Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Steakhouse with Steak?

Many thanks to  my friend Cindy Shufflebarger, who is our guest blogger today.  Cindy is the author of Dancing in the Rain: Finding Joy in the Midst of the Storm. Her writing, inspired by God’s healing hand following the death of her daughter, encourages and offers hope for rediscovering the joy in living. A homeschooling mom of three, she now views life as an adventure with God and invites others to join the journey.   Visit her at


My husband scheduled his annual company Christmas dinner at a local steakhouse.  And all was going well until it came time to order.  The waiter informed us that they were all out of steaks.  No steaks of any cut.  We could have chicken.  We could have pork.  We could have seafood.  But no steak.

The entire party looked at the waiter not knowing how to respond.  Was he serious?  It was only 6pm.  And we were in a steakhouse after all.  How does that happen? I shot a quick glance at my husband, trying to assess how he might respond.  I knew he would be embarrassed, but how would he handle it?  He managed to contain his irritation and all decided to make light of the situation, viewing it as a funny mishap and minor inconvenience instead of a major crisis.

That steakhouse is no longer in business, but I will never forget that night.  I still shake my head and laugh when I think about it.  I felt bad for the waiter actually.  How hard his night must have been telling each customer the news with a straight face – thank you for coming to our steakhouse where we have no steak.

So, my steakhouse experience begs the question:  What about us?  Are we steakhouses with no steak? Are our churches ones without evidence of God?  Are we a temple of the Holy Spirit without yielding any fruit?

I know it’s not a pleasant thought, but I think we need to seriously consider it.  If we are the hands and feet of Jesus, what evidence do we show to our community and our fellow brothers and sisters that God is present in our midst?  Are we gracious and forgiving or quick to judge? Are we snippy and always pushing to get our way or do we kindly yield?  Do we attend church for the entertainment value, always wanting to be fed, yet never serving?  Are we open to the leading of the Holy Spirit?  Are we committed to growing in our relationship with God?  Are we reaching out to others in the community as Jesus would have done?

I challenge you to consider your spiritual health.  Then, ask God to reveal to you one way He wants you to reach out to someone to demonstrate His love.  I pray that we’ll never find ourselves in a position that someone would say that we’re a godless house of God, personally or as a body.  Let’s not be that steakhouse – let’s show some real meat and substance with our lives.

Blessings, my friends, as others see Jesus in you!

On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.  Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them. John 14:20-21

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