Friday, February 29, 2008

Little One Leaves

Today is the day Lord, you knew on July 29th 2007 that today, Feb 29th 2008 would be the day.

There’s so much I wish I could pray about this that I just can’t. I’m even writing this because I’m more likely to get through it.

Take care of her God. Protect her. Draw her to Yourself, and when no on else is around to remind her of how wonderful and lovable she is… remind her Lord. Help her to remember Your love. Draw her to You, and as she ages help her to consider You more and more until one day she understands her need of you. Show her Lord, in all Your special ways that You desire a personal relationship with her. Help her not to imagine You far off, and impersonal. Help her never to settle for being Religious when she could be Your daughter.

Send people in her life to love her. To teach her all the important things she’ll need to know. Comfort her Father against the pain and confusion of the next weeks and months. Help her to sleep, and rest and eat. Give her peace that her small body doesn’t realize she needs.

Work in her parents Lord. Break the chains that hold them back from being the people, and parents, and family that You would have them to be. More than anything else, let Your will be done in their lives and situations Father, and may no weapon or attacks of the enemy be able to divert Your plan for their lives. Give them not only hope for the future, but a passion for it as well. Teach them, lead them, give them Your love for Little One that even they never imagined having before. Give them wisdom into situations they may not realize could be harming their daughter.

Help me to love her deeply today. That I would send her off on this new journey in such a way that she would not be afraid, or worried. I never imagined a 3 yr old could worry until I met her. Help me to say the right things to keep her from her worries. And I just can’t say it enough, protect her. Protect her. Protect her every moment, every hour of every day. Protect her.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Why I stopped walking.

I've been thinking about why I've stopped writing. I love to write, there's nothing like the feeling of completion that comes from writing several paragraphs that totally express you. It's a rush. It's a feeling of satisfaction. It's a good feeling.

And, for the moment I paused to think about it, I realized I wasn't writing about my walk anymore because I wasn't walking.
I've crashed flat on my nose and I'm not getting up. A friends husband recently had a stroke, and she was trying to describe the look of panic on his face when he had something to express but his motor skills just wouldn't let it happen. I've gone through all the actions to stand up and carry on, only to find that I haven't moved an inch, and it does generate panic.

For months I've ripped my heart out to God just asking what it is He wants that I'm not giving, or what is He trying to teach me? Cause I'm not getting it. I'm just... not... getting it.

I'm tired of crying, I'm tired of hurting.

As I went through the afternoon, I told God all sorts of things only to finally find myself saying that I love Him, but I don't believe in Him anymore.
And then tonight at church, everyone was in tears except me and I felt like rock, because I was hardening my heart against it all because I knew if I start crying then and there, that I was going to break... again. And it seems like all I've done the last 6 months is break. And when I think I can't break any more, I shatter once again. I've offered my heart to God before to break it, make it tender, but I always assumed He'd restore when He broke it. And I just can't seem to reach that point.

I don't what else to do. I've tried everything else. Everything. I'm tired of going to church and pretending a lie. I don't want to lie. And all through church, I'm singing, saying, and playing things that I don't believe anymore.

Little One leaves this Friday, and once she's gone, I won't be back to church. I never imagined a time in my life when I could walk away from church. It's my family. It's my home. But I can't keep going the way things are. Somethings got to give.

I know. I'm a self-absorbed ninny that wouldn't last a day under real persecution. Trust me, when you're laying on the ground not getting up, you call yourself every name in the world.

What is God doing? And why won't He stop?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What should He have promised us?

So I've got a 3 yr old child that has the hardest time in the world going to sleep. Exhausted, worn out, yawning her eyes out, she still won't stop moving long enough to fall asleep.
Relying on an age old trick I informed her that if she managed to lay in bed, NOT get up, NOT turn on the light, NOT get out toys, NOT go sit in the rocker, NOT start singing at the top of her lungs... I'd get her donuts for breakfast tomorrow.
Silence reigned.

I enjoy that. My picky little eater has some favorites that's she's willing to do a lot for. And as long as I don't abuse the donut gimmick, it'll work for me.

I wonder, when God stops to think about it, just how disappointed He is in us. Does He ever stop and think "I've promised them THIS.... Heaven... gave them the most vivid picture I could draw in their human minds of how great it would be... and they still won't do what their told."
Forget Heaven, maybe He should have promised us the entire season of American Idol on dvd, or a new HDTV and all 250 Dish Network channels (with premium movie/sport packages of course)... you know, something we're really interested in.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Preaching to myself.

It was my first, and probably only sermon I'll ever preach. The text was from Mark 16:15
And the sermon consisted of two words.


It got repeated several times as just about every inflection you can put to the words was used. DO something, do SOMEthing, changes in vocal pitch, and intensity... I waxed eloquent for someone saying only two words.

Or at least I thought so.

Some time after my sermon rant, the old question of "What would Jesus do?" came to me. And the only answer I come up with is that He would change the world.
Yes, the question is about the day to day stuff, but it's also about the big picture. Jesus would change the world.
Christians, as a whole, aren't changing the world. We aren't even trying.
We're all working our 40 hr work week, making sure the bills get paid and hoping to be a good witness while we're at it.
Oh, and we go to church too.
Bully for us.

Do you believe God heals cancer?

My friend Linda whose nephew Josh is still in a coma wrote me yesterday. It was a simple e-mail consisting of one sentence.
"My dad has cancer."

I wrote back, and while I can't broadcast everything she said, here's just a piece of the details.

"No, he's not in good health. He's a diabetic who doesn't take that seriously. He's at least 100 lbs overweight. He has circulation problems and blood pressure issues. He has chronic bronchitis and has to sleep with one of those breathing things that pump oxygen. But, he's one tough bird. He survived 2 tours of Viet Nam. He's 65.
The cancer is on his vocal folds. He has this recurring growth that get removed once or twice a year. It's been going on for several years. The doctor has said she's never seen anything like it. Every time she takes it off she biopsies it. This time it came back with cancer cells present.
Anyway, what I know is that the doctor is talking chemo first and then...........Daddy had to go and find out. His regular doctor is away until March. He's going to see her partner or replacement or something this week. I should know more, assuming I can actually talk to someone tonight after school."

She's a foster mom, who has housed two sets of 4 children and is currently on a set of two. She's going to grad school, and teaches math as her day job. She knows the meaning of the word stressed.
Her dad needs prayer, but ... just as much, she needs your prayers. Her family needs your prayers. Her foster children need your prayers.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The beginning of links.

Ok, I'm making changes tonight. Not all of them, but some. If you look at the links right this second you'll see a good chunk has disappeared.
Some aren't blogging anymore, and the others I've still got them on my read feed, but find myself more and more just skimming through their stuff hoping something will snag me. Nothing against their stuff, I just have a picky system, and not much time to read it if it's not going to really get into me.

One of the first people I want to introduce you to though is Brant Hansen.

He's strange. And has ideas in his posts I find myself wishing others would think of as well. From his blog, he seems to be able to laugh at himself, and us as people and Christians - His Christmas Letter with footnotes had to be the funniest thing I've read in awhile - but if you read his writing, you'll see the dark side to him as well.

He's a very gifted writer, who usually has you smiling all the way to the end of his posts where it finally sinks in that he just nailed you to the floor with truth. And then sometimes he writes about absolutely nothing.

And then today he went and wrote about Kumar. Read it. And bookmark Brant, he's in my sidebar as "Letters From Kamp Krusty" Go. Read.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

What 99?

I take inspiration from the strangest places sometimes, but I never once thought I'd learn anything special from the fish. Never once.

