Thursday, September 30, 2004
There are a lot of spiritual truths in secular music. Clay Aiken's song "I Survived You" is more about a relationship gone bad ... but maybe that's a good description of a song we might sing to Satan at the end of this life. Our ability to survive his attacks against us is only found in Jesus Christ. The only person I read who is reminding us that we are at war is John Elderidge ... and for that I am thankful for his writings. We're not just trying to make it ... we're in a clash of the ages that will take our whole hearts redeemed by Jesus to find victory. I Survived You I see the picture clear now, the fog has lifted. The wool you tried to pull over my eyes was clever. Yeah you're gifted. But you forgot to dot some I's, and cross some T's along the way. I'm better now despite you baby. I'm stronger these days. Stronger. I survived the crash.Survived the burn. Survived the worst, yeah baby, but I learned. Survived the lies.Survived the blues. Almost killed me, but I survived the truth. And when you wrote me off like I was doomed. I survived you. I can look in the mirror now.It's been a slow awakening. Haunted by a heart full of you, couldn't help mistaking. That you could ever care for anyone.Anyone but yourself. Hey.But you would have to have a conscience baby. Good luck I wish you well. I survived the crash.Survived the burn. Survived the worst, yeah baby, but I learned. Survived the lies.Survived the blues. Almost killed me, but I survived the truth. And when you wrote me off like I was doomed. I survived you. This heart has been torn in two. Cut and bruised. With too many bitter endings. I'll be damned if I have thoughts of you Rain on my new beginning. I survived the crash.Survived the burn. Survived the worst, yeah baby, but I learned. Survived the lies.Survived the blues. Almost killed me, but I survived the truth. And when you wrote me off like I was doomed. I survived you.
I got a kick out of today's happenings in True Hope.
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
"Angel of My Dreams"
This is a poem i wrote a few years ago that i recently modified. When i wrote it originally it was entitled "My Angel" and yes it was give to my sugnificant other at the time. But God ia good, and he always takes care of me. Well here is the new one; the "Perfect Girl for Me" as some one has ignorantly suggested. Hope you enjoy. "Angel of My Dreams" I've taken many roads getting where I am today Each step that I have taken has been part of my way I've been out with many girls and some I’ve even liked Each of them had qualities that I am looking for, for life I've spent the past few years in prayer to God most night’s Relating my thoughts and desires with limitless hopes in sight And many nights I've dreamed of the perfect girl for me And put it into words asking God to make her for me I do not plan to settle though at times it crosses my mind Will I ever find this girl so pure, so pretty, so kind Everything is what I’m wanting but does this girl exist I even have this image and a never ending list Someone to make me happy and with her I'll do the same Someone that I can cherish and give her my last name I want to make her laugh bring smiles to her beautiful face I want her to be happy when she looks upon my face Someone with which to worship praising our savior our God Forever worshiping together lifting thoughts and desires to God I want to be the man who helps her run the race To run the race to Heaven and see God's shining face She’ll be everything no doubt my everything and more I’ll be her everything her everything forevermore I know that all the words I write here with this pen Can never describe the way that I feel down deep within She’ll be the one I treasure with only God before For He's the one who’s preparing this "Angel" I already adore. Kirt K. Hunt…Revised-2004
hey, well so much has happened in a week Joel, i re-read my post "2-n-a-row"...boy was it provacative Lindsay, thank you so much for getting involved and posting comments, etc. John, we need to meet for lunch soon to talk out a few things In general, alia and i'll (and jolee) will be leaving friday at or around 4pm to travel to blountstown, fl, to spend the night and go to my grandfather's funeral saturday at noon we'll be traveling down i-10 east, so if anyone knows directions about how to bypass the broken section of the interstate once i get to pensacola, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org blountstown it around marianna and altha florida thanks to all who commented on my recents posts This is for joel: sorry that i never commented on any of your posts, online... i realize that giving you verbal feedback was benefecial, but outside the scheme for a blog...so, i just want all of you to know that I have quoted Joel and his "acquired tastes" observation, lifted and inspired by C.S. Lewis...I just want you to know that i have quoted Joel in at least 3 bible class sessions, using the acquired tastes illustration--a stroke of genius in discipleship...thank you joel for your keen insight This is for everybody: i don't want love and respect...i'd rather us all love and respect Jesus...cause when we do, somehow, and i'm not sure how this happens because i can be quite cynical...when we love and respect Jesus, we'll begin to love and respect eachother whether we deserve it or not Thank you for keeping my hope alive...and keep up the really deep and personal posts in closing up the broom closet this morning...joel, thanks for your confronting phonecall, and thank you for ALWAYS "calling me" when i start to use my words to sugarcoat things...thank god for your wisdom in keeping me truly honest...and by the way, i just want you to know i thank God that you have self-appointed you as my accountability partner--joel always questions my actions and brings it to my attention, and lets me change, before i do something that will cause me to be a hippocrite...thank you joel, and by the way, i self-apppointed me to be his accountablility partner john...we just want to make you proud love, steve
Monday, September 27, 2004
Take Heart, Steve
Fellow blogger Steve's grandfather passed away yesterday afternoon. He and his family will be enroute to funeral services this week and I wanted to wish them safety in their journey and also comfort in his heart.
