Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Quoting Nouwen

Henri Nouwen, from his book Wounded Healer, wrote that a minister's service "will not be perceived as authentic unless it comes from a heart wounded by the suffering about which he speaks . . . The great illusion of leadership is to think that others can be led out of the desert by someone who has never been there."

Congratulations to two Mesquite schools for making it to the State Quarterfinal championship: Mesquite Horn in 5A and Mesquite Poteet in 4A. My son Josh led Poteet further into the playoffs than any team other than this years (I just had to work that in).

But help me figure this out: Horn is playing Longview in the TEXAS Quarterfinal game. And where will this game be played? Shreveport, Louisiana! Huh?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful in All Things

"always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 5: 20)

I find myself again so grateful to Sara Young from her daily devotional Jesus Calling. Following is today's entry (Remember, she writes this as if it is Jesus speaking to the reader):

Thankfulness takes the sting out of adversity. That is why I have instructed you to give thanks for everything. There is an element of mystery in this transaction: You give Me thanks (regardless of your feelings), and I give you Joy (regardless of your circumstances). This is a spiritual act of obedience -- at times, blind obedience. To people who don't know Me intimately, it can seem irrational and even impossible to thank Me for heartrending hardships. Nonetheless, those who obey Me in this way are invariably blessed, even though difficulties may remain.

Thankfulness opens your heart to My Presence and your mind to My thoughts. You may still be in the same place, with the same set of circumstances, but it is as if a light has been switched on, enabling you to see from My perspective. It is this Light of My Presence that removes the sting from adversity.

Congratulations to Josh Hamilton for winning MVP! Gil LeBreton has an excellent article in today's Star Telegram about Josh's priorities. Quite a testimony.

I pray that you may have a Thanksgiving filled with peace and the presence of God.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I'll Praise You in the Storm

9 months. Oh, God -- the pain is still SO intense.

How have I missed this truth from Scripture for so long? The peace and joy of the Lord, and intimacy of relationship, come through the door of a thankful heart. And even in the valley of the shadow of death, a Christ-follower has reason to be thankful.

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.
Habakkuk 3: 17-19

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving season!

Monday, November 15, 2010

My Blog Status

Even though I have few comments on this blog, I have had so many people encourage me to continue blogging. As a result, I feel somewhat obligated to blog regularly.

However, for the last few weeks I just can't think of anything "blog-worthy." I'm kind of going through a blog desert right now.

So hang with me, those of you who have been encouragers. I'm not saying I am hanging up my blog. Rather, I will blog "as the spirit moves me." That may mean another blog tomorrow. Or it may mean it will be a couple of weeks.

I would ask that you keep my family in your prayers over this holiday season.

Blessings and peace.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Practicing His Presence

Beverly received a gift a couple of weeks ago. It is a daily devotional book entitled Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young. She writes it from God's perspective in the 1st person, and yet it is really as if God is speaking Scripture to us. It is basically about practicing His presence and finding peace. So far every day has spoken right to me. I find myself looking forward to reading it each morning. In fact, I usually read it, look up the accompanying Scriptures -- and then read it again.

Practice His presence today! Peace.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Praising God's Faithfulness

My family is so thankful for the way in which God is working in us through this most difficult of times. Since Jenny died, David has been pursuing some way he can get more on Malaya's school schedule. His business required him to work 60+ hours a week -- impossible with his new responsibilities. So this summer he obtained a teaching certificate that would qualify him to teach math. He had decided he would sub for a while, and then apply for any job openings.

Well, today he begins a FULL-TIME teaching job! He has been hired to teach 8th grade math. And get this: he is teaching at Malaya's school!

How incredible is that!

Our faithful Father can take even the worst situation and bring good out of it.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Keeping THE Kingdom Perspective

I used to listen to Limbaugh and Hannity when I would be going here or there in my car. When I made the decision to stop listening to this kind of stuff, it is amazing how much more at peace I felt about things. They (and others) seemed to keep me in a constant state of nervousness and unsettledness.

So I really appreciate and relate to the following words from Jeff Christian, as quoted by Edward Fudge:

"I said a prayer this morning (Tuesday, Nov. 2) thanking God that the political ads come to an end today. Personally, I DVR everything now and no longer watch commercials. Especially during seasons like this, however, I avoid them at all costs. In my humble opinion, no greater damage is being done to our contemporary culture than the colossal mind-numbing brainwash we volunteer for at the hands of political ads and 24-hour 'news.' It's just mean.

"Two years ago for Lent I decided to give up watching the news. I still stay informed through online newspapers, but that's about it. I learned a while back that I really do not need someone coaching me on what I need to fear. I have also come to learn that elections come and go, not that much ever really changes, and that the world got a lot simpler to me, not to mention less scary, when I embraced faith in an eternity that is not bound by what people name with venomous anger as all these clear and present dangers." -- Jeff Christian, "Fearlessness Restored," The Empty Pulpit (02 Nov. 2010).

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


I like what Rick Atchley posted on Twitter this morning: "Thankful for a nation where we choose our rulers. Even more thankful for a kingdom where the Ruler choses us!"


It must be awfully frustrating to be a politician today. If you want to serve the people, which way do you go? Only two years ago, the people seemed to be for health care and government help in getting us out of the "great recession." Now there has been a flip-flop. So, if you listened to your constituency and voted for those things two years ago, you probably got voted out yesterday (unless your name is Harry Reid).

I'm not trying to make a political statement one way or the other. It has simply served to remind me of the fickle nature of people in general.

Jesus put it this way (Luke 7: 31-32): "To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other: 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.'"

Monday, November 01, 2010

Asking for Prayer Coverage

Today is my son-in-law David's birthday. I know this is going to be a difficult day for him, so I am asking you to remember him in your prayers.

Is the Giant's pitching THAT good? Or have the Ranger bats gone into cold storage?

Practice the conspiracy of kindness this week.