Friday, July 31, 2009

The Spirit Will Speak in Us

I found these words from Henri Nouwen . It is exactly what I needed!

The Spirit Will Speak in Us

When we are spiritually free, we do not have to worry about what to say or do in unexpected, difficult circumstances. When we are not concerned about what others think of us or what we will get for what we do, the right words and actions will emerge from the center of our beings because the Spirit of God, who makes us children of God and sets us free, will speak and act through us.

Jesus says: "When you are handed over, do not worry about how to speak or what to say; what you are to say will be given to you when the time comes, because it is not you who will be speaking; the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you" (Matthew 10:19-20).

Let's keep trusting the Spirit of God living within us, so that we can live freely in a world that keeps handing us over to judges and evaluators.

Road Trip: Cooling Off At Kimball Park

Its been hitting the 90's plush here in the mountains so another mini road trip was in order to cool off, this time to nearby Jackson F. Kimball State Park.

J. F. Kimball State Park is a pristine site located at the headwaters of the Wood River. This cold clear stream flows from the pine forest into open meadowland laced with quaking aspen, surrounded by the southern Cascade Mountains. A walking trail connects the campground to the site where the clear spring bubbles from a rocky hillside.

My wife Melissa dipping her toes in the water with Charlie dog.

A side trip to nearby Fort Creek in the afternoon. The park and surrounding area is a secluded place where you can contemplate the moment while relaxing in the whispering lodgepole pines. Or just splash in the water with rafts and kids!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"us"or "them"

Lately the word "tolerance" has come up rather often and I have a comment or two on it. The word seems to have changed in meaning over the past few years, or so it seems. Real tolerance is respecting the rights of others to hold opinions even when we believe those opinions to be wrong. (Respect being a key word here.) Real tolerance means respecting all viewpoints and is a Christian virtue. It is not silencing all debate but allowing for all opinions. The problem seems to come in when we try to do the job better than the Holy Spirit. Its the Holy Spirits job to convict of sin not ours. Our job is to get the Word out there and to live it. Starting with those closest to us and working outward. God promises His word will not return void...we need to stand on that. Its not our job to argue it, its His to convict.

There seems to be a new view of tolerance defining it as moral neutrality-refusing to judge any behavior as right or wrong. Values are not morally neutral, something that should be obvious really. For example they still occasionally burn widows on the husbands funeral pyre in India, something most of us I'm sure do not consider humane to say the least...

An aside ... but one reason I think that Christians get "intolerant" is because the real action of our faith goes virtually unnoticed it seems by those around us. We want action and we want it right now! It seems that the "enemy" is making big gains all over the place. But I think it is time for us to back off our super power zoom lens and go to the wide angle to get the big picture. The reality is the Kingdom of God is written on our hearts not the headlines in the news. Lets face it, if the Creator of the heavens and the earth is "embarrassed" by what goes on in the news, its because He allows it. He really is in control!

When Christians act according to our faith, the result is a goodness the world at large knows little about. All over the place Christians build schools, orphanages, hospitals, rescue children thrown out to die, helped the poor, visited the prisons, the list goes on and on. We seem to forget that the New Testament was written around the most corrupt and morally loose time in Roman History, yet a small group of people powered by the Spirit, toppled an empire! The power structure was totally against them for sure. The evidence from history is clear. Despite all of our human faults Christianity has made the world and the people in it far better than the world would be without it. With God on our side, who can be against us? When we really really believe this, there really is no need to get so excited by this or that. We just keep on keeping on, one act at a time in His presence. Its not about "us"or "them." Its all about Jesus...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Quartet of Love Quotes

The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.—G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

Lord, grant that I might not so much seek to be loved as to love.—Francis of Assisi (1182-1226)

For our religion commands us to love even our enemies, and to pray for those who persecute us, aiming at a perfection all its own, and seeking in its disciples something of a higher type than the commonplace goodness of the world. For all love those who love them; it is peculiar to Christians alone to love those that hate them.—Tertullian (d. 220-240)

I command you to love each other in the same way that I love you.—Jesus Christ (John 15:12)

A Blessing of Brennan's

A Blessing...

May all your expectations be frustrated;

May all your plans be thwarted;

May all your desires be withered to nothingness...

