Friday, October 26, 2007

Look What You've Done for Me

Look What You’ve Done for Me

Look what you’ve done for me
Your blood has set me free
Jesus my Lord
Look what you’ve done for me
I haven’t been the same
Ever since that day I called your name
Yahweh Yahweh look what you’ve done for me

What can I do for You my Lord?
I want you to know my heart is yours
It’s not a question of what you can do for me
What can I do for You my Lord?

Up to Your cross I crawled
Now I am standing ten feet tall
Jesus my Saviour
Look what you’ve done for me
Free at last I’m free
I owe you my life completely
Yahweh Yahweh
Look what you’ve done for me

Daryl Evans, Tree 63 etc

Monday, October 22, 2007

Let's Go Down to the River Jordan!


I AM SO GRATEFUL TO Crossroads Lead Pastor Jeff Mullen for being wiling to baptize me in the cool October waters in the pond behind his house. This baptism comes at a time for me where the symbolism of dying to self and rising up with the same resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead is particularly appropriate.

I FEEL COMPELLED BY THE LORD to respond in obedience by being baptized. I have studied the Scriptures on the issue and likewise the teachings of the Evangelical Friends Church. I am convinced that as a personalized, subjective response of obedient faith to God, I should be baptized. I am fully convinced of the teachings of Friends of the non-necessity of water baptism for spiritual salvation. I am also convinced that sound Friends distinctives do not imply an absolute prohibition but a call to understand the reality of importance of the things that really matter (an intimate, personal relationship with God, “There is one, even Christ Jesus, who can speak to thy condition”). I believe that such a symbolic act of faith profession is appropriate, certainly biblical, and particularly timely in my spiritual journey.

IT IS MY PRAYER FOR THIS WATER BAPTISM to represent an important milestone (symbolic yet physical, tangible, experiential and wet!) on my spiritual journey of faith to overcome sin and live in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ! Going down in to the water symbolizes my own submission to and willingness to die to myself and to my own desires and dreams and ways of life so as to live fully unto Christ. You can't breathe underwater – thus the baptism is a real symbol of death. Coming up out of the water is a real symbol of life in Jesus' name with Him a Lord! Thanks be to God!
- Adam Monaghan

Colossians 2:12-14
For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.

Titus 3:4-7
But—“When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.”

MIGHTY TO SAVE!

Everyone needs compassion
A love that's never failing
Let mercy fall on me
Everyone needs forgiveness
A kindness of a Savior
The hope of nations

My Savior
He can move the mountains
My God is Mighty to save
He is Mighty to save
Forever
Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

So take me as You find me
All my fears and failures
Fill my life again
I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in
Now I surrender

Shine your light and let the whole world see
We're singing for the glory of the risen King...Jesus

Hillsong

Isaiah 25:8-9

He will swallow up death forever, And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; The rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; For the Lord has spoken. And it will be said in that day:
"Behold, this is our God; We have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; We have waited for Him; We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation." NKJV

Friday, October 19, 2007

Family

Mom and I after the service
Great-Great Aunt LouEllen sharing stories about my great-grandma Ruth
Leading the graveside service Tuesday afternoon

My Great-Great Aunt LouEllen has quickly become one of my favorite family members (that I never knew I had!). My mom and I would like to make plans to go visit her soon. My great-grandma has three siblings and they are all still alive and all were able to make it to her funeral. Their ages are 90, 85, and 82, I think.


Left to Right: Great-Great Uncle Robert, Great-Great Aunt LouEllen(North Carolina), Mom, Great-Great Aunt Frances, myself, and LouEllen's son Robert




Thursday, October 18, 2007

Remembering My Great-Grandmother

This is the main scripture passage I selected for the funeral and below that are the words of Eulogy/testimony offered from my mom:

Romans 8:28-29 NLT
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?...No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

