Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for December, 2010

Driving toward the western horizon for one last run of family holiday time and listening to the iPod, the following Jeremy Camp tune reminded me of life lessons, loss, and love from 2010, and challenged me to live well in 2011. I Still Believe!

Scattered words and empty thoughts
Seem to pour from my heart
I’ve never felt so torn before
Seems I don’t know where to start

But it’s now that I feel Your grace fall like rain
From every fingertip washing away my pain

‘Cause I still believe in Your faithfulness
‘Cause I still believe in Your truth
‘Cause I still believe in Your Holy Word
Even when I don’t see, I still believe

Though the questions still fog up my mind
With promises I still seem to bear
For even when answers slowly unwind
It’s my heart I see You prepare

But it’s now that I feel Your grace fall like rain
From every fingertip washing away my pain

‘Cause I still believe in Your faithfulness
‘Cause I still believe in Your truth
‘Cause I still believe in Your Holy Word
Even when I don’t see, I still believe

Well the only place I can go is into Your arms
Where I throw to You my feeble prayers
Well in brokenness I can see that this is Your will for me
Well help me to know that You are near

‘Cause I still believe in Your faithfulness
‘Cause I still believe in Your truth
‘Cause I still believe in Your Holy Word
Even when I don’t see, ’cause I still believe

‘Cause I still believe
‘Cause I still believe
I still believe, I still believe

Well I still believe
I still believe
I still believe

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

It is Sunday morning, and yes, it is quite early. No pre-scheduled auto posting today.

Yesterday was Christmas, the day the world celebrates the birth of the LORD. Today is the first day of the week, the day that Christians take each week to celebrate the resurrection of the LORD.

The Fam is down in Texas today with part of my clan, and enjoyed a little holiday spirit together yesterday: good food, some exchange of gifts, a time to laugh, and the traditional parting of the waters that allowed the choice of watching either football or a chick flick.

As you can see from the post time, Mr. Brain woke me up early today (or was it another “Mr B”? I’ll never tell). My sister’s family’s house is very quiet at the moment, which is quite a departure from the audible environment for much of the day yesterday.

So here I am, sitting in the dark, reading, thinking, and listening. Very few actual sounds are my companion at the moment: a muted ticking of the large clock here in the living room, and the deep rhythmic breathing of my sleeping daughter across the room on the sofa.

So what am I hearing in this? Pausing to hear, and reflect, on the slow but rapid and continuous passage of time. And the breath of life, the sounds of someone deeply at rest, taking in the oxygen we all need to survive.

What’s our analogous application for today’s random walk? Stop. Listen. Think. Breath. Pray. Laugh. Dine. Give. Rest. Be thankful. I know I am.

Thanks for the wake up call this morning, “Mr B”. Let’s do this again sometime. It was worth a listen.

Read Full Post »

For the past 18 years, Christmas morning was, without fail, about early morning wake ups with the kids to see what Santa had brought for them. From “Baby Hannah” walking behind her big truck at 7 months of age, to Alec and Rebecca each being equally (if not more) interested in what Santa brought to their twin than to them in their 11th month of age first Christmas, Christmas morning has been about joy, discovery, and sharing.

We had our traditional “Christmas Santa” event a day early this year. Time passes, and the needs and wants of a larger extended family call for sacrifice and flexibility. A day of travel and grandparents and cousins awaits. Hence, my alarm clock woke me this Christmas morn, not my kids.

But joy, discovery, and sharing was not absent this Christmas day. As I silenced the alarm, I heard talking coming from the other room. It seems that, when it is 6 am in Oklahoma, it is 9 pm in Japan, and one of our guests/adopted daughters studying at OC was on Skype sharing and enjoying time with someone who was, quite possibly, on the other side of the globe. The world is flat, indeed.

Christmas is not about the toys, the trinkets, and the packages. Christmas is about love, family, friends, and sharing. And Christmas, for a certain 44 year old man in middle America, is about joyful memories. Today’s will add to that collection.

Merry Christmas to all, and to our friends across the world, to all a “Good Night”. Sayonara. Guten Nacht. Sleep well.

Read Full Post »

After viewing and reflecting on the recent lunar eclipse,  the following old tune from the long late Jim Croce kept running thru my mind.

It seemed appropriate to share:

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I’d like to do
Is to save every day
Till Eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I’d save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go
Through time with

If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go
Through time with

Read Full Post »

 1996: Dateline – Weatherford, Texas.    A lunar eclipse was experienced tonight.    The young family of Jeff Bingham, age 30, his wife Sherry, age 28, and daughter, Hannah, age 4, put down the tailgate of their new Mazda B2300 pickup and sat out in their driveway and watched the moon as its brightness slowly turned a faded shade of blood red.    

Life was a little simpler, then, maybe.   Maybe not.   Smaller family, smaller house, smaller bills.     More hours at the office, but definitely much less technology, so when you left work, you left work.       Extended family was smaller, and bigger, all at the same time.   Generations come, and generations go.     Both of Jeff’s grandmothers were only a short 20 minute drive away that night that he, Sherry, and Hannah experienced their first eclipse together. 

2010: Dateline – Edmond, Oklahoma.   A lunar eclipse was experienced tonight.    The young family of Jeff Bingham, age 44, his wife Sherry, age undisclosed, and daughter, Hannah, age 18, got up at 2:00 am and went out into their front yard and noticed through thin cloud cover that the moon had turned a faded shade of blood-red.    Being wintertime, the air had a chill to it.   Suddenly, after what seemed like seconds had passed, Jeff and Hannah realized that Sherry was no longer standing with them.     With this being such a historic event, siblings not present for the 1996 eclipse, Alec and Rebecca, were retrieved from their beds, and they too made cameo appearances on the front porch.    “So that’s history?   When’s it coming back again?   That long?”.    And they too disappeared back to the warmth of their beds.

