Monday, January 30, 2012

Jesus Doesn't Own a Rolex

A few years ago the thought of Jesus wearing a Rolex was put into song and created quite a stir. The thought I had was, even if Jesus had a Rolex he wouldn't wear it. Why would Jesus flaunt such a symbol. Now I know that Jesus could care less about a Rolex or a Timex. Remember the old Timex commercials? The watch got run over, dropped into a lake, put on the prop of a boat motor, and always came out ticking. Some days I think that keeping time is a cruel way for humans to mark events and experiences. We watch the clock, the traffic light, the microwave, the alarm clock and every other device that dictates our lives.

I think that for the most part, God could care less about all of the ways we try to keep and dictate time. Now tell me, how big of a deal can Big Ben really be when the scripture reveals His thought about the calender? Remember these words in the bible, With the Lord, one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day. With a view of time like that, is all of our stressing and fussing about the clock really gonna make a difference?

For ten years Donna and I waited to fulfill our calling to the mission field. Add to that the four years prior, when we first sensed that God wanted us to serve outside of the states. After our ordination we waited and kept our administration informed our our desire. Year after year we were told to be patient and wait. At times we thought that God just wanted us to be available and possibly never go. Ten years seemed like a long time.

The day came when I was holding a letter from Zambia. A trusted friend and leader in our denomination was requesting us to come to Zambia. The Hand of God was involved in the sending of the letter, our arrival in Zambia and the birth of a baby girl.

For me it is hard to understand how God keeps time. His presence transcends every watch and clock and history book.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Light Brings Clarity

I was able to spend about twenty minutes in the woods today. Donna took Knox for a walk in the nature area on the outskirts of town. As she walked her rodent sniffing Terrier I sat in the truck and watched and listened. There were a few tracks left by the deer and rabbits. Sitting in the truck I was able to take in and appreciate all of the differences I saw in form and texture. The area is filled with old growth trees, each one unique in its own way. With dim light I would only be able to tell you that I was parked in the midst of a grove of trees, guessing at what type they might be. In the clear sunlight I could identify each tree by looking at the bark and form of the tree. I was surrounded by Oak, Ash, Beech Nut, Maple and Walnut, some reaching close to a hundred feet into the sky.

Light brings us to true identity. I can reach my true identity as I walk in fellowship with God. It is His illumination that brings clarity to my life and vision. Without that illumination I have mere existence, I live and move and make decisions without clarity of thought or vision.  As I live in the power of illumination I grow and change. I understand my place in the world and in the divine order placed upon it. As I desire to continue walking in His light I can rest assured that I will be given more light and so, more illumination in my life. Ultimately, walking on this earth in His light will lead me to my final light experience, His presence.

Since my few minutes in the woods I have come to look at community in a new light. Community is vital for the church to survive. With growing community will come growing life and the life will multiply. I need to look at members in my faith community with the clarity in which I could distinguish every tree in the grove. Because I have dealt with community life for such a long time it has become to easy for me to look at the trees and see what needs to be pruned away, or what is disfigured. Some trees I'm easily drawn to their beauty or majesty. As a woodworker my eyes are easily drawn to a vision of logs, boards, knots and the absolute beauty of oiled Oak or Beech Wood.

My desire needs to be, that I would understand the beauty in my community and how God has placed us together in relationship to each other and Him. Jesus told us that the world would recognize us as His disciples by the way in which we loved each other. So, I guess for me, I need to look at a few trees in my community a bit differently. There are a couple of trees that seemed to be stuck in the swamp, of their own muck and dirt. If I get close to those trees I'm sure I will see the beauty and their place in my community.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sorry- I'm in a slump

Sorry- a very over used, almost abused word. But, I am. I guess I have been too consumed with the small details of publishing my book that I have taken the time to listen and ponder. The blog will continue and I will post pretty soon.