We Live in an unfair world where Surge no longer exists.

One of my favorite things that has sprung up recently is the whole idea of taste test marketing. That is where several flavor of a food product are released and the most popular one will become regularly available. Mtn Dew did it a few year back with what they called the Dewmocracy. They released 3 flavors for an online vote. My favorite was the Green flavor which had a hint of lime, it came in last place and was never seen again. Then Lays did it with their Do Us A Flavor campaign. They had regular people come up with flavor ideas and three were made into actual flavors. Again online voting decided the winner, my flavor Chicken and Waffles lost and I systemically went to all the supermarkets around so I could stockpile the soon to be extinct chip. Then Earlier this year Doritos had their flavor challenge and again my flavor Caribbean Jerk (Which will be a nickname I use if ever I fulfill my dream of being a Lucha Libre Wrestler)

luchador 304

(I’d look like this but covered in Doritos Dust)

lost. Now this week Lays released 4 flavors for their new Do Us a Flavor campaign, Cappuccino (seriously), Mango Salsa (sounds awesome), Wasabi Ginger (finally a chip I can put my sushi on) and Bacon Mac and Cheese (all cheese chips taste the same). I cant wait to try all four so that I can decide which I like best so it can promptly lose and never be heard from again. I am the Job of snack foods (The nickname I will use if I ever become a grocery store mascot).

  dominion mascot

(Like this but with less night terrors) 

There is only one thing to conclude from this life isn’t fair. Some times your favorite salty treats disappear never to be heard from again.

It actually goes deeper though. Throughout High school my favorite foods were From Russia with Buzz an awesome flavor of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and Surge a green soda which had an XTREME (1990’s buzz word for you whipper snappers) marketing campaign. They were awesome foods and I ate them all the time. Since I graduated high school as 117 lbs of twisted steel and sex appeal its safe to say I would have been invisible if not for these foods. But then tragically after high school both of those products were discontinued and now years later they have yet to resurface. So its safe to say I’m cursed and the world isn’t fair.

(Insert awkward Bible transition here)

Psalm 119:121-128

​I have done what is just and right;
     do not leave me to my oppressors.
Guarantee your servant’s well-being;
     do not let the godless oppress me.
My eyes fail from watching for your salvation,
     and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise.
Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love,
     and teach me your statutes.
I am your servant; give me understanding,
     so that I may know your decrees.
It is time for the LORD to act,
     for your law has been broken.

These are the words of a man who is being oppressed. His world isn’t fair and for reasons much bigger than my snack food obsession. The Israelites were routinely subjugated by more powerful empires. Despite being God’s people they often ended up in dire straights. In this case the writer of the psalm has stayed faithful to God and is seeking God’s help. Its a cry we all know. I started with a silly first world problems unfairness but we know they get bigger than that. People die, justice is not served, the most deserving doesn’t always win and so much more. So often people see these inequities of life and come to a few conclusions, God does not exist, God does not care, God has turned his back.

Despite what the writer of this Psalm is going through he holds out hope that God will be there for him that God is with him. He has every reason to come to one of the conclusions I listed above but doesn’t. The psalmist seems to believe that God is with him in his suffering.

We live in a broken world where bad things happen way too often. Once a challenge was issued to write the shortest novel possible which tells a story and conveys emotions. The winner was 6 words long “For sale Babies shoes, never worn” the reason those six words are so powerful is because we know what truly unfair looks like. And yet in this deep suffering God is with us. The promise of Jesus isn’t “Believe in me and everything will be ice cream and cake” the promise of Jesus is the promise of the cross that God is with us always especially when we are in the middle of suffering. Suffering, and an unfair world are not signs that God has left us. They come with the promise that God is with us.

The world is not fair but you don’t face it alone. We are surrounded by people to share the journey with. And we have a God who promises to meet us in our pain.

Peace

Jamie

Oh and by the way Please Snack Food industry bring these back!!!!!! Please Please Please Please Please!!!!!!!

distortionchic and wafdoritos-jacked-test-flavor-404-e1398395236531surgefrom russia

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Just put a plate over it.

