Saturday, June 25, 2011

"Not Mere Propaganda"

To decide what the best use of it is, you must ask what use the Enemy wants to make of it, and then do the opposite. Now it may surprise you to learn that in His efforts to get permanent possession of a soul, He relies on the troughs even more than on the peaks; some of His special favourites have gone through longer and deeper troughs than anyone else. The reason is this. To us a human is primarily good; our aim is the absorption of its will into ours, the increase of our own area of selfhood at its expense. But the obedience which the Enemy demands of men is quite a different thing. One must face the fact that all the talk about His love for men, and His service being perfect freedom, is not (as one would gladly believe) mere propaganda, but an appalling truth. He really does want to fill the universe with a lot of loathsome little replicas of Himself—creatures, whose life, on its miniature scale, will be qualitatively like His own, not because He has absorbed them but because their wills freely conform to His. We want cattle who can finally become food; He wants servants who can finally become sons. We want to suck in, He wants to give out. We are empty and would be filled; He is full and flows over. Our war aim is a world in which Our Father Below has drawn all other beings into himself: the Enemy wants a world full of beings united to Him but still distinct.

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, pg 41

Colossians 2:8-10 (NIV)
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.

Monday, June 20, 2011

"Father's Day"

Homemade cards.

The 9 year old penned... crayoned:

"Dad, Dad, Dad.
I love my Dad.
Even though you get mad,
You are the #1 Dad."

The 7 year old used the letters of F-A-T-H-E-R...
is this an acrostic, I never know...
"Fantastic, Awesome, Terrific,
Hero, Excellent, Real special."
Together with:
"I love you because you take care of me."

The soon-to-be 5 year old presented a card,
with a $1.00 bill in it. I was eating breakfast
and asked if I could have all my cards
after I ate. So all complied. Presented with
the 5-year-old's card after breakfast...
the money was conspicuously missing.
I guess he decided to save it.

The 2 year old handed me a note card
with a lot of blue and green and ink pen scribbles...
but it was the raised arms and the shout out of "Happy Father's day"
that made me smile.

Treasures I will keep forever.
Tucked away in a "junk" drawer
in my dresser...
not really junk, but special things
I keep.

Loved despite who I am.
The message of "we see you fail, yet we love you anyway."
The message of "we appreciate all you do, because you love us despite when we fail."

I certainly would never claim #1 Dad status.
I'm not a hero.
I can be completely opposite of fantastic, terrific.
Some time, to my shame, I don't want to take care of their immediate needs.

And yet, that's who I have to be.

And I thank God that he alone gives me
the strength to be what I can't naturally be:
a loving father.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"Two Wheeling"

Abby is 7. And as of Sunday June 12th, 2011... She can ride a bike without the training wheels.

It was a little testy at first.

You know, dad's fault you can't balance...
dad's fault you can't use the breaks...
dad's fault you crash into the curb...
dad's fault...

But after about 45 minutes she was cruising around.

Tonight, 6/15/11, we returned to the open high school lot
and a gave her the chance to cruise again. And this time,
she even started on her own.

And tonight, dad's fault... well, dad was without any...
if only for the night.

Congrats, Abigail. Another milestone reached in a long
list of life's milestones.

i would have put a picture of the event
here, but i can't seem to find the camera...
probably dad's fault... :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

"Be A Stephen"

But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, Matthew 5:44

Praying for those who persecute?


Not exactly the message of this world.

This world's message: It's payback time!
Avenge, Revenge, Get 'em!

Yet, that's not the way of God.

So there is Stephen. The bible says
his face was that of an angel.
And yet, for speaking truth, he's
stoned to death.

While they were stoning him,
Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
Then he fell on his knees and cried out,
“Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”
When he had said this, he fell asleep. Acts 7:59-60

How impact full was this prayer?

We may never know, and yet:

dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. Acts 7:58

And Saul was there, giving approval to his death. Act 8:1

The enemy... Saul.
Persecutor of the early church.
Early Christian public enemy numero uno.

But Stephen prayed for his persecutor.

Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”

“Yes, Lord,” he answered.

The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”

“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”

But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

Acts 9:1-19

Pray for those who persecute you.
Who knows...

Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit,
Acts 13:9(a)

... maybe your Saul will become a Paul.

Monday, June 6, 2011

"Worse Than Ananias"

Ananias and Sapphira

Both held back from God,
lied to the Holy Spirit,
and died.

That sums it up.

I Surrender All

I've sang it...
and at times in my life,
I've was fully prepared to give it all.

Yet, I am not better than Ananias...
maybe worse.

Understanding mostly that service to
Christ is sacrificial, complete obedience...
I hold back.

Yes, it's the sinful nature in me snuffing
out the light of His glory...
(no excuse)
but with the Holy Spirit in me, the
sinful nature has no reign, it is defeated.

Yet, I hold something back...
lie to the Spirit...
and should be dead where I am.

Thanks be to God for His grace
to grant me each day the opportunity
to fully obey, claim the victory that
has been won and live a live pleasing
to God!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

"Things That Drive Me Nuts"

1. Rainless Clouds...
[see here]
(tonight it actually didn't rain
and did postpone our campfire night)

2. Poison Ivy...
it itches.
And when the children have it,
I still itch... go figure.

3. Dog Poop...
as in... the neighbors, in my yard...
enough said.

4. Stink Bugs...
beating a dead horse with this one.
But they certainly need on the list.

5. Kids Who Think They're Funny...
I guess I can't really be too harsh here,
I was one at one point.

6. Other Shoppers...
or should I say,
"the ones who don't obey proper
shopping traffic"...
as in: block the whole aisle...
go down the wrong direction in an aisle...
those who talk on their cell and shop...
etc... etc... etc...

7. Bad Corn...
when corn is sweet, oh boy.
When it's not... oh blah!

8. Dog Puke...
our lab has been sick.
And thankfully, she's crated,
with a removable rubber mat
that you can spray off outside.

9. Notre Dame Fans...
(self explanatory)

10. The End Of Baseball Season...
because it occurs 4 days after the
last day of school... "I'm bored"
here we come.

Ten has got to be enough for now.

It's the little things.

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will
yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Psalm 42:11 NIV

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

"Hurricane Season"

I chuckle at this time of year because as June 1st comes
the start of the Hurricane season comes as well.
Today it begins.

Yet, the humor in this to me goes like this:
What happens between May 31st and June 1st
that changes the status from NOT Hurricane

A search of the internet has netted me no
reason on why June 1st is the big day.
Or maybe I just don't care too dig deep
enough to find out.

For those of you interested in Hurricane Season '11,
this site is for you:

SO, tis the season. June 1st through November 30th
all eyes in the areas of the US, Mexico, Caribbean Islands
are ever glancing at the skies, checking their barometers
in the anticipation of what the ocean may bring forth.

Vigilant. describes:
2. ever awake and alert; sleeplessly watchful

The Bible says we should be alert as well.

We should be alert for the enemy:
1 Peter 5:8... "
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

We should be alert for the Kings return:
Mark 13:32-33... "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come."

We should be alert to the point of prayer:
Ephesians 6:18... "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."

Hurricane season has a specific day
where those concerned go on alert.

There, however, is no certain season
to remain alert against the enemy,
to remain alert for the return of the King,
or to remain alert to the point of prayer.