A Thousand False Starts – Endless New Beginnings

October 1, 2012

I see my hypocrisy best in others. I see their faults, and – when I’m lucky – catch a glimpse of me in the mirror. The hard part is staying aware that it’s all the same shit – that their faults aren’t worse than mine, just different. Pride tends to let me excuse my own.

I’m furious with a friend right now. I care about this person, which is why their deception hurts as deeply as it does. Naturally, I feel my anger is just. I have reason to be angry.

Until I stop and look at the bigger picture. Until I even up the ledger with my own debts, faults and weakness. Then I don’t have quite as much maneuvering room for my slick and shiny prosecution. Reminds me of that passage about pointing out a speck in a brothers eye while a log sticks out of my own. (Mt 7:1-5)

Now I have to consider forgiveness. I don’t want to do that. My anger is far too justified…except that I need to be forgiven too. Maybe not now, but trust me, I’ll need it soon enough. If I haven’t screwed up yet, the day ain’t done.

That same passage talks about how God judges us the same way we judge others. I better slow down and look at that again, maybe even pray about what that means. Taken at face value, I’d say that a whole lot of people are crying “Lord, Lord” but aren’t doing the work of our Father in Heaven. (Mt 7:21-23)

I’d also say that I better be forgiving.

Advertisements

Opening Volley – How Do You Embrace Christ This Christmas?

November 2, 2011





Since the retail world has turned mind to Christmas, I suppose it’s not to early for me to start in. Jenifer actually convinced me to play Christmas music (I went with Weezer) BEFORE Thanksgiving – which I resolutely refuse to do – while we schemed our family Christmas celebration.

The core of our discussion was how we would keep Christ in the center of all our plans. Also involved were questions of how much is OK to spend on ourselves as a family. Not so much of what can we afford as what should we afford. What’s needed is the next consideration.

The plans are exciting. So far they involve going to Katie’s performance of The Nutcracker (she’s an Archangel), caroling at a retirement home, making ornaments and gifts, doing Ann Voskamp’s Jesse Tree Advent and spending Christmas Eve together in a cabin. We’re also bringing Tique back.




Tique






All you revolutionaries out there, what are your plans to celebrate Christ and not commercialism and consumerism??




Calm in the Storm – Knowing His Peace

July 2, 2011

My wife has Lyme Disease. We’re also making hard decisions with major life kinda stuff. We also still haven’t figured out everything that goes into being an “adult”, thus we struggle financially far too often – not the sign of a balanced life.




We picked off dozens of these tiny little bastards.






And I still know that everything is going to be OK. I have that surreal, kinda funny feeling peace about it all. It’s almost as if I can actually trust God to deliver on that “I’ll see you through everything” spiel we God-fearing type typically spew.

Through all the pain of making tough decisions and having hard conversations, I’m finding that God constantly – and consistently – reassures me that He’s in charge, and that He’s good to us. He keeps reminding me of little nuggets of truth.

Today’s was: “The LORD God is Holy, and good to His people.” Can’t find that in Scripture, so I guess I’m combining Psalm 99:9 and Hosea 3:5. Or God still whispers crazy truth.

The other thing that’s never far from my lips is a prayer He gave me.

Peace.
My Peace be unto you.
Fear not,
for the Spirit of the LORD is upon you
to do many great things
for which I will prepare you.
ONLY DO THIS:
Live simple, humble lives
for this pleases the LORD.
You have nothing to do but this.
You have nowhere to be but here.
Stay the course:
Love God
Love People
Follow Jesus

That, combined with the sage advice of a dear friend, “In the light of Eternity, what does it matter?”, help me get through the days when tears lurk in the corners of my mind.











Drought – When The Well Runs Dry

March 30, 2011










After I bought my motorcycle I wrote an article for our local motorcycle rag. I told the story of how I went from being opposed to riding to salivating at the very notion. It turned into a monthly gig.

Every month I wrote about the joys and challenges of riding; the dangers, the cold, the freedom, the road trips – all about discovering what being a biker means. I wrote for just over a year. Then my bike broke down – again.

