Wednesday, August 30, 2006
And then You reminded me that You know just where I am and just where I am headed. So, I am keeping my eyes on You. And You make me feel found...safe...known...secure.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
So, I stopped by my 7-11 the other day and was talking to my Hindu friend. She shared that she had gotten some bad news....someone she knows of committed suicide. As she and I were talking, I noticed Bottle Man was coming towards the door. I got some cash back with my purchase so I could give it to him. I was trying to figure out how to do that without sounding trite and being protective of his dignity. As I was walking out the door, he was walking in and he held the door open for me. He looked me in the eye and said with the most gentle voice, "Mornin' M'am. How are you?" And my loving Christian response was to say, "Dude" as I shoved the money into his hand. I heard his surprised, "Thank you, M'am!" behind me as I hightailed it out of there.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Flipping through channels last night, I caught a program called, "Good Pets Gone Bad". There were stories about horse attacks, bull attacks, diseased monkey escapes, cat attacks....but the story that caught my attention was about Casper, a reindeer.
Casper's owner was a guy named Ted who liked to dress up like Santa and sported a long white beard and had a barrel chest and did, indeed, remind me of Santa.
The story opens with Ted telling us that Casper was his favorite reindeer out of the whole herd. He went on telling us how gentle Casper was. Until.....
One morning, Ted went out at 6:30 a.m to feed the reindeer. I think he always wore his Santa suit, because in the actual footage of Ted's rescue, he was attired in a santa suit. Anyhow, Ted said it was mating season and he must have gotten too close to Casper's favorite doe (I forget her name) when he was putting the feed in the trough because the next thing he knew, Casper was attacking him. Ted grabbed onto Casper's antlers and held him off for about 30 minutes before Casper was able to pin him to the ground. By this time, neighbors heard Ted's cries for help and called 911. What was interesting to me as they replayed the 911 call and dispatch of emergency help was that the dispatcher just directed them to the Ted Avery's (fake last name, I can't remember THAT either!) and didn't have to give an address. This was because 1) it was a rural area and everyone knows everyone else, or 2) let's face it...a guy who feeds his reindeer while wearing a santa suit? I think law enforcement must have been very familiar with Ted before then.
The attack lasted about 90 minutes before emergency personnel were able to subdue Casper, who had to be wrestled to the ground so his antlers could be pried from Ted's leg. Ted was carted off to the ambulance and was receiving treatment when news reached him that Casper had suffered a fatal heart attack. The footage showed Ted weep upon hearing the news.
It didn't take long for the pratical to take over though. Ted's dad cooked up Casper, even filmed his filets frying in a pan. The story ends with Ted saying that, "He tasted pretty good!"
MORAL OF THE STORY: I can't come up with one. All the cliche morals don't seem to fit, like
*Waste not, want not!
*Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
*Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Friday, August 18, 2006
I wondered what to do. He looked pretty bad, maybe he was homeless...should I offer to buy him something? If I give him some money, what if he uses it to buy booze? Then my heart stopped. What the heck was I doing???? Here I was sitting in a nice ride that someone gave me, heading to my nice job that I suspect is more charity than need.....and I am trying to figure out what to do? How come my heart just didn't default to compassion and action for a fellow human being, who for whatever reasons or personal choices, was reduced to digging through garbage to find a few bottles to buy whatever it was he was going to buy? You guys, I have been a Christ follower for 30 years....why do I still stop and make such a huge process out of just giving away something that costs me so little after I have been given so much? Why, after 30 years of being a Christ follower...do I still form some kind of judgement before I can get to the place where I just see a human being?
Since I didn't have any cash on me, I went into the back of my car and retrieved the few bags of bottles I had been saving up to return the next time I bought groceries. I laid them as gently as I could next to the trash can and whispered to the man who was digging through yet another garbage can..."May God bless you this day, my friend. Amen."