Sunday, September 26, 2004
No Reflections in Ripples
Narcissus looked into the water and became captivated by his beauty. Good thing he didn't live in my world. There's never a moment when the water is calm around here. The water keeps ripples on it as I run back and forth tending to stuff. Last week's funeral followed by a wedding plus regular ministry work kept me bouncing from bumper to bumper. I was to leave for Wisconnsin for a retreat today, but a damaged Pensacola airport and transportation complications and the fact that my friend couldn't go kind of made it an impossibility. So no retreat this week ... but there's a buffet of things that all expect my participation this week. I think it's time for me to take a personal retreat. I'm always riddled with guilt, though, when I leave my family in their continual routine. I identify with John Alan Turner's post "It's Not Healthy To Run At This Pace". But I'm not alone in my busyness. And truthfully, I enjoy it... except that the result of it is a neglect of the truly important things. Affirming that we "need" the times of reflection is a worthless excercise for me ... I already know it. It's not a knowledge problem. It's a willingness to let some things go ... and I'm too heavily invested in most of those things trying to prove my worth. To whom? Maybe to the leadership team that has entrusted this work to me. Maybe to my critics and enemies who continue to undermine my work in their sneaky phone calls and faux friendship (and 5 years of this is really enough. Doesn't anyone else grow weary of it?). Maybe to my church family, because they are so supportive of all I do. Maybe to my friends who work with more energetic, more effective congregations that appear more successful...although I do know that's not the measure of a man. It just seems like it. Maybe to my son, who is so observant. Maybe to my fellow blog members, who belong to a sharp and wry generation. Turning 40 was not hard. I think turning 41 is harder. The novelty of the 40's is gone. I'm just glad they let me hang around them. Maybe to my dad who moved 20 years ago and left no forwarding address. Maybe to God. I often affirm that He will never leave us. But sometimes I think if he could get enough of somebody and leave, it might be me. Maybe to myself. It's not that I lack words of appreciation. They are nice but they do not solve anything. Maybe I like the ripples in the water because they prevent reflection. I do not especially regard introspection as my friend.
Saturday, September 25, 2004
Mike Cope has some important things to say on his latest post.
Thursday, September 23, 2004
2 N A Row
Less of a coincidence. Joel, thank you for reading my last post, but frankly, your comments stung. John, your first comment carried a bit of a sting as well, and i appreciated your later nice comment, but the it was clearly a cover up. I came into my office late tonight, trying to make you all proud by posting more often, but John and Joel's comments to yesterday's post, knocked the wind out of my sails. If you know me, then you may be shocked by this negative, pointed, and loathesome blog comment...but i'm being real--don't ever forget, that is what we do here...say the real things on our hearts. I've made a career out of "sluffing" things off. My thick skin has many scars, some very deep. I just want to make you laugh, be a satirical voice of inspiration, sarcasm, make you proud, and know that you appreciate and respect me, even if you don't love me. i know you love me--i'm afraid that your love for me outweighs your respect and trust for me. Should i really post this...it will all either come across as an attack on John and Joel, or all seem like a big joke to John and Joel...neither of which i intend. I am amazed, i never thought i would be this open and honest. To all of you who read this blog, please answer this question, and post a comment: "What is the biggest lie you ever told?" When i was in 8th grade, I broke my arm at a youth rally trying to beat up another student, and when i got home i told my parents i slipped and broke my arm. they believed me for 6 or 7 years until i finally told them the truth. I had been punching a guy in the chest and face and missed, breaking my forearm by forcefully using it to accidentaly hit his forehead. I told my dad i slipped on a blanket in the hotel room and hit the dude in the head. i kept part of the truth, but edited out my rage until years later, coming to grips with my lie. So please comment, what is the biggest lie you ever told...explain...did you come clean?
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
forgive me father, for i have... it has been 13 days since my last post. i wore slacks, patent leather shoes and a tommy button up to biloxi high school this morning to have lunch with Wachovia Fortenberry, a very sweet, smart, and Godly student who attends my congregation regularly--and most of the youth functions. to keep things interesting, i wore "no show" socks with my lace-up dress shoes that were masked by the lengthy pant legs. i can rebel even when i attempt to conform. for my next visit to biloxi high school for lunch, i'll be able to adjurn from dressing up and arrive at the front office in the usual jeans or shorts, t-shirt, and my Etnies or flip flops. the first visit, though, i dress to impress (well not really, i just don't have a business card, they never call my office anyway to check me out to see if i am really who i say i am, a minister, but from experience i get through the office and past the assistant prinicpal in record time on my first visit if i wear something casually nice. note, i have went on a first visit to a school for lunch to meet the principal in jeans, and my charisma got me in. once they accept you to be a minister then they are cool. Joel, i promise i'll respond to your next post. I had a great visit with Will Collins at his dorm room in montgomery, al at faulkner university, "pre-ivan". It was a delicious adventure. Thank you Will for your time. I had a less than delicious meeting with John Dobbs at Cracker Barrell, "post-ivan." It was less than appetizing to see John approach me from the Southern end of the dining room with a smilish face just as i heaped a mouthful of fried okra in the space in between my rows of teeth. Thanks for the hug John. did anyone else get an invitation to the CCCofC email group? i joined up, but did not recognize a soul on the membersip list of the group when i glanced by. As usual when something odd happens, i blame John Dobbs. so, johnnydobby, it was you who betrayed me with a kiss. say three hail... and do two... and absolvea ino mena patre, et filie, in spiritu sanctu, amen
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Love is the Power
“I know this is an evil world that we all live in. Full of pain strife and struggles and at times we hurt way down deep within. Jesus shed his blood for you and me on this journey He’s by my side. He has set a sinner like me free, love is the power, it makes everything alright. Forget about the heart aches and troubles leave them all behind. Let your hope joy and love its only in Jesus we can find. You love so much and want peace living in your lives. What a wonderful savior love is the power. It makes everything alright. I can’t help but love him, look at what he has done. On the cross shed His blood and died; A rose a power to save everyone. I can’t help but love Him, He’s been so good in my life. What a wonderful savior love is the power; it makes everything alright. Love, love, love, makes everything alright, alright. What a wonderful savior love is the power, it makes everything alright.” These are the words to a song recorded by the Acappella company. I have been sitting here pondering upon unity and the divisions which come about in congregations of the Lord’s Church. I remembered talking to the teenage class last Wednesday of how things don’t always go the way that we think they should in life and even in our congregations. I told of a good friend of mine who has basically stuck his lip out and given up on “church” because he doesn’t feel things are going the way that they should. And although I agree with him in some of the areas he has issues with, I have assured him that it doesn’t give him the right to just give up. In Tony’s lesson on Sunday, he read a passage from Philippians chapter 1 which stood out in my mind. Beginning in verses 3 he writes, “I thank my God upon all my remembrance of you, always in every supplication of mine on behalf of you all making my supplication with joy, for your fellowship in furtherance of the gospel from the first day until now; being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ…” I think it is important for us to realize that even as the body of Christ we are being “perfected” as Paul spoke of Christ perfecting the church in Philippi “until the day of Jesus Christ”. In all of the letters addressed to the churches we read of in the NT, we never read of a congregation in which hadn’t or wasn’t currently facing struggles. Neither Paul, nor any of the other writers give any one of us the right nor an excuse to give up. We are all human. Humans are fallible; even Christians. To state, as Paul did, that Christ “will prefect” constitutes imperfection. God loves us so much even in spite of all of our human imperfections. And he demands that we do the same (1 Cor. 13:13). Not one of us is above or without sin. And as we desire and need forgiveness, we likewise are to be willing to forgive. “Above all things being fervent in your love among yourselves; for love covereth a multitude of sins:”(1 Peter 4:8) In HIM,Kirt
Monday, September 20, 2004
A Photojournal of the incredible damage to Pensacola and surrounding areas can be found HERE. It is being updated regularly.
