I Am Not A Potato Chip

Think about it, how many of you would be willing to just blurt out a word in hopes of using it correctly? I am absolutely convinced that the Lord blessed me with my boy as a reminder that I must never take life to seriously. At the ripe old age of twelve, he really comes across as if he knows what he is talking about, until he decides to use a new word or he thinks he is using one correctly. Quickly he reminded of the fact that he is still just a man-child as he opened his mouth and tested my theory, thinking before he speaks, not an option.

I have to admit, I actually love this part of his personality, most of the time. As he learns to navigate through the English language, weaving in and out of new words and phrases, I find myself coming to the realization that he would rather find out the hard way then to ask what a word meant before using it. Does he see this as a challenge? Is he fighting his way from being a boy to a man?

I will spare you the gory details of some of his finer moments that will go down in his history book of what not to say. I am only hoping and praying that he hides all of our late night talks about the dangers of using words without knowing the meanings, deep in his heart. Rebellion and innocents seem to be constant companions of his pre-teen life. I can tell by the grin on his face and lifting of his brow that the testing is going on as a word rolls off his lips and into the air for anyone to catch.

On this particular day, it was pure innocents that was leading and guiding his conversation. We both sat in front of his teacher, only our second meeting of the school year, discussing the options of making up P.E. when illness has kept him out. His precious teacher looked at him and then me and proceeded to share with us that she was not worried about him not getting enough physical activity. I wonder what gave it away, how could she tell by just a few meetings that he never stops moving? Could it be the fact that he is to busy getting ready for the next event in his life that matching things like socks, shorts and shirts are not a priority to him. Just maybe the way he leaves his hair looking like the wind just blew threw it, gives his athletic abilities away. Whatever it might have been, she was right, physical activity is a number one event in his life.

As his teacher and I discussed this very thing, I shared with her how we were not T.V. watchers, how we had actually canceled our cable five years ago. When all of sudden my man-boy got this concerned look on his face as if he had to defend himself or something. Then I could see the wheels spinning as if I were inside his head, I new he was about to do it, he was going to speak without thinking, a word or two he might not even know right out of his mouth. What would his new teacher think and worse yet, what was he going to say?

He turned first to me and then to her, it looked as if he even took a deep breath and then his mouth opened up and the words came out, hands on his hips, he said, “I am not a potato chip!” Well, thank God, innocents had knocked on the door of his mouth at that moment. The laughter started deep with in me and made it’s way directly out of my mouth and off my lips, I did hold back and was careful not to laugh to hard or to loud but he knew the minute I chuckled that it happened once again.

I winked at him and said, “I think you mean couch potato.” His darling teacher quickly jumped in to save him, not knowing that this type of behavior was typical in our daily life. She smiled a smile that was so big and genuine, she hugged my son with her words and simply said, “I like potato chip better.” She then smiled at me with a look in her eyes as if to say, “what now?” We just continued on with the conversation about school, finished our meeting and went on our way.

As we got in the car, I could not help but take a quick moment to look at my son and thank God once again for the gift he gave me in him, a daily reminder of the importance of not taking life to serious. I will never look at another potato chip the same way.

Guest Blogger, My Sister Michelle!!!!!!!

To me, the two simplest words....actually the most two deceptively simple words, strung together can make the world a very different place...

I'm sorry...

To truly be sorry, without any thought of absolution or forgiveness is what I believe makes the Lord stand up and start high fiving the angels. Because of the Lord, I was able to have that moment. Read on.....

Picture this, A beautiful (yet rainy) day in Northern Michigan. I am home with the kids and simply did not care to think about making lunch. I decided...what the heck, I'll order one of those sinfully (no pun intended) good flad bread pizzas from the local pizza joint. So, I picked up the phone and called. (note: it was noon, the heart of lunch hour), they were appropriatly busy when they answered. The woman answered. " Hello, thank you for calling local pizza joint, this is Alesha, are you still at "proceeds to spit out my home address".....

"Why yes, I am still at that address"..

