not too long ago, i spent 2 years with no a/c. not because i didn’t want it or the temp didn’t warrant it, but because it was not available. i complained. i was hot. i went & bought a crazy industrial fan. one that blew the pillows off our sofa. i sat 2 feet in front of it as much as possible. i complained still.
we moved back to texas and had a record summer with like 100 straight days of triple digit temps. it was ridiculous! i complained. I sat in my a/c closed the windows & complained.
now, it is approaching mid-august & we’ve hit like 10 days of 100+. this is the coolest summer i can remember in texas. and, earlier this evening, i complained.
my son’s bible story tonight was about the israelites walking in the dessert for 40 years. they complained.
as i sat there & thought about this, i felt like a pansy. here i am, things are getting better & i still complain. i kinda pushed reset & decided to be thankful.
leaving my son’s room, i hear the rain outside. rain in august in texas. i go to the living room, draw the curtains, and watch the rain. under a fan. in the a/c.
i do not complain.
As a 2nd little one has joined our family, i have taken the time to pray for her, hold her and just watch her. I’ve found projects help keep me focused. Especially while praying. Something to keep my hands busy and channel my thoughts.
As i sat and stitched, i wondered who will this little lady grow up to be? What will these beautiful blue eyes see? As i prayed for her future, i fell deeper in love with my little girl.
Today i spent the day workin on what our family has lovingly named “hoot”.
Just like with “wala,” i wanted to have an already loved feel to it. Character that can form over time. I didn’t want the cutest stuffed animal…just one that could be loved for being.
The other day i heard ace say, “wala, i love you just because you’re mine.” it’s a quote from a kids book and that is the message i want my children to understand.
For now sleep well little one, hoot and daddy will be here when you wake.
the other day i found a movie i hadn’t seen in a while. it’s one of my favorite stories. it’s one of my heroes. it’s about a guy who becomes an outlaw. he is hunted by the government he believes to be corrupt. he becomes a thief. he kills wrongdoers along the way. he gives the people power to rise up and fight for hope.
that’s right. robin hood. i like the cartoon with the fox. i like the old errol flynn. i like kevin costner. i was skeptical, but really enjoy the new russell crowe telling. i even like men in tights (the movie. not actual men wearing tights).
i also remembered a quote from another movie.
A toast? Yeah. To high treason. That’s what these men were committing when they signed the Declaration. Had we lost the war, they would have been hanged, beheaded, drawn and quartered, and-Oh! Oh, my personal favorite-and had their entrails cut out and burned!
– ben gates, National Treasure
what would have happened if robin hood hadn’t won? he’d have been remembered as a villain (after all the winners are the ones who have written history).
in my journey to find life in the stories of the bible and seeking new application, i’ve begun to really examine the characters. not just the heroes or main characters. often the passers-by and the nameless.
since i was a kid, i’ve wondered why did the crowds in the bible do what they did. why did the masses act these ways. as i focused on the passion and preparing myself for easter, i started asking why the mob turned on jesus. why did they want barabbas? or rather why were they willing to ask for his freedom over jesus’s. he was a theif, a murderer and a rebel. why on earth?
i’ve heard people state mob psychology and how the jewish leaders could have spread out in the crowd to try and motivate the others. but, this still is a huge shift from common logic. people don’t just shift this easily.
i started a comparison to figure out why they were willing to free barabbas. i decided to forget everything i “knew.” i put myself in the situation and pondered it for days.
i realized barabbas prolly looked like all other prisoners did. i remember one time looking at the felt people in sunday school and thinking barabbas and john the baptist looked a lot alike. maybe he wasn’t typical sinister grizzly guy i’ve always seen him portrayed (as in The Passion). maybe they were all dirty.
the study notes in the ESV bible say there were several bandits that would take from the roman government they believed to be corrupt. they would bring the treasures back to the jewish community. these bandits would get people together and rial them up and give them power against the government.
i now wonder if barabbas was seen as a dirty criminal. maybe he was a hero among commoners. maybe he was their robin hood. all the sudden, if i’m in their shoes, the decision is a bit more convoluded.
over a year ago, i wrote a post called dou dou.
well, “wala,” as he has been dubbed, may not be the best toy. he may not be the cutest. but, ace sure loves him.
yesterday, when ace woke us up, wala had his 2nd split. his tummy was losing fluff. today, i could have used a sewing machine…but, i decided not to. like the week i made him, like the last time he had a split, i sewed him by hand. i sat and prayed. i remembered the prayers i prayed all those months ago while making the first stitches. i thanked God for the little guy ace has become. i prayed for his future.
