Friday, February 19, 2010

Be Thou My Vision

The 8th century was a long time ago. I mean a SERIOUSLY long time ago. But there was this guy named Dallan Forgaill who wrote a song that doesn't get much airplay anymore. It should. Read it for yourself. (The capital's are Dallan's. The parenthasis are mine. He out wrote me using much less words than I did.)

BE THOU MY VISION, OH LORD OF MY HEART (God ... would you please be my eyes today? I have so much sin in me that the way I see things is skewed. Let me see life, the world, myself, and people the way you do.)

'NAUGHT BE ALL ELSE TO ME, SAVE THAT THOU ART, (Please do not let anything else in me matter compared to you! Not my wants and desires, not my opinions and thoughts. Nothing.)

THOU MY BEST THOUGHT, BY DAY OR BY NIGHT, (God, nothing enters my mind that is worth anything at all compared with my moments of meditation upon You.)

WAKING OR SLEEPING, THY PRESENCE MY LIGHT. (It matters not what my condition. If I am awake You are my light. If I am asleep You are my light. It is all You, oh God!)

BE THOU MY WISDOM, AND THOU MY TRUE WORD; (My best ideas are foolishness next to your most simple idea's, Father. Every word You speak is greater than my greatest utterance.)

I EVER WITH THEE AND THOU WITH ME, LORD. (What can seperate us? Nothing. Nothing! Because You, oh Lord, will not let it!)

THOU MY GREAT FATHER, I THY TRUE SON; (Our relationship is real. It is deep. It is everlasting. You are my Father. I am Your son. Legally. Eternally. Really.)

THOU IN ME DWELLING, AND I WITH THEE ONE. (When I feel empty You are still inside of me. My feelings mean nothing. It is all about fact. And the fact is that You are in me. We are so closely intertwined that we are one!)

BE THOU MY BATTLE SHIELD, SWORD FOR THE FIGHT; (When evil attacks, Father, You alone shield me. And I can counter attack because You are my Sword in this spiritual battle.)

BE THOU MY DIGNITY, THOU MY DELIGHT; (I have no dignity on my own. You give me worth and integrity. And that makes me delight in You all the more!)

THOU MY SOUL'S SHELTER, THOU MY HIGH TOWER; (In You do I hide, my God. You shelter me from life's storms. I need not worry about anything sneaking up on my or anybody bigger than I am picking on me because You are the biggest, tallest tower around. I can trust You!)

RAISE THOU ME HEAVENWARD, O POWER OF MY POWER. (I get spunky and feel powerful sometimes. But when I wise up I realize that You are the power that powers my power! Pick me up, Abba! Hold me in Your arms! Lift me high toward heaven!)

RICHES I HEED NOT, NOR MAN'S EMPTY PRAISE, (Money has come to mean nothing to me. Stuff is simply ... stuff. I pay no attention to them. The same is true of the words men speak of me when they are being kind. I pay no attention to it. I live to hear Your voice, oh Abba.)

THOU MINE INHERITANCE, NOW AND ALWAYS, (You give me all that is Yours. You love me. I am never broke. I am never hopeless or helpless. My Father is always rich.)

THOU AND THOU ONLY, FIRST IN MY HEART, (You have no competition with me, oh God. You have won my heart. The fight is over. The contest has been decided. I forsake all others for You alone.)

HIGH KING OF HEAVEN, MY TREASURE THOU ART. (You are the pearl of great price. You are the treasure above all treasures. No diamond, no gold, no check or money order, no power-ball victory can come close to being Your's and having You!)

HIGH KING OF HEAVEN, MY VICTORY WON, (It's over! I marched under the banner of my King and I ... WE ... won! The dragon has been slain. Yes, his tail still swishes sometimes but he's down for the count. The victory is won!)

MY I REACH HEAVEN'S JOYS, O BRIGHT HEAVEN'S SUN! (I may have won and I may reign with You on high but right now my body and my soul are right here on earth. It's still muddy and foggy and polluted. It is still dangerous. Please, Abba, bring me home! Let me enter Your presence soon!)

HEART OF MY OWN HEART, WHATEVER BEFALL, (My heart beats to the rhythm of Yours. Your heart defines my heart. No matter what! Forever! You, oh God, are the very heart of me!)

