Category Archives: Anomalous

The Day After The Day After Easter

Twas the day after Easter? No, the day after that, folks returned to the lives they had lead.

For the most part, all life settled back to its norm and many or most felt their hearts were still warm
from Sunday and spiritually fed.

They let their minds wander toward worry and pleasure forgetting the power of Christ’s precious treasure,
they settled for luke warm instead.

“Easter’s alright.  It does have its place” said a red-headed boy, chocolate still on his face.
Said a sweet little gal “The people looked swell; men in suits and ladies in lace.”
“But when it’s all done, I’ve a business to run,” said a gent as he packed his briefcase.

Seems the world had moved on and forgotten the song ’bout victory over hell, sin and death.
“Those words that bring cheer don’t apply to us here, on Tuesday” said Lori and Seth.

“Could there be a way” another did say “to keep Easter alive all the year?”
Then he turned up the show with his TV remote to drown other sounds from his ear.
Another repined, “Lord just give us a sign…” as she helped her son on with his jacket,
“…that You still care when life isn’t fair, falls apart and I’m caught in a panic.”

Easter’s crescendo flew out through the window as they sped through the tasks of their day.
The Sun overhead brightly shined, but instead no one noticed and busy they stayed.
Rather than hope, their souls would still grope for the something they’d let slip away.

Then the voice of a younger cried out much like thunder, “He’s Risen! He’s Risen, indeed!”
“But that was on Sunday, the day before Monday. On Tuesday that’s not what we need!
So mellow, young fellow.” said Art with a bellow, “Don’t be a fanatic, I plead.”

But the voice of the younger cried out even stronger, “He’s Risen, He’s Living again.”
Repeated and then, other voices joined in with “Alive, Forever, Amen!”

Remember to live out the faith that you sing out.  It matters on Tuesday the same,
as it did, when on Sunday, you said “Jesus Loves Me.” Don’t forget you’re the reason He came!

Advertisements

Stay Humbled, My Friends


Football And Fun

Like most of the U.S. population, I watched the Super Bowl with some friends Sunday evening.  It was the first NFL game I had watched all season. This was not because I don’t enjoy sports, mind you.  But, because I LOVE sports, I determined that I needed to fast from watching the NFL this season.

Football isn’t my favorite sport, so don’t think this was a huge sacrifice.  I do enjoy football, but mostly it’s just something to cheer for in between baseball seasons.  The toughest part was breaking from my family fantasy league. Congrats, Corey.

But as we all know, the most important part of the Super Bowl is the commercials!  Most say that the commercials just weren’t as good this year.  That may be true, but perhaps our expectations are unreal because of the pregame hype regarding the commercials.  There were some really clever commercials.  Most of them I could watch with my children. A few, however, I’d prefer not to have those images in my mind.

These few commercials clearly believed that the best way to promote their product was to make the “potential buyer” think of sex – trigger the lust-fulness of the watcher.  Most, however, seem to have learned that what people really want to do during the commercial breaks, is laugh with their friends.  So, to go daddy, kia, and fiat, I’ll just say “not cool!”  And to the rest, I will say, Well Done and Thanks for allowing the Super Bowl to be an environment where youth pastors and parents don’t have to sweat it out during the commercials or show the game on a time delay through a DVR and fast forward the commercials.  We can’t proclaim purity to our kids out of one side of mouths and from the other side excuse what is on our TV as “just a commercial.”

Even if you don’t have a commitment to purity in regard to what you allow your eyes to see, wouldn’t you rather see a grandma slingshot a baby at a tree house to score a bag of Doritos? Or perhaps like most of the adult world you are tired of the “teen harlequin” vampire genre and you enjoyed watching vampire’s burst into ashes in the stream of some super bright headlights.  Maybe you’re like me and you can’t get enough of dogs, dressed like star wars characters, barking Darth Vader’s theme music.

I could be optimistic, but I felt like the commercials were, for the most part, cleaner this year.  There were a few extreme exceptions, but most of the commercials were pretty good.  What’s your opinion?


What’s In It For Me?

The following is a fictional memoir and does not reflect the attitudes of anyone I know personally, though it may reveal the inner struggles we are all trying to overcome as we become the church He died for us to be.

