Archive for the ‘“While The Cats Away”’ Category

Waves

Posted: October 17, 2012 in "While The Cats Away"

Waves hysterically throw themselves into destruction…

This is not my normal thing but i heard the above statement and it has been flowing through my mind for a couple weeks. So i decided to post today about those thoughts and how i want to apply them to my life and relationship with my Father. So it may sound like this as i make it my own. Ed, like a wave hysterically throws himself into God! This means that i become nothing as if i destroy myself to become what God intended.

I CAN!

i ride the waves of life. Some high, some fierce, some seemingly with no end. But i will not be torn apart by them. i can ride the waves of life.

Strong currents will try to pull me down, circumstances, challenges, hurts, situations filled with pain. But i trust in my refuge. i can ride the waves of life.

My refuge will keep me safe and my head above the deep waters.  i can ride the waves of life.

My refuge is heaven-sent so that i can hold on to the waves. My refuge is nothing new.  I’ve had it all along but i do not always see it. i must rememebr that it is there before i can use its strength. This refuge, is nothing new, it’s the strength of the inner me placed there from the heavens.

So i ride the waves of life. The water splashes my face, like candy covered in chocolate.  I can enjoy the strength of the wave if hold on to the strength of my refuge.  I can ride the waves of life

 

The following was written by Shira Trick

She felt the waves roll through her As they poured into the shore Their elegance and beauty Soared across her core Deep inside her mind and heart Were solemnly at war But this time she was determined Not to fear them as before

Standing up, she took a step To face her fear and pain As she walked in, the waves were harsh No chance to breathe, no tread to gain No matter how she struggled forward She always fought in vain For when the waves came strong and cruel They took back what she obtained

Just as she was giving up When she’d lost all will to try A hand was stretched out to her Someone had heard her cry He held her firmly in his grip And with Him by her side No matter how they growled and roared The waves flowed simply by

So like the phrase above is thought to be true so is the one that says, “Kids say the darndest things.” only it really is true as todays post points out. He has only been to Vegas once. The interesting thing about this post is that his mother and father just got back from Vegas, but, they do not gamble. They like us old people sat by the pool all day, when not eating at one of the great dinning places or watching one of the great shows. So, i like his parents have no idea where this post comes from other than little ears, hear everything or so they think and then make it into what they think they heard. Not unlike us as adults. Ethan is good at that, he spends much of his time with adults and thus he has an adult perspective of this subject and i must say brings it together very nicely with his closing questions.

Vegas. When you think of Vegas many things come to mind. The first thing that comes to my mind is the hotels. Hundreds of hotels equipped with LIGHTS. What else comes to mind? Gambling! Do you think that’s what God really intended when he created Las Vegas? Well, with a name like Sin City, it’s probably safe to say that Vegas is NOT what God wanted it to be. People loosing all of their money, stolen, does that sound fair or right to you? Just imagine you were a person, who had a family of five, and all you want of course is to take care of them. So you go to Vegas with promise of making money and you gamble and you lose all of your money. Is that fair? Is that what God wanted? I definitely don’t think so. So now you don’t have money to fly home and you don’t have anywhere to stay. You are stranded. Don’t forget, you and four other members of your family. NOT COOL VEGAS! I believe you all would agree this is wretched and DEFINITELY NOT what God wants! Maybe we should teach Vegas a lesson and stop this sinning. Are you like Vegas? Are you what God intended you to be?

By: Ethan Lucci

HI HO HI HO just kidding!!  I was really struggling writing the blog this go round, just couldn’t figure out what was going on.  I decided to start writing about a book I read a while back and have just recently started reading again with my small group.  It’s called the Gospel in Disney.  It’s written by Philip Longfellow Anderson who chose to use problems and decisions faced by Disney characters, such as Snow White, and relate them to the everyday difficulties we all run into.  He makes the analogy that two thousand years ago Jesus of Nazareth used anecdotes, and illustrations to teach about the kingdom of God.  He communicated his gospel more often through stories than sermons: A prodigal son reunited with a forgiving father, or a shepherd in search of a lost sheep.  But to the point I’m sure you’re not reading this for just a book report.

