Sunday, May 16, 2004

Today with a Friend

I went to visit a good friend that I had not seen in many years. We still hit it right off. We spoke of the contrast of Calvinism and Armenianism and had a good time just being silly. I must admit I had a good time. We talked a bit of values we have lost and how we as a Church have become Rick Warren wannabes and how programs seem to have replaced the Holy Spirit.

I know we share much in common and I love my friend dearly. Yet, I see things so differently now and without critisim, it interested me that he wanted input to his sermon. On one hand I see this is good..."Did I communicate clearly?" I see nothing wrong with that. Yet, again I pray that as a church his congregation does not pat him on the back and say "good message" but with tears and a changed life, he sees a community changed for the better and come to meet our Lord Jesus in an intimate way.
Pastor Les, I love you brother. You are a great friend. I wish I had been a better one and stayed in better touch over the years. Now, only 150 miles apart and not 1200 with 3 states in between, I hope to talk with you even more.

I see you as how Jesus will great me in heaven. Open arms, open heart, and a big hug.
Never judging me but gently nudging me towards the truth.


Saturday, May 15, 2004

Lessons at Burger King

A while back I was at Burger King. As I was sitting with wife and child, I noticed a homeless woman. A few minutes later another homeless man appeared outside. He looked in and decided to order…he did not have enough money. The woman noticed him and went after him, and I noticed her hand the man some money. I was a bit embarrassed, as I did not have any cash and very little money in the old account to buy his meal.
Yet, having a money problem did not stop the woman. She sat down as the man went and bought a burger. I was very impressed. I decided to tell her I thought that what she did was really cool, and she seemed very kind. She explained how she was homeless, and to not feel bad for her because it was her choice. I asked her name and I noticed her eyes when I did. She seemed shocked that someone cared enough to ask that question. She looked at my wife and me as if she was recalling it … she said “Debbie”.

She smiled and I really don’t remember what else she said. I did smell the alcohol on her breath and understood her choice…but she seemed different after I asked her name.

I pondered on this event a few days later and realized that there is one who knows our name. He knows much more than that. He knows everything about you and me.
In fact He has written our names in the book of life and will never erase it.

He promises to take care of our needs. To Him a burger is nothing when to us a burger is everything.

Debbie showed me something. She had compassion. She was were the other guys was, on the cold street. “If we give someone a drink of water, I will remember it”.
It seems so simple, compassion. Why is it though so hard to get up and put it into action?
That day God used a simple homeless woman to teach me and to shame me.
Not in a bad way…but to take notice of the things around me. To move when compassion has a moment to be done.

The question I have now every day is, “how will compassion take form today? And when it does what will I do?


“I walk the balance between Heaven and Earth
Sometimes I soar, often I slip - but I am never alone.
He caught me; reached all the way from sky to sea
He pulled me out of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos,
the void in which I was drowning.”
Psalm 18 - The Message

Thursday, May 13, 2004

The Blind and the judgmental

This is what I was told today.

Well, when you can dazzle with brilliance, you baffle with___________!
This is what I feel is done many times in answer to many posts in an
effort to appear, spiritual, intelligent, _______ ,(fill in the blank).

Also, I was told I am looking for the bogey man everywhere.

These were from "friends", where in one breath they say
"We love you, iggy" then in the next breathe insult me over the translation of scripture I use...oh, NKJV by the way. but not KJV "only".

I have these insane dialogs with these friends who tell me I am judgmental, yet when I say "who are you to inspect someone's fruit,especially if you don't know them", they condescend and say I do not stand on the truth of "rightly divide the Word of God".

Funny, when I seem to see much of their theology marginal at best. Usually out of context or understood through their particular pet doctrine. Too full of "correct doctrine" that I wonder if God still matters to them.

I am blowing off steam. I know it. It is just when I seek to have an enlightened conversation and we wallow in the mire, I keep hearing, "Don't cast pearls before swine".

I see so many Pastors so preoccupied with their pet doctrines that they forgot their first love, oh they mouth it, but deep down it is all about how good my sermon was, or the music was great, or we got 6 saved today! I would not even set foot in their church! "Oh, great a postmodern/emerging thing, those are cool. I am totally immersed in the Postmod thought, it is really 'in' right now. All you have to do is submit a business plan, meet with the elders, and we will see if it fits into our plan. It would be a great program!" As my last pastor stated to me.

I left that Church...

I want to hear, "God was great today, He was so awesome". "I was reflecting on what was said today and I think I need Jesus". "I am so glad this worship is not a once a week thing but a life thing". "When do we serve our community?", "When's soup?"

I just see these "friends" settling for less. As they sit inspecting fruit are so blind to their own judgementalism. Didn't someone talk about a speck and a plank in ones eyes? Lately all I have in mine are tears.

A day at the Lake

A day at the Lake

The other day I was at a local lake, well it is more a pond. The sign calls it a lake, so it must be a lake. The water was really smooth and I could not resist picking up a rock and tossing it in. As it hit the water it caused ripples. I tossed another one and caused another ripple, again and again until ripples were hitting ripples.

I stood there and contemplated the water as it became still again. I then tossed a huge rock in and watched the ripples go and still fade…

Then I thought well that was fun, it is too hot to just stand here so I jumped in and became totally submersed in the cool refreshing water. It just seemed to be better that way.