Worship to day didn’t do much for me. I wasn’t inspired. Worship is there to inspire me and motivate me and I just didn’t feel it. People around me were raising and clapping their hands. A couple in front of me stood up and I couldn’t see. I mean, the worship leader did’t  even ask us to stand up. I was doing it right and they were doing it wrong, yet they seemed inspired and I went away feeling worse than before.

The scripture must have been a good one, because I heard a lot of “Amen” and “That’s Right” from folks around me but I guess I just didn’t get it. It was from 2 Corinthians 4:7 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not us.”

To me church should be about helping me be successful as a person. I mean, God wants me to be successful right? That way I can show him how good I am.  Being more successful means I can upgrade my wardrobe.  As I dress nicer for church, people will know that I really love God.  When we dress nice for church, it’s like we’re telling God “thank you for the blessings,” right?  I want Him to be proud of me and pleased with me. If I’m successful, then I’ll give credit to God. Wouldn’t he want that?

The pastor kept saying that as “jars of clay” in the hands of God there will be no doubt that the power comes from him. Then he read from Luke 9:24-25 “For whoever would save his life would lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?” I couldn’t make sense of this, because God gave me this life, why would he want me to give it up? That doesn’t seem like good stewardship to me.  And I KNOW for a fact that God want’s us to be good stewards. He said so.  I think it’s in Genesis or Deuteronomy.

Lose my life for God’s? On purpose? That’s just not the kind of message I’m looking for. What’s in that for me? I’m looking for a church where I can feel good about myself and my ambitions. I think God wants me to feel good and be successful for Him. This “jars of clay” idea just doesn’t fit my idea of God.

I think I’ll have to look elsewhere for the kind of inspiration I need. I don’t mean leave the church! Good heavens, no. I have some really good friends there. They’re humble, simple people, never who complain about what they don’t have, but give thanks for what God has given them. They are true servants. If I had a nickel for every time they brought me a meal when I was sick or when our baby was born or my mother passed away, well then I’d have a lot of nickels. I’d probably be able to start tithing! Ha-Ha- I’m just kidding. Anyway, I wonder why worship can’t get me inspired enough to be more like those people.  I guess God just hasn’t opened the right door yet.
For now, I’ll just have to rely on myself for my own inspiration and work my hardest to get ahead in this world to make God proud of me.
Do you find anything here that resembles your own struggle to understand who you are to be “In Christ?” Do you value your own success. Do you devalue the “jars of clay” in which God has chosen to store His richest treasure – (you)?

I Think My Eyes Are In Backward

A SHORT STORY – FROM A MADE UP DIARY
I think my eyes are in backwards and all I can see right now is myself. I’m blind to the needs of others around me. To me, they don’t even exist. All I can see are my needs. It doesn’t seem to be hurting me, but if it does, I think I’ll have to do something about it.
I was talking with a friend the other day who was asking for prayer and advice regarding some tribulation that had come his way. I thought about his story and it reminded me of something similar that had happened to me. Well, maybe it wasn’t exactly the same as what happened to me… come to think of it what happened to me had nothing at all to do with my friend’s situation, but I told it to him anyway. We both had a good laugh, but he seemed to go away sad. It was hard to tell, because all I could see was me. I think my eyes were put in backward.
This morning at my accountability group prayer time we each asked for prayer, but when we prayed I noticed no one was praying for the requests I had made. Maybe they just didn’t think they were that important. I know, I’ll bet they just didn’t know what I meant when I said “unspoken.” On my turn I was very careful to name the person Luke had asked for. You know, his friend who had cancer… or was it kidney disease? No, I remember, it was a hemorrhoid… no, no that’s not it either. But I prayed for him by name, or was it her? Come to think of it, it wasn’t his friend, it was his sister, Jill, I mean, Joanne… I can’t remember. I’ll have to ask him later. I think I just prayed for “Luke’s request”. God knew what I meant. I’ve gotta get my eyes fixed!
My ministry team meets tomorrow. I can’t wait to share all my ideas. They are going to love them, and if they don’t I’ll just join another team. I mean, if they didn’t want to do it my way, then why did they ask me to be on the team? They better not “tweak” my ideas either. I know God gave these ideas to ME, and it must be because He wants them done the way I would do them. Why else would He give me the idea in the first place?
My favorite radio station wasn’t coming through very well today so I tried out a couple other so called “Christian” stations. I couldn’t stand this one station. No matter how low I turned my volume down in the car, the music still sounded too loud. I didn’t like it. This music can’t be honoring to God, can it? I’m just sure that God doesn’t like that kind of music. It’s too grindy. God doesn’t like grindy music. At least not my god!
My eyes are still in backwards. I’m going to have to get that checked out. It doesn’t seem to be affecting my daily life, however, so perhaps I’ll put it off. Like I always say- if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The Day I Didn’t Feel Your Prayers

