An Everyday Kinda Question – Did Today Matter?

July 8, 2013

Did you live like your life matters? Or did you literally kill time, time you will never get back or see again. Another day of going through the motions? Survived, but not much more?

Sitting around after work listening to Fugazi left me thinking about the brevity of our time and the fleeting footprint we leave behind. How much is wishing for the past and missing the present? How much is weight from the past holding you back from trying again?









It also left me thinking about hypocrisy, the things we say and the reality of what we do. Why is that? What keeps us from seeing things through and keeping our word?

And if we’ve established that we’re not all doing what we say we’ll do, what are we doing? Where does our time go? How much of our busy schedule is busy taking care of our own desires, the wants far beyond our needs?

And for those of us who call Christ our King and declare ourselves His servants, how busy were we about the Masters work? Did you serve today? What works of faith would you offer if He called an account of your time today, time He allowed? We read the parables about the master returning unexpectedly and finding the true character of his workers, yet fail to discern the truth of those words. Most followers of Christ accept that He could return at any moment, and most would say they look forward to that day. What would He find if He were to return this hour?

How much more should we be about His work if we believe Him to be the Creator God, all knowing, all present and all powerful – the only true God? Face to face or “only” His indwelling Spirit taking account of your thoughts and actions today, should we not shudder to think of wasted time and opportunity?




Both Jesus and John the baptizer had the same message, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God in near.” If only we could grasp that truth, how might it change our lives?







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Crosses For Kenya – Should Be ‘Crosses For Africa and Trinidad’, But That Lacked Alliteration

April 29, 2012

In a couple weeks I’m heading back to Kenya. I’m also going to Uganda on this trip with Sunrise at Midnight. In July I head to Trinidad with Sanctuary for Children. Try fitting all that in a title – with alliteration.

Anyway, I like to make crosses. I’ve sold a few here and there, but have given away more as gifts. It’s something I can do in my spare time (meaning when I’m not wasting time on video games), and they’re meaningful to me. They remind me that someone loves me.







Maybe I have a talent for something other than getting into trouble.

I love giving crosses away as a reminder that others are loved. Now I wanna give them away to you. I want to go back to Africa. Not only do I wanna, but God told me I can go. Someone even bought the plane ticket. But there are still lots of expenses – I need help.

I’m going to make crosses and post pictures. If you want one, make a donation of any amount to HisStorytellers, put my name on the memo line or add it as a “note to seller” through PayPal if you prefer the tech option. Just give whatever you and God decide on. Don’t wait on the donation, e-mail me with your name and address and I’ll get a cross in the mail.








Now, some transparency: I use almost all free/recycled material. I buy the stains and some of the accessories I add to them, but the crosses are all hand made out of scrap. Most of them are simple to make and take no time, you’ll see more of these since I still enjoy gardening and hanging out with my family. Others take weeks of carving and sanding. Fortunately I still hate mowing the lawn, so I make progress on these as well.

Shipping is a flat $2. For most of you that’s a rip-off; it’ll only cost a buck, but your other dollar will cover the one I have to ship to Poland or Kenya. How socialist of me.

Here’s the first one up for grabs:









Each one is hand made of bamboo and wire, so the one you get won’t look exactly like the one in the picture. It stands approximately 12″ x 8″ and has a lightweight loop hanger on the back.

The cross is intended to be more than a gimmick to get your money. It’s the message you send me to share: Christ, crucified for our sin, resurrected to defeat death, now interceding from on high, and returning to complete our hope.

(For those who enjoy some back-story:
Christmas 2010 my friend Spanky and I hang out making Christmas gifts.
Not long after, I had a wee tiny meltdown in a craft store over religious art.)




Once Upon A Time – Fairytales Do Come True: Chapter Three

November 5, 2011

Cold wind cut across the park. Hungry people shoved their hands deeper into their pockets and tucked their chins into their collars. Numb feet were stomped to bring feeling back. The hot coffee quickly ran out.

The prince walked to his carriage and pulled out a thick, coarse shirt for a young man wearing nothing but a simple light shirt. When he returned to the park, he found the man standing in line for warm food. It had been a few months since they had last spoken.

