Friday, January 16, 2009

Connected. Disconnected?

Wow.  Another post just a few days after the previous one instead of a month later.  

Well, we're still waiting on the Lord to send the right person to take over the lease of the house on Capitol Hill.  I hope they pray.  Maybe they don't pray - maybe they do - but in the mean time all of us will pray for them!  Sound good to you?

We're still trusting Him.  His plans are way more complex and detailed than mine so I'll just let Him be God.

Since we moved to Virginia I've been riding the metro into DC Tuesday through Friday - that's about 45 minutes.  I want to use my time wisely so I've been listening to some different podcasts.  So far I've tuned into Andy Stanley and Kerry Shook (Pastor Mark is on my list as well - I just haven't downloaded anything yet :)
Kerry Shook was speaking about living passionately.  The first step in doing this is connecting to God or in some instances that all of us can relate to - RECONNECTING to God.  I've had to do that last one quite often.
Jesus makes it clear in John 15 - I can't do anything without Him.  It's impossible.
This is where 'real living' begins.  How connected am I?  How connected are you?
Am I consumed with God or consumed with _________________?  (Fill it in yourself :)

I know many people who want to be connected but they're to busy being consumed by money.  Possessions.  Lifestyles.  Image.  Careers.  Unhealthy and sinful relationships.  Etc.  Everyone is consumed with something.  I knew one guy that lost his family because he was consumed with an online video game.  He played for 10 - 12 - 15 plus hours a day.  He turned on the computer and tuned out his wife and children.  Fantasy instead of family.  Staring at the glow of a monitor screen instead of the grins of his kids.  I like to play a video game every now and then but my wife and kids are precious to me.  Priceless.  Nothing can replace them.  Lord help me to never be consumed with anything that keeps me from seeing You, my family, and others.  This story scares me.  Sometimes it's good to be scared.

I knew an individual who wanted to become like someone that they adored.  They wore their hair like them - dressed like them - made themselves up to resemble them.  Tried to take on their personality.  This person was completely consumed with their outward image so they began to spend money.  Lots of money.  Money that this young couple didn't have. How did they do it?  Plastic.  Being overly image conscious cost them over $25, their marriage.  Think about it. The clothes got old.  The makeup was used up.  The hairstyle went out of style.  Was it really worth it?  We can connect with the wrong stuff real fast, can't we? Sometimes somethings end up costing us more than we thought we'd ever pay. Throws a whole new slant on the word 'expense' doesn't it?  

You've heard of the same stories.
You know someone.
Maybe you are the someone - maybe the story is your story.
It's a good thing that Jesus is into the reconnecting/restoration business.  It's a good thing that He doesn't condemn us.  When we come to Him, admit that we've sinned, confess that we've been wrong - He reconnects us and restores us.

Don't misunderstand me - I'm not condemning the people that I've mentioned - I just want to learn from their costly mistakes - pay attention to the warning signs - be accountable to someone.  We only live this life once.  I sure don't want to look back over my life and say, "Lord, I wish I wouldn't have become disconnected from you - it cost me everything."

So I end today with a prayer that David prayed a long time ago.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me.
                                                    Psalm 51:10
       Amplified Bible

Connection.  Impossible by myself - made possible through God.  
I believe I'll plug into Him today.

Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 

John 15:5-7

Tuesday, January 13, 2009



Small word.  Huge meaning.

Trust: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.  One in which confidence is placed.

Right now - at this very moment - the Lord is teaching me about trust....real trust...not just a Sunday School level lesson about trust but 'Red Sea' trust, 'water in the desert' trust, 'the battle is the Lord's' kind of trust.

Our life change from pastoring to becoming an NCC protege has been all about trust from the beginning.  Leaving family, a church family, and friends who are family was very difficult to do.  Leaving the security of a paycheck was hard to do - but all of it was necessary.  My time in Huntsville was up.  My time in Washington DC had arrived.  We jumped.


Well, to summarize - We moved to Capitol Hill and we we're content until the Lord directed us to Alexandria, Virginia.  In order to do this we need to sub lease the house on Capitol Hill.  We've shown the house several times - people send emails - they call and set up appointments to tour the place - 90% of them fail to show up.


Glenda spends all day Saturday showing the house - people act interested, excited, pumped and then we hear that.......they.......passed on the chance.


The last one was the hardest because the lady contacts the lease agency and says that she wants the place but they can't process her application because their server is down so they have to wait until Monday.  Great! we're home-free.....really?  No.  She changes her mind over the weekend.
Changes her mind?  She can't do that.  She did.


So here we are - paying for two places - unable to do so - things are looking scary - I'm upset - Glenda is very upset.  We're weary.  We try to begin second guessing ourselves only to be slapped with the reality that we know that we know that we're supposed to be here.


In the middle of all this God keeps dropping comforting words to me - just like a father encourages his discouraged child.  For instance:  Glenda has this daily rolodex devotional that she keeps near the kitchen sink.  One particular day it gave this advice:

"Patience is not learning how to wait.  Patience is learning how to wait and have a good attitude during the process."  Hmmmmmm. 
One of my scripture verses immediately following that tid bit of timely advice was this:

"Wait for the Lord; be courageous and let your heart be strong.  Wait for the Lord."  (Psalm 27:14)

Then this morning, January 13, 2009, on the Metro some where in between Franconia-Springfiled and Metro Center my daily scripture reading directed me to Genesis 22.  God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son - his only son.

His pride and joy.  
The son he loved and cherished.  
His heir.  

His promise.

So they travel for three days - plenty of time to turn back - but they kept on walking.  Plenty of time to figure out a new plan and present it to God - argue with Him - but that didn't happen - father and son just kept on walking.
Finally they arrived at the mountain - started to climb the mountain - and Isaac breaks the silence and says, "The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"

Abraham's heart must have been crushed when he heard that sweet voice say 'Father' and then follow it with that innocent question.

...where's the lamb?

"Abraham answered, "God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son."  Then the two of them walked on together."  (emphasis mine.)


It's not by chance that these verses have been in my reading plan the past couple of days.  I don't believe in chance.  I believe that God wants to speak to us.  He's got my attention.
So, I sit here at my desk - typing - no answer in sight but I'm going to make a prediction - He's going to show.  I don't know how.  I wish I did.  I don't know when He's going to work it out but there's one thing that I do know, 

He will.

So, during this frustrated, uncomfortable, and downright scary time in my life - I'll keep my ears tuned, my eyes open, and my feet moving forward up the mountain. 

Where's the offering?  God will provide.  He's my only hope.



He showed up.  All is well.

Told ya.....

Psalm 6:9