Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Prayer For The New Year



I didn't write this, but wanted to share. Happy New Year, y'all!

Prayer for the New Year Dear Lord, please give me… A few friends who understand me and remain my friends; A work to do which has real value, without which the world would be the poorer; A mind unafraid to travel, even though the trail be not blazed; An understanding heart; A sense of humor; Time for quiet, silent meditation; A feeling of the presence of God; The patience to wait for the coming of these things, With the wisdom to recognize them when they come. Amen. --Anonymous

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Nice God



Just some thoughts ...

I cruise around a lot of Christian sites from time to time and this observation has struck me of late ... God in general seems to be pictured as, for lack of a better word at the moment, "nice." There seems to be a want for a God that provides but not one really who meddles in our lives. A God who protects but never demands, never judges, keeps His distance ... This nice God doesn't seem to say much but greeting card slogans. Sheesh! A God who is basically a wimp!

But the fact of the matter is God is not just nice. God is a consuming fire! Although He cares for the sparrow, the fragile, the hurt, He just isn't all that pampering. God's main business isn't getting us the best parking spaces at the mall or otherwise make us nice and comfy. His main business is making us holy which requires the niceness .... And sternness of our God.

Let me share this verse from Exodus 20:20, "Do not be afraid, God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning." Do not be afraid ... Only a God we fear, and yet not be afraid of can make our hearts burn with a passion. The God who truly is, who seeks after you and me is far more loving and comforting than the "nice" God depicted seemingly everywhere. He is also more fierce and fearsome than this "scorekeeper" God of those who threaten us with damnation with every misstep and misthought. His anger is not just irritability ... Its the distillation of His justice, His hatred of evil. This is what we want, even demand from a good God. A God who can kick tush and maybe even spank our own when necessary...

A nice, kindly old man type of god could never drive us to our knees in desperate prayer. He could never set us up on our feet in fierce determination ready to roll. A nice god could never inspire fervent worship, awe or sacrifice. The nice god is someone easy to dismiss unless we want or need something. How can we possibly explain a God that has His Son die a cruel, bloody death for us with a picture like that? God demands all ...

In Hebrews it says its a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Yet the thing more dangerous than that is to NOT fall into His hands! God may not be all sweetness and fluff ... But He is good!

Just wanted to throw this out there ...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Keep It 2 Myself


I have made a decision in life to see how long I can go without talking about the negative and stressful stuff in my life. A couple people at work informed me that they didn't want to hear about the things in my life (especially which involved them!) that give me stress or disappointment. So I've decided it would be an interesting test to see how long I could go without talking about it. Yesterday was day one!! It going great so far. It's fun to pretend that you're happy and having a great time when all you want to do is scream in frustration.

I don't think this is really gonna work ....

sulks and kvetches



"When I hear Christ calling, do I drop everything, and as Mark's Gospel puts it immediately follow him...or am I more like Jonah, who needs to be dragged kicking and screaming into my vocation, and then sulks and kvetches about it to God?""Come Follow Me," Graham Braddock


You know, being totally honest at 4:40 on a Monday morning ... I got a lotta Jonah in me ...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Plane crash victim updates Twitter before fleeing ...



Now for something a bit different ....



'Tweeting' passenger relays plane crash drama


Twitter (http://www.twitter.com) user Mike Wilson was on board the Continental Airline’s 737 in Denver, in the US mid-west, when it slid off the runway during take-off yesterday. At least 38 people suffered minor injuries after the Texas-bound plane slid off the runway – sheering its landing gear – and dropped into a 12m ravine. A fire then broke out, damaging the entire right-side.

But just moments after the plane came to a rest, Mr Wilson used his mobile phone to send a message to all of his Twitter followers: "Holy ... s**t - I was just in a plane crash!”

Mr Wilson said that he could feel the heat from the fire while he was still on the plane. “By the time the plane stopped we were burning pretty well and I think I could feel the heat even through the bulkhead and window,” he Tweeted. “Whoever was on the left side exit row, God bless him, was Johnny on the spot and instantly had the door open - people crowded out in a mass. “I made for the exit door as quickly as I could, fearing the right wing might explode from the fire. Once out, I scrambled down the wing.”

While the passengers gathered at the terminal, he vented his disgust at not being invited into the airline’s presidential lounge. “Continental keeping us locked up at the presidents club until they can sort everything out. Won't even serve us drinks :(.

“You have your wits scared out of you, drag your butt out of a flaming ball of wreckage and you can't even get a vodka-tonic.”

Despite losing his glasses during the evacuation, Mr Wilson managed to use his phone to take a photo of the crash scene and instantly uploaded it onto the web as he fled from the plane. It is not known what the cause of the accident was.

He later thanked other Twitter users for their concern and support.

Full story here:

http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,,24833273-5008620,00.html

My own "Twitter" Page:

http://twitter.com/Thundercatt99

Practicing the Silence


Even though I live in this small town my life is rather noisy. Kids work,, the phone, the list can go on and on. Many people cannot abide silence, for whatever reason. They cannot drive their cars without the radio or some other noise...err...music device operating at all times. Similarly, there are those who have the TV on all the time, even if they are not sitting down actively watching it.

