What’s Under Your Cushion? (or, White-Washed Couches)

under your cushionSeven months ago, I was up in Big Bear for our youth group’s annual Winter Camp. I woke up at around six and headed down to the main lodge, hoping to curl up on the couch with a bowl of cereal and warm up next to the fireplace. With a bowl of Cap’n Crunch in one hand and a book of matches in the other, I headed over to the fireplace… and was greeted with a cushionless couch.

Apparently, some of the boys had taken them in the night to build forts, shields, and a giant “mega-bed.” They also spent at least an hour playing the “lava” game. Epic, I know, but not what I was hoping to find at 6:12 am. You see, for those of you who own couches (most of my post-college audience, I assume), you know that I didn’t find just a cushionless couch. Concealed for what must’ve been decades beneath those tacky plaid cushions was a hodgepodge of delightful treats.

Where should I start? There was the candy: three and a half gummy worms, about two dozen nerds which had probably started off orange but had since faded to an unappetizingly chalky white, about three-eighths of a jawbreaker, and what I sure hope was the remnants of a Milky Way bar.

There was also what I assume started off as a single Oreo, a six-sided die, a monopoly house, an almost-empty travel-sized tube of toothpaste and some used dental floss, a “MASH” scorecard (spoiler alert: they all died alone), a used iTunes gift card, and a mysterious sticky substance that was purple in color and salty in taste.

It wasn’t all bad, though. I did manage to find one dime, three nickels, six pennies, and an unidentified silver coin bearing the image of an elderly woman among the other remains.

Jesus once compared the Pharisees and Sadducees to “white-washed sepulchers” (Matthew 23:27). They worked hard to look good on the outside, while on the inside they were dead. They were lost, confused, and filled with sin.

If that exchange took place today, I think He may have called them sofa couches. “You look all clean and vacuumed on the outside, but just look beneath the cushions,” He might’ve said. “For underneath your well-swept cushions are moldy old sandwiches, sticky M&Ms, and the remains of various beverages you have spilt over the years.”

Christians love, love, love to put on a show. We love to look like we have it all together. But ask yourself today, what’s under your cushion? Is everything on the inside nice and clean, presentable for the King of kings? Or do you have a mess on your hands? There’s nothing wrong with getting a little gunk stuck in there every now and then. Just don’t try to hide it. Jesus can’t clean up your couch if you won’t let Him see what’s under the cushions. Deal with it now. Let God clean up the mess so you can walk perfectly before Him today.

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7)


CHALLENGE: And hey, just for fun, email me pictures of your filthy couches. I need the encouragement to know I’m not the only one!


 

Related Post


 

My newest book, UNFAIR ADVANTAGE, is available on Amazon. Best book you’ll read this summer. It’ll change your life.

UNFAIR ADVANTAGE is for sale!

UnfairBookCoverI’m very happy to announce that my book, “UNFAIR ADVANTAGE,” is now available for your Kindle on Amazon.com.

This book will teach Christians who God made them to be, so they can do everything God has called them to do. And spoiler alert, God made you incredibly awesome. You truly are greater than you realize.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way. God told me to start writing in January 2013, and the last 17 months have been quite the adventure. So many of you supported me, gave me advice, helped proofread, told me not to use the word “crap” in a Christian book, and took amazing cover photos. I couldn’t have done it without all of you.

When you go to buy it from Amazon, do me a favor and purchase it through “Amazon Smile,” selecting “MountainChild.org” as your charity of choice. If you do this, Amazon will donate 4 cents of your purchase to MountainChild, helping to save the lives of starving children in the Himalayan Mountains. 4 cents may not be much, but when I sell 100,000 copies of my book, it will quickly add up and save countless lives.

And for those of you purists out there, the paperback will be available in the next two weeks. So stay tuned!

Thanks again, and enjoy!

Garrett Milovich 

#unfairadvantagebook

http://www.amazon.com/Unfair-Advantage-Greater-Than-Realize-ebook/dp/B00L1T54P0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403794434&sr=8-1&keywords=garrett+milovich

Speaking in Tongues Saved a Baby’s Life

baby with tongueSpeaking in tongues and healing are two highly controversial topics for the modern church. I’m not sure why, since the bible is quite supportive of both. But nonetheless, these are two subjects that many Christians are unsure about.

Here is a personal testimony that validates both.

* * *

Maybe five years ago, I woke up in the middle of the night concerned about a baby. I really don’t know how else to describe it. I couldn’t tell you whose baby it was. Was there a baby in trouble? Did I really want a baby? Did I just want to watch “Look Who’s Talking”?

I didn’t know. I just knew that I had been wakened from a dream about a baby, and I needed to pray.

How do you even pray for that? If I asked you to pray about a baby and gave you no other information, would you know where to start? I didn’t know who the baby was. I didn’t know what the baby needed. I didn’t even know if there was a baby. I just knew I needed to pray.

So I did what the bible instructs us to do when we don’t know what to pray for: I prayed in other tongues (Romans 8:26).

After about five minutes, the urge to pray relented, and I went back to sleep, still not knowing who the baby was or what was going on with the baby, but trusting in God to take care of the situation.

And then the weeks passed, and I forgot all about this episode.

About a month later, I was teaching at our Young Adults service on the subject of praying in tongues. About half way through my message, I was reading Romans 8:26 and was reminded of the baby, so I quickly shared the story.

“I knew I needed to pray for the baby, but I didn’t know what to pray for… the bible says when you don’t know what to pray for, you can pray in tongues…”

The service ended, we packed up the church, Cheyne and I headed home, and we went to sleep.

The next day I received a phone call. It was a girl who had attended our church for the first time the previous night. She shared with me that her older sister was pregnant, but had had major complications and was rushed to the hospital about a month before. The doctors had expected to lose the baby, but supernaturally they had managed to keep the child alive. For the entire month, the mother had been hospitalized, still pregnant with the baby and unsure whether either of them would be okay.

The girl on the phone was convinced that the baby I had prayed for was her sister’s baby, and asked if we could visit them at the hospital and pray for the sister.

I talked with Cheyne, and we decided that it’d be best if Cheyne went to the hospital to minister to the soon-to-be mother. Upon Cheyne’s arrival, she learned that the sister used to be a Christian, but had since walked away from God. The doctors weren’t sure if the baby would survive the pregnancy, and the mother’s health was at risk as well.

Cheyne sat and talked with the girl about everything that had happened in her life. The girl then rededicated her life to God, and told Cheyne she believed God was able to heal her and save her baby. Together they prayed for the health of her and her child, and Cheyne came home.

The mother ended up completely recovering, and was discharged from the hospital a couple of days later.

And that, my friends, is how praying in tongues saved a baby’s life.

Baby Shower Q&A: The Unrated Version

Cheyne and I reveal the gender of our baby.  I may look surprised, but I already knew. It's called "acting."

Cheyne and I reveal the gender of our baby. I may look surprised, but I already knew. It’s called “acting.”

We had our baby shower about a month ago. Beforehand, I was given the following questions to answer for the shower. Thought you guys might like reading through it.

1. If the baby could have a superpower what would it be?

The ability to have any superpower it wants.

2. What do you want the baby to be when the baby grows up?

Human.  Also, preferably not a Belieber.

3. What college would you want the baby to go to?

Somewhere close.  And somewhere that doesn’t have the word “fashion” or “burger” in the name.

4. If the baby could be a superhero, what superhero would you want the baby to be?

Superman.  Duh.  He can do everything.

5. What physical characteristic of your spouse do you hope your baby has?

If she’s a girl, then all of ‘em.  Hair, eyes, smile, and the rest.  If we’re having a boy, then definitely Cheyne’s biceps.  Cheyne is freakishly strong.

6. What personality trait of your spouse do you hope your baby has?

Her passion.  If the kid is born with that, he’ll change the world.

7. What physical characteristic of yours do you hope your baby has?

My beard. Hopefully not immediately though, as that probably wouldn’t be convenient for the birthing process.

8. What personality trait of yours do you hope your baby has?

My ability to take important things like baby shower questionnaires seriously.

9. What of yours do you hope your baby doesn’t inherit?

My webbed toes and back hair.  Also, my inability to dunk.

10. How old will your baby be when they lose their first tooth?

Hopefully before the next “Mother’s Day.”  I have a great idea for necklace…

11. How many kids do you want?

Twelve.  I figure if Cheyne says “two” and I say “twelve,” we can compromise at “four” and I’ll look like a caring, understanding guy.

12. How old does the baby have to be before he can date?

It depends if he is a boy or she is a girl.  If she is a girl, never.  If he’s a boy, thirty.

13. Who’s changing poopy diapers?

Whoever wants to be the favorite grandma.

14. What are you most looking forward to about being a parent?

Getting to tell other people how to raise their kids.

15. How long do you think labor will last?

Fourteen seconds.  Speakin’ it by faith. (Air-fives my wife.)

This mean little girl snuck into the shower and punched me in the gut!

This mean little girl snuck into the shower and punched me in the gut!

16. Who is most likely to faint during delivery?

The nurse.  When she sees how handsome my son is.

17. Who will cry more when their baby will be born?

Probably me, unless “Titanic” is playing in the delivery room, in which case, tie.

18. How did Cheyne tell Garrett she was pregnant?

She woke me up at 5 AM on the morning of August 12th.  I had feared that she found out I had replaced her “special” medicine with Tic-Tacs.  And I guess to some degree, she had.

19. What are Cheyne’s pregnancy cravings?

One Tree Hill marathons and baths.

20. What was the most challenging thing about being pregnant?

My body being stretched and warped beyond reason, having to get up six times a night to pee, gaining thirty pounds, and having to squeeze something the size of a watermelon out of my body.  Oh wait, that was Cheyne.  I haven’t been inconvenienced all that much.

21. What is your must have baby item?

Diamond Blu-Ray Edition of Braveheart.  Or as we call it, “School.”

22. How much will your baby weigh?

Let’s go with seven pounds.  I made the mistake of accidentally saying “ten pounds” last week to Cheyne (which apparently is a big number), and I was harshly rebuked for my unbelief.

23. How will you handle temper tantrums?

Duct tape.  They’ve worked well so far.  Oh, you mean for the baby…

24. Who came up with the baby’s name?

Our Ouija board.  The magic 8-ball had said, “Ask again later,” but we didn’t have time to wait.

25. What will the baby’s first word be?

“Freedom!”

26. Will you buy the baby a car at 16?

Baby can get a job if he wants to drive.

27. When will you start saving for college?

There are these things called “scholarships” nowadays. Lil’ Milo can get straight A’s if he wants to go to college…

28. What gender do you want the baby to be?

Can’t we let the baby decide?  I mean, it is the 21st Century after all, and my insurance isn’t the only thing that’s Progressive…

29. What do you think will be the biggest lifestyle change when becoming a parent?

More romantic dates with Cheyne and more midnight showings of superhero movies with Cameron.

30. What game/toy are you most looking forward to playing with your baby?

Setting the rowboat up in the backyard and playing with our “imagination.”

 31. Who will be more strict?

That will be obsolete, because my baby will be an angel and never do anything wrong.

Cheyne and I at our baby shower.

Cheyne and I at our baby shower.