Category Archives: God

Wait

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said, “Wait.”

“Wait? you say wait?” my indignant reply.
“Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I’m claiming your Word.

“My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I’m needing a ‘yes’, a go-ahead sign,
Or even a ‘no’ to which I can resign.

“You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I’ve been asking, and this is my cry:
I’m weary of asking! I need a reply.”

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, “Wait.”
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, “So, I’m waiting for what?”

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
and He tenderly said, “I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

“I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You’d have what you want, but you wouldn’t know Me.
You’d not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You’d not know the power that I give to the faint.

“You’d not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You’d not learn to trust just by knowing I’m there.
You’d not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

“You’d never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you’d not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

“The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

“You’d never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I’m doing in you.

“So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait.”

© 1980 Russell Kelfer

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Welcome to Insanity

Welcome to Insanity

The parenting books make it all seem so simple, almost like a mathematical formula. The books lay out a simple set of steps to follow in every set of parenting circumstances. Root/fruit, circle of obedience, heart of the matter, cravings and conflicts, gospel-centered, etc. If I simply follow the steps, my children will become examples of godliness and cleanliness (which, for some odd reason is next to godliness). And I truly am grateful for books like Shepherding a Child’s Heart and all the other ones whose titles elude me at the moment.

But to be honest, many times my parenting looks very little like Shepherding a Child’s Heart and very much like a mid-80′s sitcom.

Great read. Not that some parenting books aren’t helpful, but many times as parents there is no manual for what to do. We’re simply forced to rely on the Holy Spirit, and trust God.

After all, He did entrust us with them. Maybe, just maybe, He’s already got a plan for what to do with them.

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Show Them Jesus

I’m a Washington Redskins fan. Rabidly. And have been so for many years. So I’ll confess right up front that I’m biased.

I’m a Christian as well. Just as rabidly. And also for many years. Also biased in that regard.

It’s not often that both of those rabid passions combine. When they do, it’s a blessed moment, one that I relish.

And then I saw this, yesterday, a week-old article that I had missed…

http://espn.go.com/blog/nfceast/post/_/id/51136/kirk-cousins-on-the-gay-teammate-question

Which can also be seen here, in context…

http://www.mlive.com/whitecaps/index.ssf/2013/05/kirk_cousins_shares_thoughts_o.html

And both include this thought…

At the end of the day, anybody in our locker room who is struggling with something and isn’t perfect – which would be everybody in the locker room – my attitude would be that I want to show love to them in a way that shows them Jesus, and hope that they can encounter the same love that I encountered from Jesus that saved my life.

Show them Jesus.

In a world that throws around the words tolerance and intolerance like rag dolls ready to be thrown at a moment’s notice into someone else’s face, that’s a radical thought. And when Christians treat the Bible in the same way, that’s just as radical.

Although, really, it isn’t as radical as we think.

Show them Jesus.

And the writer of the ESPN article – without stating where he lands with Jesus one way or the other – concludes with this thought…

Again, wherever you come down on the issues of homosexuality or religion, what Cousins says here is refreshing and worth paying attention to. He’s saying we should all treat each other with love and kindness, and help each other out, no matter what. You don’t have to have been raised on the New Testament to think that’d be a pretty nice world in which to live.

So. You want to get their attention, do you?

SHOW THEM JESUS.

 

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The Light Shines in the Darkness

Maybe you’ve heard the story, or remember it being mentioned.

If you’ve lived in Pennsylvania for any length of time, you’re probably familiar with the story.

If you’ve lived in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, since October of 2006, you probably remember where you were the day the world stood still and looked your way.

On October 2, 2006, a husband and father named Charlie entered an Amish schoolhouse unannounced and uninvited, shooting ten young girls, five of them fatally, before taking his own life. The boys in that schoolhouse? Charlie told them to run. Filled with terror, they ran for help, any help they could find.

It was too late.

Suddenly, in a small village called Nickel Mines, a small farming community surrounded by tranquil pastures and rolling hills, death seemed to cast a pale grey pall over the land.

Naomi (age 7), Marian (age 13), sisters Lena and Mary (ages 7 and 8), and Anna (age 12), were dead, horribly, suddenly. Five others, spared death, hung in the balance, clinging to what shreds of life remained in their shattered bodies. Stalwart and stoic members of the Amish community ran in terror toward a nondescript one-room schoolhouse, crying out for their daughters.

In a home a short distance away, the remnants of a young family stood shattered, grappling with the reality that her husband, their father, had just done something horribly wrong.

An entire community had nowhere to go. No way to understand.

Emergency responders came, frantically, urgently, hurriedly responding to the cries, only to be shattered themselves at the horrors within that schoolhouse.

A peaceful village, seemingly innocent in many ways, felt the world bearing down on its shoulders that day. Terror, sorrow, sin and death seemed to reign unchallenged. Lives changed in a dark instant.

