Monday, December 29, 2008

The Things We Hold Dear

No, I'm not on drugs and you're not hallucinating either. That is a photo of a Coke vending machine, a frog, and the Parthenon.

I watched some TV tonight. It's been so busy over the holidays here that I enjoyed just kicking back in front of the boob tube for a bit. Flipping through the channels I landed on PBS (Public Broadcast System here in the US) and watched a show called Wild Chronicles, a National Geographic program. I normally enjoy the nature shows and PBS for the most part. So much of television seems geared to numbing the brain. So I find it a bit more stimulating to watch a show where I actually learn something.

On this particular show they featured a frog on the endangered species list called the Mountain Chicken. It is delicacy on islands in the Caribbean for it tastes like, yes, chicken. Because it tastes so finger-lickin' good it is decreasing in population very quickly. There are biologist teams that are very busy on these islands trying to save the Mountain Chicken from extinction.

Later on I watched a program, again on PBS, about this team of archeologists in Greece that are painstakingly rebuilding the Parthenon - brick by brick, column by column. They have recreated ancient tools and building methods to put it all back together, the way it was 2500 years ago or so.

And then I got to thinking. I don't think the things that man holds dear are the same things that God holds dear.

For instance, in the United States alone there are 1,200,000 induced abortions per year. That's 3,288 per day, 137 per hour, 9 per minute. One abortion every 26 seconds. I think God holds a bit more dearly the extinction of unborn children over that of chicken-tasting reptiles, don't you? I think He holds more dearly the importance of saving human life, whether unborn, elder, or in between, over saving some pile of stones for historical posterity sake.

Can I get a witness here?

Then I got to thinking even more.

Let's say Earth and it's inhabitants are around for another thousand or so years. It's the year 3008 and a team of archeologists are most puzzled over a recent find - a small structure from the 21st century.

They decipher the ancient English language written on it and discover that its name was, "Ice Cold Coca Cola." Years of investigating go into studying this wonder of the ancient world. Parts of the structure were destroyed or missing over the past centuries so they painstakingly attempt to recreate them to restore the "Ice Cold Coca Cola" structure to its original beauty. But for all the intelligence that this future human race holds they are clueless as to this structure's meaning and purpose. But I suppose that's of little consequence when your agenda is about saving history or saving frogs.

Do you think God holds dearly things of a bit more importance?

I'm going to bed now. I'm tired and my brain hurts from all this pondering. Blame it on PBS.

But, damn it, I'm glad I saw the truth in all this tonight. It's so easy to go with the flow and not question anything... to just allow our brains to numb over and accept what others tell us.

More pondering to come as the pondering comes.



Tuesday, December 23, 2008

While You Were Sleeping

Here's another wonderful song by Casting Crowns from their "Peace on Earth" album. I love how they take the over-known and make it fresh and so poignant. This song just makes me so hungry for the Lord!

I wish you all (if anyone is out there reading this) a wonder-filled Christmas. May He increase in your heart a longing for Him.

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HE WHO TESTIFIES to these things says,

“Surely I am coming quickly.”

Amen! Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ

be with you all. Amen!

Revelation 22:20-21

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While You Were Sleeping

by Mark Hall

Oh little town of Bethlehem
Looks like another silent night
Above your deep and dreamless sleep
A giant star lights up the sky
And while you're lying in the dark
There shines an everlasting light
For the King has left His throne
And is sleeping in a manger tonight, tonight

Oh Bethlehem, what you have missed while you were sleeping
For God became a man
And stepped into your world today
Oh Bethlehem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King
While you were sleeping
While you were sleeping

Mary shivers in the cold
Trying to keep the Savior warm
Born among the animals wrapped in dirty rags
Because there was no room for Him in the world He came to save

United States of America
Looks like another silent night
As we're sung to sleep by philosophies
That save the trees and kill the children
And while we're lying in the dark
There's a shout heard 'cross the eastern sky
For the Bridegroom has returned
And has carried His bride away in the night

America, what will we miss while we are sleeping
Will Jesus come again
And leave us slumbering where we lay
America, will we go down in history
As a nation with no room for its King
Will we be sleeping
Will we be sleeping

United States of America
Looks like another silent night

© Mark Hall Publishing Designee

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day - Casting Crowns

I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day was originally a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He wrote of his struggle with the Christmas message of Peace on Earth and the Civil War that was raging around him at the time.

I've been listening to this new CD by Casting Crowns. On it is a beautiful rendition of this classic Christmas carol. I find the song most fitting for the current happenings in the world.

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I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play
And mild and sweet their songs repeat
Of peace on earth good will to men

And the bells are ringing
Like a choir they're singing
In my heart I hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men

And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men

But the bells are ringing
Like a choir singing
Does anybody hear them?
Peace on earth, good will to men

Then rang the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead, nor doth He sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men

Then ringing singing on its way

The world revolved from night to day
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men

And the bells they're ringing
Like a choir they're singing
And with our hearts we'll hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men

Do you hear the bells they're ringing?
The life the angels singing
Open up your heart and hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men

Peace on earth, Peace on earth
Peace on earth, Good will to men


Wednesday, November 26, 2008


To Him whom we give thanks... for life, for love, for mercy and grace, and the peace that passes all understanding.