STILL BE MY VISION, O RULER OF ALL. (The enemies darts still come blazing at me, Father. I walk with You and the victory is assured. But battles still rage. The enemy has not conceded. And so even if his fiery darts should pierce my heart, oh great God, keep my vision on You. For You are ruler of all that is!)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Reality In The Sand (with apologies in advance)

Once upon a time I dreamed I was walking along the beach with Jesus.
Many moments from my life darted through my mind.
In each moment I noticed footprints in the sand.
Usually there were two sets of footprints,
other moments there was a single set of footprints.
"That's weird," I thought in my dream.

And this troubled me greatly (not to mention hacking me off) because I noticed
that during the hardest moments of my life,
when I was despairing due to
pain, sadness or spiritual warfare,
I could see merely the single set of footprints.

So I said to Jesus,
"Whoa. Hold on just one Damascus Road minute. You promised me Jesus,
that if I stayed with you,
you would stick around all of the time.
And yet I have observed that during
the most trying difficult, painful, horrible times of my life
there has consistently been one
single pair of footprints on the beach.
And behind those footprints I noticed a smoothly graded place.
I mean isn't that a little weird. Kind of like I was being followed by a slithering monster.
Was that a demon chasing me Jesus while you went off to hang out with Billy Graham?
Why in the world, when I really, really needed you,
did you run away and leave me on this stinken beach all alone?
Come on! What gives?"

That is when I am pretty sure
I heard Jesus quietly reply in His still, small, voice,
"You know those times when you only saw your own footprints
with the demon chasing after you?
Oh, my child. Those were not your footprints. They were mine.
And there was no demon chasing you, my son. You read too many weird books.
That smooth place is where I drug you kicking and screaming behind me
Way to go. This would have been a lot easier if we had done it my way."

To which I replied to my Lord, " .... Oh. Never mind."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

32 Reasons (in no particular order) Why I Love My Valentine Of 32 Years

(My "on-line" Valentines Day Card. Take THAT Hallmark ....)

32. Home made Pazookies
31. She falls asleep in 30 seconds and then I can listen to anything I want on the ipod.
30. Speaking of sleeping ... she goes deep and doesn't surface even if I do that trampoline thing on my side. No worries mate.
29. She actually drives better than I do but she doesn't rub it in.
28. She understands when I HAVE to have mexican.
27. Kelli
26. Scott
25. Chris
24. She won't let me have a dog. (Yes, that's a good thing. I tend to lose them.)
23. She knocks before coming into my man cave if the door is closed even though she knows I won't be mad if she doesn't.
22. She is addicted to the same TV shows that I'm addicted to.
21. I don't fold clothes well and she doesn't yell at me for it.
20. Home made Chicken Enchiladas. 'Nuff said.
19. She knows I talk too much and to too many people and she's okay with it.
18. She doesn't pretend to like baseball. (Nothing worse than a faker.)
17. She reminds me to take my "old man medicines."
16. She waits to watch "House" until I'm other-wise-occupied.
15. She ALWAYS knows where I left my glasses.
14. She actually BOUGHT me my motorcycle. (Better yet ... as a surprise!)
13. She keeps cookie dough in the refrigerator at all times.
12. She thinks Ernie Banks is FDIC insured and doesn't pretend to understand why he's not.
11. She loves her dad. Never fall in love with a woman that doesn't love her dad.
10. She leaves the seat up. (Not really but nobody is perfect.)
09. I am the only man I know allowed to eat potato chips in bed.
08. She took care of my elderly mom when I could not.
07. She remembers what I forgot and forgot what I remember. (Resulting in a remarkable decrease in arguments.)
06. She gets dressed very quietly in the morning because she leaves before I do. (She's a "morning person" but I love her anyway.)
05. She knows just the right times to "come share my chair." (I have a truly large chair.)
04. She doesn't think I've ever preached a bad sermon.
03. She went out of her comfort zone and learned to ski with me.
02. She knows where "her place" is on my shoulder and loves to bury her head in it.
01. She loves God with all of her heart, mind, soul, and strength. And she loves me ... her neighbor ... like she loves herself.

Happy Valentines Day, Debbie. I love you.