Archive for the ‘Expectations’ Category


Simon Peter answered [Jesus], “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” — John 6:60

There is a retired mechanic in the area who calls himself the “Honda Doctor”. Anything too old for dealers to fix he will.

One thing, though, he works on his own terms. He doesn’t need you but if you have an old Honda motorcycle you need him. He charges a flat hourly rate plus parts. Do his repairs take too long? Sometimes. Are the parts too expensive? Sometimes. Your only option is to either choose him to fix your bike or not and don’t tick him off.

God is like that in some ways. He works on his own schedule his own way. Does he take too long? Does he cost more than expected? Sometimes. Our only real option is to either choose him or not.

Fortunately for us he is good, loves us dearly, and works all things to our benefit.

The Honda Doctor doesn’t do that.

— fritz.

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“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me … To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…that he might be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:1-3 / Luke 4:81)

When they are put into the hands of Jesus, God replaces our ashes (burnt up dreams and missed opportunities), mourning (sadness), and spirit of heaviness (depression) with a beauty that’s enticing, a joyfulness that splashes onto everything, and an attitude of praise covering our struggles.

The phrase, “to appoint”, here literally means “to call” and the term, “Zion”, refers specifically to God’s people. The meaning is clear: followers of Christ going through sadness, grief, and depression are the specific candidates for renewal.

Expect it

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As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field. — Psalm 103:15-18

Ingrained in us is the desire to build/accomplish something permanent — isn’t going to happen! Life is not designed that way.

Only God and his purposes endure.

John the baptizer, in the Bible, uses an additional metaphor:

He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly …

He must increase, but I must decrease.” — John 3:29-30

The Best Man at a wedding knows the wedding is not about him and he’s happy with that.

As youth fades don’t be sad at the decrease, recognize your purpose and put the focus on the one whom life is, really, all about — our time comes later (Rev 19:9). Next time something you do, even with the best intentions, fails to produce results you want, offer those efforts, desires, and results as a sacrifice to Christ.

— fritz

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Some think the best we can hope for is to live the best we can then find out later if it was good enough.

The Bible says God intends something better than that.

My purpose in writing is simply this: that you who believe in God’s Son will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life” – 1st John 5:13-15 (Message Bible)

If God wants us to know we have eternal life, why be satisfied with guessing?

— fritz

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[T]hey sung a new song, saying, Thou … hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. — Revelation 5:9-10

Too often we act as if this present world and time are the only ones God has in mind for us.

Not So! We won’t be sitting in heaven somewhere eating bon-bons and playing harps when all this is over, we’ll have work to do! Stop thinking we are all headed to some non-physical existence and begin to notice the scriptures about a tangible future that God is moving us toward.

Sound Bite: We are only in phase one!
Prayer: “Jesus, help me to get and stay on board with your training program; learning all I can, growing all I can, knowing you have a greater purpose for me than right here and now. Amen.”

— fritz@langgang.com

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We would never cry “Crucify Him!”  But haven’t we?

Holy Week commemorates the events leading to Christ’s resurrection.  Long ago the same people who greeted Jesus with excitement and, “Hosanna!”, later cried “Crucify Him!” – Why?  Failed Expectations.   They expected immediate political deliverance – what do we expect?   Anthony Bloom, former archbishop in the Russian Orthodox Church, said in his Palm Sunday message on April 4, 1993,

How many are those people who have turned away in hatred from Christ because He has disappointed one hope or another.

I remember a women who had been a believer for all her life and whose grandson died, a little boy, and she said to me, “I don’t believe in God anymore.   How could He take my grandson?”   And I said to her, “But you believed in God while thousands and thousands and millions of people died.”   And she looked at me and said, “Yes, but what did that do to me?   I didn’t care, they were not my children”

He goes on to say,

[S]omething happens to us in a small degree so often that we waver … when something which we expect Him to do for us is not done, when He is not an obedient servant, when we proclaim our will, He does not say, “Amen,” and does not do it

So we are not so alien from those who met Christ at the gates of Jerusalem and then turned away from Him.

What do you do when God doesn’t meet your expectations?

– fritz

Read Metropolitian Anthony’s whole message here.

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