Adam’s Garage Talk – 5/30/20

Adam’s Devotional – May 28 – June 3, 2020

From Adam…

Who says dreams don’t come true? Just read Genesis 44, and you’ll see the dreams God gave Joseph back in chapter 37 come true.  His brothers are bowing before him and begging to be Joseph’s slaves. They are even referring to their dad as Joseph’s servant. Here’s what’s weird, though. Joseph responds to this dream come true moment by framing his little brother Benjamin as a burglar. What could be going through Joseph’s mind?  Why does Joseph have his silver cup planted in his little brother’s bag? Perhaps Joseph is testing his brothers to see if they will abandon Benjamin as they abandoned him. What he discovers is that his big brothers are finally acting like family. Judah begs to take Benjamin’s place as Joseph’s slave. Remember the words of Jesus in the gospel of John, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Joseph’s brothers are willing to lay down their lives for Benjamin. Joseph has created a situation where his brothers can love and protect Benjamin, and that’s exactly what they do. This pandemic could be doing the same thing for us. The covid-19 crisis offers us a chance to love, support, and encourage one another. How has this season offered you a unique opportunity to love others as Christ loves us?  Who are the people that you are with now that you could love, support, and encourage?  What would that look like?

God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

God’s up to something . . . be a part of it. 

Adam’s Garage Talk – 5/23/20

Adam’s Devotional – May 21-27, 2020

From Adam…

It probably wasn’t easy being Joseph’s brother. Just look at Genesis 37. His dad made it pretty clear that Joseph was the favorite son. Secondly, Joseph’s dreams were offensive and annoying. We can’t pick our family. For the most part, we are stuck with them. We’re “supposed to” love our family members even if we don’t like them. That’s what makes families complicated. Joseph’s family is extra complicated. His brothers hate him so much that they’re ready to kill him. Much can be said about the hurt we can experience from family. If we don’t resolve that hurt or at least bring it to light, it has a tendency to fester and grow into deep resentment. It’s clear that Joseph epitomizes some deep-seated, unresolved hurt that his brothers carried. During this pandemic we’ve spent a lot of time with family. While we may not have gone so far as plotting a family member’s murder, we may have been okay with a few family members spending the night in the bottom of a pit. If we’ve been paying attention to the sermons on Sundays, we know the Joseph story, and we know that the family resentment will end in reconciliation. That’s our story in Christ as well. In Christ we have been reconciled with God and with one another. God refuses to allow resentment to fester between us and instead offers us grace. Is there any unresolved hurt in your family? Have you noticed any resentment? What would it look like for you to offer that resentment to God? Could the unique season of this pandemic be a potential season to practice honesty, reconciliation, and God’s grace in your family? God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Daily Devotional – 5/16/20

Adam’s Devotional – May 14-20, 2020

From Adam…

If you read Genesis 30, you’ll see that fear drives everything in the whole chapter. Rachel is afraid she will never bear children. Leah is afraid she won’t have any more children. Laban is afraid Jacob will leave. Jacob is afraid that he won’t get what Laban promised. Fear drives each person to manipulate others for personal gain. They are dissatisfied with the story God is writing, and they try to author it instead. Rachel takes a page out of Sarai’s book and gives Jacob her slave girl as a wife. Leah does the same thing. Laban takes all the male livestock he promised Jacob, so they won’t be able to breed. Jacob tricks the livestock into breading better stock for himself than for Laban. All the players in this passage allow fear and anxiety to lead them to create loopholes and deception– creating a false sense of control. Often times, we allow our fear to fool us into thinking we can take matters into our own hands. We avoid the discomfort of fear and anxiety and replace it with the illusion of control. During this pandemic the volume of fear is so loud that it is hard to hear anything else. It seems we either avoid our fear with a false sense of control or we white-knuckle our feelings and do whatever to find loopholes around them. But there is another way. We can be kind to our fear. We can hold it tenderly and courageously share it with the only One Who can receive it. We can offer our fear to God, the only One who can transform our anxiety into hope, pandemic into purpose, and death into life. What are you afraid of right now? What’s your tolerance level for the anxiety that seems to be permeating our culture right now? How are you trying to take control, to author your own story, or to find loopholes around your anxiety? What would it look like for you to trust God today?  God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Daily Devotional – 5/9/20

Adam’s Devotional – May 7-13, 2020

From Adam…

Sometimes in the South we don’t say what we mean or mean what we say. It’s nice to know that humans have been doing that since Genesis 23. The writer of Genesis zooms in on a bartering conversation between Abraham and the Hittites at the city gates. Abraham is grieving the death of his wife of over 100 years, and he needs a place to bury her. Although it takes several exchanges and assurances that Abraham can have a burial plot for free, a price is finally named and a purchase made. Abraham can finally bury his bride.  For those of us who have lost loved ones, the literal business of grief is a complicated reality. On the one hand, having something to do, where we feel like we’re honoring the dead, gently handling their final wishes and personal effects can be incredibly therapeutic. On the other hand, the to-do list of death can be overwhelming. At times, it can be more of hindrance to grief than a helpful aid to it. In the midst of this pandemic, we are grieving. We are grieving the death of weddings, birthdays, graduations, jobs, handshakes, date nights, hugs and on top of that, we’re grieving the actual loss of more than 250,000 human lives worldwide. We know those numbers have names, families, and communities that go with them. Like Abraham, it’s hard to know where to lay our dead (literally and figuratively). We don’t have burial grounds for handshakes.  Where do we put the death of seeing smiles now covered by masks? This pandemic is a strange land.  Like Abraham, we are aliens here. This is uncharted territory for us. While we may be separated, the Holy Spirit draws us together. We are held together by Christ, and God does not call us to go through this alone.  Perhaps now more than ever, it’s important for us Southerners actually to say what we mean and mean what we say. Share your grief with one another. Name it. We may not be in the pew together, but we can still mourn together, naming the death we’re carrying and burying it in the arms of one another. God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Daily Devotional – 5/2/20

Adam’s Devotional – 4/30/20

From Adam…

If you take a look at Genesis 16, you’ll see that Sarai is tired of waiting. We can relate to that feeling during this Covid-19 crisis. Sarai is ready for God to show up and make good on the covenant promise, but she is still barren. They still don’t have any children.  So what does she do?  She tries to author God’s story. She and Abram try to take control of God’s blessing and get a child through Sarai’s slave girl, Hagar. Obviously, this doesn’t go well. What’s incredible is that their impatience and lack of fidelity doesn’t change God’s choice for them. God’s grace abounds.  The same is true for us; when we can’t handle the long journey of hope that our faith sometimes requires, God still wants to bless us. The victim in this story is Hagar. She’s been forced into a relationship with Abram, suffered abuse from Sarai, and has run away.  Here’s where the story gets interesting.  Pregnant, alone, and afraid, Hagar is found by the angel of the Lord.  God hears her cries, comforts her, and blesses her. Hagar even names God. This is the first time in the Bible that God is named. The name she gives describes what God has done for her—“El-roi”, “God sees”. Not only does God see Hagar, but God’s angel blesses both her and the child in her womb. Grace abounds. Genesis 16 reminds us that God is the One in control. God’s sees us in our loneliness and fear, and God’s grace abounds. Do you believe that God sees and hears you? What would happen if all the time you spent trying to be in control you spent speaking with God? Where are the anxious and lonely places in your life right now?  Could it be, that God will meet you there, just like God met Hagar? God’s up to something . . . be a part of it. 

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