Sunday, December 18, 2011

Special Log

… Life is full of ups and downs, highs and lows, disappointments, and accomplishments. We have been told to make the most of what we have been given. There is a true peace in being content. I feel that we need to be very careful in this contentment, and not let down our guard. Watch for evil, be alert. Be pillars of the faith, always looking for the good in people. In this modern day there are many ways to heat a log home. Natural gas, which relies on a furnace lit by a pilot  light is one way to accomplish this, till the flame goes out. Then you will find yourself in the cold, looking for alternative heat, possibly wood, if your home has a fireplace. The average log used in the construction of log homes is between 12-14 inches wide. Logs are noted for the ability to retain heat longer that conventional construction. Sometimes the master craftsman uses logs that are so special, that only they, will fit right where he wants them. (as I noted in a earlier blog, “Are We There Yet .”) I personally see these special logs, as having character. Logs that have seen some bad weather, have growth lines, are more than 14-16 inches in width, logs that can hold the heat longer when it matters the most.
This past week the pilot flame in my furnace stopped working. How convenient, since the topic at the men’s breakfast was when your spiritual pilot light goes out. Coincidental? I feel there is so much more going on here, more than I can comprehend. It’s a serious thing when cold penetrates a home. The floor gets cold, the rooms get chilly, nights seem longer, and if the heat doesn’t come on, soon there could be permanent damage to the structure. So I wonder what happens when your spiritual pilot light goes out? I have been blessed to have a home with a fireplace. So as I wait by the fire for the repairman to reignite the pilot light, my spirit is thankful because I know that the heat will be on soon. Till then I will enjoy the heat from the fireplace. You’re maybe in the cold of life, or a season that brings pain. Let God’s word light your fire again:
Psalm 34 (The Message)
1 I bless God every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise. 2 I live and breathe God; if things aren't going well, hear this and be happy: 3 Join me in spreading the news; together let's get the word out. 4 God met me more than halfway, he freed me from my anxious fears. 5 Look at him; give him your warmest smile. Never hide your feelings from him. 6 When I was desperate, I called out, and God got me out of a tight spot. 7 God's angel sets up a circle of protection around us while we pray. 8 Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see - how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him. 9 Worship God if you want the best; worship opens doors to all his goodness. 10 Young lions on the prowl get hungry, but God-seekers are full of God. 11 Come, children, listen closely; I'll give you a lesson in God worship. 12 Who out there has a lust for life? Can't wait each day to come upon beauty? 13 Guard your tongue from profanity, and no more lying through your teeth. 14 Turn your back on sin; do something good. Embrace peace - don't let it get away! 15 God keeps an eye on his friends, his ears pick up every moan and groan. 16 God won't put up with rebels; he'll cull them from the pack. 17 Is anyone crying for help? God is listening, ready to rescue you. 18 If your heart is broken, you'll find God right there; if you're kicked in the gut, he'll help you catch your breath. 19 Disciples so often get into trouble; still, God is there every time. 20 He's your bodyguard, shielding every bone; not even a finger gets broken. 21 The wicked commit slow suicide; they waste their lives hating the good. 22 God pays for each slave's freedom; no one who runs to him loses out.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Grandma and Papa's Day Out

...There’s this excitement in the both of us, as we travel to pick up the boys for a sleepover. My mind starts to wonder what kind of visit are we going to have? Grandma has her list of activities planned… walks to the park, making play dough, coloring, story reading, and not to forget watching Thomas the Train. Papa always likes to drive to the log yard where they make log homes. It’s just what Papa does. Somewhere along the way we forgot you don’t really need a list of activities to keep a one and three year old boy busy. They seem to manage just fine all by themselves. Do these little ones do things on purpose, or are they just trying to get a reaction? “So tell me, what is that white powder on the top of your head, and down the front of your face?” as I stand at the bottom of the stairs looking up at one of the grandchildren. The playfulness of a child, or the stupidity, I’m not sure. Anyway, no harm done. In the background I can hear a voice, “Come And Find Me” as we shift to a game of hide and seek. We search for Auntie Jenny. “I’m down here,” a voice cries out from under a play pen concealing her. Smiles, laughter and young children, welcome memories of when we played games with our own children. Bedtime… let’s just say someone got to sleep in a tent that wasn’t outside. So it’s off to Church. Everyone’s buckled in their car seat, all two grandchildren, seems like more. From the voice of a three year old, Papa’s been given the buckling procedure, and safety instruction of the child car seat. We sometimes think that our actions don’t matter, or our words aren’t heard. Don’t fool yourself. I listened, as my grandson asked why at a certain point in the service, when everyone was clapping, someone he knew wasn’t. Someone is always watching and learning from us. It’s been said that all our children and grandchildren want from us is quality time. Parents also want the same thing from their children. God is no different. He doesn’t want quantity time, He wants quality time. This thought became real to me on the ride home from church. My son was sitting in the front seat beside me, as I tried to talk to him. I could see by his facial expression that he had no clue of what I had just said. That’s when I noticed the little white headphones coming out of his ears. That’s when I noticed the conversation was one-sided. So I wonder what blocks people’s heart and Spirit from hearing God. Little ones take in everything we teach them, I want to say curiosity, but it’s much more that that. It’s almost a trust, a faith like belief, that what we are teaching them is true. And they aren’t wearing headphones. So why did God create grandchildren? Was it to show us how fast life goes by? Or was it to show and remind us to have the curiosity of a child, a faith like curiosity. Grandchildren remind us how it was to be young. They will also teach you to have a faith like a child again. There are circumstances that want to block your Spirit, that part of you that wants to connect to God’s Spirit, when all we need to do is listen. The older I get, the more I should be able to hear God’s voice. This weekend reminded me of that, and this Papa is thankful to two young boys who helped show him how to listen. ‘Papa needs a nap.’