Being silent means more than just holding your tongue. It means listening for the softest, most subtle sound of all - the sound of the soul. And every time someone listens to that voice of conscience, every time someone chooses to do what is right, regardless of the consequences, every time someone listens to that inner voice and does something generous or compassionate, that for me is beautiful evidence of God.

Sometimes, I will sit still, close my eyes, and empty my mind of busy thought, and be conscious of the silence. But it's not really silence, as in the total absence of sound, but rather, it's the small daily-life sounds no one notices in the usual cacophony of their typical days. It's the hum of a refrigerator, the whirring of a fan, the whoosh of cars passing in the street, the chirping of birds and crickets (I really like the crickets!), the howl of a train's horn, the roar of a lawn mower, and so on. I've found that practicing the silence will many times inspire me to write, and will even sometimes bring on a feeling of contentment that I can't quite explain.

When someone speaks in a whisper, you cannot hear him unless you are very close to him and everything else is very quiet. You cannot hear God's Whisper unless your heart is quiet and you draw near to God. You may experience storms in life; your child might get sick ... disaster happens ... But you must listen to God's still small Voice. Thoughts?




Learn To Be Quiet


Franz Kafka

You need not do anything.
Remain sitting at your table and listen.
You need not even listen, just wait.
You need not even wait,
just learn to be quiet, still and solitary.
And the world will freely offer itself to you unmasked.
It has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.


Franz Kafka, 1883-1924, was a popular Czech novelist and short story author.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

if they would just believe ...



Some thoughts early in the morning ... have you ever met a person or been friends with someone that every night would leave you praying that if they could just be a Christian, that would be it. they're such a good person! they're nicer than my Christian friends! (etc. etc.) I have more than a couple friends of mine that are closer to being like Christ than people in my church that claim to have an "intimate" relationship with Him yet are unable to back it up with their words and actions. and occasionally that leaves me thinking, if they would just believe....

Why is it that this frustrates me so? that i believe that they are "depraved" and yet those that claim to be seeking after God are further away than those that have no care for Him at all? I must apologize, this is a difficult topic for me to convey in mere type, but do any of you get what I'm saying? I feel ashamed to say it, but there are times when I come across a non-Christian who shows Christlike character and I think "They are more deserving of God's saving grace than I am!" Anyone relate to this?

Corn???


It's said that you are what you eat. I always found that a strange concept, but with that in mind, here is a quiz that is to determine What fruit or vegetable are you? Really!

The link:

Click here: What kind of fruit or vegetable are you?

http://quizstop.com/phpfruit.htm

My result:

Sweet Corn -- sentimental and traditional, sweet and "corny"...you would like nothing better than to share the golden niblets of a rich, warm, and graceful life.

My second place result was "couch potato" e-gads!!! lol

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Boxing Day!!!


Now I can get into celebrating just about anything ... It's Boxing Day. What does this day mean to you?

I've heard this means that most stores drastically reduce prices. It's a holiday for everyone other than retail employees. And me who has to go to work this morning ... Or is it the day you "box" up your clothes that no longer fit you after overindulging at Christmas? Upon a bit of investigation, Boxing Day, as I understand it, is based on the tradition of giving gifts to the less fortunate members of society. So anything I do not need, use or love, I donate to someone who can use it. Now that is a holiday I can support!

Anyways ... Happy Boxing Day!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas Greeting


I Love Jaquie Lawson cards. Check this one out ....

http://www.jacquielawson.com/viewcard.asp?code=PP28735954

Have a blessed warm Christmas full of Light and Love!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Messy Christmas



Jesus is many things to many people, but to John he was Light and Life. The apostle must have remembered where Jesus was standing and what he sounded like when he referred to himself by those words. Although nothing is written in his book, there is a little inkling of the birth to be found in John’s Gospel after all. It is wrapped up in one short sentence, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”. This verse really should be read before Matthew and Luke. It prepares us to receive the full version of the story. The Light that is Jesus shines in, around, through, behind, beneath, beyond the darkness of the manger, the stable, the darkness of the world, the darkness of buried in our own hearts. Do we really understand it any more than the shepherds or the wise men did. Who can grasp the idea of Light and Life being contained in a body?

If you were a shepherd 2,000 years ago and were outside watching the sheep one night when an angel showed up with a message from God, well…what would you do? Once they got over the shock They probably thought, Oh, sheesh! What did we do now??? They had been told that God did not like people , sinners, who definitely are not all cleaned up, so they might have assumed the angel was there to tell them God was mad at them — or worse. Maybe God had finally reached his limit with all the crap in the world and was ready to do something about it — starting with them! But instead the angel began with these words: “Fear not.” It’s a familiar refrain, angels, who seemingly always having to preface their conversations with people this way. Then he told them how to find the long awaited Messiah:

He will be wrapped in rags, lying in a feed trough, surrounded by animals — kind of like one of your shepherd kids would be. In other words, here’s how you will know the Messiah when you see him: You will find him in the middle of a big stinkin' mess!

