Wednesday, March 30, 2011

We left last Friday evening for Florida for our annual spring break vacation. We spend the first days with someone on the Gulf side of Florida, move to the middle of Florida to spend some time with my mom and dad, and then move to the Atlantic side of Florida - living out of a suitcase at it finest!!!!

We arrived yesterday at my folks place with the intention of spending today packing them up so they can take the trek home. That will start in a couple of hours.

The parents of one of my co-workers live in the same park as my mom and dad. My dad asked if I wanted to meet and talk with them and before I knew it, my wife and I were on our way to their place a few blocks away. We sat and chit-chatted with them, talking about various things. A couple of things that struck me in our conversation was how these folks lauded my dad for his work with my mom. They also praised my mom's attitude through the midst of her trials and paralysis. The woman, who was facing back surgery, said "I need to be more like your mom"; referring to keeping a God centered perspective on life and pain. They also talked about the many people who look at my mom and dad as an inspiration.

I wept inside as God opened a bit of a window to show me, once again, how He redeems the crappy things of life, the things wrought of sin, to bring good into this planet. I know that He is at work and is more powerful that our adversary the devil!!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I was driving into work today and was watching the kids waiting for the bus on the side of the road. Backpacks were on the ground, smiles on their faces, their right hands on a lone fence post, circling round and round and round it. They were having a "happy" conversation - playful banter with each other. It didn't look like they had a care in the world.

My mind immediately jumped to Jesus' sermon on the mount - where he talked about the birds in the air, the flowers in the field - how neither of these toiled or labored or worried. They just go about their work of building nests, feeding their young, just growing. They don't worry about their existence because God takes care of them.

I want to live my life like those kids this morning - not a care in the world; like the flowers and the birds. I want to totally rely on my Father in heaven to provide for my needs. I know that may sound kind of "Polly-anna", but I believe that is how God wants us to live. I want to live care free. And you know what? God wants me to live this way too! (Wasn't it Peter who said to cast all our cares on Jesus because He cares for us? I Pet 5:7)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

My first post for March - wow two weeks and the family (or what is left of it) heads off on our trip to warmer climates!

Have been studying the book of Mark with my guys small group. Mark looks at the life of Jesus through various "snap shots". It seems as if Mark is less concerned about what Jesus taught (via his words at least), that what He does. Mark spends a lot of time describing settings and what others are thinking and saying and doing, verses what Jesus taught.

Chapter 2 and 3 record six events where the established religious leaders of the day confront Jesus on some issue: the ability to forgive sins, eating with "sinners", not fasting, "harvesting" grain kernels to eat on the Sabbath, healing on the Sabbath and being powered by Satan.

The remarkable thing about these snap shots is the religious leaders of the day showed no concern for people; only for the "rules" of their religion. They were more concerned about trapping Jesus in working on the Sabbath than they were about healing a man. They were more concerned about not "harvesting" on the Sabbath than they were the hunger of men. Their focus was on strict alignment with their agenda; their rules; their way of living.

Mind you, they did not want to repeat the mistakes of the forefathers who sinned against God which ultimately caused the nation to be taken into exile. They wanted the blessing of God and not his curse; obedience to the law brought blessing; disobedience brought cursing.

In their zeal to be obedient, they forgot humanity. In their desire to be in the place of blessing, they forgot to look at the needs of the people around them. In executing their agenda, they forgot that the agenda of God was selflessness.

OK, so here is the hard part: when do I do this? When is my agenda over-ride my need to show grace, mercy and love to humanity. When is my desire to accomplish something cause me to miss the real reason for my existence - to aid people in their pursuit of God.

Something to watch for and correct when I see it..................