A small smile was all the prince received when he warmly greeted the man. They briefly exchanged pleasantries, and the prince asked where the man had been. “Back in jail?” he joked.

“The hospital” came the reply.

The prince was not surprised. “Epilepsy or diabetes?” he asked.

The man shook his head. “Stroke.








The prince started to check in on the man regularly. He went out of his way to find him. If there was rain or high winds the prince would be up early the next day to go find the man. Soon the prince was picking the man up and bringing him to his home.

The days became colder, and the cold lasted longer. The man stayed at the prince’s house longer each visit. Then came the 13th of December.

The prince’s family baked a cake. His youngest daughter went with him to find the man. But the man was not to be found. The prince called the jailer and the physician. Neither had the man. They went all over town asking for the man. He was gone.

Unable to find him after hours of searching, the prince and his daughter went home and gave the cake to a sickly young mother – alone – caring for her sickly young child.

As darkness fell the prince build a fire and prepared to host his closest friends and family for dinner and study. However his youngest daughter insisted they travel once more to look for the man. The prince could not deny her.

After more searching on foot and by carriage – and already late for dinner – they gave up. Suddenly the prince stopped and jumped from the carriage. The man was sitting on the side of the road, sipping from a paper sack – alone.

Rushing home, the prince lit the fire while his wife went to buy a cake. Dinner was served, the Words of Life were contemplated and – with great love – cake was forced upon the diabetic man.

But the evening was complete when the youngest daughter spoke to the prince with grave concern.

“Daddy, can the man spend the night with us? No one should be alone on their birthday.

The prince smiled.











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.











High Tide And Changing Currents – A Plan Is Born

February 4, 2011

God answers prayer. We can debate issues of how our prayers affect God’s plan, but it’s an immutable truth that our God listens and responds when His faithful pray.

I’ve been pleading with God to show me what I can do to serve His kingdom, and it looks like He’s answering me. An opportunity to use the gifts He’s given me in order to strengthen His church, rally the “doers” to His work, and serve His people – I can’t think of anything more exciting.

A name that’s been dropped, a casual introduction, an intentional meeting, and a follow-up with an offer and an assignment. My wheels turn as various facets of personality, talent, and purpose swim into focus. God’s hand at work in our world.

Pray with me, please, that God will continue to move and work in me as I explore this intriguing new possibility. Maybe – just maybe – I’ll get to be one of His storytellers.




The Year Of Theo – 2011 Covenant With God

January 1, 2011

Welcome to the New Year. The days ahead will mirror those behind – for good or for bad – if you make the same choices you’ve made. My suggestion – what we’re doing – take time to stop and think, review and analyze your life, then make decisions that line up with your goals.

Recently I’ve been thinking more about integrity, what it means and how it’s displayed. My beliefs should be borne out in my words, and my actions should reflect the same.

The choices I make need to be true to what’s important in my heart. I cannot think one way, say something else, and turn around and do something completely different.

We’ve stolen an idea from Ann Voskamp and are naming our year.

It’s not such a simple thing to do, to name a year. What name could hope to encapsulate all the wishes and desires we have for the upcoming year?

Theo could.

The Year of God was my first suggestion. Jenifer didn’t like it. Too forward, too…too much.

Saying our highest hope was to be theocentric (God centered) came across as both haughty and pretentious – not to mention difficult to say. We named our year Theo – Latin root for ‘God’, as in ‘Theology’.

Jenifer actually said, “You know I’ll stumble over it and the girls will say ‘The year of Theo’”, so that’s what we named it.

This afternoon we’re going to talk about changes we want to make, habits we want to break (and start) and write our covenant with God. Writing it down makes it a little more concrete, a little more real.

That’s what we’re after this year: a strong, real relationship with God. We’re just looking at the details, how our choices in time and money will look if we put Him first in our lives.

The holiday break is ending and I have a lot to bring you up to speed on. The past few weeks have been busy ones at our house, as I assume yours have been as well. Check back soon, I’ll be sharing some stories from the past few weeks. Maybe you’ll find them interesting or entertaining – maybe even thought-provoking.

For now, from me and my family to you and yours, Happy New Year!!


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.


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