That you may experience the powerlessness and poverty

of a child and sing and dance in the compassion of God

Who is Father, Son and Spirit.


-Brennan Manning

Monday, July 27, 2009

Camping With Elijah

Good afternoon! A thought on 1Kings 19:9-14. Elijah, had said so often that he had “been very jealous for the Lord of Hosts.” A fiery intense man for sure, one I can’t wait to meet in heaven. (Can you imagine going camping with Elijah…but I digress…) Yet for all that, there is something very profound that the great prophet does not understand, prompting God to teach him a lesson:

“And He said: ‘Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord.’ And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.”

When vigilantism, thunder and zeal have done their best, the “still small voice” will, in the end, prove far more effective. Just a thought …

Tim, who has been camping of late ….

Road Trip: Fourmile Lake

Ah yes finally feeling frisky enough for my first camping trip since my heart attack May First!! Only a overnighter mind you but pretty darn exciting to me! My son unexpectedly met me at my physical therapy and came along too. (I did neglect to tell my therapest my plans ... wasn't to sure it was approved yet! lol)

Our destination was Fourmile Lake, a favorite spot of ours near the Shy Lakes Wilderness here in Oregon. But first in the photo above is a stop at a pond nearby our destination.

The next morning (While Ben was sleeping of course!) I had to take a journey into the Shy Lakes Wilderness. Not far mind you, but a two mile round trip, but by myself ... and quite an accomplishment for me at this point!

A meadow near our camping spot. I would highly recommend this campground and area for a vist if one is in the Southern Oregon area, as the trails are relatively easy ... And the views absolutely beautiful!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Going For It!!!

Good afternoon!

"If you worry about the weather and don't plant seeds, you won't harvest a crop. No one can explain how a baby breathes before it is born. So how can anyone explain what God does? After all He created everything. Plant your seeds early in the morning and keep working in the field until dark. Who knows? Your work might pay off, and your seeds may produce."
-Ecclesiastes 11:4-6 CEV

Yes, I'm in Ecclesiastes again... These verses are all so rural but they have a lot to say which is backed up elsewhere in the Bible. The bottom line is you never get to harvest what you never have the nerve to plant! I think what Solomon is saying here is get off the recliner and out of the house, say "Hi" to the girl at the market, take that class, in short get out, take risks and do something! He reminds the person who is unwilling to take risks "How can anyone explain what God does?" We live in a world in which there is no sure thing other that the Lords plans will take place. Therefore, those of us waiting for that "sure thing" may be waiting a very long, long time. How can anything be harvested if its not planted? We better be sowing and reaping when we can and keep at it, trusting God for the results. In other words go for it!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

... except to people who don't understand

Check out this quote from The Velveteen Rabbit of all places ...

"When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real." "Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit. "Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful, "Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Guest House

A "lurker" sent this poem by Rumi to me via e-mail after reading my latest blog entries.

The Guest House by Rumi

This being human is a guest house

every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you outfor some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame,

the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

Thanks Joseph! I needed that.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

At Day's Ending

This is in a book I got from a Lutheran church here.

At Day's Ending

The evening rays

trace the lace

of leaves against the sky.

My heart is finally stilled.

For a moment,this masterpiece

holds at bay

the worries of the day

and slows the swirl

of endless activity.

Too often too busy

to hush my heart

and hear you

in love you meet me anyway

and wrap the chapel around me--painted on holy skies.

Joan Rae Mills

Tim, *trying to be still*

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Junkyard Theology

I met with God in a junkyard yesterday. This weekend I took an adventure with my son Ben to a junkyard. Looking for parts for his baby Ford Explorer of course! lol But I think I saw some shadows of God there as well. I saw Him first in a sticker in my foot. I was searching for a jack that someone had left out there so that we could use it, and as I bent down to pick off the sticker - I found the jack. Oh, thank You Lord!

And then again later on, as I gazed about - sitting atop what once was a screaming hot red firebird, the wind was blowing and I was just generally feeling God's love. I wondered: how many of us belong in a junkyard? And how many times do people look us over: needing or wanting just one part of us or another? Yet God pulls us out of the yard; all the parts we have with us. And He cleans us up, takes out the bad parts - replaces them with shiny new ones. After all the major repairs are made, He gives us a beautiful glossy paint job. If we mess up and ask for forgiveness, He runs us through the car wash.

