"I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands." - Psalm 143:5

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Epic Fail

 

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I am a failure… but, before you rush to my defense, hear me out.

There were times I choked under pressure and bailed big time when situations were tough. There were too many days when my heart vacated when it was needed most and just because my mind was filled with selfish thoughts, I chickened out.

I covered my eyes, closed my ears and pretended not to notice suffering. I hid; I ran and preferred the shadows instead of the light.

And those were my good days.

I sought success over significance, hungered ravenously for comfort over compassion and pleasure over purity. I frustrated my own dreams by fearing the outcome and dreading the journey. Escape was the path I desired, portrayals and roles were my game pieces, but I feared the hand I was dealt. I rolled the dice, taking a chance of discovery, but quickly folded under the pressure… so afraid of being found out, revealed and exposed.

The Apostle Paul once commented, “I am the chief of all sinners”.

I think… He’s never met me.

Here’s my heart in this. Although I really don’t think that I’m a “dirty rotten sinner” anymore, I do realize how much of a failure I am without Christ. It is this realization that fuels my hope. The design of my heart was designed to be filled with Jesus. My heart was meant to have significant compassion for others and to enjoy pleasure that was pure and vital for my soul’s health. The dream and journey are one in the same because I travel with Christ.

“I am not concerned that you have fallen… I am concerned that you arise.”  - Abraham Lincoln

Abe’s quote here mirrors the Father’s heart, in Psalm 37:23

“If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”

All my failures… all covered

 

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Turns

 

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"And when your children ask you, what does this ceremony mean to you?" Exodus 12:26

He has endured the competition and comparison of 4 older brothers… not an easy task when you’re an introvert. Of all my sons, Isaac is the most laid back, I call him my shadow warrior. He has a laser focus and a huge heart… when he feels… he feels deeply. I know what it is like to be the youngest of brothers and although Isaac’s brothers are wonderful; his road to this day has been a stretch.

Tonight is his turn

Tonight my shadow warrior steps into the front of the crowd to receive his sword. His manhood ceremony will be a collection of men of my choosing and his. Words, prayers and exhortations will fill his ears and his spirit… this impartation will change him forever.

What does this ceremony mean to me?

Ceremonies are like stepping-stones, not only setting a direction in which to go but leaving a path to follow as well. When God is in the ceremony, it creates a stream of change that carries beyond the event itself. It places within us a marker of remembrance, one that pulsates with memory waves. These waves ripple through our lives and lap at the shore of discouragement and remind us that the Father will always encourage and affirm us.

Isaac is my last son to receive his sword, in so many ways; this is a rite of passage for both of us. At the end of the ceremony my five sons will raise their swords together and say these words I wrote many years ago…it is our pledge.

Honor, Respect, Courage
In Christ
For Christ
For Family
For Brotherhood
Forever

It is a pledge that continues to unite us and turn our hearts towards the one who made all this possible…our heavenly Father.

How about you…do you have a special ceremony that connects you with the Father?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Game of Thrones

 

throne copy I have to admit to not seeing one episode of the HBO series Game of Thrones and I plead ignorant to the value of its viewing gratification. Although I have no desire to watch it, I find the title intriguing.

Except…it’s no game.

The human heart will enthrone a king… through the lines of succession or otherwise… it will be ruled, our choices will always crown a sovereign over our heart. Not only that, there is the battle to keep that monarch in power and the internal struggles of a despot ruled kingdom.

At best, we fool ourselves that when we rule the heart, our benevolence outweighs the indulgences of our decisions. After all, we’re a good king, not one to take advantage of our position. However, the truth of our reign is this; that the real threat to our throne is not dragons, armies, or unscrupulous heirs… it is ourselves.

Thankfully, I am not bound to play by the rules… in fact;
I’m not bound at all.

Redemption has overthrown the dictator, replaced the tyrant and installed a righteous King as lord over my heart. Here freedom has replaced the overbearing subjection to self and the seemly unwavering alliance with “my way or the highway” system of ruling. My King, Jesus, has healed the kingdom that I nearly destroyed and transformed how I fit in the new Kingdom. Under His rule, I am free, more than I ever could be under mine.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness. Psalm 45:6

My game of thrones is over… I forever belong to the King of Kings!

How about you… who has your heart?

 

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

31 Years


For 31 years she has said yes to an adventure that sometimes seems purposed to drive joy from her heart. She has followed the most unlikely hero on the face of the planet with undeterred faith in his heart and purpose.  This woman, with such a depth of character and beauty, has turned his heart into a beating frenzy of compassion. Warming the coldness that once resided there with absolute acceptance and belief he could be the hero she saw in him.

I do not call myself a hero… my wife does.

31 years of marriage has repaired the cape, negated the effects of my own personal kryptonite (self-worth), and torn down the fortress of solitude hidden deep within my spirit. I have become more powerful because I am married to one of the strongest hearts on earth.

Make no mistake, Christine is no side-kick, she is my hero.

The intensity and intentionality of our covenant together is a superpower of focused love and commitment.  Our marriage carries the power of redemption because it is supercharged by the promise of the Heavenly Father to make two hearts, two lives, into one. This combination, this one-two punch, is a life changer that goes beyond the border of our married life and sends this message.

"But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.'  'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one.  Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." Mark 10:6-9

The message my bride sends me convinces me of His great love for me. The total faithfulness she demonstrates in our marriage has made 31 years more than an adventure.


It has been a joy ride…thank you “Love of my Life”, you have not only captured my heart… you have rescued it!