Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Glorious Mystery Of Grey

Awakened by the sound of the day's first breath
The room is curiously dim
Toes warmed by the weight of fleece and down
Lips kissed by the morning chill

Brewing cafe's scent tempts the nose
The steam warming frontal lobes
The feel of bitter goodness flows
Down the throat and through the veins

Flannel cap muffles the ears
But they still hear loud and clear
The wonderful sound of silence

Wet, fallen leaves under insulated feet
Give no clue of being trampled softly
Icy branches brushing the cheek
Gently say "good morning"

Amid the days of chaos and rush
Among the schedules, demanding life away
The rare gift of memories and love
Lies in the Glorious Mystery of Grey.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Here To Learn...

"Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death." ~Albert Einstein


"I'm convinced that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it through to completion on the day of Christ Jesus." ~Phil 1.6 (GWT)






Throughout my life, I've been exposed to many learning opportunities.  I'm ashamed to admit that I let most of them pass by without so much as a nod.  

Recently though, I've learned to slow down a bit - perhaps due to age (I've heard that it goes with the territory).  Not necessarily physically, but more-so mentally, spiritually and emotionally - you know, the internal stuff.

I've also become generally more tolerant and accepting of life and people in general.  This has been very liberating for me because I am allowing myself to experience new and diverse individuals whose personalities and points of view I would have simply dismissed as delusional in the past.  

I have made friends with some very generous and kind souls who are teaching me a the value of diversity on so many levels. For this I am so thankful.

I have also been retaught several lessons that I should have retained after having learned them so many times in the course of my life.  But guess what, we all need a refresher every now and then and that's just fine with me.

Does this mean that I have tossed my core beliefs and am embracing some new philosophy?  Not at all.  As a matter of fact, I believe God is the One making the changes in my perspective possible.  For this I am so thankful. 

I am beginning a new semester in life's university and I hope it is one of many to come.

There's the bell...

Time for class.

 

Sunday, June 6, 2010

"Just WHO do you think you are!?!?!?!?!"



"Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, "Where are your accusers? Didn't even one of them condemn you?"
"No, Lord," she said. And Jesus said, "Neither do I. Go and sin no more.""  ~John 8.10-11

"For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." ~John 3.17


"So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus." ~Romans 8.1

Here's an embarrassing tid-bit for your reading pleasure:

 I lost my car-keys the other day and frantically began looking all over the house, in the vehicles, blaming everyone else in the home for moving them, uttering a few choice phrases (better left to the imagination) to find that they were - wait for it - in my left hand!  How embarrassing and humiliating to say the least.  Of course I'm sure that's never happened to anyone else - so it must be a gift ;^)

Looking back on that ordeal prompted me to consider something I've been dealing with and praying about over the last few months: God's forgiveness and tenderness.  It is something spoken of all the time in church and reads all throughout scripture, but most of the time we fail to "see" it.

It seems growing up as a Pastor's son placed my actions, good or bad under the scrutiny of  many well-meaning folks who should have been looking the other way (or so I thought). Watching them - watching me bred the instinct to do the same thing to others who perhaps did not reach my "standards".  

It's amazing though that the biggest target of my watchful, ever judging eye was of all people, me.

Yep, the very standards I had set up for others to follow and expectations they were required to live up to were out of reach for the very one I knew everything about!  No hiding from one's-self, you know! Every failure added to shame and self-loathing, keeping me from being able to achieve intimacy with God and the nurturing growth that comes from interacting on an "open-book" basis with Him.  I mean if "I" can't accept that I mess up, how could He ever accept it?  

The amazing fact is that just the opposite is true.

  God is our "Daddy" (For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" ~Rom 8.15) and loves us unconditionally.  Yes, He is Holy, Just and Righteous, but He is the perfect one, not us.  How freeing to know that his grace does not stop where our failures begin, but rather that is where it truly does it's work in us, through us and by Him.  Knowing and believing this one thing can free us to be open with him and live in forgiveness and closeness with our Father who has the best in store for us in every aspect and facet of our lives and personalities.  To try to hide sin from God is essentially saying we don't believe He is Who He says He is. 

