Sunday, August 31, 2008
We long for nobility! Leadership that would risk everything in order to secure freedom and prosperity for our nation, like our forefathers. It seems now sometimes our leaders pursue public office in order to secure prosperity and power for themselves risking only the millions of the lobbyists and donors they are obliged to. Cynicism gives way to reality when the evidence is apparent. On Interstate ten a new multi-million dollar overpass is being built for the few hundred residences that live in an exclusive subdivision. The project was tagged at the end of a bill in the Texas legislature by a senior legislator who happens to live in that subdivision. Meanwhile, loop 1604 is a parking lot from Braun to Hwy 90--apparently no wealthy legislator lives over there. Justice and nobility go together, and leaders who lead out of self-interest are devoid of both.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
A few years ago my wife and I went to a bed and breakfast for ministry couples. Honestly, we were at the end of our rope and just needed to breathe. Early the first morning we went down for breakfast and at our place setting was a little note, each person’s being different and quite random. I picked up my note card and the spot I chose to sit and it read, “Be kind for everyone is in a battle of their own.” It reminded me that I’m not the only one in a battle. We all have our own battle to fight regardless of the scale everyone is in the thick of it. The ministry of encouragement is a spiritual gift as well as an exhortation and when we become aware that everyone has their own battle we become better capable of nudging them forward.
Monday, August 18, 2008
The difficult thing about being a “call it like you see it” person is that it means in order to be consistent you have to “call it” on yourself sometimes. I have been guilty of holding my ground convinced that I’m right and I’m learning to lean into the Spirit and listen to His prompting--especially when I’m wrong. It’s easy to spot arrogance or selfishness in others and so much harder to spot it in yourself. Humility begins by listening and obeying even when you “call it like you see it” on yourself.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
My son came home from camp yesterday and on our way home we were catching up on all the adventure. I asked him what the highlights were and he shared about the usual things and then slowly and reluctantly he reached into his shirt and pulled out a dog tag and said “I got voted most Christ-like in my cabin.” As the tear ran down his cheek they began to well up in mine! When I was in the 5th grade that wasn’t something I would have been in the running for. Later that evening as we watched Michael Phelps win another gold medal and I reached over and grabbed his dog tag and said, “this is better than any gold medal in my eyes.” So much of what we do will never be seen on T.V. or applauded by the world but if our peers notice Christ in us then I believe God is cheering us on and we are amassing trophies in heaven.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
The mountain pass between western North Carolina and Tennessee is called “The Dragon’s Tail,” where it is up and down and round and round. This summer as my family and I crossed over the Smokey Mountains by way of the “The Dragon’s Tail” and it also happened to be in the pouring rain. I was focused. Not only was it a round trip, something I’m usually all business about anyway, but we were facing some pretty intense conditions. It became stressful as one of our kids got car sick from the roller coaster route and the intensity grew. I had just finished a book that focused on living in the present and allowing Christ to fully inhabit the present moment so joy could enter your life, so this was a test. How in the world could there be joy in this? As we neared the top of the Smokey Mountains the rain ceased and the sun peered out, a sign read “scenic overlook ahead” and I did something I don’t normally do—I stopped! We piled out of the van and what I can only describe as majestic confronted my senses. Lake Fontana, a mountain lake in the Smokey Mountains, was glistening with clouds below us and the sun was breaking through. And there it was, the present moment, filled with joy. I can only challenge you not to miss it. It is there…He is there.