Tag Archives: Steve Norman

Give us this day…

If you grew up saying “The Lord’s Prayer” or the “Our Father”, you know this phrase very well:

“Give us this day our daily bread”

I knew it, and I thought I knew what it meant.  It reminded me of the Israelites gathering manna in the wilderness and being told not to gather more than they needed for one day.  If they did gather more, it would be smelly and full of maggots by morning.  Yuck!  That lead me to believe that this “daily bread” had to do with guilt, not having more than our fair share, not taking more than we need.

What I didn’t realize was that, when the disciples asked Jesus how to pray and Jesus gave them “The Lord’s Prayer” and told them about daily bread, he was quoting Psalm 30:

“Two things I ask of you, Lord;
do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.”
-Psalm 30:7-9

When David wrote that Psalm, he was asking God for two important things:

1) Lord, please don’t give me too much, otherwise I’ll forget You
2) Lord, please don’t give me too little, otherwise I’ll steal and dishonor You

This had nothing to do with guilt and shame over having too much when others have so little.  This had to do with keeping our hearts right before God.  Very simple – don’t forget Me.  Don’t forget that everything you have I freely gave you because I love you.  And don’t forget that I will take care of your needs, even when it feels like I won’t.  My timing is perfect.  You may feel like I’m too slow to answer, but know that I am always working for you.  I am always right on time.  Please be patient.  Please don’t turn away from Me while you wait.  Please keep your focus on Me.  Hold My hand and let’s wait together.  I love you!

Thank you to Steve Norman for pointing out the “daily bread” distinction the weekend that K-Rock performed “Monopoly” at Kensington’s Troy campus.  I’m so glad I got to hear it four times that weekend so that it would sink in.  It’s so easy to forget.  It’s so important that we remember, so much so that I wrote about it here: Decide to Keep Deciding

And John Waller wrote a beautiful song used in the movie “Fireproof” about the importance of waiting, knowing that God is working:

“I’m waiting, I’m waiting on You Lord
And I am hopeful, I’m waiting on You Lord
Though it is painful, but patiently I will wait”
While I’m Waiting by John Waller

Buckets and pipelines

I came home to cook dinner, all by myself and feeling tired, worn down and rather discouraged.  Nothing in particular wrong, just an unsettled feeling.  Is what I’m doing really making a difference?  Do I matter?  Does God still speak?  I haven’t heard him lately.  I feel like I’ve been listening, but I’m just not getting anything.

I had been catching up on Wednesday night services while Jordan has been at day camp this week.  I worked my way up to mid-June today and I turned on the “Vision Night” service while I started to cut up vegetables.  Steve Norman quoted Alex McManus (Erwin’s brother) who said that “The gospel always comes to you on the way to someone else”.  And then Steve said that we’re not buckets, but pipelines and I stopped mid-chop on my clove of garlic.  What did he just say?

Alex McManus had done a workshop on his brother’s “Character Matrix” a few years back when he was on staff at Kensington.  I had attended that workshop and I sat at a table with my friend Denise from the Clinton Twp campus.  At one point in the workshop, Alex had us share something with the people at our table.  I don’t remember what he wanted us to share, but I do remember that I had been thinking a lot about the word “conduit” back then.  I shared with Denise and the others at the table that we weren’t buckets, but conduits or pipelines.  We weren’t designed to be filled up and filled up and filled up, but we were designed to learn and then teach others.  Pay it forward.  Pass it on.

When we were done sharing at our table, Alex asked if anyone wanted to share with the whole group.  Denise raised her hand and shared what I had said about buckets and conduits, that our lives were designed to be a pipeline for God’s love to flow through.  And now I know that Alex shared that with Steve Norman and Steve just shared that with everyone at Vision Night.  I was a conduit and so was Denise and so was Alex and so was Steve.

And, all of a sudden, right there in the middle of my kitchen, chopping garlic and onions for homemade sloppy joe sauce, God spoke to me.  In that simple thought that Steve shared, God reminded me that I am making a difference, I do matter and God still speaks.