Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
The title came to me as I thought about this post. Anyone who has followed my blogs over the past 3 years will know about my past. If you're new to this page I'm a died in the wool Christian with a a heritage that dates back at least 400 years in the Faith. I'm also a survivor of a Charismatic Christian cult. The leaders didn't ask the membership to drink Kool-Aid together or start stockpiling an arsenal but I left at the same time Jimmy Swaggart was caught red handed, Jim and Tammy's Wonderland came crashing down and the so called (mega) church I was attending sent a form to all members asking us to list all expenses and income in detail. The plan was for us to turn our finances over to the church leadership. I was hit particularly hard as I was a dedicated militant holier than Thou Christian.
Int he wake of leaving my life turned to a pile of garbage. The economy went into a recession. I was living in Orlando, Florida, where the economy depended on tourism and a big military budget. Orlando and area is built upon amusement parks, missile and tank factories. I had a friend who painted MX missiles for a living. Painted missiles? Why on earth would you paint a missile? Anyway I digress.
As the econmy slid backwards, my marriage of 7 years went in the same direction. I started drinking, smoking and carrying on in the same way I did when I was a dedicated young christian growing up. Jobs became scarce, my then wife left me for ner Ex whom she never got over and I could not find a church that I didn't have an issue with. When I lost the house, cars, kids and last smeblance of self respect I hit bottom. It took several years to climb out of the hole.
After several years of trying several churches and finding none that suited me I turned to serious prayer. After nearly 30 years of being a Christian, you might as well say my entire life as I made the "decision when I was 7 years old, I admitted I had more questions than answers. By this point I had read the Bible cover to cover over 4 times chronologically in almost as many versions. I came to the realization I really didn't understand what the Bible was about. I understood that Jesus was LORD but I really didn't understand what that meant other than confessing HIm as LORD and Saviour. I couldn't explain the Trinity, every time I read Romans I had new revelations (from the same passages). I couldn't explain why the Old Testament was relevant if it was wiped out with Jesus' sacrifice. If anything I had more questions. Questions that I couldn't answer.
So I prayed. I asked the LORD to give me some direction. By this time I was relatively cleaned up from outward appearances, kicked cigarettes and drinking my face off and living a not so virtuous life. I was married to a wonderful wife and beginning to start a family over again. I still had a burning desire to be a servant of Jesus. I desired to have a priestly knowledge (immersed in the Faith not necessarily referencing my friends in the Catholic wing of Christianity). I figured if Solomon was blessed because he asked for wisdom then I might as well start there. I also wanted Knowledge and Understanding. I wanted to know what the Word was all about. To really know who Jesus was and not accept that there are still mysteries that we will come to grips with someday.
For the past six years my prayer has been and continues to be answered. The revelations have been very settling and comforting. Some of the answers have pushed me outside of my comfort zone and contradict some age old teachings that are laid deep with the foundations of my psyche. The single most defining principle is that Jesus remains at the center of everything I have learned. No philosophies, people or institutions are lifted up. Jesus is it. Every step of the way the focus i son Jesus, the Way the Truth and the Life. Jesus, the Alpha and the Omega. Jesus, the Word who has always been and will ever be.
The struggle I am faced with is that I feel a little like Elijah when Jezebel was hot on his heels. Alone. I know there are there are millions out there who are on the same track but those in my immediate circle, friends, family, fellow church members are not quite there. At least I don't think they are.
This first step to bridge this gap will be using this page to work some of the challenges out. I'm not an expert or anywhere near being a priest but am stil pursuing the goal. pray for me.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
One hot August afternoon the priest tried again. I confirmed once again I would not make the vow. He asked me my age. I told him twenty. He went into a story.
The effects of the population explosion in Florida was being felt in our little town. Dozens of new members were joining the church every month. All new members were required to attend a series of classes. Once the classes were successfully completed the candidates would make a sacrifice for the church, much like Lent. The priest would determine the sacrifice each member in waiting would make.
