Getting Better Reception

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all? sin.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. 1 Jn 1:5


  Well, it’s the question that has been asked and thousands times this past week… what did you get for Christmas? 

I heard a lot of different responses from kids and adults, but I believe my wife is the absolute bomb because she got me satellite radio. This is just about one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

There are 170 some stations that range from all talk to commercial free music to Christian programming to lots of things that I’ll never be listening to (let’s just say, NOT Christian programming). Personally, my favorites have been the all comedy channels, the commercial-free 80s (Mullets RULZ) network and one of the Christian stations that plays some pretty good stuff. Although regarding the Christian station, I must be honest, since I live in Kansas this new/hip music that I’m experiencing may already be a couple of years old. Things tend to take some time before they reach the farmland here, you know. 

I have been intrigued with satellite radio since it came out a few years ago, but I have not jumped in since the radios have to be plugged into some kind of satellite antenna. This is a way to stationary for me….until now (Wink, Wink)

Kathy found this satellite receiver with a built in antenna so I can take this new little techy gadget wherever I want to go. Being a nerd has never been so cool.inno_coldplay

Honestly, when I first started playing with this new toy I was a bit frustrated.

Even though this unit had a built in antenna, the reception seemed sketchy and pretty limited. Actually, I wasn’t so much frustrated as I was just hacked off … ever been there? 

Still, it came with a home docking station that had a satellite antenna receiver with about 7.9 million miles of cable so you could mount the antenna outside somewhere.

When you plug it into that… it works like a champ. So, it got me to wondering why the built-in antenna was so cantankerous. And, the end result of my wondering took me to a place that few males have ever gone before… I decided to read the directions (gasp).

Here’s the gist of it: to get a good signal you must look for open sky between your unit and the satellite. Thus, sitting in basements… not a good idea. Trying to tune in from a windowless brick office building… not gonna happen.

But, you find a window and some open sky… BANG!!!! Baby, you got 170 + channels of digital radio joy!

In this process, here is what I learned: the satellite… not the issue. The receiver… not a problem. The position of the user… there’s the monkey!

If you want all the pieces to work you have to have them in the right position. And, since the satellite never moves, theres a pretty good chance its user positioning error.

And, here’s the God point (you knew it was coming didn’t you), sometimes we need to find a little open sky if we’re going to clear up the reception.

God is always transmitting, and we’re usually listening (believe it or not), but we can’t pick up the signal because we’ve moved into a position that blocks reception.

Okay, I’m not saying we have to revert back to the days of rabbit ears on a TV to hear from God. You know… ”Billy… hold the antenna with your left hand, stand on one leg and stick your tongue to the lampstand…. There…. That’s IT!!!”

That would be a very legalistic view of God, and not gel with what we know about Him. Like saying, if you jump through enough hoops then maybe He’ll talk to you. That is NOT what I am saying.

It’s more like this: we’re asking God questions but we don’t seem to be getting answers. What’s the meaning of life? Will I ever be happy? How do I move on with my life?

The truth is, He is answering, but He is talking to us about the most pressing needs of our life.

We ask, “What’s the meaning of life?” God responds, “Well, that’s a good question but why don’t we tackle what you’re really interested in… you know… your husband and all his issues?”

We ask, “Will I ever be happy?” God responds, “Wow… that’s a pretty deep question, but don’t you mean will I ever get over my jealousy issues… I don’t know, I think maybe we should probably clear that up first.”

In communication terms they call it environmental/emotional noise and it’s sometimes so loud we can’t even hear our own thoughts, let alone the conversations we’re having. The message is crowded out by all the reception issues.

As a searcher, seeking to know and understand God, I find that my philosophical quandaries make little sense against the backdrop of my fears about meteors destroying the planet or the volcano under Yellowstone erupting and blacking out the sun. Or, the even more important things like wondering if people think my youngest son is slow because he’s twice the size of other kids his age… because he’s not, he’s very bright and I’ll hit you if you ask again.

The point is, God is always transmitting, but we sometimes have a problem receiving. The solution…find some open sky. And, as I offer these things to you, just know they are reminders for myself for the coming year:

·         Take time off, not to get things done or catch up. Take time off.

·         Listen to more music with headphones, lying still. Please make it positive music. Having some quiet time with Tool is probably not going to fix anything, but may ensure your need for therapy later.

·         Plan your priorities. The tyranny of the urgent will kill you. That’s when you do whatever is due next, but the truth is… sometimes that stuff isn’t worth doing at all. Do what’s important, and don’t even do the rest…. I know… BLASPHEMER! Well, deal with it.

·         Spend your money, time and energy in this order for these purposes… for God Stuff, for family stuff, for others, for yourself.

·         Think about this in every moment of everyday: In this conversation, is there open sky between me and God? In this responsibility is there open sky between me and my God? In this relationship is there open sky between me and my God? If the answer is no, then the walls are closing in and the light is being shut out. You may be walking in the dark.

But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship (open sky) with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all? sin.

May 2007 be a great walk under open skies!!!

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