i poured my love into making wala for ace…and i will continue.
well ace, as soon as you wake up from your nap. wala is waiting.
after almost a year of unemployment, and 3 years without a home, our family has plans to settle down.
i spent a lot of time thinking about what i what i should do. should i change careers? what was i designed for? i started thinking about how easy it would be if i had a family business to move into. my dad once mentioned having a family pizza place (pizza king or noble romans). since i was a kid i’ve been intrigued by the idea of a family business. the idea of a legacy passed on. you might have a new take on something, but you were working for something much bigger than yourself. it was there before you. it would be there after you. it would be for a cause. if would be for the family.
i hoped to find this same idea in a new job. i was ready to give up and just take something. anything to pay the bills. one day i got a job offer. over the next 24 hours i received 3 more. i’m was sitting on 4 offers and the weekend to decide.
i weighed them. 2 would not be challenging and would require us to move 1 hour away. one would be challenging, be around fun people, have no cause and take a lot of time from our family. as i began to weigh the 4th, it hit me. everyday i would put jeans on, go be jesus and lead others to be jesus.
the thought was loud. the thought was clear. it was as if God said, “son, this is the family business.”
so, as of September 1, 2011 i am the communications director of 6 Stones.
Continuing in the book of Mark, Jesus is walking by the sea and passes a tax collector, Levi/Matthew (Mark 2.13-14). why is a tax collector by the water? if he is at the water, is it to tax? if so, if he there what is he taxing? fishermen?
levi is a tax collector. these guys are hated. they are seen as greedy, cheating traitors.
levi is there taxing fishermen. he’s prolly been doing this for some time.
Jesus’s first followers are fishermen.
the fisherman/followers prolly know levi.
Jesus says, “join the club.”
we never see any problems arising from this. how were these guys able to put family/cultural beliefs behind them and work together?
i think i would have a hard time with this. if i felt like someone stole from my family, i couldn’t be his friend anytime soon.
i have worked with people that i didn’t like. i’ve worked in christian settings & churches and had people that i avoided at all cost. looking back i had no good reason. all i was doing was causing discord on the team. would the disciples’ ministry have been as effective had they let this tax collector thing divide them? i don’t see how it could have been.
Matthew 5.9 says,”Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” it says peacemakers. not “those who hope for peace” or “those who prefer peace.”
why does it feel like those following christ are often at war? we argue, make plans and try to get things our way. we try and compete. i know i do. it sounds too simple, but sometimes i just need someone to say, “we are on the same team.”
so, let’s make peace.
i’ve decided to read the book of mark. just wanted to read more about Jesus and try and understand him more. i thought, “hey, out of the gospels, mark is the one i’m least familiar with…and it’s short.”
so, i’ve been reading.
i thought i’d see Jesus in a fresh way. but, i’m getting a much clearer picture of the disciples.
the first chaps following Jesus are fishermen. i’ve always thought he went and wrangled up some poor people. but these guys are self-sufficient. at least 2 of them, john & james, come from a family business. They left their dad in the boat (their boat) with the hired help (Mark 1.20). i don’t know too many poor folk who have hired help…or a boat.
so, these guys that Jesus chose as his first followers aren’t royalty or in the upper class. but, they aren’t in the lower class as i’ve always understood. they are basically middle class. they have family businesses, or are self-employed. they are ok.
i have friends who own their own businesses, are self-employed, or have nice jobs. even my friends who have financial “problems” are doing very well compared to the rest of the world. they are ok.
basically, i’m realizing that these fishermen are me & my friends. they are us. if Jesus walked into your office building, bank, plant or cubicle and said, “follow me,” would you? would i?
while in texas, my family attended a large church. being a teenager, i had my own circle i ran around with and did not meet many of my parents’ friends. later, my family moved and i stayed. a couple years later, i had a meeting with a guy from the church. i don’t remember what triggered it. maybe i worded something peculiar or made a face. but he stopped mid-sentence and said, “you’re al brown’s boy, aren’t you?”
i was filled with pride just like a little boy. “yes sir, that’s my dad.” i said with a smile.
i am currently reading and working my way through the book of Ephesians with a group of people.
Ephesians 5:1 says “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.”
imitate God…because you are his child. i’m trying to imagine growing in my relationship with God to this point. imagine being so close, admiring and longing to be like God that your speech, actions and personality begin to imitate God. imagine someone seeing it and stopping mid-sentence and saying, “hey, you’re God’s kid, aren’t you?”