Recently, there were three married couples in the group. A couple in their 50's, a couple in the 30's and a newlywed couple in their 20's. "I called the three couples into my office together", explained Fr. McGee in his authoritative tone as I drove the tree lined streets leading to his home.
"As you are all married, I thought I'd ask each of you to make the same sacrifice." he recounted. "I would like you all to go three weeks without relations".
I laughed then immediately felt embarrassed, the Padre was so serious. I apologized for the disrespect.
Fr. McGee went on seemingly not noticing my rude outburst. He explained that the three couples looked at their respective spouses searching each others eyes in silence for affirmation. Almost in unison the group of six looked back at the priest and said, "It's for the Church Father, we'll do it."
Three weeks passed. Fr. McGee explained that he called the couples in separately to discuss their sacrifice as it was now a confidential matter.
The couple in their 50's came in.
"Welcome back, how did you do with your sacrifice?" asked the kindly old priest.
Without looking at his wife, the husband snorted, "we haven't had relations in three months Father, three weeks was a breeze."
I was astonished but the priest didn't notice. He went on.
"No, no, no" he admonished the indignant husband, "you go out right now,take your wife to a nice dinner at Mario's. Get a table in a dark corner where the candle light illuminates your beautiful wife's face. Go home and fulfill your marriage vows." Fr. McGee recounted the speech as if he was delivering it right there in the funeral homes big black Fleetwood. "Welcome to the church."
"Next I called in the couple in their 30's. The wife looked very nervous, constantly smoothing her dress. The husband was biting his nails and looked very edgy" said the priest looking up to his right as he remembered the scene. "Well," Fr. McGee asked gently expecting the worst, "how did you do with your sacrifice?"
"We made it three weeks Father!" the husband said almost screaming. "When is this sacrifice over?"
Smiling gently, the priest warmly replied, "Welcome to the church, go home and bring forth lots of children for the flock."
Finally the newlyweds came in. The wife couldn't make eye contact with the priest. She fidgeted with her hair nervously. The husband had a sheepish grin on his face looking like the cat that ate the canary.
"Well, how did you make out with the sacrifice?" asked the priest warily.
"Father you are a man of the cloth, I'm not going to lie to you." the husband started out sounding like he wanted to negotiate a deal.
"The first week was tough but we made it." said the husband. "The second week....three cold showers a day." now looking down sullenly, the husbands countenance changed. "Father, the third week, my wife bent over to pick up a head of lettuce. Father I lost control, forgive me but we made love right there on the floor"
Fr. McGee fought with his emotion not wanting to delver the bad news. "My son, I appreciate the fact that you made two weeks but the sacrifice called for three. You are an honest and noble man but I'm afraid I cannot accept you as members".
The husband's head snapped up and he exclaimed, "That's OK Father, we're not allowed int he grocery store anymore either".
Friday, October 3, 2008
Now that the post is written you hopefully have some time left over to browse the Favorites on the sidebar. In my mind this is the best part of blogging, reading the fare you have come to enjoy so much. It's not enough though just to read the posts you must leave a little note to let them know you've been by (even though Site Meter and Extreme Tracking leave their own trails). Then you proof the comment and hit SAVE and what? Must go through verification with those funky Timothy Leary inspired codes. I tried typing in Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds the first few times hoping that would crack the code but no luck.
Folks with verification codes enabled, I want you to know that when you see a comment from me , it means I really care. It takes me at least three attempts every time to get the thing right those codes are a dyslexics worst nightmare. Speaking of that did you hare the joke about the dyslexic guy that walked into a bra?
Back to the point of this post, at this point you've spent an hour of your night or early morning surfing your best reads and commenting that you realize you're one of those. One of those people you used to think were a bit odd spending all their time on the web conversing with total strangers hundreds to thousands of miles away. And then you realize those peo;e are kinda cool.