Happy Thanksgiving to all here in the states. We have more than we realize to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Do I always have to be so pigheaded?

I must admit that my previous post (in case it wasn't obvious) was a personal frustration of mine. Maybe you could relate to it as well.

But I recently had an encounter with a brother where I assumed, terribly wrong, what he was saying. I took what he shared very negatively, very personally. And I festered for hours until I wrote that last blog piece to "get it off my chest."

It wasn't until later that God brought me to my senses (with the help of my brother) and I saw how wrong I was in assuming the worse from what my brother was trying to communicate with me.

You've heard the definition of ASSUME? It's when I make an ASS out of U and ME. That's what I've been told anyway and I certainly felt like an ass, a pig-headed one.

All is well now with my brother and I. I've apologized and have learned (again!) a good lesson. LISTEN before I speak!
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My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. James 1:19-20
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Monday, November 17, 2008

Do we always have to agree?

For siblings in Christ to love one another, respect one another, encourage and teach one another... do we always have to agree with one another?

Is it necessary for a brother or sister to walk with another brother or sister to always see eye to eye, to always be "on the same page?" Or can we give one another space and freedom to move about as the Lord does His thing in each of us?

If you're excited over having had some revelation, some epiphany with something the Lord has shown you then I will be excited with you, even if I can't relate to your new found discovery. And if I come to you with a new found discovery and you can't relate to it or to me then I won't get upset or frustrated. I'll give you space and still walk with you as I hope you do with me.

Isn't it freedom that we've been called to? The freedom to let go of one another to allow God to have His own way with each of us. And the respect needed to grant one another, the space to say, "I don't always understand you... but I love you and will keep lifting you up to the Father who does understand us all."

With this attitude we can walk with one another in trust, put our differences and misunderstandings aside, and lift one another to Him, leaving each other in His capable hands.

This is how I see things. This is how I want to live.
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"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained." Philippians 3:12-16
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Where to look? Who to listen to?

So much going on around us.

Where to look?

Who to listen to?

So many voices saying so many things.

How to decipher?

What to make of it?

All is well.

Change has come.

That's the noise that's all about.

But are you listening beyond the sound bytes?

Are you seeing beyond the stuff they call the news?

The times they are a changing fast.

All is well.

All is numb.

At least we're up to speed with how Brad and Angelina are doing.

Keep me fat.

Keep me happy.

Keep distracting me so I won't notice when it's too late to care.

Ready or not.

Here it comes.

There's a new order brewing.

And it will be unveiled.

Just a matter of time.

Whether we're ready or not - here it comes.

This is the story of what is unfolding.

It's been unfolding forever.

And it's becoming clearer as to where we're going.

Faith on the earth may be hard to find.

Someone's coming.

Are you ready?

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"But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away."

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

One Thing

You remember this? That scene from "City Slickers" where Curly (Jack Palance) tells Mitch (Billy Crystal) the one thing he needs.

It came to my mind today because a few Siblings out in blogland have been sharing some deep things... digging deep and discovering that Jesus is that "One thing."

I used to agree with U2's Bono, "I still haven't found what I'm looking for" but I no longer do. He is what I've been looking for.

Papa... help me keep my heart and mind steadfastly on you. Only you satisfy the deep recesses of me. You are our rest, our hope, our purpose, our One and only.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Is He Enough?

I wish I could get that 12 string guitar I've always wanted then I'd be satisfied.

When I get away for some much needed vacation time then I'll be satisfied.

If that teaching position happened for me back in January then I'd be satisfied.

If only I could express my thoughts like so and so on his/her blog then I'd be satisfied.

If only I made more money then I'd be satisfied.

When I get that new MacBook that I've had my eyes on then I'll be satisfied.

Now when I get that much needed Apple LCD monitor I'll really be satisfied.

When my freelance design business grows then I'll be satisfied.

If only I could drop 40 pounds and get into shape then I'd be satisfied.

I wish I were not so fat, stupid, lazy, old, then I'd be satisfied.

I wish I were not so self-loathing then I'd be satisfied.

There's more for sure that I could add. And you, for sure, have your own "If onlys."

I came to the hard realzation (again) that my mind and heart had drifted towards "the things of Earth that grow strangely dim" and away from Him.

Oh why can't He be my Sugar Daddy and grant me all that I believe I need?

Why is it that when we get what we think we need we're often so dissatisfied and found wanting for more? But more of the Earth's treasures always come up void of real Life.

So thanks to Wayne and Brad, over at the, and a few others, I've regained consciousness, awareness, of what and Who is my only true satisfaction. Thanks to Him.

I've had to ask myself (again), "Is He enough?"

Lord, I believe that You are enough. You are my satisfaction, my completeness, my only real Life. Help me with my unbelief. Help me to live by your grace and not by my desires. Thank you for showing me, for showing us the reality of ourselves and the hopelessness of us without You.

Listen here for the podcast that helped inspire this writing... "He Is Enough"

Is He enough?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Orange Against Blue

Cool Summer evenings

Orange against blue

A silhouette of trees

Against a most lovely hue

The passing season

Gives a memory or two

Of cool Summer evenings

Orange against blue


Clouds at Dusk