We all know that moment. That moment where you’ve made some mistake and your first thought is to hide the mistake. Kids are awesome at this. Not awesome in the fact that they hide the problem well awesome in that when they do it can be super funny. Giant stain in the carpet? Put a plate over it. Broke a nick-knack? Shove it under a couch cushion. Took an extra cookie and Mom’s coming? Shove it in your mouth and mumble responses to her questions. As we grow up most of us stop attempting these sorts of techniques. OK full disclosure I still do so if you ever invite me to your home and after eating you discover someone has left a late in the middle of the floor, please don’t move it until I leave. it, at least not until I leave. Kid-Makes-a-Huge-Mess-With-Dog-Food-300x225

(I’m gonna need a bigger plate.)

This does continue into adulthood though. It Just sort of changes form. For instance the realtor doesn’t say “this house is a broken down dump” she says “Its a fixer upper”. And no one at a job interview says “I’m super lazy but I need a paycheck so here I am.” Instead they say “I have a strong motivation to be here.  We all tend to soft peddle some issues and put our best foot forward. Although it is funny to watch someone skip the soft peddling on a first date.

first-date-conversation-tips

(So anyway I’m unemployed live with Mom and Dad, have a serious fungal infection,  and yes I just farted)

Today’s reading is a different story though.

1 Kings 1:28-37
​ King David answered, “Summon Bathsheba to me.” So she came into the king’s presence, and stood before the king. The king swore, saying, “As the LORD lives, who has saved my life from every adversity, as I swore to you by the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Your son Solomon shall succeed me as king, and he shall sit on my throne in my place,’ so will I do this day.” Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the ground, and did obeisance to the king, and said, “May my lord King David live forever!”

King David said, “Summon to me the priest Zadok, the prophet Nathan, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.” When they came before the king, the king said to them, “Take with you the servants of your lord, and have my son Solomon ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon. There let the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan anoint him king over Israel; then blow the trumpet, and say, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ You shall go up following him. Let him enter and sit on my throne; he shall be king in my place; for I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah.” Benaiah son of Jehoiada answered the king, “Amen! May the LORD, the God of my lord the king, so ordain. As the LORD has been with my lord the king, so may he be with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David.”

It may not jump out to you at first why this story is odd so let me give some back story. David was king and had whatever he wanted. Including at least 7 wives at the same time. On day he was on his roof a saw a beautiful woman taking a bath so he decided he wanted to get to know her better. So well in fact that she got pregnant. The problem was she was married at the time. So after several failed schemes to cover up the indiscretion David comes up with a plan that works. The bathing woman (Bathsheba) is married to a man who is in the military. David as king in in charge of the military so he sends her husband into battle on the front lines. He then orders everyone else to retreat back a bit so that her husband is sure to die in battle and he does. Then David marries her (she’s lucky number 7). So there you have it Boy meets girl, boy impregnates girl, boy kills girls husband, boy marries girl. Its not a children’s story.

Little child play with book and glasses

(It’s like I always say Kids should stick to physics)

This brings us to the reading from above. It’s years later and the child from this relationship is all grown up, his name is Solomon. David declares that Solomon will succeed him as king and in this reading he does. Here is the thing this is just the sort of indiscretion that people try to hide. At this point David’s secret was out, you’d think he would break of contact with Bathsheba or that at least one of his other sons would become king but that is on display. This branch of the family tree is out there for everyone to see.

What makes this more interesting is that it is through this line of David’s family tree that Jesus is born. Jesus’ family tree is full of other warts and blemishes but perhaps none as public and scandalous as this one.

There is no plate on the carpet no mincing of words the child born from a sordid affair becomes a king, a great king. And from that king comes the King of Kings.

Jesus came because the world is a broken place where dumps are sold as fixer uppers where carpets are stained extra cookies are eaten and where people at times attempt to avoid responsibility for their mistakes. Jesus lineage is a testament to that brokenness. There is no attempt to hide it or put it in rosier terms. Maybe we should take a lesson rather that hide our mistakes show how they have made us the people we are today. Jesus puts it all on display, and in this story so did David and it turned out well in both cases. Perhaps we should do the same from time to time.