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Archive for November, 2013

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” It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…”

It was 2:00 in the morning.  For whom did the bell toll?   It tolled for me, and for a few of my friends.  While they are the closest of kin, in moments like these, I prefer to call them friends.  Friends stick together.  Friends endure hardship, together.

In this moment, we three were awake.   Our senses were heightened, while our bodies, our brains, and our spirits were tired.  It had been a hard 24 hours, and we were merely witnesses to the hardship.  Much like the earlier quote from Charles Dickens, this early Thansgiving hour was both good and bad.  Accordingly, every tick of the clock, every chime of the bells, and every chirp of a bird served to keep us awake.

One of us sought and hopefully attained a little rest.  As the remaining two of our threesome settled in, we chuckled briefly over pictures of a rabbit wearing silly hats, and then it happened.  Our stomachs collectively began to growl.

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What followed were clandestine moments of relocating clocks and searching the freezers for Blue Bell.  They say it is the best ice cream in the country, and I think they are right.   The night light glow on the dimly lite smile on my young friends face was all I needed.  We were together, and we were happy.   And the fat content in that ice cream put us both to sleep.

In moments like these
I sing out a song,
I sing out a love song to Jesus.
In moments like these
I lift up my hands,
I lift up my hands to the Lord.

Singing I love You, Lord.
Singing I love You, Lord.
Singing I love You, Lord,
I love You.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, indeed, as most times are. And I would not trade them, or my dear friends, for the world…

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Just say yes

My wife and I were watching a hypnotist at work on a group of almost strangers at a reunion party last Saturday when a question was asked of a middle aged man: “who is your favorite female Singer?”.  His answer: Miley Cyrus.   Suffice to say, he will never live that down.

So, I wondered,  what if that question were asked of me?  I honestly didn’t know, until reading a Bob Goff chapter early this morning entitled “Memorizing Jesus”. 

I now believe I might say Taylor Swift.  Why?  Four words: its a love story.

Rather than being embarrassed, allow me to explain.  It involves being in a hypnotic state.  It involves love.  It doesn’t involve a great deal of thought, or maybe I would say “overthinking”.  It involves my wife.

And, it involves Jesus.

I was talking with my teens the other day, and confessed that I proposed to my Little Frau after dating for about 3 months.  We were wed after knowing each other for about a year.  “What were you thinking?”, my teen asked.

I wasn’t.  It was a love story.  I just wanted her to say yes.  It still is.  I still do.   Much was unresolved, but it didn’t seem to matter.  Much still is, and it largely still doesn’t.

Which brings me around to my faith, and Taylor’s song.

Scripture refers to the church,  to me and you, as the bride of Christ.

It is a love story.  Jesus just wanted us to say yes.  It still is.  He still does.   Much was unresolved, but it didn’t seem to matter.  Much still is, and it largely still doesn’t.

I got tired of waiting
Wondering if you were ever coming around
My faith in you was fading
When I met you on the outskirts of town, and I said’
‘Romeo save me I’ve been feeling so alone
I keep waiting for you but you never come
Is this in my head?
I don’t know what to think
He knelt to the ground and pulled out a ring”
And said, ”marry me Juliet
You’ll never have to be alone
I love you and that’s all I really know…

Revelation 22:17 says:  The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.

Amen. I want to keep saying yes in both of my ongoing love stories, and to keep not overthinking either one.

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Bob Goff’s chapter today was entitled “God is Good”, and the ending made me cry.  

Then, I drove my son to a very early youth gathering called “Coffee with Jesus”, or something like that, and the beautiful reds and pinks and oranges of an Oklahoma sunrise made me cry again.

I came home to share a sweet moment and word or two with “Baby B” before she drove herself to big kid school for the day, and, you guessed it, a trifecta.  Please pass the tissues.

I think its gonna be a good day.

Read the book.  It may change your life.

Read The Book, as well. 

I believe.

God continues to change mine.

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Every morning, OK, most mornings, I get up very early before my family, and often even the sunrise.   I love to sit in the quiet, and the dark, and just let my mind clear and wander into prayer and thoughts about the day just completed, and the day ahead.  Eventually, this time leads into coffee.  And some reading, and maybe a little writing.

That’s about the time it starts.  From opposite sides of the house, two different doors to be exact, my dog and my cat start to scratch, paw, and cry out for my attention.  Yes, they were separated before birth and truthfully don’t care for each other at all, but I like them both.

Accordingly, despite how tired, or comfortable, or preoccupied I may be, I eventually heed to their relentless cries.   And what do they get in return?   Really exotic sounding nourishment, with names like “Fancy Feast” and “Hearty Beef Stew”.   I’ve never tried it before, and don’t plan to, but from their pleadings and their reactions, it must be good stuff.

This morning, as I was reading from Bob Goff’s book “Love Does”, the cacophony started.  “FEED US, DAD”, was undoubtedly their cry.  So I did.  And my peace and quiet returned, briefly.

But this morning, the encounter reminded me of Jesus talking to us in Luke 11:

Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity[e] he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

So, as I think about what I’m asking for this morning from God and from others, I’m imagining Him saying “what do you really like about this stuff, anyway”?  And He gives it to me, anyway.  I know He doesn’t really feel that way about His creation, but the sentiment resonates with me.

So, this morning, amidst “all my pain and all my fears, I will listen to the Voice of Truth telling me a different story“. *

Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go scratch, whine, and paw at the door, with audacity.  I think a fancy feast awaits…

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