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Archive for August, 2011

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A little later some of the other bystanders came over to Peter and said, “You must be one of them; we can tell by your Galilean accent.” Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know the man!” And immediately the rooster crowed. Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And he went away, weeping bitterly. Matthew 26:73-75

I read a piece last night regarding the markets where a financial analyst in London was calling for one more big drop near term in stocks, “retesting a recent low”, before they would rocket ahead to new highs.

Isn’t that a great analogy for how we live? Sometimes, do we have to hit rock bottom before we are ready to propel forward? It’s like all the “panic selling” and “short term investor” parts of our personalities and spirit have to be excised, albeit sometimes painfully, before we are clear to start a new trading pattern that takes us higher and higher. Grief. Guilt. Regret. You name it, and we have to get it out before we can move on.

Peter was a great example. “And he went away, weeping bitterly”. Judas is an example of exactly the opposite. You can’t sell out and go away. Potential, promise, and redemption always await, but we have to take the first step. Peter set a future course to do great things, and the sky was his only, and final, limit.

I have been there. I’ve talked with good friends who have as well. I know others whose “wept bitterly” moment has likely not yet arrived, and I can only pray that when it does good friends are there to reinvest and help them “stay in the market” and invest towards new highs. It’s exactly what Jesus did with Peter.

John 21: 12-17 “Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said. None of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish. This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead.

After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”

“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.

Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”

“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.

A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.

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Guess who just got back today? That wild eyed boy, who’d been away.

The song is from the late seventies, early eighties, and the performing group was called Thin Lizzie.

I have a friend who once went by the nickname Lizzie, and she’s kinda thin. She’s smallish, like a frog, like a play frog, only with colors. Pink boots and purple bandanas, anyone?

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Yes, the Beau is back in town. I knew this day was coming, and that she’d drive off upon his entrance into the area code. But, she left before I could say anything. I told myself last year I would not do this, but I’ve got at least one more sentimental journey left in me.

Accordingly, this lyric vault moment is not from Thin Lizzie, but from
George Strait “sung” for my own thin Lizzie.

…that’s why I’m sittin’ on the front porch, starin’ down the road; wonderin’ if she’ll come back? This time, I don’t know…..that’s got me worried, thinkin’ maybe my baby’s gotten good at goodbye…

Take heart, dear reader. Don’t cry for me, Argentina. (sorry, wrong musical genre). You see, I have good friends remaining with me.

Three amigos? Tres Hombres is more like it. A ha ha ha ha….

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I was watching cable television tonight with the ladies in my family, and their choice of programing was sponsored by a particular new prescription drug. This was perhaps the most dramatic case to date for the side effects being worse than the basic treatable condition.

With limited editorial deletes (for the family friendly under 25 readership crowd) and only the drug name changed to avoid a potential international incident, here is the listing of potential side effects to endure:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); confusion; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or sore throat; increased saliva production or drooling; increased sweating; memory loss; menstrual changes; muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness; new or worsening mental or mood changes (eg, aggressiveness, agitation, anxiety, depression, exaggerated feeling of well-being, hallucination, hostility, impulsiveness, inability to sit still, irritability, panic attacks, restlessness); numbness or tingling; persistent, painful———-; seizures; severe or prolonged dizziness or headache; shortness of breath; ——– thoughts or actions; swelling of the hands, legs, or feet; symptoms of high blood sugar (eg, increased hunger, thirst, or urination; unusual weakness); tremor; trouble concentrating, speaking, or swallowing; trouble sleeping; trouble walking or standing; uncontrolled muscle movements (eg, arm or leg movements, jerking or twisting, twitching of the face or tongue); vision changes.

Seriously, why would anyone want to take this mystery drug? Oh wait, I just remembered what we were watching tonight. Someone, pass the pill bottle, and hurry. Side effects can’t be worse than enduring Monty….

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Great morning drive lyrical message today from Shawn McDonald. As many awoke today to different issues, be they broken roofs/shingles, or broken hearts, I hope words like these ring true.

Yes I will rise
Out of these ashes rise
From this trouble I have found
And this rubble on the ground
I will rise
Cause He Who is in me
Is greater than I will ever be
And I will rise

Sometimes my heart is on the ground
And hope is nowhere to be found
Love is a figment I once knew
And yet I hold on to what I know is true

Yes I will rise
Out of these ashes rise
From this trouble I have found
And this rubble on the ground
I will rise
Cause He Who is in me
Is greater than I will ever be
And I will rise

Well I keep on coming to this place
That I don’t know quite how to face
So I lay down my life in hopes to die
That somehow I might rise

Yes I will rise
Out of these ashes rise
From this trouble I have found
And this rubble on the ground
I will rise
Cause He Who is in me
Is greater than I will ever be
And I will rise

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It happens all the time, or at least it seems like it. You think you are on top of things; you think you understand the situation around you; you believe you have it under control.

Then, it happens: something breaks down, and you begin to learn the full scope of things.

Case in point: air conditioning. I have been fairly faithful in changing out the air filters in our house for the four plus years we have lived here. Sunday night into Monday, the air stopped working so well. Come to find out, aside from being a little low on Freon, there was a “mystery” air return that I have failed to service. It was right under my nose, six feet above it, actually, and I somehow failed to watch it along with the other three. Suffice to say, a 98 cent air filter can make a huge difference. So can keeping your eyes open.

The same reality for home maintenance is true with systems, organizations, churches, and people. You have to keep your eyes open to the full scope of your surroundings, and a little inexpensive time devoted to preventative maintenance never hurts.

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Not getting the whole picture? Does the message seemingly not make sense, especially in the current context? Sometimes you just have to go a little deeper, then it becomes more clear to you…

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Wildfires have been raging recently in and around our town. People have lost their homes, and many others have been forced to evacuate. My wife and I found ourselves caught in the middle of it all last night while trying to drive a simple 15 minute straight line from Point A to Point B.

I’ve never lost a house and possessions to fire, but once or twice have experienced the preparation to run thinking in a rural Texas setting. You wonder what to do. Who can stand against such odds?

All of us, however, have endured other virtual wildfires that life has thrown toward us. Some fires are man made; others just happen. And what do we do?

Romans 8: 31-39: What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”[n]) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[o] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Chris Tomlin tune “Our God” was on the iPod this morning, and it seems the best way to close these thoughts.

Water You turned into wine
Open the eyes of the blind
There’s no one like You
None like You
Into the darkness You shine
Out of the ashes we rise
There’s no one like You
None like You

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God…

Into the darkness you shining
Out of the ashes we Rise
There’s no One like You
None like You.

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God…
Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God…

And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
What can stand against?

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God…
Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God…

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