Apr 18 2014

Nailed with Him there


It is logical for us to believe that the question God asks is also formulated in an act—in the cross. What God asks of the believer is the following three-fold inquiry: (1) Look at the cross where My Son was crucified for your sins; what is your response to it? (2) I have included you in the death of Christ; you were nailed with Him there on the cross; what is your answer to this? and (3) Having been given such a wonderful Savior, what is to be your attitude to Him hereafter?

~ Watchman Nee, Gleanings in the Fields of Boaz

How do we answer those questions?

Today, the Christian community commemorates Good Friday. It seems odd that today, when we remember the most horrific crime in the history of human kind, where Christ was crucified for our sin, that we would call the day “good.” Origins of the term refer more to the fact that it was a holy day, a day of Christ’s sacrifice, yet the day of our redemption.

We saw this centuries before the death of Christ when Joseph said you his brothers, “what you meant for harm, God mean’t for good.” (paraphrased from Genesis 50:20).

The religious leaders of the day thought that they would end Christ’s radical ministry and threat to their control. What they did instead was accomplish exactly what God had planned.

Jesus knew from the beginning that he would endure the pain and suffering of the cross. He knew from the beginning that most of his closest followers would abandon him there.

And yet, he came.

That’s a good thing.

Depth of mercy! Can there be
Mercy still reserved for me?
Can my God His wrath forbear,
Me, the chief of sinners, spare?

I have long withstood His grace,
Long provoked Him to His face,
Would not hearken to His calls,
Grieved Him by a thousand falls.

There for me the Savior stands,
Shows His wounds and spreads His hands.
God is love! I know, I feel;
Jesus weeps and loves me still.

Now incline me to repent,
Let me now my sins lament,
Now my foul revolt deplore,
Weep, believe, and sin no more.

~ Charles Wesley, 1740

Image from the Stations of the Cross selections available at Zazzle.

Apr 16 2014

Why, Verizon, why?


Most days I love our Verizon service. Okay, I never love the ridiculous amount I have to pay them monthly for our TV, land line and four cell phones. But most of the time the service is great.

Except when it’s not.

All I ever want to do when the service goes out is to find out what the problem is, whether or not I can fix it, and if not, how long it will take Verizon to fix it.

I’d like something that says “call this number.” And I’d like to be able to call that number and have someone who speaks English…clearly…to be able to answer my questions.

How difficult is that for a communications company?

Apparently, it’s impossible.

No, I know there’s a “call this number” on the bill, and I eventually got someone to tweet me the same number. But it’s never an easy call.

I know there are a lot of customers and technology is fickle. But I pay hundreds of dollars a month to Verizon. Well, that is I pay hundreds of dollars a month to Verizon when I can manage to navigate their website. That’s another story. It’s better than it used to be. But still a nightmare.

So, the power went out at home yesterday. I got home after a rehearsal and there’s no Internet or land line. I reset the router. I reset the battery box at the wall (as of this writing, I’ve now been asked that question three times via Twitter). But neither of those resetting options worked. The service was still out this morning.

I looked via my iPhone at the Verizon outage chart. Even posted a picture on Instagram. It looked as though the entire eastern seaboard was out.1538878_10203673538227066_4435411455881101861_n

At the end of the day, my wife called Verizon and actually got to a live person to schedule a repair call.

He’ll probably just reset the router.

But I’ll go another night without internet at home, or television, or land line. Sure, it’s first world problem. But when your second job is the one you do at night, via the Internet, well, that’s a problem.

I guess in one sense I could be blamed for not calling last night. But when I find Verizon information that tells me on their website that 1) we’re working on the outage and 2) this is where the outages are, we’ll why would I have bothered calling?

And, in spite of that picture, no one we’ve talked to will admit that there are any problems.

I know this is a “first world problem.” And really, the inconvenience is minor. It’s the lack of good customer service that bothers me. Tell me why there’s a problem. I won’t like it, but I can accept it.

But don’t leave me in the dark. Or, in this case, in silence.

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