The chapter I kept coming back to as my title suggests comes from the very first full-length animated feature Snow White.  As anyone already familiar with the story knows, a key element in the plot is a poison apple, without the apple and the danger it represents we wouldn’t have much of a story.  The same is true of another old story that I’m sure everyone is familiar with.  It can be found in the first book of the bible, Genesis. Now as a side note the chapter does mention that in Genesis it doesn’t make reference to an apple just fruit, but I digress again.

What I asked myself this time while reading the chapter again was, “Currently what does that apple look like in my life, and did I take a bite?”  Or another pointed way of asking the same question, “What is satan trying to tempt me with and is it working?”  So I thought about it and it struck me why I was struggling so much with writing this blog, my apple was COMPLACENCY and I didn’t just take a bite I ate the whole thing.  According to Webster complacency is a feeling of satisfaction, esp extreme self-satisfaction.  That definition made me think of a conversation I had with my wife this week when she asked what I would write about and my exact reply was, “I don’t know everything’s good not much to write about.”  I mean I have no major drama in my life, we (as my wife mentioned and did an AWESOME job writing her blog) are extremely blessed, work is good, kids are good, and as far as religion good there to.  I’m going to church (check), small group (check), tithing (check), that’s everything right?  OH WAIT something in my heart knew better just as Eve or Snow White knew better.  As my father and mother have expressed in different ways to me, yes work is good, yes kids are good, yes money is good, yes happy wife happy life, but HOW’S YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD?”  Och, relationship with God, what relationship??  I was complacent checking off boxes and going through the motions.  If I was going to have a relationship that would mess up my current routine and what if he actually called me to do something out of my comfort zone, would I ignore him and end up in a whales belly like Pinocchio, I mean Jonah??  I think we all know having a great relationship means giving extra time, extra effort, lot’s of communication, going out of your way to know the person better, and frankly everything I was checking off my list of God things wasn’t that.

So like my father writing this blog for his children I write this for mine to be an example that having it all without having a relationship with God is having nothing.  It’s time to ask yourself two questions, “How’s your relationship with God” and “What’s your apple?”

“I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.” Psalm 69:30

The other night my 4-year-old, Elijah, had a full on meltdown crying session all because I wouldn’t allow him to have a second piece of candy for dessert after dinner.  I tried to tell him he should be grateful that he even got the one piece, but he didn’t seem to understand.  How do you teach a child to be grateful?  Why do we as humans always seem to want more more more?  For example;  a bigger house, a nicer car, or more dessert.

“Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift from God.”  Ecclesiastes 5:19

I often feel satisfied and grateful for everything I do have.  But then I see a brand new Range Rover drive by and think how I would love to drive that car.  It’s not that I am not happy right now with my life.  I AM SO BLESSED!  I have everything I have ever dreamed of having.  I have a healthy family, a nice house and car, enough money to live a full life without worrying about if our bills will be paid.  (And I have the most wonderful in-laws a daughter-in-law could ever ask for.)  The list of my blessings could go on and on.  MY LIFE IS PERFECT.  Yet I still strive for more.

I realize that God is the answer to my question.  Maybe if I spent more time with God in prayer and scripture then I would not want more.  Maybe THEN I would never again say that I want a larger house.  I think it’s yet another reason to make God a priority in my busy life.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

Where Honor Is Due

I was asked to write whatever I felt God put in my heart…

I have no doubt in my mind that in the same way God put Priscilla and Aquila into the life of the Apostle Paul and the early church, Ed and Ann Marie too have been placed here in the Brandon area  for this season. This modern day missionary couple has demonstrated extravagant generosity and labored for the Body of Christ in ways that have been inspiring and remarkable.

In my eighteen years walking with the Savior, I have unfortunately seen Christian families, friends and churches disintegrate over wrongdoing.  Nevertheless, time and time again when Ed and Ann Marie could have been crippled with discouragement after being wounded by other Christians (in their efforts to serve them) they have consistently demonstrated an ability to trust God and forgive. Sounds simple? It’s not. This can only come from hearts that truly have received God’s incomparable forgiveness themselves. This has been a major blessing for me to be able to personally witness this, however, more importantly; it has been a blessing to the Father who sees all things…

In Romans 16:3 Paul writes, “Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.”

Ed and Ann Marie too have risked their lives for the churches in Brandon.  Spiritually, emotionally, physically, and financially they have given all they have to give (as God gives at His cost) and I want to say that we all are infinitely grateful to them as well.

