April 16, 2012 Still Speaking Devotional: God’s “BUT”

Posted on : Apr 16th, 2012 | By | Category: Still Speaking

Yesterday we continued our Easter worship theme, “When the Impossible Is Possible.”  So many of us feel powerless to change things in our lives or in our world, especially “the big things.”  That’s exactly why we need to hear over and over again that what God shows us through the Resurrection is that with God “the Impossible Is Possible.”

Yesterday, April 15th – the traditional “tax due day” we looked at the values and priorities we as a country hold through the way our government spends our tax dollars, and who pays for this.  Using Ben Cohen’s “Oreo” pyramid, we saw the outrageous disparity between what we as a country spend on the “Military” and what we spend on “human services.”

As in all things in life, one’s perspective has everything to do with how we see things.  I didn’t realize until after the service that a lot of you couldn’t see the full impact of this display, so here are a couple pictures from “behind.”  A huge thanks to Deb for taking these!

Building the Oreo tower











Oreo tower comparison

What is clear in these pictures is it takes a lot of human resources to sustain the $700,000,000,000 (seven hundred billion) military industrial complex; and the differential between the 70 cookies (each cookie represents $10 Billion) and the next largest discretionary expense categories: Housing; Environment, Energy & Science, and the US Government – 7 ½ (seven and a half) cookies each.  Spending on Veterans Affairs and Health – 6 cookies; Spending on Education – 4 ½ cookies; Transportation – 4 cookies; Food – 1 ¼ cookies.  YIKES!

Are these the values of Death or Resurrection?

In our national conversation about “reducing” the deficit, who is going to be cut and what does that say about our values?  Can we change this pattern of spending?  Some say, “No.  We’re powerless to change this.”

Are we really?  Look what’s happened all over the world as “ordinary people” find their voice and power through social media – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.  And even before Twitter, it was people’s faith in God that changed the world.

Whenever you find yourself thinking or saying, “That’s impossible!  I can’t do that! I can’t change that!” just remember one thing:  “God’s BUT.”

Everyone was sure Jesus was DEAD – and with him, his values, his teaching, his story, his witness to who God really is, had died too.  “But God raised Jesus up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held by death’s power.”  Acts 2: 24.

Resurrection is always about dying to the old and being raised up into the new.  Resurrection is for the living, more than the dead.  It’s not just about what happens at the end of our lives; it’s about what happens NOW.  It really does take a while to grasp that concept – to let it soak deep into our being.  So every time I fall back into the place of “disbelief,” of saying, “I can’t change that,” or saying, “that’s impossible!” I remember “God’s BUT!”  “But God raised Jesus up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held by death’s power.”  This same power from God is given to you and me today.  But God raises us up from all forms of death and destruction, because it is impossible for us to held by the powers of destruction, even self-destruction.

Read on.

Blessings to you as your Rise Up this Easter Season,


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