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This book came at a perfect time with regards to Katie’s next words. “I made peace with feeling inadequate because the truth is, I was. I still am; we all are. I quickly became okay with being imperfect.”

images-2i have never thought i was perfect, but i also have never felt inadequate. i have no clue as to why i feel way as i have exceeded the goals and expectations set for me by me employeer but i’m struggling inside. And it’s not just the workplace where this happens, it can be while watching a movie or talking on the phone. A few days ago a friend had to have some surgery and it took longer than it was supposed to and when i heard that, while still trusting God i battled with fear for her life and her husband’s condition, wishing i could be there for them. But i can’t! i have a job in the marketplace which dictates my schedule and thus what i can and can not do. my heart is fully aware of who i am in Christ and that i can do all things through Him and yet my physical body just doesn’t line up with what i know. i am a very easy-going person, it takes a lot to get me stirred up but these days… the slightest thing can cause my heart to race and my emotions to jump into action. Katie talks about feeling inadequate and when i started my new job it didn’t take but a few hours and i was having to quickly become okay with being imperfect and feeling very inadequate.

Unknowni truly am puzzled by this. If i knew what the issue or the cause i’d fix it, but it ‘s like Paul when he prayed three times for God to remove the thorn in his flesh and God basically said no, deal with it. That’s where i’m at, dealing with it, yet feeling… no not feeling, knowing that i am closer to God than i have ever been despite all of this. To me it’s a well dressed lie and i am refusing to chase it.Unknown

i know that God has a track record of using inadequate people, Paul, Peter, Moses, Jonah, David, Sampson, the list is endless. i am so out of my element in so many places all at the same time. It seems that He is asking me to reach a little higher, to stretch a little further, in spite of feeling like i can’t do any more. All i can think of is that He’s looking for simple trust. Then, once He’ got it, He’ll give me everything i need to do the “more” that He is asking of me just like He’s always done.

Katie wraps up chapter 9 by stating that she is just a plain girl from Tennessee. Broken in many ways, sinful, and inadequate. Common and simple with nothing special about her. I’m so glad she added the following words to those thoughts. “Nothing special except I choose to say “yes.” “Yes” to the things of God.”

Ahhh! And that makes all the difference in the world. Katie is willing to do today what others will not and thus she is able to do tomorrow what others can not. i have included a link to a great song to bring life to her words. she has mastered the art of saying yes and doing so before she even knows the question. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVYRc7LtvUA

i’m dr. ed peterson the host of me and I Am, thank you for joining me.

 

 

PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO LISTEN.

In chapter 8 Katie continues to share her story of relentless love and redemption while i continue to be amazed by what God is revealing to me from the book titled Kisses From Katie.

imagesKatie takes a deep breath of the air that smells like what she can only describe as “Uganda” and let it fill her with the joy of being in the place God has called her. i had to wonder if i have ever been in such a place. Not Uganda but a place where the air filled me with the joy of being in God’s presence. my experiences with that have been limited to moments in times of worship but i desire to live in that place each and every day regardless of circumstances. With every breath joy and an overwhelming awareness that i am in God’s presence.

The second morning, Agnes looked at me and said, “There it is! It came back!” I asked her, groggily, “What came back?” With joy she could hardly contain , she replied, “That light that lives in your eyes!” I would imaging that being filled with the joy of being in the place where God has called would show in outward physical signs such as the eyes. What would it be like to have people see the presence of God on my life without speaking a word… to the point of saying “there it is! It came back!”

“In Uganda, as in all the nations of the earth, human beings are hungry for God; they long to live lives filled with purpose and love. They want to be able to support their families; they want to be able to work; they want to be able to give back and to be good, noble people. They want to feel important and needed and beautiful. Children want to play, eat, learn, and be loved. We are all the same. We do not live in different worlds; we live in the same world. People are people.” And this is where there is a great gap between Katie and i. It is a struggle for me to believe all of that about people. my experiences have led me to believe otherwise. i’m not saying that i’m right and she is wrong because Katie has much that i desire when it comes to God and relationships.

Katie says her life looks different than most because she made different choices than most. But making different choices didn’t make her superhuman. In fact, every day was filled with reminders, sometimes painful reminders, of her human emotions, human desires, and human limitations. That’s where i find myself in Chapter 8… filled with reminders. Not good reminders, not bad reminders but reminders of God’s grace with regards to my life.

images-1In closing Katie talks about how often, as human beings , we are crippled by our fears. We are afraid of change, of loss, of being hurt. We cling so tightly to what we have because we are afraid of what would happen if we didn’t have these things anymore.

Every day, i have a choice. i can stay safe and let fear cripple me. Or i can take a risk, do something to help someone, change someone’s world.

 

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Remember i shared about feeling old and used up and no more exciting that a cardboard box. Well i have a few thoughts. Katie shares at several points about the people of Uganda sleeping on old wet cardboard boxes. For them that box is useful. Then what parent hasn’t felt the frustration or the amazement of a child wanting to play with a plain old box in preference to all the toys they have. Lastly i am thankful for old cardboard boxes as my garage is lined on both sides with hundreds of dollars of stuff inside them. Well… i feel a little better but i think Katies remarks are still the way for me. “Lord, thank You that when i feel old and used up and broken and no more exciting than a cardboard box, You whisper that You love me and value me, and that in Your eyes, i am shiny and new.”

Katie in Chapter 7 reminded me of the story of The Velveteen Rabbit.

velveteen-rabbit1It begins with the rabbit, fluffy and beautiful, but all the rabbit wanted was to be real. The boy who owns the rabbit loves it to tatters; his velveteen fur becomes worn and his stuffing starts to come out. “So much love stirred in his little sawdust heart that it almost burst. And into his boot-button eyes, that had long ago lost their polish, there came a look of wisdom and beauty, so that even Nana noticed it next morning when she picked him up, and said, ‘I declare if that old Bunny hasn’t got quite a knowing expression!’ ” The boy loves the bunny “so hard” that he loves his whiskers off and the pink fur on his ears turns gray. After the boy contracts scarlet fever, the doctor says the beloved, worn-out rabbit has fever germs and must be discarded, so Nana throws him out. And only then, when he is tattered and ugly, does the fairy come and make him a real rabbit, all sparkly and new, who can run and play with other real rabbits.

Here’s what spoke to me. He wasn’t patched up or glued back together. No, he was transformed, made altogether new.

Who hasn’t been hurt and scarred and banged around a bit in the past year, but God uses all those things to help me and you to Unknownbecome real. Katie says, she was coming to understand that what it means to be real is to love and be loved until there is nothing left.

This book is causing me to see how completely different i am becoming and i’m not completely sure what i think about it or what to do with it.

 

PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO LISTEN.

images-2Chapter 7 is all about Truth. Amazima, means “truth” in Luganda.

Truth is most often used to mean being in accord with fact or reality

The truth can be staggering and nowhere is that more true than hearing or reading the statistics that Katie shares in chapter 7.

Truth – More than sixteen thousand children died of hunger-related causes in the last twenty-four hours. Another three thousand children in the world, mostly in Africa, will die of malaria today—malaria, which is both preventable and treatable.

Truth – There are 143 million orphaned children

Truth – 11 million children will starve to death or die from preventable diseases

Truth – 8.5 million children work as child slaves, prostitutes, or under other horrific conditions

Truth – 2.3 million children live with HIV

Truth – that adds up to 164.8 million needy children.

That’s a big number right!

Truth – There are 2.1 billion people on this earth who proclaim to be Christians.

Truth – If only 8 percent of the Christians would care for one more child, there would not be any statistics left.

images-1This is the Truth, like it or not, believe it or not. Now it’s my choice as to what i do with it if anything. But i know this, the truth is not affected by my choice to accept it or not. Katie says, that with truth comes the freedom, the opportunity to do something about it. She goes on to say, “The truth is that God loves these children just as much as He loves me and now that I know, I am responsible.”

