Faith Debugged

Spiritual Insights from an Exterminator

You’re Fired

I sat watching one of our techs walk out of the office shocked that that day was his last day working with our company. It felt like death. The quietness fell in that building so deep, it was a trudge to walk to our truck. The relationships that were formed were crushed. The security of financial backing was washed up. Being fired from a job is devastating. A world in complete order gets tossed around into sheer chaos.

This is exactly what happened to my life just mere days ago. Without warning, I was told I wasn’t needed anymore. Six months of termite studies, two state certifications, one state license, customer service experience, and given to my craft obliterated in one simple sentence by one person with power.

Being a man of faith, I’m thankful that the one with ultimate power has no desire to sit me down and say, “Kevin, I have to let you go.” I’ve messed up more in my spiritual life than I have in my work life. I’ve done more intentional wrongs toward God than I have toward my workplace. I’ve been more devoted to my work in pest control than I have to God at times and still I have never heard God tell me He has to let me go.

Pest control can be a seasonal job. So can our work in God. There are times when we don’t feel like being a Christian. We don’t feel like praying. We don’t feel like being nice to someone. We’d rather get on the internet than read our bible. We’d rather ignore someone who’s in need. There are seasons in our walk where we feel far from God because of our own doings. II Timothy says preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

Our walk with God can sometimes be seasonal too, but I don’t have a God who fires me because He thinks I’m not wanted when I’m in an off-season. I am always wanted by God. You are always wanted by God. If you’re feeling the same way, if you’ve been fired from something you love, If you feel like you’ve lost it all and there is no light at the end of the tunnel, no answers, no feelings of joy, you ARE wanted… by God and you will never be let go.

 

Romans 8:35-39

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

December 13, 2011 Posted by | devotion | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Picking and Choosing

I’m sure by the title, you are well aware with where this blog post is going. I guarantee you were probably right. But let me set it up anyway.

I crawl under houses a lot. Unlike my boss, who jokingly calls me a wimp, I like to wear knee pads. I admit, it hurts sometimes crawling under houses without them. Set your knee down on a rock, ouch! Bang it against the block crawling in or out, ouch! So I protect myself from this unnecessary crime of pain.

Recently I had to buy a new pair because my old ones were wearing out. Typically when I do this, there is something I have to do. I remove the top strap. Knee pads that come with straps come with a top strap for above the knee and one for below the knee. I don’t like the top strap for two reasons. One is because it hurts when I keep my leg bent for a long periods of time which tends to happen under a house. The other reason is because it’s rather unnecessary.

Working without the top strap will keep the knee pad in place just fine. Working without the bottom strap and the knee pad will fall down the leg constantly. I’m not sure what law of God that made this became a scientific monstrosity but it did and is a real problem. So the bottom strap only it is.

Ironically we do the same with scripture. We pick and choose which ones we want to keep and which ones we want to throw out. C’mon, you know you do it. Even Thomas Jefferson did it. What he did is called Deism; throwing out the miracles of Jesus. Maybe you don’t throw them out. Maybe you just pay them no attention.

Either case, there are those scriptures we don’t readily accept because they cause us discomfort. Or maybe they’ll cause us to be made fun of or cause us to be called weird. Hey, if you’re a Christian, you’re weird. Remember, you believe in someone being born from a virgin, seas being parted, water coming from rocks, people being healed by having someone’s shadow pass by,  people talking to themselves and calling it prayer to an invisible God. For goodness sakes, a guy being nailed to a cross and dying, being buried only to come back to life in three days. That’s all just weird.

So face it, it’s a weird book to be living by. But maybe dying to yourself isn’t fun. Maybe, serving other before yourself doesn’t seem like “winning”. Maybe, putting yourself last so by some means God will exalt you and bring you to the front doesn’t seem plausible.

Let me guarantee you suffering leads to comfort. Dying leads to living. Serving leads to being served. Giving leads to taking. I know. God is a weird God. That’s why he says he uses the weak to confuse the strong. He wants people to lean on Him and be obedient to His callings. By doing so, by giving ourselves in obedience, it always leads to bigger and better things beyond our imagination.