Personally, I've always been a bit of a loner. I don't need to be around friends all the time if at all. I'm not anti-social. As a matter of fact I'm the exact opposite. The worst job I ever had was a two year stint as a consultant working out of the house. I was very successful because I always had appointment's set up and built relationships with clients just to be with people. Recently I did a contract at a fairly senior level but was glad to get back into middle management when it was done. The Mucky Muck role saw me holed up in an office most of the day strategizing over a spreadsheet or MS Project. It was rather lonely. I want to be with people...when I'm at work. Off time I don't caire if I don't see another human, outside my family, for the entire weekend. Blogging on the other hand, allows me to maintain friendships with some very special people in a very unique way.
That's what makes blogging great. I've met some very interesting people. I get a great laugh reading some off the wall blogs. I wept when I read the post about the passing of Cliff's brother. I've learned new things that I wouldn't normally be interested. in. I've virtually visited Wales reading Sian's posts. I'm encouraged by many and amazed by others.
When I really think about it blogging isn't such a chore after all, it's a gregarious loner's blessing. A wonderful avenue to share a coffee with a friend you wouldn't have otherwise had the opportunity to meet.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
One, I love her and would do anything for her, including giving up the seat I'm currently in.
Two, because it's a break for her from a harried day looking after the boys, keeping the house in order, baking fresh bread, gardening, making meals for everyone and generally being a Proverbs 31 woman.
And last but certainly not least. She gets paid to blog and I don't. Here you go Honey, the Dell's all warmed up for you....
Besides that, work (paid and unpaid) is keeping me hopping I just finished up the second round of a Hebrew perspective Bible course. tons of yard work, barn chores, the Summer Olympics, a reintroduction to camping and generally trying to be a decent dad. There wasn't a lot of time left over. Did I mention I'm trying to learn the guitar again. It's about my 152nd attempt but I'm thinking I may stick with it this time.
The good news is that over the past 6 months I've stowed away lots of material for some posts. I have to build the habit again though so don't get too excited yet. Wait until I have a few dozen consecutive posts under my belt before you blow up any balloons.
Here's to getting back into an old familiar routine with some cherished friends. I've really missed this part of my life and am looking forward to sitting down to coffee with you all again.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Earlier this afternoon I was listening to Blue Rodeo on the MP3 while I chopped wood. There I was outside the wood shed swinging an axe and singing Bad Timing at hte top of my lungs Imagining I was harmonizing perfectly with Jim Cuddy and Greg Keeler. For those listening it was "Just bad TUNING, that's all".
Friday, March 28, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Now that we're a one laptop household with two bloggers it come down to some hard decisions. I've been blogging for two and half years. I have 20 to 30 loyal readers who visit me regularly. My lovely wife has been blogging for two months, she has upwards of 200 loyal visitors daily and is now being paid to write a blog for an organization that scooped her up. What the? I'm the devoted writer in the household and she's the, well, she's the one getting paid enough to let her stay home with the kids. I guess that trumps me. Blog away my darling. Work those pretty little fingers and weave the gold that emiantes from your beautiful mind. Do you think you could wrangle a new computer into your compensation package?
Monday, February 25, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
What is humiliyt?
How do we force ourselves to become humble?
Humility is near and dear to my heart. Moses is described as the most humble man on the face of the earth (Num 12:3). That's humble. Proverbs is full of commands and quips about humility and of course my all time favourite passage, the Sermon on the Mount (Matt chapters 5-7) isfull of references of humility, meekness and all round righteousness. I know it's important to be humble but I hear how do we attain such a lofty (?) position?
Monday, February 18, 2008
Do you believe in love? Do you believe in true love? There’s a loaded question. I like to listen to the local news/talk radio station. Theres a news radio show that usually covers issues related to the Maritimes. They have guests on the show, and listeners are allowed to call in. A couple of months ago they had an author on the show. I apologize that I do not recall her name or even the title of the book that she was promoting. It was the topic of the book that I found interesting. The author had followed around 9 young ladies, 3 in their last year of high school, and 6 in their early years of university. Her goal was to try to understand why the girls of our day were blatantly more promiscuous then the girls of her day. The girls gave her 2 major reasons.
