Saturday, October 10, 2009

It's been awhile

Well it has been awhile since I've had anything worthwhile to say. And I don't, at this time, want to leave the impression that I mean that I do now!

Boy did school take me by surprise, I don't think its because I don't have the wherewithal to do it, and maybe even do it well, but because I expected it to be easy for me. I'm about to admit something that, up to this point, I never have. All of my previous education experiences, whether it was at some type of business related training or pursuing my business degree at Indiana Wesleyan, was somewhat easy for me. Not that I didn't work for them, but I did not have to spend a vast amount of time for class study. I was always good at listening during lectures, taking good notes, then passing all of my quiz es and exams. So any time outside of class was for writing a few papers and a bit of research for the multitude of presentations and speeches you give during business education. I expected that this would be the same; boy was I wrong! This experience is requiring ALLOT of outside the class study! Its obvious that the professors are only hitting the high points, and it has become painfully obvious that test and quiz's are not necessarily based on their lectures. And when it is a lecture based question, it is asked differently than it was presented. Man, they want critical thinkers! LOL. so anyway, by the time I realized how I need to be approaching this new experience, I was carrying one of the lowest scores in chemistry. I am not a quitter, but I have never had anything below a "B" on my college transcripts. No way was going to achieve that in chemistry after my disastrous start.

Anyways, the thing I wanted to share with you guys, is the role that prayer played in my latest decision making process. I think most of you are connected to me on Facebook and you might remember my plea last week for a full court prayer push.

#1, I was really struggling with my potential failure in Chemistry, which got me thinking about
#2 Was I really any good at science, and did I have any business teaching it, which got me thinking about
#3 did I even really want to teach Science, after this brief exposure told me that I was going to be forcing "Evolution" down allot of innocent minds.

So what was I going to do with my life. Man wasn't I just here 6 months ago... hadn't I already answered this question for myself? Well, apparently it is not just 18-19 year old college freshman that struggle with what they want to do when they grow up, but a 42 year old college Junior as well. You can't imagine the dark cloud that this little ditty put over my head. So I need your prayers. It was only just under 2 days when I was going to meet with my advisor and try to figure out if I could still find purpose. I need God's guidance, and I needed now! Well, I went to mu knees in prayer that evening and cried like a baby, because you know what, I was scared. I was scared to death... I might discuss my fears some other time... and man I wanted to crawl in my heavenly father's arms and get some comfort. It was a long night!

So anyways guys, I made it to my appointment, and still didn't feel any leading whatsoever. No hints, no nudging, .. nothing. Where was God. so I started off my appointment with my advisor, kind of stumbling around what do I really hved a passion to do. What do I dream of doing.
#1, I still want to be an educator, I want to teach kids, but I could not teach Biology - Earth Science, okay, but not biology. You talk about evolution in every other breath. Can't do it.
#2 I wanted some skills to work with non-profit organizations, for adult education. I want to give adults the tools they need to succeed in today's competitive environment.
#3 Would like to have some training in my skill set that would allow me to work in Ministry in the future.. wow, am I a nut, or what.

So anyways, I had no idea how I was going to get to that point. So I told my advisor, look, I don't know how to do this, and I'm not sure it can be done. (You see the ad visor's main objective, is to make me marketable. He wants me to get a job when I graduate.) So I told him that I had prayed about this, so I know if we worked through it, we could come up with something. I have to tell you, my ad visors attitude absolutely changed after I told him that! He got excited about making it happen.

So what we figured out, and I might be way off base, what I could do to meet everything on my wish list.

Check it out:

My major is English Literature, with a minor it Theatre and a minor in Earth Science. You are probably saying to yourselves.. What? Well I am convinced that this mixture and the areas of study will give the training and the skill sets I need to do everything on my wish list and I am convinced it happened because, I prayed!!! I know allot of you did as well, and I really appreciate and love you for it!

Gang, if you are struggling, if your are hurting, please, please take it to the Lord! He is listening, and he will answer. He will do what he knows is right for you! And if you need me to pray with you, don;t you ever hesitate to give me a call..

