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Monday, September 29, 2008

A Lesson Learned

I just watched two commercials on tv supporting Windows Vista. It seems they told several subjects that they were exposing them to the newest Windows operating system called Mojave. These people said they like it. I think Microsoft wants us to believe that all the negative talk about Vista is unfounded. If we would open our minds, we would like Vista.

I didn't interpret this ad positively. The subjects could not have known much about computers or they would have recognized the operating system as Vista. Evidently, they were not given very long to use the system or they couldn't have made the ad while they were still in the room. My conclusion is:

If you don't know much about computers and you don't use it for very long, you will love Windows Vista!

Obviously, I am frustrated with Vista. I don't like the fact that Microsoft put out an operating system that doesn't run much of the software I like. They have essentially said: We are so big now that we don't have to listen to the customers anymore.

However, this attitude is not exclusively Microsoft's problem. I think the Church has often done the same thing.

The Church has preached a message of what people have done wrong without emphasizing that God came to people who had done things wrong. The gospel message is not one in which we say to people, "Just deal with it," but one which we must listen to the people so that we can get the opportunity to share our message. The Church must understand why people are who they are in order to know how to present the message. The Church must share this message with compassion and mercy.

There are times when it must be said, "Thus saith the Lord," for sin will always be sin. But God's love will always overcome the shortcomings of everyone who comes to Him.

It is so easy for me to sit in my office preparing sermons without regard for those who will hear them. I have not walked in their shoes. My messages can easily be interpreted as, "If you don't know much and don't follow me very long, you'll really like my messages."

God continues to confront me with my need for His mercy. I must respond by giving mercy to others or I never understood that mercy. I cannot be one who does not care about those whom He came to love into His kingdom. Since God never says, "To Hell with you!" neither can I.

I guess the lesson I have learned from these ads has made a positive impact on me. Maybe Vista isn't all bad after all. . .not!!!

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