Dec 312016
 

I have been thinking about worship lately.  If you lump it all together and define it as love / devotion / adoration, then it just might be the only thing we can give to God that he cannot take or get without us.  Everything else is under God’s sovereign control.  He owns everything.  He even ultimately owns me.  He can take my life whenever he pleases.  But one thing he can not take is my worship of him.  Because he gave us free will, my love, devotion, and adoration are the only real thing I can bring to the relationship.  Everything else, he can get himself.

All of this reminds me a little bit of the new puppy we have at home.  Gracie is a 12 week old German Shepherd and she has firmly established a relationship with our family.  She depends on us to provide for her needs.  She causes trouble, pees on the floor, doesn’t buy her own food, chews things she shouldn’t, tracks mud on the floor. . .  She really doesn’t bring much at all to the relationship except trouble . . . and love, devotion, and adoration.

When I come home from work, she greets me at the door like I am some long lost friend.  She jumps, licks, nips, whines, and generally makes a big scene until I reach down and give her some love.  When we are home together, she is happy.  When we are apart, she is sad.  When I praise her, she wags her tail.  When I rebuke her sternly, she grovels, licking my hand and begging for forgiveness, which I can’t help but willingly give.

I won’t say she worships me, but it does remind me a whole lot of what worship might be.  So, I decided to look up worship in the Bible.  I was reminded of the scripture where Jesus said we must worship God in spirit and in truth.  I read the scripture then looked up the definition of the Greek word for worship that was used there.  Wouldn’t you know, it’s probably derived from another word which means “. . . to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand.”

So, maybe there is a little bit of a picture of worship in a puppy’s relationship to his master.  If so, then I suppose I’m the puppy and God is the master.  But that’s OK with me, because I know how much this master loves his puppy.

 

 Posted by at 10:42 am
Nov 272016
 

It is supposed to rain tomorrow. After 42 days of dry weather and warm sunshine, I am looking forward to the rain.  Tomorrow there is a near 100% chance of gray skies, rain drops, mud, soggy shoes, and humid damp basements… and it will be wonderful.  I’m tempted to plan a picnic lunch tomorrow just so I can get rained on, all the while reminding myself life was never meant to be all blue skies and sunshine.

 Posted by at 5:03 pm
Nov 092016
 

This past Saturday, my son brought home a little puppy who is quickly wagging and nipping her way into our hearts.  Last night we elected a new president.  It’s bizare to think about, but I wonder which of the two events that happened this week will effect my life more?  Of course I know the presidential choice is a much bigger decision than our decision to adopt a puppy.  The president of the USA affects the whole world.  But that’s not really the question I asked.  My question is which will effect me personally more?  I really don’t know.  But I’m trying not to underestimate the power of the close by, everyday little things; how they effect me, and the effects I can have on others.  I probably will never make even a small impact on the world… But I can make a big impact on my neighbor.

 Posted by at 2:02 pm
Oct 112016
 

​My hero of the Fall is the Spider Lilly.  They shoot up from the ground, bursting forth with color and life when everything else is drying up and hiding from the coming winter.  As I get older, I notice a tendency to want to sink in my cocoon and hide from the world at times.  I don’t want to be like that.  I want to be like the Spider Lily, bursting out with life, being a blessing to others even as winter approaches.   While the tree leaves are turning their muted colors of drying death, the Spider Lily explodes with the vibrant color of life.  He is not afraid of the coming cold.  With his fiery red voice he simply tells Winter, “Not yet.  Life is still here!”.  And what a beautiful life it is, made all the more special because of the time of its blooming.

 Posted by at 1:34 pm
Sep 282016
 

I’m sitting on a plane, waiting on a guy to finish making a repair, so we can take off.  He’s “fixing” the problem with . . . tape.  It doesn’t even look like duct tape. It looks more like packing tape.  Is it just me, or would it make you nervous to fly on a plane that was just repaired with packing tape?

For some strange reason, it reminds me of the pregnancy test I saw for sale at the Dollar Store.  I don’t trust million dollar airliner repairs done with packing tape any more than I would a pregnancy test I bought at the Dollar Store.

Some things just don’t fit well in the philosophy of the-cheaper-the-better. I want my doctor to be the one people pay a lot to get.  I want my airline mechanic to use the best, not the quickest or cheapest method to repair the plane, and if my girl feels she needs to take a pregnancy test, I certainly want her to pay more than a dollar for it. 

Some things are too important to take the easiest or cheapest route.  I can’t tell you how to know what those things are, but I can tell you to be on the look out for them.  

“Enter through the narrow gate, because the gate is wide and the way is spacious that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. But the gate is narrow and the way is difficult that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Matthew 7:13‭-‬14 NET http://bible.com/107/mat.7.13-14.NET

 Posted by at 7:19 am
Jul 212016
 

​I’m sitting in the middle seat of a B757, enduring a 4.5 hour flight from San Francisco to Atlanta. Somewhere one or two rows back from my luxurious accommodations in seat 40E, a young child has been crying or whining for most of the trip.  I can relate.

The kid is uncomfortable, tired, board, and he doesn’t understand what is going on.  The parents try to console the child.  Daddy holds him tight.  He provides food and drink.  A blanket.  Tries to entertain at times.  Other times, he is stern, letting the child know he needs to quit whining and crying.  Still he screams and complains, spouting a high pitched call to “Daddy” then screaming unintelligible baby objections for all the world to hear.  It doesn’t solve his situation.  It only makes him and those around him more miserable. 

Eventually, our 4.5 hour trial will be over and things will be good again.  I’ll get out of my cramped middle seat and the young child will be back home with his toys.  The kid will stop crying for awhile and the Father will smile.  He knows His child does not understand.  He foresees the day when His child grows up and learns to endure the trials with patience and grace.  But for now He loves him anyway.  And works to get him ready for the next middle seat.

 Posted by at 5:34 pm
Jun 082016
 
A car with teeth?

A car with teeth?

I saw a car with teeth.  Well, not really teeth.  Just the semblance of teeth.  They weren’t real teeth and they didn’t work like teeth, but they looked like teeth.  I took a picture.  Now, when you look at the picture, you can see a car with teeth.  Well, not really.  You really see a picture of a car with a semblance of human teeth.  To see an actual car with real teeth would be very inriguing, and I guess, quite rare.

I want to be a real Christian.  Not a picture of a Christian containing some semblance of a Christ-like attribute.  A real Christian, with teeth.

 Posted by at 1:47 pm
Apr 272016
 

While on a recent hike, I saw an old tree clinging to a cliff.  Really it was the remains of a tree, since it had obviously died some time ago.  At first I was inspired by the beauty, then I thought about the fact that it was just the remains of a dead tree.  The issue wasn’t really the tree, it was the location.  Had the tree lived and died somewhere else, leaving such a scrawny carcass of a tree, it would have been underwhelming for sure.

A tree that grew on a cliff

A tree that grew on a cliff

The real splendor of this little tree was not the beauty of its withered remains, but the testimony of those lifeless crooked limbs.  A weathered wooden testament of a life lived in a difficult place.  A life lived where cold winds whipped over a rugged landscape.  A life lived where every ounce of growth had to be carefully rationed between leaves reaching for the sun and roots clinging to any small crack or crevice in the rock.

If this dead tree had been somewhere in the middle of the forest, I would most likely have never noticed it, but having grown in the rugged, difficult place, it left a legacy of beauty.  The Bible says that trials make us better people.  I’m sure it’s true, even though if given the choice, I would prefer not to grow on the difficult, rocky cliff.