“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what the unbelieving world finds unbelievable.”  – Brennan Manning

Ed and Ann Marie = Believable

Do to another small ripple in my scheduling i find myself at the keyboard typing another post to fill today’s vacancy. But what a blessing to share with my children and grandchildren in such a lasting way as to post this blog. Long after when i am gone these words will be their for them to reflect on and hopefully gain some insight into who their papa was. Yes it’s selfish, it is my desire to be known by them and as this post points out “time is racing!”

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”  ―    Mother Teresa

What if i was aware that i’d be the last person to touch someone?

If i was paying money for a purchase i was making? Perhaps in a grocery store, where i give the cashier money and then they have to give me change, i might purpose to touch their palm, or to look them in the eye and speak an encouraging word or even just smile, anything but stare down at my bags anxiously pushing to get out of their and to my next destination.

When a man or woman stands in the middle of the isles at the local K Mart and makes it impossible for me to get past them, when the car in front of me sits longer than required in the parking space which they are supposedly leaving, but i must wait for them, when someone forgets or refuses to say thank you, in those moments i forget how short their life and my life is.

A friend and i were discussing someone whom we both knew and how ill this person was. We went on to talk about the husband and how would he deal with the loss of his wife when the time came. It was just days later that the wife passed away and the possibilities of our discussion became real as his wife did pass away. i remember becoming very much aware of how unexpected life can be especially when it comes to life and death. In those moments i also recalled the words of John Maxwell and his book, Today Matters.

i read another story where this woman had been with her aunt. They’d just had lunch and the waiter, a young gay man with plum black eyes, joked as he served the coffee, kissed her aunt’s powdered cheek when they left. Then they walked half a block and her aunt dropped dead on the sidewalk.

How many stories do i have to hear? How many loved ones do i have to lose? What would it look like if i could see people as they are, created in His image and likeness, yet tangled in life, unpredictable, inconsistent, and racing against time?

“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.” 
―    Harvey MacKay

Life is too short to wake and fill the day with regrets, i am to love the people who come across my path, forget about the ones who don’t return that love and believe that everything comes from God, goes through God and will end in God. If i get a chance today, i will take it. If it changes my life, i will embrace it. i was never promised that it would be easy, but i am promised that it is worth it.

Self Doubt

Posted: October 8, 2012 in "While The Cats Away"

Self doubt is something I believe we all deal with at one point or another.  We ask ourselves did I miss what I was suppose to be doing?  of we tell ourself I am not skilled enough to do that,  I am not educated enough, I already have enough on my plate, I have a family, it’s too dangerous, I’m too old to start something new, I’m to young and won’t be taken seriously, this will tip the scales of balance in my life.  Does any of this sound familiar?

In the ministry of Hiding Place Ministry we have seen God use everyday people for task that seem unbelievable!  There is a man who ran a prayer room and is now in China ministering and teaching English to the Chinese, he also has a group of over 100 people he has taught to go back to their own country (Philipino’s) to go reach their own community.  Another man who was a church goer and acquired (it was given to him, no one wanted to buy it) a piece of land only to find that the land was considered to be Holy Ground by his indian tribe.  He built a log cabin and opened a prayer room.  A man who followed God and was dedicated to him and became a county Chaplin for the fire department and also started “Men on Fire” ministry.  God has opened the doors always at the right time.  It is amazing when you have seen all the doors that God has opened up for individuals, just ordinary people.  That is who God uses a lot of the time is just ordinary people not the big evangelist or well know individuals.  People like you and me.

When David was a shepherd watching the sheep for his father I am sure he never dreamed he would one day become king.  Imagine your there watching the sheep then shortly thereafter you go to war with your older brothers your only a teenager but you know GOD is with you; you step out to kill the  Giant like you have killed wild animals preying on your flock.  Others laugh at you because you are so small but you know that GOD is with you.  Imagine their doubt that David could even wound this giant.  But, what happened David took those stones from the brook and placed them in his sling shot and not only wounded the giant but slain him.  WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED!!  David didn’t second guess God because he trusted God and knew his God was with him.

Our self doubt needs to be released to God in knowing that he has a plan for prosperity a plan not to harm you and lots of hope.  God uses everyday individuals willing to trust Him.  So, put your self-doubt in His hands and see where he takes you.  He has a journey for each of us if we only give of ourselves and trust God, he will take care of the rest. Don’t second guess yourself or you may just miss the greatest ride ever!