So today, I'm thanking God for pulling me out of the junkyard and making me into what is becoming beautiful car! Or in my son's case ... A beautiful red Ford Explorer ...Abba, my prayer today is that You would remind me when I need routine maintenance. I love You, and all I want is to serve You and bring You glory! Keep me renewed, Lord Jesus!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Dog Named Mace

There was once a handyman who had a dog named Mace. Mace wasa great dog except he had one weird habit: he liked to eat grass -- not just a little bit, but in quantities that would make a lawnmower blush. And nothing, it seemed, could cure him of it.

One day, the handyman lost his wrench in the tallgrass while he was working outside. He looked and looked, but it was nowhere to be found. As it was getting dark, he gave up for the night and decided to look the next morning.

When he awoke, he went outside and saw that his dog had eaten all the grass in the area, around where he had been working, and his wrench now lay in plainsight, glinting in the sun. Going out to get his wrench, he called the dog over to him and said, "A grazing Mace, how sweet the hound, that saved a wrench for me."

Oh ... Gee whiz .... lol ...

Prayer For A Tuesday Morning ~ St. Ignatius

St. Ignatius' preparatory prayer.

Lord, I so wish to prepare well for this time.

I so want to make all of me ready and attentive and available to you.

Please help me to clarify and purify my intentions.

I have so many contradictory desires.

I get preoccupied with things that don't really matter or last.

I know that if I give you my heart,

whatever I do will follow my new heart.

In all that I am today,

all that I try to do,

all my encounters, reflections -

even the frustrations and failings and especially in this time of prayer,

in all of this may I place my life in your hands.

Lord, I am yours.

Make of me what you will.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Just As I Am

Even though it got beat to death by over-use during altar calls ("We're going to sing this again, for the 27th time, softly and quietly, and if one more soul will come, we'll sing it 28 times...")

....BUT, the theology of it is tender and wonderful and reminds me of the love of my Hero. "...fighting fears within, fears without, oh Lamb of God I come."

Just as I Am, Without One PleaBy: Charlotte Elliott

Just as I am, without one plea

But that thy blood was shed for me

And that thou bidd’st me come to thee

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am and waiting not

To rid my soul of one dark blot,

To thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about

With many a conflict, many a doubt,

Fightings and fears within, fears without,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;

Sight, riches, healing of the mind,

Yea, all I need, in thee to find,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, thou wilt receive,

Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;

Because thy promise I believe,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just a I am; thy love unknown

Has broken every barrier down;

Now to be thine, yea, thine alone,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Its Good To Be Alive!

How about this quote .... "If you can say: 'it’s good to be alive,' then you know you are in the midst of joy."

~The Ever Amazing Author Unknown ....

a froggy quote ....

"No matter what efforts I make, I cannot die to myself without His Grace. I am like a frog which, no matter how high it leaps, always finishes back in the mud. No matter how hard I try to escape from myself, I always come back to myself and self-love. Draw me, then, O Lord, draw me after You; for unless You do, I cannot move even one step away from myself."

Dominic Barberi (1792-1849) Italian priest, missionary and theologian

humble doormat?

Good morning. I'm trying to figure out the "humbling yourself" thing, especially from Philippians 2. The chapter in large part has to do with disunity that was threatening the church. What does it really mean to humble yourself? What "rights" does a person really have as an individual? What's really the difference between being humble and being a doormat?

What complicates this for me is that what one person considers being a doormat, may not be the same for another. Also what of a person with a lack of humility who tries to convince another who believes they are being humble that they are really being a doormat?

An example: I have a friend who has held on to many past hurts. (And these hurts would color ones attitude to certain behavior.) She was like shocked that I would be willing to forgive some people who had offended me big time. Her opinion was that not "standing up for myself" was or having enough "self respect" was making me a doormat to be walked on time and time again.

But could it be that not standing up for myself was actually unforgiveness on her part? How much of unforgiveness of others have to do with making sure we have our rights? We need to wonder I think when using our sense of being happy as a guide to whether we are being abused or not. Happiness can depend on circumstances more than Christ for sure. I think in certain instances to make sure our "unhappiness" is maybe not from being a doormat but from a true lack of humility (I have a right to...) or maybe unforgiveness in our own lives.

