Finding God Outside the Box (Oops!)

By Martha Bolton: [HUMOR]

Sometimes thinking outside the box is hard to do when you are actually IN it.

Image: DigitalArt / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: DigitalArt / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Who doesn’t want to look stylish? I try. But I’m usually about a decade or so behind the times. My husband is not any better.

I remember the weekend years ago when I finally talked him into buying a leisure suit. All the fashionable men had been wearing them, but he had been holding out. On this particular weekend, though, he was finally going to get one. I couldn’t have been more thrilled.

We went to a local department store and shopped a bit, but couldn’t find exactly what he was looking for. So he asked a clerk, “Where can I find your leisure suits?”

The clerk replied, “Back in the 70’s, sir.”

I had my own experience when I went looking for a pair of stylish sheepskin boots. I thought they were cute whenever I saw someone wearing them, so I figured it’d be fun to at least try on a pair.

I walked into one of those big warehouse shoe stores and went up and down the aisles until I spotted them. After finding my size, I looked around for one of those shoestore stools to sit on while I tried them on. Unfortunately, there wasn’t one in that particular aisle, but there did happen to be a giant box full of smaller shoeboxes nearby, just waiting for a clerk to unpack. Perfect, I thought, and sat down on it.

The only problem was, it was empty! I sank all the way down to the bottom of the box and then realized to my horror that I was stuck. No matter how hard I tried to get out, I couldn’t budge. I felt like a human taco.

I had to rock the box back and forth until I knocked it over on its side and climbed out. (They’re probably still passing around the security video.)

Have you ever had a situation turn out nothing like you expected it would? Have you had your good intentions turn you upside down, leaving you stuck, embarrassed, laughed at?

The Bible is full of stories where you can find God outside the box working to prove His love to us. But sometimes he works inside the boxes, too. He can turn our most embarrassing moments into moments where He reminds us that He’s still our friend. He loves us even in our weakest, most awkward moments, like when we’re stuck in a giant shoe box and trying to look cool.

 ©Martha Bolton. Martha has written for many well-known comedians including Bob Hope and Phyllis Diller and is also a novelist. She was nominated for both an Emmy and Dove Award for lyrics and scriptwriting and has written award-winning parodies.  Find out more about Martha at marthabolton.com.

And for a bit more humor, enjoy these church bulletin bloopers. Sometimes an effort to think outside the box to be creative doesn’t come out quite right . . .

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Finding God in a Burnt Turkey

By Martha Bolton:

We can end up finding God in all kinds of strange things…even a burnt turkey.

 

Turkey memorial

Turkey Memorial

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the best cook in the world. You’ll never see my recipes on the Food Network (although, Home Depot might be moved to display a few of them in their lumber aisle).

My biggest problem is with my timing. I put the food on the stove or in the oven, and then I get distracted. A TV show catches my eye, I need to finish something on the computer, I go on vacation…

What happened one Christmas some years ago was not the result of any of that, though. It was an innocent mistake.

Mark Lowry had given my family and I a smoked turkey for Christmas. Now, I don’t recall ever serving anything “smoked” before, other than maybe brownies (smoked, smoldering, what’s the difference?)

So I wasn’t quite sure how to prepare the gifted holiday bird. I had no idea that the term “smoked” meant that it had already been cooked.  Remembering that my mother always placed the turkey into the oven at night and then cooked it until the next day, I decided to do the same. I laid the bird in a pan, wrapped aluminum foil over it, and then baked it at 350-degrees until I served it the next day for the Christmas meal. It smelled delicious. That smokey aroma filled the entire house.  My dinner guests, which included a professional chef, were sure to be impressed.

But when I pulled back the aluminum foil, I was aghast to see that the turkey was as black as coal, and the meat of its drumsticks had shrunken down, exposing several inches of bone.  If you stood the poor thing up on its legs, it would’ve looked like a Cornish hen on stilts.

Mark almost cried, citing that it was the best tasting turkey in the country and I had turned it into turkey jerkey.

Luckily, I had also prepared a ham which I had only baked a few hours, so the dinner wasn’t a total disaster.

But I learned something that day about the importance of timing, the futility of trying to impress others, and how God can turn our mishaps into opportunity.

God has his perfect timing.  It was in his perfect timing that the first Christmas happened in Bethlehem over two thousand years ago.

That babe, who left heaven to sleep on a bed of hay, didn’t worry about impressing others, either.  The one who humbly and obediently traded a throne for a manger of wood didn’t think about what others would say about him.

And God can turn even burnt turkey into opportunities:  The opportunity to learn from my mishap—I now read the instructions on food gifts before incinerating them.  I also know that watching someone’s actions at a particular moment does not always give the whole story.  Mom put the turkey in the oven at night, but what I didn’t realize is that she got up in the middle of the night to take it out of the oven when it was done and then put it in the refrigerator.  She was simply reheating it in the morning.

So look for God to show up at your Christmas gathering this year.  He’ll be there.  In ways you might not even realize.  Even in a burnt turkey.

©Martha Bolton. Martha has written for many well-known comedians including Bob Hope, and also is a musical screenplay writer and book author  and parody lyric writer. Find out more about Martha at marthabolton.com. According to Martha, “Life’s tough. God’s good. And laughter’s calorie-free!”

We are excited to welcome Martha to our Finding God Daily team, to inject more humor and wisdom into our blog! In the video below, meet Martha as she shares her recent works on Amish musicals and fiction, including Josiah for President, and describes what it was like working closely with comedian Bob Hope for over fifteen years:

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Finding God at the Drive-Thru

By Karen O’Connor:

 

Photo by duboix

Here’s a bit of humor for you today!

Said Lana, “Finding God at the drive-thru was not what I expected. What I expected was to order three burgers with fries and three soft drinks.”

Lana had picked up her elderly parents for an afternoon outing and  suggested they stop for lunch first. “We drove up to Burger Barn on the way to the theater to grab a quick meal,” she said. “My parents are older than I am, but you wouldn’t have guessed it based on what happened.

She pulled up to the station and waited her turn to call in the order. While waiting for someone to respond, she chatted with her parents. After several minutes with no service, she grew impatient. They had tickets for a 2:00 matinee and it was already one o’clock. “I didn’t want us to miss the opening curtain.”

Lana noticed her father glance out the window and then back at her with a curious expression on his face. He tapped her on the shoulder and said in a soft voice, “Is there any reason why you’ve stopped in front of the dumpster?”

Mortified, Lana covered her face with her hands. Sure enough she had stopped by the trash bin. “How could I have done such a thing?” I couldn’t admit I had made a mistake so I covered my tracks. “Just checking…um, you know, where to put our garbage––after we eat.”

But it was too late for excuses. Her parents weren’t buying it. It was their turn to watch their daughter get caught in a senior moment. And clearly they were enjoying it.

“We all laughed as I moved the car forward to the station clearly marked: PLACE ORDER HERE.”

It was there Lana realized she was finding God at the drive-thru, because He helped her admit her blunder and chuckle about it. She was reminded of how God guides us, no matter what, when we are willing to seek His wisdom instead of blindly going in wrong directions or not paying attention to where we are and why.

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way. . .” (Isaiah 30:21 the Bible)

Enjoy this inspiring YouTube video with music by Don Moen, “God Will Make a Way.”

Find out more about Don Moen at www.donmoenandfriends.org. You can also connect with him on Twitter as @donmoen or on Facebook.

Karen O’Connor is an author, writing mentor, and frequent contributor to Finding God Daily. Visit Karen on the web at www.karenoconnor.com

Join us too, on our new Twitter page, @FindingGodDaily and help spread the word about Finding God Daily!

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