Saturday, January 31, 2009

Going to the Curb

For it is Christ that is within us, the Hope of Glory.
For God is that Hope and for within you are these treasures in jars of Clay. Some for noble and some for ignoble purposes. Remember in life that we serve challenging people and challenging circumstances.
We offer the world the Word of Life!!!
In our lives, we need to focus on the new creation that we are becoming!!!!

AT times in our struggles to live life to its fullest, we may feel that we are not offering all of the world what it needs. Or sometimes, we may feel that we are not fully becoming what we need to become. A lot of times, we get limited in our lives with our past sins and hurts. Plenty of stuff that we want to get rid of collection day.

For we all have garbage that we want to dump at the curb and bring new garbage cans home. For that is what confession is.
When we empty our heavy hearts to God, Jesus takes our cans and empties them. Yet, He does not leave us empty ones. But He shines them up on the inside and fills them up with His grace and goodness and gifts on the inside as well. To exchange the useless parts of ourselves with what is more useful.

So remember when you are at the curb of confession to let the beeping garbage truck pull to your curb and let The Collector of the Can remove the junk in our lives and refill our can, our holy Temple, with life-sustaining goodness.

Peace be to God.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Superbowl a calling!!!

It is that time of year with the superbowl on sunday. A past time for many of our friends and family. This time however, I was reminded by a friend's u-tube post of players singing of tomorrow. It showed how a second after the super bowl all the records are brought back to a tie of everyone at 0-0.

Soon the losing teams will invest in a new stock of players and teams will become poorer on their balance sheets. Yet, they will be rich with hope that they may have a winning record and a chance to carry a Vince Lombardi Trophy high over their heads.

When I reflect back to the cross and Good Friday, the disciples and Mary were frightened for they believed that Jesus left them. But as Scriptures writers have written, "Do not be afraid", it is important to remember what followed on the heels of Good Friday. God experienced the time when He visited Hell and took on our punishment that we deserved.

What followed a few days later was a broken tomb and empty grave clothes. With a risen Saviour. To savor that moment in time. To be a witness at that moment of time in human history!!!

The apostle John was , and he wrote about his chronicles in the Gospel of John and his three letters as well.

Yet, we will also carry a trophy in the form of crowns that we will all lay down at Jesus' feet when we approach Him in heaven after our resurrection and receipt of our new bodies.

Thank you Lord for your Vince Lombardi Crowns you have given to us in your son.

So thanks again Jesus for that new season of Hope that you offer. And a productive off=season that will produce some winning teams after a few hard practices, scrimmages, and games.

The video is on youtube and is listed under "Players sing Tomorrow"

Off to Never Never land.

Finally, I gained a little real estate today!!! Some of that precious commodity that has been hard to acquire. I finally tossed some old papers of which my clues to the treasure hunt were very vague. I now have white space in front of me. I don't have to sit on a pile or rest my arms on one.

Still have a little ways to go in front of me. But I tackled one small area and felt good at that.

Also, I took on a little leadership this week in bringing to my manager's attention if we would be having a superbowl party so I could bring some chips. In a quick order of an hour, we had the party confirmed and email and posters were created. It felt good to be able to pick up the Target Chips and bring them in and have them opened up first while others were left unopened.

Small steps but still valuable ones in the areas of communication and organization that are sorely lacking on my reviews. And I look forward to future attempts to improve in these areas so I am moved out of the basement in those spots and different phrases and concepts can be introduced to review in Mid november or earlier , God willing.

Peace to the world as President Obama tackles the messes that lay around the world that others have left behind. If only, they just followed what I discovered this week. Tackle it one piece at a time, especially with new management running the ship.

And change is never easy especially after learning that my small gravy of the half=hour I enjoyed in overtime is being removed along with the overtime in our office, but if it helps make us more productive , I can live with that change as well.

And we will be getting phone system hooked up online in a week or so. More modern phones and a step further along in the 21st century!!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I see myself as Pharoah

Many times I have read through Exodus 9 and never saw myself as the protagonist, Pharoah, as I have today. For God shows many miracles to Pharoah yet he never changed his mind of God and he hardened his heart. Ten plagues affected Egypt and the surrounding cities; yet, Pharoah did not budge an inch towards God.

It has been that way quite a bit for me lately. I am not as bad as he is portrayed to be in the scriptures. I go to church several events a week, I sing a few songs, say a few snippet prayers throughout the day and find ways to encourage others. Yet, I often feel like the timid heart that is warned in 1 Thes 5;12-15.