The whole reason this is Good News — to the shepherds that night and to us right now — is that we really are all messy people. Every night, well dressed and manicured people appear on television and tell us how the world got a little messier today. We manage to mess up every single area of life: relationships, finances, work, family, the environment, the Church (especially there), our conscience, our habits ... the list can go on and on. In fact there’s not a single place we haven't managed to mangle ... And we can't seem to fix any of it!

So the angel says, “Here’s the Good News: God is not afraid of your mess.”

Say what??? Our God doesn't seem to care how messy our life is. It couldn't be any messier than where He chose to come to earth. He was born in a mess — wrapped in rags, laid in a manger — and he died in a mess! And in between his first day and his last day, he mostly hung out with messy people, seeming even to prefer them!

We make Christmas really pretty, with red velvet bows and evergreen branches and all that. But the real story of Christmas proves that you do not have to clean up for him. Cleanliness, it turns out, is far from godliness. If anything, it’s in the middle of our messiness that God shows up! God is love and only love. In God there is no hatred, desire for revenge, or pleasure in seeing us punished. God wants to forgive, heal, restore, show us endless mercy, and see us come home.

Merry Christmas!!!

Horse to exhibit canvas art in Venice


This was so unusual and off the wall I had to share it ….


Horse to exhibit canvas art in Venice

Cholla, a horse from Reno, Nevada, paints canvases holding a brush between his teeth. The mustang’s work has been so acclaimed that an exclusive art exhibition is being held in Venice in the Spring. Some of Cholla’s paintings have sold for over £2000 and are coveted by celebrity collectors including Martha Stewart.

The horse’s owner, Renne Chambers, passes Cholla a paintbrush which he takes between his teeth and daubs onto a canvas mounted on an easel in his paddock. She admits she squeezes out the paint onto the brush, but says that he does all the rest. She never moves the easel or canvas while he is painting.

She first noticed his interest in art when she noticed him watching intently and following her as she painted her fence.Said 51 year-old Renne: “[Cholla] seemed really interested in what I was doing, then one day my husband Robert joked to me that I should give him a brush. … he hasn’t looked back since. “

“Art is an expression of intelligence and animals are capable of thought and creative intention, so why should God give the gift of creation to humans only? God loves us all, great and small.”

http://www.yourimage2canvas.co.uk/news/article/horse-to-exhibit-canvas-art-in-venice--159509.html

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

And celluloid heroes never really die


Yesterday I heard on the radio what has to be my favorite Kinks song and it brought back a flood of memories of my days growing up in Venice Beach, California. When I was young I used to listen to that song and dream one day I would live in Hollywood, where all my heroes and villains lived ... It just brought me back to a place I cherish !! Anyways ... Allow me to share the lyrics with you ...

Celluloid Heroes

Everybody's a dreamer and everybody's a star,
And everybody's in movies, it doesn't matter who you are.
There are stars in every city,
In every house and on every street,
And if you walk down Hollywood boulevard
Their names are written in concrete!

Don't step on great Garbo as you walk down the boulevard,
She looks so weak and fragile that's why she tried to be so hard
But they turned her into a princess
And they sat her on a throne,
But she turned her back on stardom,
Because she wanted to be alone.

You can see all the stars as you walk down Hollywood boulevard,
Some that you recognize, some that you've hardly even heard of,
People who worked and suffered and struggled for fame,
Some who succeeded and some who suffered in vain.
Rudolph Valentino, looks very much alive,
And he looks up ladies' dresses as they sadly pass him by.
Avoid stepping on Bela Lugosi
'cos he's liable to turn and bite,
But stand close by Bette Davis
Because hers was such a lonely life.
If you covered him with garbage,
George sanders would still have style,
And if you stamped on Mickey Rooney
He would still turn round and smile,
But please don't tread on dearest Marilyn
'cos she's not very tough,
She should have been made of iron or steel,
But she was only made of flesh and blood.

You can see all the stars as you walk down Hollywood boulevard,
Some that you recognize, some that you've hardly even heard of.
People who worked and suffered and struggled for fame,
Some who succeeded and some who suffered in vain.

Everybody's a dreamer and everybody's a star
And everybody's in show biz, it doesn't matter who you are.

And those who are successful,
Be always on your guard,
Success walks hand in hand with failure
Along Hollywood boulevard.

I wish my life was a non-stop Hollywood movie show,
A fantasy world of celluloid villains and heroes,
Because celluloid heroes never feel any pain
And celluloid heroes never really die.

You can see all the stars as you walk along Hollywood boulevard,
Some that you recognize, some that you've hardly even heard of,
People who worked and suffered and struggled for fame,
Some who succeeded and some who suffered in vain.

Oh celluloid heroes never feel any pain
Oh celluloid heroes never really die.

