Monday, December 21, 2009

A Letter to President Obama

Dear Mr. President,

We need health care reform. As a lay person I don't know enough to know exactly what that should or should not involve. But one thing is clear to me. This government should not force me, through my tax dollars, to pay for the murder of babies. I hope you understand what the passage of a such a bill will do.

In 1850, Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act - the turning point in our nation on the issue slavery. Many Americans did not like slavery but they were content to let is exist as long as the blood was not on their hands (slavery was someone else's problem). But when the Fugitive Slave Act passed, Americans were required by law to be "complicit" in slavery by assisting in the capture of run away slaves and the prosecution of those who helped them. It wasn't long before many idol citizens became and/or supported abolitionists. And it wasn't long before we were at war.

I'm sure Americans in 1850 are similar to Americans in 2009. They have never walked a picket line. They don't contribute money to a political cause. They don't write letters to their representative... UNTIL they are forced to. Passing legislation that uses my hard earned money to pay for abortions all but makes me complicit in the slaughter of babies. If that happens, I am silent no more.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Struck Hard

I've been struck hard lately. A dear Brother in Christ was afflicted recently with a tumor on his frontal lobe. He is the pastor of the church we attended for two years. This Brother is gifted beyond words and his ministry is real. His church is booming and God is changing lives.

At first I was struck with deep concern for him and his family. The physical implications of his surgery are obvious. But life doesn't stop for suffering. I have realized that as a parent. Children need to be fed. Houses need to be cleaned. The on slot of daily life keeps coming. Sickness and hospitals can be just as hard for loved ones as they are for the afflicted.

Then I was struck with the timing. Worst case scenarios ran through my mind and I don't like them. This Brothers ministry is thriving, why would God want to, at the very least, slow it down for an unknown amount of time? I was just talking with someone today about how I know God is Sovereign and I know God is good. I don't doubt Him but sometimes my finite mind doesn't get Him.

Then I realized how much I was really struck. I have prayed more for this Brother than I have for anyone in a long time. I have read my Bible every day since I learned of this news. When my Brother preached it wasn't really Him preaching, it was God, and God is still preaching through him, but this time through his suffering.

Then tonight I was struck that the real why questions related to suffering in this life should be more along these lines:
Why did it have to be a friend who chose to betray the Lord?
Why did there have to be a thorny crown pressed upon his head?
Why did there have to be a heavy cross He was made to bear?
Why did they nail his feet and hands?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A right of passage

Many months ago my oldest daughter came home with a new trick. I wasn't quite sure how to react the first time she showed me her new talent.

What was that special new trick? Burping on demand. As in gulping air until you make yourself burp.

It caused quite the conundrum in my mind. The parent voice in my head was telling me to deal with it quickly before it becomes a bad habit. The other voice in my head was, well, pretty darn proud.

Yet another milestone passed. Burping on demand is a right of passage. Every child should know how to do that. With plenty of practice she will be able say the alphabet in one burp like her father.

I can't wait 'til she can fart with her arm pit.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Why soccer is not loved in America

It's about time for a new post and here's what's on my mind. Soccer. Soccer is on my mind. What a great sport. I have a theory as to why Americans don't like soccer.

I played baseball one season when I was 7 and was bored the entire time. That was heartbreaking for my baseball loving dad. He tried soccer on me next and I never looked back. I loved soccer because it was non-stop action. I wanted to run. I didn't want to sit in a dugout half the game and the other half in the outfield hoping that a ball would come my way. I remember catching fireflies half the time. Soccer on the other hand meant non-stop action at the moment of kick-off. If you kick the ball away it is sure to come back your way within a minute at the most.

I think it's that non-stop action that hurts soccer in the US. Some people say it's the low scoring. I disagree. The problem with soccer is that the constant action makes it bad for t.v. There's no time for replays and analysis. I love to watch football on t.v. because there are so many breaks where the tricks of t.v. can entertain me (thanks to the great Tex Schramm). But have you ever watched a football game live, in person? BORING! I can hardly pay attention with all the stops in play. There are about 3 seconds of action for every 1 minute of huddle/get ready for the next play. The same is true for baseball. In fact, I have a phobia that one day I'm going to get pegged in the head by a fowl ball because I can't pay attention at games. If you've ever been to a soccer game live, the experience is totally different. The non-stop action that soccer provides make it a great sport to watch live...and play...but that breathless action does not always translate well with the America loving medium of t.v. In fact, I will admit that soccer is probably as equally boring to watch on t.v. as football and baseball are to watch in person. As long as that fact remains, Soccer will probably always struggle in America.

