Archive for the 'redemption' Category

27
Apr
07

Being Understood

I don’t think I have ever felt so understood in my whole life! Of course, there are plenty of things I don’t understand. Nevertheless, right now, I feel like there are some very special people who have given me the wonderful gift of believing enough in me to listen and patience to understand me. First of all my wife, my sister and two good friends.  I can’t express my appreciation enough!

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24
Apr
07

Telling Myself Good News

In our reading through Galatians, we were asked to say to ourselves the “gospel” that Paul is reminding the Galatians of. Here is what I told myself from Galatians 1:3,4:

“Grace and Peace! Grace which is a blessing to your spirit and Peace . . . soul peace. Grace that comes through Jesus, who gave himself willingly for you. Grace! Jesus gave himself willingly for you . . . to buy you! To buy you back! To rescue you from darkness, to save you from being condemned, from being condemned before the Father, from being condemned before those whom you hurt, from being guilty before the one who would devour your soul.

This grace that brings you peace with God. Peace within yourself, peace with those around you! Peace! In your soul.”

15
Apr
07

Time With My Son

Today I had to take a road trip. My son wanted to ride along. It was fun to get away, ride down the highway with the stereo blasting and sing with my son at the top of our voices . . .

My son is generally a concrete thinker. He doesn’t usually get subtleties or pick up on “suggestions.” You pretty much have to tell exactly what you want. He’s 11, so it’s ok, we both are still trying to figure things out. I’m trying to figure out how to really relate to my son as he is growing, but he’s trying figuring out how to be 11, going on 12.
Mount Doom

So it was pure delight to me as he made the following comments. We were listening to a song by Relient K. My son loves their music, and while I probably wouldn’t choose it at my age, I still like their music and their lyrics give you plenty to think about. So as we were listening to “Let It All Out” there is the line :

“If the burden seems too much to bear
Remember, the end will justify the pain it took to get us there”

He says, “that makes me think of the Lord of the Rings.”

I thought I could see what he meant, so I asked him, “in what way?”

He said, “you know, the way Frodo carried the ring and how hard it was, but it was worth it in the end. He saved the world.”

It was a pleasing moment. He’s growing up, and I am proud of who he is becoming.

10
Apr
07

Who I am Hates Who I’ve Been

This is a good song. Great lyrics of repentance, and anyway my son made the video for fun. Enjoy!

I watched the proverbial sunrise
Coming up over the Pacific and
You might think I’m losing my mind,
But I will shy away from the specifics…

’cause I don’t want you to know where I am
’cause then you’ll see my heart
In the saddest state it’s ever been.

This is no place to try and live my life.

Stop right there. That’s exactly where I lost it.
See that line. Well I never should have crossed it.
Stop right there. Well I never should have said
That it’s the very moment that
I wish that I could take back.

I’m sorry for the person I became.
I’m sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I’m ready to be sure I never become that way again
’cause who I am hates who I’ve been.
Who I am hates who I’ve been.

I talk to absolutely no one.
Couldn’t keep to myself enough.
And the things bottled inside have finally begun
To create so much pressure that I’ll soon blow up.

I heard the reverberating footsteps
Synching up to the beating of my heart,
And I was positive that unless I got myself together,
I would watch me fall apart.

And I can’t let that happen again
’cause then you’ll see my heart
In the saddest state it’s ever been.

This is no place to try and live my life.

Who I am hates who I’ve been
And who I am will take the second chance you gave me.
Who I am hates who I’ve been
’cause who I’ve been only ever made me…

So sorry for the person I became.
So sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I’m ready to be sure I never become that way again
’cause who I am hates who I’ve been.
Who I am hates who I’ve been.

from Relient K album “MmHmm”

05
Apr
07

Pit of Emptiness

Green Branches
Just realizing how significant these words are to me.

“You have redeemed my soul
From the pit of emptiness
You have redeemed my soul from death

I was a hungry child, a dried up river
I was a burned out forest
And no one could do anything for me
But You put food in my body
Water in my dry bed
And to my blackened branches
You brought the springtime green of new life
And nothing is impossible for You”

Thank you Jesus!
From Enter the Worship Circle album by Waterdeep and 100 Portraits.

15
Mar
07

Ode to an Orphan

Playboy_June_1993In commenting on the 20th century Malcolm Muggeridge said, “If God is dead, somebody is going to have to take his place. It will be megalomania or erotomania, the drive for power or the drive for pleasure, the clenched fist or the phallus, Hitler or Hugh Heffner.” My premise is that Anna Nicole Smith was the epitome of an Orphan of God; living in a culture that has shaken it’s fist at an Almighty God. It’s tragic . . . I agree with Mike, from Mike’s Blog.

“Here is a woman who was filthy rich. Her net worth was somewhere around 400 million, yet she still couldn’t get away from the pain in her life. She turned to drugs, materialism, escapism, and other isms’s to find comfort for her wounded soul. Anna Nicole is a metaphor of the psyche of many in America today: we are desperately seeking to be loved and accepted yet frustrated when we discover that money, wealth and power aren’t enough.”

Anna Nicole had everything that we are being sold. There has got to be more!

I like Diana Butler Bass‘s comments from God’s Politics:
“But lack of respect does not create stable identity – as was obvious with Anna Nicole’s problems with illness, depression, and drugs. Both justice and peace proved elusive. In her final interview, she told the reporter that everyone she knew had “stolen a piece” of her. She died alone in a casino hotel, with her final taped conversation a tortured reflection of the confident sexual icon she attempted to be.”

It’s tragic and it reminds me of Mark Heard’ssong, “Orphans of God” which I quoted in my first post:

“But they have packaged our virtue in cellulose dreams
And sold us the remnants ’til our pockets are clean
‘Til our hopes fall ’round our feet
Like the dust and dead leaves
And we end up looking like what we believe”
from Mark Heard’s song Orphans of God

So, here’s to an “orphan” of our age who was born Vickie Lynn Hogan and died Anna Nicole Smith.

May the God Who is There save us from ourselves.

02
Mar
07

Heart to God

Some say he’s the best guitarist in the world. I love to watch him play. I was able to see him play in a small church in Dublin. It’s great fun, and I love this song.

Phil Keaggy (Salvation Army Band). This video can’t be played from this site. Click here to watch it on YouTube.

Salvation Army Band – Phil Keaggy

Grace – gracious love
Reaching out to take me as I am,
Accepting – expecting I will do the best I can
Caring – you cover me, clothed in Your own righteousness I am
Exactly – What You’ve made me, by grace I have found favor in the Lamb

Cover me – cover me – cover me.

Mercy – made free to me
Eternal life, a gift that has no end.
Receiving – believing in the mercy You extend.
Cover me – you cover me, clothed in Your own righteousness I stand
Your mercy – has made me a part of Your salvation army band.

Heart to God, Hand to Man
Saved to Serve, Salvation Army Band

Peaceful sleep
Enjoyed by those whose eyes find rest in you.
Adoring – the glory of Your presence is in view.
Cover me – you cover me, clothed in Your own righteousness I stand
Eternally – You made me a part of Your salvation army band.

Cover me – cover me – cover me.

Heart to God, Hand to Man
Saved to Serve, Salvation Army Band