A surrounding community, seething in horror at what happened in its midst, sprang into action. As the jackals descended, they met staunch resistance. An entire community locked down to protect its own. Roads were blocked by law enforcement, not out of an interest in preserving a crime scene, but out of a formidable desire to protect the community from those who would take advantage. No person would enter that did not belong.

And suddenly, quietly, a still small wind blew. A close knit community, misunderstood in many ways by the surrounding world, began to show the world what community meant. Out of horror, love bloomed.

Grace came down.

Families of victims descended upon that young family’s home, not to condemn, or cry out in anger, but to hold and comfort a young wife and her children. Where death seemed to reign, life sprang forth.

Families, suddenly and decisively shattered, knit together in ways that a world didn’t understand, but caused it to marvel. Caused it to look. To pay attention. And wonder.

Out of death, life sprang forth. Out of darkness, light shined. In the midst of desperation, when no answers came, a community turned to God.

And God was there.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pK7t2e3ytlE?rel=0&w=560&h=315%5D

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never overcome it.”  –  John 1:5

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Moral Imperatives: Lessons of a Father

Reblogged from Pyromaniacs:

Moral Imperatives

Worth reposting, not just because it’s current and appropriate, but because it APPLIES to all aspects of relationships. Worth the read – link here.

Dear Son,

You’ve made a confession to me that you do not expect me to receive well, and I admit that what you have said has wounded me, because it is not what I wanted for you. In fact, it is not what I still want for you, which is only the best personally, mentally, and spiritually. While it took some sort of single-mindedness on your part to admit this to me, I think it was difficult in part because you knew it would hurt me. I am not going to lie to you: I am, in fact, hurt.

What puzzles me is that you want me to accept this for you and from you when you know I don’t think this is what’s best for you. I can accept that this is what you want for yourself, and that it seems good to you right now, and that in some sense you cannot help yourself but feel this way. But let’s face it: there are many things we know we want which are not even good for us, let alone right or worthwhile.

Since you have made your confession about your situation, let me confess mine: I have never really been a good man at all. I could make a list here of all the times I have failed you, and your mother, and your siblings, and my employer, and the elders at church, and so on — but I’ll bet you can make that list also. You may remember some things I have forgotten, and I’ll simply stipulate to the entire exercise. I want you to know that I know I am not a good man, and I come to this problem we now face as a man who, at the end of the day, can’t advise you from the moral high ground.

I can only advise you, my son, as a man who has spent his life utterly at the mercy of Jesus Christ.

You know: in some sense, I feel like I love you, so it’s easy for me to have done things for you all our life together like buy you clothes and give you a house to live in and feed you and play games with you. But let’s face it: every day has not been a day full of duckies and puppies of paternal love overflowing from me to you. Some days I was angry at you, or tired of your shenanigans, or just tired from work and marriage, and I didn’t feel loving toward you — I just felt sort of numb, or worse: burdened by you because you were a handful (as any human being is). In those moments, I was what I know I am, and I didn’t want to do what I knew otherwise was right. The difference between those moments and this moment, with you, is that in those moments, I knew that my feelings and urges and dissatisfaction were wrong, and did not justify failing to do the right thing.

Having said that, let me make a confession: there were a lot of those days. That’s not because you were especially bad, but because I am. And when I knew my own sin, my own weakness, my own unwillingness to do what I would do if I were full of emotions to point me in a direction that looks so good to other people, I knew that I needed a savior for more than just some kind of final victory: I needed him for a victory today, minute by minute, to become a person grateful for what he has done for me. In some way, I had to remember that the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

So I didn’t just accept that Jesus loved me, or even that he died for me — as if that kind of story really means anything except as a spectacle anyone could watch in a movie. I accepted that his obedience made out of love, which caused him to want to die on a cross for a person like me, was so that I would know how to obey when I was personally out of love, and out of strength, and out of patience, and all that was left was the way I felt when I felt like I wasn’t made to do any of this stuff.

Now: so what? What does that have to do with your confession that this is who you really are? It is my answer back to you, which I think somehow you do not expect: this is also who I really am. The difference between you and me is that I think I need to be saved from it, and you think you do not need to be saved, but rather accepted, so that other people’s acceptance of your problem is substituted for real redemption and real resolution.

I love you. I want what is best for you. What you are committing to right now is not it. I am willing, after all these years, to die for you, or die with you, in pursuit of putting the sinful things we both face here and now to death. But I cannot tell you that your decision today is the right decision, and I can’t tell you that your confession is anything but a resignation to do what is right in your own eyes in spite of what you know to be true about the moral and spiritual order of the world. We both have a problem — and it is the same problem. Thank God, we both have a solution, and it is the same solution. Please do not toss out the solution, because it is the only one for you. I am praying for you, and will pray for you, and until you accept the solution, I am also weeping for you.

With love in spite of disappointment,

Dad.

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