Let me state upfront that I hate fish as pets. They're the most obnoxious pet in the world because there is no level of forgiveness with them. You don't water them right, you feed them too many little flakes of food, and BAM next then you know fishie dead. Looking at you with dead eyes that are still screaming "how hard is it to feed me LESS, really?"

Yet, for reasons that involve a 3 foot tall girl with sad hazel eyes that smiled when she saw those "fishies"...
A couple of months after she arrived, I found myself equipping us with a fish tank, some fish, and enough enough plants to start our own little fish orchard.

She enjoys them still, in her own little kid way of making sure that every newcomer into the house sees her fishies and randomly announcing to me that we have "'ive fishies" We've got more than five, but she doesn't care about numbers higher than that. It's a whole hand of fishies... that's a lot of fish.

This weekend I opened the lid to feed them, and instantly like the starving fish they are they all swim to the top and start panting at me for food. But I didn't even notice.

You see, there was one fish, one fish at the bottom of the tank laying on the rocks.

I'm not attached to these fish by any means, but... I hate the idea of any animal dying just because I didn't take care of it right or something.

My entire attention focused down on this one fish: is it dead? is it moving at all? I stared at it, my face all furrowed as I hoped it was just trying to scare me.

And I waited.

I stared at this immobile fish for at least a good minute when it suddenly snaked it's way across the rocks and zipped up to the top with the rest of the fish.

It was one of those moments where you suddenly let out the breath you didn't realize you were holding and you smile. And I finally noticed the rest of the fish. Literally, before then, the other fish all swimming around panting at the top of the tank didn't even register with me, so focused was I on this one dumb, trying to freak me out fish.

And for the first time, after many years of struggling with God over the concept, I understood how the shepherd leaves the 99, for the 1.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

When God answers a prayer.

I want to see a change. I've read too much, known too much, to be able to be comfortable with where I am spiritually. It's...well, where I was before.
But some things seem beyond me to change.
So tonight, I went to God and I told Him I didn't know how to do it. I wanted it, craved it, and admittedly was a little nervous about it, but I felt unsatisfied with the idea of things staying the same. And I said SHOW ME what to do.
So I walked into my room, picked up my bible, opened it up and put my finger down.

I admit, I half expected to discover I was in some obscure passage like "objimyaka begat eriumadab".
But instead, I looked to discover that my finger was right underneath the very word... the. very. word. that told me what I was suppose to do. And the verse beneath the one I was reading finished with the promise of what would happen if I did it.
Not only that, but it was a noticeable push that reminded me that God had already spoken to me about doing what this verse prescribed, I had just allowed life to get in the way and prevent me from doing it.

God not only answers our prayers, but He answers our questions too.
I write this also to make another point.

Life has become so serious.
When I looked and discovered my finger under the. very. word. of answer that I needed to see, I couldn't help but laugh out loud.
In that instant, there was the sparking of hope and joy.
In the sober, get through the day, life I've been living, that spark... well it made me want to turn the gas on for next time that spark came around.


Friday night, I put Little One into the car with her parents, and drove straight to my church sat down in the darkness and cried. I asked God all the questions I've asked Him before. Why would you choose me for this? Why would you do this to my heart? Then I stopped asking questions... the answers didn't really matter at that moment anyway, and I told Him bluntly that it hurt.

And from that weekend to now, I've felt a difference. I've felt Him. And it didn't feel like I was alone in the hurt anymore.

I've been finding it hard to testify at church. Most there don't know the different things I've struggled with lately and my testimonies wouldn't quite make sense or they'd end up too long winded if I tried.
So this whole post is one big testimony. It's my testimony. I'm a witness to something that I have to tell someone about.
God's been good to me.
That's the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth - so help me God.

Monday, February 04, 2008

I know I know, It's another video

Come on, watch the video. It's about football/church.

Favorite quote "The world is tired of watching Christians huddle. They want us to play ball. They say would you actually run the play you called Sunday morning?"


