Phase 10 and Christmas

ravensburger-phase-10-card-gameI was recently reminded of the depravity of humankind not by:

  • watching the evening news;
  • reading the latest tabloid headlines;
  • shopping at the mall on Black Friday;
  • navigating through traffic on my morning commute;
  • browsing facebook posts; or
  • watching the Lions get beat again.

All of these are wonderful mediums for fresh revelation of the propensity human beings have to acting in selfish, unkind ways. But this was not where my latest appreciation for indwelling sin came.

It came the other night while playing Phase 10 with my family.

Now ask yourself, “What could be more enjoyable than sitting around the kitchen table with the people you most love playing a fun card game?” I thought few things in life could top this holy pleasure, but I found out I was terribly wrong.

To start, one of my sons was a bit more irritable (“sensitive” shall I say?) than usual. Another was a bit more provocative (he is a teaser and gets it honestly). Then my blessed wife was savoring each moment of the precious occasion and not moving at a pace I prefer. And worst, I was losing miserably!

The final straw came when one of the boys abruptly left the table with the words, “I quit.” Within minutes, everybody else followed suit. I was left alone at the table with—I might add—my first winning hand which I did not get to play.

I lost it.

I raised my voice, told everybody including the neighbors what I thought, and stormed out of the house. Fifteen minutes later I sheepishly walked back in and ate humble pie.

Oh, I need a Savior!

I need a Savior to help me preach anointed sermons, counsel troubled individuals, pray for the sick, witness to the lost, cast out demons in the possessed, bless those who curse me, and forgive those who offend me.

And yes, I need a Savior to help me play Phase 10. I cannot do the simplest of things without Christ’s help.

I cannot relax, drive, google, golf, watch reruns of the Andy Griffith show, walk through the neighborhood, or sing songs of praise with the people of God on a Sunday morning without God’s intervention. I cannot even sleep without his help. Left to myself, my mind wanders, my heart becomes divided, and I turn into a judgmental, lustful, greedy, anxious, self-absorbed man.

I need a Savior, and thankfully, One has come.

This is what Christmas is all about. A Savior has come to forgive, cleanse, redeem, restore, justify, sanctify, reconcile,… to help! Call upon him. He will refuse none who come to him.

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One Comment

  1. Dave & Debbie Paszkowski

    Pastor Jeff & Family, Thank You for the incredibly hilarious, honest, and thought provoking story, and a reminder of our pathetic state without His influence, Gods Best to You and Your Family!
    Blessings…..Dave & Debbie Paszkowski

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