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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Chicken Feed

I love animals. And I love nature. But most importantly I love nature's God - because it is through the things created that I can better understand the creator. The lessons thus learned are the ones most treasured.

Every once in a while I will be enlisted for the pleasurable duty of tending to my eldest sister's (Evie) animals.

Join me now as I feed the chickens...


This is just one lesson of thousands...

Yes, simple things can teach us a lot when our hearts are open.

Father - teach me more.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Revolution.

I was a tired soldier clinging to my Bible today as I walked a dusty road that has become quite familiar to me by now. It winds its way through our small orchard before entering the wooded hillside. I press along now, past the open field where the daffodils have long past faded away and where the grass now threatens to envelop the road under my feet, on down the slight slope and under the old maple whose top was severed by lightning, the branches of which for some timed blocked easy access, yes, on through the woods to an old stump that sits solidly, majestically, by the roadside.



The stump and I have become friends over these years... We have met in the cold when the wind bites at my ears and I huddle in my coveralls and winter scarf, and we have likewise endured the company of pesky mosquitoes and summer warmth. My knees have rested on its hard surface in the dense darkness of night as well as the bright light of day.  Time here has become a treasure that is not taken for granted.

Today my Bible is opened to a book of revolution where men of God have left legacies worthy of every mans consideration. Twelve men.... and the world was changed forever. Thousands were converted in a day. The Holy Spirit was poured out in a greater way than the world had yet seen. I pace back and forth on the road letting the words sink in.

Revolution. I'm catching a vision - and it reminds me of a journal entry I wrote in December of last year:
"Embrace suffering. Beautiful is the life of dignity and joy in the midst of the severest suffering. I'm catching a deeper vision of ministry - perhaps a clearer picture of Christ. I see a heart that sheds love in the most simple and degraded of houses, yet stands as a king in the halls of the wealthy and influential. I see a man who is not driven by influence, but rather by true love and integrity. There is a heart that cares for the hearts of the lowest outcast and finds greatest pleasure in the deepest humility."
Once again I am caught by this vision - captured by its meaning. This is what I see in the great men of God and today more than ever I long for that spirit... that heart... that tender royalty.



For me this last year has been one of fighting, discouragement, and darkness... but as the buds of spring are bursting forth all around me, I too am inspired with new life. I must pray. Pray like never before. I've come face to face this year with one of the devil's best laid plans - the cessation of spiritual life. A ball thrown up into the air must always come to a stop before it begins its downward fall - and so in our lives; the less we pray the closer we are to a spiraling descent.

Pray. A revolution is not as much characterized by the great deeds that are done but by the time that is spent on our knees.

My knees are committed... at least an hour if not more.

Sure, when I look at my schedule things don't add up, but a revolution will never happen in the midst of ordinary life. Something has to change - and that change must be found on my knees and rooted in the soil of a broken heart.

I'm longing for the Spirit...

....my soul says "I thirst"










Friday, March 9, 2012

The Eleventh Hour

It was a Thursday evening as I snuggled up in my cozy bed after a day of work.

Cozy, safe, snug... I love warm beds on cold nights.

My sleep was soon interrupted by some noise in the house and a soft glow of light filtering in through the crack in my doorway. The muffled voice of Mom on the phone faded in and out as I rolled over.

Soon she was by my side - "Dad... flat tire... stripped nut" the words were barely registering as I tried to open my eyes. With uncooperative eyelids and a mind barely taking in reality, I wasn't making a very good candidate for sympathy. At that moment I wished I was dreaming - anything but reality, please, let it be just a bad dream - to have to wake up now.... no, not a good idea. Every nerve, fiber, muscle, and tissue of my body said "sleep" and my brain wasn't doing too good a job at changing that. And, to think of driving for an hour in this state... in my mind, that spelled disaster.

I glanced at my watch - 11:37pm.

Nope. Not happening.

But then, it was as if there was a burst of energy thrust into the frontal lobe of my brain. Will power kicked in as I realized that we had to go - there wasn't really any other choice and that meant waking up. "Let's go Mom, this will be an adventure"

And we were off...



But it wasn't until we were blazing down the road through the quiet hills of TN, and as soft lights of town began to grow increasingly brighter and more frequent, that it hit me...

The eleventh hour.... it's the hardest time to wake up. How do I know? Well, two times I've been slammed to my senses at this unreasonable time and both times it was like battling with an elephant.

So hard to wake up... but why?

Perhaps because it is easy to just continue living my life the same way I always have. I mean really, when was the last time I hugged the homeless man on the street corner, or spent some time with Elvis, my paralyzed friend down the road? How often have I taken the time to love, to give, to be the hands of feet of the One who gave it all for me? Will I give all - really?

Or, maybe I'm finding my bed to be quite cozy and inviting... maybe complacency comes with a pillow, a comforter, and a soft mattress.

The eleventh hour - so hard to wake up...

... there isn't much time until midnight.

~~~

"And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light." Romans 13:11-12



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