I don't know what his whole sermon sounds like, but I was hooked for the brief period this video ran.
This is a video I would suggest you watch even if you don't have time.

Thanks to Bob and Jared.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Well, do ya punk?

I was ministered to Friday and Saturday. By the least likely people I would have expected. They poured a balm on my heart just by listening to me talk and being passionate about the subect I was talking about.
They really got what I was saying. And I really got what they were saying.
I was talking to Little Ones parents.
And we were all talking about everyones favorite subject. Little One.
There are so many things that I'm not allowed to talk about that the silence is oppressive, but with these people, almost nothing was taboo. I was free.
And despite the fact that I don't know these people, in that moment we bonded and we knew each other. We found a bond based on not a thousand things in common, but one very important thing in common.

I began thinking about it throughout the weekend and I realized that it was a bond of love for Little One that drew 3 very different people into very candid conversation. I could have talked to them for hours. I look forward to seeing them again. All because they love someone I love.

And I realized...

That's what Christianity is suppose to be like.

Our conversations with fellow Christians should leave us feeling as liberated as my conversations with Little Ones parents have.

Here's the clincher though.

As parents, they've absolutely failed Little One. But they're trying.
If put to the test, I'd imagine I'd strongly disagree with the two of them about many things.
But those things aren't as important. For our conversations we're able to set those things aside. I'm able to remember that I've failed LO in many things as well and have only the fact that I too am 'trying' to look forward to.
So often, we find other Christians and our first instinct is to find out what denomination they are, what do they believe?
I know I do that.

And I did it looking for things that we agreed on.
And now, I think that's foolish. All those things are little things, almost petty when compared to the simplest test of all:
When I mention God, can I tell you love Him too?
That's enough to give us something to talk about. That's enough to pull to the surface all the amazing things Gods done, all the different ways I've grown in Him, and enough to pull a deep interest in all the ways you've grown in Him and all the things He's done in your life.
It's enough to leave you walking away from each and every conversation, appreciating the love in your life that flows between you and the Father, even more.
It's enough to make you excited about fellowshipping with anyone that loves God. Regardless of the stuff you disagree about.

So I don't need to know whether you're post or pre-trib.
Once saved always saved or pre-destined.
I don't need to know if you're for hymns or choruses or against instruments.

I just want to know:

Do you love God too?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

God bless you moms and dads.

Before I was a Mom,
I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom -
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held down a screaming child so doctors could do tests. Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom -
I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child.

I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom -
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom.


It was a question posed by John over at Jesus The Radical Pastor

Would Jesus Like You?

Good posts

I've still been out scouting blogs and really finding some good things.

Mark over at Made To Praise Him has written a good post putting up gratitude vs apologies, and in the comments of the post he referenced back to a great post he wrote awhile back about Scrooge. If you read nothing else this week, read his post on Scrooge. Seriously. It's that good.

... Ok, you should read the Bible more than you should read his post on Scrooge.

But that's about it.

Finally, he falls to his knees sobbing and weeping. "I will live in the past, the present and the future. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. Oh, tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone!" Beside himself, and here comes the definition of repentance, he cries out (in the 1951 movie) "I am no longer the same man! I am no longer the same man! I am no longer the same man!"

Friday, February 01, 2008


Sometimes, I wish I could forget everything I know.
I wish I could clear my head of all the information,
all the limitations,
all the ambitions,
all the innuendos,
all the ways something has been done,
all the right ways to say things,
all the wrong ways to say things,
all the needs,
all the wants,
all the obligations,
all the past concerns,
all the present concerns,
all the future concerns,
all the bills,
all the things waiting to be fixed,
all the errands needing to be run,
all the cleaning needing to be done,
all the ministries needing to be filled,
all the prayers needing to be prayed,
all the kids needing to be loved,
all the...

I wish I could forget it all.
And simply sit with God.
Not having to speak, or even think...
But just simply be.

You forget how quiet the quiet really is... until the quiet begins to speak to you.