Its a real difficult thing to balance for us in different situations ... how do we do it? I guess that ultimately we are to pray for wisdom when we are faced with times we are treated like garbage. There are times that indignation may be the appropriate action to take as well! "Be angry and sin not." A tough one indeed for me at times. Prayer and submission to His leading. The submission word is a tough one as well!!

Have a blessed day!

Friday, July 17, 2009

unconditional agape

Its come up in the past about the concept of unconditional love, and its something I keep coming back to. Agape is a really amazing thing to really think about. Can we REALLY say that we can love another (mates, children, friends ect.) without wanting something back in return?

Another thing touched on was the subject of forgiveness in relation to unconditional love. Although often we may have to deal with the consequences of stepping away from God, He still forgives us and loves us agape style. And really, when it gets down to it, how often can we say that we do not hold a grudge and forgive others wholly? So what comes to mind is what really is unconditional? Of course it means without condition. Like Gods forgiveness of us there are no conditions to be in a place to accept it, but the depths of it requires us to come out of every "unclean thing" (for lack of words) to experience it in greater and greater measure. This is not putting conditions on it, rather its a call to come!

An example from somewhere in the past... If I told you to get to the airport and fly to me because I got 10 million dollars to lay on you. What would be the point of taking baggage with you? You could if you want to, but you surely wouldn't need to. You can have whatever you need right? If you did you would not enjoy what is on offer so much if you are taking heavy baggage around. Sooner or later it will hinder your enjoyment of what has been given to you. Or - Try going through a narrow staircase holding 4 suitcases, no conditions are laid down for you to get through but a little wisdom will enable you to do it...

Some wandering thoughts from a wandering mind...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Scottish Blessing

A Scottish Blessing

May the blessing of light be on you
Light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you like a great peat fire,
So that stranger and friend may come and warm himself at it.
And may light shine out of the two eyes of you,
Like a candle set in the window of a house,
Bidding the wanderer come in out of the storm.

May the blessing of the rain be on you,
May it beat upon your Spirit
And wash it fair and clean,
And leave there a shining pool where the blue of Heaven shines, And sometimes a star.

May the blessing of the earth be on you,
Soft under your feet as you pass along the roads,
Soft under you as you lie out on it, tired at the end of day;
And may it rest easy over you when, at last, you lie out under it.
May it rest so lightly over you
That your soul may be out from under it quickly;
Up and off and on its way to God.
And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly.

Thank God Someone Has Finally Explained It To Us!

Headline seen on my Yahoo! homepage:

"Vacation homes and a third car may hold you hostage and deprive you of real wealth."

Ever feel like you're dwelling on a different planet than everyone else?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Believing is seeing?

Good morning! A different kind of question but its going to take me a bit to develop it I guess. There is this common saying that "seeing is believing." But I wonder really how true this is and maybe its more accurate to say "believing is seeing." Isn't it true, at least in part that how we see the world is filtered through our experiences and/or what we believe?

For example I've found that when you believe in Christ, and act on it, even in the smallest of ways, you get confirmation of those beliefs. With a person who don't act on it at all, the belief just sits there. The more of Jesus you experience, the more you act on that trust, the more clearly you see Him in everything. Hebrews 4:9-11 calls it entering Gods rest. Its a trust thing, acting on belief (the mustard seed kind of thing) that enables a person to see what they believe.

Faith really is not a matter of being sure of all the facts, all logic, footnoted, notarized evidence that the senses can confirm. (Although one can make a case for God based on that to the nth degree, I haven't myself seen anyone come to faith that way.) Faith is a matter of being sure of what we cannot see. ("Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1) Faith is a matter of acting on our belief, and we grow in our experience of Gods reality in our lives. It makes things really real. Our experience gets to align with the Holy Sprit within and the truth of gods word. Faith is not agreeing with a statement or something like that. Faith must venture out, take risks and change our lives...

