Monday, October 31, 2011

I've got it all wrong... don't tell anyone... please!!!

I've been thinking I need to get busy!  I need to be doing something.  I need to working... like it all depends on me :-).  I know it sounds arrogant.  Perhaps it has something to do with the lie we're fed that suggests we're more defined by what we do, than who we are?

No wonder I'm always looking to DO something for my God.  The only problem.  I'm realizing how inept I am! Don't get me wrong... I have skills, but when I put them alongside the task before me I suddenly feel like I'm going the wrong way on a one way road or to put it another way I feel empty handed.

Depressing, huh? And yet I wonder... is being empty handed such a bad thing?

Maybe that's exactly what God can use.  I shared in my previous blog about this building that's an eye sore in our community.(see previous blog: walking in love)  Anyway, I've been thinking about how we might help our community by coming alongside them.  Perhaps by helping with their dream for this building, they can begin to see our love for them.  Yet the truth is I don't have the money, the time, or skills to do anything about it.  Which might lead one to wonder why I'm wasting my time thinking about it?  I guess you could say I've been wondering what God might do.  You might say I'm realizing if God is up to something, then... "nothing is impossible."

I sat in a cafe with three individuals I had just met.  One owned a Pub, the other the cafe we were visiting, still another was a computer tech who owned his own company.  I sat there straining to hear what they were saying through their thick accents, and as I did I found myself wondering... now what Lord?  I felt SO empty handed... it was then that I remembered the words of Jesus where he says, "Let the little children come to me... for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."  I get the idea that instead of depending on what I have in my hands, I should depend on the one who holds me in HIS hands.  If you read that story in Mark 10 you'll discover that immediately following this exchange Jesus meets a rich man who wanted to know how to inherit the kingdom.  He'd done all the right things, following the law, yet for whatever reason he still felt something was missing, which is why he comes to Jesus.

Jesus calls him to empty his hands of those things that he places HIS trust in, to simply follow... for the kingdom "belongs to such as these"  

Maybe empty handed is not the worst place to be... maybe it's exactly where God wants me?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

walking in love...

I was never a great fan of walking... I mean it takes forever.  A journey that might take just a couple of minutes in your car can take an hour.  Let's face it, walking takes time, patience, tenacity.  Sometimes the very idea of walking somewhere can be overwhelming at first... after all it's SO far....  

Since we've moved to Ireland I'm finding myself doing a great deal more walking and I'm actually enjoying it. (go figure!)  Maybe you're wondering what's changed?  How did I move from loathing it to loving it? That's something I've been thinking about...  I mean for one who loves to drive, what happened?

Maybe you're thinking that it's good exercise. Okay! But actually I think that's more of a side benefit.  The reality is the blessings of walking are much more profound.  I've begun to discover that walking opens up my life to listen to people and to God.  And, if that's not enough it also changes my perspective of the community in which I live.  I'm noticing things and more importantly people.  I feel more a part of this place I call home, even responsible.

Have you ever been driving on a Freeway or a Motorway while on vacation or holiday?  You pass exits that are just a signpost to you, a way of marking your progress.  Have you ever thought that for some people their whole life revolves around that exit and where it leads.  It's home or perhaps where they work.  What for us is nothing more than a signpost for them is life.

As I've begun to walk I'm more able to be part of the community I call home.  It leads me to want to know better the people I see, and when I walk with God... He begins to open my eyes to see my community through HIS eyes.  Allow me to explain...

There's this building in Wicklow that is abandoned, broken down and covered with tagging. Let's just say it's not a picture you'd see on the community website.  It's an eye sore, yet in many ways, because of where it is, it's simply ignored.  Up until yesterday I've dismissed it.  I usually drive by it, but yesterday I walked by it, on purpose.  I discovered it was built in 2006 to be a refuge for women in crisis.  It never fulfilled the vision for which it had been built.  In fact, as you can see the building sits vacant today.  I've heard renewed calls to see that place redeemed for it's intended use.  I thought about how the church might rise up and be the church.  Let's face it, we're about seeing things and people redeemed, right?

I wonder... what might YOU notice in the community where YOU live if you simple hit the pavement and walked.  I wonder how GOD might call you to get involved... to be an agent of reconciliation and redemption.  I wonder!

I realize it can seem overwhelming at first..., not much different from the idea of walking somewhere can seem overwhelming when you look at it as a whole.  Yet when you take one step at a time, you soon discover more than you ever imagined.  Perhaps when we walk in this way we'll discover that we're doing exactly what JESUS calls us to do... we'll discover what it means to, "walk in love" 2Jn 6

Sunday, October 9, 2011

thanks be to GOD!

Don't forget...
I was reading recently in Numbers where God was calling on the people of Israel to NOT forget their story.  He didn't want them to forget how HE had met their needs and delivered them from the hand of the Pharaoh.  At one point God calls on them to gather rocks that will serve as a monument of remembrance. You can find that story in Joshua 1.  Evidently, we're good at forgetting... at least the good stuff. In the process of my reading I began thinking about the myriad of ways God has led me.  The wonderful ways, He's provided for me.  The incredible ways he's answered my prayers and given me the desires of my heart.  I don't want to forget.  You might say I want to build a virtual memorial. 

As I do I wonder... might God lead you to see again His hand in your life.  Perhaps then we might find ourselves in a place of wonder and thanksgiving.   So as I share just a few of the ways God has led, helped and provided for me and my family, why not form your own list and then join me in giving thanks to God!

Virtual Rock # 1 - I was sitting in a meeting listening to God when HE spoke into my life and called us think about moving from a great church in Richland, Washington.  That's a miracle in and of itself, but the one that blesses my socks off is that while God was talking to me... He was also speaking to Annette, my wife.  He was calling her too!  WOW!

Virtual Rock # 2 - We visited Ireland before we accepted the call. The timing of the trip was amazing.  We were able to get tickets for less than I've seen them since.  I was able to get my passport, even after major delays, "just in time".

Virtual Rock # 3 - We were able to prepare our home for sale thanks to the generous help of Denzil & Kay, Chad and our great church family in Richland.

Virtual Rock # 4 - We sold our home at list price within a week.... need I say more?

Virtual Rock # 5 - We sold our two cars less than three hours after I asked people to join us in praying they would sell.

Virtual Rock # 6 - We came through immigration at Dublin without ONE hitch!

Virtual Rock # 7 - We have a home here in Ireland that meets ALL of our needs.  It was the house Annette saw and wanted, even though we were told it was already rented.... Those who had rented it backed out!  Then they lowered the rent.  Go figure!

Virtual Rock # 8 - We were able to get dishes, and other essentials... thank you Northwest & thank you Father.

Virtual Rock # 9 - We were able to leave for Ireland, debt free... PTL!

Virtual Rock # 10 - We have a car, insurance... and no accidents... even with driving on the other side of the road.

I was sitting in our service this morning listening to Pastor Erich share about Joseph and how after years he finally began to see the dreams he had as a child come to fruition.  Let's just say this... "I'm living the dream!