Truth has become subjective in many areas these days. But these numbers are not subjective to my own preferences nor anyone else. They are what is actually taking place as i send out this post. i do not pretend to have any idea as to what anyone should do with these numbers, or this Truth. But i am fairly certain that doing nothing is not a legitimate option.

i have been posting for a lot of years and have just a small amount or subscribers, just over two hundred but then there are hundredsimages
who read occasionally and comment but choose not to officially sign up. i have shared about the adoption of my new granddaughter taking place HOPEFULLY in the first part of 2015. If the two hundred subscribers and the hundreds of readers would give just $5.00 each we could give $1,000.00 towards this adoption. Not one cent will go to me or any administrative cost. It will all go to making her adoption happen as quickly as possible.

Remember how Katie said that the statistics could go away… well if just a small portion of those who read or listen to “me an I AM” would give, we can make a difference for this little girl. Would you like to be part of the story in removing this little girl from the statistics? If so please go to http://hopefaithlovepeterson.blogspot.com/ Click on the donate button on the top right hand side and thank you so much for sharing.

 

 

 

 

 

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If you want to live a memorable life, you have to be the kind of person who remembers to remember.

excellence-is-the-result-of-caring-more-than-others-think-is-wiseKatie created an unforgettable experience with Brenda and says, “The sense of purpose and fulfillment was nothing short of amazing, and I wanted to immerse myself in this life for the rest of my days.”

As i heard those words i sensed God asking me, ed do you have a sense of purpose and fulfillment that you want to immerse yourself into for the rest of your days? At the moment and even now it sounds to me like Jesus asking Peter, “Do you love Me? my immediate answer, much like Peter’s “Lord you know i do.” Jesus replied, “Then feed my lambs.” “Shepherd My sheep.” “Feed My Sheep.”

In the past few years when people would ask me, “What’s your passion, your dream, your desire” i would respond, “pursue God.” they would look at me like that wasn’t an acceptable answer and i suppose i understand because that doesn’t fit the normal. As i think back i have done pretty much everything i could have imagined or dreamt. i married the woman of my dreams, i’ve driven multiple makes and models of cars, i’ve done radio, television, led worship, written songs that were played on the radio, spoken to large crowds started a dozen business  or so. But today i can’t tell you anything that i have a passion for like Katie has for her children and Uganda other than my relationship with God. So there are times when i feel i’ve lost my sense of purpose and fulfillment and the desire to immerse myself into anything for the rest of my days. Normally i’m okay with that but, then as i read about Katie, it feels like i’m missing something, something big! While i have no regrets and have done much, i do hope that i am not finished.

images-1i shared in the last post that, like adoption, life, living the word, trusting God is sometimes hard and on any given day it can overwhelm me to the point of almost exhaustion and despair. But thanks to this book i have Katie’s closing words from chapter 6. “Lord, thank You that when i feel old and used up and broken and no more exciting than a cardboard box, You whisper that You love me and value me, and that in Your eyes, i am shiny and new.”

 

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Today’s post and podcast are titled Grace and i’m dr. ed peterson the host of me and I AM.

Unknown-1While today’s post and podcast have nothing to do with Kisses From Katie directly it’s a summary of where i am in my fearless moral inventory thus far. i had not planned on posting today but left it open for God to share something with me and this morning as i put my headphones on and turned on Pandora this song began. Here i am at work with tears running down my face for the entire song, but not really caring as i listened. i am including a link so you can listen as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sL1DNipyurM

On this Christmas Eve be blessed as you read or listen to Laura Story – Grace.

My heart is so proud. My mind is so unfocused.
I see the things You do through me as great things I have done.
And now You gently break me, then lovingly You take me
And hold me as my father and mold me as my maker.

[Chorus:]
I ask you: “How many times will you pick me up,
When I keep on letting you down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory,
How far will forgiveness abound?”
And You answer: “My child, I love you.
And as long as you’re seeking My face,
You’ll walk in the power of My daily sufficient grace.”

