Friday, April 30, 2010

One Year Later: Life is a Sandwich

As this month ends I've become more aware of the passing of time and the passing of years.

It’s been a good time to think about the blessings of the past year since my heart attack a year ago yesterday and identify hopes and goals for the future. School ... Kids growing and becoming .... I would recommend you do that.

But that’s not all that happens, is it?

(By the way, those of you who have had no pain or disappointment in your life can skip to the end now. Thanks.)

We also realize that it’s one more year since that loss, or one more year of dealing with some pain or hurt. We say to ourselves, “Wow, it’s been 3 years, (or 5, or 20) and it still hurts! How can that be? I didn’t know it would last this long.”

What if it still hurts? Is that okay? What about the hurt that is going on and growing now?

I used to believe that life was a series of events and experiences and each one has its own time and emotions, then you move on to the next, kind of like flipping through a picture book. But I believe now that life happens in interwoven experiences and emotions, layers stacked on top of one another. It’s more like a sandwich you bite into. All of those experiences add to the taste and texture. Yes, sometimes I do wish that we could just have one at a time, preferably just the sweet ones. Never cared all that much for the dill pickles .... But hey, I'm blessed by saving anything in this life at all ...

We grieve over someone dying at the same time we learn of a new birth. A friend lands their dream job while our neighbor’s company closes. A friend tells you that she just met the man of her dreams while you are aching inside from the message you just got from your wife saying that your marriage is over. (Tomorrow is seperation day.) Your child says you are the best parent in the world while your other child is in total rebellion.

All of these layers happen. They are all there. They are all real. They all move us. We remember them. We become them.

This coming year will come with all of its own texture. Allow your life to have the texture it needs this year. Know that the layers are all there. You get to have all of them. You have to have all of them. That’s the deal. The only life you get is the real one.

It’s okay if the hurt is still there somewhere. But, it’s not the only layer, is it? God made life very thick. He must know what he was doing ...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fort Rock Church

Fort Rock Church
Originally uploaded by Thundercatt99
Messing with black and white photography for a contest going on at school. I thought that this one of The Church at Fort Rock in the Oregon Outback came out rather well!

An interesting Tozer

"Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshippers meeting together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become “unity” conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship. Social religion is perfected when private religion is purified."

A.W. Tozer

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Yours Are The Hands

St. Teresa of Avila as a foundation for ministry:

‘Christ has no body now on earth but yours/No hands but yours/No feet but yours/Yours are the eyes through which God’s compassion will look upon the world/Yours are the feet with which God will go about doing good/Yours are the hands with which God will bless others now.’

Tim …. Pondering this ….

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Wild Goose

This thought I would share this lil tidbit ....

The Celtic Christians had an interesting name for the Holy Spirit. They called Him the Wild Goose. It sounds a little sacrilegious at first earshot, but I love that name! Here's why: I can't think of a better description of what it's like to be led by the Holy Spirit than a wild goose chase. When you follow the Wild Goose you'll go places and meet people and do things you never dreamed of!

Have a most blessed evening everyone! Tim

Monday, April 19, 2010

If They Only Would Be A Christian ...

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?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Be Still ...

God Speaks to Man:

I speak to you.
Be still
Know I am God.

I spoke to you when you were born.
Be still
Know I am God.

I spoke to you at your first sight.
Be still
Know I am God.

I spoke to you at your first word.
Be still
Know I am God.

I spoke to you at your first thought.
Be still
Know I am God.

I spoke to you at your first love.
Be still
Know I am God.

I spoke to you at your first song.
Be still
Know I am God.

I speak to you through the grass of the meadows.
Be still
Know I am God.

I speak to you through the trees of the forests.
Be still
Know I am God.

I speak to you through the valleys and the hills.
Be still
Know I am God.

I speak to you through the Holy Mountains.
Be still
Know I am God.

I speak to you through the rain and snow.
Be still
Know I am God.

I speak to you through the waves of the sea.
Be still
Know I am God.

I speak to you through the dew of the morning.
Be still
Know I am God.

I speak to you through the peace of the evening.
Be still
Know I am God.

I speak to you through the splendour of the sun.
Be still
Know I am God.

I speak to you through the brilliant stars.
Be still
Know I am God.

I speak to you through the storm and the clouds.
Be still
Know I am God.

I speak to you through the thunder and lightening.
Be still
Know I am God.

I speak to you through the mysterious rainbow.
Be still
Know I am God.

I will speak to you when you are alone
Be still
Know I am God.

I will speak to you through the Wisdom of the Ancients.
Be still
Know I am God.

I will speak to you at the end of time.
Be still
Know I am God.

I will speak to you when you have seen my Angels.
Be still
Know I am God.

I will speak to you throughout Eternity.
Be still
Know I am God.

I speak to you.
Be still
Know I am God.

god speaks to man - essene gospel of peace

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Divine Reflection

Divine Reflection
Originally uploaded by Thundercatt99
A beautiful Spring afternoon at Willow Lake in Southern Oregon.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Which Apostle are you most like?

I think I know what I will get on this quiz but let's see ... What Apostle are you?