Be Blessed!
Kathy Thorn

 “It is God who works in you to will and to act in order to  fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13)

Slight change in plans as the person who was going to post today got real busy running for student council, baseball practice, baseball games, life in general and asked that i move his slot back. Being my grandson i could not refuse and so today i will share and wish blessings on him.

“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’

Webster’s says, real is being actually such; not merely so-called. This is a selah (pause and think on this) moment for me, that real is not how i was made, that “It’s a thing that happens to me.”

The story goes on. “Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit. “Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?” “It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”  – Margery Williams,    The Velveteen Rabbit

i love this portion of the story, bit by bit, day by day, one bite at a time. It takes a long time, it seems like an eternity. It makes me sad to think of all those that it has not happened for, who have broken, who have sharp edges, and those who have carefully kept themselves because of not wanting to feel the hurt. While i have not lost my hair my eyes are drooping, my joints are loose and while i feel a little shabby, Skin Horse is right it does not matter because i am becoming Real, actually such, not merely so-called.

And as for people who do not understand… that’s a part of Real.

“When we turn around & come face to face with our destiny, we discover that words (spoken) are not enough. I know so many people who are brilliant speakers but are quite incapable of practising what they preach. It’s one thing to describe a situation & quite another to experience it.

I realised a long time ago that a warrior in search of his dream must take his inspiration from what he actually does & not from what he imagines himself doing.” ― Paulo Coelho

This is a continuation from yesterday. The two posts go together and don’t make a lot of sense individually so please reread yesterdays and then todays at one sitting. Yes you must pay attention with this poster as it’s personal but it’s shielded as well. It may just make you ask what is he trying to say and then you’ll have to figure it out. Again i recommend that you read Where’s My Pony to gain some possible perspective on these two posts. It is a different perspective as this person is in prison for 30 years and has had and will have much time to think on his life.

So, what’s my definition of leadership?  It’s miles away from Johnnie’s Dad.  This is how I see it.  I get it from scripture.  “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  For now we see through a glass darkly; but then we shall see face to face; now we know in part; but then we shall know even as also I am known.” (1 Cor, 13: 11-12)

Leaders are taught of God, surrendered to God, servants of God.  They are taught and learn to model acceptance of responsibility.  They reject passiveness and negativity.  They lead and inspire with the authority and courage God has given them.  Leaders know god’s PRESENCE is there. especially when bad things are happening, God is there.  He gives leaders the power to gain their VALUE FROM HIM, and once gained, to SERVE and to LOVE others.

Leaders are made COMPLETE; righteous Psalm 7:8; upright Psalm 25:21.  They wobble but they don’t fall down Psalm 26:1.  They are made blameless Psalm 101:2.  All of these characteristics and more make Godly leaders i-d-e-n-t-i-a-b-l-e.  These are guys and gals you know, deep down, that you can FOLLOW.

So, what kind of leader am I?  The crucified kind!  Matthew 10:38-39, Matthew 16:24  I am learning to appropriate by faith and utilize by practice ALL of the energizing emblems of CYCLE…Christ Following Crucified Leadership. Christ’s perfection Phil 1:6, my blamelessness, my quiet, yet notorious strength, my surrender, my acceptance of responsibility, my courage, God’s [presence, my completeness, up[rightness, and righteousness IN CHRIST.

I am a sheep; lost, found and clinging to my Shepherd (John 10:9-28); enjoying His advocacy (1John: 2:1).  Allowing Him to write my book (Heb 12:2).  Sold out to Jesus (1 Tim 6:15).  He impacts my every weakness, forgives the sins which still so easily beset me.  I am fearful, yet he makes me fearless (Rev 5:5; Rom 11:26).  When I stumble into darkness, He is my Light (John 8:12)  When i approach the Father, He is my mediator (Jude 24; 1 Tim 2:5).  I’m weak and I sin sometimes, but He is my redeemer (Job 19:25); Isa 59:20; 60:16; 2 Pet 2:20; 3:18).  I’m branching out because I am in the vine (John 15:1).  In my weakness, I lie sometimes but He always is the truth; my truth (John 14:6).

I desire to produce more good works to honor my Lord (Titus 2:14; 3:8).  Yet, all-the-while I am struggling against fear of absolute failure.  I can concretely know that my value comes from HIM, and not from what I do on my own…trying, as if I can EARN His favor!