Saturday, September 18, 2004
What do you do when the disaster that was supposed to happen didn't? I'm mindful of my brothers and sisters and fellow Coastians suffering to the East of us ... and hope we can help them get things back together. But for us, maybe we go through a temporary disconnect from the "emergency-crisis" mode to the "back to normal mode". Today I feel in between. In fact, as far as I can tell, everyone I talk to feels inbetween. Everything seems so random ... disconnected today. I had to try to remember what day it was, earlier. Maybe it's because my family has been out of town a few days and there's nothing really normal about the flow of things without the familial structure in place. I did attend a funeral today where two brothers who haven't seen each other in a long time were present. One fussed loudly with and cursed the other ... but that might be how they always related...I don't know. But I wondered how their children would grow up to relate to one another. The lady at the grocery store charged me twice for my peach preserves. Then took one of them off of the ticket. But by the time she got through she declared that she charged me twice and sent me to the counter to get a refund. There I dutifully reported that I thought she had removed it, but had since forgotten that she had done so. Tomorrow's sermon has yet to have a word written ... and I'm as motivated as a slug. So it's been a weird disconnected kind of day for me. In just a little while the family will drive up and chaos will ensue. It might as well ... it's been too quiet around here anyway. Perhaps in the noise and joy and conflict and food and sighs and hugs there might appear on the radar of my life a strand of normalcy. Or perhaps I'll just get heartburn. Either way, I'm glad the disaster didn't happen to us, no matter how uncomfortable this inbetween time.
Friday, September 17, 2004
Don't Miss These...
Jake's Blog: Jake and Aaron's discussion on mission statements, evangelism, what the church is, and cell phones! Scroll down a bit to catch it all...good stuff. John Alan Turner's questions and answers about heaven - is it really everything the preachers have made it out to be...or is it something better? Chris Lockhart heads out of harm's way. Wade Hodges shares a passage from a new, hip paraphrase of the Bible called The Word on the Street. Interesting! Mike Cope's last three posts are reflections on hurricanes, for reasons that will become obvious. The Big and Loud Jon Mark Smith introduces himself. Lindsay reflects on the things we say to each other when trust lets us down. And for some juvenile humor at the expense of others, check out Robert, Lalita, and Michael's blog, What's In A Name? Bloggers take to dispensing information from Pensacola, as they attempt to HELP PENSACOLA. Happy Blogation!
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Hey there, this is random but i wanted John to know that you and all of my other costal buddies are being lifted up in prayers. I was trying to reach you at home but found out from D Dodd that you were in north MS already. My parents wanted to open their house for you and your family John so if you get tired of the inlaws give me a call. We love ya, Kirt
Monday, September 13, 2004
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Life is trying to go on as normal. *The sun is shining and there's a warm gulf breeze. *I know of several funerals scheduled this week ... two grandmothers ... three college students tragically taken in a car accident ... others I'm sure. *There's a wedding in two weeks. *I just ate lunch at a local eatery with some friends. *I'm getting ready to teach a class tonight. ...But the signs that something is out of kelter are all around. *There are lines at all the gas stations, and some stations no longer have gasoline to sell. *Boards are going up on windows around town. *The restaurant where I ate was practically empty at noontime. *Our certainties have all carried a clarification, "If...." *We are packing things that we feel are irreplacable, picking up things in the yard that could become projectiles in high winds, and trying to decide when to visit family in North Mississippi. *I'm thinking about packages that are en route to our house. We're such different creatures in this "getting ready" stage ... than we are when the waters of the Gulf are tranquil. A simple question may have radical consequences: "Why Aren't We Living In The Getting Ready Mode All The Time?"
Saturday, September 11, 2004
Can We Say More?
What else can be said about 9-11? With all of the words we can speak, pictures we can show, video and talking heads on the networks ... the pain, horror, and feeling of helplessness still remains. My friend Gary has mentioned a few times that he wonders why it hasn't happened again ... and I don't know. But I do think that one day in the future ... maybe the generation who was not old enough to see it happen live on television ... it will become a mere factiod of history. They'll mention it in a blase sort of way ... offhanded references that do not reflect the heartache we feel today. Even further out in time some history teacher will talk to a middle school social studies class and mention the attack on American soil and quizzical looks will be exchanged among the students as they indicate to each other that this is an unknown event to them. Or worse, they'll roll their eyes because they've heard their grandparents talk about this as if it matters. You know... the way some Christians do today when you start to talk about the cross. Their eyes glaze over ... they've heard it all before. They have the right words to say about that dreadful day of terrorism against the human race. Yes, it was "terrible" and "awful" and "I can barely stand to think of it." Millions wept at THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST and no doubt will buy the DVD, t-shirt, wall calendar, book, CD, and bumper sticker. But the simple words in The Book, "there they crucified Him" ... well ... they lack the lustre of our interest. Cobwebbed and dust covered, that's what they are. Can we say more? We must. Can humanity afford to allow the bloody scene of the cross and the glorious empty tomb become nothing more than an apocalyptic Hansel and Gretel? Keep the story alive, because He is alive.
Thursday, September 09, 2004
The Fly in My Soup
Waiter, There's A Fly in My Soup... so starts a thousand old jokes. A quick search via google turned up 244,000 links to "fly in my soup". I didn't check them all, but I think the basis of the humor in that joke is that the fly is unexpected. But isn't that silly? How many flies are there in the world? And what do flies tend to search out? And where is that substance often found? And so out of the kitchen of the restaurant (if you answered the questions correctly), is it any surprise, then, that one might find a fly in his soup? But ... we are dismayed by it's innocent presence. I am sometimes unhappy to find a fly in my faith. A pesky little critter that just does not belong there. Maybe it's a sin that I really do not want to acknowledge. Perhaps it is a habit that I would prefer to continue to indulge. It could be a judgmental spirit by which I lift myself above others. It might be something simple like a word or two I need to erase from my vocabulary. Overall, things look pretty good, except for that fly in the faith. I need not be surprised that it's there. After all, the natural tendency of sin is to make its presence known in every life. But, I'm not surprised. I knew it was there. And still I ate heartily. At some time, though, I need to see the fly for what it is .... ask God to take it from the soup, so I can nourish myself on something truly worthwhile and helpful. Of course the fly in my faith is sometimes me ... and I need mostly to be cleansed.
Mountaintops are Over-Rated
Steve, your thoughts caused me to think about those mountaintop that seem so daunting and so short-lived. I think we make a mistake to seek the mountaintops anyway - they're over rated. To me, faith is more like a journey through a jungle ... with thick groves of trees and vines all around us. They are so thick that we can't see very far ahead at all. There are wild and dangerous animals in the jungle ... terrifying enemies that seek to kill me. I hack my way through the brush with the machete of my own will, growing tired and wondering if there is anything on the other side of the jungle. Afraid to keep going, afraid to stop. Suddenly I hack through a wall of vine and underbrush and find myself standing at the edge of a precipice. It's a beautiful and breathtaking view ... a panorama of lush foilage in an expansive valley. A magnificent waterfall plunges down the side of the rocks on the other side of the valley. Stunningly beautiful flamingos (LOL Yes...Flamingos!!!) fly across the glittering water below and land at water's edge. A cool breeze blows across my face. I've traveled so far for this moment. It's a wonderful moment. All is peace and rest and beauty. For a moment I reflect on my journey ... a difficult one ... more difficult that I expected. But how did I end up here? HERE! Wow! I could build a hut or find a cave and just live here! But my heart knows I'm not at the end of my journey. In fact, I've only discovered a new path that will lead me to .... other unknown places. I can feel the call to move on, and reluctantly I leave this vista in search of another something in my destiny. I re-enter the jungle and begin to hack away ... remembering that all along it was not the machete of my own will at all that led me to true beauty. It was the gentle hand of God that held me in the terrors of the dark jungle, and led me to a brief vision of what he has awaiting ... at the other side of the jungle.
thursday in the hole
well good morning. my kid woke us up early (she's almost two) and wouldn't stop whining until i picked her up and walked the halls with her. it was so sad, she did the breathe-gulp-cry thing kids do when they try to relax after they've been crying or upset...joel, you'll understand some day
i don't get on here very much to post, so please, everyone go read my comment to john's post titled "Six jump off a roof," or something to that effect. its about three posts down. if you haven't already. read the other posts before you read mine. comment about my posting here.
i've been at the same church(if your in the CofC i mean "congregation") now for two years. i'm a youth and family minister. i believe in God. i'm a follower of Jesus. but i actually might be a little discouraged right now. don't gasp. they lied to us when "they" told us the christian life would be a mountain top (draw a little ^ mountain like that and draw a line to the peak). i don't know about you but my christianity has seen some really high ups (jimmy got em' joel) and some really fat downs. mike yaconelli, in Messy Spirituality (which i own two copies of now) draws cute little diagrams that illustrate this point. it just so happens that i'm at the bottom of this, in the low valley having lunch and the waiter left to get me a refill on unsweet tea and hasn't come back for three months.