At times I may grow weak and feel a bit discouraged,
Knowing that someone, somewhere could do a better job.
For who am I to serve You? I know I don’t deserve You.
And that’s the part that burns in my heart and keeps me hanging on.

[Chorus:]
I ask you: “How many times will you pick me up,Unknown
When I keep on letting you down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory,
How far will forgiveness abound?”
And You answer: “My child, I love you.
And as long as you’re seeking My face,
You’ll walk in the power of My daily sufficient grace.”
You are so patient with me, Lord.

As I walk with You, I’m learning what Your grace really means.
The price that I could never pay was paid at Calvary.
So, instead of trying to repay You, I’m learning to simply obey You
By giving up my life to you For all that You’ve given to me.

[Chorus:]
I ask you: “How many times will you pick me up,Unknown
When I keep on letting you down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory,
How far will forgiveness abound?”
And You answer: “My child, I love you.
And as long as you’re seeking My face,
You’ll walk in the power of My daily sufficient grace.”

PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO LISTEN.

UnknownIn Chapter 6 Katie shares about the hardships for her as a parent which made me think about my kids role as parents and my role as a papa. Imagine not knowing when your child or grandchild took her first steps. What was her first word? It’s hard right now as i write this to not know if she is hugged every day and told that she is loved. Whose shoulder does she cry on? As a child, it’s hard to remember your biological parents’ death, no matter how much you love your new mom. It’s hard to have your mom be a different color than you because inevitably people are going to ask why. It’s hard that your mom wasn’t there for all the times you had no dinner and all the times you were sick and all the times you needed help with your homework. It’s hard when you have to make up your birthday. It’s hard when you can’t understand the concept of being a family forever yet, because your first family wasn’t forever.

i am absolutely sure that my children are not adopting this child, as images-2though they are doing their good deed for the day. They’re not doing it to “help out this poor child.” i’ve watched over the years as spiritual awareness and growth began to invade various portions of their lives. Jesus says in Luke 12:48 that to whom much has been given, much will be demanded. God is showing our entire family His heart and His Word in new ways.

Heads up… i’m switching tracks. Katie shares near the end of chapter 6 about a 13 year old girl named Brenda. She says, “Not knowing what else to do, I immediately laid my hands on her and began to pray. Within minutes my six little girls were huddled around the bed also lifting their voices to the Lord on behalf of this little girl. Different sizes, different ages, different races, speaking different languages, each of us in our own way pleaded with God for this little girl’s life.

Katie says that her life was being filled with unforgettable experiences. i’d have to say that Ann Marie and i have had our fair share of unforgettable experiences, but i say that realizing that some were missed and believing that there are more to come.

Let’s remember today that as His representative we a responsibility and the ability to do good for someone. i’m Dr. ed peterson, thanks for joining me!

 

 

 

 

Revealed… Chapter 5

Posted: December 22, 2014 in Podcasts, Revealed...!

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What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?

Greetings! i’m dr. ed peterson and i’m sharing my fearless moral inventory through the reading of a book about Relentless love and redemption titled Kisses From Katie.

Chapter 5… Chapter 5 for me was not meant for words. It is for visualizing and that’s what i did. I stopped listening and waited for a time images-2when i could close my eyes and listen intently as she describes scene after scene of what life is like in Uganda. Life changing moments.

“They are clapping because what you are doing cannot be possible here. Something so good cannot happen to us.” Oliver is explaining to me that everyone is cheering because we have just told them we will be providing all children in our sponsorship program with school supplies. Here in Uganda, school supplies consist of a pencil, a pen and a notebook.