Some thoughts on a Tuesday morning ...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Native American Prayer

Native American Prayer

I give you this one thought to keep

I am still with you I do not sleep

I am a thousand winds that blow

I am the diamond that glints on the snow

I am the sunlight on ripened grain

I am the gentle autumn rain

When you awaken in the morning hush

I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight

I am the soft stars that shine at night

Do not think of me as gone

I am with you still in each new dawn.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wisdom of Relient K

One of my daughters favorite groups is Reliant K. Here is some bits of a bunch of songs to leave you with. To warn people, I've done different colors to show that it's not 1 song lol.

"And this one last bullet you mention
Is my one last shot at redemption
Cause I know to live you must give your life away"

"And this life sentence that I'm serving
I admit, that I'm every bit deserving
But the beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair"

"And all I'm asking is for you to do what you can with me
But I can't ask you to give what you already gave"

"And all I
Was trying
To do was save my own skin
Oh, but so were you
So were you"

"And sometimes I think that I'm not any good at all
And sometimes I wonder why, why I'm even here at all
But then you assure me
I'm a little more than useless
And when I think that I can't do this
You promise me that I'll get through this
And do something right
Do something right for once"

" think we're going somewhere.
We're on to something good here.
Out of mind, out of state.
Trying to keep my head on straight.
I think we're going somewhere.
We're on to something good here.
There's only one thing left to do.
Drop all I have and go with you.
Somewhere back there I left my worries all behind.
My problems fell out of the back of my mind.
We're going and I'm never knowing (never knowing) where we're going.
To go back to where I was would just be wrong.
I'm pressing on."

"People make mistakes.
We took the apple from the snake.
And it always is the same: gotta find someone to blame."

"He'll seek and destroy everything that I enjoy.
But, I won't be the one he takes down.
No, I won't breakdown."

"I lay my life before you, and I'm not getting up.
Father, how I adore you.
Those words are not enough."

"Never underestimate my Jesus.
You're telling me that there's no hope.
I'm telling you, you're wrong.
Never underestimate my Jesus.
When the world around you crumbles,
he will be strong.
He will be strong."

"Give it a go or throw in the towel.
Stand all alone or swim through the crowd.
No one around to help you decide.
It's time to make up your mind.
It's time to make up your mind."

"Precision we take, seeking direction.
But there's so many lies.
Unsure where we can look.
But, we've got a guide-a really thick handbook.

No one around to help you decide
It's time to make up your mind.
It's time to make up your mind."

"The world just keeps you at arm's length
Every week you work up the strength to fight the flames that are hurled
Let your faith shine right through
You know it's the world versus Jesus and you"
Have a blessed evening everyone!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Biker Jesus

Okay, now I’ve seen it all! Biker Jesus action figure!

There’s also Rodeo Jesus, Surfer Jesus, Football Jesus, Soccer Jesus, and “Will Work for Food” Jesus ...

Check it out yourself:

(It could be a hoax, as when I clicked “Buy Now” I kept getting “Coming Soon.” If they find enough customers, perhaps they’ll actually produce these things?) Interesting lil site though ....

Friday, July 10, 2009

And A Meadowlark Sang

An oldie but goody ...

And A Meadowlark Sang

Ravindra Kumar Karnani

"The child whispered, 'God, speak to me'

And a meadow lark sang.

The child did not hear.

So the child yelled, 'God, speak to me!'

And the thunder rolled across the sky

But the child did not listen.

The child looked around and said,

'God let me see you' and a star shone brightly

But the child did not notice.

And the child shouted,

'God show me a miracle!'

And a life was born but the child did not know.

So the child cried out in despair,

'Touch me God, and let me know you are here!

'Whereupon God reached down

And touched the child.

But the child brushed the butterfly away

And walked away unknowingly."

Confusing being religious with discipline?

Some thoughts on a early Friday morning ....

There are a few things in Christianity which a lot of the time I don't really seem to enjoy at times frankly, and its simply the religious process of doing them that keeps me going. There are times I will really feel in the mood to read my bible, I get this massive thirst for knowledge and closeness to God. But to be honest these moments are not close to all the time and if I left my bible reading to just these moments, my bible knowledge would be very poor.

The same with prayer. I think its a struggle and its only the daily thought process of 1. Wake up - 2. Pray, that keeps my prayer life going.

