Keeping it honest

There’s so many things in life where we have the opportunity to cheat.  Life has so many rules that we have to abide by.  Rules that are put into place by the government, our work places, schools, and God. 

It’s when we step outside of the boundary of those rules when we begin to live on the edge.  Do you know what I mean?  If you have any desire to do right you know what I’m talking about… it’s those things that make your hands and arm pits sweat.  Our bodies respond because we are afraid we are going to get caught.

Today, I was talking with my daughter – Jacqueline.  Everyone in the house could hear our conversation.  We were talking about using the cell phone… She made the comment, “It’s not like I was using my phone at school or anything.”  I said, “You were using your cell phone in school?”

“Oh nothing daddy,” she said.  I responded, “You were using your cell phone in school?”  Jacqueline said, “No.”  I asked again, “Are you sure?”

To settle the matter I said, “Let’s pray about this… right now.”  So I prayed, with her, “God, I ask You that you will help Jacqueline to tell the truth. In Jesus Name.”  Again, I asked, “Did you use your cell phone in school?”  She said, “Yes Daddy.”

Every time we are face to face with the reality of God the truth will always prevail.  It’s kind of sad to think about all the times we don’t do the honest thing… the right thing… the God-sized thing because for whatever reason we think cheating the truth is better (for the moment).

God will always find a way to show us the right way we are to live.  It’s always best to make the right decision the first time… it’s never pleasant to learn the hard way.

DISCLAIMER:  Jacqueline wants everyone to know this conversation really happened but was a Joke from her point of view.  She is NOT a liar…  

Graduation and an open road…

I attended a high school graduation last night.  It was at Woodland High School.  Congratulations Jake!  Jake is at a great place in his life where the horizon before him is without limits.  He can do and accomplish anything his mind and heart desires.  I am praying he makes great decisions and choices because he really does have the possibility of doing whatever… God, lead him down this road that he travels.

Last night started out with us sitting there for an hour in the rain.  Then about 30 minutes before the ceremony the clouds broke and blue skies were visible.  I was moved by several things last night.  One of the highlights for me was when they named each graduate who will be serving in the military.  They went through the names pretty fast – I counted at least 20!!  And when the last name was called I and everyone else in the stands were standing in applause for these young men and women who have chosen to serve our country. 

If I could change one thing about my past it would be that I didn’t serve in the military out of high school.  I tried to join up when I was 39 as a U. S. Army Chaplain.  With two Masters Degrees I still didn’t have enough theology hours to be accepted.  What??? 3 classes short!  Man, what a bummer!  If they called me now and said classes are waived – I would be signing up (Lori doesn’t like this idea!) 

Ok… back to the graduation.  I was moved during our National Anthem which was followed up with us reciting the “Pledge of Allegiance.”  I stood there and thanked God for the opportunity I have had to live in this country.

I was moved by the future that is ahead for each of these graduates.  God has a purpose and a plan for each one.  It all starts with a relationship that is surrendered to Jesus Christ.  I pray that they all will know Him if they don’t already.  Without Jesus they can do nothing… It’s an open road ahead.  I pray they each have someone in their lives with wisdom to help them get through this life. 

God, thank You for looking out for me and my family… I pray you look out for these with so much optimism for the future.

Storm

I remember hearing “Storm” by Lifehouse in the Fall of 2007 when I got the CD. I identified with the song so much.  I got to thinking about “Storm” over the weekend while at my daughter’s ballet performance.  I have often hoped to see her choreograph a dance to this song and see her perform it.  I think many people can relate to the song.

I’m glad the song came to mind.  It captures a lot of how I feel at this time in my life.  I know that to struggle with various situations in life is good for our growing.  I know I have had my share of struggles… as I am sure you have too.  A couple of weeks ago Brad on a Wednesday night with tears in his eyes (not an uncommon occurrence) talked about those with deep wells.  Those wells having been bored out of tremendous hurt, pain, and suffering.  It’s through having these deep wells the greater capacity for others to draw God’s water from.

I have always desired nothing less than being used by God for the benefit of others.  I’m ready for the digging to stop for a bit and let me be used for the benefit of others.  If I could have written one verse in this song it would have been this one:

…I know you didn’t
bring me out here to drown
so why am I 10 feet under and upside down
barely surviving has become my purpose
cause I’m so used to living underneath the surface…

 

how long have I
been in this storm
so overwhelmed by the ocean’s shapeless form
water’s getting harder to tread
with these waves crashing over my head

if I could just see you
everything will be alright
if I’d see you
the darkness will turn to light

and I will walk on water
and you will catch me if I fall
and I will get lost into your eyes
and everything will be alright
and everything is alright

I know you didn’t
bring me out here to drown
so why am I 10 feet under and upside down
barely surviving has become my purpose
cause I’m so used to living underneath the surface

if I could just see you
everything will be alright
if I’d see you
this darkness would turn to light

and I will walk on water
and you will catch me if I fall
and I will get lost into your eyes
I know everything will be alright

and I will walk on water
you will catch me if I fall
and I will get lost into your eyes
I know everything will be alright
I know everything is alright
everything’s alright

Famous Last Words

Today has been a tough day for many I work with.  Gerry died unexpectedly Sunday night.  He will be missed by all. 

