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.


The Big “C” – Why We Pray

February 5, 2011

Many of you are dear friends, so I thought you may wish to know that we’re awaiting some important test results for Jenifer. She had an abnormal pap smear and a biopsy on the follow-up. The doctor has discussed cervical cancer with her.

We’re confident in the doctors casual attitude toward the potential diagnosis, but more so of our Fathers grace and strength. Because of that we ask for your prayers. He’s listening.






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.


Always Up Campaign – The Seed

November 27, 2010

I got an idea. I was talking with our Father and realized that I’d fallen flat on a few things, wasted some opportunities and let stuff slide that I needed to take advantage of.

He challenged me: how would life look if I always pointed to Jesus? What if my decision making method wasn’t WWJD, but rather asked what would point to Jesus? (Please, no bracelets…)

I want to live a life that always points to Jesus.

My life should always point up.

What would your life look like?

Let’s explore this together, see what happens. Of course I’ll keep you posted, so please fill me in on your story!


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


My Appologies – Too Busy To Love

November 3, 2010

I’m sorry. I’ve been so busy reading about community I simply don’t have a spare minute to actually live it.

Please forgive me. I have to prepare for my small group class on loving people, I simply don’t have a spare minute to actually live it.

Please understand my position. I have to prepare for ministry, I simply don’t have a spare minute to actually live it.

My intention is to live a life that so attracts people to Jesus that they are helpless before His power, I simply don’t have a spare minute to actually live it.

Sorry you missed His joy.

Sorry you were so unhappy.

Sorry you needed help and I wasn’t there.

Sorry you needed me to stop and be Jesus for you, for just one minute.

Sorry you killed yourself for lack of a friendship I could have offered you.

Sorry you went to hell because I chose not to love you more than myself.

I was busy learning to get it right so I could do everything my ego convinced me I needed to do.

I hope I forget you quickly so I can go back to normal.

Dear Jesus forgive me.



My best cop-out yet.


Big News Part III – The End Of The Beginning

October 31, 2010

The earthquake hit just before 5:00 PM on January 12th 2010, and while tremors in Haiti lasted only 38 seconds, the effects are still being felt. The story of how we got to Haiti and what happened is a long one, but the fact remains that when the earth moved, God changed my life. I’m still feeling the tremors.

Jena and one of her kids.




The above is something I wrote for a grand proclamation I’ve been drafting. It’s now it it’s 6th edition – I just couldn’t write what I wanted to say. I think it’s because it was too full of me and not enough of Him.

So what?

I’m writing to tell everyone that God’s called me into full time ministry. I’ve fully surrendered to the seductive grace that Jesus offers and trust Him to provide for us while I strive to do the things He asks.

I desperately tried to craft something to properly convey how grateful I am for your generous giving. Money seemed important – probably the bills and years addicted to “stuff” we’re making amends for.

But it’s NOT the point – serving others is.

Convincing you to send me a few bucks would just cheapen the point. When manipulating you to provide becomes the point of my writing, then it’s time for me to quit saying that I serve God.

I want to tell everyone that I seek God’s face and managing to catch whispers of His still small voice. Please pray that I listen well and humbly live a life in service to Him and those He calls me to love.

As do we all, I occasionally get lost along the way and let life trump perfection. Pray with me that those moments are short lived and full of God’s good grace on fools. Forgiveness is what this is about isn’t it?

I don't think they'd ever seen a Mohawk before.




How?

People investing hard earned capital into a venture want facts and figures, blueprints and specs. All I have is a model for what it could look like if I get it right, but at least it’s a good one.

My model for ministry is Jesus.

I desperately want to be Jesus with skin on for a world that needs to see Him. More than programs and plans and preaching, people crave love. My desire is to love God and love the people He puts in my path.

My goal is to “do small things with great love” (Mother Teresa) by following Francis of Assisi’s formula: “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

I’ll work to feed and clothe the hungry. I’ll study and learn and grow as He leads me so I’m able to do His work better. I’ll host a small group and teach others to give their gifts to Him. I’ll go wherever God leads.

I’ll start right here in Chattanooga. I live here, so I can save on expenses and get started now – today – and not worry about funding it. Missions require money, but people should always be the bottom line.

Homemade toys rock.




Why?

When asked what the greatest commandment was Jesus answered that it is to love God, followed only by loving others as yourself (Mark 12:30-31). He even said that we should love others the way He loves us, and that our love for others would mark us as His (John 13:34-35).

I’m calling this ministry L1A Missions for Love One Another. God seems to think that’s a swell way to live, and I do too.

I commit to you that people are my focus – secondary only to God – not money, not my time, and certainly not my entertainment. I chose to be available to God and to people in need everywhere.

My house cost about $65,000 - and I'm poor?




What Do I Want?

Do ministry and pray with me – and for me. Pitch in with your effort and prayer. I’d rather have your prayers, but do need money in order to pursue my call. I even have a PayPal account to make it easy!

Your generosity will make it possible to feed the hungry, quench the thirsty, and provide for strangers. Together we’ll take steps to cloth the naked, care for the sick, and visit the prisoner (Matthew 25:34-36).

We have an upcoming project with Habitat for Humanity and another with feeding the hungry of Chattanooga, a project Jenifer and I have been involved with for over a year and are praying to expand.

We also have an opportunity to go back to Haiti very soon – something we’ve been praying about since we got back from there. We’d need $2,500 for us both to serve in an area hit by the cholera epidemic.

There are also visits to Kenya, Nicaragua and an inner-city Chattanooga VBS being planned – Lord willing.

Call me at 423.503.129, e-mail me at L1AMissions@gmail.com or see L1A Missions on Facebook for details.

What makes you truly valuable to me isn’t your money. What will allow me to hear His voice and fulfill His calling is your faithful prayer and a little bit of your help. We can touch lives and be used to spread the Gospel. God very much wants to use us to save lives. Let’s love God and others – together.

For now we start with what’s before us, trusting Him to lead. Please pray with us, and support as He leads.

His servant and yours,

Keith Riddle for Clan Riddle

Keith, Jenifer and Abby in back, Emily and Katie in front




L1AMissions@gmail.com
L1A Missions on Facebook


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