Why Go Deeper?

My word for 2015? Deeper. http://wp.me/p2UZoK-EE via @blestbutstrest #oneword
We sat down at the table and Pedro made sure that our three guests knew each other’s names before he blessed the food.

“I bet you guys are starved,” I said with a smile to the two teenage students who had joined us for supper.

“It smells so good,” Caleb exclaimed. He had a deal with Pedro—whenever he needed to escape the dorm, all he had to do was ask and we’d invite him over for a home-cooked meal and an hour of loud music (Christian, of course—Pedro wanted to introduce him to some alternative artists outside of Caleb’s regular fare of hip-hop and rap). Each time he came over, Caleb got to bring a guest.

“Way better than cafeteria food,” Caleb’s guest, Ernesto, chimed in.

“It’s still vegetarian,” I cautioned them. “I had short notice that you guys would be coming over, and I didn’t have time to run to the store for meat.

“It’s o.k., Mrs. Ojeda,” Caleb assured me. “I love your tacos.”

The two boys settled down to consume tacos at an alarming rate whilst Pedro chatted with our third guest, Terry, about a project he was working on for our non-profit school.

During a lull in conversation, Caleb turned to Terry and asked, “Hey, have you tried this hot sauce?” He held out a bottle Dave’s Ghost Pepper sauce—his favorite from Pedro’s extensive collection. “The stuff is so hot, you have to serve it with a toothpick!”

“I haven’t tried that one,” Terry answered as he took the bottle and inspected it.

Caleb handed him the toothpick holder and grinned. “It’s awesome, you have to try it.”

Terry dipped the toothpick in and applied a small drop to the already spicy taco ‘meat.’ “Wow! That IS hot,” he exclaimed. The boys laughed and then Terry asked them a bit about school before returning to his conversation with Pedro.

After I served dessert, I heard Caleb say in a quiet voice, “That guy directs movies,” as he nodded his head towards Terry.

“Dude, no way,” Ernesto replied.

“No, really. He worked on the first Terminator movie back in the day, and now he directs movies.” Caleb assured him.

Ernesto shook his head in disbelief. After all, he’d seen Terry around campus with a digital DSLR shooting photos of students and interacting with others like a ‘normal’ person.

“If you don’t believe me, ask him,” Caleb challenged him.

“Hey, Terry,” Ernesto said, “Do you make movies?”

“I do,” Terry replied. Ernesto still didn’t look convinced, so Terry pulled out his smartphone, opened an app and asked, “Have you heard of IMDb?”

Ernesto nodded. “It’s got all the movie star stuff on it, right?”

Terry handed his phone to Ernesto and said, “Type my name in there and read for your self.” He grinned and helped the boys with the spelling of his name and then chatted with Pedro some more.

The boys read through the IMDb page and Ernesto discovered that Terry was indeed who Caleb claimed he was—a guy who’d worked on Terminator and now directed movies.

This incident made me think about how incredulous we are today and where we seek affirmation of information. I’ve actually heard the pastor tell a story during a sermon, felt a moment of incredulity, and pulled out my iPhone to look up his story illustration on snopes.com to see if it’s true.

More and more, we rely on the Internet as the source for information to deny or confirm the truth. How does this affect our ability to witness to people? After all, God doesn’t have a webpage or a listing on IMDb. He doesn’t have a twitter account, Instagram or Facebook fan page.

My parents raised me in a Christian home and I grew up listening to Bible stories at bedtime. Sure, I’ve had my moments of doubt, but I can point out how my relationship with God has shaped my life and made me a better person each step of my journey.

But what about kids who grow up not knowing about God, or that Christmas is actually a celebration of the Christ and that Easter isn’t about a bunny? How will their questions of incredulity be answered?

How do we back up our claims that God’s not dead and that he has a deep personal interest in each and every person on earth?

One church I know of decided to mail a free book about salvation to everyone in the city of San Francisco in the hopes of ‘bringing Jesus’ to the masses. Their plan backfired. They garnered a lot of negative publicity on social media from people who didn’t appreciate the implied condemnation of the well-intentioned act. The answer is simple, yet more complex than we’d like to admit.

It starts with us. We are God’s IMDb. Click To Tweet

If we claim to be a Christian, we need to make sure we represent the Christ. Our testimony needs to be personal and personable. We have to spend time reading the Bible and praying to understand the character of God. And then we need to ask for the strength to live like we believe.

Next, we need to take a deep, personal interest people. We need to get to know them as individuals—invite them into our homes and spend time getting to know them. In a world full of incredulous people, mass-market mailings equal spam—and we don’t want God’s message of love lost in a spam folder. Click To Tweet

I challenge you to dig deeper into God’s word, to get to know him better. I challenge you to look around at your friends and acquaintances and pray for wisdom as you deepen your friendships and strive to represent and live God’s love.

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • This makes me want to come over for dinner sometime! I love the conversation here and I tweeted your quote. This is SO true! How we live our lives, especially in the moments when we question our impact is a direct reflection of our trust in Him and His resume in us. This is such a great object lesson…ahem…hint, hint…I’m borrowing it for teaching 🙂 Thanks!
    Bethany Boring recently posted…WithinMy Profile

    • You’re always welcome at my table, Bethany! Bring the whole family–we have guest rooms, too, since it will be quite a drive for you ;). Borrow it away–that’s why I shared.