you know john, sometimes i feel like i'm at the edge of the roof, ready to jump...metaphorically speaking (my laptop and wireless modem are in someone else's house, so i'm really in my office typing 'on the edge'). so i'm ready to jump...but while i'm admittedly down and discouraged (because i'm a realist, truly realistic) when i get the courage to jump, i'll just make a leap to another building, or dive off and bounce when i hit the concrete like Keanu Reeves from the matrix (because i am optimistic).
i follow Jesus (and hope still remains) because God blesses me, you, us with the ability to see what life is really like, and still be optimistic (and rejoice) inspite of where we are.
blog that john.
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
Into The Crowd
Tonight after our teen outreach we had a birthday party for one of our teens. There were streamers, cokes, cake, gifts, and lots of laughter. Smiles and friends were in abundance. He wandered into the room. He's an occasional visitor to our service. I like him ... he's got a friendly spirit and seems to be at home with himself. He looked around as he stood by the door. He ventured into the room and wandered around the cake table, near a group of boys who were laughing and talking. He stood there for a moment and observed ... but it was one of those inopportune moments in the mid-stream of the conversation. I watched from across the room as he headed out, without a word from him, or to him. For me, it was something that I watched happen and later thought about what I should have done or could have done, but didn't. Into the crowd of laughter and merriment came a quiet soul. In quietness he left. Maybe it didn't bother him. Maybe he's used to it. Maybe he wept. I don't know. But I do know I need to be more like Jesus, who always spotted the outsiders in the crowd and honored them. Father, please make me more like Jesus and help me to listen, observe, and care for the ones you have placed in my path.
Over 1,000 People Served
Well, not really ... but we have had over 1,000 hits on the blog since we started. That's not too shabby. Oh...probably 500 of them are mine, but I won't mention that. Well, it's not that important but I thought it was interesting.
Monday, September 06, 2004
Six Decided to Jump
Within the past year, six students of New York University have jumped off of buildings to their deaths. One can be explained because of use of hallucinogenic drugs. We might be tempted to ask what kind of place NYU is ... but we ought to ask what kind of world is this? THE THEIF comes to steal and kill and destroy. And I suppose that nothing is as destructive as the guilt and helplessness left behind when someone decides to jump. We have been led into our own little individual submarines. Submersed in our truthless culture we occupy ourselves with keyboards and remote controls and other gadgets. We venture out on dry land daily to earn enough to maintain our vessel, but other than that we mostly want to get back in and be alone. Hopeful moments arrive at times and we decide to view the world through our periscope ... maybe it isn't all that bad. If what we see is the same dark hopeless restless meaningless place from which we retreated, we are impressed with the only thing we can believe. This is a good time to jump. Why not? The destruction of the family, the degradation of ourselves sexually, the heavy crash after drug abuse, the violence of war and terrorism around the world aren't very hopeful markers. Yet, out here hope remains. Climb out of the submarine, step out of the darkness and isolation. Observe and see that Jesus offers the only light that leads to life. The rest of it is just blindness and darkness. Sooner or later we catch on to the truth. Don't jump...follow. Six this past year decided to jump and the dark world moves on. 2000 years ago 12 decided to follow and the world will never be the same. To my three fellow bloggers, and any readers who would like to comment ... what is it about Jesus that keeps you following instead of jumping?
The Third One
Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, three-time loser Alexis Serna agonizes over his failure to perform his only duty in the OSU vs LSU game this weekend. It doesn't matter that the handsome young football player walked into the stadium as an admired and even envied athlete. It doesn't matter that he had spent hours on the field practicing that same kick that in many games would make the difference between winning and losing. It doesn't matter that he had already missed two field goals in the game. It was do or die time, and they died. It was the third one ... the one that would have tied up the game and given OSU a chance to win the game. It was the third one that would have Mr. Serna writhing on the ground pulling up grass in his self-pity and defeat. It was the third one that the coach will talk to him about, having reached an unacceptable level of performance. It was the third one that the other kids at OSU will be talking about, perhaps some even being cruel to him, his team mates having a hard time forgiving. Even if he does well the rest of the season ... he is still going to be the kicker who missed three field goals in the game ... the third one costing them the game. It was the third one that caused Peter to weep. After the first two he could have rallied and pulled it all together, but he just kept on going. It was as if he were on a roller coaster ride that, once started, must reach its final end. There was no hiding this failure, as it played out in the public arena. It would take the Lord himself to get him over this disappointment and guilt. And he would push Peter to confess the third time. In the agony over your repeated failures, focus on the only thing that will bring about healing. Love Jesus, serve His people. We do not have the capability to go back and relive a moment. Alexis Serna wishes he could have called out 'mulligan!' and been able to kick again ... but such was not a possibility. You cannot face the battles of your past ... you only have today. And Jesus is the only One who can give you a new life ... a new start ... a new goal ... another kick ... and the power to turn your failures into victories. As Robert Schullar says, He can turn your scars into stars.
