I Never Thought We’d Have More Children!

•September 13, 2008 • 3 Comments

Well, I just never considered it, never looked at it that way. But, as of tomorrow, Mary and I are adding 5 children to our family. And 2 parents.

Natalie (also known as Nat, Shmatalie, Nary, Scratalie, Scratter Brains, and the like) is marrying Justin Dye. And if I remember correctly from 22 years ago when Mary and I were married, two family are coming together. Bob and Meredith Dye along with their 5 children – Justin, Jeremy, Colin, Caeleigh, and Maggie are joining our family – and we theirs. Very cool.

I know the traditional story of the father of the bride feeling as though he’s losing his daughter, but really the joy of adding a son-in-law has challenged all those feelings and won. And for 2 main reasons. First, Justin is a wonderful young man. He has great character; he’s been raised by 2 very godly parents; he has a wonderful family that will make great in laws rather than outlaws. Secondly, Natalie loves Justin very much (under statement). Their love for each other is definitely grace-based, which I’m sure will make a great foundation for their relationship and future family. And, it’s not a faceless, loose understanding of grace, but a clear knowledge of the Living God in the face of Jesus Christ.

So, waking up this morning a little too early, I thought, “Oh, to blog again.” And in the spirit of last night’s rehearsal dinner toasts – my favorite was Maggie’s, 6 yrs. old, “To Justin and Natalie, by favorite persons in the whole world” – I leave you with this…

To Justin and Natalie! And the whole Dye family!


What if…?

•April 19, 2008 • 3 Comments

What if God really does love you? And, what if that means He thinks about you all the time? And, what if He really does understand how you feel? How you think? And, what if He made promises to you, personally? What if He spoke to you today and tried to get your attention by simply being present and reminding you of His great and precious promises that He’s made to you?

What if you listened? What if you believed Him?

What if God knew everything about you? What if He knew everything you were going to face before you faced it so that He could provide everything you needed? And, what if He provided everything you needed because He loved you that much? What if He consistently loved you like that – never missing the slightest detail? And what if this was the way He was going to relate to you every day? And, what if He decided all of this ahead of time because He loved you that much? And, what if, in light of all that, He wanted to make eye contact with you today so that you could rest in His love?

What if you looked at Him? What if you believed Him?

What if you talked with Him?

Beloved Sleep

•January 28, 2008 • 3 Comments

It happens. Sometimes it’s the tacos with pizza. Sometimes it’s coffee a little too late in the evening. Sometimes it’s the late night rice crispy treats with butterscotch morsels melted on top, cut into nice tempting squares that aren’t big enough to eat just one. Sometimes it’s simply life’s stresses that we’re not suppose to grasp so tightly. But, whatever it may be, sleep sometimes evades me. Sometimes, If I wait long enough (and be real still and quiet… shh… ) I may fall back to sleep. But, usually I’m up for awhile. So, “why not” I thought, let’s do a word search on sleep in the Scriptures.

Check it out. The Scriptures say (and Scriptures do speak), “It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep.” Psalm 127:2 And that’s beautiful. He reminds me to rest in Him, to roll all of my anxieties over onto Him. He loves me and has designed for me to be able to sleep – and don’t you just love it when you get a good night’s sleep! Praise the Lord. But wait, there’s more. In Song of Solomon it says, “I sleep, but my heart is awake; It is the voice of my beloved! He knocks, saying, “Open for me, my sister, my love, My dove, my perfect one; For my head is covered with dew, My locks with the drops of the night.” Son 5:2

Well, there it is. Sometimes He wakes me up. (talk about God using the natural for supernatural purposes – butterscotch topped rice crispy treats) He wakes me up because He wants to meet with me. For many years I’ve pondered this portion of Scripture. The Shulamite delays and when she’s fully awake realizes what she’s doing, runs to the door and then He’s gone. But, her great love and passion for her Beloved sends her into the streets seeking Him. This brings suffering into her life, abuse even, but that’s not able to stop her quest; she must find her Beloved.

