Posts Tagged ‘relationship’

This is the closing post on the subject of “Life Is.” It’s a great summary and i wish i had written it. But, i didn’t. It was written by someone i hardly know and yet after reading this i felt like i had known him for years. Kindred spirits is all i can say. my hope is that you enjoy it as much as i have.

Life is a first date and a couple in the arms of new love where their hands gently, and accidentally, brush together. Life is holding the hand of the one you love as pledge yourself to a lifelong struggle of passionate love and commitment before

God, family, and friends. Life is holding that same haimagesnd and praying for God to take away the cancer that is slowly turning the one you love into a shell of who they used to be. Life is longing for the hand that has held yours and wondering if God could ever heal a hole that seems so vast and so real.

Many equate life with this finite span of physical existence, loving relationships, and emotional experiences that begin joyously at birth and end abruptly in death.  Life is a flower in the field, growing and beautiful, but gone in the morning. Those we know are here today and gone tomorrow. We wake up remembering what it felt like when we were young, but as we roll out of bed we feel the weight of all the years that were gone too fast. When we look at it this way life is wonderful and beautiful but ultimately it is a defeat and no victory can be found in it. Because, life explained only in terms of this world will always leave us wanting.

Is this what Christ meant when he said he wants to give us “abundant life”. Did he give us the beauty of a sunset or the joy of love as the height of life? Or is there something more?

I would like to suggest that we have begun to translate what is offered in this world as a definition of life. All its joys and sorrows, comforts and worries, all we can feel and see have consumed us. We no longer know of the Kingdom of God here and now. Life can be found in this world yet it is much more. Christ came and has shown us what true life is. We miss the awesome power of these words, “I AM the way and the truth and the life”.   What Paul said is right “For to me, to live is CHRIST and to die is gain.” To live in this world is to live in humble obedience to Christ and to sow the rewards of eternity. A life lived as a beacon for Christ will be rewarded in eternal life, where death is a beginning.

Life is Christ. Life is abundant and eternal love. Life is trouble in this world and tremendous wonderful joy in the next. We live here and now, but we fix our gaze on eternity and true life. This truth will give us eyes to enjoy the meaning and purpose of today as well as experience, in part, the joy and reward of Christ.  Life is the joyous communion we have, through Christ and in the Spirit, with the God of Abraham.

The first century church with all the persecution and turmoil knew of a life that few in this generation have ever tasted.  We have entertainment, comfort, technology, education, and everything we could ever need.  We have interpreted life and it’s meaning from these things. But life is found in the pierced hands of our Savior. The knowledge and love of Christ will illuminate the love we have in this life and it will bring forth joy from sorrow. The way to the find the true interpretation of life is up Calvary’s hill, passed the entrance of an empty tomb, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  In Christ true life is made clear.



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.”


Welcome to me and I AM. i’m your host Dr. Ed Peterson and i’m so glad you have returned and again entrusted me with a few minutes of your time.

Until now, i thought that i hadn’t, nor would i ever, choose to be hurt. But in a way i have.

hurtingThe hurts i shared yesterday were like nuclear bombs, they came out of nowhere, leaving a trail of destruction surrounding my life… so i thought.

Webster’s defines hurt this way, “to effect adversely,” “one who has been offended or is suffering in mind.” Come on Webster’s you can do better than that! Hurt isn’t a suffering in my mind. The very core of my being, my heart, isn’t just adversely affected, it’s devastated… so i think and feel at the time. my hurts often made me feel like i just wanted to die and these hurts didn’t last for moments, they carried on for days, weeks, months and some for years.

But here’s what i want to share about today. i am going to experience even more hurt “but i can choose who i’ll get hurt by.” i don’t mean that to sound as simple as it does because it’s not. Hurt is never simple and neither is choosing who i will get hurt by. Let me see if i can explain.

In almost every one of my hurts, i made a choice to have those people in my life.

There are two basic types of relationships for me. There are those that are wide, meaning that they are casual, distant, guarded, some long-term, some not so much. With that in mind i believe that every one of them is still a divine appointment for one reason or another but they are… let’s say lite. They may or may not end up in my second category which is deep relationships. Deep relationships are those that i determine are worth suffering hurt for. Now… i never thought of it that way before but when the hurt comes there also comes a decision which requires me to decide, am i going to walk away or am i willing to… resist, to fight, to suffer the hurt for this relationship. i don’t feel like i am explaining this very well because if i truly believe that every relationship, every meeting, every brief moment of interaction with another person is meaningful… then there are or should not be any separation? Non the less at this time there are people who i am just closer to, deeper in relationship with. i can’t seem to find the words to satisfy my thoughts.