I wish my life was a non-stop Hollywood movie show,
A fantasy world of celluloid villains and heroes,
Because celluloid heroes never feel any pain
And celluloid heroes never really die.

The video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oh23A2GptAQ&feature=related

Monday, December 22, 2008

Abba's Love



I don't share that many devotionals but I really liked this one.

Tim



Reflections For Ragamuffins - A Daily Devotional

by Brennan Manning Copyright © 1998 by Brennan Manning


ABBA'S LOVE - Sunday, February 8th


The prayer for the poor in spirit can simply be a

single word: Abba. Yet that word can signify dynamic

interaction. Imagine a boy trying to help his father with some

household work or making his mother a gift. The help may be

nothing more than getting in the way, and the gift may be

totally useless, but the love behind it is simple and pure, and

the loving response it evokes is virtually uncontrollable. I am

sure it is this way between our Abba and us. At the deepest,

simplest levels, we just want each other to be happy, to be

pleased. Our sincere desire counts far more than any specific

success or failure. Thus when we try and pray and cannot,

or when we fail in a sincere attempt to be compassionate,

God touches us tenderly in return ...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

So Michelle Duggar just had her 18th kid...


The article is here:


“Michelle Duggar delivered the baby girl by Caesarean section Thursday at Mercy Medical Center in Rogers. The baby, named Jordyn-Grace Makiya Duggar, weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces and was 20 inches long. Jim Bob Duggar is 43, a year older than his wife. Their oldest child, Joshua, is 20. The other Duggar children, in between Joshua and Jordyn-Grace, are Jana, 18; John-David, 18; Jill, 17; Jessa, 16; Jinger, 14; Joseph, 13; Josiah, 12; Joy-Anna, 11; Jeremiah, 9; Jedidiah, 9; Jason, 8; James, 7; Justin, 6; Jackson, 4; Johannah, 3; and Jennifer, 1.

“Our whole family is excited about Jordyn’s addition to our family,” Jim Bob Duggar said. “She’s just perfect in every way.”

Wow... yeah, amazing ... I just looked at her kids ages and it does look like she has been perpetually pregnant since the late 80's. I wonder if she remembers what it's like not to be pregnant? I can't imagine ever having more than like... 4 kids. 18 is just... I dunno. I would forget their names!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Much to their surprise ...


I know this one is really politically incorrect .... But I *snickered* ... loudly ... lol

revelation 12/the other christmas story


There is another Christmas story that we don't hear of during the season, at least very rarely, and its recorded in Revelation 12.

"Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days" (Revelation 12:1-6).

There is this parallel history kind of thing, and while we reflect on shepherds, a mad king and a manger scene, this story in Revelation shows whats going on in the heavens. Even before Jesus was born, Satan was plotting to kill Him. The Incarnation was a tremendous blow to Satan and his forces, who continued to pursue Jesus, until through the sacrifice of His life on the cross, He won the ultimate battle and brought to completion the reconciliation of God and man. The war is raging on, with Satan and his angels cast to the earth where they continue to display their wrath against the Body of Christ ... us.

John's preface to his gospel holds that when the Word became flesh, many didn't recognize it. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, but it didn't know him. He came to his own, and they didn't acknowledge or receive him. But some did. Christmas has to do with seeing the signs, with recognition, with discerning God's presence in the world. I believe the peace of the Christmas story is one of God's gifts to us, a gift that reveals to us the victory of God in the midst of terrible strife.

At every turn the story in Revelation 12 seems an absurd mismatch: a woman and a dragon, a babe and the kings of this world, a messiah and the power of death. But that is precisely the method that God has chosen in the incarnation. If we look closely, we will see that there are two levels or fronts to the Christmas story: one of peace and the other of war. The truth is, God has been active in the history of man, and He will be active in our lives forever; regardless of what the enemy tries to do, He will prevail. Isn't it a strange thought that what happens our our tiny planet, perhaps even our own actions, echos in the heavens?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Shrek Love


There I was ... thinking back on an more enlightening intellectual deep movie -- "Shrek" -- and an amazing revelation about true love came to me. Here it is: True love causes you to become who you are really meant to be, it brings out the side of you that was always meant to exist but somehow never was able to, the real you is waiting just inside to be brought out by true love. *Sigh*

Now THAT is what I call romantic! Anybody care to say "Awww"?

Does this make any sense ?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

mending


An interesting quote I came across:

"Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is the glue."

~Eugene O'Neill

You know I think this is true ... the grace thing. Without the grace from above, and shown toward each other, forgiving wrongs, giving chances ... there is no mending. The sorrow, hardness of heart we hold onto just never mends.

happy being unhappy?



Why do some people have to live with so much drama in their lives.... You know we all know at least one person like this....the one who every time you see or talk to them something "big" is going on in their lives......

I don't mind helping and listening to others but then that one person comes into your life and they make you want to pull your hair out...its always one thing after another...and to make it worse they aren't even trying to change it they thrive on the attention the drama gives them!

Maybe what I need is prayer for dealing with people like this in my life ... I find that with these people you just end up smiling and try to stay out of as much as you can. there is no point in sounding like a broken record if they don't want to listen. But it amazes me that people would rather be unhappy than actually try and work through things. Could it be that some people are happy being unhappy?

Tim, with a vent from work yesterday ...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Already Forgiven!


This is a post kinda written to myself, but I sometimes get so caught up in things that I need to remind myself of the basics.

One should remember ... that if you are in Christ you are already forgiven! All of our sins that would separate us from relationship past, present and future have been forgiven by God (as far as east is from west), through the blood of Jesus. Now if I can only begin to shadow that forgiveness towards others ...

There are some who preach that you must ask, beg for forgiveness and mercy any and all sins you commit. Forget one and you are well done kind of thing. The versed used on me yesterday was 1 John 1:9 to prod us with fear that we have to keep short accounts. The book of 1 John was directed to the Gnostics who claimed they were without sin which John himself says they are not of God, in the truth.

We do repent and confess sin and agree with God in regard to it. At this point there is nothing left for Jesus to do except to teach us and lead in growing. We are in His hands. Rest in that!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What's your theological worldview? Quiz

http://quizfarm.com/test.php?q_id=43870

My result:

You scored as Emergent/Postmodern

You are Emergent/Postmodern in your theology. You feel alienated from older forms of church, you don't think they connect to modern culture very well. No one knows the whole truth about God, and we have much to learn from each other, and so learning takes place in dialogue. Evangelism should take place in relationships rather than through crusades and altar-calls. People are interested in spirituality and want to ask questions, so the church should help them to do this.

Emergent/Postmodern
75%

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan
71%

Roman Catholic
57%

Reformed Evangelical
57%

Fundamentalist
54%

Neo orthodox
50%

Classical Liberal
46%

Charismatic/Pentecostal
43%

Modern Liberal
29%

Interesting ... And seemingly accurate. Hmmmm

Monday, December 15, 2008

A prayer for a Monday morning


A prayer for a Monday morning. I got this from a Highlights for Children magazine. Really!

A Quit Mind

Lord, give me a quiet mind,
That I might listen;
A gentle tone of voice,
That I might comfort others;
A sound and healthy body,
That I might share
In the joy of walking
And leping and running;
And a good sense of direction
So I might know just where I’m going!

~Ruskin Bond

Sunday, December 14, 2008

"Eve Names the Kiss"



Could this be how it all went down?

"Eve Names the Kiss"

by Gwen Hart

He sat upon the garden wall.
She had her fingers on his knees.
The smallest leaves began to fall.
A subtle difference in the breeze.
Prompted the tiger and the hare to linger there.

Even the snake
slithered closer so to hear
what sound she'd make.

They'd heard him speak
a thousand times,
define the world
from bumblebee to elephant.
His syllables were muscled,
bold.

But she,
they felt,
was different.

The future trembled on her lips.
Her mouth was like an apple split,
two halves as supple as her hips.
And when she said the word, he bit.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A prayer for this Saturday ...


May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, superficial relationships, so that you will live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people so that you will work for justice, equality and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that you will reach out your hand to comfort them and change their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with the foolishness to think that you can make a difference in the world, so that you will do the things which others tell you cannot be done.

Author Unknown

Amen!

Friday, December 12, 2008

An Albert ....


Another quote ...

Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory. Albert Schweitzer (1875 - 1965)



Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christianity as Music


How many times have you heard that this person or that person, or maybe yourself is not acting very "Christian"? Vulnerability is a big risk, because there will always be people who will not like what you have to say or reject who God has made you and not like the experiences you have had. consider ways that you might share your experiences, thoughts, and dreams with others at church. Expect that not everyone will rejoice with you or mourn with you, but I truly believe that anyone who really understands the grace of God will be grateful for your story and come away with a greater picture of the goodness of our God.

Christianity is a beautiful and flawless piece of music composed by God. Sometimes, the musicians (us) attempting to play it hit a few wrong notes or play it off key. Sometimes we make such an awful noise that they cause their audience to run away from them, holding their ears! But every now and then, a musician who is practiced in their Christianity plays the music and it is glorious and wonderful and sweet. We shouldn't fault the composer (Jesus) when unpracticed musicians play His composition; a composition should be judged when it is played by the best, not the worst.

The thing is that we are all immature and immaturity means that a goal has not been met. Imperfection means that things are not as they should be at a given stage of development. There’s a big difference. Adam was created perfect but he still required instruction to grow in his maturity. Jesus was created perfect but even he “kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” (Luke 2:52)

When I think about it this way a huge weight is lifted off my shoulders. The big struggle of so many Christians, including myself, is a lack of patience with themselves or others for not being instantly “finished”. I am convinced that when you read the Bible, you realize that the “heroes of the faith” tend to be no different – flawed people who nonetheless are chosen and loved by a God who is not too proud to be associated with them. There is Peter, denying that he knows Jesus in Matthew 26. And then there is God, calling himself the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Exodus 3:6, among others), and proclaiming that Peter is the rock upon which he will build his church (Matthew 16:18), forever associating himself with his flawed yet beloved followers.