A SHORT STORY – FROM A MADE UP DIARY

No one prayed for me today.I’ve heard it said and said it myself – “I could feel your prayers.” But I didn’t feel anyone pray for me today.I walked through my day and so many things went wrong.I lost my keys in the morning and was late for work.Was anyone praying for me?I spilled my coffee in my car and ran out of napkins before I could clean it up.Someone please pray for me!Upon entering my office I was bombarded by messages and problems that I had to fix.Why won’t someone pray for me?Rushing back after lunch I slammed my breaks on but still rear-ended the car in front of me.I could really use some prayer!

Why won’t anybody pray for me?I’m a member of my church and they know me.Are they praying for me?My family raised me to follow Christ.Are they praying for me?

I ended my day on my knees and realized it was the first time today I had taken that position.Holy Spirit began to convict me that I had not prayed for anyone today.I had only been thinking of myself.Had I started the day in prayer and continued in a spirit of prayer throughout the day, perhaps I would have been less self absorbed. If I had been a person humbled to pray, Christ would have been my focus and not me.I realized then that the Bible says that Christ is interceding for each of us.That means, in a sense that He is praying for us.He had been praying for me throughout my troubled day.

From now on when I don’t “feel” the prayers of others on my behalf, I will stop and pray for others.I will remember that Jesus is interceding for me and he is watching me.


Happy Baseball Day!

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRNIBN--MjWlJOb0ckw0-2gXof0dUqN_u-dkG2btzroYg4ZcbC-Ag

It’s that time of year again!! I’m so excited. For me Opening Day really is like a holiday. That makes last night Baseball’s Eve.

My favorite baseball carol is probably “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” but that is probably everybody’s favorite. I also like the clapping song, you know, the one with 2 claps followed by a pause then 3 quick claps. It goes like this; clap clap…. clap clap clap. Yeah… that’s a nice baseball carol.

If I had remembered to leave my stocking out last night, I’m sure that George Brett would have come down my chimney and left a tube of liniment or lucky socks. I forgot to leave up my stocking, but I still have the hope and anticipation that comes with the start of a new season. No one knows who will win and who will loose. There will be many surprises and some teams will overachieve while others fail to live up to expectations.

It life, however we KNOW that Jesus has already given us the victory and conquered our foe, the devil! AND All things are possible in Christ; As we live out this life, we are more than conquerors. True, that nothing will surprise our Lord, but we will continually be delighted and surprised by what he does in us, through us and all around us. We will see Him do things that we just shake our head at and say “WOW.” We’ll call these thing miracles.

For those of you who enjoy baseball…. Have a Happy Baseball Day. And to ALL of you; may you know the blessing and joy of living each day “In Christ.” In Him, you are more than conquerors, the victory is already here, Christ has won it and he invites us to join his team and share in that victory.


60 minutes in an hour?

Stoppuhr (Chronometer)

Stoppuhr (Chronometer) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was taught early in grade school that 60 seconds are in a minute, 60 minutes are in an hour and 24 hours are in a day. I’m starting to have my doubts about that math! This weekend an full hour just disappeared but it seems like a whole lot more than 60 minutes was lost.

I’m still trying to figure out why it is taking me 3+ days to catch up with the 1 hour of sleep I lost over the weekend. Haven’t especially stayed up later than normal. In fact, by last weeks time clock, I’m going to bed an hour earlier each night. It’s not adding up!

1 Hour missing over the weekend. Add back in the 20 minute name Sunday, plus a 45 minute nap yesterday. And by my calculations I’ve gone to bed 30 minutes earlier each night. That comes to an additional 125 minutes minus the 60 and I should be 65 minutes ahead! Why am I still tired? I’m still missing that 1hr.

Here is my theory— I think the hours during sleep are longer than the hours we are awake! They must be. Because the hour we lose is supposedly the 1:00 or 2:00 o’clock hour. I theorize that if we set our clocks back on Saturday morning after we wake up, we would be much less tired because that hour on Saturday morning is truly only 60 minutes and the hour in the middle of the night is probably like, I don’t know… I just know it’s longer than 60, because my tired body is telling me so.


