Monday, February 12, 2018

All Alone Wrestling With God

    


     So there was Jacob...on the run. The con man had been conned by his duplicitous father-in-law. But running from his father-in-law would threaten his safety. Because running from him meant running back toward his brother…the very brother who years earlier wanted to kill him.
    We can’t quite feel the exact nature of pain and turmoil that Jacob was in, but we can at least understand it was a tumultuous time.  He realizes in just a short time his path is going to cross with Esau’s.  

Monday, January 22, 2018

What I Didn't Know About Prayer



I used to think I knew quite a bit about history, but then I listened to a history professor lecture.  It all pointed out the great chasm between what I thought I knew and actually didn't know.  Of course there are many things I do, and I do well.  But I have also watched people play the sports I've tried, or instruments I've played, and I have soon realized their understanding of it is many degrees higher than mine because their proficiency in it is way above mine.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

What is the SUM of my life?


How does one adequately and accurate measure up the sum of his/her life?  As a follower of Christ I cannot deny there is a plethora of things I am called to that gives me space to begin to measure my life and determine areas in which I can grow, have grown, and yet need to grow.  It becomes a bit more complex though in real time.  There is no day of my existence in which I can just see a scorecard and check boxes.  So why live like there is? 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The EMPTY Days


People look to me to be strong.  I get up everyday and have the responsibility of looking after my kids, all three of them.  Collectively they have the energy of a small army.  I too have responsibility to take care of and provide for my wife.  Fortunately she is pretty autonomous, but still I know those times in which I need to be there with her during her own trying times and painful moments of this journey. That is when I need to have something to give her.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Blessing of NOT KNOWING - Reflecting on Max's 2nd birthday

Pure joy!!! (and this, just 5 mins after throwing up)


I speak for myself when I say, "I know so little."  And as life moves on by, seasons shift from one into another, and the number of our years of existence span longer and longer, we prove how little we really know.  But it is in this "not knowing" wherein we can then learn what was otherwise foreign to us  (enough philosophical introspection already). 

Just about two and a half years ago my wife and I received the great news that we would be having our third child.  Given as we were wanting a third, the news was welcomed with extreme joy and excitement.  It is a big deal to have a child, and somehow the novelty of it doesn't wear off just because it is your third.


Friday, August 12, 2016

The Seismic Earthquake that Shakes "Christian America"



It's been in process ever since the initial revolutions of this ball upon which all humanity has been riding.  This ball, that we call earth, has ever seen the seismic shifts of generations, and nations, of all ages for as long as man has been upon the surface of this spinning globe.  And many of these drastic shifts of people, in where they live, how they live, and how they think, have been felt but have been so processional and methodical at times that few could evaluate change as it was happening.  It was only after the fact that anyone could really assess how great the shifts were. 

And yet, something is going on for many of us in the Western world that has given us reason to pause because it feels like we are watching the shift and the changes feel drastic.  It is as though it is all happening so quickly and so profoundly that we don't even need to wait for generations after us to assess, but we can assess it at the pace it now moves. 

Take the political landscape of our nation - for those of us in America.  Who would have ever predicted that the two nominated candidates from the dominant political parties would be as they are? Neither excites many members of their respective parties, let alone the whole of America.  And frankly, all "politics" aside, most would identify the two as massive egos who define the "ultimate corruption" to get where they want to go at any cost.  No matter who is in office of those two, or some other party, we all in many regards feel doomed. 

And consider for a moment the massive landslide of redefining of terms.  I am not here to argue that people may "feel" certain ways, and wish to define themselves as something, but the fact that we can suddenly make up new ways of defining terms based on the feeling one has should unsettle all of us.  And yet, that is the problem: it doesn't unsettle many of us.  

It is because logic, as we have known it,  has been covered with the rocks and sediment of consistent patterns, and definitions of years past, now only referred to as "old" and "archaic" in the name of "progress."  This huge shift is largely in part because we are now told logic/truth is not universal (which, that statement ironically IS UNIVERSAL) but is only subjective.  And where subjectivism rules, all begins to shake even more violently.  Eventually ALL will feel it, but for now, only those who hold a line on defining words consistently, values consistently, will be moved because of it.  But it is going to eventually be the undoing of EVERYONE. 

It has left us in American upon shaking (presently felt) ground.  As all of this goes on, suddenly our Constitution is being redefined.  The "rights" we have had to speak freely are being pulled from us.  I have no hatred and animosity in my tone against anyone, but I feel the need to disagree at times with your view and to at least call into question your position and to warn sternly concerning deep convictions I have. And I should be able to do such.  But that is being taken from us in the name of "bullying" and "hatred" and "oppression." 

Our world (across the entire globe as well as here in America) is not about to return to what we had become so accustomed to.  It is well past the point of return.  Many conservative Christians (of which I too am certain to be identified as) believe we need to restore what was.  But I have great reason to doubt that is at all in the plan of God.  I think He lets this spiral into what we conservative Christians would only view as "chaos."  But the question is not "why God?", instead the question is "Do we still believe Him and hold tightly to Him?"  

I caught an angle of it all from a panorama that spans a few thousand years.  It was ever the plan of God and the purpose of God to send Jesus.  He "foreordained" not only that He would die, but how He would die (on a cross - Acts 2).  But how should God do such?  Wouldn't He need His people, His followers to be in place?  Wouldn't He need to communicate all the details of how to get this done?  Wouldn't He require conditions to be prefect and cast and crew all informed on their respective roles? 

And at the time Jesus finally arrived, not even His own chosen people (the Jews) were in power.  The Romans were.  The Jews had to hate the establishment that had taken over. What a mess.  But consider: He planned it to where the Romans would be in power.  The pagan Romans who knew nothing of God, who had no understanding of His will, and definitely had no foreknowledge of a plan to crucify Jesus came to power some years before Jesus arrived in the flesh.  They had time to master a craft whereby they might brutally torture and kill a criminal.   Suddenly many Jews are bowing to Caesar, not the Lord.  They created a hybrid religion that consisted of Jewish roots, along with Roman politics.  Anyone who cared about what was had to be greatly shaken.  And magisterially, mysteriously, and so beautifully, every last piece of this all paved the way for Jesus...to be crucified...and die the death that God had determined and so fulfill God's purposes. 

So my fellow conservative Christians who happen to also identify as American - don't lose heart.  Focus on Christ.  Focus on the greatness of our God who takes the wayward world, the wicked world, the irreverent world, the unbelieving world, with its very anti-Christ agenda (sometimes with intent and yet other times without knowledge of doing such) and pushes through, runs over, and smashes everything we have known.  Because through this gigantic, unlike-any-other earthquake, God is creating the landscape upon which He will do some of His greatest work yet.   

This world is going down.  Hold tightly to Jesus, He promises to save.  Nothing else is worth holding onto, but Christ alone. 


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Driven by Results



I love results.  Probably too much.  The good results are the cause of some of my joys.  Of course the lack of good results have been the cause of some of my greatest discouragements.  I am likely not alone in this either.  We are all pretty results driven.  At times without realizing it, we are ruled by the motive of results.  It makes some sense.  Our world is one that ever pushes results.