MY RELATIONSHIP WITH MY GRANDMOTHER was not a close one in my younger years due to a couple of reasons. One was her location. She lived in California and we lived in Kansas. The other I don't quite understand and that's okay but my grandmother and mother didn't have a close relationship for quite a few years. I'm not even sure they kept in touch for a long period of time but I'm thankful contact was resumed and they moved to Kansas to be closer to all of us. Although my memories of my grandmother aren't the fuzzy, cookie baking, cuddly type, they are no less important. My grandmother was an organized, goal-oriented, driven woman. She didn't achieve a success that is recognized by society today. But everything she set out to accomplish she did. When she set out to achieve a goal, she had a methodical, logical way of doing that and she always seemed to end up where she headed. My grandmother wouldn't have called herself a mentor but in reality that's what she became for me. Many times I will say today that “that's how my grandma taught me to do that", and I am thankful for this. As in every aspect of life, there are lessons to be learned from things unspoken. My grandmother was often gruff and didn't offer affection freely. But I always knew by her generous spirit that she loved us and cared about our well-being. And as she aged she became a softer, kinder human being toward everyone! I must say that I received more affection than I knew what to do with as she grew older! It made me think that maybe this is what was really underneath her gruff exterior.

ALTHOUGH I WISH I COULD HAVE had her with me longer I am thankful for the time we shared. I’m thankful for the lessons of life that she passed on. I’m thankful that she listened as we talked to her about God and his love for her. And I know that as much as I loved her, God loves her even more. He is faithful and full of compassion. In this I place my hope.
- Jill Smith

2007

YOU KNOW YOU ARE LIVING IN 2007 WHEN...
1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.
2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.
3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.
4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.
6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.
7. Every commerical on television has a web site at the bottom of the page.
8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.
10. You get up in the morning and go on-line before getting your coffee.
11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. :)
12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.
13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.
14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.
15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there was a 9 on this list.

Right, Wrong, or just Different?

After spending the majority of the past six years in small town America (Haviland-Western, Kansas and then Chandler-Central Oklahoma) I have now completed almost four months back in the 'city'.

I can't help but notice how many people are text messaging while riding their bikes to or from work or school. It seems dangerous to me. The next thing I've noticed is how many people are text messaging at the YMCA while lifting weights or running on the treadmills. I find that time a great one to turn the phone off or leave it in the car - but others feel the need to stay connected.

In conclusion, some might react initially to such observations with judgement, wishing for the "good ole days of the past" (i.e., no cell phones). While I do certainly believe that we have to have a rhythm in our lives of plugging in and working hard and staying connected and then resting, unplugging, and withdrawing from technology and the 'rat race'. But not that our culture and society today don't have serious issues, maybe the symptoms are just different? I think a better response and conclusion is "Hmm...interesting," instead of, "isn't that terrible"! Life will probably (ok...most certainly) change significantly more in the next 40 years and hopefully even then we'll be able to relaxingly say "hmm...that's different" instead of "wrong"!

Are some of these kind of societal changes "right", "wrong", or could they just be "different"?

Stories

The priest looked at him and said, "Don't you want to go to heaven?"

"No," said the man.

"Do you mean to stand there and tell me you don't want to go to heaven when you die?"

"Of course, I want to go to heaven when I die. I thought you were going now!"

--------------

A man said to his parish priest, "My dog died yesterday, Father. Could you offer a Mass for the repose of his soul?"

The priest was outraged. "We don't offer Masses for animals here," he said sharply. "You might try that new denomination down the road. They'll probably pray for your dog."

"I really loved that little fellow," said the man, "and I'd like to give him a decent send-off. I don't know what it is customary to offer on such occasions, but do you think five hundred thousand dollars would do?"

"Now wait a minute," said the priest. "You never told me your dog was Catholic!"

- stories from Anthony De Mello

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Take It All! by Hillsong

Searching the world
The lost will be found
In freedom we live
As one we cry out
You carry the cross
You died and rose again
My God I'll only ever give my all

Jesus we're living for Your Name
We'll never be ashamed of You
In our praise
In all we are today
Take, take, take it all
Take, take, take, it all

You sent Your Son
From Heaven to earth
Delivered us all
It's eternally heard
I searched for truth
And all I found was You
My God I'll only ever give my all

Jesus we're living for Your Name
We'll never be ashamed of You
In our praise
In all we are today
Take, take, take it all
Take, take, take, it all

Running to the One who heals the blind
Following the shining light
In Your hands the power to save the world My life

Monday, October 15, 2007

Lots to Learn

"Always when I leave the village," the Bishop said slowly, "I try to define what it means to me, why it sends me back to the world refreshed and confident. Always I fail. It is so simple, it is difficult. When I try to put it into words, it comes out one of those unctuous, over-pious platitudes at which Bishops are expected to excel."...
"...I know...That for me it has always been easier here, where only the fundamentals count, to learn what every man must learn in this world...Enough of the meaning of life to be ready to die..."

