Monday, January 12, 2009

Desert Moon

Back from Tucson AZ this week. Jane and I had a week of R&R. Thanks Beth for the use of your home and car :) We love you.

We just run, walk to the town and shop for fresh food to cook meals each day, read books, listen to our favorite music and tell each other how blessed we are. First day we walked to the store we got about 8 bags of groceries and not until we paid and pushed the cart into the parking lot did we remember that we had walked and didn't have a car to load it all into.

Boy did we laugh as we pushed that cart down the side of the desert roads past all the traffic, looking like a couple of homeless people pushing our cart. We did get a lot of stares as white middle-agers with cart.

I have a two mile path I love to run in the morning around the desert where we stay and there is always lot's of life and death in the sand.

We saw a pair of deer hunting for water one evening and 5 large hawks all hunting together in the desert another day.

I'm always amazed how hot the sun is in upper elevations when the temp is under 40. In the shadows it feels like 40 but in the sunlight it feels like 80 on your skin.

The photo today was a cactus with a bird hole in it. I noticed the moon was out in the afternoon as well and it seemed like a unique combination. I loved the contrasts of the dark/light, moon and bird hole.

Read a great new book called "Leader-Shift" buy one of the founders of Willow Creek. Don Cousins.

Had a great time sharing faith for an hour with an agnostic friend we'd met who represents a famous artists museum. He was from England and had obviously been hurt by the church earlier in life. He was so refreshed to discuss God outside the confines of a religious denomination or set of religious rules. I'm praying he will email me back and we can become friends. What a great guy.

There was another great time in a Cantina having a margarita while ministering to an 82yr old man who had no family and had just lost his wife a few weeks ago after 42 years of marriage.
We went into the cantina at the end of our walk and Jane wanted to sit at a table in the restaurant. I said I wanted to go into the bar and sit at the bar. I love talking to bartenters and you never know who you might meet at a bar. Well there he was. All alone and we found out he'd been there having beer since noon. (It was 5;30). What a great time speaking life into this sweet, lost, broken man. And now we'll see if he responds to my email, so we can continue dialogues of "life". Thank you Lord for opportunities to share your love each day.

Then there was the butcher in the meat market. He looked forlorn and it took about 30 seconds of jokes to get him to laugh behind the counter. Well he laughed and I said "Ok now I can go home, I made you laugh and smile today". He looked at me perplexed and then realized I was serious. You see God works in mens hearts in different ways. We're only called to spread his Love and good fruit. He works the mysteries. Amen.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Repairs, Runnin and Gunnin

I'm reminded that Fixing things up is not always fun. This photo was my picnic table as I built screens and rebuilt broken glass windows last year. A big sigh of relief at the end, but no fun in the middle of it all when everything is a mess and you've broken more than you were going to fix.

This morning I drove into a church to do worship and my first call was that the alarms were going off and the police had arrived. Second, I didn't have my tenor, soprano or aco. guitar player due to illness and vacations.
My wireless DPA head mic kept cutting out during the rehearsal, The main projector failed and shut off during rehearsal, as usual, some of the band didn't print the chart they were mailed. Then 45min before the service the Sr. Pastor called me to tell me he was very ill and could not get out of bed. The associate pastor was on vacation and the youth pastor was on vacation so I was to make it work. Yee Haa.

So this is life. These are the moments you remember. The last minute changes not the preplanned and smoothing running events. How did we handle it. Did we come unglued? Did we bend or break, run or hide? Did our attidutes suffer with others? Did we begin the blame game? Did we tear down the weak and wounded? Did we build up our teams and lead them with grace.

This really is where our faith is tested. Do we have the strength and confidence in Him to lead and carry us, or are we being a mercenarys driven by the need to "win" for prides sake.

Lord help me more and more each day ask for a humble heart. One willing to share my faults to let others "in" to be more transparent with their issues.

Hope your days of "fixing" and "rebuilding" become ones of great testimony and revelation. Ones you store up to be used in helping others cope with like and similar struggles!

In our weakness He is made strong.