As I have gone through the morning, I have listened to people remark about Gerry and the shock.  It’s interesting to me in almost every conversation people mentioned the last time they talked with Gerry or the last time they saw him.  I received a phone call this morning before work to let me know and I did the same thing… my first thought was of him sitting in my office this past week and the conversation we had. 

I understand it is unrealistic to live our lives thinking each conversation we have with someone may be our last.  Be we really need to be reminded of the importance of our lives and what we do with them.  Our actions and our words matter.  They do have a lasting effect on people.  Unfortunately, we don’t think about that until someone dies. 

Perhaps the most famous and powerful last words to ever been heard by human kind were by Jesus.  In John 19:30, Jesus said, “‘It is finished.’ With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”

the Source.

God is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins when we ask.  He is here right now.  No matter what time you read this He is there and you know what He is doing in you.  Look to Him as the Source

God, I look to You as my source, my strength, and my hope.  It’s really strange it has taken me so long to learn a very important lesson. 

“…pay attention to the Source, and out of you “will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38  ). We cannot discover the source of our natural life through common sense and reasoning, and Jesus is teaching here that growth in our spiritual life comes not from focusing directly on it, but from concentrating on our Father in heaven. Our heavenly Father knows our circumstances, and if we will stay focused on Him, instead of our circumstances, we will grow spiritually— just as “the lilies of the field.'” Oswald Chambers, May 18.

At my daughter’s performance last night, they performed a dance in memorial to September 11, 2001.  I was moved by this.  God was there on 9-11.  He was there on the 110th floor.  He was there on the ground.  He was there in the stairwell.  He was there on the planes.  People were calling out to him in that moment.  He was there.  Many called to Him for the first time.  He heard each one and answered.  He was there with you wherever you may have been that day.  I was in Rio Rancho, NM getting ready to leave the house to head to the church for staff meeting when our secretary called to say, “turn on the news.”

Trust the Source.

 

There’s no excuse

What a challenging week this past week has been.  That which I face has not been solved.   I have no idea where the solution is going to come from. I know God has a solution and that is what is mind blowing.  I’m just one person on this planet.  Think about it for a second… you are just one person…  a tiny speck in the face of humanity. Yet God cares deeply for each one of us.  This is all so hard to comprehend.

What’s even more difficult to grasp is He is constantly calling us to Himself.  I was at my daughter’s ballet performance last night.  What an incredible display of the arts to proclaim God’s love, grace, mercy, creation, and sovereignty.  God’s creation in the heavens even declares His love. 

David writes in Psalm 19:1-4:

1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.  3 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.  4 Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. (NIV).

I like how The Message reads in Psalms19:3-4, “Their words aren’t heard, their voices aren’t recorded, But their silence fills the earth:  unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.”

It’s hard sometimes to keep our focus in times of trouble.  Our natural tendency is to try and fix things on our own without going to the Problem Solver.  The problem is we often fight in the natural when God requires things to be fought in the supernatural.

I know I’m learning a lot these days.  I know God is helping me get things in order for a reason.  I believe He is preparing me for a specific work and He knows I need to have things in order for that very purpose.  Again I quote Chambers,

If the majesty, grace, and power of God are not being exhibited in us, God holds us responsible. “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you . . . may have an abundance . . .” ( 2 Corinthians 9:8  )— then learn to lavish the grace of God on others, generously giving of yourself. Be marked and identified with God’s nature, and His blessing will flow through you all the time.

While I was in college, we closed out each chapel service quoting Psalm 19:14.  This is my prayer as I walk through this moment in time.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

You are the Source

Last Saturday I was driving Walker to his t-ball game while listening to a Glenn Kaiser CD.  The song we were listening to was “You Are The Source”.  He asked me, “Daddy, what is he talking about?”  I tried to explain the song to a five year old.  Today as I’m reminded of his question I can’t help but think God had him ask that for my benefit.  I need to come to the place where I rest… totally… completely… and live my life as such:  God is my source. 

What offering can I give that is pleasing to you – my King?

Before God becomes satisfied with us, He will take everything of our so-called wealth, until we learn that He is our Source; as the psalmist said, “All my springs are in You” (Psalm 87:7 ). If the majesty, grace, and power of God are not being exhibited in us, God holds us responsible. “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you . . . may have an abundance . . .” ( 2 Corinthians 9:8  )— then learn to lavish the grace of God on others, generously giving of yourself. Be marked and identified with God’s nature, and His blessing will flow through you all the time. (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, May 16)