Church is the same. I just don't always wake up wanting to go to church. Once I'm there I love it, and really consider it a blessing to be able to worship with other Christians. But its only the religious thinking in my head that thinks 'Sunday'='Church.' Then I'm out of bed and on my way. If I left church to days when I felt like going I'd be a very poor church goer.

So the question I'm asking is, why is being religious considered bad by so many Christians? Confusing being religious with discipline?

It keeps me going, and keeps me on track with God. Doing something spiritual religiously in my opinion, is no worse than going to work each day because you know you have to keep your life going. My daily, religious feeding of Him is what sustains my life. Sometimes I enjoy it, sometimes I don't - but I'm called to be disciplined in my Christian life.

Maybe I'm just confusing being religious with discipline...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Geeks Shall Inherit The Earth

The geeks shall inherit the earth...

Finally, the world is starting to recognize the geek influence.

Introducing...... The R2D2 Mailbox.

I rest my case!

we simply seem to love everyone ...

I came across this quote on love that I would like to share ... I think it is right on!

When falling in love, we seem to float on air. The whole world seems wonderful, and we take in stride people who normally irritate us and things that normally frustrate us. … A particular person's idiosyncrasies, which normally rub us the wrong way, no longer affect us adversely. For a while, we simply seem to be able to love anyone — to love our neighbor — without any effort at all. These momentary occasions can … give us a glimpse of what it would be like to love our neighbor all the time.

~Diogenes Allen

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The "Why God?" Kind of Thing ...

I’m in one of those melancholic moods, nothing to bad mind you. Just one of those “Why God?” kind of things I guess. God has given us visions of His kingdom-a world that works for everyone, where needs are met and gifts are called forth. Paul in Romans 8:22 tells us that “creation grows in labor awaiting” for Jesus’ arrival. So I wonder Lord, why must things be so hard sometimes? Why really must we wait? Why can’t you do what I can imagine the creator of the universe would do … go shazam! Just bring it on, let your kingdom come!

Things on earth seem most fragile since you made it. God would have figured out how mankind can progress without pollution. God would have figured out how to create an economic system that allows everyone to thrive, not just those favored by the marketplace or whatever. All people would live abundantly. Gods way isn’t about wealth I know, abundance and wealth are two different things…

I know that things I long for and “need” do not make up for the fact I’ll ‘kick the bucket’ someday. I know that “fate,” twists of fortune, whatever, in an instant, can and will rearrange my plans. Its happened before in both quiet and large ways. For the “better,” for the “worse.” Bottom line is that a person can count on very little for sure! It can make one nervous …

So one wonders … why doesn’t God swoop in here and tidy up the place. Don’t we all yearn for this? On our own we are so helpless to make a difference. We can try to live frugal, not pollute, get along, help out, encourage, make others smile … But if so many others don’t do these things what difference will my small gestures make? We obviously can’t save the world!

We can do all these things because God has given us a vision. Just because they are right to do. For the sake of those who follow. We can do these things because we believe Your kingdom will come someday. And its best to know that I helped, even if just a tiny bit …

But at times it isn’t easy …

Tim, just typing away…

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Prayer for Tuesday

O God, I thank You for this day of life

for eyes to see the sky

for ears to hear the birds

for feet to walk amidst the trees

for hands to pick the flowers from the earth

for a sense of smell to breathe in the sweet perfumes of nature

for a mind to think about and appreciate the magic of everyday miracles

for a spirit to swell in joy at Your mighty presence everywhere!

Marian Wright Edelman
Founder of the Children's Defense Fund

Amen! Have a blessed day everyone!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Artists 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 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 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 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....awkard, 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 ...


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Which One of Jesus' 12 Disciples Are You?

One of those quizzes I just had to try out!

Click here: Quiz Farm - Which One of Jesus' 12 Disciples Are You?

My result: You scored as James the Lesser. James is the brother of Jude (the good Judas) and the half-brother or cousin of Jesus. He authored the very practical Bible book of James. The book of James has many references to the power of what we say. The potential harm it could do, but also the good it can do.

James the Lesser 75%

Thomas 67%

Matthew 67%

Philip 67%

John the Apostle 58%

Simon the Zealot 58%

Peter (Simon Peter) 50%

James the Greater 50%

Andrew 42%

Thaddeus (Jude, aka the good Judas) 33%

Bartholomew 25%

Judas Iscariot 25%

A Fathers Love

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


Reflections For Ragamuffins - A Daily Devotionalby 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.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day, USA!!!