I need to accept and believe God will complete the work He started in me.  After all it's His work, not mine and because of that it will be successful and complete and perfect in every way despite my lack of perfection.

Time to "know" God's grace.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Public Enemy #1










"Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." ~1 Peter 5.8
"So place yourselves under God's authority. Resist the devil, and he will run away from you." ~James 4.7 
"So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing." ~1Cor 9.26

In my younger days, I practiced grappling and kick-boxing as a "man-sport".  No headgear, no "play-fighting" just the blood and guts "good stuff".  A great way to alleviate stress and stay in shape even though I left sore, bloody and bruised most days. 

One of the most valuable lessons I learned was that I could make good hits in spite of the 20/400 vision I've been blessed with.  Yep, no glasses in the ring.  One of the first things my instructor told (yelled at) me was "if you can't see, then hit the blur in front of you!".


Sounds funny now and I still grin every time I think about that one, but there is a lot of truth for living in that simple premise.

Most of the time anger, frustration and other negative thoughts and emotions blind me to who my true enemy is.  Most of the time I rely on knee-jerk, overkill responses to "fix" most problems I face.


God has clearly shown in His Word where the true source of the battle lies and "who" is my sworn enemy.  Fundamentally, I understand and believe this to be true, but need the occasional reminder to submit my will to God's will and strike back with focus, determination and follow-through.


Time to "hit the blur"...


Monday, May 17, 2010

Consistency...





"Since we are surrounded by so many examples [of faith], we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially sin that distracts us. We must run the race that lies ahead of us and never give up." ~Heb. 12.1 (GWT)

We've all read the story of the tortise and the hare. The moral of the story is that slow and consistent is best to achieve a winning result. It's a lesson we hear repeatedly as children and is carried into adulthood usually stored away in the back of our mind until it's time to teach our children the same thing.

It has become a point of interest to me lately though...

I have found that I am the world's worst for exploding with vitality, energy and focus when engaging some new, important, all-consuming task, only to lose vision and drive a relatively short time later.

I am witnessing the same thing with others around me and find that it must be indicative of some common flaw - hmmmm....

So, what's the solution? I'm not totally sure at this point - but I know Where the answer will come from.

Maybe the days of trying to regain focus have taught one thing, that is perhaps the distractions lie just far enough off the Path to catch my attention, not necessarily trip me and there-in lies the key.

I need blinders. I need to
"see" the goal, the end result, the end from the beginning.

I need to embrace the realization that change doesn't happen quickly most of the time and be patient - savoring the process of change as it occurs.

I need to value the journey, the lessons learned and the wisdom gained from the experience.

I need determination to win this race, not just finish.


Time to run...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Where am I?

"You are my hiding place. You protect me from trouble. You surround me with joyous songs of salvation. [Selah]" ~PS. 32.7

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty." ~Ps. 91.1

Recently, I was posed with the question: "What is the key to perspective?"

Well? We're waiting...

I have to say that "location" is the defining element to perspective.

Ask the photographer who snaps the shot of a buttercup in a field of tall grass on a windy day.

Ask the 3 yr. old who can't reach the cookie jar on the kitchen counter.

Ask the aging mother of 5 grown children who just received the diagnosis of breast cancer.

Where we are defines not only what we see, but how we see it.

Time to relocate.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Get past the Who, What When and Why....

"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth." Ps. 46.10 NIV
Sometimes I make too much noise to be able to hear anything that God has to say. Actually, that is the case more oftentimes than not.

I am learning that listening is an active choice.
What benefit do I receive by hearing my own opinions and solutions? None.
What benefit is there in hearing my own voice? None.
How much of what I do is self promotion? hmmmm...
Time to be quiet and listen.