First was that they all believed in equal rights as they had been taught in school. Whatever men could do, women could do. If certain activities were socially acceptable for men to do, then they should be socially acceptable for women to do. Social acceptability and equal rights are completely other posts.
What piqued my interest was the author’s second discovery: Every one of these girls confessed to looking for love, but they all said that love was not real and did not exist. They wanted to believe, but could not. This seems to be a sentiment of our society. Love is a wonderful concept, but it is not real. People are looking for love, want love, but do not believe in love. Why? I went to my two trusty sources to find out what it was that they were looking for. The first source was my trusty dictionary, which has never let me down when I needed a definition. The Oxford dictionary defines love as, “intense feeling of deep affection or fondness for a person or thing”
Is this really what love is? No wonder people can’t find it. No wonder people do not believe in it. No wonder people are looking everywhere for it. Who has ever had this intense feeling of deep affection for a person, and sustained it over very long periods of time? Not me!!!! Feelings are interrupted by other feelings. Have you ever felt annoyed? Have you ever felt annoyed by the ones that you love? Family? Friends?
If you say no, you are a better person than me. Feelings of annoyance or deep anger replace the feelings of deep affection. What happens then? Is the love gone? According to Oxford dictionary---yes. No wonder people don’t believe in love. This is a kind of love that cannot be sustained. This is a kind of love that will leave you. This is a kind of love that will send you in all directions, to all different kinds of people, looking for it again and again.
The definition also says that this feeling is for a person or thing. WHAT!!! A thing can create love in another? Can a thing be loved? I love my car! Look at this ring he bought me, I love it. I loved that movie. I love turkey dinners! I love my job. I have seen people have an intense feeling of deep affection for their car. I have seen this feeling outlast the one they had for their loved ones. But eventually the feeling goes away, as a new car enters the picture.
I don’t know about you, but I have very little faith in putting hope and trust into my feelings and emotions. They have failed me too often.
I went to the second source that I have come to trust. My Bible. OK, you are saying, this should have been the first source I went to, and you are probably right. I just wanted to know what love meant, and the dictionary is always right, isn’t it? Apparently not. God’s word clarifies what love is for all of us. 1 John 4:7-21 is a passage that clearly defines what love is. 1 John 4:7-21 uses the word love 28 times.
HMMM, my dictionary was wrong. Love is not an intense feeling of deep affection. Now this intense feeling could be part of love but it definitely does not define love. Love is an action and it does not come from within, it comes from God. 4:7 says “Let us love one another for love comes from God” Through God’s grace and wonderful love, He gives us the free will to choose.
We can choose to love or not to love. “Whoever does not love, does not know God”. WOW---you get to choose whether you want to know God more! Do you want to know God more? Then choose to love, for verse 8 says God is love!! Words are meaningless without the actions to back them up. Look at how God backs up his love for us with action. Verse 9. “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him”
There have been many amazing events throughout history. The great flood with Noah and his family living in a boat for a year, Moses leading millions out of Egypt, Gideon defeating tens of thousands with a handful of men, Joshua walking around a city seven times and the walls crumbling, Paul’s remarkable conversion, all amazing historical events. BUT…none of them even come close to the biggest event of them all. God allowed His Son, Jesus to be beaten, tortured, bloodied, spat on, ridiculed and humiliated for YOU and ME!!! For you and me!!!! A lot of people have done things for us, but nothing compares to this. Why did God do it? Because He loves us.
This is why we love Him! Because He did this for us. We did not love God first, He first loved us. Do you want others to know the love of God? Do you want them to come to Jesus with outstretched arms? This is more than testifying that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Verse 11 may be one of the greatest understatements of the Bible. John says, “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
Could you see us standing around having tea and coffee and I say, “Attention everyone, I need to share something with you all that just came to me. Do you think that maybe, since God sent His Son to die for all of us to show His love for us, do you think that maybe we should, you know, love each other? It’s just a thought, but I felt I should share it with you all."