I love you guys,

Monday, April 13, 2009

A wasted life?

Well, for those of you who did not know, I suffered my second Heart Attack last Sunday April 5, 2009. This one was a bit more severe than the last one and I lost 20% of my hearts function this go round. The frustrating thing is that there is nothing the Dr's can do to repair the problems that remain, so I just wait for the next infarction and hope that I live through it.

I must admit this has me thinking alot about death, its closeness and what I will leave behind at the end. Its a waste of time for regrets but I must admit myself disappointed. I always had this dream of being a mighty, world changing servant of Jesus Christ. I always believed the talents given me, were given for a reason. I always deluded myself into thinking that God was saving me for a special ministry where I could have an impact and change lives for the better. Well the end seems frighteningly close and none of my dreams have come true. I wonder now if my dreams were truly for him or if it was in my pride that I expected to be or do something great. I'm afraid it is the latter.

Its funny how we think so highly of ourselves and can never get our hands around that whole servant idea. We live every moment in this constant battle between his will and our own. In most cases, we win. Well atleast I have.

I received a phone call a few days ago that change my mind a bit. I won't go into details about who it was, but the subject matter is what is important. He told me that he missed the days when I was his acting youth minister. He said those were great days and that it had had a tremendous impact on his life. He missed those days and longed to relive them almost every day of his life. Like a lightening strike, I realized, I was living my dream my whole life. As I was looking for this grand expanse of my accomplishments, I was missing in the moment the impact I was having. Is it so wrong to only impact one life for good? Is it wrong to work in obscurity ministering to the individual instead of the masses? Unfortunately it is to late to relive those years of some 20 years ago and I must go forward from here. I pray for God's forgiveness for my pride and arrogance! No life is wasted unless we choose to look at it as such. Yes I wasted alot of opportunities and I could have done so much more. But I will not allow my pride to think that I have wasted my life anymore!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It's not about me.. or you!

I had some scathing criticism today. It breaks my heart to think that it is most likely true. Well, not most likely.. it is very true. I was told that it is all about me. *sigh* I hate being selfish. I hate being inconsiderate. I hate always wanting things my way and getting sick when they are not. I know exactly what the apostle Paul meant when he wrote; "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?" Rom 7:24

Why is so difficult for us to realign our focus outward? Well, the true question is; do we want to? Is it false humility/compassion for us when we bemoan the injustices all around us and act appalled at the greed and self absorption in our society, while we continue to live in our own little secure self-centered world, and don't lift a finger to change it? I know, I know... we have plenty of excuses... we are busy, we just don't have the time... we don't have the money... we don't have the talent... we don't.. we don't... IT'S NOT ABOUT ME!

Bottom line... Christ, my God gave and continues to give everything for me! We claim to be his friends and his servants, yet we have the biggest problem doing as he commanded... Oh I know, I know... you go to church, you read your bible, you teach a Sunday School... well, I didn't see any of that in red letters in my bible. What are his commandments? There really aren't as many as you think, because the few take care of every issue we have.

12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. John 15: 12-14 NKJV

How does this change what we will do tomorrow? God please forgive us if it don't.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

All the Noise

I can hardly stand to turn on the news anymore, but I do. What am I, a glutton for punishment? It would appear so. It is hard to watch the events of our day without feeling a little overwhelmed, even scared. Terrosism, the on-going wars, a financial crisis that is threatening the very foundation of this country. Wow, how are we keeping our sanity?

My fear is, some of us are struggling to do just that. The idea of living life to its fullest seems like a pipe dream right now. Well, God forgive us!

I was just listening to one of my favorite groups, DC Talk, and one of my favorite songs, Jesus Freak. In the second verse it goes like this " I am lofty, they see me as weak, cause I won't live and die for the power they seek". Now bear with me, what is the power they seek? It's all the things of this world friend. It's wealth, power, prestige, all the glitz, even the security! The decay we see around us should not come a surprise. Its all temporal and our imagined security, is just that. I know its scary, I know its hard to focus on whats important, but to whom do you belong? To this world? Or to Jesus, the King of Kings, the Master of all?