For all of my weaknesses and sins, I get the sense that God likes us, that God is using us anyways, and that because when we are vulnerable, God will get the glory for not kicking us to the curb but instead loving, forgiving, and using him to bring others to Him. remember that the grace that has been bestowed upon us is so much greater than we can give back. Let us purpose to show this grace to others. The world is starving for grace and will take notice when we show this to each other. This is the music our world needs to hear!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Artsy Ramble


Have you ever studied the lives of any of the great artists in history? I don't mean just the artist that painted or did art, I mean artist in the terms of creative people...writers, singers, and so forth...

I majored in art in college, (not that I ever finished and got a degree or anything but I did take every art class they offered...lol) and in studying the ones admired the most, they all seem to have suffered either from deep depression or went through some terrible times in their lives.

Beethoven wrote the Moonlight Sonata (spelling?) but its one of the most beautiful but also mournful pieces of music ever written. The story behind it was that he was in love with this young lady but her family rejected him and he could not marry her. He was utterly heart broken and it came out in this music. Later on some of his most wonderful music came after he had gone deaf!!! Could you image writing music and not being able to hear it?

I image somewhere he told someone he could hear the music in his head, he didn't need to hear it with his ears.

Wolfgang Mozart was considered insane I think...or seemed to be, but actually it was due to the terrible treatment he got by others in most of his life. There is a movie that was done on him a number of years ago...you ought to check it out and watch it.

Edgar Allan Poe, was an extremely depressed person, in fact I heard he had bipolar, but not real sure on that. Just reading his stuff, while so well written and required reading in many schools (or used to be), you can image how the depression affected his writings.

Van Gogh...he cut his ear off....I think it was over a woman too....grief and despair can do funny things to ones mind.

Michelangelo was also a nut case...lol....He had a learning disability, depression and a recent news article said he may have had Aspergers ... what that is....well we call it being a geek....awkward, no social skills and gets super focused on ONE thing. His one thing was art...

I think all these people obsessed to some degree or another with their work to the point they neglect family, friends and other normal day activities. Which caused people to think they were nutty...I don't think they were really nutty, they were gifted...

But also in all their lives some kind of grief and heartache and depression affected them and because of it, it actually enriched their art, be it painting or writing or acting...whatever and it made them outstanding in what they did.

They have all left us with their 'gifts' and something to learn by and appreciate and make kids have to learn in school....

When I was younger and wanted to 'create' something, whatever...I wrote and did "art" well kinda ....I was told SO many times that to be a good artist I had to SUFFER! Had to go through hardships and all kinds of bad stuff in order to add that richest to my art....sounded real appealing ... Right!

I find it amazing that our most talented people throughout history really had such rough lives! And there seems to be a correlation to great Christians ...

I also think it helps the rest of us too ...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dream of the Rood

Listen, I'll tell the loveliest of dreams,
what I dreamt in the dark of night
after reason-bearers lay at rest.
It seemed I saw a wondrous treeled aloft,
wound in light,the brightest of beams.
That beacon wasall covered with gold.
Gems stoodfair at the ground’s surface;
likewise there were fiveup at the crossbeam.
All beheld there the Angel of the Lord,fair through eternal decree.
There was no felon’s gallows there,
but holy spirits beheld him,
people of earth and all this glorious creation.
Rare was this victory-beam,
and I stained in sins,mauled by misdeeds.
I saw glory’s tree,graced with garments,
shine with joy,
girded with gold.
Gems had worthily covered the tree of the wild.
Yet through that gold I could glimpse
the old war of wretched ones,
for it first beganto bleed on its right side.
I was all driven with sorrows;
afraid I was of the fair vision. . . .
I have few friends
powerful on earth, since they have departed
from the world’s joys,
sought wonder’s King,
and live now in heaven with the high Father,
dwell in glory.
And every day
I look for that time when the Lord’s cross,
which I once beheld here on earth,
will fetch me in this fleeting life
and bring me where the bliss is great,
joy in heaven,
where the Lord’s host areseated at the banquet.
Endless bliss is there.
It will set me where forever I will
dwell in wonders,
taste wellhappiness with the holy.
May the Lord be my friend,
he who earlier suffered here on earth,
on this gallows tree for our trespasses.
He redeemed us and returned our lives,
gave us a heavenly home.
Hope was renewed
among blessings with bliss for those who suffered burning there.
The Son, mighty and successful,
was victorious
in that quest, when he came with many,
a host of spirits into God’s glorious kingdom,
the almighty ruler,
to the bliss of angels
and all the saints who earlier dwelt in glory
in heaven,
when their Creator came,
almighty Lord,
back to the land of his home.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Jesus Pencil Toppers???


I don't know but I found this a wee bit bizarre at best ....