What kind of looks would I get? Or better yet, what comments. “You are a pastor and you are just figuring this out now? C’mon pastor Freak, it’s the essence of why we are all here, to love God and each other.” Then why does John say it? Because as obvious as the statement is, we do not always do it. Look at final verses, 19-21.
Is there someone that you brood over, that you hate, that you have an intense feeling of dislike for? God gave us the model here of what to do. We love God because He first loved us. We are to love others first, before they love us. Love is an action and it is a choice. Love is something that we choose to do, not something that we feel.
You may say, “...I can never love my wife, husband, ex-wife, ex-husband, parents, children, the best friend who turned on me or my neighbors. We could all possibly come up with someone that we might say we don’t love or can’t love. In a society that focuses so much on our individual rights, realize now that God has taken away our right to say that! After all the Sins we have committed, after all that we have done to God, and knowing what He allowed his Son to go through for us, we have NO RIGHT to choose not to love someone!! Especially, and I stress especially the one who has hurt us the most! I have heard that the best way to get back at your enemies is to love them. Who knows, they just may end up loving you back---because you first loved them.
Still not convinced? Look at the two greatest commandments that God gives us in Mathew 22:36-40. "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Jesus doesn’t tell us one or the other, He commands them both. Love is an action word. We love God by loving our neighbor; we love our neighbor by loving God.
Is there someone out there that you cannot love? God can teach us how to love by putting the unlovable in our paths. You may feel like you could never love them, but God tells you that you can! Not only can we, but we are commanded to.
Now here is the great news for those of us that struggle with this command. God’s love is not conditional on us loving others. He will never take his love away from you. When you stumble and fail in loving others do not beat yourself up over it! Jesus has already taken that beating for you! God loves you so much that he sacrificed his Son for you. Draw on the love of God to help you love others because this is where love comes from. Love is not a warm and fuzzy feeling. I look forward to the day when we can open our dictionary, look up the word love and see a one-word definition---God!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
JC Freak is absolutely correct that we have to love the judgemental souls who are isolating those that need Jesus. Transgression is transgressiona and we have to love unconditionally.
If I may I'd like to bend your minds a bit and venture out a little further at the risk of offending absolutely everyone who stops by this page. As always I'm open to feedback no matter whether you agree or not. I love to chew on this stuff.
The following is in response to Kathy's second comment on Sorrowful Rant about sinners flaunting their sin. I had a similar conversation with a friend last night. The point as I understood both is that we should not celebrate sinful acts such as gossiping, sexual immoratily, witchcraft, idolatry etc, etc. I agree. Here comes the mind bending part.
On January 28, I posted Camping Out, a piece about being outside of God's blessing after transgressing. Miriam was sent outside the camp for seven days after slandering Moses' wife.
When we sin we are put outside of God's blessing we find ourselves in a chaotic state. Being outside of God's blessing we are open to curses, sickness and diesease. All symptoms of chaos. Matthew 12:43-45 talks about demns returning to the orignal house and finding it swept clean and unattended returning with seven more demons more wicked than itself. We open ourslves to this attack when outside of God's blessing.
There is no joy in sinning. Walking outside of God's plan opens us to chaos. It doesn't mean we are not saved, it means we are left ot our own devices. God desires order. When we wlalk in God's plan, His teaching and insturction, keeping our eyes on Him we achieve order. But we can't achieve order without Jesus because we are human. I don't believe adulterers enjoy committing adultery. I don't believe you will ever find one child molester who feels complete within themselves.
I know the struggles I am challenged with, have been all my life. I've tried everything to overcome them and I keep coming back time and time again. It wansn't until I started to understand that I am powerless to overcome the sin in my life. I realized that's what Jesus did on the cross. I finally understood what humility is. I cry out to Jesus when temptations start eating at me. When I hear a juicy piece of gossip I hang my head and ask for power from Jesus to keep me from repeating it. Sometimes pride sneaks up on me. When I am fully under the blessing I recognize it from far off and begin my ritual of asking for strength and protection.
