Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Parable of the Spoons

I received this in an e-mail recently and really enjoyed this. I don't want to minimize how horrific hell is, but I did appreciate the moral to this story. So enjoy!

A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, "Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like. " The Lord led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water. The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. The Lord said, "You have seen Hell." They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking. The holy man said, "I don't understand." " It is simple" said the Lord, "it requires but one skill. You see, they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves."

Monday, May 15, 2006

Don't think it's me.

God apparently wants me to know I can do nothing except by His power. I sat in church and felt absolutely clobbered by the very idea after the pastor announced that I was going to play the piano and the anointing was going to flow. My heart absolutely choked on the idea that everyone would be listening expecting something heavenly, and instead they would hear me. I can't play the piano. I really honestly can't. But God, when I sit down to play, allows me to play. In that sinking moment, I realized how easily God could humble me before the entire congregation. All He has to do is turn off whatever He turns on in me and poof, the magic has ended and everyone wonders why I would dare to play as though I presumed to have ability.
I am nothing. Absolutely nothing. Save God anoint and work, I can't even clumsily get something right. It is only God.
So, as a rare thing, I am going to leave you today with a prayer.

Father God, forgive me. Forgive me the pride and arrogance of my heart that would self-righteously assume that I am better than I am. I am nothing without You Lord. In my own self I am wretched and wicked and so many other horrible things that I can't even begin to name. See me Father, look down and consider how pitiful I am and have mercy on me. In Your love grant me undeserved and blessed mercy. Take this wretched vessel and somehow in Your mercy, let me make a difference.
Thank You for Your grace that moved You to capture my heart. Move me Lord, and use me. Remind me daily of Your strength in me and humble me. In all things, You are good, and gracious, and merciful.
In the name of Your son, Jesus Christ, I come to You. - Amen.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

How do you spend your last day on earth?

If you knew that today or maybe NEXT Saturday was going to be your last day on earth, would your life change drastically?
Do you have fences you need to mend before you die? People you meant to witness to but never had time? Someone you wanted to remind one last time that God forgives? Would you choose to spend the quality time with your family rather than spending an hour finding out who was one step closer to being our next American Idol? Would you suddenly begin speaking more kindly to your family? Would you begin offering more compliments and encouragement and maybe even trying to share wisdom to help them when you were gone?

I want, more than anything, for my last days to not be panic filled moments where I tried to cram a lifetime into those 7 days or hours. And in my last instant, I don't want to think about how I didn't have enough time to finish. And I most definitely don't want to imagine God's performance review over my wasted time.

But, to have that, I can't wait until I'm diagnosed with something, or a car is hurtling towards me and my time is over in an instant. I have to make my changes today. In return I receive a satisfied, peaceful life that is in a constant state of readiness.
I will not say anything about your life, and give advice on you making a change in your routine or actions. I'm simply telling you all this to make you think about your routine and actions, in your own way. So, think on.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Simple peace

I recently found myself wanting something. It was a house, a big beautiful house, in the town that I am falling deeper in love with every time I visit. Financially it would of been a tight stretch, but not impossible. I took a moment and took the matter to God. And I quite honestly begged Him to break my heart. I asked for doors that I shouldn't be walking through to be not just closed but locked, and for Him to do whatever it took, to keep me on HIS road rather than my own.
I can't tell you how nervous I was about Him answering that prayer. I was bracing myself for hurt and discouragement. But the amazing part is, it never came. I didn't get my house, and I have a long road ahead to continue getting ready to one day try for a house again, but I'm more than ok with it. I'm still happy, and content and have both peace and enthusiasm concerning the house. I'm looking forward to meeting my goals and taking new steps.
I did learn something from this though, that gives me no end of comfort.
God was gentle with me. And I can trust Him with my dreams.
You can too. I would only suggest one thing to you though. Speak your heart to Him, don't just think it.

Psalms 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Are you listening?

I had a very interesting thing happen yesterday, individually they seemed unimportant until I got to the end and realized what had happened. It started at 10am, when I met with my bible reading group and one of the chapters we read that day was 2 Chronicles chapter 1. Then after lunch I happened across an article that made me click a link, the linked article was interesting, and so it made me click another link, from that link I ended up clicking a link to take me to amazon.com where I was able to read the first five pages to a book about Gods sovereignty. In this book the author was discussing how God's sovereignty is proved by the fact that I have nothing without Him. He gives me all things and I must thank Him for all things. Just as I got into it my 5 pages were up and it took me to the back cover. I thought nothing more of it. Until...
I went to church.
Once at church, my pastor asked us to turn to our text. 2 Chronicles.. chapter 1. Where one of his points was that Solomon asked God for something, (wisdom) and God not only provided Solomon with what he asked for, but also wealth and riches like no other king before or after. Then the pastor began making the point that the same God that gives wisdom, has full authority to give anything and everything. By the end of the service I was nearly sweating frustration out my pores as I tried to reason out an idea that seemed to be just beyond my grasp. I hate those moments. I was getting a general thing that God was trying to tell me, but there seemed to be a huge revelation that is just out my minds grasp.
But that's not the main reason I'm writing right now, I'm writing right now because I just want to be a reminder to you. God is still out there, daily involved in your life. He's showing you things, trying to teach you, and watching you grow and change (whether you're growing closer or farther from Him). Pay attention, because when He's speaking to you, you don't want to miss it. Seriously.
If insert famous name here called you on the phone in the middle of your busiest moment at work, it couldn't be more hectic, and s/he wanted to tell you something. You'd stop whatever you're doing and listen. Remember to treat God with that same awe.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


I was in my house oblivious to what was going on, until a fire truck parked outside my home. I went to the door and saw the house directly across the street from me had flames coming off the side of the house. The house is alright, it sustained some damage to the outside and a little to the inside, but overall the damage could of been a lot worse. Unfortunately, my neighbors must have enemies because the outside is damaged the most because general opinion is that someone started the fire. You can actually see the trail of where it started and then where the flames opened up.
That's not why I'm writing.
As I stood outside with the crowd watching the firefighters work, people kept talking about how long it had taken the fire dept to get there.
What I want to know is, I live directly across the street, I have a bright yellow water hose that extends approx 25', possibly more because I'm horrible at telling how long something is like that. During the "long wait" why did no one act? Did they all just stand around waiting for the people that put out fires, to put it out?
They say, that if 50 people are in a room, and they hear a crash, that 99% of the time, all 50 people will just look at each other, wondering what happened. But if one person is in the room and they hear a crash, they'll go check to make sure things are ok.
So let me tell you this, on behalf of the population of people (including yourself) that doesn't want their house to burn to the ground - DO SOMETHING!