Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wind at my Back

This seemed the most apropos song for the new year, as we'll all need God's wind at our back to make it through.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Everything and Nothing

I've toyed with various ideas for a Christmas blog post, but as you might've guessed by this point, didn't settle on much of anything. But even if it's a few days after the fact, here is what I've settled on -- everything and nothing.

I think the lyrics of the song above capture what Christmas is all about:
"I'm lost and found, I'm saved and drowned,
I'm everything and nothing all at once.
I'm so far gone, but I'm already home, with everything and nothing but Your love"

Keep repeating those words as you picture in your mind the Christ child. He was everything -- the son of God, the child about whom angels sang, the child for whom a star shone to guide the Magi.

And yet he was nothing -- a helpless ball of flesh lying in a trough in some barn, born to fearful, trembling parents and facing a future that dictated he would be betrayed, beaten and killed.

He was both those things, because he was love. Love great enough to humble himself, to sacrifice himself and ultimately to rise again -- to be everything and nothing all at once.

Merry Christmas, indeed!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Forget What You Came For

They say if you can't do something right, don't do it at all. So for the past few months, I haven't been blogging. I have high hopes of more frequent posting ahead, but who knows?

Anyway, I was listening to some music for the first time in a while this week and ran across this song from a group called The Myriad. It's called "Forget What You Came For." In a nutshell, this song is about putting aside your worries and your hurries to focus on what matters -- just being still and listening to God.

For The Myriad, I imagine this song took on new meaning last November when drummer Randy Miller died after a two-year battle with cancer at age 39. Take a listen and may it move you to "quit making noise."

forget what you came for
and give up what you have
forget what you came for
and give up what you have

as all the lights go down you'll see
that things aren't what they seem
for the sounds that spin you around
will crush your bones

quit making noise
and lend an ear to the silent voice
and trust in the hope of a thousand ships
crashing down on the sea

forget what you came for
forget what you came for
forget what you came for
and give up what you have

unhealthy rust in your blood stream
a lifeless frost to plague your dreams
then all the ghosts that chill the air
come and jolt your bones

quit making noise
and become still for the silent voice
and quit making noise
and wait


forget what you came for
and give up what you love

Friday, June 17, 2011

Time doesn't stand still

It was the rock band Rush that sang:

(Time stand still)

I'm not looking back
But I want to look around me now

(Time stand still)

See more of the people and the places that surround me now
Freeze this moment a little bit longer
Make each sensation a little bit stronger
Experience slips away

Another piece of my experiences slipped away this week with the passing of my lone remaining grandparent.

The generational clock has struck midnight and the roles officially changed for the next psuedo-24 hours, if you will. My parents are my grandparents, I am my parents and my daughter is me.

Day-to-day, does much change? No, not when you were already a thousand miles away. But it's still a reminder that time doesn't stand still. The temporary clock is ticking, but there is an eternal clock, too.

So while I'm left with memories of storytelling in bed, "nippers" off the bat in the backyard and an Arizona snowman for Christmas, that is all just a mist (James 4:14).

And I am reminded of the lines of the famous poem by C.T. Studd:

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Little Boy Lost

The following is a true story in poetic form.

I found a boy in the street today.
Who he was or where he was from, he could not say.
His shoes were muddy and pants were wet,
No more than 3 years old, just he and his trusty pet.

It was not safe, but he knew no better.
Not a care in the world, he was light as a feather.
I picked him up, at first he resisted.
But sitting in the backseat, he finally desisted.

His toy car in one hand, mine in the other.
He chitted and chatted as we looked for father or mother.
At last a neighbor came riding to the rescue,
The boy returned home safe and sound, it is true.

As I left the relief came with a friend in tow,
A sort of grim disappointment, just a feeling, I know.
But it seems likely this won't be his last taste of trouble,
Will he escape next time, or will disaster burst his bubble?

And it hit me as I thought about this, is this not what God feels for us?

He sees us meandering aimlessly among life's temptation and sin's pitfalls, often oblivious to the danger. And he tries to guide us safely back home, but he knows that soon enough we will again be flirting with danger, playing 'Frogger' with sin's onrushing headlights and slowly walk further and further from safety.

Not that this is new to God. Adam had but one pitfall to avoid in the Garden, and he couldn't do it, so how much more surprising is it that we can sit in church, sing the songs, read the scripture and still stray?

We are all a little boy lost, and we all need a Savior.

Isaiah 53:6 says: "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way ..."

But it goes on to add this: "and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all."
That's Jesus, our shepherd, the finder of the lost.

Monday, May 23, 2011

That's not Jesus

Well, the weekend has come and gone, and we're all still here. Another attempt by man to know the mind of God has failed as the predicted rapture/end of the world did not arrive at 6 p.m. on May 21.

Surprised? Not really. Disappointed? Yes and no.

Mainly I'm disappointed because all those skeptics have added another big log to their fire of doubt. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I find the rapture jokes not so funny. I guess that's because even though I don't believe Harold Camping, I do believe Jesus Christ, and He says one of these days it's going to happen.

But most of all, I find myself thinking of a Wayne Watson song called 'That's Not Jesus' off 'The Fine Line' album. The chorus goes:

"That's not Jesus, He doesn't carry on that way.
Just some flesh and blood like you and me, Somehow gone astray
That's not Jesus, no, No matter what they say
He doesn't need me to defend Him, He just wants me to obey."

And that's the problem, that when the world looks at ol' Mr. Camping, they just put the Jesus label on him with an asterisk that says: MAY BE CRAZY.

But that's not what Jesus looks like, and not the way he's going to be introduced when he comes either. In Matthew 24:23-24, Jesus warned his disciples to be wary:

"At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive ..."

Later in the same chapter, Jesus tells us what we should be doing when he comes, and it doesn't say anything about buying billboards or trying to scare people into heaven. Jesus say simply:

"Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns."

After 2,000 years and nearly as many wrong guesses as to the Lord's return, maybe we should all stick to following Jesus instead of predicting him. As the song says, he just wants us to obey.

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Living Prayer

Ran across this video of Alison Krauss and Union Station playing Jay Leno a couple of years ago. The song is fantastic, as is the response of the audience, who were no doubt being shown the applause sign, but still ... Anyway, enjoy.