Jesus selected twelve disciples yet he died for the entire human race. That’s where i’m struggling, i’m defining my depth of relationships and Jesus made the common man an everybody when it came to giving up His life. Obviously i’m not there but… i am moving in the right direction. One of the hurts i shared yesterday was about coming to work one day and finding all our belongings being loaded into a U-Haul truck, thus leaving both Ann Marie and i jobless and more specifically without any source of income. All done by a friend, a deep relationship of 20 some years. Today that person is in prison and yet each month we are able to send a small gift and i am able to share these posts with him every day. We communicate whenever we desire to on any subject that comes to mind. Regardless of what was done or i felt was done we are fighting for relationship. Will it ever be what it was? Only time and both our hearts will tell. Now, i don’t use that example as being the worst hurt i’ve experienced. No for me the worst hurt was the one happening at the moment.

I’m not sure that a deep relationship can exist without the careful consideration that there is potential for a less than perfect outcome, without the risk of hurt. In fact the same may be true for any relationship, any interaction, with any person, regardless of the amount of time or my definitions. i mean how long does it take to be hurt?

i am being as honest and vulnerable as i can here… and yes, i’m still struggling. i started to share this material as though i knew something about it, as though i had found an answer as though i could share some insights to help others with their hurts and now that feels so illusive.

Please… i’m asking for you to come back tomorrow as i bring this to a conclusion and hopefully share something that will be of value, something that will help you………. no i can’t go there, just come and read about what i get out of tomorrow’s post. i can’t promise you anything other than, i’ll share honestly, openly and God will do the rest.




hello I’m Dr. ed Peterson the host of the me and I Am post and podcast. Thank you for joining me on my journey of INTENTIONAL living. This is the conclusion of a three post series i began on Monday but for me this is the most important element as it contains the lessons learned thus giving me new tools for applying God’s word to all situations in my life. For whatever reason this series has no podcast as every time i recorded it and went to post it, it would erase. yet every night when I would do a test it would work fine. One of those things that makes you go hummmmmmm????

It has been my experience that soon after i have decided to surrender to a more God filled life and i have set my intentions on Him that i soon afterward feel as though my favor with God and man has evaporated! My great God experiences seem to dry up. In those times i’m not even able to consider spiritual things. This was one of those times and I can’t give you any specific reason for why it occurred.

In the past i have considered these type of moments as a great loss with regards to my relationship with God. In this situation i am thinking differently. i am recalling how blessed i have been in my relationship with Him and even though it may seem like or feel like it has ceased to exist, I know that it has not! Knowing that allows me to look at this whole situation as not a great loss but a great benefit.

Galatians 5 talks about this matter. “But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).”

i heard the voice of the spirit… and the voice of my flesh… and made a choice of my own free will… gratify the cravings and desires… of my human nature without God. So you might be thinking that i’m making this to spiritual or that i’m being overly dramatic… perhaps just so i have something to post about? Since these posts and podcasts are about my personal life i assure you there is no lack of material.

So what did happen? The simple  answer… there was a battle. Two opposing thoughts, two opposing voices. Galatians 5:17 says, “ed’s desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to ed’s flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that ed is not free but is prevented from doing what ed desires to do.”

my inner strength was not enough to defeat my outer collapse because as i read down further in Galatians 5 it explains that “the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].”

Someone is saying that’s all well and good ed but you still haven’t explained what happened! Okay… It has been my experience that soon after i have decided to surrender to a more God filled life and i have set my intentions on Him that i soon afterward feel as though my favor with God and man has disappeared! Great God experiences seem to dry up. In those moments i’m not even able to talk about spiritual things. Heaven on earth is the farthest things from my mind which leaves me with little or no hope.

So now what? First i had to confess my actions of wrong doing and ask forgiveness of God. Through posting this i’m asking Ann Marie to also forgive me. Finally i’m asking each listener and reader for forgiveness as what i did was not according to the word. Is that necessary one may ask? Absolutely!  The word says, “to whom much is given much is expected.” i have been given this privilege and platform to share life with others. With that comes this responsibility, “ed is not to seek his (self) own good and advantage and profit , but [rather] each one of the other [let him seek the welfare of his neighbor].” 

If ed lives by the [Holy] Spirit, let ed also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit ed has his life in God, let ed go forward walking in line, ed’s conduct controlled by the Spirit.]