Jesus Pencil ToppersBlessed are the shopping list scrawlers and the test takers when their pencils are topped with one of these replicas of Jesus। Handsomely detailed with a red robe and arms outstretched in blessing or prayer. Five 1-1/4" (3.2 cm) tall, soft vinyl Jesuses on each illustrated blistercard. UPC

Sunday, December 7, 2008

There will be tail-wagging in heaven!


It is certainly very interesting to see how the Bible actually differs so much across languages, the Bible is a living document which needs to be seen to be relevant to everyone who reads or hears it. Here is an example I came across which may give you a chuckle ...

Happy translation

Sir - Some linguists were translating the Bible into a local African language (Letters, March 28). They had difficulty in finding a pure word for joy. The tribal words used had connotations which were not acceptable.

As they were debating what would be a suitable word a dog came into the room belonging to one of the missionaries, wagging his tail vigorously.

"What word would you use for the joy that dog has having found his master?", the missionaries asked. They were offered a word and the final text was translated: "There will be tail-wagging in heaven over one sinner that repents!"

Saturday, December 6, 2008

He's made it plain

MICAH 6:8 But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women। It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously—take God seriously.

Pretty much sums it all up!

Friday, December 5, 2008

There we want to be!





"When you are interiorly free you call others to freedom, whether you know it or not. Freedom attracts wherever it appears. A free man or a free woman creates a space where others feel safe and want to dwell. Our world is so full of conditions, demands, requirements, and obligations that we often wonder what is expected of us. But when we meet a truly free person, there are no expectations, only an invitation to reach into ourselves and discover there our own freedom.Where true inner freedom is, there is God. And where God is, there we want to be."

Henri Nouwen


Nouwen I believe, is speaking of the attractiveness of the free woman or man. I wonder if this doesn't lie close to the heart of the Gospel message... Jesus was apparently a shockingly attractive man, although scripture indicates it wasn't physical. People, sometimes in crowds, would leave everything, families, livelihoods, homes, just to be with him, to listen to him speak and to watch what he did. Society doesn't much like folks who live free of cultural imperatives, from the will of the crowd. "Where true inner freedom is, there is God. And where God is, there we want to be." Yes indeed!


Thursday, December 4, 2008

For the love of God!



“Living in awareness of our belovedness is the axis around which the Christian life revolves. Being the beloved is our identity, the core of our existence. It is not merely a lofty thought, an inspiring idea, or one name among many. It is the name by which God knows us and the way He relates to us.”


–Brennan Manning

“Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation that you believe to be the will of God.”


–Jim Elliot

"The great spiritual task facing me is to so fully trust that I belong to God that I can be free in the world - free to speak even when my actions are criticized, ridiculed, or considered useless; free also to receive love from people and be grateful for all the signs of God's presence in the world. I am convinced that I will truly be able to love the world when I finally believe that I am loved far beyond its boundaries.

-Henri J.M. Nouwen



Just some thoughts ... The hospitality that Jesus demonstrates and further offers us, creates space for moral failures to be accepted, to be loved, to be given possibilities, opportunities, and the room for further growth and failure. What would it be like to offer this kind of hospitality to myself? To give myself the space for failure and growth, and to learn to accept and love myself as opposed to the false self that I have created? There are many of us who feel that their lives are a grave disappointment to God. Sheesh! I am beginning to see that God does love us so much more than we can know. "Morning by morning, new mercies I see." That's day after day, new sins I commit. I feel a tremendous optimism! God's is the author of all our lives. God wants to forgive, heal, restore, show us endless mercy, and see us come home!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Horse and His Boy


The background is this: Shasta (the boy) is running away with Bree (the horse)। During their adventure they met another talking horse carrying Aravis (a girl)। Right before they meet, they are attacked by lions. Further along in the story, a lion manages to scratch Aravis' back. Turns out this whole time it was Aslan, the Great Lion (an allegorical Christ figure in the series).

Here's the quote: "I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis। I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the Horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you." "Then it was you who wounded Aravis?" [Shasta asked.] "It was I." "But what for?" "Child," said the Voice, "I am telling you your story, not hers. I tell no one any story but his own."



~CS Lewis, Chronicles of Narnia, A Horse and His Boy (ch। 11)


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Happiness


Another quote ...

"Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory।" Albert Schweitzer (1875 - 1965)



LOL Kinda true even! lol

Monday, December 1, 2008

What Art Movement Are You?


Being somewhat artsy and all I had to check this quiz out ...

Click here: Blogthings - What Art Movement Are You?

My result:

You Are Romanticism
You are likely to see the world as it should be, not as it is.You prefer to celebrate the great things people do... not the horrors they're capable of.For you, there is nothing more inspiring than a great hero.You believe that great art reflects the artist's imagination and true ideals.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

We are the ones we've been waiting for.


This is not really a poem... but it's beautiful like a poem and I wanted to share it with you all.

This Is The Hour

You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.
Now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour.
And there are things to be considered:
Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.
This could be a good time!
There is a river flowing now very fast.
It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.
They will try to hold onto the shore.
They will feel they are being torn apart
and they will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destination.
The elders say we must let go of the shore,
push off into the middle of the river,
keep our eyes open and our heads above the water.
See who is in there with you and celebrate.
At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally.
Least of all, ourselves.
For the moment that we do,
our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
The time of the lone wolf is over.
Gather yourselves!
Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
We are the ones we've been waiting for.

