Monday, December 17, 2012

Nora is only 2!

Without a lot of confidence that my two granddaughters were going to understand me, I found myself involved in a  morning long conversation on the power of God to do what we are unable to do. They needed an explanation of what exactly the word 'power' meant. We discussed it for a bit and they liked the idea that it means, 'God has enough strength to do whatever it is He is going to do'. They were tracking for parts of it, and distracted at times by finding Archie at Trader Joe's or needing me to handle the scissors. But I persevered with application and illustration found in the morning's activities.

At one point Nora had been sent into a time out due to an infraction involving grabbing and tearing a temporarily treasured art work. As she came out smiling, she said, "God has enough power to change my heart!", which, if you think about it, is just plain brilliant.

Lash your heart to the ancient mast

There is a line in Andrew Peterson's latest cd, "lash your heart to the ancient mast". He is urging us to fix ourselves on the narrow and old road that leads us to God.

If you find yourself far from home, if you find yourself in heart numbing and soul dulling territory, if you are in a howling storm that has you blind and deafened to true north, then there is only one way back. There aren't choices that you can study like a menu. There aren't sophisticated options that can put a good spin on how much harm you have reaped for yourself. There is only one way back.

And that is to 'tie yourself to' what God has already said. He is good. He is strong. His ways lead to light and life. His ways also peel off our preferred image. And can cover our entire world with humility. And reveal to others (possibly before we understand this well) how desperately we have needed God to intervene.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My heart is beating a little faster. My mind is racing to keep up with my imagination. I find myself smiling kind of a lot. Why? There is a new little person out there who will call me Noni someday!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What could I do to....

Caveat: this is about marriage. And lately I've been thinking alot about what makes a strong marriage. Or a happy one, or a good one.

So how about we ask ourselves regularly this question: 'what could I do to make my marriage stronger.' This isn't a time to ponder what our spouse could do. Or how easier it would be if certain circumstances were different. But today, things being what they are, people being who they are, me being who I am right now, what could I do?

Could I realign myself with what I know I should do? (forgive much, speak with kindness, consider the other's interests are more important to me than my own, etc) Could I notice a trend that needs a Gospel application? Repentance is always the right thing to do. Or, could I see where my spouse needs to be righteously opposed in a way he has chosen?

A few months ago I was asked to speak at a friend's happy happy wedding shower. I came up with a top ten list of the bonuses of being married. Frankly some of them were silly, but the last one said,

"Best of all, to know the glory and joy and dazzle and death of giving happiness to an honorable man. For the rest of your life."

So today, the answer to myself, of what I could do is: To look for a way to give happiness to my honorable man.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Rearrangement of Ideas

This is vintage Rich Mullins:

"God calls us to 'be strong' and we mistake that for a call to omnipotence. We confuse strength to endure trials with an ability to walk unfrustrated through life. We convince ourselves that if we were strong we would never fail, never tire, never hurt, never need. We begin to measure strength in terms of ease of progress. When our illusion of omnipotence is shattered we condemn ourselves for being weak..."

It is the kindness and mercy of God that so coordinates events to instruct us in how this thing really works. He has always been aware of my frailty and how regularly I need Him. If I walk blind to that truth, He is glad to open my eyes. It is His delight and His glory for me to need Him, to be aware of my need, to be grateful for His provision.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

depraved indifference

I am lifting this title from a brief talk given by a fellow named Eric Ludy...

Indifference to another human's plight is spoken of in clear terms in Proverbs 24: 'Rescue those being taken away to death: hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, "Behold, we did not know this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?'

How do you apply a teaching like this one? Where does this fit? I have had God use this to highlight my self absorbed agendas more than once. There are stages in my life that one could accurately describe my choices as ignorantly indifferent. Because I may not have been made aware of oppression or slavery or cruel need. But once I know, then my indifference is 'depraved'.

And this may seem so small as to be laughable or worse, but I cannot drink coffee that I know was harvested by unpaid and ill treated child slaves. Thousands of them toiling and dying. I cannot eat a piece of chocolate that is made from beans harvested by unpaid and ill treated child slaves. And if this is too paltry, then God, please lead me to a way that will effectively abolish slavery.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The 4th of July

Dale and I were singing the National Anthem the other day and both of us were surprised that we were moved to tears. As I was wiping my eyes, it seemed more real to me that this song was written during a battle. While Francis Key was waiting through that long and noisy night, others were fighting with all they had. Men were being wounded and dying. Property was destroyed as shells and bombs landed. And the burning question was, 'will we win?'

In the dark you couldn't see which flag was displayed over the port. You had to wait until daylight to see if Old Glory was still waving or if it had been replaced by the Union Jack. How excruciating! All that death and dying and exhausting labor, and not knowing if, in the end, you would lose. Or win.

Seems like a metaphor for life in this body. I know that the end of the story has a glorious victory for all of us. We will smile like cheshire cats at each other and praise the Lamb for what His sacrifice accomplished. But in this life, while still in this body, we can struggle to overcome. We can labor and fight the dark. And lose. Or win.