Bloom where you are planted…

…but don’t be surprised if where you are planted is in a nursery.

I used to lead a landscaping company when I lived in Albuquerque.  It was a great experience and it was an awesome opportunity to work for my friend there.  I learned a lot during that time of my life.  While working there I would take clients to a local nursery to get a better idea of the plantings I was suggesting for their landscape.  Once the selections were made I would place the order.

Those plants I am sure were very content staying right there in the nursery.  They had plenty of water and the appropriate lighting necessary for their growth.  But there would come a day for those plants to be relocated to another location… possibly their permanent home. 

Israel was taken care of by God while wandering in the wilderness.  God lead them with a cloud by day and fire by night.  They went were he lead.  They grumbled and complained a lot.  Yet the entire time Joshua was being raised up to lead them on into the Promised Land and out of the wilderness.

God has used wilderness experiences in my life to get my attention that it was time to go somewhere else.  Now – I’m not saying that He leads everyone that way… that’s just how He has gotten me to make a move in one direction or the other.   

No matter where you may be today in your walk with Christ – you will always be walking toward greater maturity.  In order to do so that may mean you will have to step out of the nursery and into the wilderness for a bit.  But take heart God will be there in the fog and will lead with fire.  Bloom wherever God plants.

Stop Signs

stop-sign

Some may look at this sign and do exactly what it says every-time.  Some may see this sign and think it really doesn’t mean stop at this intersection.  Then there are those who may think that this only means STOP if there are other cars coming or if the Police are watching.

So, what do you do?  Do you stop, slow down, or ignore this sign.

This morning I’m reading Exodus 28.  As I read, I am recognizing how detail-oriented God is.  Now, when He says to use “purple thread” on the Ephod does that mean purple or a violet… it could mean some other shade of blue.  I guess you may use whatever color you deem appropriate if you are one that doesn’t stop at the stop sign.

God is a God of details.  He cares about the details of our lives.  He desires the best for each of us… no matter where we may find ourselves within our circumstances… He cares. 

The next time you are out driving and you see a sign that tells you what to do at the intersection, how fast you are to drive, or see on the pavement when and where you can change lanes – remember God cares about the details of your life.  Probably a whole lot more than the DOT who is responsible for putting up those signs and markings on the road.

Thanks to Darrell for the insight here…  Thanks for helping us make a memory too.  What do you think – does he stop, coast, or speed up?

Thoughts on today…

We have been attending Tapestry Church for the past month or so.  We have enjoyed the services and getting to know Richard.  Today and last Sunday there were not any services there.  I had decided not to go to church today and just spend some extra time reading and journaling this morning. 

I received a phone call yesterday from Valerie.  She wanted to go to church today.  So, I thought about where we might go today… I decided on Oakleaf.  Today Oakleaf started the year off with going to four services meeting in the Carmike Movie theatre.  It was a great service!  Joel was running the sound in the service I attended… (It was nice to hear The Choir’s “Sad Face” playing through the PA… a perk of running the sound is you get to pick the tunes).  I told him it was a bit loud this morning… but I was kidding!  The sound was awesome!  Will was leading worship with Dean ripping on that Fender of his.  (The Edge would be proud).

It was good to see many friends as well.  God is going some awesome things through Oakleaf.  There is a definite excitement in the air.  I was picking up Walker from the Children’s area and the person taking the security tag from me asked for my child’s name.  I said, “Walker.”  She went on to say, “Walker knows what his purpose in life is… He said it is to sing!” 

If she only knew the other half a dozen things he wants to be… they all involve wearing a costume with a cape.  I bet he may have some music in his future.  I’ve thought about buying him a drum set from DV… not sure if he still has it or not.  I do have a child’s guitar that I would like for him to start learning.  And for the past 2 years he has sung every song to Phantom of the Opera thousands of times!!  Literally.  At age 4 he knew all of the words to all of the songs!!!  I know whatever he sets his mind on he will succeed.  He has his favorite songs he likes to hear when he gets in the car:  “Marvelous Light” by Charlie Hall, “With Or Without You” by U2 and “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel.

Thanks for a great day at Oakleaf and looking forward to Tapestry next week…

Kyrie Eleison

I want to understand more about how God has spoken to others through dreams.  As I read the Bible I am coming up with more questions.  I am reading in Genesis 37 and the chapters to follow about Joseph and the dreams he had been given as a teenager.  He was also given the opportunity to be used by God to deliver the interpretation of dreams.

As it pertains to the dream he was given, I wonder what ran through Joseph’s mind as he lived each day.  Did he know in his heart of hearts that his brothers would really bow to him?  Did he ever regret telling his brothers and father his dream?  Did he think it was going to take so long to see the fulfillment?  Should he have kept the dream to himself?  Did he prematurely speak about it?  No matter what the answers are – the dream was real and the dream became reality. 

But before the dream became reality – what was on the mind of Joseph?  How did he live the way he did… where did his hope come from?  Did the dream stay on his mind?  Did he never think about it again?  Was he looking daily for it to become reality? Or did a set of circumstances down the road bring him back to his teenage dream?

