Sunday, March 22, 2009

Love Your Neighbor

It's been an interesting week, capped by a wonderful message at church today. the Men's retreat at Sunriver was good. The topic was 2 Peter, and God used me to reach out to an old friend in a time of need. That was cool. The scripture given on Friday nights session was the very scripture needed in a phone call later that evening. It was nice being open and vulnerable.

I had hoped to be able to post during the retreat, but couldn't get a good enough internet connection on my iPhone. Oh well.

Tonight at church Jose Zayas spoke on one of my life scriptures, Luke 10:25-37, The Great Command and the story of the Good Samaritan. He spoke on how our technology has hampered our abiity to communicate with others.

He looked at Jesus command to love our neighbor, and at the parable. The Priest and Levite were too distracted and self-important to be bothered with the wounded man, but the Samaritan took time out of his busy day to not only help, but get involved in his life.

God is after our heart, not our knowledge of Him. He wants us to be dependant upon Him and to use us to touch others.

This tied back in to how God used me over the weekend in Sunriver was encouraging.

With SendOutCards I am finding a wonderful vehicle to allow God to use me to touch others. I see it as more of a ministry than FDI, or even my mortgage biz. Hopefully it will also become a revenue source, but that's becomong less of an issue.

My desire is to wake up each morning and ask God for a prompting on who I should send a card to. I'm even now getting a prompting to send a card to President Obama. Who knows...

Lord, thank you for reopening my eyes to the heart of Luke 10:27-37. I acknowledge that I am far from truly walking in this and ask you to change my heart and desires to truly love my neighbor as myself.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Child-Like Faith

Tonight my son and I were laying in bed. Mommy's working so it's just the 2 of us. I was reading out of his Boy's Bible about "Dirty Coats, Palm Branches and Noisy Rocks" from Luke 19:28-40. It was a fun, loose translation of the origional, but geared for a little boy.

He had me repeat the title until he could say it and then said that it didn't make sense. I agreed, but mentioned that it was just the title and that it sounded pretty cool didn't it. He agreed.

We went through the story and at the end discussed the meaning, in a simple 5 year old way that we praise God in everything we do.

Tonight he wanted desert because he was good today. He got a little. Then tonight, I explained that when he was good today it was a way of praising God. He gave me a big hug and fell asleep.

Wow, to live so simply.To receive truth so readily. To be able to not be distracted by the cares of the world or the temptations that surround us all.

Yesterday I made a decision to spend time from 11 PM to 12 Am with God. Guess what. I forgot and didn't start until about 11:45. Amazing. Forgive me God!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"Lose My Soul"

God has been tweaking me lately. Ever since I first heard Toby Mac's "Lose My Soul" on the radio it has touched me. Well, the other night I got a FaceBook update from Toby Mac's fan page. Of course, it was the video. I watched it and started sobbing. About that time my wife and son came downstairs and it got even worse.... an out of control, deep in my soul, cleansing outburst. I haven't had one of these for several years.

Of course Laura was concerned. Through the sobs, chest heavings and tears, I tried to tell her that it was a good thing. God was doing something in me that needed to be done. I don't know that she has ever seen me when God has truly broken me. Not sure what she thought...

Anyway, here's the lyrics that have consistently touched me.

"Father God, I am clay in your hands,
Help me to stay that way through all life's demands,'
Cause they chip and they nag and they pull at me,
And every little thing I make up my mind to be,
Like I'm gonna be a daddy whose in the mix,
And I'm gonna be a husband who stays legit...
...I don't want to gain the whole world, and lose my soul,
Don't wanna walk away, let me hear the people say." Toby Mac

One of my greatest fears is that I fail in my role as a "daddy whose in the mix". It is one of the strongest commands of God, that we are to teach our children about God. Deut 6:7, Deut 11:19, Lev. 10:11, and on and on... But this is more then just a teaching, it's supposed to be a leading into a vibrant relationship with his creator and the lover of his soul.

My fear is that at some point Timmy will turn from Laura and I, and walk away from God.

I see it so often in Christians who are strict in their discipline and judgemental towards the world. They do and say all the right things and yet their kids either walk away from their god, or they become just like their parents, either judgemental. Another type is the christian who lives a god life with no real passion or commitment. Their kids grow up going to church but then are lured away by the pleasures of the world. I was in this 2nd group.

One of my greatest desires is to see Timmy walk with God, not because we tell him to, but because he has developed his own relationship with Jesus. This needs to be based on love and a grateful heart, not on trying to please mom and dad.

It is such a challenge for me right now because he watches my every step and listens to my every word. Even today, Laura was having a bad day with a "customer service" rep and Timmy walked up to her and put his arms around her as she sat in the chair like I would do.... And he also is proud of the noises his body makes...

I am so torn right now over my love for them and my need to spend more time being the provider. Business is slow and we have CC debt that I'm afraid will get out of control if the rates adjust. I want to be that dad that whose in the mix and that husband that stays legit...

Lord, I need you. Help me to keep my eyes on you. Help me to trust that you will continue to be our provider and shelter. Help me to trust that as I walk with you, and put my family first, you will continue to provide for our needs. Lord I love you.

well, once again, it's late.

Here's another video of the song