Saturday, May 28, 2022



A few years ago my younger brother gave me a car.  It is a 2004 Lexus GX470.  Perhaps upon hearing the fact that I own a “Lexus” you now think higher of me…or at the very least have placed me in the upper echelons of the automotive elite.  To further this uppity image, I like to use a raspy rich voice every time I say the word “Lexus.” For example, I may snootily ask; “Sarah, do you think we should use the Lexus to pull the yacht to the lake this weekend?” 

To which my elegant wife might respond, “We are not going to the lake this weekend…you are going to mow the lawn with your broken 1980 Lawnboy push mower and then you will fix the axle in that Lexus…and we don’t have a yacht and we are not getting a yacht…we have a fishing boat with a motor that runs on only one of the two cylinders.”

She is not wrong. Many of the things that we have are broke, including many aspects of the Lexus.  The Lexus desperately needs ball joints, tie rods, alignment, a radio and some serious work on the computer sensors as the dash looks like a decorated Christmas tree with all of the colored blinking lights.  It is quite obvious that the Lexus is broke and I would be broke if I tried to fix them all.  In fact, as mechanically inclined as I am, I don’t think that I would even be able to come close to fixing all of my automotive problems, which goes beyond the Lexus. If you add in the Dodge Grand Caravan, the GMC Pickup and the Chevy Suburban you would find a plethora of broken items from broken tailgates, signal lights, brake lights, tail lights, side doors, mirrors, parking sensors, running boards, tires, tire leaks, seat warmers, 4 wheel drive train…the list goes on. 

The bottom line is that my vehicles are broke…and so am I. 

I am not the only broken one.  One would only have to look at the news this past week to see that our world is broke and it is broke beyond repair.  We see the senseless death of so many, incredible violence, countries fighting and killing, abuse in our cultures leaders which includes many churches.

When we get even a glimpse our brokenness, we will naturally react.  These reactions are often attempts to fix that which is broken so that these things will never happen again.  It seems that we are bound and determined to figure out a way where “we” can fix it.  We are rightfully appalled by such occurrences and it is only reasonable to “do” something to prevent them from happening again.  Thus we try and it isn’t for lack of effort on our part,  that we continue to see these things happening time and time again. 

So why do they keep happening?  This might be a disheartening reality to some…but…perhaps it is because we can’t fix it.  It won’t matter what “we” do…bad things will continue to happen. Why?  Because just like me…this world is broken.

Mankind will NEVER be successful in fixing the world.  It was actually mankind that broke this world in the first place so what makes us think that we can fix it.  Jesus on the other hand…WILL FIX IT!  We see it promised and he KEEPS his promise.  He WILL fix it.

So what do I/we do?  At the core…I think that we need to see that we are indeed broke.  We are spiritually broke.  I am broken and in need of repair and I am spiritually broke and have nothing to bring to the table to earn any of the “fix” that Jesus is offering…and so is everyone else.  I want to know my brokenness and my need for Jesus. Likewise, I want you to know your brokenness and your need for Jesus.

The world has never needed Jesus as bad as it does today.  The world is filled with more broken people today than ever before.  So from one broken person to another broken person, I ask you, “Can you fix it? Can you fix…you?”

I then ask, “Will you invite Jesus to do that which only he can do…to save you from your brokenness?”

May we all come to see that we are broken and we all need a Savior, and Jesus IS that Savior.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

 Fire in the Hole


They say that the male brain does not fully develop until well after a man’s teenage years.  In fact, recent studies have suggested that perhaps this development even extends into a man’s late 40’s…looks like I might still be in the process of “growing up.”

The prefrontal cortex is known to be the personality control center of the brain. This is the area of the brain that helps individuals decide on what the possible effects of certain actions may be.  An example of a young man without a fully developed prefrontal cortex could be that of a young college student, who intentionally slams the front bumper of his 1980 Plymouth Grand Fury into the huge, slushy, wet snow bank.  If his prefrontal cortex had been developed further, he may have taken the time to observe that the temperature was forecasted to plummet from 40 degrees to -60 degrees overnight.  Since his brain had not yet developed, he did not become aware of his error in judgment until it was time for him to head to work the next day, where he found his car is literally frozen into the snow bank becoming its own rusty ice sculpture.  Perhaps, this young college student thought, “Woo Hoo! I don’t have to go to work! I get the night off, now I can take my girlfriend out on a date.”  What he had not yet realized is that his car was still frozen into a snow bank…and…he had no way of getting money for the desired night on the town. 