Saturday, September 04, 2004
All right, you guys have to see this. This is a notice-of-shipment email I received from an real live online record store. (edited for security purposes) To: email@example.com Subject: Joel - Your CD Baby Order! (#591985) From: CD Baby loves Joel Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2004 13:10:29 -0700 (PDT) Joel - Thanks for your order with CD Baby! === =========== ===== ===== 1 FLYNN: let the show begin Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow. A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing. Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy. We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved 'Bon Voyage!' to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, Thursday, September 2nd. I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did. Your picture is on our wall as 'Customer of the Year'. We're all exhausted but can't wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!! Thank you once again, Derek Sivers, president, CD Baby the little CD store with the best new independent music phone: 1-800-448-6369 email: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.cdbaby.com I forwarded it to Steve and he had this to say: "frickin' priceless, now that's above and beyond... that sweet little note, that's what we all wish happens when we buy something from a company and have it sent to us. if we can just get our students to believe that something similar actually happens when they pray to God..." And I said, 'Cool Steve'. So what do you think about Steve's comment? Personally, I love the application and I intent to use it with my students. I also am aware and sometimes annoyed by people trivializing or dumbing down divine processes with cute little things like notice-of-shipment emails.....So with all things considered, fire away... Oh, and CDbaby rocks.
In The Path
If the state of Texas uprooted itself from our landscape and tore across the United States like a tornado, that would be something like what is happening in Florida right now. As Frances stalls this morning, perhaps intensifies somewhat, then gives Florida another crushing blow, she will likely head back into the Gulf of Mexico. At that point, we will find ourselves in the path of the storm. Whether its a direct hit or not is not a big point to make ... after all ... the storm is the size of Texas and you'd have to evacuate to a far distance to escape. In watching news coverage of the storm today I saw the people who not only decided to ignore the evacuation order, but also to wade out into the rough surf. There are experts with specific scientific information who have given us the details about what will happen. There are law officers who have given the call to abandon all property and flee for your life. The government stands ready, having already declared a state of emergency. The winds are howling, tearing up buildings. The rain is pouring like Niagra Falls. And there is someone waist deep in the water playing around, ignoring or oblivious to the reality all around him. I think I'm like that sometimes. The Word has all the information I need. There is the promise of the coming Son. Specifically God has given us instructions about how to live, what to avoid, and even provided a perfect model for us to follow. I can see what sin has already done to the lives around me, even before the judgment arrives. I know from my own experience that following the Christ provides the best results for living. But sometimes I wade in the storm. Unwilling to let all that I know influence me to do what is right, I throw my hands in the air as the surf swirls all around me. And later, as I look back, I recognize the foolishness of it all. It seems like that would give me strength for the next time. Sometimes it does, sometimes I wade anyway. It's awful risky wading in the path of the storm ... but overall I still trust God to rescue me ... even though I have disappointed Him. His love is a storm in itself. And that's the storm in which I want to wade. Father, keep me in the path of your storm of grace.
Friday, September 03, 2004
I'm the Newborn
Hey there, I just got signed in. Maybe soon i'll have something worth saying/or reading in this case. Our brother Luke put it best in Acts 17:24-28 when he said, "The God who made the universe and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth. He doesn't live in shrines made by humans, and he isn't served by humans as if he needed anything. He gives everyone life, breath, and everything they have. From one man he has made every nation of humanity to live all over the earth. He has given them the seasons of the year and the boundaries within which to live. He has done this so that they (WE) would look for God, somehow reach for him, and find him. In fact, he is never far from any one of us. Certainly, we live, move, and exist because of him. As some of your poets have said, 'We are God's children.