As I have been reading for whatever reason “Kyrie” by Mr. Mister keeps playing in my head.  The words Kyrie eleison keep coming to my mind.  I realize Joseph was Hebrew but I wonder if he would have prayed these words, Kyrie eleison?  I’m sure in some way he must have prayed, “Lord, have mercy.”

(kĭrēā əlāēsŏn, –sən) [Gr.,=Lord, have mercy], in the Roman Catholic Church, prayer of the Mass coming after the introit, the only ordinary part of the traditional liturgy said not in Latin but in Greek. It has nine lines: “Lord have mercy (thrice), Christ have mercy (thrice), Lord have mercy (thrice).” As the first invariable hymn, the Kyrie is often the first piece in a musical Mass. An English version is used in the Anglican liturgy and in the reformed Roman Catholic vernacular liturgy. The phrase Kyrie eleison used by itself is, of course, common in the Eastern rites, but without the phrase Christe eleison.The corresponding prayer in the Russian Orthodox church is often called a Kyrie.

Kyrie eleison, kyrie eleison, kyrie

The wind blows hard against this mountain side,
across the sea into my soul
It reaches into where I cannot hide,
setting my feet upon the road

My heart is old, it holds my memories,
my body burns a gemlike flame
Somewhere between the soul and soft machine,
is where I find myself again

Kyrie eleison, down the road that I must travel
Kyrie eleison, through the darkness of the night
Kyrie eleison, where I’m going will you follow
Kyrie eleison, on a highway in the light

When I was young I thought of growing old,
of what my life would mean to me
Would I have followed down my chosen road,
or only wished what I could be

Kyrie eleison, down the road that I must travel
Kyrie eleison, through the darkness of the night
Kyrie eleison, where I’m going will you follow
Kyrie eleison, on a highway in the light

Kyrie eleison, down the road that I must travel
Kyrie eleison, through the darkness of the night
Kyrie eleison, where I’m going will you follow
Kyrie eleison, on a highway in the light

It’s finally arrived!

mythree_bw1No it’s not the latest package in the mail… no it’s definitely NOT a baby.  But rather the last day of school before Christmas break. 

For me, that means my kids will be here for almost a week.  Which means more to me than anything else that will transpire over the next week.  Well, I do look forward to Lori’s birthday… it’s on Christmas Eve.  What a day to have a birthday!  Who can compete with the birth of Jesus and Santa Claus?I guess we’ll have to celebrate it next month… that’s terrible I know.  We’ll have cake and sing… the gift will have to wait until January.

This is the toughest time of year for many!  And this year probably tops off as the toughest of a lifetime for even more.  I wish all the pressure that goes with the season would not be associated with it… We celebrate Christmas because of Jesus’ birth… the great joy that is associated with his life and the promise his life offers.

I’m thankful to celebrate His birth, to spend some time with my children, and Lori’s birthday!

Trust

After reading a passage in Psalms and reflecting on some things in and around my life – I have begun some evaluation.  These are some random questions I began to ask myself:

  • Who do I trust?  Why?
  • Do I trust anyone with everything about me?  Or do I pick and choose certain people depending on the circumstance?
  • How do I know when someone is trustworthy? 
  • What are the traits of someone who is trust worthy?
  • Once trust has been broken – How does someone regain my trust? Is it possible?

trust [truhst]

reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.

God is all strength for his people,
      ample refuge for his chosen leader;
   Save your people
      and bless your heritage.
   Care for them;
      carry them like a good shepherd. (Psalm 28:8-9, The Message).

I know at times in life (family, church, job, and other relationships) it is tough to trust.  To have full confidence in someone else can be a scary thing.  Especially if one of those people or institutions has broken that trust.  I think sometimes I am too trusting of others… almost to the point of being naive.  Although, lately I have been catching myself being very skeptical of putting a lot of trust in others.  I don’t like being like that. 

I had surgery on my arm and back this year.  I had these lypoma’s removed.  All is well with me and the places where they were removed.  The strange thing is that I am very guarded still about those two areas on my body.  There was some damage there in the past.  It has been dealt with… yet I still want to protect them especially when someone touches either area.  I don’t even like to touch those places either.

Being hurt or let down by others will make anyone skeptical of putting total trust on the line once again. Does this keep you from trusting God?

I was reading Psalm 28 and this idea of trust came to my mind.  I thought about a few words in the two verses listed above.  (Strength, refuge, save, care for, and carry.)  I asked myself these questions: 

Do I really rely on His strength?  Do I trust Him to be my refuge or fortress?  Do I trust Him to save me?  Do I have confidence that He cares for me?  When I know I’m at the end of my strength do I trust He will carry me?

Ma`owz – fortress

(As found in Psalm 28:8)

place or means of safety, protection, refuge, stronghold

  1. place of safety, fastness, harbour, stronghold
  2. refuge (of God) (Crosswalk.com Bible Study Tools).

When the world all around seems so unstable – Look to God… trust Him with your life!  He loves us both so much!  Run to safety trust the LORD to carry you.