping. It might be the key to God's blessing and happiness.

Press Faith to Resume

We prove we are God's servants by our purity, knowledge, patience and kindness; by a spirit of holiness, by a love free from affectation; ....prepared for honor or disgrace, for blame or praise; taken for imposters while we are genuine; obscure yet famous; said to be dying and here we are alive; rumored to be executed before we are sentenced; thought most miserable and yet we are always rejoicing; taken for paupers though we make others rich; for people having nothing though we have everything.- 2 Corinthians 6 (Jerursalem Bible)


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Pager Patience 
Wednesday, April 28, 2010, 08:28 PM - Extra Christy
Posted by Administrator
Believing the Light Will Come

You want food when you go to a restaurant. Yet the more popular ones first serve you a electronic hockey puck, a pager that promises to light up and vibrate when it is time to start waiting on food instead of tiny lights to blink and shake.

Restaurant lobbies overflow into the parking lot some nights with people waiting on the promise that those pagers will light up calling them into meet the wait staff.

While I'm waiting, I like to watch people decide whether to take a pager after they are told how long the wait will be. Some have children (really good parents or really bad?), others run in (why?), only a few consult their partners (The least patient one asks?). Only a few turn away without a pager in hand.

by aconaway1 on Flickr
Allan Boesak talks about his life and witness as a Christian striving for justice. He says at the end of the day, the question is not, "Did I achieve the dream today?" but, "Did I believe in the dream today?"

I hope you take a pager today and believe that the God's light will break out and shake the world again.

Dawn is Coming
By the tender mercy of our God,
  the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
  to guide our feet into the way of peace.
- Luke 1:78-79


The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Creative Commons License
This work by J. Christy Ramsey is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


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Volunteer or Servant 
Wednesday, April 21, 2010, 05:44 PM - Extra Christy
Posted by Administrator
My Pace or Yours?

Like the Volunteer Army, Volunteer Fire Departments quickly let you know that the volunteer option ended right after you volunteered. After you join, you are expected, required, to serve.

Ohio Pastor Mike Slaughter in his book, Change the World writes about being servants instead of volunteers. Years ago a church member told me that being a volunteer meant you work when YOU want to work. Servant means working when and where you are needed.

Suffield Township Fire Dept.
When the fire alarm sounds it isn't on your schedule. Folks are counting on you to serve those in need now, not yesterday when it was more convenient or tomorrow when you're more prepared.

Pastor Slaughter sees more volunteers than servants, more members than disciples in congregations today. Folks that are filling an hour instead of fulfilling God's dream.

The difference in motivation for servanthood was described by St. Benedict telling of three stonemasons describing a task they were all doing.

The first said,
    "I am sanding a block of marble."
The second said,
    "I am preparing a foundation."
The third said,
    "I am building a cathedral."

I hope you don't volunteer to sand rocks, but serve in building up God's home for humanity.

Going After the Big Fish

As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea-for they were fishermen. And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fish for people." Immediately they left their nets and followed him.- Matthew 4:18-20

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Creative Commons License
This work by J. Christy Ramsey is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.



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