Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My little Faith

For as long as I can remember I have doubted whether my Dad believed in God.
Let me clarify that, whether Jesus Christ was Lord over his life.
This issue has at times become a stumbling place for me.
In fact, I have a passive/agressive response when it comes to
my Dad's final destination.

There are times when I am completely broken hearted
at the distance between my Heavenly Father and my earthly one.
Then there are times when I give up,
stop trying,
assume it is a done deal and
choose to have no feelings about it at all.


"It is what it is".


Watching my father over the years deal with life has shown me
what a hard heart looks like.
I had read about this,
but for some reason I thought hard hearts belonged to
angry, ugly, destructive people.
But, what I have learned is that hard hearts can belong to
those that love others, who work hard, those that seem to be "good" people,
like my Dad.


Hard hearts come in different shapes and sizes,
but they all have a few things in common.
They do not see the need for a Savior
They think that those that rely on a god are weak
They are self-reliant  
They seek significance in things of this world


Back and forth I go,
sad and broken hearted to
giving up and without feeling.

Right now I have been on the giving up end of things.
Since I am "not allowed" to speak about anything religious,
I feel I have no where to go.
Okay....there is prayer...I know that with my head,
but my heart forgets. 
Why can't I be level headed about this?
Why can't I see my Dad as others that I know that are lost?


So, there it is


Hope is a wonderful and surprising thing.
It truly is the catalyst for faith.


Just when it all seems lost, hope appears.
Sometimes in the most interesting ways.
Ways that can only be from God himself.


I saw hope, I found faith
to continue praying for my Dad
to wait patiently as my Heavenly Father works things out.


In a fleeting conversation,
that was meant to be pleasantries,
goodbyes after a week long visit with my Mom and Dad,
it happened...
hope,
faith,
truth spoken
from the mouth of a lost man,
my Dad...
"I told your mom, God is everywhere. He does not just exist in church"
I say,
"Your so right Dad, He is everywhere."
My heart leaps and skips a beat.

He does know there is a God.


It is a seed of hope.
So I will keep praying
That someday my daddy will know my Abba Father.


Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Real Heroes

 he·ro   
NOUN:
pl. he·roes

A person noted for feats of courage
 or nobility of purpose,
especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life

Each year a large caravan of trucks, vans, cars and buses
head to Point Loma, California. 
Over the years it has become a well oiled machine.
The purpose is to invest in teenagers. 
A large team of adults take off work, some give up vacation time.
Others put in multiple hours of planning,
taking time away from family and friends.
Sacrifices are made all for one purpose:
 Sharing the love of God to a generation searching for
significance, acceptance, love, relationship, truth, community, etc.

It is hard work, but done with joy, humor, and creativity.      
There are those that lead from the front, using humor to draw students in, so they can speak into their lives.  

 Men that work hours to create fun moments of team building and community.

Adults to serve behind the scenes as childcare workers so that those in leadership can serve the students knowing their own children are being cared for.
There are also those that serve on the tech crew, worship team, nurses
and I am sure others that I have forgotten.

Heroes all... with nobility of purpose, making sacrifices for the good of others.




The Bible calls this service. 
The Bible speaks of the importance of loving your neighbor in several places.
My favorite is in Romans 13:8-10
Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another;
for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.
 For this, "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder,
You shall not steal, You shall not covet,"
and if there is any other commandment,
 it is summed up in this saying,
 "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
 Love does no wrong to a neighbor;
therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.


Laying down important things for the good of another is heroic.
Loving a neighbor by serving them is heroic.
Taking time out of a full life to point another to Christ is heroic.

Nobility of purpose

Sacrificing for the good of others 

I would like to think that Jesus is smiling down on the unsung heroes that made Redemption summer camp a success.
It is an act of worship to the Savior
who is the true Hero of those that call Him Lord.




Monday, June 4, 2012

Tucker

This is Tucker.
Isn't he cute?
Tucker lives across the street and he howls when he is lonely.
Right now he is lonely a lot. 
His owner is in China for work.
He has a doggie sitter, but when the sitter leaves, Tucker cries.
Mostly Tucker cries at night.
He hates being alone in the dark.
One night this past week, I couldn't sleep. 
It was around 2 am and I could hear poor Tucker howling at the gate.
Now Tucker has a doggie door so he can freely go in and out of the house.
He has nice soft leather couches to lounge on. Water to drink. Food to eat.
But Tucker gets lonely.
Even though he has all he needs to survive, 
he suffers from loneliness.    
When Tucker gets lonely he cries out for companionship.
Sounds like a good idea.
I think I should be more like Tucker.  I should holler when I am lonely for companionship, instead of assuming that my friends are too busy for me or have better things to do. Instead there are times when I just sit alone, wondering, stuck, not moving or making a move to change how I feel. It won't happen on its own.
No one could possibly know I am lonely, unless I tell them.
Therein lies the problem.
Many of us do this. We sit around, waiting for something to happen to us.
Waiting for someone to call, to invite us, to make a move. When we should be willing to do that. If we all are waiting for someone else, then we all sit home alone.
Howling in the dark!
God did not mean for man to be alone, or woman for that matter.
We were created for community.
The Bible talks about this a lot. I have selected a few of my favorite verses to share.

Hebrews 10:24-25
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Acts 2:42-47
And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, ...

Galatians 6:2
Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:14
And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
        
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

So let's all take a lesson from Tucker and howl out for some companionship.
When he cries I go and see him and visit with him.

Take the first step and let someone know you need a friend.