Monday, December 20, 2010

Stress: "Smile if your heart is aching".

Monday afternoon. 1300.cst
(photo from dinner at Jamison's 21st birthday dinner)

Well yesterday I asked two congregations, "who had noticed stress in people as they were out shopping this last week" Hmmm.
Naturally, only about 20 percent ever respond unless it's a joke.. lol, but with that said there were a lot of smiles. Smiles. Hmmmm. What a concept. Infectious, intoxicating and invigorating. When mixed with a heart full of unconditional love, it's a powerful weapon against all forms of ---- crap that the world will throw at you. So why is it so hard to do.
Think of the people you love the most and want to be around. Close your eyes and envision them. Are they happy or smiling or full of love and grace...?
Think of the people you pray the most for, want the most for, ache the most for. Close your eyes. are they pictured as happy, full of love and grace or hurting, broken, prideful and unhappy?

As we finish out through this season of remembering Our Only Hope who came into this world helpless, let's (me first) try to look for those around us who need the hugs, need the gifts, need the kisses and kind words, meals, SMILES and the Prayers. It's easy to do this to the ones who are healthy. Pretty hard to do it to those we're trying to avoid. I think it starts with an honest smile from our hearts, reflecting the love of Christ buried deep into our deepest places. That wells up and shouts, "this smile is supernatural". You know it when you see it. It makes people want it, or convicts them when they run from it. Love, yes love, Agape and Philadelphia does not put self first or demand or expect. It just "does". And oh how "I", we need more of this attribute of Christ more and more each day. Judgment, condemnation, anger, malice, self-pity and self-righteousness somehow just don't seem like the one who set us free and lives within us.
So today whenever you encounter someone in a room, on a street, at work or play or home or ANYWHERE, try beginning your very first contact with them with a smile... even if your heart is aching. See what happens.. Surprise me God.
The phone is ringing, can't people just leave me alone when I'm in my quiet place..

Monday, December 13, 2010

always and never

We've always had a rule in the house that we dont' say "never" and we do not say "always".

What we actually say face to face, and what people actually hear from our words are sometimes so mistaken that you want to laugh, cry or just plain give up on English.

With the advent of V.Mail to email and now to texting. its hrd 2 evn remtly undstnd w peop are syng. Add in that someones keyboard might be malfunctioning and, well, or they dont' recieve your txt or email in proper sequence and you can have ww3 on your hands.

How do we communicate and make sure we are really communicating with people in the ways we intend to...

The photo above, is Jane and I in Tuscon AZ on a walk, taking a photo of the drybeds that lead to the Mexican border... :) Didn't realize our shadows were there originally. Make for an interesting photo. What's real, what's fake. Did I intend to put us in the middle of the pic?. Well everything depends on what you're thinking at the time.

We have a dear single friend Beth. She needed her car shoveled out at the airport and I said to Jane "Every single girl needs to have Triple A "AAA". She responded " well I don't". I responded "You're not single".. To which she responded " You DID say every single girl. Am I not a girl"????. Well there it is. What did I say --- and what did she hear? Single OR Single.....:)

What's important in this... We did not get pissed and shout at each other. We did not assume one was trying to make the other wrong. We just didn't understand what each other was really saying and by "calmly" talking it through we ended up laughing about it instead of arguing or fighting about it. How does that happen? WELL it doesn't ALWAYS.

We try so hard in life to please each other. To not offend each other. To be kind to each other.
We fail so often with the ones entrusted to us.

Prayer, Word, more Prayer, More Word, Confession and Worship are the solution for this mortal. Without covering myself in the presence of God, I find it harder and harder each day to deal with what we do to each other. How bout you... oh mortal friends.

Monday, December 6, 2010

This Christmas

It's another Monday morning. Christmas is looming in the distance, and all that brings to the commercial and the sacred. For some it's the best weeks of the year. For others the worst. Like all seasonal markers and holy days, it's our memories that make them what they are and can be. I thought about all those who are without some or all of those they love this Christmas.

On my way to a friends church last week to see him lead worship

I thought about this and began writing a new Christmas song that was finished by the time we arrived home. I recorded a demo that afternoon at home and a few days later created this video from that audio demo.

It's my prayer that at least for our military men and women, that this message resonates with them and brings them hope this holiday as they are away.

For myself and others, it's not having all those you love by your side at Christmas. Those who've come and gone, are miles away and those you just miss being around.

I realized that the only thing I can really do is "pray and let go". Leave them in the Fathers care and pray all their needs are met, whatever they may be at that time.

There are so many hurting this season with our nation struggling in many areas. I went to a Sr. Care Facility to see my mother this last weekend. Usually when I go, I see just one or two people visiting the hundreds of folks living there. So many alone. But last weekend there were at least 500 people with lines so long for food, they went down the halls and around the corner. With 45min waits for food. Two things struck me. One, the lines reminded me of the depression and what could happen here with our current apathetic and political trends. We could end up with soup lines again, and the people who actually have a place to live, sharing their homes and food to strangers. Churches opening their doors again to take care of widows and orphans since the Govt. will no longer be in a position with our tax dollars to do it.. (no comment here).
Two, I was reminded of how few of us (me included) take the time to see and visit our loved ones every week who are in care facilities. All those people with all that life knowledge and wisdom locked up, not sharing that information with others to learn from... So Sad.

So as we enter the Christmas season, I pray that I'll first of all, be more responsible to those in my care, and second to those to God brings across my path each and every day.

Crap, I see the mail man is knocking on my door. What the heck does he want now.... ;)