"What can I get for you Mrs. Dungjen"

I ordered the food I wanted, and proceeded to wait the alloted time, as given by "Alesha"..

About 40 minutes later, I noticed a miss call on my phone and not being a number I recoginzed and the lack of a message, I just assumed it was a wrong number...about a hour and fifteen minutes later I called "Alesha", to check status of my order. Much to my suprise, "Alesha" told me that they had been to my house, had called and left the area because I did not answer..........this is where is gets sort of ugly..

With my children at my knee and I, Without much thought proceeded to let this woman know exactly how displeased I was...For example...




It really doesn't matter does it? I was incredibly rude, insensitive..and ultimatly, really embarrased. My children had just witnessed me treating another human being like dirt..I shuffled around the kitchen for a few minutes, still angry that we werent eating this (sinfully) wonderful "feast".....brooding, and yelling to myself, "how can they screw this up, they are just down the street". (little did I know, I was trying to justify to myself, treating another person the way I did)

The next memory I have is that of the Lord himself up there wagging his forefinger at me as if to say " Michelle, you know what you have to do?"

I answered...(after a few air kicks, like a 3 year old)...I said, "Yes, Lord, I do know what I have to do. I thought I would be hesitant at this moment, but I wasnt. I said out loud to my children, "Mommy has a very important phone call to make".

I dialed the local pizza joint, (as the aforementioned caller id explained, they obviously knew it was the crazy woman calling".)

Thankfully (or maybe not), Alesha answered...

She was more than a little hesitant to answer, she said..."YES??".

I started to get very embarrased, and I said....."Hi, I am the crazy woman on 9th street that you attempted to deliver a pizza to?"

Alesha responded as I believe anyone in her position would do......." UMMMM YEAH"...

My heart sunk as I realized this woman must think I am just terrible..everthing in me wanted to yell..."NEVERMIND".and hang up..

But at that moment I prayed and God said, don't be afraid..."do the right thing"...

I said...Mam, I am so very sorry for how I treated you. I am having a bad afternoon and that is no reason to take it out on you. I am truly sorry....

......akward silent........

Alesha says" "It sounds like you have children, I have four myself mam. Please don't worry about it..

I said, "I Cant' tell you how awful I feel, you must get this crap all the time. I am honestly sorry for being so rude to you"

Alesha then proceeded to tell me how busy they get at lunch hour and that she is too sorry for any part they had it not delivering the food, etc....".

I finally told her that I made other plans for lunch, but I just didnt want the day to go by without her knowing how sorry I felt and that I really didnt feel it was her fault... Alesha was the height of professionlism, unscathed at my rudeness and very forgiving. We hung up and I felt we both can move on...

About an hour and half later (well beyond lunch, but happily close to dinner time) there was a knock at the door. It was the delivery man from "local pizza joint".. he said " Mam, we feel very bad we made a mistake today, and we happened to be in the area and wanted you to have this"...( the very pizza I ordered 4 hours ago)..

He was so sweet, could not have been more then 17. I quickly said..."WAIT, I was rude to you..you didnt have to give me anything..let me get you a tip")...He said.."really mam, its okay we were in the area and we felt bad"...I said..well I'm giving you the tip and you just made my whole week/month/year.

I did call "Alesha" back (sis, I didnt tell you this on the phone)...I just wanted to thank her. I told her that giving me a free pizza was not necessary, but I so much appreciated the thought..etc...

So where does this leave me today?

I suppose in that small moment and upon further reflection that GOD was working his miracles in me. Driving me to do the right thing, without any thought of "forgiviness". Then to realize that my children witnessed mommy making a mistake and doing her best to right it. I can only thank God that he works in this way.

" I called to you Lord and asked what do I do??, he answered..

"The Right Thing"

I bowed my head and answered...

"YES" simply, because it is the right thing to do.

I love you sis...


Buy None Get One Free!

Come one, come all, one persons junk is another person’s treasure! It was apparent by the stream of lookie Louis, that the local residents of the community had all set their clocks so that they would all make it to the annual community yard sale on time. This particular event provided people with a way to practice their business sense, their barder skills and a great excuse to clean out their garages.

