Friday, March 13, 2009

Strength Personified As Only God Can Give

Thursday, March 12, 2009

13 RaNdoM THoUghtS aND wOrdS tHAt coMe tO MInD tONiGht

- +25 degrees in a St. Louis March feels colder than -14 did in a Cleveland January.
- Hazy
- Worth it?
- 2.8 year olds should sleep later.
- 2.8 year olds should let their grandfather sleep later.
- Soul sad
- Chocolate chips are meaningful in the redemption of joy process.
- Twitter makes no sense.
- Listless
- I just learned that Sears Tower no longer exists. It is about to become "The Willis Tower." My childhood was wasted.
- I do not want tomorrow to come. Let us fast forward directly to Saturday.
- Next week I hit "reset" on life.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A time machine would be nice

If I had a time machine I would be a hero. There is so much I would do. I remember the entire "Back To The Future" dilemma about whether or not you should go back in time and change any events ... if you could ... because it would have profound effects on everything that happens afterward. Kind of like the old, "If a butterfly flaps its wings in Europe the movement of air, slight as it may be, will eventually have an effect on the weather in America." Yeah, well. I suppose that might be true. And changing an event that happened 200 years ago just might somehow mean that things would be different now. Like ... maybe I would never be born. I can live with that. (Joke intended ... wait for it ... wait for it ...) But I've never been one to think everything through before I take the plunge on something. That's one of my fatal flaws. I try to adhere to the biblical admonition to "count the cost" and I know it's always the right thing to do. But I still eat fudge, drink sugary drinks, fail to faithfully work-out, skip meals, over-indulge in subsequent meals, and I occasionally run with scissors just because I can.

My wife would say that I'm slightly impulsive though not as much as I use to be. And she would also say that I'm totally distracted, living life in rhythm with the glittery things that crowd in on my peripheral vision.

Guilty as charged.

What would I change? Well, off the top of my head Hitler would trip and fall into a blast furnace at a not-so-ripe young age. Scratch one holocaust. Michael Jackson would stay 10 years old forever because ... well, just because. The Cubs would have won the World Series in 1969, 1983 and most certainly 2008. I'm not being greedy but I could be because it's my time machine. Oh heck, throw in 2005 too. Sorry White Sox. I love you but I'm feeling the power and I have my allegiances. The first "Gulf War" would have been enough. 9/11 would have been thwarted when the box cutters turned out to be toys purchased at the Dollar General Store and the terrorists would have been turned over to the whatever union airplane pilots join. I'm not trying to be funny here. I think that would be just and fair.

But I think that one of the first buttons I would push would change the events of last Sunday morning at 1st Baptist Church, Maryville. FBC never has its choir remain on the platform after the music is over but I think I would have had chairs up on that platform. It would have been filled with a men's choir. And the men ... the men would have been known as "The Over Caffeinated Men Of The Illinois State Police Tactical Unit." I know it's a long name. I don't mind that. And honestly, I believe in a sovereign God. I believe that God called Pastor Fred home. And I believe the shooters gun jammed because Fred was the only one that God was calling at that time and place. But I'm just dreaming. And I have a time machine. And it has a button.

And yeah ... I would push it.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

A time to cry

What do you say when you don't even have words to speak in the solitude of your own mind? What do you do when you know you should be able to fix something that is broken and yet reality says that it just cannot be fixed? Not by you. Not by me. What then?

A friend of mine died today. Okay, that is not really accurate. A friend of mine was murdered today. He was guilty of standing in a pulpit and telling people about the love and forgiveness of God. That's something that I do twice every Sunday. He was not walking down an alley or hanging in the shadows of high rise slums. He was in a middle class church in a middle class suburb talking to middle class people.

And a man shot him to death with a .45 caliber hand gun. The first bullet blew his bible into confetti like rubble. One of the next two took his life. And now a lovely young woman has no husband. Two charming and beautiful daughters have no father. A vibrant and growing church has no pastor. And the world is a much poorer place.


Because evil exists. Because it knows no boundaries. Actually, I think it knows the boundaries, it just delights in crossing them. A mad man in a state of rage trying to create a nuclear weapon to annihilate a city. A lunatic in a high school executing kids in random fashion. The face of evil in a place of worship attacking something that it can never be ... holy.


The last time I spoke to my friend was when I called him with a difficult problem. I had to make a decision on whether to remain in the ministry I was serving in or move to the church I now serve. I sat alone by the lake in my car and asked God to bring a name to my mind. Somebody that I could call and find the voice of wisdom. My Father instantly brought my friends name to mind. I dialed his number and reached his Administrative Assistant. I told her who I was and what I needed. She told me that my friend was in a meeting but to hold on for a few seconds. In less than a minute he was on the line, interrupting his schedule, putting his meeting on hold, and giving me as much time as I needed to present my dilemma and ask my questions. And then he gave me stellar, Spirit - led advice. Time has proven that he was right. I told him that I owed him lunch. I never got the opportunity to pay up.

Evil got in the way. I know that we win. Someday. By the might of God as His own Son bled out at the cross.

But tonight ... tonight is a time to cry.

(late night addition .. a friend reminded me that I wrote this post <--(Click there ... the link works but won't change colors) about FBCM when I joined it. It seems like an eternity ago...