It’s now almost a week later and guess what? my want is back, my “in the moment” satisfaction is nowhere to be found. Self satisfaction, surrendering to self wants is fleeting. The struggle is now stronger because it had previous success. But… i can assure you that as of this moment the battle has already been won, the victory is mine and the Glory is God’s.

And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires.

Please click on player or link to listen.

Suppose God would text me… What would He say?

Today’s hand selected intentional story is titled Marriage. From this story i will extract God’s text message for today and share it, as i have been  asked to do.

I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly.

Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. “I want a divorce” I said calmly.

She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, but asked me softly, why?

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, “you are not a man!” That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.

She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came home late and found her writing something at the table. I went straight to bed and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.

When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into our bridal room on our wedding day.

She requested that every day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door every morning. I thought she was going crazy. To make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don’t tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.

On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it’s time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last-minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy.

I drove to the office… jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind… I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.

Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.

At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The sales girl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I ran up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed – dead.

My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push thru with the divorce –At least, in the eyes of our son— I’m a loving husband…

God’s text today says,

Text Template

“the true shadow is not made by darkness but of light.”

It seems to me that just saying i love you is a cheap imitation of true love. Talk is cheap. Being at the close of this verse another portion of the word provides more detailed instructions regarding my words and deeds toward my wife as her husband but more precisely as her covering.

Ephesians 5:8-11 ed once you were darkness, but now ed you are light in the Lord; notice that it says once i was darkness… not in darkness. Then is says i am light… not in light.

ed, walk as a child of Light [lead the lives of those native-born to the Light]. Sounds familiar as i recall the opening of Colossians 3. Paul is saying that God changes lives, Relationship with the Father AFFECTS my life in word and actions. my name is light so be AFFECTED by the Light. Lead the life of one who is native-born to the Light.

For the fruit (the effect, the product) of the Light or the Spirit [consists] in every form of kindly goodness, uprightness of heart, and trueness of life.

ed, learn [in your experience] what is pleasing to the Lord. In my experience, as i am living out life, learning in my relationship with my wife, being affected by those things which are above as she was made and built up and not what the wear and tear of life may have done to her. And understand that it is not for or to her that i do anything but what is pleasing to the Lord.

ed, let my life be constant proof of what is most acceptable to Him. Constant, not up and down or on and off but constant which is where the proof is. There is no proof in momentarily being affected by my wife. It is the constant, which is in conjunction with God’s constant relationship with me. That’s where the proof is because in and of myself constant is not possible.

ed take no part in and have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds and enterprises of darkness. Being INFECTED is the fruitless deeds and enterprises of darkness. It says that i should take no part in, it’s my choice, have no fellowship, the opportunities will come but i to have no fellowship, not hang around with being infected. And get ready here comes the option.

, but instead [let your lives be so in contrast as to] expose and reprove and convict them. One of the things i love about these verses is the “Let your live so be.” It doesn’t say, tell everyone, post it on Facebook or Tweet it, it says let my life be the action that is in contrast.

A call to action – ed be habitual or usual in these acts, use energetic activity in loving your wife according to what you have learned. my favorite, ed, husband, Light… constantly… consciously will.

Words or deeds which do not give the light of Christ, increase darkness. (A variation of Mother Teresa’s words)

Paul’s saying, “ed you are not accountable for what you did not know. But now that you do know… well that’s another story.” He says , “ed, that was a part of your past behavior and it’s no longer acceptable today. He leaves no room for excuses nor does he allow God’s grace to be taken advantage of.

Colossians 3:7 It wasn’t long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better.

The Amplified version says it like this, “Among whom you also once walked, when you were living in and addicted to [such practices].”

i know this is a translation but for me i don’t believe that it is a coincidence that the word “addicted” is used. i mentioned previously that my conclusion as to why i sin regularly and knowingly was due to an addiction to sin. As i read Paul’s words here i am fairly certain that i can not say that i am addicted to sin… and be raised with Christ.

At this moment that seems to make my sin worse. If it’s an addiction then i can get free from it. Yet here Paul says that i can not get free from what i am already free from because i settled the “If” question. Worse in that i could possibly be a son of disobedience. Worse in that i have not actually settled the “If” question and i am just an observer, even while appearing to participate as though i had.

Going back to the first 4 verses and the idea of my death being the same as Christ death, my resurrection being the same as Christs resurrection there does not appear to be any room for me to blame my sin on an addiction that has been put to death and resurrected in a Christ life.