Clapping and cheering because they are going to get a pencil, a pen and a notebook! i wonder how that would go over if this Christmas i or any of us would wrap up a pencil, a pen and a notebook and put it under the tree for one of our children or grandchildren?

hungry-comparison-graphici have never thought of myself as a material possession kinda guy, but… i certainly do enjoy them if i have them. When i recently started a new job and we had to buy a second car after not having one for over 15 years i insisted that it have bluetooth or an audio input jack so i could listen to my music. i guess i’m more materialistic than i care to admit. But in my defense and being perfectly honest i could live without any of it. We went 7 years without cable television, watching only what was available from an antenna… and i say that like it’s a sacrifice… my, my, my.

i want to share a paragraph from the end of Chapter 5. Katie is talking about being called Mommy and then relates it to us calling out the name of Jesus.

“Dignified men, store clerks, and parking attendants call me Mommy. Teachers and the doctors at the local hospital call me Mommy. I hear it in shouts as I drive down these insanely bumpy red roads ; it is sung as my daughters burst through the door when they get home , it is whispered in my ear as I wake up each morning. It is hollered with joy or sobbed with longing for comfort.

images-3And every time I hear it, my heart leaps. I am willing to bet this is how our heavenly Father feels each time we whisper His name, each time we shout it with joy or cry out in pain, every time we tell Him exactly what we need or feel: “Father, I trust you.” “Father, you will protect me.” “You are my comfort place, my safe place.” “You are mine and I am yours and we are family.” His heart leaps and He delights in us and this is unfathomable.

This words reminded me of Isaiah 49:16 which says, ed, remember, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands; ed, your walls are continually before Me.

The Message is far more descriptive. ed said, “I don’t get it. God has left me. My Master has forgotten I even exist.”

“Can a mother forget the infant at her breast, walk away from the baby she bore? But even if mothers forget, I’d never forget you—never. Look, I’ve written your name on the backs of my hands.

Let’s celebrate the name of Jesus during this Christmas season and know that no matter how much you have, how much you wanted and didn’t get, use Katie’s words as a prayer, “Father, You are mine and I am yours and we are family.” Then pause and know that His heart leaps and He delights in you.

PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO LISTEN.

Greetings! my name is Dr. ed peterson and i’m the host of the me and i am post and podcast. Thanks for joining me today as i continue sharing my thoughts and revelations regarding my own life as i read a book of relentless love and redemption titled Kisses From Katie.

Chapter 4 was like a breather for me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s packed with trinkets but they were far more subtle than the previous chapters.

UnknownWhile Katie shares the following words almost as though everyone already knows them, which they may but me… i needed to be reminded. She says, “My love for the people around me was not something I could muster up myself; it was God-given, it came from the overflow of the love He had lavished on me.” The love that is thrown around these days is exactly what Katie says, “something i could muster up myself.” i remember my daughter telling me that i had hurt her husbands feelings because after talking on the phone i didn’t say i love you before hanging up. At the time i didn’t think i need to say it. Which i didn’t for me but for him… that’s another story. When Ann Marie and i were first married she said to me one day, you never tell me you love me.” My response was simple… “No news is good news.” Today i know just how wrong that was but i am never going to be one to just include i love you for the sake of it. If i say i love you, you can be assured that it comes from my heart and it comes with commitment. my intention is for my words and actions to line up with what loving someone looks like through the eyes of Jesus. i want my love to be just like what Katie describes… an overflow of the love God lavished for me.

As i shared there are other trinkets to be found in chapter 4 but my favorite one came at the end. “Oliver’s friends noticed her helping me and teased her about it. “Why do you follow around that small white girl?” they asked. “Because God is going to do something with her here,” she replied.

Because God is going to do something with her here! And i wondered if anyone was following me around with an expectation that God is going to do something with me here? And then i wondered… who am i following around with an expectation that God is going to do something with them? my answer to the last thought was my children.

Unknown-1My son and his wife as they began this whole process to adopt a child from Africa. So many God stories to be shared and you can read some of them for yourselves by going to (http://hopefaithlovepeterson.blogspot.com/2014/08/getting-started.html?m=1) i can hardly wait to hear the updates as i’m expecting the God things to get bigger and bigger. As part of this i am preparing to make a copy of Kisses From Katie available to anyone who will make a contribution towards the adoption. More details to follow when it’s ready. And i can hardly wait to see what my two grandsons will be like as they grow up with God being such an intricate part of their lives.