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
- About 15 of us squeezed into my friend Alan's office this past Sunday. He had a huge dry erase board filled with a schedule of worship songs slated for the next few weeks. In the middle of the board I saw **SPLIT THE PRODUCER**. I couldn't follow the conversation because my mind just kept wondering what deep meaning **SPLIT THE PRODUCER** held. I finally could contain myself no longer and asked. Both Alan and his beautiful wife, Kelly, with animated expressions, slapped one hand down on the other and gleefully said, "Split the producer!!!" I knew it! Their reactions set me up for some great explanation. But I learned that it only meant that Alan was considering hiring two people to share the one producer job opening that he had.
- Last night my daughter came in to chat after I was already in bed. She told me that I needed to see this one shelf at our pastor's house because it held almost every book she had read or was going to read off a book list she created. She said that "Pilgrim's Progress" was there, which was of interest because we had gone to the library on Monday to borrow it. I had told her it might be difficult reading. Last night she told me she wasn't finding it difficult to read. I said perhaps I had difficulty because it was a high school reading assignment and I wasn't a Christian and the teacher had all these long assignments that went along with the read. My daughter replied, "How complex can it be? All the characters have names like Evangalist, Obstinate, and Pliable. When he meets Mr. Worldly Wisdom, you KNOW something bad is going to happen." That made me laugh for a long, long time.
- I guess some things are as simple as they seem, like "SPLIT THE PRODUCER", or that the world needs to be rescued and that Jesus is the Rescuer and if you aren't rescued yet, you need to be.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Monday, August 14, 2006
My friend, Sandy, came in to my office this morning to talk to me about some things she has been a bit concerned about. She wondered about how a decision I have made will impact my daughter and I. She wondered how our faith will be affected. She wondered if I was perhaps embracing concepts that would lead me from God and not closer to Him. I love that she did that! You see, Sandy knows me better than most. We have shared the ups and downs of life together. She knows my strengths and she knows my weaknesses. She is truly concerned about my welfare and that of my daughter's. I trust Sandy. I like that she brought the issue to light and both talked and listened. I know that if I veer off the path, Sandy will not let me wander. That is because she loves me.
Last week my daughter talked to me about the way I had communicated in a group. She told me that she knew I wasn't trying to be argumentative, but that my voice needed to be gentle so other people would know that as well. I love that she told me that! She knows me the best. She reads my moods and tolerates my idiosyncrasies. She sees first hand my struggles and my inconsistencies, as well as my blessings and victories. We are each other's biggest fan. And because I know she loves me, when she tells me these kind of things...I pay attention.
I used to take accountability lightly. I used to laugh and say, "If you are going to tell me something, you better say it and run because I am going respond first and listen later!" While there is a little of that left in me still, I have learned to value accountability, even if I don't always like it. The people who speak into my life, like Sandy and my daughter, are people that I respect. They are people who love God and work hard to bring Him honor and glory in their own lives. They are people who listen when they are on the other end of accountability. And they are people who live out the love of Christ for others, in the day to day.
Accountability....it is just one of the ways I am loved.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
I have been running from one thing to the next for a couple of weeks--work, social obligations, ministry, mothering, daughtering, sistering, neighboring.
I planned a date with You on Sunday morning. I picked a church that was 90 minutes away so I could spend the whole morning, uninterrupted, with You. All the way there, You heard about my fears and concerns. At the service, I took. I didn't give. I just soaked You in.....listening.....listening....listening. And all the way home I spent singing to You....trusting You...worshiping You...squaring my shoulders for what lay ahead.
More running from one thing to the next. Until Monday night when I climbed into bed, it hit me and I wondered, "When did it happen? When did You do this? When did You refresh my soul, my spirit, and my body? When did You give me strength beyond myself? When did You fill me with peace?"
In the midst of busyness, You! You! You! You! In the midst of uncertainty, You! You! You! You! In the midst of darkness or light, You! You! You! You! In the midst of joy or pain, You! You! You! You! In the midst of fellowship or strangers, You! You! You! You!
You are there. Always and forever amazing! Thank You. I love You. Amen.
27"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11)