For many males, this think-less pattern continues until they get married, at which time, (If they happen to get lucky and choose a good wife), their newly acquired spouse will beat this undeveloped brain into development.  Those who choose poorly will find themselves living in a perpetual circle of brainless in-activities.

Even if that previous example hadn’t been about  me…I would still be a victim of an underdeveloped prefrontal cortex.  One college afternoon, following a nice lunch of 2 pounds of bacon and a slice of pie, I studiously sat in the classroom of Christian Counseling 301 waiting for the humble professor to arrive.  Just as the respectable, Mrs. Dirks, walked through the door, I, along with a friend to my left and to my right, (also both males), grabbed the edge of the table and overturned it while screaming, “Fire in the Hole! Take Cover.”

The respectable Mrs. Dirks calmly replied, “Mr. Olson, could I see you in my office after class.”  I obliged, only to have her calmly diagnose me with ADHD.  Hmm…I wonder where she came up with that.

Looking back on my life and decisions, I find myself stupefied by my choices.  If I were ever to come came face to face with the respectable Professor Dirks I am certain that I would blush from shame and humiliation at my actions. Those actions were indeed shameful.

How much more am I overwhelmed with the shame of my sin.  When I consider coming face to face with God Almighty, I am convinced that I will be able to do nothing but slam my face to the ground in shame…even face planted in the dirt is too respectable of a position for me. 

Incredibly, Jesus, who had never performed a single shameful act…was shamed and mocked, beaten and crucified.  He was abused for shameful sins that he NEVER committed.  In fact, I have come to see that Jesus even willingly walked into shameful humility at his own baptism.  In Matthew 3:1-17 we find John the Baptist was calling for people to repent…to admit their sin and turn from it.  John was challenging people to publicly declare that they are shameful people.  It is at this time that Jesus approached John and asked to be baptized.  John’s jaw probably hit the water and he said, “No way! I am the one who should be baptized by you!”

Jesus replies that it needs to be this way. Why? 

I have become convinced that Jesus sets for us an example.  He exemplifies that we too should be baptized. He shows us that we too should be humble.  But even more so, I think Jesus wants for us to know…that he is offering grace…he is taking our shame.  He wants us to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that though He had no sin…he was willing to become sin…for our sakes, because he loved us and gave his life for us.  We certainly see this in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, but I think that we also see it in his baptism.

If I have ever had a reason to believe, repent and be baptized…this is it.

Saturday, May 7, 2022


Tomorrow is Mother’s day and you know what that means…it’s time for men to scramble to the local Wal-Mart and pick up a last minute Mother’s Day card from the scant remnants from the greeting card display.  It is, in fact, mildly possible that the only remaining cards are the “singing cards” which are as expensive as they are annoying.  So instead of buying an overwhelmingly costly card that exceeds the expense of the $5 Caribou card that most men were planning on putting inside, they will decide to have the kids whip together a “homemade card,” with white computer paper and crayons that were pilfered from the local Perkins. 

I am happy to say that this is not the case with me…this year.  I have finished my Mother’s Day gift shopping hours ago. 

I tend to rebel against certain trends…like Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day.  This has at times generated some tension in the Olson home.  I guess I resist them, because I don’t want Hallmark telling me when to give a gift to the people that I care about…although…sometimes I guess maybe someone should.  Incidentally, I also don’t want Hallmark to make Christmas movies anymore either…but that topic is for a different day. 

I am not always the most aware husband, or son in regards to gift giving, yet I find that I am drawn to give.  One year I was drawn to give my wife a brand new vacuum for Mother’s Day! Despite what you are all thinking…she loved it…and she in fact wanted it.  I knew that she wanted it and thus I knew that it was safe to give.  This kind of knowledge comes only from relationship.

In Galatians 4:8-20, Paul draws our attention to the beauty of a relationship with Jesus. This is an incredible statement that Paul makes in that culture, and it is just as incredible in our culture today.  We CAN have a REAL relationship with God.  Our interactions with God are not just a one sided effort on our part to “appease” Him or somehow earn the right to be “accepted” by Him. 

May we come to know that we can have a real relationship with God… to know God and to be known by God.