Perfect Prayer is Bathed in Tears

God saves every tear we have ever, and will ever, shed.  He has angels save them in bottles, or wineskins, if you read the King James Version.

Why?  When we finally meet Jesus in heaven, one of the things we might do (I don’t really know) is go see this storehouse of our tears, our prayers, our lives.  It will all be recorded, but somehow washed into a perfect clean by Christ’s death on our account.

When the old order passes away, we will have no more tears, no more pain, no more crying.  The way we hurt each other is the old order, and we won’t do that anymore.  There won’t be anyone verbally digging at us to score points.  No jokes that insult a group of people, or single out the different.

I can’t wait.

I know some friends, just today, that found out more of the unfairness of life.  As they cry and pray and search, take a lesson.  Because their prayers are made perfect in weakness.

I Need Lunch Money

That is how my teenagers tell me that they love me and still need me in their lives.  It isn’t easy for them to speak the truths of love, feelings, appreciation, validation, need in conventional ways.  My wife and I now know that if we push too hard, they just want more distance from us.  If we lay off, and step back, eventually they wander back into the room and ask us “what’s up?”.

As a matter of fact, sometimes they need my help.  I totally get, now, why my Dad is always happy to help me with dumb car stuff, or dumb house chores when he comes to visit.  It is fulfilling and heartwarming to do simple things with my nearly grown sons.  Check the oil, crawl around under the car reattaching that plastic thing that protects something, changing a tail light, driving in one of their cars to go get the pizza.  It’s ALL FUN!  I get to love them (not allowed to SAY anything about it at the time), and enjoy them being part of the world.

There is just no down side to that kind of interaction.  I’ll gladly pay for lunch.  All they had to do was ask.

Drink The Rain and Thank The Clouds?

Water Deep recorded a song, “I Will Not Forget You”.  It starts out with “Many men will drink the rain and turn to face the clouds; many men will hear you speak, but they will never turn around.”

How sad the truth.  How accurate the phrase.

What can we do to help our friends realize that it is God’s voice that caused them to turn around?  Even though God formed the earth to make rain and weather (which makes doubters use science as an explanation), His mercy still falls like a drink of water to a parched throat. 

On a summer’s day, after the sun, wind, and dust of the Great Plains, my throat craves!  I lust after a huge glass of dark, freshly brewed iced tea.  I want to drink it until my front teeth ache, my stomach pooches, and there is still another gut-busting draught left in the glass.

THAT is where God wants me.  Thank God for – not the tea, it’s just the metaphor – the satisfaction to my itch, my unrest, YOUR sense of dissatisaction, unease, that “what am I doing with my life?” feeling.

God sends the rain on the just and the unjust; true.  The difference is this:  His faithful send prayers of thanks to him for mercy.  The unjust merely look for a way to gain from God’s blessing.

That’s My Boy!

Today is my son’s birthday!  JB is 17 years old; we watched him drive off to school this morning, basically an adult.

He was born on a Monday morning in Santa Maria, California.  Angie said, around 7 am, “You’d better not go to work today”.  By 8:30, we’d left for the birth care center, (doctor’s name Tad something), and he was in our arms by 12:30.  Just past lunch, and Angie had a friend bring Burger King – which she was eating by 1:30.

Jake hated his first bath.  His favorite way to take his nap was in our arms.  He didn’t like to be alone in his crib, and he liked the slanted way he rested while we held him. 

I loved him from the moment I saw him.  Still do.

Happy birthday, JBL!

What We Hide Under

Sometimes people are desperate. 

They may be hanging on to something, or trying to hang on to something, or upset, or angry, or in despair.  If this person is private, or not able to communicate this desperation, then we don’t get what is happening with them.  All we notice is that our ‘subject’ is off in some way. 

This is the point where we need to have even more compassion and grace than ever.  You, as the friend or observer, MUST notice the difference in their general attitude, demeanor, “way”.  If you miss it, you will just think your friend or family member is being… well, pick one:  awful, a jerk, insipid, traitorous, faithless, back-stabbing, hurtful.  We usually find out later what is really wrong with our person.

Please don’t underestimate what your little push of grace back at them will do for them.  Sometimes only a little nudge will push them back on course, and sometimes only a small bump pushes the comet out of harm’s way.  After all, you can only do your part; love, cherish, save.

I don’t get Job’s decision

Even though he actually came out ahead, Job still had to lose absolutely everything.  He loved a wife, and he loved his kids.  He lost all of them.

Even though he ended up in a new relationship with new kids, didn’t he still mourn his first family?

I pray that God will help me develop that kind of faith in Him.  I know, it should be easy, but my spiritual IQ stays pretty low.  And no, it has nothing to do with being a Husker Fan!

A Different New Year

Hey, so here is the standard “Happy New Year”! Ok, now get to work.

We are all 5 of us at home laughing at possible ring tones that you can download for free. Angie is an addict to Facebook now. Jacob and I are going running in the morning. We had a great dinner at the Chinese Buffet tonight; open until 9:30. He said, “Sure we’re open, come on in, buddy!” pretty neat!

Ok, that’s all I got…

Are We Glad?

Two girls showed up Sunday morning around Sunday School time. They’d been drinking until 530 that morning. The scary thing is they felt like it was ok, they ‘deserved it’ and wanted to do something to ‘feel good’.

Yes, I am glad they were there. I got to talk to them. But how to save them from themselves?

Propensity for wadding

That is what my wife said she had. The coupons on the table looked like trash; and she crumpled them up to throw them away.
Which reminds me of our high school prom. I was helping the cool girls because I was a ‘provisional’ member (dating one of the cool girls). I picked up trash, crumpled it, and weathered their outraged screams while I found out that I’d crumpled a carefully cut out letter for the prom theme, Almost Paradise. Who knew? At that point, I became a ‘probationary provisional’ member of the cool club.
Oh, well.

Sometimes

Sometimes life just plain defeats me.  I don’t get so much of why this world is so complex, relationships need so much energy, forward motion takes so much fuel.

I do know all the book answers; I just…

It’s like if you are playing tennis, and your opponent hits the ball way to the other side of the court, for the 50th time, and you didn’t get to the ball the other 49 times.  You know you SHOULD run for the shot, but, well, doggonit, you probably won’t get to the ball in time, and it will be his point.  You know how your feet feel at that point?  Should I run or shouldn’t I?

Or, running in a road race,  and you just gotta walk at the water table around mile 4 with 6 to go.  Why bother making your body start running again?  It takes, sometimes, more mental toughness than our conscious minds have.

So, ignore yourself, and keep working.  It will be worth it.