Lord, help me not to be like Pharoah. Soften my heart so that I may be moist and willing to receive your word so I can have blossoms of beauty and not twigs of lust, bitterness, anger, or self-pity. Let my vine be so attractive that people ask, "Why is the grove so beautiful?"

May the Peace of Jesus rest upon you and me.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Slates to walk on and windows to walk through

Today is an historic day with our new President. I am glad that this day has come. A thought came to my mind of when I was a young boy and I walked along the curved front slates that went from the top of the driveway onto our front porch. Those slate tiles danced as I walked along them as they hugged the ground lightly. The edges of the blue and grey slates had a discoloration to them.
Our red front door had a window at the top of it. Not much of a window to walk through though.
But with today's world, we do have a yellow brick type road that Obama's family has traveled along with the help of many people along the way. There is no magical wizard that is going to save our nation. Only the Lord can as my friend Jenn pointed out in her blog today.

But it is good to see the progress that our country is trying to make. Even if our slate paths are a little faded and a little bouncy. For we know that there are windows that have been smashed and entered through by this election of our first negro president in a house built by slaves. but it has been nurtured and protected through the many prayers of previous presidents and the protection by the soldiers on Flight 93 on 9-11-01 that preserved our cultural landscape for almost 2 million to enjoy in person and for billions around the globe.

So Godspeed to your duties Barack Obama!!!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The intellectual lingerie

Walking with Jesus is not an easy task. When looking at the documentary, Pope John Paul II who thirsted to overcome an abyss of evil with an abyss of love, Back then as in the times of the Jesus, everyone was on the front lines. Fighting for their lives.

And some wanted to desperately hold onto their tradition. As was the case with the Pharisees who did not want to lose control over what they would give up when Jesus's power was being transmitted to His newly formed disciples.

Being disciples is a form of marriage. It is the union of God and the Church. We as believers are the bride of Christ. He is the Groom who is awaiting our arrival home to Him.
In this long journey of life, we share our souls and are united with Him in our hearts and minds as well. When we put on the full armor of God and put on the qualities of compassion and love, we are being intimate and united with Him and with each other. Through the intellectual lingerie so to speak.
Something that may never have been thought of before, but worth considering.

We are all going to face the day of God's judgement. And when I was chatting with a missionary friend of mine, he said he was somewhat glad to be home. As we quipped back and forth, our mutual humor came up with this saying,
"We enter into a 4H club of sorts. That is when we are happy and hoarse, coming home through a horse-drawn hearse.
In the book of Revelation, there are references to winged creatures, and I can imagine being driven up to heaven in one of them and being resurrected before Jesus.

When we will appear in heaven, we may have the vestige of our memories and the dorsal fins of our past. Yet, what we will have taken on is that immortality that swallowed up death in its victory. It will be the removal of our earthly glasses and putting on the eternal glasses that God had prescribed for us in the beginning, but we were robbed of our sight from the slithering enemy.

Yet, I thank you God for surrounding us with beauty every day so that we know you are alive in the world for us.

So I thank you in advance for inducting me into that 4H club that Jay and I bantered over the net. And may God bless the reader in his or her walk. That it will be stimulating to the souls-both in the here and the now.

Friday, January 09, 2009

The road.

Growing up as a teenager, I met you and fell in love with you.
You were hard to travel along as your mounds of grey were not always as attractive to walk along compared to the paved road along the shore.
yet, this road had a special quality to it. With its sharp-edged curves and its delicate plants growing out from its earth.
Tires traveled over this road as they meandered over it, crushing the pebbles underneath. And dust was seen flying from below as the dry air spew out its remnants.

This country road announced Pratt's Island and my feet trounced its paths whenever I traveled on one of its forks to the four main destinations that led me into travels of paradise.

One of the forks led me to the South Beach where we first spent our summers. It was along this road that I got the introduction to Maine as a teenager. It was a long road on Pratt's Island totalling about 1/2 mile. I spent time down in the car not knowing if it would be a place we would stay at. My parents were with the realtor checking out a cottage for rent. I remember sitting by the ocean with the big piece of driftwood in front of our Chevy Impala or Citation. And looking out at the shore listening to the roar of the water. Not knowing the adventure at the time or what the Maine adventure would be all about.

When we got there and spent the first summer at the Weber Cottage, mom and I took several walks along the road and I spent time at the South Beach walking along it and seeing the treasures that the tide left behind.

