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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The Sword Is A Cross Used Wrongly – More Than Imagery

December 2, 2012










Use a powerful tool wrong, and things can get broken








Which do you reach for when you face danger? What do you think about Christians raising the sword? As a nation? For protecting your family?









What does it mean to love your enemies as you follow the Prince of Peace?




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.


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.











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??




Panem Et Circenses – The Wool That Is Pulled Over Our Eyes

August 14, 2011







Who doesn’t like a circus?




Ya just gotta ask: Who's the ringleader??




And a good loaf of bread, is it not the symbol of provision?




Give us this day...






But Imperial Rome found a way to pervert these two items, to use them as a sort of slight of hand – a distraction from what was really going on.

“Panem et circenses” is the Latin phrase, first used by the Roman poet Juvenal (circa 100 AD ), to demonstrate how easily people are beguiled into abdicating higher responsibilities in favor of having base needs satiated. The metaphor explains why people – as long as they had cheap food and entertainment – would let the politicians do whatever they liked.

This led to the gladiators, chariot racing, and Christians being fed to lions. Some circus…




It's all fun and games 'till someones loses an eye...or their head.






This leads me to ask about the state of the American church. Do you embody the doctrine you embrace, or have you been tricked into complacency with just enough truth and a good show on Sunday morning? Just asking the question….




Don't be fooled!!!






Serving The High King – To Brag No More

February 20, 2011

I got to wash another mans clothes while he lounged in my slippers. It was profound joy.

I also saw through a mirror so clearly that my reflection caused my heart to quake. It was terrifying.

I was on my way back from helping a few friends plan their wedding (Running sound for them. The guy with the blue Mohawk is NOT a wedding planner…), when I decided to swing through the city and see if I could run into Spanky. God helps me find him when I go looking.

In a day chock full of “coincidences”, Spanky was sitting in an unusual place, but was wearing his signature toboggan hat and I spotted him. Then Spanky, who has never asked me for anything, asked my help in getting off the streets for a few days.


So he crashed with us for the weekend. The kids were with their other parents, and Jenifer and I had opportunity to serve the High King.

I washed Spanky’s clothes, let him wear my warmest shirt and fuzziest slippers while he dinned on grilled chicken and corn with mashed potatoes.

Then he puked.

The reason he needed off the street was because he was sick, cold and lonely. A doctor at the clinic had prescribed the wrong med and he was terribly ill. He couldn’t eat much of the Valentines meal either. For two days we took care of Spanky and treated him like a king.

In return he helped us fix our truck and make some new crosses – one of which I’ve entered into an art show!! (Triple 7 Tattoo on MLK, Friday, Feb 25th if yer in Chattanooga and can make it out!!)

Funny how the harder I work for Jesus the more fulfilling my life becomes. I wonder how I could be any more contented than I am this moment. That’s the power of compassion; His compassion for us, reflected in our serving each other, makes our lives complete.

But while I was serving Spanky I took opportunity to examine myself. I know I’m hard on myself, but I didn’t like much of what I saw. I didn’t see much of a reason to brag about serving Christ. My compassion was still a… a “job” or a “ministry” – not a lifestyle.

I can be hard and unforgiving, demanding, quick to correct a wrong and slow in praise. I’m also pretty quick to judge. I’ve even been known to argue with my wife on occasion. It’s easy to show one face here – online – or at church, and be a completely different person in my home. That’s not integrity. I crave integrity.




I want to reflect Christ so clearly that you can’t even see me any more, and for that to happen I have to be one person with one mind. I want to be so full of compassion that it can’t help but spill over, and my family should be the first to experience that overflow.

The only way to do that is to serve them the same way I would Jesus – the way I tried to treat Spanky.

Time to go do the dishes….









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