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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Awe Star

A shooting star -- how brief his span
Not still a boy, not quite a man
Already part of God's great plan

A warrior in the battlefield
A faith in God that would not yield
Through his young life, Christ was revealed

He saw the harvest, saw the need
"I'll do Your will, Lord," he agreed
Lay down his life, a willing seed

His shooting star -- how quick its flight
He blazed his way through sin's dark night
To point us to the Savior's light
©
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In honor of BJ's graduation to heaven - 9/26/05

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Sheep Psalm

(A psalm of Mac Addict. To the tune of "$99-$139".)

1 The iPod is my shepherd; I do not want silence.

2 It maketh me to lie down to Green Day: it leadeth me to listen to Muddy Waters.

3 It exhausteth my soul: it leadeth me in the paths of credit for its name's sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of explicit lyrics, I will hear no evil: for it hath numbed me; its high definition earphones and its car adapter they comfort me.

5 It preparest a distraction before me in the presence of mine family: it surroundest my head with sound; my attention span runneth short.

6 Surely Genesis and Maroon 5 shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will drown out the voice of the LORD for ever.

© 9/22/05
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True silence is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment. - William Penn

Sorry....

Sorry about the "dry spell"! I had a writing deadline on the 15th that I was scrambling to meet. Then, I was gone all weekend. More today, I promise!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

What a pain in the neck!

I injured my neck somehow. Pulled something, I think. It feels like I sprained it!

For two days, these are some of the things I've dealt with....

1. My balance is off. I'm more easily knocked down.
2. I have trouble reaching out for things. When I reach out, it hurts.
3. It's hard for me to look around. I can't just turn my head--I have to turn my whole upper body.
4. It's hard for me to rest. No matter what I try, I just can't seem to get comfortable.
5. I have pain when I walk. What should be smooth movement is instead a stiff hobble.
6. I'm having trouble working. I work less efficiently and tire more easily.
7. All the rest of my body has to compensate for my "owey" neck. This is causing other aches and pains to show up in various places.

1 Corinthians 12:14, 19-21, 24b-26

14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.
19 If they were all one part, where would the body be?
20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!"
24 ...But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it,
25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.
26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

Hmmmm....

I need to remember these days when I feel like a weaker, "sprained" brother or sister is "dragging me down".

Friday, September 09, 2005

"Parabolical"?

I've always like curved lines.

I've always been drawn by fables, allegories, parables.

I don't know why it took me so long to see the connection.

par·a·bol·ic - (adj.)

1: resembling or expressed by parables
2: having the form of a parabola

Although I often trace the history of words, it never crossed my mind until this week -- "parable" and "parabola" have the same root!

When I see something out of the corner of my "mind's eye" like that, it begins to nag at me on some deep, semi-aware level. What do parables and parabolas have in common? Why do I enjoy them both so much? The questions kept pulling me back.

I think I've reached a conclusion...at least one that will satisfy my curiosity for now. Both are very effective ways to "sneak up" on a target!

If I run at you full-tilt, you'll probably see me coming and dodge out of the way. Then, I have to run at you again. If I want to get through the gates of your fortress, it will probably take me repeated charges with my battering ram. In other words, not very time- or energy-efficient.

However.... If I use the parabolic concept, I can easily lob a water balloon that lands on your head. Or, I can compromise the safety of your fortress by using a catapult to deliver a well-placed rock, flaming bundle, or cow!

How does that compare with a parable? If I preach and pronounce and denounce, it's often easy to duck out of the way of truth. To put up defenses.

But suppose I tell you a story....

Once upon a time, a storyteller spun an enchanting tale. Her listeners sat entranced. They laughed. They cried. They followed the intriguing arc of the storyline. As they sat, fascinated, watching and listening, a projectile of truth hit them squarely in the head or the heart. They never saw it coming.

So I guess you could say that when it comes to communicating truth, my methods are sometimes downright "parabolical"! Mwahahahaha!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Starfish and water bottles

There once was a man who walked along a beach at low tide. As he walked, he couldn't help but notice the numerous starfish stranded on the shore in the tangle of seaweed and debris.

When he had walked a little further, he noticed a small boy in the distance. Over and over, the little boy squatted down, picked something up in his hand, and flung it as hard as he could into the ocean.

Intrigued, the man walked closer. As he neared, he realized that the boy was picking up the stranded starfish and throwing them as far as he could back out to sea.

"Hey, buddy," the man called, "what are you doing?'

"I'm saving the starfishes," the little boy puffed between throws.

"I hate to disappoint you, kid, but there are too many! You're just a kid! You can't make a difference."

The little boy flung another starfish. As it splashed into the water, he turned to the man beside him.

"I just made a difference for THAT starfish," he said.

----------------------

In the face of the devastation in the Gulf Coast, it's easy to feel like the man surrounded by dying starfish--"I'm too small to make a difference."

But over and over, the Bible talks about the way God uses small beginnings.

a staff in Moses' hand
five small stones in David's pocket
a handful of meal and a few drops of oil in a widow's pantry
five loaves and two fish in a little boy's lunchbox
a cup of cold water

So maybe all I can give is enough for one bottle of water or one PB&J sandwich--that's one person who isn't as thirsty or as hungry as they were before. As God said to the prophet Zechariah (Zech. 4:10) "Who has despised the day of small things?'

I may not be able to do much, but what I can do--I should do!

Now, if you'll excuse me--I gotta go throw some starfish!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Ungrateful people...

"I'm tired of giving to ungrateful people!"

This was part of my friend's response to the budding anarchy in New Orleans, as portrayed by the media. This is a person who normally "gives 'til it hurts" - cutting corners and tightening their own belt in order to help others - reacting in frustration to the anger expressed by the Katrina survivors.

Sure, we see the work that's going into the disaster relief efforts. We see the myriad Americans, and other nations, already pouring funds and supplies into the Gulf Area. But cut off from the outside world, the people of New Orleans don't see the "bigger picture". They don't see the work going on behind the scenes to get them the food and water and medical care they so desperately need. And being human they assume that since they see no action, there is no action.

My response to my friend?

"I'm sure God gets tired of it, too!"

The reply just popped out of my mouth on the spur of the moment, but ever since I heard myself speaking those words, they've been echoing in MY ears.

How often do I shake my fist and scream in frustration when God's help doesn't arrive "on time"? How often, in my human nature, do I assume that since I don't SEE God at work, that He's doing nothing on my behalf? How often do I ignore all He's done for me in the past (starting with LIFE and SALVATION) and throw my selfish little tantrum, demanding MORE--NOW!

Guess it's time to forget myself for a while and start acting a little more like God, who gives and gives and gives...to us ungrateful people.

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