Then there is my daughter and her husband. It would take weeks to share the process they have been going through and oh so many times where God just showed up in so many places. And i know that i know He is not done with them yet… nope, not even close.

imagesmy grandson… God is becoming a close friend with him regularly. Let me share a faith project he is working on right now. Students at his school are traveling on an exciting trip to Washington, D.C., with WorldStrides. His history lessons will come to life as he walks in the footsteps of influential past and present leaders and learn about the events that shaped our nation. He have the wonderful opportunity to go on this educational travel program with his classmates. I am so excited for him to be invited to go on this trip despite the large expense. Contributions will make this trip possible. Will you consider sponsoring him?

It’s easy to make a donation online! Go to the WorldStrides website! Enter my Account Number: 102746769. Enter my last name: Lucci.

i have never asked or made any type of giving available in the over 12 years i have been blogging but i could not resist offering the opportunity for these two great causes. i’ve been asked in the past so here are the opportunities.

 

 

 

Sorry this mornings podcast had issues so i’m reposting it as it was intended to be.

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i love Katie’s honesty when she images-1says, “I truly love my new life but compared to the life i had been living, it is hard.” This journey to follow after God is not an easy one, it is hard and filled with loneliness as not many have the will nor the desire to put in the effort.

The journey becomes even more difficult if i spend my time and thoughts on looking back. The way i am able to survive is to look forward to the plans that God has for me… Jeremiah 29:11 says, For I know the plans I have for you,” plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” If i don’t believe any other verse in the Bible this one will take me a long way on a day by day basis.

Once again God shows me in Chapter 2 that this book is His perfect plan for me as Katie shares, “I learned so much from them as they made my frustrations seem small and petty and taught me to rejoice in the simple pleasures God had surrounded me with.” God has been teaching me, in baby steps, about finding contentment and fulfillment in being a simple creation of His. God has been opening my eyes to a new way of living, to a new way of loving, serving and obeying Him. If i want to be in His presence all i have to do is enter into someone’s pain and sit with them and know.

imagesKatie shares at the end of chapter 2 how there was a deep fulfillment that began to swallow her every frustration. She shares about a moment when it was raining outside so they had to have prayer time in doors. She was in a room with 25 children praising God. She says that she had never seen anyone so alive for their Maker. Some stand with their hands in the air. Others like her, overwhelmed with awe, have fallen to their knees on the cold cement floor. The beautiful sound of 26 voices lifted in prayer drowns out the beating of the rain on the tin roof. God is in this moment!

This is what i was reminded of as i listened to it the first time. When my grandchildren were born and i would get to hold them i never missed an opportunity to pray over them as we paced the floor or sat quietly. It was one of those hard lessons learned as i let my oldest grandson go home the first time without taking advantage of the opportunity. i remember it like it was yesterday as he left and i realized what i had missed. While i don’t carry them anymore as they’ve grown, sitting on papa’s lap or even wrestling works just as well. i’m also reminded of the granddaughter that will greet me when i get to heaven. While i never got to hold her or meet her here on earth i have known for years that she is waiting for me in heaven and i will hold her close… for a very long time… and we will make up for every second missed.

This is not something that i can explain. This is not something that my words can capture. This is experiential and i look forward to the day that i will be able to share a moment like that with my new granddaughter. But i sense that this will not be something i will teach her… no, she will teach me. Soon she will have a family and more specifically a Papa who will love her unconditionally just as he does his other grandchildren.

Katie says that her deepest prayer is that she would know the Lord the way the first grader sitting next to her does. me too! As i write this i am stirred with the presence of God in this room and as i leave chapter 2 and today’s post it is not for the purpose of jumping back soakinginto life. It is for the purpose of turning on some worship music, closing my eyes, envisioning sitting in that room with those 26 voices and just soaking in His presence.

How about you…? Can you spare a moment? How about just one song?

Click Here to listen/watch – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNClAJO2tnQ