Isaiah 7:14
14 All right then, the Lord himself will choose the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel -- 'God is with us.'


Saturday, September 24, 2011

How's Your Wood Stacked?

I get a little uneasy at times when I hear people say God spoke to me, or God told me to tell you, you should do whatever it is they tell you to do. Then I wonder why God didn’t speak directly to me. I do believe God speaks to us. For me it’s not a voice, it’s more a gentle whisper. It’s the words in a song, or something that catches my eye, and something in my spirit is moved. And if I am listening, I will hear God speak. I would like to try a give an example. A few weeks ago my wife and myself, along with four other couples, attended an anniversary dessert night. It was a night where we got to know how each one met, and when they knew that their partner was the one for them. The host showed us around their home and shared with us some of the things that made this house a home. For some reason I was drawn to the fireplace, and thought it a little odd that summer is just ending and the fireplace already had wood in it ready to be lit. At the time I didn’t think too much about what I saw till a few days after. Something was stirring in me, almost an uneasiness. It was if God had spoken to me. I didn’t hear a voice or a whisper. What it felt like was a gentle nudge. It was a question that was being asked of me. I know that God is a personal God. He will meet you where you are at. His Spirit knows no boundaries. What I believe I heard that night is, “ARE YOU READY?” What I saw was a fireplace, and in the hearth was a neatly stacked pile of wood placed carefully there, just so, by the homeowner. Ready to be lit when the cold winter comes. Officially summer has just ended. Fire season and cold winter nights are somewhere off in the future, but winter is coming. Personally for me, it’s coming as I watch my dear mother waste away, and I feel I need to be ready for that day when we say our final goodbye. Winter is coming for us all, life is full of surprises and we all need to be ready, so that we are not caught off guard. Sometimes I hear people complain, or worse, they don’t even speak to their parents. I think, how sad. As I get ready for that final day, when I say goodbye to my mom, I am always thankful for God’s gentle whisper. There are many things in life we need to be ready for, so my mind wonders, how is your wood stacked in your fireplace, and are you ready for winter?
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Create In Me A Clean Heart

....I only know what the Lord has done for me. It’s been said that a leopard can’t change it's spots. Or once this way, always this way. You’ll never change, you will always be a… whatever. I’m so glad that I’m not a leopard. Life has often been called a road we travel on, a road that if we are not careful could take us in a direction we don’t want to go. Yesterday I got to travel a road that I traveled over 20 years ago. It was a road that took me from home to work, and as I sat in traffic around the same time of day that I would have sat so long ago, there was almost this feeling of familiarity to it. The stop and go, the merging in,the same buildings, even the sound of the train, as cars had to wait for the train to pass. As I looked, I couldn't help think that many be some of the drivers and their cars were the same. For those commuters nothing much had changed. For a brief moment I almost felt that for me nothing had changed, even though 20 years had passed. We’ve been called creatures of habit. In God's word we are told to be masters over the animals, I find it odd when people label us. I’m so glad that I’m not a leopard, that I can change. Life is tough, some of the roads are hazardous. In God's word we're told of a helper–someone to guide us. We are cautioned not to grieve God’s Spirit. We are instructed to meet with others in the faith. The road we travel may seem familiar but it’s us who change-it’s how we react when we are cut off, it’s our attitude when we're sitting in traffic too long. Sometimes we have to travel around the same problem till we get it right, or wait longer than we would like to. The road I traveled yesterday took me past where I worked so many years ago. I realized that I am not the same person. Something in my spirit reminded me that a Christian's journey is a daily journey, that the choices I make are important to God.

Genesis 1:28 (New Living Translation) 28 God blessed them and told them, "Multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters over the fish and birds and all the animals."


Monday, September 12, 2011

Take Me Back

…What A Privilege. This past summer I had the experience of a lifetime. My wife, my son, and myself flew to Finland, my wife’s parent’s homeland, and Ireland, my birthplace. Finland wasn’t at all what I had expected. Beautiful landscapes, rolling wheat fields, the people looking so healthy. While in Finland we felt a little like we were in a relay race, that we were the baton in this race, as we were passed off to different relatives. There was a prize at the end of this relay that we were unaware of. Knowing what the prize is now, and the importance for us to finish this relay, has made me wonder what relay race are you in. Our prize keeps coming to my mind every time I think of Finland. My wife who had been corresponding to her Aunt finally got to meet her. She was a petite lady who had just celebrated her 90th birthday. So-o-o sweet. As we had tea and birthday cake she reminisced to my wife about her mom as together they look at old back and white pictures. This reunion was so incredible, as I stood of to the side and watched two family members who have never met come together. I was told later that Aunt had been praying for years, hoping that one day she could meet her sister’s daughter before she died. This small woman who had raised 10 children of her own, her prayers were answered. I was so blessed to see this happen, to be able to watch as they hugged for the first time all I could do was wipe the small tear from my eye. God can do far more that we can imagine. The race you are running is important, you may not know the out come at the starting line, or the importance of finishing .So much of what we are doing in life we unknowingly are doing on faith. You don’t have to be a Christian to be doing things on faith, I believe that we all have a hope inside us that thing are going to workout. Who would have thought that a little 90 year old lady would be my prize at the end of my relay race in Finland.

Ireland … We all have roots, some good some bad. Roots nonetheless I was just a little nervous going to Ireland it had been 43 years that I had walked there. Someone once said that when you go back that far you can be disappointed in what you find. That place where we played as a child, no longer exists or we wouldn’t feel welcomed in a country that is no longer home but still holds deep feelings inside. I will be forever grateful to my cousin who showed us Ireland and some of her landmarks. But more that that showed me and thought me the importance of family. That each part is needed. This Blog was given to me as a gift for fathers day its taken some unexpected turns its helped me to realize how important each one of us is .In a funny kind of way it’s given me a voice I never thought I had and I’ve come to realize that I can never be complete as I try with Gods help to build this house. Not many people have the opportunity to travel to their birthplace with their wife and son. We’ve rediscovered family, history and culture. Every were we went we were welcomed and hugged often. There is a move of God maybe a renewing that I never new as a small boy .We were privileged to tour one new church with over 700 hundred members and growing as people are curious to know what is going on in side this new building. There is defiantly a hunger for more in Ireland.

1 Corinthians 13 (New Living Translation)
9 Now we know only a little, and even the gift of prophecy reveals little! 10 But when the end comes, these special gifts will all disappear. 11 It's like this: When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now. 13 There are three things that will endure -- faith, hope, and love -- and the greatest of these is love.

‘You can take the boy out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the man.” Author unknown.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

When I Grow Up I Wanna Be Just LIke You

Do you ever have that thought that just stays with you? Some newscasts are full of stories where relatives are arrested, two brothers, a father and son.
Or stories where an elderly person is taken away in handcuffs. And the thought comes to mind, what the children see the adults do, the child will do it more. We can only do the best with what has been given us, and if we don’t, someone else suffers.

When my wife and I give gifts to our children, we love to watch the facial expressions light up, when they open their gift. For the giver of the gift, it’s really what it’s all about. Sometimes we ask them to close their eyes really tight. Now open them. Usually a picture is taken to capture the moment.
This body we are in, is only temporary, and when we die our spirit will go up to heaven, where we will be given new bodies. I would like to think that my death is going to be like a big party celebration, where I am told not to peek, keep your eyes closed real tight, and wait till everyone is in position. O.K. now you can open them. Can you picture the expression on your face as you look around heaven at all your loved ones, the ones that went on before you. The Bible clearly tells us that heaven is a place that angels are real, that the battles we fight are in the spiritual realm, that things are going to get worse as the end gets closer.
Some have tried to predict when the end will happen, but NO man knows that for sure. It’s all there in black and white. You can read for yourself. It’s like having to do your homework for yourself, and not getting your girlfriend or wife to do it for you. Remember when you were in school and you were given an assignment that you were interested in? You put an effort into learning the assignment, you studied, you had the answers, you were confident, and when class started you were excited. There was a kind of peace that was inside you.
And when the teacher asked a question, you were ready with the answer. Jesus is our teacher. We will be held accountable for what we have done with the time we have been given. We Christians, myself included, get so caught up trying to figure out what we have to offer, what our so called gifts are, that we give confusion in us time to steal moments. When all we are called to do is be the best husband, best wife, best person, and not get so caught up in that other stuff.
Do you remember a show called, ‘Welcome Back Kotter?’ The show was set in a classroom. There was this one student, his name was Arnold Horshack, and whenever Mr Kotter, the teacher, would ask a question, Horshack in excitement would raise his hand straight up, popping out of his seat, and would yell “ooh ooh oooh!” As to say “Mr Kotter, please ask me, I have the answer.” When I am asked the question, how I did as a Dad, I want to be able to raise my hand straight up, as I pop out of my seat in excitement yelling, “ooh oooh ooooh! I have the answer.” I want to be able to say I did the very best with what you gave me.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

If You Search For Me

….. There’s this old Gospel song that comes to mind, “We Call On Him,” and I wonder why for some people they only cry out for comfort, and pray as a last resort. My Mom once said, I raised you and someone else gets to have you. There are lessons all around us. Spiritual lessons, I like to call them. Lessons the Holy Spirit gives us, just because. Sometimes I just shake my head and cry. Let me try to explain. At church I usually sit in the same area, usually in the middle section close to the back. That way when my son walks in with his young family, I get to look at them, and get a hug. This past Sunday when they came to church they just walked by, and I missed the hug, and the smile, and the strong embrace. I hadn’t changed seats, or moved to a different location. Maybe he didn’t see me, or he needed to take care of his young family. It wasn’t long till he was standing right beside me, all 6ft.2in. of him, with his smile and strong embrace. And I marveled at this life, as parents, we raised. People seem to have no need for God in the so called good times, and they just walk right past him, but when trouble comes they cry out, “Lord Help!” God doesn’t change seats. He is always there waiting for us to come to Him. He is the same yesterday, today and forever, and he is waiting for us to move close to Him. He is a God of love, and will not force his way into your life, if you don’t invite Him in. Many years ago, I was 18 at the time, someone who cared for me very much, my girlfriend at the time, now my wife, gave me a Bible to read. I had grown up in a Christian home. We celebrated all the holidays- Christmas, Easter, went to mass on Sunday. Even though I did all the required things, it wasn’t till I started to read the Bible and experience how timeless and true are it’s words. I am so thankful that my parents tried to teach me about the holiness of God. Each one of us can hear God speak, there is a move in our spirit that wants to shift to the things that please God. As a young man of 18, I read this verse in Romans. It was about the inner struggles of man, the inner struggle of one’s spirit, and as I was reading the words I couldn’t believe that someone else in a different time was battling with their own inner feelings. It was almost like I had written the very words I was reading. Here it’s almost 40 years later, and now, these feelings have turned into emotions, as I watch my dear mom battling old age, and dementia, a disease that robs a person of their spirit, memory and will to live. I don’t know if it’s that way for other people with this disease, but it is for my mom.
I have gone through some of the things that life brings, marriage, births, loss of love ones, loss of jobs, little ones growing up around me, now raising their own family.
Once again, I find myself reading from Romans. As I struggle with the emotion and pain, as my dear Mom loses her memory of me, I somehow feel that I have been given a way out, and oddly enough, my prayer is a prayer of thanks. I have to hang onto the hope that was planted in me at an early age, that even death can’t separate us from the love of God. There is something so strong fighting inside us telling us lies, trying to confuse us, trying to make us believe that we are beyond God’s love. When all we need to do is be still and know that God is God, and one day I will see my Mom in her new body in Heaven. Some days my Mom doesn’t even remember my name, but she usually finishes our visits by saying, “God Bless,” because in her spirit, there is still some fight left in this Spirited Irish Lady.

Romans 8:38-39 (New Living Translation)

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels can't, and the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can't keep God's love away. 39 Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

LOG-ON P.S. we love you Mom

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Conflict of Interest

....I haven’t given much thought to log house construction lately. My thoughts are if my dreams can’t come true maybe I can help someone else’s dream happen. As I am learning to let go of some of my dreams, and reflect back, I’m also thankful that I am not where I used to be and with that said, I’m not where I want to be. I only know one thing, the privilege of where I am, is a gift –a gift of grace and a gift of hope. Sometimes we can allow negative thinking to do it’s thing. It’s almost as if we allow our armor to be penetrated. If you have been reading your Bible, you will remember that we are cautioned about evil, and the need to wear all the armor that is at our disposal. Evil is like that sin or weed waiting to germinate, wanting to take root in your life and kill all the good that is growing in you.

Philippians 4:8 (New Living Translation. 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Completion Date

…This seems odd to be talking about the building permit so late in the construction stage. This month I will be celebrating another year that I have been under construction. Yes it’s my birthday, but sometimes we don’t know the true value of something till we meditate on it. Oddly enough that’s what I have been doing, as I have been constructing and learning to go deeper, examining my heart. Every new building needs to submit a blueprint to city hall for approval, before construction can start. I am so thankful when I answered that altar call many years ago. It was as if I was submitting my blueprints, that every inch of my life was exposed. Every room, every closet, was open for examination. What the evil one brings to harm, the Holy Spirit turns it around for our good. As a little boy growing up going to church, I was taught that the evil in me sits on my shoulder whispering in my ear, prompting me that its o.k., you can get away with it, no one is going to know. That’s a lie because I know. So if I know shouldn’t I also know that God knows? As my dad would say, sometimes we are our own worst enemy. If you are still reading I know that there has been a good work started in you. Don’t quit, don’t give up hope.

Ephesians 4:25-32 (New Living Translation)
25 So put away all falsehood and "tell your neighbor the truth" because we belong to each other. 26 And "don't sin by letting anger gain control over you." Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil. 28 If you are a thief, stop stealing. Begin using your hands for honest work, and then give generously to others in need. 29 Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. 30 And do not bring sorrow to God's Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he is the one who has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Most log homes fall into the category of one of a kind, custom made, and for this reason need a special seal that is obtained from a structural engineer. I believe there is a special seal on each one of us. Years ago when we built our first house, we were able to move in before final occupancy was granted. This allowed us the time we needed to complete some of the unfinished details, and the privilege to live in the house before final occupancy was granted. In God’s word, our Bible, we are taught that we will never be complete till we are in our true home Heaven, that this earth is a temporary thing, and this will all pass. I have been asked many times will I ever build that log house for real? We all have things we would like to do, big dreams we would love to see come to reality. I have seen glimpses of the possibility of this happening, and my hope is that I will. I know that’s not an exact answer, but it’s the best I can say. I do believe we need to keep moving forward toward our dreams in the hope that one day the impossible becomes the possible. I also believe if you grieve the Holy Spirit you aren’t doing you self any favors. Our manual (the Bible) was written to teach, not to condemn and that God does care about whatever we are going through.

Ephesians 1:13
13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation -having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,

Titus 3:5 NLT
He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins and gave us a new life through the Holy Spirit.

As I am struggling with my thoughts, with the words I want to write, there is this cry inside of me to be able to express as clearly as I can that God is an awesome God. No one going to make you follow after the things that please Him, your spirit is going to have to want it. God’s Holy Spirit will not force any wrong on you. It’s not possible. In the Bible Jesus says, “Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest.” Are you one of the all? I know I am. My prayer is that you think about your actions and remember what love is.—LOG - ON

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What Kind of House Are You Building ?

…I’m one of those morning type people,
usually when I wake up I have a thought that I feel I need to build on. My thoughts these last few mornings have been on Sin and how it relates to this house. We all like to have nice furniture, things that will make our home comfortable and if you could listen to the decor it would tell you about the people who live there. There comes a time when you have
to decide what kind of home you want, what it will be furnished with even down to the smallest detail, like the pictures on the wall. What we take in through our eyes (what we look at ) to what we take in through our mouth, brain and yes heart. There that word again I’ve tried to run from. Some doorways are so banged up because the owner tries to bring in the wrong size furniture and in the process cause damage to the entranceway. Sometimes the owner picks up pieces that don’t add to the overall style or character that they are trying to create. When I picture a log home I visualize a great room, massive logs and a roaring fire sitting in a hearth surrounded by river rock. You could almost sense the unity to the home as you walk through each room. Sometimes in our life we can pick up things, wrong thoughts doubt, resentment, unforgiveness, failour, almost a woo is me mentality and in bringing these things in, we damage the doorframe. These things can build up to a point were we have a battle on our hands till we have to force these thing out. We are told to hide His word in our heart for a reason, for when we feel beat up you could have something to hold on to. Up to this point building the log house and examining myself has for the most part been fun so I am feeling as I share my thoughts just a little exposed. Sin can you feel the power this little word carries? Love a word with only one more letter covers all, relay what more can you add to that.
Deuteronomy 7:9
Understand, therefore, that the LORD your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and constantly loves those who love him and obey his commands. 

Ephesians 6:8-18 A final word: Be strong with the Lord's mighty power. 11 Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. 12 For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms. 13 Use every piece of God's armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere. My sincere prayer is that you don’t go weary and get a cold heart and give up. Log-On

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Custom Plan One Of A Kind

…My thought here is not to give the wrong impression. I grew up in a loving home with two parents, and two sisters that I love dearly. I have many, many, fond memories of a great childhood. Most of my Christian life I have felt that, I'm not too sure of the correct word to use here, so I'm going to use a quote from Paul’s letters in Romans...Romans 7: 24-25. 24 I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question? 25 The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different. (The Message)
We are called as Christians, as believers to put off those things that hold us back. That each one of us is important, that we have something to contribute. So many people get caught up looking for their gift, that I think they don’t realize that they are the gift. I don’t mean that in a puffed up kind of way. We are made unique, one of a kind. If you really want to get down to it we are made in God's image. Intimacy with God to me is such a strange concept, but this is becoming more and more real to me as I am still learning to hear His voice for myself. I know in my heart someone will read this, let me assure you God loves you, He cares for you. There is a will in your spirit, it's a battle, it's you telling you lies. Lies that you messed up again. Lies that you are not a very nice person. Lies to bring you down, to draw you away from the goodness of God's Holy Spirit that is in each one of us. You are not alone. Everyone who walks this earth will have battles, but you can have victory. Are you at the end of your rope, do you feel that you have reached bottom? My heart is sad because of your pain, but I think you know what you have to do.
As I stand back and look at the log house, a tear comes to my eye. I shake my head, I think that I have come so far. Things are starting to take shape. I’ve had to go back and redo some stuff. Some of my choices I’ve had to rethink, I’ve had to ask for help at different stages of construction, and advice when I wasn’t sure of a product. But I am happy with the overall look.
Romans 16: 16-18. Hardly. You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it's your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you've let sin tell you what to do. 17 But thank God you've started listening to a new master, 18 one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom! (The Message)
Are you happy with the house you are building? Log-On

Monday, April 4, 2011

Daughters Of Day

…There’s always going to be lots of choices pulling at you. Offers of trips overseas, which career path to take, who you will marry, or do you follow your dream? Decisions! Decisions we make, so many in a day that we don’t even realize it, but somehow we get through the day. Sometimes we go through dark days, lost jobs, unspoken bitterness, or unforgiveness, an elderly parent not remembering your name. It’s been said that time heals. As I look back on my own past, I recognized some of the healing that has taken place. Most importantly the hugs I get from my mom even if she doesn’t remember my name, forgiveness, old dreams reignited. In my thoughts I am reminded that love is the strength that binds us together. We don’t realize it, but love can be disguised as many things. It’s come in the encouragement I got from my wife when I lost my job, and supported me in my career choices. It’s come in times when I had to reach out and make things right. It’s come in the familiar voices of my sisters. And in hearing their voice, I am reminded that we are still family. Have you ever taken a romantic moonlight walk and looked at the stars? I got to do just that this past week with my wife, son, nephew and two nieces as we walked along the beach on the Sunshine Coast. There was a peace, almost a party atmosphere, as we walked in the darkness, knowing the night will pass because it has no other choice. You may be going through darkness, some of those things that life has a way of throwing at us. The Bible encourages us to seek council, to stand back to back, to worship, to wear armor, to do all this when the darkness comes. So that we would be still standing when the darkness passes.

1 Thessalonians 5 :4-8 4 But friends, you're not in the dark, so how could you be taken off guard by any of this? 5 You're sons of Light, daughters of Day. We live under wide open skies and know where we stand. 6 So let's not sleepwalk through life like those others. Let's keep our eyes open and be smart. 7 People sleep at night and get drunk at night. 8 But not us! Since we're creatures of Day, let's act like it. Walk out into the daylight sober, dressed up in faith, love, and the hope of salvation

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Love Covers All

....One picture is worth a thousand words. Love what an awesome little word. Love covers a multitude. There’s that place where we would love to travel to, that special piece of clothing we love to wear. Some have a favorite color they love. Or they might say, "I love that color on you, it brings out the color in your eyes." I believe that the Lord speaks to us through scriptures, through nature, through song and especially through people, if we have the ears to listen. Spiritual ears. Have you ever been side swiped, not in a car, but by a question? I’ll get back to this thought later. Sunday night, my wife and myself attended a worship service. What a blessing that was. There were only a handful of young people in worship, no message, just closed eyes praising God. In Love with their creator. It’s not that often as an older generation worshiper I get an invitation to sit in on a junior youth worship service and reignite something in my own spirit. Let me encourage you when the invitation presents itself again, you accept it. So midway through the week our church junior youth service was open to all ages, and once again I saw a generation in worship, in love. There was a freedom that was present at both services. (Almost like a first love) Those of us that have been married for some time, I am sure you can remember your first date. How, when you had to walk up the pathway and knock on your sweethearts door. If you were like me your heart was racing and beating so loud that you would think the people around you could here it. You were probably really nervous. Right? When you were first in Love you were so full of ... let's call it faith. If you were like me, you had some pretty big decisions to make. I'm not sure why those decisions as big as they were came easy. So why do the little decisions so much later on in life take so long to decide? Do you ever just sit and shake your head and ask yourself what was I thinking? Every once in a while you will be given a gift, and if your heart and your ears are listening you will receive the gift. My gift came when an elderly couple from my church shared with me the love that I could see in them for each other. What a privilege, to be invited into their life, as they held hands. My sideswipe question came form my mom. She wanted to know if I still love my wife the way I used to? After 33 years together, my nerves have subsided a little, but my heart still beats loud. We’ve become more one, we’ve raised a family and lived a life together. Yes. Sometimes the older we get, the smaller our step. This could be a physical step or a spiritual step, either way you have to take it. Sometimes a little reminder of the goodness of God, the faithfulness of God, is just the reminder we need. We can get side swiped in more ways than one. Satan wants to take you out. He loves to attack families. His main goal is to confuse you, take you off track, and trip you up.
1 Peter 5:8 Be alert, be on watch! Your enemy, the Devil, roams around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
Proverbs 24:13-16 13 Eat honey, dear child - it's good for you - and delicacies that melt in your mouth. 14 Likewise knowledge, and wisdom for your soul - Get that and your future's secured, your hope is on solid rock. 15 Don't interfere with good people's lives; don't try to get the best of them. 16 No matter how many times you trip them up, God-loyal people don't stay down long; Soon they're up on their feet, while the wicked end up flat on their faces. Log-ON

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pivotal Moments

PIVOTAL MOMENTS … We all have them: our birth, our school years, our teen years… to finding that someone that completes us, learning together how to raise a family, to sitting with an aging parent. I’ve had to realize that I’m getting older; something that I don’t like to admit to, but have no control over. When did the roles change? I can remember as a young boy going for a Sunday drive with my family, and my Grandad, my dad’s father. My dad would drive, with his dad sitting in the front passenger seat beside him, and the rest of the family would be in the back. That would be my mom, two sisters, myself of course, and on special occasions my mom’s mom, my grandmother. Just so you get the picture, we owned mini cooper, a Mr. Bean type car only ours was a station wagon. My Grandad, was in my eyes, an old Irish gentleman. He was a small frame of a man. He always wore a suit and tie, and a rimmed hat. He smoked a pipe that he was forever lighting with long wooden matches. He was a widower from the time I knew him. It’s funny some of the things we remember. I also remember seeing him kneeling beside his bed praying. I think I know now what he must have been praying for. This past Sunday my pivotal moment came. I was the grandad in the front passenger seat beside my son, while the rest of my family sat in the back. For the first time, I realized the roles have changed, and I am getting older. Oddly enough we were going to visit my mom. Her role has changed, and she is now more dependent on me, at this stage in her life. Heritage or history, whatever we call it, we all have one. There are times in my own history that I’m not proud of. There are also times that amaze me. Being blessed with a good wife, raising 3 kids. Bringing the little ones home from the hospital, really we didn’t even know what to expect. Now these same little ones are seeking a career, flying to exotic places, and raising little ones of their own. History starts in your own home. I believe if we change a generation, we will change history. Legacy is connected through generations, and you can change your family’s history, and leave a lasting legacy. Whatever way you want to say it: season, time, road traveled, it all comes down to the same thing-a place in your life. You have a choice daily. You can change history, and in doing so, you will leave a legacy that will last forever. Inheritance-this is the big one. What do you inherit from past history? Or if you’re still alive, what are your actions doing to your history, and what outcome will they have on your legacy? Little things impact us more than the big stuff. My Grandad kneeling beside his bed praying, the importance of a Grandmother taking her grandaughter to church, my own mom as she hugs me goodbye, saying God Bless. Inheritances: it’s not about the material stuff, it’s about the love and care, it’s about the things of the spirit. This next part is taken from the Bible. Believers all over the world and throughout time have found peace and rest for their spirit in the words written in these pages. The time is a different time, the place is a different place, the names may not be yours but they could be. I believe our spirit longs for something more, I also believe through time, history and generations we are still connected.
2 Timothy 1, 2:7
2 It is written to Timothy, my dear son. May God our Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace. 3 Timothy, I thank God for you. He is the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did. Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again. 5 I know that you sincerely trust the Lord, for you have the faith of your mother, Eunice, and your grandmother, Lois. 6 This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
Log- On

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Banana Story

...Planting bananas is a little like planting seeds; one never really knows what will grow. Let me explain. Several months ago I had to go the grocery store. Standing in the doorway was a beggar asking for spare change. I know better than to give money, so I told the person I would buy him some food. I wasn’t too sure what to buy; so I picked up chocolate milk, a cheese bun, and I figured some fruit, a banana. My intention was to hand my purchase over to the person on my way out, and I say, “ your welcome”. To my surprise when I went to find that person he was gone, nowhere in sight. I was a little ticked off. You see, I thought we had an agreement. I had wasted time and money on something I didn’t need to buy. Something else happened that day. We often pass by people in need, and I know we feel more compassion in us to help; why we don’t, is anybody’s guess. I grew up in a time when giving up your seat to an elderly person on the bus was just the way it was; or holding the door was the gentlemanly thing to do. Being polite, saying please and thank you was a sign of a good up bringing. That day I decided to buy food for someone in need has thought me a lesson in listening, in obedience. Sure the man was gone. It’s not so much in the giving, it’s more in the willingness to listen. At home I had some explaining to do. I don’t normally buy chocolate milk, so everyone who looked in the fridge asked, “Why do we have chocolate milk in our fridge?”
The other morning my wife tells me she has been buying something extra for that needy person standing in the doorway of our local grocery store. I was so surprised, and proud, when my son told me he gave some fruit from his lunch, to a homeless man in the park. Out of my obedience, I was the one who was blessed. Somehow my little act of kindness has moved other members in my family to listen to that voice. So you see when you plant seeds of kindness, of giving, of helps, of compassion; even if the seeds are disguised as bananas, who knows what will grow? Log-On

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Stay Connected

So who you talk’n to? You. Who you talk’n to? You!... Simpler times. The good old days. I think one of the reasons I like log homes is the feeling I get of a simpler time. A time when people were more connected to each other, and the land. I enjoy technology as much as the next person, but really hasn’t it gone too far, and gotten out of control? Let me explain. One day while traveling on the ferry to the Sunshine Coast, as I was walking down the aisle looking for a place to sit, a lady was walking towards me. She was on her cell phone. As I was looking for a seat, all I could see were people on their I- pods, or playing small handheld video games. I started to think,“Don’t people interact with each other anymore?” Just as I was having this thought, a lady came around the corner. No lie, she was texting. I have also noticed walking down the street, two girls and a guy, and both the girls are texting someone. That old song comes to mind, ‘Love the one you’re with.’ I grew up in Ireland, and as a young boy I can remember being the first one on my street to have a T.V. Back then T.V. came on only in the evenings, with a choice of two stations. Now we have so many stations 24-7, that we can’t even make up our minds what to watch. My own mother, she’s a great grandmother, asked me, when did the cartoons on T.V. get so bad that she can’t sit down and watch them with her grandchildren. Some people have the idea that some cartoons are for adults and not children. How’s a child going to know the difference? Most of us will remember when Elvis’ hip moving was censored, and thought to be too sexy when he performed on the Ed Sullivan Show, so he was filmed from the waist up. What’s happened and how did we get this far off course? Back in the sixties and seventies when the music industry was exploding, and most of the popular bands of the day came out of England, the media called it The British Invasion. Songs like,‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ by the Beatles, or In North America the Turtles sang, ‘Happy Together’, while the Beach Boys sang of ‘the Little Old Lady from Pasadena’, songs that made you feel happy. So when did the lyrics in song get so bad that now we need a rating system for content. One day while I was out for a walk, a car passes by with the windows down, you could feel the vibrations as the music came pumping out. Gangster rap, with lyrics that would embarrass a Gangster. Critics refer to the f word in entertainment as the f bomb. Kind of makes you think that we are in some kind of war, maybe even an invasion. I understand that we all want free choice, free to watch what we want, free to read what we want. I believe free choices come with a cost, and I think the cost we are paying for this freedom is too high. So what happened and how did we get so far off course? We’ve all heard sayings, or read something that makes you think. I had a poster once that read, ‘Earth this is God speaking. You have till the end of the month. I have a client who is interested in the property.’ Or you have read that bumper sticker, ‘Slow down the world, I want to get off.’ Have you ever felt that things were going too fast? We all have feel good memories, memories that you need to revisit every once in a while. My own Dad got so much pleasure making homemade apple pie, and his favorite, steak and kidney pie. When was the last time you peeled some apples, and made a pie? As my heart struggles for a simpler time, the good old days, I am reminded, for this generation, these are the good old days. As my spirit is feeling a little uneasy, my wife showed me a picture. She wanted to know what frame it looked better in. It was a picture of a little boy reading his Bible. In the background were newspaper headlines of war and the troubles all around him. To my surprise the picture was called ‘Peace amid the storm.’ All these thoughts of a simpler time, of reflecting, remembering my own Dad, has given me a hunger for some home made apple pie. My hope is that we all do something that will bring back some good memories, and give us a Spirit that is thankful. I think, maybe I have a pie to bake. Log-On
Psalm 106:1 NLT
Praise the LORD! Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.

Each one off us want to feel that what we do has value, that we get some kind off recognition. It could be a pay cheque or it could be a hug or a simple word of encouragement. My sign of encouragement came one night when I found an apple pie on my kitchen table. Funny thing was the person who left the pie hadn’t read this Blog yet and unknowingly encouraged me. So I would like to say to that person VINAKA VAKA LEVU