  • Ray

    I was thinking the same thing. Makes me want to come over for dinner sometime. Thanks for sharing what was obviously a blessed experience.
    Ray recently posted…Timex Sinclair 1000 vs Samsung Galaxy S5My Profile

    • Come on over :)! Thanks for stopping by and sharing my virtual table today.

  • What an interesting analogy, humanity as God’s IMDb. The important thing about IMDb is that it is inclusive – everyone is included – independent and major studio. The IMDb of the world is filled will lots of different and amazing people from equally amazing cultures and belief systems.
    Kandas recently posted…Natural Cancer Therapies with Ann Fonfa | Battling Bertha | Podcast Episode 26My Profile

    • Excellent point, Kandas! God is definitely all-inclusive :).

  • I’m no longer well enough to take more than a bite from the best taco, but I;’ll come for the conversation.

    It’s all a matter of living in faith, or – as I am learning now – dying in it.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…LOVE-U For A Better Marriage – L for LingerMy Profile

    • Welcome to the table, Andrew :). I’m so sorry that you are unwell. I love that you continue to live life to the fullest despite knowing that you’re dying. All to often I forget that we should ALL be living like we’re dying.

  • What a great challenge to begin this new year with. Connections with people and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit are irreplaceable. Visiting from Coffee for Your Heart, and it is a delight to visit you again.
    Ginger Harrington recently posted…Grace for This YearMy Profile

    • I’m glad you stopped by, Ginger :). I’m looking forward to where God might take me with this word as a focus. It has me shaking in my shoes a little!

  • Anita, I so loved your post. My word for 2015 is also Deeper – deeper into His word, deeper relationships, deeper surrender. Beautiful post, and now I’m hungry for tacos!
    Ellen Chauvin recently posted…What’s Your Word?My Profile

    • Yay! Another word twin :). Maybe it’s time for a taco party! I’ll bring the vegetarian ‘meat’ ;).

  • Amen! Such great food for thought. hee hee 😉

  • What a wonderful story.. it’s true, people first have to know that WE care before they are going to listen to us tell them about a God that cares. Oh, and tacos sound yummy!
    Tobi@SimplyJesus recently posted…The One with All the Faith, Hope and Love. {John 3:18-36}My Profile

    • It looks like tacos should be on the menu for supper soon, and ya’ll can come visit! I’ve never been very good at making connections, so this will be a challenging year for me :).

  • Anita, going deeper is surely what we all, we who call ourselves Christians, should want to be doing and being. God made us in His image yet it takes going deeper to be molded into the beautiful image, into the person He created us to be.
    The analogy and the meal are perfect. I enjoyed reading this and glad we are ‘near neighbors’ at Lisa’s today. And thank you for stopping by my place.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda
    ~ linda recently posted…Expectant – One Word for 2015My Profile

    • It’s always fun to be your ‘near neighbor’ :). Sometimes, that going deeper and getting molded process isn’t comfortable–but I guess we weren’t called to be comfortable!

  • My word for 2015 is also deeper!

    And the reason? You said it perfectly. We need to well represent Christ. I love the thought of being God’s IMDb!

    And tacos…oh….tempting….I’m doing the Whole30 and can’t have them right now!
    Lynnae McCoy recently posted…School Lunch on a Stick – Because Everything is Better on a Stick!My Profile

    • I love it! I think you’re the third person I’ve come across who has chosen the same word–that makes us word triplets, right? They’re pretty healthy tacos since they’re vegetarian ;).

  • It is so great that you welcome these students around your table! The tacos sound awesome but hold the hot sauce!
    Susan Shipe recently posted…white chicken chiliMy Profile

    • 😉 We’re a hot sauce, spicy food family, that’s for sure!

  • I love this so much: “The answer is simple, yet more complex than we’d like to admit. It starts with us. We are God’s IMDb.” My word for this year is Transform.
    Chandra Hadfield recently posted…What I Learned from SpongebobMy Profile

    • I love your word, Chandra! I’ve certainly had that as an unofficial word back before I knew about #onework365 ;). May God be with you on your journey!

  • Loved this post Anita! Now I want to be a guest at your table too. Love the thought of continuing to go deeper with God.
    Tara recently posted…A Year of New BeginningsMy Profile

  • Anita,
    Your recipe looks delish 🙂 And it is wonderful how you and Pedro are welcoming people and giving them a chance to meet Christ through you…”Deeper” is a great word for 2015… I guess I’m doing that with my previous three years’ words…or it may be Renew as in Renew your mind (Rom. 12:2)…not sure yet…Happy New Year!
    Dolly@Soulstops recently posted…Who is doing the heavy lifting?My Profile

  • Please link this Anita – if you have time – so timely and yes, I wonder how people will come to Christ unless we continue to know Him deeper and better. And great hospitality besides!!! Blessings from a former HS English teacher.
    Sue Donaldson recently posted…A New LookMy Profile

  • We are God’s imdb. Love that! I tend to believe things, but I sure know many people who aren’t so trusting. My relationship with God makes a difference to those around me. I need to remember that more!
    Sarah Donegan recently posted…A Cause to Be Thankful by Yolanda Shanks ReviewMy Profile

  • Love this! Living like God and showing that in our actions, words and relationships is so important. I have really been convicted this year to go deeper with God’s word and am blessed to start my day in this way. I popped over from Deanna’s link up for our one word and am so glad I did!

    PS. What time is dinner???
    Mary Geisen recently posted…My One Word…Now It’s Getting “Real”My Profile

    • Come on over any time, Mary ;). During the school year I supervise in the cafeteria on Mondays and Tuesdays, so any other day works for me!