The Island had another fork that took me down to the town dock where we left for many a boat trip and brings back memories of when I went rowing alone and times when we as a family took boat trips along the shore. And at this dock, we had the Pratt's Island General Store with its bowling alley on the side. Out front there were some red gas tanks and the door to the store squeaked whenever it was opened. It was there that my mom and I walked to get some ice cream to eat outside or in the general store. The local yacht club was there also . We saw many a journey of kids learning to sail from our front porch who came from that Southport Yacht Club.

One of the forks was precious in that it led to the location where we spent the following six summers at the Cottage. This road was filled with pine needles on it. And the road was dark with the tall evergreen trees towering over it. Yet, these needles died off of the tree.

A final fork is the fork that led to the road along Cozy Harbor which passed by several artist houses and lobster shacks.
I miss these roads that I walked along. A time when life was much simpler.

But now, the golden silence of that time is gone. And with it came progress of bigger McMansion houses and more people. The calm invitation to Maine is gone for us now that life is more settled now. But pausing in front of a road or just thinking about the forks I traveled brings back good memories of appetites shared and whetted for more adventures back to the state I call my second home.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Rowing with one oarlock

As a teenager, I took several adventures while on Pratt's Island. One stands out.

On a sunny afternoon after lunch, I went down to the dock and walked down the ramp to the floating dock. I climbed into the swaying rented rowboat and set out from shore. I began to row around Cozy Harbor and as I moved the oars which were heavy as they plied the deep blue waters, I saw the houses from the shore pass by and the seagulls flying overhead me. I leaned back on the bench in the rowboat and pushed with all of my might. It was difficult using the two oars as the boat made little bits of progress.

I weaved in between some big white glistening sailboats that were moored off the docks of several of the cottages. As I approached underneath one of these boats with a big flying bridge, I heard the metal oarlock begin to wince in pain and creak slowly and then heard a giant, SNAP, as it fell onto the boat floor.

I was only twenty feet from shore in the middle of Cozy Harbor. Surrounded by the tall boats in all directions. I looked up at the bright sun of the afternoon with the blue skies and lightly puffed clouds. I moved around in circles as I put my oars in and out of the waters. Hearing the oars make their swishing sound and hearing the water drip off the end of the oars. I did not hear the sound of anyone that afternoon. I was out in the middle of "nowhere"

I knew I had to make it in by dark so my parents would not be worried about me. As I circled around the shore going in endless circles trying to make my destination secure , I felt insecure and yet took this as an adventure.
In my life, when I have faced pickles, I move about taking steps, even though they seem insignificant at the time. Knowing that eventually I am going to get home.

I did not know when that afternoon, I would approach the dock. I kept rowing for what seemed like hours, trying to make my destination. I did eventually.

What came out of it was a story that I can tell my friends and family of when I was a teenager on an island in Maine and how I always have an extra set of oars to lend to those setting out from shore.

Lesson learned is you never know when an extra set of oars or an oarlock may be needed in our journeys of life!!!

Stone Crossings: 2 Christmas Coal • shame

Stone Crossings: 2 Christmas Coal • shame

This is the site of a very gifted writer who knows how to parse the english language and paint it with emotion.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Going through the Wilderness in life!!!!

These times are very uncertain for many of us in life. When I turn on the news or turn the pages of the news or hear sad news of a friend losing their job, I think of the illustration that God uses in the Holy Scriptures of the desert. In life, man wanders often from point a to point b. And then sometimes back to point a. Man tries often to find a new equilibrium, a new ab line to settle at.
To be at a point where he is comfortable swinging along.

In this desert, the walk may produce the sight of an oasis, of springs of life. Of lush plants blooming. And it may produce the sight of the burning bush where God awoke Moses and got his attention.

Yet, today, the oasis may be a visit to a food bank or shelter. And the burning bush may be an encouraging email or just a hug from a friend or answered prayer. The aloe for the soul. to sooth its internal and external hurts.

This can pertain in life with the new presidential administration as President-elect Obama and his team will be making choices to guide our nation.

It almost seems like rowing his boat up a stream that has water splashing in all directions.

Yet these turning points offer times for our tuning forks to be fine tuned. To find the right fork in the road to take.

So this piece is devoted to all those who struggle and just need to know that God is there. Just look at the sly in the morning and find God painting the clouds a gentle orange and red. To see the glimpse of the artist at his easel. Momentarily there and the next minute not. Moving on to another soul for sustanance. Leaving behind satisfaction from His presence.