If you ever have a chance to watch a game in person, you should give it a chance.

P.S. The same principles apply to hockey...another great sport to watch in person but probably not the most exciting t.v.

Friday, July 17, 2009

10 Years

Dear Kerry,

It’s been a fast 10 years. You always imagine how you will feel at the poignant moments in life and sometimes you don’t imagine correctly. This is how I feel on this 10th Anniversary – We are just getting started! If I have my way, we aren’t anywhere near halfway through this marriage that God has blessed us with. If I have my way, we will one day be celebrating our 50th in old, wrinkly skin and hopefully a little more like our good Lord, who has blessed us more than we deserve. In honor of our 10th Anniversary, here are 10 things I love about you most.

10. You are great with my family and my family loves you...for the same reasons I will list here. ..

9. You are as smart as a whip...which can make our arguments a little challenging but still something I love about you. I want my daughters to have a smart mom.

8. You are an idealist. You want a family that loves and enjoys life together in the purest of ways.

7. You love people. I love the example you set for our children as you interact with people everywhere you go.

6. You are great company. It’s such a relief that we enjoy many of the same things (except movies). From old houses to plays - all those things we used to do together and will someday again...

5. You give me lots to laugh at. Bone-o for Bono...shall I go on?

4. You are growing more beautiful with age.

3. You are a fabulous mother. Our girls adore you and they should. Sometimes I’m in awe watching you deny yourself.

2. You have made me a better man. If it weren’t for you I would be a hippie somewhere. You love me and push me to strive for more than I might settle.

1. You are growing in Christ. I love watching the Lord work in your life.

Looking forward to many more,

Saturday, July 11, 2009

What A Weekend Should Look Like

This is wonderful. A Saturday with nothing to do. The past three weekends have been jam packed with activities. This weekend, other than a Saturday morning training for my job, we have no other obligations. I was home by noon and came home a little early yesterday to make up for the time.

Right now....Kerry is asleep. Jade is asleep. Lily is watching a movie. I just paid some bills but that's the only urgent task we have this weekend. Ah! It feels good. Lily and I may get the oil changed in my truck after her movie. We may go to Wal-Mart to spend my birthday money. She may go upstairs to act out the movie she just watched. I may take a nap myself.

That's just it, there's nothing we have to do urgently. Oh, there are things to do, but no order in which to do them. No schedule. No list to check off. Do a little here. Do a little there. But do it as you feel like it...instead of in a mad dash.

That's what weekends should be about. I MAY even skip mowing this of the benefits of no grass and the hot Texas sun taking its tole on the weeds.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Family and Jesus

Every time I'm with extended family, I walk away humbled and wanting to press into Jesus more. I am humbled by how few of them are walking with Jesus and how far away I am from telling them about Him. We live in a culture where it would be quite easy to live your life without ever hearing the real gospel. You might hear versions, but not the version that saves. In fact, most of what our culture puts out is entirely hostile to a gospel that claims exclusivity. It could very well be that my family members come in contact with but a handful of people who want them to know Jesus. Yet, there I sit, each and every time, hoping that they will know Jesus, somehow, but unwilling to share my heart.

So, as the death of a loved one reminds me of the frailty of life, I pray that some how, some day these words of an eventual martyr would be true of me.

I'm a part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I'm a disciple of His and I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.

My past is redeemed. My present makes sense. My future is secure. I'm done and finished with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, or first, or tops, or recognized, or praised, or rewarded. I live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by Holy Spirit power.

My face is set. My gait is fast. My goal is heaven. My road may be narrow, my way rough, my companions few, but my guide is reliable and my mission is clear.

I will not be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed.

I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice or hesitate in the presence of the adversary. I will not negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won't give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ.

I am a disciple of Jesus. I must give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes. And when He does come for His own, He'll have no problems recognizing me. My colors will be clear!