As Hannah and I sat outside for another 10 or 15 minutes, my greatest joy came not from watching the eclipse, but in watching her wonder at life and how she finds pure excitement in the simple minutes.     Many minutes have passed since 1996, and many of them filled with joy, as well as occasional heartache.    Too much house, too many bills, too much technology, and not enough sitting down in the chilled air to experience a still moment in time with someone you love.

2010: And we were there.   As we approach the finish line on this calendar, I’m reflecting on all that has happened this year; so much so, that after 30 minutes back in bed (post eclipse watch party) the mind was racing too much to not get back up and jot these thoughts down before they too were a fleeting memory, like all the eclipses of history that have come and gone.    Generations come, and generations go.     The younger generation of the family saw its first wedding this year, and we saw the last of the oldest living generation, both grandmothers, go on to the life that follows this.     

Perhaps a lunar eclipse can be an analogy of this life transition: the moon rises early, shines brightly for a while, and then is dimmed to a faded shade, with only its past glory faintly visible.     But the time of eclipse always passes, and the brightness of life is dimmed no more.     You see, the moon does not shine its own light, but in reflects the light of the Sun, as we reflect the light of the Son.    Our glory and brightness an an image of His.

2094: Dateline – Somewhere in timeless.    As Hannah and I prepared to come inside tonight, we talked about the next eclipse that will be visible from North America occurring in 2094.     I’m glad she asked us to get up and experience this one with her tonight.    I don’t plan on residing in North America in 2094.    I don’t think she does, either.     Perhaps, if the Sun, Moon, and Stars are still in existence, we can find a good vantage point, one not obscured by the clouds.       Maybe my grandmothers will join us that night.     I think they will be in the neighborhood.    You are welcomed to join us too.    It promises to be a good night.     I’ll even put the tailgate down on the truck for us…

Read Full Post »

Lost, and found

They call him Kipper, Kipper the dog.    The dog with the slipper, that’s him, Kipper the dog.    By the way, that’s a toad, not a frog…..

 At least, they did call him Kipper, until we lost the video containing him many years ago.    Shortly after moving to Oklahoma City from Texas almost 13 years ago, a family member gave the kids (then ages 5, 2, and 2) a VHS cassette video of the British storybook series about a little mischievous puppy and his friends.

Needless to say, the kids loved watching Kipper, again and again.    As annoying as it became to hear them ask for Kipper, and to hear Kipper call out to his friend “Tiger” in a cheeky British accent, it kept the kids occupied, quiet, and happy.    It was like a video tranquilizer gun.     Then, one day, he just disappeared.     Only the box to the video cassette remained.

Fast forward (no pun intended) to 2010.    The kids (now ages 18, and near 14 and 14) were all in the living room with Sherry and I last evening to watch a movie, only this time courtesy of Netflix Watch Instantly via the Wii.      I bet you couldn’t say that 10 times fast, especially 13 years ago.   

Once the feature Netflix presentation was over, we began to peruse the other available for instant viewing selections.    As I was rapidly passing the kids and family section, one the kids saw it and called out “let’s watch Kipper!”.     Each of the kids rang out a chorus of agreement.      And there we were.     What was lost had again been found.   Sherry and I just looked at each other and smiled.    The same cheeky British dog, along with his dog, duck, and pig friends were again entertaining these big kids on the screen.     They all watched with joy and laughter, talking about how much they’d missed him.      It was like a web streaming video tranquilizer gun.    Who knew?

As I pondered the moment and the “lost and found” metaphor, another song came to mind:

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.    I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.     We’ve each been given a gift of Amazing grace, even if we sometime lose track of it and forget what it looks, sounds, and feels like.     But it is out there, somewhere, just waiting for us to come back to it, and much joy and laughter its companion….

Fabulous Return Of God’s gift….”

Now that’s a FROG…. (listen to the song, you’ll understand) 

http://www.youtube.com/v/W0rUZGCZIwY?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US”></param><param

Read Full Post »

I am currently listening during my morning walk to a reading of CS Lewis’s The Great Divorce, a fable/analogy of the journey toward Heaven from Hell.

As I moved on from the treadmill to preparing for the day, the following song greeted me on the car radio, and I hope it blesses you today in some small fashion as it has me.

I have seen the many faces of fear and of pain
I have watched the tears fall plenty from heartache and strain
So if life’s journey has you weary and afraid
There’s rest in the shadow of His wings

I have walked through the valleys, the mountains, and plains
I have held the hand of freedom that washes all my stains
If you feel weight of many trials and burdens from this world
There’s freedom in the shelter of the Lord

And I have seen the healing hand of God
Reaching out and mending broken hearts
Taste and see the fullness of His peace
And hold on to what’s being held out
The healing hand of God

And I have touched the scars upon His hands to see if they were real
He has walked the road before me, he knows just how I feel
When you feel that there’s not anyone, who understands your pain
Just remember all of Jesus’s suffering

‘Cause I have seen the healing hand of God
Reaching out and mending broken hearts
Taste and see the fullness of His peace
And hold on to what’s being held out

Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you
He’s near to the broken and confused
By His stripes our spirit is renewed
So enter in the joy prepared for you

I have seen the healing hand of God
Reaching out and mending broken hearts
Taste and see the fullness of His peace
And hold on to what’s being held out

The healing hand of God

Jeremy Camp

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »