Something Don’d onn Me! 6-20-18

I have been giggling for days at all the hubbub around the change of IHOP to IHOB! The amount of shade that has been thrown at them for this name switcheroo has been hilarious! For a few moments on Twitter, Burger King changed their name to PANCAKE KING! Wendy’s (the reigning King of Twitter humor!)said “not really afraid of burgers from a place that decided pancakes were too hard.” Even Pop-Tarts got in on the action saying, “Dear internet thanks to everyone asking me this but no not every brand is having an identity crisis so I’m gonna stick to Pop-Tarts.”
 
Hey, if you own an IHOP franchise, I’m not mocking you! (In fact, why don’t you let me be your test sampler when you return to the pancake business!) And I’m not saying businesscan’t change their name or their direction! But I loved one part of that line from the PopTarts post: “Not EVERY brand is having an identity crisis.” Most people hope this is a massive PR blunder, (“Hello? Does anyone remember “New Coke”??) and that IHOP will return to doing what they do best-pancakes, waffles, and 24 service of French Toast! But the idea that they have an “identity crisis” really caught my eye…and made me wonder if it applies to us!
 
Have YOU ever had an identity crisis? Do you sometimes ponder “why are we here?” and “Do I REALLY have a purpose in life?” It’s not a sin to ask those questions! But I want you to remember this: Jesus died FOR YOU! And then He rose again…FOR YOU!! You DO have a purpose and an identity…and it is NOT in how many cars you have or pairs of shoes you have or if you can still fit in that size 4 or 6 or 16! Your value is NOT determined by how popular you are or if you know what the latest Kardashian is doing! You are not WORTH LESS if you are a stay at home Mom, or a blue-collar worker…or even if you are unemployed! Our value is not HERE!! Our identity is not in STUFF FROM HERE! Our purpose is in what HE DOES through us!!
 
One of the fascinating things to me about this whole IHOP fiasco is this: they are getting away from what they do best! In chasing after an almighty dollar, they are forgetting what got them dollars in the first place! I wonder if we need to hear that too!
 
In Revelation 2, John writes what Jesus told him to say to the church at Ephesus: “You have left your first love! You don’t love me or each other as you did at first!” He even continues later on in that same passage: “Turn back to me and love the way you did at first!” This warning from Jesus could be to us as well: Go back to  you do best!! We often call it L1 and L2Love God (L1) and Love Others (L2)-and it STILL applies to us here at Central!
 
Are we loving GOD first! Are we putting Him first in EVERY part of our lives? Are there OTHERS that we need to pour into with love? Are we missing opportunities to serve other people because we are so focused on our OWN problems?
 
Maybe to avoid identity crises…we need to be reminded of WHO we are, and WHOSE we are! Paul says, “We are Christ’s WORKMANSHIP…created to do good works in His name!” (Eph. 2:10) Our identity needs to be in THAT! He made us…and He made us tomake an impact in His name! That’s our first love…and that’s what we need to do best!!
 
You may FEEL like you are WORTH less. I’m sorry. I don’t want you to feel that way! And neither does Jesus! He died on the cross, then walked out of that tomb, to PROVE your value! You ARE worth something!! You are important!! And if you’re identity is in crisis, do this: GO BACK TO THE FIRST THINGS! That God is GREAT…and that YOU belong to HIM! Then get back to loving and serving in the way you did at first! Our BRAND IDENTITY is in the Servant Savior!! And our First Love should be loving others (L2) and loving Him! (L1)
 
Go out there and MAKE it a great week but doing what you were DESIGNED to do! You are precious to Him…and to me too!
 
Shalom Alachiem, Don
 
PS-Now all this typing has made me hungry…I wonder if Denny’s is open??