There is no celebration in sin. It's ugly. If people tell you they enjoy living under the chaotic state they are being dishonest with you and themselves. They are headed for destruction and they know it. If it's not apparent immediately it will become so rather quickly. You can't have an affair on you spouse and not feel repercussions from it. There is no joy in slamming someone else. There is no satisfaction in telling lies or stealing. Any satisfaction is fleeting and hollow.
Don't take my word on this, pray aobut it. Ask the LORD for the truth. I desperately want to know more abut walking in God's teaching and instruction. I want to get the word out to the church to stop the suffering. I desire more than anything to share with brothers and sisters in Christ. I desire order.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
I'm very angry tonight Gentle Readers. I am once again growing disillusioned with the Church and it bothers me.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Go to the current book you are reading, on page 161, and copy down the 5th sentence
From: The Partner by John Grisham. It's a Grisham novel so it's about lawyers. This one is a tale with about a crooked partner with slow twists and a far fetched plot but nevertheless a good read.
I tag anyone who wants to join in. Let me know if you do.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Seriously, this song sums up in a dramatically effective manner as most good songs and stories do, the times I have done dumb things that at first seemed innocent but resulted in serious consequences. What I really appreciate about the song is the storyteller's reactions and remorse. He realizes he did something seriously wrong. Give it a listen and let me know if it gets you the same way it gets me.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Forty-two years old qne what have I done with my life?
Next week I will pay my last child support payment. I had planned to go out and buy a Vette when the support payments ended. After years of handing over my checks to pay for swimming pools, Volvo's , Mercedes and a handful of minivans I planned to take care of Pilgrim. Paying child support didn't bother me after the sting of the divorce wore off and the court cases stopped. I still harbour a wee bit of resentment for being pulled back into court over silly things and being put in a postion to assist lawyers with their BMW payments but after 16 years I've finally paid all that off too.
Now that child support is ending though, there will be no Corvette as I have started all over again. Having kid's fits me better anyway. I'd rather have a house full of kid's and a station wagon than a two seater anyday. Wait. I'd rather have a house full of kids a station wagon and a two seater but I know the limits.
The mid-life crisis has nothing to do with fast cars, fast women or fat cigars. I love my wife and kids and consider myself blessed. My crisis is that I've lived half my life (Lord willing and the creeks don't rise) and what have I done? I'm a corporate wonk in middle management without the talent or desire to be the top dog. I don't have the competencies to be a mover and shaker. I'm more tuned to be a farmer and Quaker.
The truth was driven home this past week. I watched the most disturbing movie I've ever seen, Trade, about the internaltional sex slave trade. (The language was alittle rough but othewise the film was very well done. I'd recommend it to those with a stronger constitution, it brings awareness to an issue that should be exposed in a tasteful but very jarring way). I was brought in to help two women in physically abusive relationships I listened to an executive who is losing control. I heard about a friend who is going through a divorce and the list goes on. I don't mind listening to or helping anyone. I love dealing with people. My crisis is that I'm 42 and I have done nothing to make the world a better place. The realization of the degree to which the LORD desires action doesn't make me feel any better.
I know the pat answer, pray about it Brother but tonight that doesn't make me feel any better. I'm having a Lamentations moment. I desire to help the world become a better place. I want to do soemthing to see the abuse stop, to see marriages healed to know that seedy, perverted, ugliness that goes on behind drawn curtains is no longer profitable. I desire to see the hearts of people change so we don't have to hold our children close to our sides. I want to see the world in a better spot than it's in.
There, my rant is out and I need to go to bed. I know that it's all in God's time. I will push forward but soemtimes it's hard and I needed to get it off my chest. Thank you for listening.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Pauchay's negligence was criminal and must be addressed. A civilized society can not tolerate his actions. Even though I'm a sworn Apolitico, I still swing way to the right. People have to be accountable for their actions and lives.