The Pointe of our participation in this particular community event was not so that we could sell treasures, practice our business skills or even clean out our garages. As a body of Christ followers, preparing to launch a new church on the grounds we were standing on, our goal was to connect with the very people in our community, the very people we live life with day in and day out, and that is precisely what we did.

As the sun came beating down hard and the day quickly warmed up. We were prepared to fill a need that our pastor had anticipated on. Ice-cold waters were just waiting to be handed out to anyone willing to except the free gift of a cold “cup of water.”

While we stood their in the hot summer morning, black top warming up beneath our feet, we offered ice cold bottled water to those passing buy, no charge, a simple gift offered to our community. I was genuinely amazed at how many people, who were obviously thirsty, passed up on the of ice-cold water. What was even more amazing is that some people were willing to pay for it, when we explained to them that it was a free gift, they just could not bring themselves to taking the ice-cold water. At one point, someone even forced some money into the palm of my hands, she would not have anything to do with a free gift, and she seemed offended at the mere offer.

As I stood back with the sun on my face and the warmth on my body, grabbing a bottle of cold water for myself, grateful that I didn’t have to go very far to quench my own thirst. All I could think about was how crazy it seemed, not only were we offering free water, that is great in itself but also one could turn around and turn the plastic bottle in for hard cold cash, granted it would not be much but still, free water, free cash, all it would cost someone is a simple yes.

I found myself feeling a little rejected by the whole thing and wondering how people could pass up such an offer and as I shared with my pastor one word stuck out that he said “pride.” It cut me like a knife, I cannot tell you how many times my pride has been a factor in me not excepting a helping hand, not wanting to appear weak or helpless, I would just spiritually become dehydrated due to the “P” word. I would pass up rest, help and direction, wanting to do it on my own.

My soul quickly shrunk back and I suddenly saw how much I had put myself on a pedestal with the “how could you?’, I jumped off, and allowed the Lord to speak into my heart about the free gift of Salvation that He offers all through His son and how for years I couldn’t just take it like the water, I thought it was something I had to work for, struggle and buy. Little did I realize that not only was I offered living water, like the bottle but my life would be redeemed, I could be recycled and used for something entirely different, just like the water bottle, but only after I said yes to the gift.

What’s The Pointe? All around us, in our communities and beyond there are people who have bought into the lie that nothing is free. We have an opportunity as a body of believers to stomp out this lie, to reach past the perception of deception, push through, and pour out to those who want to reject the message and what it has to offer, streams of living water and rest from the everyday burden of living.

Yesterday I witnessed first hand the wearing of HIM well, as one of my pastor’s greeted, listened and reached out to those passing by our tables of treasures. When someone refused the water, he simply smiled, and continued doing what he does best, greeting, connecting and inquiring about the other person. He never acted rejected, offended or even insulted.

Buy none get one free! Have you ever heard of such a deal? A life filled with living water and rest for the weary is what I believe was planted yesterday as God allowed us as a body to reach out to our community. I believe a seed was planted yesterday in our community as we were intentionally present; we saw a need and filled it something as simple as a cup of cold water, doing as Jesus did.

Points to ponder:

1. How can we be an example of living water to a dry and weary community?
2. What would happen if we took the redemption of people as serious as we take the redemption of products?
3. What are some ways we can wear HIM well even when the message is rejected?
4. Remember, Christ came to redeem us and offer us so much more then just freedom.

Prayer Point:
Dear Daddy,
Thank you so much for giving us living water, thank you for pointing us towards the way to freedom. Help us be a body of believers willing to pour out from the depths of our souls, filled with gratitude every time we get to serve. I pray for our community and the leaders who have chosen to say yes to the call. I lift them up to you today and I thank you that you promise that a faithful man will be ritually blessed. I thank you that for the redemptive power that speaks through each of those who have stepped up to the call. Help us to have a humble heart, to have your eyes and ears to hear the cry of your people. Let us remember to wear you well wherever we go. In your Jesus Name, Amen!

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28

Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “if anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.
John 7:37-38