Tuesday, October 28, 2008

my truck runneth over

.....so the weather here today was pretty wet and windy, perfect for Gortex and a hike. The first time i bought a Gortex jacket i put in on and stood in the shower...it was fun, i'm freak and it was a really new product back then. i mean i started using Nalgen bottles when my buddy would "borrow them" from the labs...anyway, so the weather was up today and those are the days i really love to get out and do something in. i like great days and bad days, the "kinda" days don't do much for me. So i'm out in the woods on this little ridge line sitting on the edge swinging my feet feeling really happy that i have a Kashi Bar (dang...for the days when i would live on Power bars) so anyway i'm sitting there in my Gortex watching sideways rain and the wind pull the mist up from this little gorge when i notice six or so nut hatchs (small birds) flitting about from tree to tree just living life.

The weather didn't bother them at all...no Gortex, no Kashi bar, no boots, nothing but the gift the Master Creator gave them...and i found myself asking forgiveness for my neediness last week...i forgot that Jesus knew all my needs...and i felt very naked and exposed flitting about life.

One of the churches i work with felt as if our "one for you" ministry had lost a bit of its' steam. It's true, it does take a bit of work to keep people focused on God's providential goodness and keeping a burden for the lost and broken...but that day kinda hit me in the stomach. After hearing the news i went to drop off a number of things that would be placed for free into the hands of people who had lost their job, or had a spouse die, are going through a divorce...unforeseen setbacks that are endemic to living on this side of Eden...and while i was there i mentioned to the director that i might not be able to bring her clients much for awhile until i found new sources.

Well, as i was driving home i got a call on my cell from a woman who lives down the road from me...each year she runs a children's tag sale which this year boasted 80 sellers. My wife and i go to get great deals...but my mouth kinda waters when i see all the cribs and highchairs, car seats and shoes that i know would be a source of hope for many people. i left my card and asked if the sellers wished to donate leftovers i promised i would get them into the hands of the desperate. I hadn't heard from her in a month and had kinda written it off, but the Lord chose that hour, that day to have her call me...so He could remind me that all good and perfect gifts come down from Him...and that He is the Provider.

...so i had to go out and buy industrial shelving and 14 industrial storage bins to hold all of the children's clothing...i figure each held around 20-30 pieces...or about $150 worth of clothing new. So, when my heart was the lowest the Master turned my basement into a storehouse on earth for the gifts of heaven in the order of a thousand dollars worth of donations...

...and my truck runneth over...God is so good, and for that i am so grateful...but our trucks don't always run over, and that's when Jesus is closest...in the hours of desperation.

i pray that your trucks are running over



Monday, October 13, 2008

Why I hate/(love) the Shack by William Young

So perhaps i am a bit late to pick this book up, but life's been rather crazy....
so i google the shack and some obscene number of hits comes up. Seems like everyone has something to say about it, which makes sense since everyone has something to say about what theology really is about
..but i wish i could narrow the search to reviews written by dad's who have buried a child...
i'm sure the tone of critiques would change, sometimes loudly echoing off canyon walls of stone hearts at altitude, other times gentle whispered questions rising with the morning mist off deep lakes of turbulent waters...
see, i've been there, and to me this book hit too close to home...my son wasn't murdered. he died during birth, but as my wife was rolled out for an emergency c-section i sat as alone and as helpless as Mack did, wondering why what began with such joy and excitement months ago could turn to such sorrow
...in the flash of a few clicks from a heart monitor wrapped around my wife's abdomen our world changed and has never been the same...
The Trinity was with us in it all, and i would love to tell you the entire tale, but here i would just like to talk about the broken little boxes we all stuff God into, and how it is in these boxes that we seem to see God fail us
see, it's been said that God made us in His own image, and we returned the favor. a god like that can't destroy the Great Sadness, it can only satisfy our selfish ambition and desire. a god that bears our image would indeed look like a broken down, crapppy old shack, wouldn't it?
but it's here, in the crappy old shacks that the Infinite God of mercy and love chooses to dwell...and it's here that the wonderful collision happens, in the place where we feel God failed us the most, that we can see His imprint on all the shards. if we dare go to these places, and say Lord show me where you were, often times we are graced by seeing it...
or, if you would prefer, you can just live your lives in a staged house that looks real nice, and you can inflate the price so people will think it's worth more than it is...and when the judgement comes and the sub-prime loans of pride and arrogance are called in...you won't be known by the bill collector...
see my wife and i have been forced to really look hard at God, and to see if He really is about love. i love God so much it makes my soul ache, and i have come to learn that he does the same for me.
so to all those who read this book and only saw problems with theology, i dare you to seek out a mom or dad who lost a son or daughter and ask them what they think. spend time with them, listen well and listen deep. too many Christians sing "here I am Lord, I will go Lord if you lead me"..and what they are really saying is "i'll give you everything (i want to give you) and i'll go where you send me (as long as it is in line with my plans..which i call discernment for my church friends)...see mom's and dads who adore Jesus and have buried a child have an sight into the pain that caused the sun to stop shining and the earth to quake one fateful and wonderful Friday afternoon...and if you really want to learn about theology, ask these people.
Deep peace to all those who are waiting to dance and play with their children...i look forward to the Resurrection Play date with the King and you all.