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.