8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Phil. 4:8 NKJV

Some good advice! Let us resolve to have a new focus! A focus on the pure, the beautiful, the righteous. Open the sriptures, find a good book, enjoy some good classical music, visit an art museum, expand our realationships with friends and family.

Guys and Gals we have lost our focus. We have put our hopes and faith in our worldy possesions, our government, our wealth, our power. It's an illusion. Turn it off! He is still in control and we are in his hands. Let us fall to our knees and ask his forgiveness for our lack of faith and Lord help me to practice what I preach. Amen

Thursday, March 5, 2009

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 NKJV

What a wonderful verse! The entire message of the Bible told in a single passage. For God so loved us!
That’s right, he loved US. We so often have a problem making this personal. We can easily apply it to the world, but forget about his love for us… For you! Can you imagine that if Christ had only one person that would receive salvation for his sacrifice, that he would still do it? He would. If you or I were the only reason, he would still do it. He loves us that much.

God looked through the passages of time and knew you. He knows everything about us, all of our failures, our frailties, our sins, and he still loves us with all of his magnificent being, He would, and did give it all for us, for you. As Christ hung on the cross, he was thinking of you. Paying your debt so he could be with you for eternity. Does this make a difference in our attitude towards the cross? Does it demand something in return? He just wants our love. He knows that love will transform us. He knows that love will change us. He knows that love will bring us home.

Think about it, For God so loved you, he gave all that he had! What will we give in return?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Let not our hearts be troubled!!

1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions;[a] if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.[b] 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

John 14: 1-4 NKJV

My Mother used to have this passage on a plaque in our home when I was growing up. I used to see it all of the time without giving it much thought. It seemed so far away and irrelevant to me. As I have progressed in years and have come to grips with my own mortality, It has become one of my favorite passages.

With so many things going on around us, all the noise of this world, it is easy to lose sight of who we are; who we are supposed to be; and to whom we belong. I get so wrapped up in the issues of the day and I begin to feel overwhelmed, afraid, even lost sometimes. I have to admit, being a staunch conservative right now, it is easy to imagine the unthinkable for our futures in this country. Many of my fellow conservatives can even be described as “in a state of panic”. I think it is time for all of us to remember where our destination lies!

Yes, it is very possible that this country is headed in the wrong direction. It is possible that the worst possible scenarios for our country and our society will play themselves out in the next few years. And it is possible that it could all be over tomorrow, in a blink of an eye for me, or for all of us. We just don't know. What I do know is that my God, my savior, and my friend has gone on ahead of me and is getting things ready. I need not worry about this life and the temporal things of this world, in so much that it debilitates me and prevents me from living like God wants me too. This is all temporary and we are just visiting. I am not saying that we shouldn’t be concerned about the things that go on in our country, in our states, or in our communities. By all means be engaged. Let us never give up the good fight, but let us keep it in perspective! Not to long from now folks, WE ARE GOING HOME!

The Passion of the Christ

I watched the "Passion of the Christ" again last night. What an amazing film. If anything in our day is truly touched by God, this film is. It is the first time I've seen it since it's release. I think I've avoided it for a reason.

As I sat there,in my chair sobbing, feeling guilty, one moment in the movie shook me to my core. Christ is on the cross and is asking God to forgive them, for they knew not what they were doing. It struck me like a blow to my very soul. Perhaps they didn't know, but I do! Surely the Jewish leadership of that day was driven by an insidious evil, but what of mine? What allows me, in the face of the reality of the cross, to go on embracing all that is wrong?

God please forgive us, because we know what we do, and we keep on doing it.

The cross demands a response, it should put us on our knees in shame and regret. In pride we ignore or avoid it, like I have. May I never avoid it again and may my response be acceptable and worthy of that sacrifice. What say you?

If you want to watch the video, you need to pause the playlist at the bottom.