I admit that at times even when sleep evades me, my indifference to the Lord is a hazy fog that covers my mind, that sometimes doesn’t lift until after I’ve returned to bed and awake again much later. Yet, what an opportunity. To truly see what life is about. Is He calling to me? Is He knocking? Am I aware of how in love I am, enough to quickly respond to His voice? Usually I find myself waiting – which makes absolutely no sense! I wait, until I’m fully awake (I mean spiritually). And then, there’s a sense of desperation. I must hear His voice, I must go after Him. And so I pray; I cry out to my Beloved. And here’s what’s hitting me as so wonderful this morning. As I seek Him, He changes me into a man that is more desperate for Him. I awaken a little more to how I draw all that is good, all that means anything from Him. And He fills my life in His presence. He becomes my motivation in all my relationships, all my pursuits, all my service.

I really don’t want to settle for less than a life established and settled in Him. I don’t want to be a reluctant lover. I don’t want to miss the opportunity to be with Him in everything. And, I am comforted to know that He knows this. He hears my prayers – He sees me seeking Him and crying out for Him from my haze of indifference. And He promises to answer that prayer.

“Lord, give me strong legs to run after You, and the maturity to come quickly when you call.”

hmmm… I wonder how this will read after a few hours of sleep… because He does give his beloved sleep. Right?

Holy Days

•December 27, 2007 • 2 Comments

Well after an emergency appendectomy (I think all appendectomies are emergencies), a week in the hospital (4 days makes a week), and recovering right up to Christmas day, I have decided that these are holy days. I was able to see the Lord use me in the lives of people around me at the hospital, and I was blessed by so many while I was there. (although Mary had to tell me to stop talking about things – something about pain killers and my inability to discern between inappropriate, private, and funny) So then, I get home and see, once again, the faithfulness of God in other people using their gifts (20+ little angels singing in a Christmas musical that Sunday, complete with costumes and scenery) Our guest worship leaders, Terry and Kim Szalai (again the faithfulness of God), were a great blessing with Terry sharing a devotional on the peace of God – awesome – and their daughter Selah finding her way into the heavenly scene of angels, costume and all. God is good. Holy days.

I guess I’m still amazed that God uses me for His purposes. My time in the Word of God has been sweet. I love hearing from Him and being able to share that with others, and He’s used me to do that as I shuffled along to recovery. So then, caroling, great family time, wonderful handpicked and handmade gifts, lots of calorie laden chocolate with 24-karat gold sprinkles (?), Darrell and the group down in Mexico, looking forward to Roby Duke on New Year’s Eve in Napa, the San Francisco outreach… Holy days.

My Salvation….

•November 30, 2007 • 1 Comment

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statues, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”

Ezekiel 36:26, 27

Our Lord thought of everything when He offered us salvation. He knew that each of us would not only need to know the way of righteousness, but that we would need Him to change us, to renew us. Our need is that He would be our salvation – our strength, our life. I guess what I need today is to remember that He saved me – saved me from a life independent from Him.

“Lord, thank you that You know me, and that You chose to put Your Spirit within me. I love You.”

One Another….

•November 30, 2007 • 1 Comment

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

Colossians 3:16, 17
In these simple yet vast concepts, one phrase jumps out at me – “one another”. We are encouraged to teach and admonish each other. We can even use psalms, hymns, and songs to do it; even as we sing to the Lord! We, being different members, are one body. You and I need each other, because our Heavenly Father has designed us to be parts of the same body. And so, I thank the Lord for fellowship – in Him.

My question is this, are you considering His presence in all your relationships, today?

What a help for me in relating to others. His word, His wisdom, His grace, His praise, His name. All to His glory. And all of this is to be between you and me!

Love Connection….

•November 30, 2007 • Leave a Comment

When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

John 21:15

Are you looking for a way to express your love for the Lord? As Peter confesses his love for Jesus, Jesus gives him something to do – “Feed My lambs.” Who is it in your life that God would have you serve? As you consider your calling to love others and serve those God has placed in your care, remember this – It’s a wonderful way to show Jesus how much you love Him. Don’t settle for less.