Paul (the Apostle to the Gentiles)

Your servant, wise, educated, clever, defender of the faith. You have underwent a change from a big head to a small humble heart.

I thought I would be Peter lol

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Christ is Risen!

This is considered the most celebrated Easter sermon which I would like to share on this beautiful Easter morning!

Is there anyone who is a devout lover of God?
Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival!
Is there anyone who is a grateful servant?
Let them rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord!

Are there any weary with fasting?
Let them now receive their wages!
If any have toiled from the first hour,
let them receive their due reward;

If any have come after the third hour,
let him with gratitude join in the Feast!
And he that arrived after the sixth hour,
let him not doubt; for he too shall sustain no loss.

And if any delayed until the ninth hour,
let him not hesitate; but let him come too.
And he who arrived only at the eleventh hour,
let him not be afraid by reason of his delay.

For the Lord is gracious and receives the last even as the first.
He gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour,
as well as to him that toiled from the first.
To this one He gives, and upon another He bestows.

He accepts the works as He greets the endeavor.
The deed He honors and the intention He commends.
Let us all enter into the joy of the Lord!

First and last alike receive your reward;
rich and poor, rejoice together!
Sober and slothful, celebrate the day!

You that have kept the fast, and you that have not,
rejoice today for the Table is richly laden!
Feast royally on it, the calf is a fatted one.

Let no one go away hungry. Partake, all, of the cup of faith.
Enjoy all the riches of His goodness!

Let no one grieve at his poverty,
for the universal kingdom has been revealed.

Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again;
for forgiveness has risen from the grave.

Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free.

He has destroyed it by enduring it.
He destroyed Hades when He descended into it.
He put it into an uproar even as it tasted of His flesh.

Isaiah foretold this when he said,
“You, O Hell, have been troubled by encountering Him below.”
Hell was in an uproar because it was done away with.

It was in an uproar because it is mocked.

It was in an uproar, for it is destroyed.

It is in an uproar, for it is annihilated.

It is in an uproar, for it is now made captive.

Hell took a body, and discovered God.
It took earth, and encountered Heaven.
It took what it saw, and was overcome by what it did not see.
O death, where is thy sting?
O Hades, where is thy victory?

Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!
Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down!
Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is Risen, and life is liberated!
Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead;
for Christ having risen from the dead,
is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

To Him be Glory and Power forever and ever. Amen!

~JOHN CHRYSOSTOM ((349-407), archbishop of Constantinople

Friday, April 2, 2010

"Good" Friday?

Calling the day of the Crucifixion ‘Good’ Friday is a designation that is peculiar to the English language. For example in German, it is called Karfreitag. The Kar part is an obsolete word, the ancestor of the English word care in the sense of cares and woes, and it meant mourning. So in German, it is Mourning Friday. And that is what the disciples did on that day—they mourned.

They thought all was lost.

I’ve read that the word good used to have a secondary meaning of holy, but I can’t trace that back. There are a number of cases in set phrases where the words God and good got switched around because of their similarity. One case was the phrase God be with you, which today is just good-bye. So perhaps Good Friday was originally God’s Friday. But I think we call it Good Friday because, in pious retrospect, all that tragedy brought about the greatest good there could be.

I can see virtue in either terminology. If we call it Mourning Friday, as in German, we are facing reality head on, taking up the cross if you will, fully conscious that the Christian walk is seldom a walk in the park as most all of us know. But if we call it Good Friday, as in English, we are confessing the Christian hope that no tragedy—not even death—can overwhelm God’s providence, love, and grace. Either way seems to work for me!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Thought From Ruth ...

Ruth 4:11-12 "... We are witnesses! May the Lord make the woman who is now coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, from whom all the nation of Israel descended! ...And may the Lord give you descendants by this young woman who will be like our ancestor Perez, the son of Tamar and Jacob."

What a really strange thing to say when one looks at it! Did the Elder really want Ruth to be barren like Rachel, or unloved like Leah was? Then in v12, it gets more bizarre, for did the Elder want Ruth to do a Tamar number and disguise Herself as a prostitute and bear a child by her father-in-law? This seems like at first glance like its saying, "I was your marriage was messed up so that you can do the good that only comes through hard times." So why would this toast possibly be thought of as good?

There can be a big obstacle to relating to God. There seems to be no higher goal really than feeling better now ~ the Bible calls this "the flesh." But the problem is that a lot of the times "Gods best" looks far different from we want it to. Could it be that the Elders prayer is for brokenness, the power to trust God no matter what? We pray often for God to maker things better, I know I do, and then things often stay the same ... then we take things into our own hands... We want things to improve! Fixed! Like now ...!

I think it goes like this ... Its like the Elder told Boaz, "You married a lovely, beautiful woman, and I want the best. But if the unthinkable happens and Ruth turns out to be conniving as Rachel or insecure as Leah, God will still being at work to bring about the good He intended."

This is a very freeing thing to ponder upon! I know for myself that having ones dreams smashed around a bit may be God's best after all. The broken dreams are actually just pieces in a bigger puzzle to help us get to the bigger dreams, not really dreamed up yet. The desire for feeling good now may be a limit on us to really fly later! Just some thoughts ... Have a blessed evening everyone! Tim