Another Garden/Life Illustration

My brother found this on a gardening website and we both liked it. I hope you do too.
Garden.First, you “Come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses”….FOR THE GARDEN OF YOUR DAILY LIVING,

PLANT THREE ROWS OF PEAS:
1. Peace of mind
2. Peace of heart
3. Peace of soul
PLANT FOUR ROWS OF SQUASH:
1. Squash gossip
2. Squash indifference
3. Squash grumbling
4. Squash selfishness
PLANT FOUR ROWS OF LETTUCE:
1. Lettuce be faithful
2. Lettuce be kind
3. Lettuce be patient
4. Lettuce really love one another
NO GARDEN IS WITHOUT TURNIPS:
1. Turnip for meetings
2. Turnip for service
3. Turnip to help one another
TO CONCLUDE OUR GARDEN WE MUST HAVE THYME:
1. Thyme for each other
2. Thyme for family
3. Thyme for friends
WATER FREELY WITH PATIENCE AND CULTIVATE WITH LOVE. THERE IS MUCH FRUIT IN YOUR GARDEN BECAUSE YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW.
Author unknown. Thanks whoever you are for such a thoughtful piece.

Ketchup? Yuck!

Maybe the closest thing to a phobia that I have is this; I don’t like ketchup. I didn’t always feel this way. It just is something that has developed in my adult life. Not that I don’t like ketchup on delicious food such as hot dogs and hamburgers, but given the choice I’d rather have BBQ sauce or spicy mustard. What can I say? I’m complicated.
But here is what I can’t stand:

The smell of ketchup!
Ketchup, gooey and sticky around the lid of the ketchup bottle!
Ketchup dripped on the floor, now on my shoe!
Ketchup drops on the counter, on the table, on the island!
Ketchup now on my sleeve!
Ketchup on the wash rag that wasn’t rinsed after cleaning up spilled ketchup!
Ketchup now on my hands!
Wash my hands with soap and water, but they still smell like KETCHUP!

To me ketchup is like a real life miniature version of the old sci-ficharacter THE BLOB! Touch it and it sticks to you and will not come off. Pretty soon it’s everywhere, all over your fingers and elbows, clothes. Of course the smell never goes away! It reminds me of a painful grade school memory when someone stomped a ketchup packet and it sprayed all over my shoes and pant legs. The smell reminded me of the humiliation all…day…long…

Tomatoes are a wonderful vegetable, er, um, fruit (whatever). The best tomatoes come fresh from the garden and usually you have to wait until July. So sad that they have to ship them green so that they don’t rot before they reach the grocer. The Problem is they never taste any good from the store because of this. So I only eat tomatoes from July – September. Not Good Enough! I suppose that is why someone came up with the solution of pureeing fresh tomatoes and adding them to the recipe for glue!That just irreverent!

Beyond the gross qualities of it, getting ketchup as a topping is like watching black and white TV in an age of advanced 3D television technology. When I use ketchup as a topping it is more for the sentimental value it adds remembering childhood bonfire and hot dog roasts. If you dislike plain off-white wall color spanning the walls throughout the inside of your home, that’s how I feel about ketchup. BuhLah! (that’s blah emphasizing both syllables)

The final reason I dislike ketchup so much is the word association of it all. It reminds me how many of my goals I’m behind on; books to read, songs to learn, people to know better, prayers to pray, scripture to memorize, new worship artists to listen to, send that email, make this contact…. it’s overwhelming! I Have To Ketchup! I mean Catch Up!

Take it one day at a time sounds so cliche, but it’s something to keep in mind. God never said we were to “get it all” and “get it all done” in 24 hours. I believe each lesson, every growth experience is to be savored, because it is an encounter with the almighty. There is no such thing as microwave discipleship. And even if there was, I’m not sure I’d like it very much. Like the juicy tomato ripened on the vine after months of feeding and watering, sunshine and rain, savor every bite. Take it in and be reminded of the rewards of the slow and laborious process. I might be behind on my goals and on lessons I wish I had already learned, but the answer isn’t to get all caught up in a single day or even a single week. Rather, the slower, more intentional route is the way to go. One day at a time, one lesson at a time. Steady growth that lasts. That’s something I can appreciate.

(No ketchup was ingested during the writing of this blog)