Tuesday, July 25, 2006


I love those makeover reality shows. Something about changing a hair color or wall color is so appealing to me. My most recent favorite makeover show even appeals to my hubby: Overhaulin’. This show is about a person’s beloved junk or project car that turns up “missing” one day. The team then rebuilds and repaints the vehicle and it turns into something the owners never would’ve recognized if they saw it parked in their driveway.

I think I know why those shows appeal to me. I am a Christian, and any story of redemption speaks to my soul. No matter how small the makeover, I see the gospel replayed over and over in so many different ways. This car makeover show speaks the redemption message the loudest.

Think about it.

  1. A family member or friend will send in an application, requesting the car makeover. (1 Timothy 2:1-7)
  2. They wait until the unsuspecting owner is not watching, and they take the old car—or even a car that is almost new—and whisk it away. (Matthew 24:43-44)
  3. The team then goes to work, stripping parts and checking to see how far the rust has progressed. Sometimes there are small areas to sand, other times they need a parts car that has a whole fender or front end and they replace it. A new design is revealed and paint is applied. The interior is reworked, with a sound system and gadgets galore. (Romans 8:28)
  4. The biggest change is under the hood—the engine is replaced. They actually pull out the old engine and replace it with a shiny new, revved up engine. It’s a resurrection of sorts for most of the cars, because none of them run very well, if at all. (Ezekiel 36:26)
  5. Finally the car is revealed to the owner and the joy is overwhelming for some. (Isaiah 44:22)
  6. They are astonished all this was done for them, at no cost. (Isaiah 52:3)

I love it when Jesus comes like a thief in the night and redeems someone. When He overhauls a person, He puts a new heart inside. He brings new life to souls that thought they were junk and worthless. He gives them a new purpose. (Revelation 21:5a)

Did a loved one send in an “application” to God for you? Do you feel a change coming on? Is that heart thumping inside you a drumbeat of change?

Being on the show Overhaulin’ is pretty amazing, except when the tax bill arrives. With God, there is no cost. Jesus already paid the price—taxes, tag and title. You come to Him as you are: beat up, rusty and no tunes. He will give you a new heart, a new purpose and a new song. (Psalm 40)

All you have to do is give him the keys.

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have {it} abundantly. John 10:10

Monday, July 10, 2006

Eyes to See

We have a small wood plaque on the wall in our home. It is a piece of recycled pallet. The length is about from your wrist to your fingertips. The nail holes are still visible on one side, it’s sanded, stained and varnished. There seems to be black lettering carved into the wood, and it puzzles people. It’s always there; we never take down.

Most people see it and ask, “What is that, some kind of abstract piece of art or ancient text?” If you look at it quickly, it does resemble some kind of foreign letters carved on a piece of wood.

It’s an interesting optical illusion that sooner or later it comes up in conversation. Once someone takes it down and actually shows them the letters, it’s very clear. Most people focus too much on the black spaces, which is actually the space around the letters. It is the name “JESUS”.

Here's another example of the same type of optical illusion-->

What I find so curious is how easily some recognize it, and others still find it a challenge to see the letters at all, even after you show them. They keep trying to make sense of the dark space around the letters, instead of the actual letters themselves.

In the same way, I can see how some people consider the man Jesus a puzzle. Some see Him as some abstract thinker who died for nothing. Some see Him as some nice, Jewish Rabbi. And then there are some people don’t want to consider His existence because they can't get past the dark spaces in their lives.

If you sit down and really look at the name, study what He said, listen to the words of several witnesses, you might be surprised how much better you can “see” Him. He’s in the background of every conversation, waiting to be discussed. It’s all in the way you look at Him.

Do you consider Jesus a puzzle or the solution? John 20:29-31