I had nothing to say. I had nothing of interest to write. What could I say? My bike was in the basement for month after month since I couldn’t afford to fix it. I wasn’t riding, so I had no new inspiration.

I stopped writing.









And once again I’ve hit a wall with my writing. I’ve posted very little recently – as you may have noticed. But this time it’s not from lack of subject matter. I have been busy – but I haven’t been too busy to write. Just…distracted.

Sometimes the well runs dry. Sometimes things slide to the back burner. Life gets in the way and we settle for less. I’ve been settling for less. A combination of things factor into my silence, few of them good.

For one, a major source of “feeding” has been cut off abruptly. One of my favorite “troughs” has fallen prey to drought. The tide has changed and the end is nearing. I’m saddened by this turn of events.









But I can’t lay the blame there. There’s more than one fish in the sea – or so I’m told – and I could have chosen to feed myself. But again – life gets in the way and I have settled for less.

The point of today’s rambling confession? Take responsibility for your own walk with God. Stay in His word, stay close to Him in prayer, and make daily choices to do that which He calls you to do.









I read something yesterday that applies to my situation. The summery being that intellectual consent that things aren’t right in the world is not enough. We must stand against that which is wrong and boldly uphold Christ, and with Him all that is good.

Stop waiting. Stop depending on others. Cast all your cares and concern on Him and spend time listening to Him in prayer and in the Bible. Commit to wholeheartedly serving Him as He reveals His purpose.

A cup of cold water in His name. A smile. A kind word. A hospital visit. A call – just to check in.

Lives hang in the balance, and time is getting short.









SAFETY ALERT!! – VD101!!

February 13, 2011

It’s less than 12 hours away!

ARE YOU PREPARED???

Guys – You play the role of Groucho Marx

Ladies – you be Lucille Ball



Him: (nothing – He’s watching TV)

Her: So, we need to talk about what – if anything – we’ll do for Valentines Day….

Him: Why ya wanna talk about talking about it doll? Lets talk – I’m all ears.

Her: Well, I know we don’t really celebrate it the Hallmark way, but we should do something don’t you think?

Him: Sounds swell sweetie, what’cha got in mind?

What he hears next: …………………………………………………




Gentlemen, follow through on some simple act of endearment (have the Hallmark in hand when you do), and let your lady feel loved.

You’ve been warned!!




Gravitational Pull – Nature, Family, And The Heart Of God

December 4, 2010

I’m not a physicist, but to my knowledge no force pulls on us stronger than gravity; in the end – it wins.

In death, gravity pulls your lifeless body to the ground to become one with it once again. We do not rest physically until gravity has been dealt with, either in bed or grave.

But we rest in the heart of God. Love is the heart of God. In Him we rest, knowing that our love for Him is complete, it is rooted in faith and made concrete through daily choices to put others ahead of self.

We know peace because we rest in the heart of God.

As we love others, we find His heart, and there is no greater gravitational pull than His love. It is the very essence of God. To be filled with love for Him and others is to be finally able to love self without ego.

To be able to love one’s self and still prefer the joy of others to that of self is to rest in the heart of God. That is where peace attends my soul. That is life more abundant. That is where joy transcends sorrow.

That’s where I walk with my God.

Newton contemplating weighty matters.


Jewelry And Jesus

November 15, 2010

I’m trying to figure something out. I’m struggling. I’ve received plenty of advice on what NOT to do, but no real thoughts on what I should do.

I’m trying to spend a good bit of today in prayer asking God what He’d have me do. While praying I looked down and saw the cross I wear. It’s simple, wooden, subtle.

It reminded me not to fear. It reminded me that Jesus didn’t do what was easiest or “right” in the eyes of many.

Jesus got a bum rap from the religious. Among other things they didn’t like the company He kept. They slandered Him because of it.

What will I do? Will I do what’s right? I don’t know. I don’t even know what’s right – yet.

But I won’t be afraid.

Matthew 10:38


%d bloggers like this: