Sunday, January 3, 2010

Not my Kind of Comfort

"Where the mind goes, the body will follow." Alexander Scotland (2010)

Many are the thoughts that race through my mind, every second. When I forget to make those thoughts a prisoner, I become a slave to them.

With the new year I can reflect on the leaps and bounds of experience I have enjoyed with the Lord. He has taught me so much....

So I'm like trying to deflect all these thoughts; in an out they go. My biggest obstacle are the guilty ones. I make a mistake, the Lord forgives me, I replay the mistake, I mourn the mistake, I think of how things could have been if I had obeyed. O whoa is me, whoa is me, will I ever lick these thoughts and feel better?

The bible says that the Lord will restore all that the locusts have eaten. As I was fusing together all my broken figurines with crazy glue, on Christmas day, the Lord told me that He will restore all that is broken in my life. You know that crazy glue project peacefully dominated our day - all those broken peaces made new. It is a promise for all of us. He will do it. Joyce Meyer said we may not have had a great start, but we can have a great finish.

If we are not careful with our thoughts, (those debilating ones that cannot change the past), they can become a comfort to us. I thought about this in church. A comfort to replay the past and scold myself in ways of describing how it was "supposed" to be if I hadn't ruined it. Its the desire to control.

Today has been a process of letting go. With every thought I remind myself of the Lord's great love. Songs remind me to praise in the midst of everything. The chains are broken in your life, in the same way Silas and Paul's were in the prison cell (Acts 16:26). Victory comes when we praise the Lord; there is power when we praise. The Lord lives in the praises of His people.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then, you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2)

Friday, December 18, 2009


"As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good." 2 Thess 3:13 (NLT)

Read a story that haunted me. Children adopted by a family in New Jersey were starved and treated cruelly for ten years. The oldest boy was found digging in a neighbors trash for food. At the age of 19 he weighed only 45 pounds and stood tall at only 4 feet. I can't imagine what kind of sight that was. The discovery (in 2006) brought the trajedy to an abrupt halt with the arrest of the adopted parents. The kids are now thriving in the care of new family as the oldest gains independence in a group home.

The survival of these boys is just miraculous - they never had access to the pad locked refrigerator, never eating cooked meals, but the grains of grits, dry batter of pancake mix, and canned food. Maybe they would eat once or twice per day, but with a time limit. Two or three minutes would be all they had to inhale the "meal" or it will be forcibly removed from their hands and thrown out. Bite marks adorned the walls of that home offering the secret of how they curbed their hunger.

This family had children of their own that they loved and cared for. Why did they adopt children only to hate them? That kind of cruelty, in this country and this day just breaks my heart.

This passion is stirring up in me to do something. Its always been there. Sometimes we may think the need of the entire world - human suffering, is too overwhelming. How can one person do anything? Satan lies like that. He makes us think that the little things we do, won't make a dent.

I heard about a common practice of Darlene Zschech that she does with the Hillsongs worship team, before they minister. They look up verses and research statistics on world hunger. They do this to keep their hearts tender, to remind themselves of why they do what they do.

I was recently challenged to come up with a 45 second punch line, to tell someone who I am, what I'm doing, and where I'm going. I know the crux of it comes from Micah 6:8 "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

I seek to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, set free the captives, and give sight to the blind. God is cultivating every dream, skill and occupation, in my life in order to fulfill the purposes He's burning into my heart.

Friday, December 11, 2009

"That Key Lookin' Thing"

"Mercy Triumps Over Judgement...Those who show mercy are shown mercy..."

Those words set to soothing tunes and the melodic voice of Julie True set the atmosphere, for a unique reaction to what I call - mini shock.

I'm working. I decide that I need to venture to the ladies room. I'm talking with my dad on my cell as I return to my desk. The hues once softly dimmed is loud and flourescent. My bags are raised from the floor and sitting on my chair and my desk (I carry lots of bags). As I try to say bye to Pop, I see my flash drive in pieces on the corner of my desk. I don't know how to react in that moment. I'm trying to wrap up the conversation, as I try to figure out what could have happened in the 10 minutes I've been gone. Did I do that? No, I wasn't here. What happened? There's 3 years of my life on that thing, what happened!!!

Someone comes in to break the news. "Something got caught in George's machine as he tried to vacuum your office. I heard this loud clackety, clack noise that wouldn't stop. He took a long time to turn off the machine. He wanted me to tell you that he got that "key looking thing out, for you. He said he didn't think it was that important." Revealing the true identity of that key drew collective gasps, mixed with raised eyebrows, occasional disbelief and sympathy.

That flash drive was like my memory, but when I was asked of the contents, I didn't dare go there. "I don't even want to tell you what was on it." I knew it would make me anxious, worried and angry. The lanyard attached to the flash drive, was sucked into the vaccuum and the "key" obediently followed venturing into the realm of the unknown, to the untimely fate of disintegeration. Alas, its remains lie in a ziploc baggy awaiting possible surgery.

So the neat and unexpected thing in all this? I could have been really mad at George. In that moment all I could do was laugh. He clearly didn't know what a flash drive was, or its value. I'm sure I could tell him in the future, but I'm just eager to move on. What? No whining? No bemoaning? It felt so good to extend this mercy. As soon as I decided to move on, I did. The enemy wanted anger, but that incident didn't steal my joy. I so need God's mercy, I just kept hearing that song playing in my head, and my spirit grabbed hold of it. It was my opportunity to put what I received to the test. It wasn't as a painful as my flesh wanted it to be. The great news in this trajedy? - you can come eat off my office floor - its that clean!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Season - The Best is Yet to Come

"those who hope in me will not be disappointed." (Isaiah 49:23) NIV

I have to laugh at my last post a bit. BJ wasn't even trying to read that Tony Dungy book. Its been a while since I ventured here; so much has transpired over the past few weeks, you'd have to be in regular contact with me to learn all the details.

I realized that at his age, BJ has reached there is not much forcing I can inflict, in terms of specific items he should read unless he is receptive; interested. I can remove those items from the home that would be harmful to him, but as much as I want him to be inspired by someone he may not physically meet, the best way for him to receive that is through a physical, tangible, human being. I am comforted in knowing that BJ has been brought up to love the Lord with all his heart, all his soul, all his mind, and all his strength. He has been brought up to love his neighbor as much as he loves himself. In all that BJ has learned, it is time that he make choices to continue to follow in the ways of the Lord, or take a round about way of experience, to bring him back to where he began.

There have been seasons in which people have influenced and encouraged us. There were about two from BJ's past, who had a huge impact on him; he truly admired and respected these men. They took time to get to know him and were involved in his interests and developed a real relationship with him. With the changing of the seasons people will move in and out, and for the most part, the moving out can be permanent.

So, with great expectation, I look forward to his new season of Heroes.