Friday, December 29, 2006

The Means to an End, or the End of our Means?

Sometimes for us, prayer becomes a means to an end: getting what we ask for. We can add worship and praise and all other sorts of service and if the purpose in our hearts is getting, we still fall short of the greatest blessing. God can and does meet us at all levels of understanding and service. What he wants us to get to is, instead of a means to an end, He wants us to get to the end of the means; i.e. He wants us to get to the end of our trying, end of our performing, and realize that all the doing to get has been completed in Christ. He was and is the means to the end: our restored fellowship with our Creator. All we have left is communion! Conversation! Connectedness! Through Him we have togetherness with God and each other through Jesus Christ. All the prayer requests and Worship and etc. become the banter of lovers as we spend time together.
Sondra was worried how our relationship would be different when we were both arrived in heaven. We would no longer be "married or given in marriage". I told her I believed that we would be no less close and no less connected than we were now, but the difference would be, the spiritual intimacy we have only with spouses now, will be with all our brothers and sisters in Christ, not in some perverted way, but in a connectedness of understanding and sharing that would allow us to communicate with a new intimacy. Our relationship wouldn't suffer loss in heaven; it’s just that what we had here is a fore taste of Glory Divine. So many barriers of race, color, sex, history, will be broken down.
I miss her! I miss what we had! I communicate with no one the way we communicated.
Heaven; I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Operation Christmas Child

It was great to volunteer last night for Operation Christmas Child! We met at the warehouse off Nations Ford Road and Checked and stacked thousands of shoe boxes headed for India!
There were at least 3 different groups from our church represented! It is so neet to be part of a church that has helped out so much with such a worthwhile world wide ministry.
So much of our Church expeirience gets "spiritualized" or only meets the tangible nature of things when it comes to monetary gifts, etc.
It is so great to be able to get physical (at risk of borrowing a secular phrase) with our spirituality and directly help meet the physical needs of a ministry.
My old pastor used to say: "I'd rather wear out than rust out!"
It was a little chilly in that warehouse, but once we started moving those boxes around, it was amazing how quickly the temperature went up! So, if you're goiing over to volunteer, wear layers so you've got something to shed! I've heard so many people complain about their sleeping pills not working. Well, three hours of stacking boxes worketh better than a medicine! I usually don't have any trouble getting to sleep, but this past year I wake up and drift off several times a night. Last night I pretty much slept through. If you're interested in helping at Operation Christmas Child this year, you had better get over there. I'll bet Sue Pruit could answer any questions you might have.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I Don't Know Much About Mr. Haggard, But . . .

When a Brother Falls . . .

It’s easy to point the finger,

Even easier to wag the head,

But unless we learn their lesson,

It might be us instead.

For when we judge our brother

Instead of judging his sin,

We’re falling right into the trap,

And Satan’s won again.

The Stronger should help the weaker,

Fallen need help getting up,

If this we will remember,

Satan’s plans we will disrupt.

“For ye who are without sin

Start casting the first stone,”

And before you know what’s happening

You’re standing all alone.

So drop the stone from your hand

And instead of walking away

Drop to your knees beside the one

Who can wash the sins away.

Jesus wants the entire world

To come to his repentance

And he can wash away your sins

Before I finish this sentence.

So, become your brother’s keeper,

And set him on his feet,

Making your tomorrow brighter,

When his sins you don’t repeat.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Remembering Sondra

You know, next to meeting Christ and developing a relationship with Him and His people,
Sondra has been the next greatest thing in my life. The intimacy of spirit where you both understand and are understood creates such a oneness that living any other way is loneliness in comparison. Although death did part us, it is difficult to let go. One tries to hold on to memories lest they be forever forgotten. That is one reason I started the blog "Remembering Sondra". The best way to release my mind is to record it. And I want to share her. Keep checking back, it will grow. And please, add comments about her if you knew her. I'm sure Lily will enjoy any stories you may share. She loves stories about her Mommie.

Remembering Sondra

Friday, November 17, 2006

". . . to know we're not alone!"

In a movie about C. S. (Jack) Lewis,
he learned from a student a statement:
"We Read to Know We are Not Alone"
I think that is also true of Blogging:
The reader can identify with the blogger
and realize he isn't alone in his feelings/experiences.
But when there are no comments at the end of our Blog
we still think we are alone!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

"Purpose Driven" ain't no Chauffer!

I think there is some confusion among well meaning conservatives about the whole Purpose Driven Church initiative. Purpose Driven doesn’t refer to Purpose being the Driver, as in the one in control of a car, as if it was taking the place of the Christ as head of the church or the Holy Spirit as the Leading the church and Christians in general. Purpose Driven is more the way a car is gear driven or engine driven. The purposes are Biblical and are the mechanisms that God uses to get things done in the church. Evangelism, Ministry, Fellowship, Worship, and Discipleship: These need to be present and active in every healthy church, no matter what you call it.