In conclusion, Johnnie’s Dad probably NEVER followed a Godly leader.  He probably was never pointed to Christ Jesus, or His word.  He thought he was cool to push his son into leadership; to push Johnnie into “reliable, sensible, self-esteem, and self-instruction,  All they harvested according to this story was the self-destruction of a SELF-MADE MAN!

Dad wouldn’t or couldn’t “piece it all together” for his son, so his son ended up in pieces too small to be sent back to Dad for burial!  What a TRAGEDY!  I’ve learned I have a Captain for my soul (Josh 5:14-15; Heb 2:10).  My soul thirsts for Him.  He satisfies like nothing, and no one else ever will!   The End!

Attention all readers, please remember that i am taking a short break to ground myself in the twelve steps. Meanwhile i have asked several to fill in for me. You may or may not care for any of these or you may love them but these are not coincidence, they are i believe divine postings from God sent through a wide variety of people whom i do life with to one degree or another. As Ann Marie posted the other day, remember to look for your pony! Slow down, read it again and perhaps you’ll gain a new and different perspective.

I’ve been asked to write a blog posting for the first time.  I am a 54 year old male, a federal prisoner, serving a thirty-year sentence.  In this election year, I’ve been further examining the subject of leadership.  I have concluded that “ALL LEADERS SHOULD BE CRUCIFIED.” Copyright 2012, Michael J. Murphy (an excerpt from a book I’ve written)

Yeah. I’ve got an axe to grind.  There are too many “leaders” in the world today.  I say, “They all should BE CRUCIFIED!”  Do you mind if I rant a little to develop this further?  Thanks, I hear that enthusiastic, “YES!”  You should be curious after all!  Who even t-a-l-k-s about crucifixion any more?  It seems we hear it from cradle to grave.  “That’s right little Johnnie.  YOU make the choice.  YOU are a LEADER”.  A scenario unfolds.  “Only losers follow!  Just suck it up, and do what I tell you.  I want you to LEAD, it’s the ONLY WAY to get what you want son.”  “That’s right Daddy.  I’m in charge.  I’m a LEADER!  You tell me that all the time!  “Yes, son, you decide for yourself.  I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, so I’m not gonna show you my way.  My way sucks!  You’ve got your whole life ahead of you son, go out and LEAD.  Find stuff out for yourself, on your own terms.  Daddy calls this empowerment + esteem.”   “Thanks Daddy, I like power.  I like MINTS.  I like STEAM too!”  “Oh, son, you’re the BEST. That’s my little man.”  You’re the leader, and only you know what’s really right for you.”

Hi Dad. I scored a touchdown today!  I wish you could have seen it!”  “I’ve been to one of your games…they’re all the same…” “I’m a senior in high school Dad.  I’m doing the best I can.”  “Your best is not good enough! What have I been teaching you all these years?  I e-v-e-n still see you AFTER DIVORCING YOUR MOTHER!  Straighten up, and fly right boy!”  “Okay, Dad.”

“You gotta pack up and go. I’m tired of your crap!”  “Dad, I’m not ready!  I’m only twenty-three!  I’ll do anything you say, just please don’t kick me out!”  “Shut up!  Be a man!  Figure it out! [The NEXT DAY, Johnnie joined the Marine Corp]  “What are you, crazy?”  “Nah, Dad. The recruiter said the Marines will make a man out of me!”  “You’re grown man now! You should have asked me before you went off and joined the army!”  “MARINES Dad.”  “Whatever…It’s all the same.  I teach you to be a man, and you go off and waste your life!  I’m through with you now!  Loser!”

“Men kill.  Men do one thing in this man’s Marine Corp, we focus on killing!”  “Y-E-S Drill Sergeant!  Hoooo Rahhh!”

[Two Marines arrive. They have a letter for Johnnie’s Dad.]  “Mr. Jones:  It is indeed my sad duty to inform you that your son Johnnie has made the ultimate sacrifice during a major battle two weeks ago.  Johnnie was a fine man, followed orders, and died a hero.  I regret that we have recovered no remains to return to you.  Thank you for giving us such a fine young man.  Your country is forever grateful.  With deepest sympathy,  His commanding officer.

“Oh God, Nooooo!  Oh God, Noooooo! [Johnnies Dad cries for the first time in twenty-plus years]