~The Hopi Nation Elders

Saturday, November 29, 2008

But if you are not useful to others, you are doing nothing


"You can continue to fast, sleep on the ground, eat cinders, weep without ceasing. But if you are not useful to others, you are doing nothing worthwhile."-St. John Chrysostom

St. John's statement, the first time I read it, troubled me. Am I really doing nothing worthwhile if I am not of use to people, even if I am trying very hard to serve God and prepare my heart to receive Him on a daily basis? However, I posted the quotation because servant hood has always been important to us in scripture. Today, though, I recognize the gravity of St. John's words.

St John the apostle says, "He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now। He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes" (1 John 2). He makes a direct relationship between our love for the brethren and our status as servants of God. Furthermore, Christ offers a compelling analogy to illustrate the necessity of loving mankind in his "I was in prison" parable in Matt. 25. To love and serve mankind is to worship God. Simply ... If we are not sure how to love God, we should love our neighbor.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Some thoughts this Thanksgiving …


Some thoughts this Thanksgiving ... It’s the only holiday we've got left that doesn't involve wrapping paper, greeting cards, novelty songs, or heavily discounted automobiles। And Thanksgiving itself somehow retains its traditional low-key charm. It’s a holiday where the only thing you give is thanks!I mean, let’s face it. Thanksgiving doesn't have the flash and fun of Christmas. There are no colored lights to string or gifts given or received. It doesn't have the high sugar quotient of Valentine’s Day or Easter or Halloween, and Halloween has the added bonus of being able to dress up in costume. Even the Fourth of July has the warmth of Summer going for it, while Thanksgiving falls right in the midst of some of the coldest, bleakest days of November. However ... It is a time for seeing and visiting with friends and family, including some that you may not see but once per year. To balance the one or two that you would just as soon not see at all, there is always that favorite uncle or nutty cousin or old Mrs. What’s-Her-Name from one block over, the one who brings a plate of the most scrumptious fudge you have ever eaten. Family and friends…most definitely one of the reasons Thanksgiving is special. How can I not give thanks and count my blessings when I have so very much I have been blessed with?


I think Thanksgiving just became my new favorite holiday.

Happy Turkey Day everyone!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Neurons and the Universe



This is just unspeakably awesome. A side-by-side shot of a neuron and a mock-up of the visible universe show the remarkable similarities between the two:I just found it amazing ....


Monday, November 24, 2008

Apparently I Am Well Balanced... /Brainworks quiz ...

Here is a quiz with some strange questions ....

"Do you use your left or right hemisphere more? Discover the role of left-brain/right-brain plays in your personality."

Click here: Brainworks Left Brain Right Brain Test


My result:


Your Brain Usage Profile:

Auditory : 35%
Visual : 64%
Left : 50%
Right : 50%



Tim, you exhibit an even balance between left- and right- hemisphere dominance and a slight preference for visual over auditory processing. With a score this balanced, it is likely that you would have slightly different results each time you complete this self-assessment quiz.

You are a well-rounded person, distinctly individualistic and artistic, an active and multidimensional learner. At the same time, you are logical and disciplined, can operate well within an organization, and are sensitive towards others without losing objectivity. You are organized and goal-directed. Although a "thinking" individual, you "take in" entire situations readily and can act on intuition.

You sometimes tend to vacillate in your learning styles. Learning might take you longer than someone of equal intellect, but you will tend to be more thorough and retain the material longer than those other individuals. You will alternate between logic and impulse. This vacillation will not normally be intentional or deliberate, so you may experience anxiety in situations where you are not certain which aspect of yourself will be called on.

With a slight preference for visual processing, you tend to be encompassing in your perceptions, process along multidimensional paths and be active in your attacking of situations or learning.

Overall, you should feel content with your life and yourself. You are, perhaps, a little too critical of yourself -- and of others -- while maintaining an "openness" which tempers that tendency. Indecisiveness is a problem and your creativity may not be in keeping with your potential. Being a pragmatist, you downplay this aspect of yourself and focus on the more immediate, obvious and the more functional

Sunday, November 23, 2008

An Astonishing Sonnet


Its so hard to choose a very first post! lol After considerable pondering let me share this poem ….

An Astonishing Sonnet

A million years ago I was a thought;a kind of dream of One who is, was, shall.

A million years from now I’ll have been wroughtperfectly in His lovely cathedral.

Is there a doubt His will shall not be done?

It is accomplished even now.

How looksat me in backward glance when time has runit’s course.

My joy ’s already in His books.

He knew me before my birth, and knew the place

He’d put me and extract me from.

My shame is when I lose the thread of His warm grace and falter,

wounded in my thoughts,

and lame.

A million years ago I was a shall;

destined to be a living cathedral.

~John Mark Butterworth



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