As of today it only makes sense that the reason i continue to sin is that i am lacking in relationship with my Father. When i was a kid there were many, many things that i did not do because i did not want to disappoint my parents. As dysfunctional as they were i still did not want to be the cause of their disfunction so i considered the things i did and did not do very carefully. Trouble was not my middle name. That being said i have not honestly carried that consideration into my later life. i am not too worried about disappointing God. i ask myself why? Perhaps i have a distorted view of my relationship with God. Possibly i think of God as a sleeping giant? Maybe i think of Him as a buddy verses my elder, my parent, my mentor, which carries with it the notion of respect and even some fear.

In my relationship with Ann Marie i believe i am as close as any two people can be, and… there is a respect that does not allow me to do various things. There is also a fear that does not allow me do certain things. If i violate either one of those two things there would for sure be a price to pay or at the very least a great possibility for there to be a price to pay. Even if there was forgiveness extended and a restoration of the relationship it could never be the same as it was. Yet with God i do not seem to place as much significance on the price to be paid. Perhaps that’s due to a distorted use or understanding of His grace and mercy? Maybe i don’t believe that i am as bad as some others so He’s preoccupied?

What i do know for sure is that God will not be mocked. In my past are days that contain “These Very Sins” but now Paul says, “ed, everything regarding you has changed, you are now more than aware, you have sufficient understanding, and you fully equipped, and one more thing, which is the most important, you now better realize how much you are loved, so “BE”.

Today i begin the journey of “understanding the times” in more depth. i am already more aware that the ground rules have changed and that it does have an effect on my life. i can not just observe, i must participate, i can not compromise, but must become more passionate, No more que sara sara, but my life built on the plan from the word. This is also helping me to live out my twelve step program for getting healed and set free from my addiction to sin.

The only way for me to fail is to do nothing. There is a saying that says, “Good men only fail when they do nothing. i know that in general i am a good man but i am also aware that i could be a better man and so if i do nothing i will fail. If i do nothing regarding my addiction to sin i will fail. I Am is not a failure and neither am i. i will do today what others will not so that tomorrow i can do what others can not.

Let me make something very clear in all this. God is a person not a process… BUT… there is power in the process to the promise. i am in this to learn about relationship. Personal, intimate, eternal relationship with the Father, personal, intimate, eternal relationship with myself, and personal, intimate, eternal relationship with others and while my twelve step process deals with those issues they originate from the Word through the Father.

Surprise, surprise! i have been led to the place where my plan is to originate from. In fact i don’t have to write anything new it’s all there for this season of my life. The plan can be found in Colossians chapter three. It’s today where i’m not sure what to do? Do i post the entire chapter for reading and if so what translation? Or… do i take it word by word and use a couple of translations and then at the end post it as a whole?

There is a 5 minute pause here that can’t be read. The latter seems to make more sense. In case someone is wondering how i was led to this, it’s simple. i am waiting on my Experiencing God book to arrive to once again do a study with some others. While waiting i randomly said, “until the books arrive let’s every day read Colossians three and then each of us discuss a nugget of truth and application we get from it. The very first day i realized that it fit very well with Issachar, understanding the times, using the events to my advantage and my twelve step process. Knowing that my hope is for my children and my grandchildren to someday read this, i’m going to keep today short and ask that Jeremy and Melissa, Brooke and Greg, Ethan, Elijah, and Zeke, when the time is appropriate to read Colossians 3. i have an app on my phone called Bible Is and it actually reads it to me. On the way to work Ann Marie and i listened to it over and over for 30 minutes. It helps me to get it into my spirit. It is truth!

There’s nothing preachy about Timothy Green, but as you have been reading it has stirred me deeply. Is this kid a gift from God or just some strange, spiritual, fertilizer mishap. i am left to assume that some sort of power orchestrated his arrival, and Cindy admits that his appearance was “kind of miraculous.” i also am left to assume… that some sort of power orchestrated everything that has arrived in my life, and just as Cindy had to admit that Timothy’s appearance was “Kind of miraculous” i too must admit that “my life” is “kind of miraculous” as well. i know that does not sound like a 100% glowing endorsement but it’s as close as i can come today.

Still, in the midst of boys sprouting between the cabbages and carrots, there’s a marvelous message Christians can embrace: All children are miraculous; all are gifts as well as life.

Some observations. Timothy develops a crush on a girl named Joni, a year or two older and far more worldly. She wears a midriff-baring outfit to a birthday party, and she nearly kisses Timothy while both are in a pool. (Other girls are wearing two-piece bathing suits.)

Timothy’s parents see the attraction and decide to have “The Talk” with Timothy (though it gets sidetracked by a family emergency). Cindy believes that Joni may be a “bad influence” on Timothy, and, indeed, the two kids do run off into the woods together for long stretches of time. But despite Timothy’s attraction to the girl, their relationship remains platonic; when they say goodbye, they part with a hug, not a kiss.

Along with other kids, Timothy gets nailed with a dodgeball. He kicks someone in the face for getting too close to his socks. A kid gets injured during a soccer game.

While Timothy doesn’t seem to be subjected to violent bullying, schoolmates do smear food and ice cream on him, turning him into a walking sundae.

Someone tries to take credit for an invention of Jim and Cindy’s (but is caught doing so). Jim and Cindy can, at times, be a little obnoxious (but feel bad about it afterwards).

i have shared much about my unexpected turns and i know some will struggle with what i am about to share. In fact most will have no clue as to where this comes from, many will not find this from the movie but indirectly it was there for me.

The Hebrew word cela, translated rock, refers to a crag or a cliff – a place under which i may find safety, shelter and security. This type of rock protects, it does not crush. This rock covers and shields.

What lesson is the Lord revealing here? i am to find my refuge in Christ, no matter how unexpected my turn!  Let my fiery ordeals drive me ever closer to Jesus as i suck the honey from His Rock – to sustain, nourish and refresh me in the unexpected places. The unexpected turns in my life can make me bitter, filled with doubt, fear and unbelief, or it can serve as fuel to drive me nearer to the Lord.

When life throws an unexpected turn… just punt… right? Normal is not something to aspire to, it’s something to get away from.

When Cindy’s sister brags once too many times about her overachieving children, Cindy blurts out that Timothy’s a musical prodigy (which he isn’t). Jim desperately wants his son to succeed on the soccer field—not because it would be good for Timothy (who’s happy just getting water for the team), but for Jim and his difficult relationship with his own father. Jim and Cindy love their child, but they want him to be normal, to fit in, even if that’s not a high priority for Timothy himself.

Timothy is happy being a simple creation of God.  Whether he ever does any of the things his parents envisioned for him or not, Timothy is content and really doesn’t even seem to be aware of anything more. How I long to get to that place, where i don’t look at anyone or anything else and wish it were me.

“It’s a hard world to be different in,” Cindy tells him. “Lots of people hate anything different.”

Timothy is different. And he is bullied and mocked. The family deals with death and disappointment. And in trying to help Timothy get through it all, Jim and Cindy make loads of mistakes. They embrace those mistakes. And when asked what they’d do differently, they say they’d make new mistakes, maybe more of them. For it’s through those mistakes that learning and growth really take place.

If no other message were taken from this film, this would be worth the millions spent making it. This takes me back to the Wasteland in the Dream Giver series. Ordinary thinks that his time in Wasteland has been a waste until he is on the other side of it and realizes what he has learned.

Growth, is a big metaphor here. Just as the Greens’ garden grew a little boy, Timothy helps his parents grow into … parents. And they all cultivate and care for one another.

Now pay attention because the second message from this film is coming and again it reminds me of The Dream Giver when Ordinary is serving the Anybodies.

Timothy helps those outside his family grow too. He encourages a young girl to not be afraid to be different, eventually revealing a disfiguring birthmark. He helps his uncle laugh. He’s like a pint-size Giving Tree, freely offering whatever he has to those around them—even though it sometimes costs him dearly.

The movie gives me many things as i have watched it at least 4 times now, messages about parenthood, childhood, about unconditional love, the beauty of adoption, and living life to it’s fullness regardless of what you have or don’t have.

It will take many more viewings before i suck every drop of wisdom, understanding and life applications from it. That’s the way i am, i have to stick with it for some period of time to let it go from head knowledge to heart knowledge where it then can change my life.

In closing, Deuteronomy 32:13 He made Israel ride on the high places of the earth, and he ate the increase of the field; and He made him suck honey out of the rock and oil out of the flinty rock,

Reread this last line: “He made him suck honey out of the rock…” The word suck, the Hebrew yanaq, refers to the sucking of a baby when it is nursing. When God “made him suck honey out of the rock,” Scripture is describing the action of making a baby nurse. As a child of God i am to be drinking in the honey of His Presence! There is no more vital sustenance than the Presence of our God. There is no more glorious experience than this intimate exchange. And there is no more urgent need than for me to learn how to drink in the glory of God!

He is teaching me how to continue to drink, moment by moment. In so doing, i will learn how to abide in God’s holy Presence, through expected or unexpected turns, in the midst of blessings and when difficult unexpected news arrives at my doorstep.

ed, to the extent that you learn to drink the honey of the Lord, you will experience His manifest Presence – and in His Presence, fullness of joy abides (Psalm 16:11)!