My compassion is centered on the person Christopher Pauchay. What brought him to the point of losing common sense? To be able to drink two pints of Vodka and several beers, the guy ahd to be a seasoned drinker. Even in my days as a drunk I never came close to consuming that much poison. I would have been face down on a carpet somewhere after a binge like that. . I wouldn't be able to find my feet let alone two kids. Why would someone even want to drink that much? No, there was/is something deeper than the horrendous events that saw two precious babies perish in a frozen hell. I believe the man must be punished for his crimes but I can't bring myself to judge him for his sins. That doesn't make me special, it just means that by the grace of God I didn't kill any innocent people while I was steeped in foolishness.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Friday, February 1, 2008
I posted this on a since past site. At that time I dedicated it to Liquid. Tonight I once again dedicate it to Liquid because she means a lot to me. I also dedicate it to WIXY because he's such a genuine fella. I know they both have a spot in their hearts for this number just like I have a spot in my heart for both of them.
This award comes from a very good blogging friend who has stuck with me theough three iterations of blogs. I enhoy her posts, the e-mail I receive almost daily and her friendship on Facebook. I really appreciate the support Sindi has afforded me ove rthe past few months. This award means a lot Sindi, especially the comments that went with it.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
I guess it's human nature that the overwhelming attitdue is disgust for Mr. Paulchay. That he would neglect two precious little girls and let them die in such a horrible way. I am not part of the majority. No one needs to tell Christopher Pauchay anything, he will be living in hell for the remainder of his days on this earth. I'm praying for Paulchay. I can't for one second imagine the guilt that he has to be feeling tonight. The guilt that will plague him forever. What I do know is that Jesus has enough mercy to forgive me and He has the mercy to forgive Christopher Pauchay. Please join me in prayer for the families of the girls. Please pray for Christopher Pauchay, he really has nothing left in this world.
Monday, January 28, 2008
The death and righteousness Paul is referring to have a little different context from a Hebrew perspective than what I normally read into this passage To be in death is to be outside of God's blessing. Righteousness, is being under God's blessing. There are two realms, the realm of life (righteousness) and the realm of death. Neither have an effect on salvation. Confess Jesus as LORD, accept His sacrifice on the Cross as atonement for your sins and receive salvation. Living in death or life comes down to obedience.
Numbers 12 tells the story of Miriam and Aaron gossiping and slandering their brother Moses over their sister-in-law. The LORD is angered, Miriam is stricken with a skin affliction and has to leave the camp for seven days. When she returns she's all better. Because of her sin/transgression (slander is a sin, Lev 19:16) Miriam was in the realm of death, put outside the protection of the camp.
When we transgress we are put outside the LORD's blessings. He still loves us, we are still saved however we are put outside the camp. While outside the camp we are to examine our ways. Pray for guidance and revelation, play back the tape of our lives in our minds. Today I know when I'm outside of God's blessings. I'm moody, things seem to get in the way, there is general discord in the house. Sometimes I can relate to a direct sin or transgression sometimes it's not obvious. When I've had enough of the frustration I pray and examine my ways. I always come to an understanding during one of these periods.
When I have identified the transgression and I always do, loud and clear, I know there is no way that I will be able to overcome the nagging problem on my own. I'll try and fall flat on my face again. This is where the magnificence of Christ comes in. I lean on Him to deliver me. Being in the realm of death, outside the camp, actually strengthens my relationship with Him.
When the transgression rears it's head again, and it always does, I start to pray like a fiend for strength to overcome. It's hard. When I'm obedient then I start to feel the blessings, I feel confidence like I've never felt before.
As Paul states in Romans 6, obedience leads to righteousness. Jesus gives us the strength to obey. When we obey we live an ordered life. God desires order. When we live an ordered life we bless others, it's inevitable. It really is a perfect plan.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
What we don't know is how we cheer up others.
Or if we're making a difference in their lives.
That's because we let too much time go by
Without telling those we appreciate
How much they mean to us.
Until it's too late.
