Saturday, April 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom

For those who don't know, my Mom unexpectadly passed away this passed August. I miss her. Today was her birthday. Happy Birthday Mom. I take comfort knowing you're in a better place...however cliche that may sound. We miss you. I'm doing what you would probably be doing if you were still here; watching a baseball game and hoping our home town boys can hang on for a win.

Why am I blogging on this? I don't know, but in some way, it helps. I'm preaching tomorrow and I know she'd be proud of me...but then again, no matter what I would do she would be proud of me. That's what I miss I think; the blind love. I get that kind of love and support from others, namely my wife, but it's different with a Mom. Funny...I preached last week and this week and one of the themes is God's unconditional love for us; even though He is our Father, I think in some ways His love is similar to that of a Mother; always believing the best in her kids, always proud of them, always there to listen...it's what I miss.

Friday, April 18, 2008

latest blog?

Well if you want to hear whats on my heart right now, come to church on Sunday. Yep! I'm preaching the next two weeks...to be sure, I'll put some of that stuff online when I have a chance. But for now, know that God loves you...more then you can possibly imagine.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Jesus Wept

This has been a hard week for me. Why? My heart aches...I miss my Mom, and in many ways wish I could go back in time to the happiness and simplicity of childhood. It has worked itself out mainly through dreams; I've had troubled sleep, sad dreams, dreams where I'm crying and wake up my wife. How are we supposed to grieve?

On the one hand, this week has been amazing; I'm studying, preparing to preach a two-part message series on Grace, God's Love and the Relationship He's called us to...as I've been studying I've been once again overwhelmed to the point of tears at how much love God has for us. It is staggering. But still, I am sad this week.

How are we supposed to grieve? At some level I understand and know that I am not grieving well. I think I'm stuffing the pain. But still, I'm not sure how I'm supposed to act?

And this brings me to John 11:35, the shortest verse in the Bible. "Jesus wept." My Savior knows suffering, knows loss, knows grief, knows pain. Does this make me feel better? No. But it does remind me that the intimate relationship God has called me to is with one who is familiar with pain and hurt. In short, I am not alone. And so, in my grief, I pray for you and for me...

"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." (Ephesians 3:17-19)

Friday, April 4, 2008

Finish the Race

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." (Hebrews 12:1)

Out of the cold darkness he came. John Stephen Akhwari of Tanzania entered at the far end of the stadium, pain hobbling his every step, his leg bloody and bandaged. The winner of the marathon had been declared over an hour earlier. Only a few spectators remained. But the lone runner pressed on.

As he crossed the finish line, the small crowd roared out its appreciation. Afterward, a reporter asked the runner why he had not retired from the race, since he had no chance of winning. He seemed confused by the question. Finally, he answered:

"My country did not send me to Mexico City to start the race. They sent me to finish."
(Source: www.beijing2008.cn)

You can see him finish the race here.

So what about you, and me, and "us"? Are we in this thing for the long haul? Are we running with perseverance? Are we going to finish the race or just start it?

Here's another story of a man who refused to quit...

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