The Sins of the Fathers
The first day of school should be a day of excitement for small children. It should be a day for parents to worry about their kids finding the way to all the right places at the right times. It is a time of anticipation for teachers who are prepared, but at the same time wondering if there is any way to prepare for a classroom full of young independent minds. The first day of school is a landmark day ... a day that we look back upon and a day that marks a beginning. It should not be the beginning of three days of terror. But that's what it was for the children and families of Beslan, Russia. Instead of teachers taking over the educational reins of their students, terrorists took over classrooms. They were men most often seen in nightmares. They were the kind of men willing use the precious innocent lives of children as bargaining chips to free their comrades from prison. The kind of men who would herd helpless dads, petrified moms, and bewildered sons and daughters into a gymnasium ... a deathtrap of heat, gunfire, and hatred. Hundreds of children are wounded ... many are dead. Philosophers can banter about the politics of the occasion, but these children do not have a voice in the actions of their forebears. "Do not hold against us the sins of the fathers; may your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need. Help us, O God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name's sake." Psalm 78:8-9 Satan truly has his way with people walking in darkness. Christians, let us shine brighter in this dark world ... if for nothing else but for the sake of the children.
Thursday, September 02, 2004
Four Blogs, No Comments, New Contributor
Cool...since I'm talking to myself (which is a common practice of mine anyway), I guess I can really let loose. There's a new contributor to our blog coming soon ... and I know you will enjoy getting to know him. Yes, I'm adding to the collection.
What's Going on in Blog Land Today?
Here's what I saw on the blogs today ... of course by the time you read this and check them out, other posts could have been added. So if you are interested in a particular post, scroll down that blog until you find it. Grant Boone is in rare form as he talks about Bill O'Reilly's interview with NFL player Jason Sehorn and his lovely wife Angie Harmon (Law and Order). Lanny Donohue reflects on fatherhood and Waffle House. Anne-Geri Fann suggests a serious reading club ... maybe even starting with ... Dostoyevsky! John Alan Turner is answering the tough questions at a medical school. Chris Lockhart thinks we can't get enough of his Mootsie...and he's right. Brandon Scott Thomas offers a potpourri including his mother's new house, leading singing for chapel at David Lipscomb University, a new Wednesday night service, and anointing with oil! Russell Heil encourages us not to give up. Mike Cope honors one of his elders who passed away last night, a missionary to europe and teacher at Abilene Christian University.
Wednesday, September 01, 2004
Big Fish or Pumpkin King?
This is dangerous. I'm pretty sleepy ... got a lot on my mind...feeling kind of unwound ... and I'm blogging. This kind of dangerous combination can lead to some serious hoo-hah going down in the blogation tonight. Well, don't expect to be impressed. But it was a good start. To my friend(s) I would like to say that I would like for you to assume that I want to know what is on your heart. In return I would like for you to assume that if I do not ask, it is mostly because I'm not sure you'd like to tell me. That's either a cop out for not being sympathetic, or it is a courteous way of saying I'm minding my own business unless you'd like to make it my business ... which I welcome. Relationships can be complex things, can't they. Tonight after THE GATHERING we watched BIG FISH, a Tim Burton outing from a few years ago. It was a bit long for me...and kinda slow in the middle. But it was a pretty good movie in many ways. Lots of father-son reconciliation stuff in the movie that doesn't play well in my life at all. Maybe I'll blog about that one day. It's much more intense and interesting to me than anyone else. So in many ways I just could not relate to the family in BIG FISH. Besides I relate more to THIS TIM BURTON MOVIE. Now there's a movie to get into. What follows is the prolific lyric to Jack's Lament. Thanks for reading, if you did. There are few who deny, at what I do I am the best For my talents are rnowned far and wide When it comes to surprises in the moonlit night I excel without ever even trying With the slightest little effort of my ghostlike charms I have see grown men give out a shriek With a wave of my hand and a well-placed moan I have swept the very bravest off their feet Yet year after year, it's the same routine And I grow so weary of the sound of screams And I, Jack, the Pumpkin King Have grown so tired of the same old thing Oh, somewhere dep inside of these bones An emptiness began to grow There's something out there, far from my home A longing that I've never known I'm a master of fright and a demon of light And I'll scare you right out of your pants To a guy in Kentucky, I'm Mister Unlucky And I'm known throughout England and France And since I am dead, I can take off my head To recite Shakespearean quotations No animal nor man can scream like I can With the fury of my recitations But who here would ever understand That the Pumpkin King with the skeleton grin Would tire of his crown, if they only understood He'd give it all up if he only could Oh, there's an empty place in my bones That calls out for something unknown The fame and praise come year after year Does nothing for these empty tears