And the opportunity
Kasper created and awarded the Biggest Heart award. The award is for encouragement and positive feedback to other bloggers. It's fitting that a Blogger who encourages and provides positive feedback on a consistent basis created this award. Thank you Kasper, I appreciate the fact that you created this and that you thought I was worthy of receiving it.
I actually have a long list of recipients I'd like to award however I'm going to hold on for future specific instances. With the group that supports and encourages me, I'll be handing these out like candy in the coming weeks.
Thanks again Kasper.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
A music teacher on sabbatical took some time for an extended visit to Vienna. One night late in the evening he took a stroll through the graveyard where Beethoven was laid to rest. As he quietly strolled he could hear music playing from the center of the grave yard. The teachers interest was peaked because he recognized the tune but there was something odd about it.
As he walked towards the melody it became louder and louder. He was perplexed, he knew the tune but there was something wrong. As he came upon Ludwig's burial spot he realized the music was coming from the grave. It hit it then that it was Beethoven's 12th Symphony but it was different IT WAS BEING PLAYED BACKWARDS!..
A little creeped out the Teacher stayed until the last note.
The next night he went back to the graveyard and he heard the music again. It was coming from Beethoven's grave again, and again a very familiar tune but not quite right. It was the legendary composer's 9th Symphony only it was again being played in reverse.
The next night the Teacher brought a friend with him. The same thing. Beethoven's 7th this time and there was no doubt it was being played backwards.
The following night a large crowd gathered around Beethoven's grave. As mysteriously as the preceding evenings music began to play. The crowd was in awe as they heard Beethoven's 5th being played backwards. They debated and theorized as the all too familiar melody played backwards.
The crowd became anxious and louder as the symphony played on. The Cemetery's grounds keeper went up to the crowd to see what the commotion was. all about.
The Teacher explained the situation. The first night he heard the 12th Symphony, then the 9th, then the 7th and tonight the 5th coming from Beethoven's grave. All being played backwards. The crowd was quite alarmed.
The Groundskeeper pushed his hat back on his head and stared at the crowd in disgust. Isn't it obvious he exclaimed in a agitated tone. He's de-composing!
Friday, January 25, 2008
Rediscovered in that my favour was rooted in nostalgia more than an actual appreciation. It started back in the early 70's when I was a wee lad. Dad loaded the family in a car and drove us down to Nashville to record an album at Superior Studios. The Studio was owned by Duane Allen of the Oak Ridge Boys. The album was a recording of Dad and my brothers doing mostly Bill Gaither covers. While in Nashville we went to Jimmy Snow's church. Sitting in the pew that hot Sunday morning my oldest brother gave my a nudge Ianthe ribs a few minutes into the service and pointed to the back. Johnny and June Carter Cash had sneaked in to the back row. I was awe struck. They snuck out a few minutes before he service ended. Later that day we drove past the Cash home and saw the Man in Black getting into his Cadillac.
I was a Johnny Cash fan from that point on. I read his autobiography watched a couple of his movies, enjoyed his guest star role in Columbo and may have had one of his albums on vinyl. I didn't listen to him regularly though.
Fast forward to present day and my appreciation still hung on but I couldn't really get into a real fanboy conversation about Cash's material. Then Johnny passes on and the movie comes out. All of a sudden everybody's a Johnny Cash fan. I refused to jump on board the band wagon. I put my boyhood feelings aside and went on with life....until yesterday.
A buddy brought in 4 CD's for me to listen to. Three of the American recordings and the VH-1 session with Willie Nelson ( I've worn out no less than 3 copies of Nelson's Stardust). Buddy is a die hard fanboy so I only kept them over night but now I'm hooked.
Following is a song that for better or worse brings back some memories of an emotional period in my life. I had just moved out of my house, leaving behind my two kid's and wife. In my place her new (old) man moved in. U2 had just released Actung Baby, my favourite U2 album This track was on that recording. The song was written about one of the band members divorce. The song still makes me take pause, especially in the mellow baritone's rendition.
Ladies and Gentlemen I give you Johnny Cash singing One.