I think if this analogy has a Chauffer, it would be the church's pastor. Because a chauffer doesn't decide which way a car goes, he is a servant and he takes the car where his boss tells him they're going. After all, it is Christ's church and he left it in charge of the undershepherd: the Pastor. He communicates with him through the Holy Spirit and His Word, the Holy Bible.

What do you think?

I like an analogy I heard the other day: Many times we find our spiritual boat drifting and we can't seem to steer it correctly! Well, we aren't supposed to be at the rudder, or the wheel. We are supposed to be at the oars, cause Jesus don't row boats. When we set out to work for the Lord, he will give us direction. We need to work out what he has worked in us, and He will complete it!

Am I getting close?

Let me make it clearer, You can't steer a boat that ain't moving. When we start working the oars, God can guide the boat!

Tell me what you think, that's what the comment button is for!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

My little Lily

The cuttie in the race car bellow is my daughter Lily. She is a handful. When she was born at 2 lbs., I knew she was special, but I didn't understand just how special. The picture above is her and her moma, Sondra, while she was still in the NICU unit at CMC.

Lily is very smart and understands much, except the difference between children and adults. She considers herself on equal footing in conversations and decision making. This makes for an interesting, all-be-it exhausting day. As of this post, she has just passed the 3 year mark, and is about 24 lbs.

Lily's favorite pass-time is stories. She wants you to read her books, or she will give you a list of real and imaginary characters and ask you to tell her a story about them.

Lily also likes to talk alot about Heaven, where her momy is. Ovarian Cancer took her momy away from us last December, and she really wants to see her again. She seems to remember everything we tell her about Heaven, but she continually wants more details. Her questions constantly explore possible meeting places. She accepts that momy can't come back here, but this week she asked: "Can momy come to the beach with us."
Last week she asked: "Can momy come sleep with us if I snuggle up really close to you?"
She also asks: "How is Jesus gonna take us to Heaven, does he have a car?"
Her Pawpaw told her we would just fly up there, to which she replied: "Silly Pawpaw, we're not birds, we can't fly!"
I finally told her that Jesus knew how to get us there, and we would all be together one day.
Of course, now her question is : "When are we going, Daddy, do you know when?"

As I said, a very exhausting day. But I always listen to her questions about Momy and Heaven, and I try to tell her as much as I know. Even with a Master's of Devinity, I'm gonna have to dig deeper into the Bible to stay ahead of her questions. She is not one to take "I'll have to get back to you on that" as an answer.

Most of our discusion sessions end in "I miss Momy, too!" Lily is such a good hugger!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

"The Race"

"let us run with endurance the race that is set before us," Hebrews 12:1

"looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross," Hebrews 12:2

Even Christ had a post to aim at, a goal he desired, for it says he endured the cross not just for you and me, but for the joy that was set before Him. He had an assignment from the Father! He knew his purpose!

We each have a race set before us, and I believe when we understand clearly the race that is set before us by God, we will find joy in the running of it that will inspire and motivate us beyond our wildest dreams! Run, Forest, Run! Run, Lily Run! Run, Mike, Run!

What does "POST" mean to you?

As I start my first post, I can't help but think about how so many words today have taken on so many meanings. The word "post" can be like a sign post, Post Toasties (cereal), an athletic term in basketball, a re-stickable note (PostIt!), something coming after (Post Tramatic Stress Disorder, PTSD), a goal post in football, a US Mail term, a term for putting information on your Blog . . .
Just the other night, I was listening to a young preacher (Jason) preach at a revival (Chestnut Ridge Baptist Church-Pastor Richard Brown) who shared about how his grandfather had used a post at the end of each row to keep the rows straight as he plowed with the tractor. Grandpaw had to take a break and put his grandson in the driver seat. He instructed his Jason to loop around the post at the end of the row and then plow straight for the post at the oposite end. All he needed was focus. Some good lessons are in that story, not to mention some funny ones about when Jason lost focus in that driver seat.
The text was Hebrews 12.
As I begin this, my first post, I hope and pray that words I share here can help those who read them focus on Christ and the Cross of Calvary, and that they will be able to plow some straight rows, sow some good seed, and we will all rejoice at the harvest!

Events of this past year have made it very dificlut to focus. Instead of plowing a field, I feel more like Hansel and Gretyl dropping bread crumbs that the birds are devouring behind me. Yet, I know that even though we may be seperated from those we love for a time, there is nothing that can seperate a child of God from the Love of the Father. Please keep Lily and myself in your prayers!