Happy Independence Day, USA!!! Naturally, being in a small town USA, we had to have a big parade and BBQ! Here are scenes from Chiloquin, Oregons 4th of July Parade extravaganza... Gotta love small towns!

Friday, July 3, 2009

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

Have a blessed weekend everyone!

Numbers 6:24-26 The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face/lift up his eyes and give you peace.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Tim ..... On the other side

Since coming home fron the hospital, barely surviving a major heart attack with complications, doing the near death thing .... I have been asked often in various forms, "What was it like?" Here is how the question was put in the Yahoo group "a_savedsinglesgetaway":

Tim, what was it like ? what were you thinking and feeling during the whole time ? Did you think you were going Home ? Any Visions ? Any Voices ? Was there a Light in a tunnel ?

Would you be interested in sharing ?

As you know we all were praying for you, Melissa and your family did you ever think at some time during the whole time going to the hospital or in the hospital that things may have turned out different ?

I'm not really ready to answer this question yet but this is the answer I gave to the group:

I'm afraid I'm going to be disappointing answering this. My experience through the whole thing is so much different than for my family those around me. Never once did I think about death or dying ... It just never entered my mind! I don't really know what happened the first days other than I dialed 911 to have the Chiloquin ambulance to the hospital. I remember only very little of the emergency room and nothing after that until I woke up in Medford a few days later. All I can really say is that whenever I went through big anxiety or whatever (I was real sick for a couple of weeks in Medford and had to have 3 more surgeries) the Lord always provided this peace, a feeling of warmth and assurance no matter how much "faith" I had at the time.

The effect on Melissa, Ben, Xalina and Shay, was totally different. They were told I had next to no chance of living more than a few hours. I can only begin to imagine what that was like! Xalina in fact was told that if she wanted to see her Dad alive she better get in the car right now and make the trip to Klamath. She lives 6 hours away (I guessed it was 5 hours this trip) in Lincoln City. It was only a couple of days later after the "life flight" to Medford and many hours of surgery that the story changed and I was going to make it after all. My eyes still tear up thinking about all this ...

One thing I would like to point out is that a whole lot of Christians were involved in this which shows to me Gods hand in all this. My main surgeon Dr. Yondell, the greatest heart Doctor on the Left Coast, is very up front about his faith as well as the other surgeons. Many Nurses as well.

One last thing ... Please keep us all in prayer. Melissa and I are still sorting things out, My son Ben has lost it more than a couple times but is coming around with me and other issues in his life. The toll of Ben and his stuff on our marriage has been high. Xalina still calls me everyday to see if I'm alright. I have to see her again someday soon so she can see with her eyes I'm getting better. Its going to take awhile for things to return to normal ... In fact it never will as this has been such a life changing thing for all of us. Thank God for each new day ... I know now how precious they are ... troubles, hurt or not ...

Have a blessed afternoon everyone!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Christian Fairy Tale?

Something I posted at my Christian singles group "savedsinglesgetaway" ...

Its come up a lot and I've seen in devotions, singles advice lists and a host of other places. Its about waiting for "God's best" for you as a mate. There seems to me anyway, a connotation that this person is going to be perfectly suited for you, meet a whole list of qualifications ect. But I have to wonder if while waiting for this perfect mate, or "God's best" for us, we are somehow are missing out on God's choice for us?

This person God has in mind is going to be flawed like we are, and have freewill like we do. Gods best is going to be a sinner as we are. They are going to have "baggage," maybe emotional hang-ups of one kind or another, and a host of other things "wrong." Could it be that God's choice for us won't really look like what we envision? Maybe this person is going to challenge us in ways we don't want to be challenged, or dealing with things we don't really feel like dealing with. After all God's ways are higher than our own. Maybe God's best is going to have weaknesses where you have strengths and vice versa, and in the relationship you both are going to be more Christ like and better for it. Some of the things I read, maybe a lot of what I read, sounds like a Christian fairy tale where the prince comes, marries the fair maiden and lives happily everaftermore. Maybe God's best is something else which involves overcoming human limitations and being a whole lot better for it.

Just some thoughts...