So I encourage you, the knee pads of life need both the top strap and the bottom strap. If God made it to come with both, don’t pick and choose which best suits you. God knows better and has provided us with what we need. It’ll work out. It may be confusing. It may be weird. I challenge you to name me one thing God has designed or purposed that doesn’t seem weird. I mean He’s three individuals in ONE! He’s a weird dude or duddette for all the sexists folks out there. But that’s for another blog post!

September 29, 2011 Posted by | devotion | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Work It

Today I had to do a termite treatment. Actually I had two. It was dreadfully hot outside. By the time I reached the second treatment I was tired, sweaty, wore out and not happy about having to crawl under yet another house, stand in the hot burning sun while I rodded around a house and deal with questions from the customer. I plainly didn’t want to be there.

However, I climbed under, sprayed the foundation, climbed out sprayed the perimeter, took care of the garage, and shook off silly questions from the customer while I worked. I rested since it was hot, checked my Facebook, checked my twitter, drank some water before rolling up my hose and calling it a day.

I got the paperwork prepared and began talking to the customer under a shade tree and ran through the guarantee and contract. I got his signature and he began talking to me about all the remodeling he’s doing, how he really wants to get out to the country and so I just listened and every once and again nodding yeah.

I had mentioned church a couple of times so he decided to pry and asked me about church and come to find out he is a retired Army chaplain. We got to talking about all things church and I mentioned this book I’m writing. Talking about church opened my heart up and I was willing to engage more into our conversation. He mentioned he wasn’t attending a church at the moment so I invited him to ours and we shook hands and off I went.

I began to think about how my attitude suddenly changed after I found out the man was a Christian. Have you ever done that? Have you ever talked to some one with very little if any interest and after you found out you had something in common it was like you were talking to a different person altogether?

I began to think about how I would have engaged him more friendlier, if I would have done my job a little better since he was a pastor, if I would have been a little quicker and just been an all around more pleasant person to work on his house. How would have I done things different if I would have just known up front he was a Christian? Would I gave him the gold star treatment with a smile?

Have you ever done the same thing. Have you ever realized you could have been a better person around someone. Why do we do things better for those we have a common bond with than those we don’t? Especially Christians.

1 Corinthians 10:31 says “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” In context what Paul is telling the Corinthians is whatever you are doing in life, work as if your working for God and not man. Treat what you’re doing like your work is for the Lord. Jesus says in Matthew whatever you do for the least of these it’s as if you’re doing it for me. I believe this was also what he meant when Jesus said the second greatest commandment is like the first, love you neighbor as yourself.

So let us remember, than whatever we do in life, let us work it to the glory of God.

 

 

June 7, 2011 Posted by | devotion, Termites | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Devastating Effects of Sin and Termites

“The temple of truth has never suffered so much from woodpeckers on the outside as from termites within.”

Vance Havner

 

I for one am not the happiest to write on such a subject. God knows that I have seen the Jonah effect in my own life where my sin had cost the safety of others. Sin can have a devastating effect on our lives as well as the lives around us, whether they be stranger or friend.

Sin being what it is, is devastating in itself. It tears at our innermost being struggling to make face with the outside world. It dwells up inside of the deepest chambers of the heart screaming to see the daylight of misery. I cringe at the idea that sin lies deep within me simply gnawing at my heart to allow it to surface.

Look at what James 1:13-15 says – 13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

I was called out to a storage facility to treat for termites. Upon arrival I saw the damaging effects termites had on a piece of wood. Where I work we deal mostly with subterranean termites. They get their name because they originate underground. They grow to the thousands and when the colony has gotten too big, they send out the swarmers to create new colonies. All the while they are feeding on the cellulose from material such as wood originate products. They make mud tunnels for safety then move up to cellulose sources and feed off the wood.

In the same manner, sin originates as a thought in our mind. Then we give birth to our thoughts allowing them to surface, evolving into sin. When sin has been carried out and matured it creates death. Hence why we need a savior; to blot out our sins, cover them with His blood and create in us a new heart to become like Him.

Sin can be damaging just like termites can. We need Jesus to eradicate our sinful behavior just like we need termites techs to eradicate termites from damaging our homes, barns, sheds, or any other structure build from wood.

 

This is the damage termites cause in the storage unit

January 22, 2011 Posted by | devotion, Termites | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment