Archive for September, 2006

To page this person press 5

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

I've listened to that automated announcement prior to leaving a message and thought "why would I page them if I'm leaving a message?" And if I'm leaving the message on a cell phone don't they have my number in their caller id? Why would I enter it again, I can rarely remember it myself.

I guess you could doubly bug them with a message and a page.

Or, maybe a page is much more intriguing. You leave a message and tell them why you're calling but a page makes them wonder. It makes them want to call you to find out what you had to say.

Someone may get a page from me soon… 

Storm or potter’s wheel

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

The other night I was thinking, over coffee this time not while mowing the yard. Mostly I was thinking about how people often describe their trials as storms. I look back at my life and think, "I've been through some big ones." Then, the weather man came on and said something like notice this circular motion forming this tropical storm. I began to think about the circular motion and God and then it hit me, "what if the storms are simply God putting us on His potter's wheel." Storms are often uncontrollable but there is a sense of plan in the wheel. 

I know God uses lots of things to shape us and I don't want to minimize someone's storm. But how often is what we call a storm simply not getting what we want. I'll be the first to admit my own selfishness. James says something similar in his epistle about our desires causing the problems.  

Maybe instead we could see ourselves spinning on God's wheel. We need to yield, bend, bow to his firm, gentle pressure. He's in control and has a picture in His mind of what He's making but the spinning is disorienting and difficult. Instead of moldable we're often dry and hardened, fixed on what we want. Oh, to be refreshed and in His hands. 

In our leader's guide there is a picture of a potter's wheel and the potter's hands. Wow, were they dirty! God gets right in there with us, molding the raw materials of our hearts. It's messy business but God loves His work. He doesn't stand far off and just shout to/at us. He loved enough to send His one of a kind Son to redeem you and me.

So much for thinking.

Statistically Improbable Phrases or SIPs

Monday, September 18th, 2006

That is an actual category found on Amazon's web site when you are searching for a book. If it is a book that has the "search inside" feature then a computer somewhere tallied up phrases and compared them with books of similar subjects and gave them this elevated status. Go ahead, find your favorite book or author, click on a book with the "search inside" logo and then scroll down.  

As I read books I highlight and then go back to remember what was highlighted. Usually what I've highlighted is something that struck me as true or obvious, maybe something I could work on or that the church should be more like. Most likely it is the way the author crafted it that projects a sense of power because it is especially descriptive or pointedly personal. 

One phrase that recently caught my attention is "negative inertia." It is in a book by Andy Stanley, Louder than Words. The phrase refers to our human tendency to coast rather than work our way upstream in the area of our personal character. Often we live like we've arrived and no longer need to work on our morality. But that is not the case because the negative inertia of that thinking causes us to go with the flow down the drain.  

The Bible is filled with statistically improbable phrases, too. I have chosen you…forgiveness of sins…eternal life… But instead of me blogging about them, add your own here in the comments…

Smoking in scrubs

Friday, September 8th, 2006

Just a weird sight the other day. As I left the hospital after making a visit I drove past a group of 6-7 people all sitting around smoking. Not that unusual, but they were all wearing hospital scrubs. I'm not sure if they were doctors or nurses or techs but it was really odd seeing people in the health care industry – smoking.

I'm sure some people get the same feeling seeing Christians out doing odd things, too.

Are we there yet?

Tuesday, September 5th, 2006

Why is that question so frustrating to parents? Is it the frequency that it is asked? Is it that you seemed to have answered it 3 minutes ago? Do they really forget that they have already asked that same question 14 times? Or, do they forget the answer because they weren't listening? (I'm not going to go there)

We were on the road for an hour long trip to the cousin's house in League City when that very question became the most asked question of the trip. As we merged onto I-45 in Spring a voice in the back of the mini-van asked, "how long is it going to be?" Then, at the Beltway, "how much longer?" Then at loop 610, "are we there yet?" Once again, as we started pointing out the "cool" skyline of downtown, "is this going to be a long trip?" Thankfully, I couldn't get my hands on anyone and stopping the car at this point would only prolong the misery but I wanted to say, "don't make me stop this car." Finally, we (Kendra and I) made everyone agree not to ask that question anymore so I wouldn't cause any bodily harm.

In the quietness that followed (for about 5 minutes) I thought about the question. I know that a child's attention span is quite short and that they don't comprehend time the way adults do. Even with the technology of in-the-vehicle video they can get bored so that the time it takes on the way is miserable because there is such excitement for the end of the journey. It then struck me, "does God ever wonder why I ask the same questions, especially those about time and timing?" And, "is my attention span so spiritually short that I forget who is in control?" Also, selfishly, "What about when I want to be there and I'm not?"

God and time are two interesting thoughts. God is so personal and yet not bound by time. Time is an impersonal measure of an action or condition. However, God has and does work in time for his children and their future. In Jesus God stepped into time to change eternity. So, God has it worked out, which we don't always see, in a way that reminds us that He is omniscient and that we/I can trust Him with our life-time

What if we "cause" our kids to ask that and other insane questions by our own lack of understanding of God-time. Hmmm. The silence was broken by, "I hope we get there soon" and I smiled as I thought about when we will get there and, I believe it will be soon.