I Heard the Owl Call My Name by Margaret Craven p.144

Praise the LORD!

Psalm 56:10
I praise God for what he has promised; Yes, I praise the Lord for what he has promised.

Psalm 9:1
I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.

Psalm 18:46
The Lord lives! Praise to my Rock! May the God of my salvation be exalted!

Psalm 18:49
For this, O Lord, I will praise you among the nations; I will sing praises to your name.

Fall finally fell!

Fall finally fell today! It's chilly and wet but all the trees and grass are still green! Low 80s the rest of the week so fall didn't fall too hard.

Wait for the LORD

Psalm 27:14
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

Salvation Is Here!

Salvation Is Here
Words & Music by Joel Houston

God above all the world in motion
God above all my hopes and fears
And I don't care what the world throws at me now
I'm gonna be alright

Hear the sound of the generations
Making loud their freedom song
All in all that the world would know Your name
We're gonna be alright

Chorus
'Cause I know my God saved the day
And I know His word never fails
And I know my God made a way for me
(It’s gonna be alright)
Salvation is here

Bridge
Salvation is here
'Cause You are alive and You live in me
Salvation is here
Salvation is here and He lives in me
Salvation is here
'Cause You are alive and You live in me

CCLI Song No. 4451327 © 2004 Hillsong Publishing by Joel Houston

Life

I found this quote in a recent month's Runner's World magazine which serves as my monthly inspiration to keep running. It is from a man who used running to get in to shape physically and personally and became a marathoner!

I worried that when I came to die, I might discover I had not lived. "If I run a marathon, I will have lived." I also thought I might die.

Loss

http://www.legacy.com/Kansas/DeathNotices.asp?Page=LifeStory&PersonID=96026192

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."
Mt 5:4

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Year that Forgot Fall

So far 2007 seems to be the year that forgot to Fall! It's still hot. Over the weekend the temperature was still a mid 90s oppressive and humid heat! It's October! Crazy! A mild cool front moved in yesterday to eliminate the oppressive heat but now it's still hot and leaves us looking forward to November. I'd say that many people in Kansas drained their swimming pools a month too early this year. At least the evenings are cool and comfortable and those start so much earlier now that I shouldn't complain too much.

The green trees haven't changed much at all yet and usually they are starting to turn colors by now. Fall, if it comes, will be enjoyed during thanksgiving instead of Halloween this year!

Adam

I Heard the Owl Call My Name

I am re-reading Margaret Craven's I Heard the Owl Call My Name. It is excellent - one of my favorites especially to read during the fall (though there is no such thing this year in Kansas).

Some of my favorite quotes from the book are coming soon...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Kingdom

Matt 3:1-2 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" NKJV

Just as the church is not the building, but the people (who are the Body of Christ), the kingdom is not a place as much as a state of relationship. We can be in His kingdom and at the same time be in horrible places, but we cannot be in His kingdom if He is not in us.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Be Still, My Soul

These words have meant so much to me during the past 8 months especially during February and March and April as I was transitioning away from Chandler and also especially during July, August, September as I was faced with new challenges!

Be still, my soul:
the Lord is on thy side;
bear patiently
the cross of grief or pain;
leave to thy God
to order and provide;
in every change
he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul:
thy best, thy heavenly Friend
through thorny ways
leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul:
thy God doth undertake
to guide the future
as he has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence
let nothing shake;
all now mysterious
shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul:
the waves and winds still know
his voice who ruled them
while he dwelt below.

Be still, my soul:
when dearest friends depart,
and all is darkened
in the vale of tears,
then shalt thou better know
his love, his heart,
who comes to soothe
thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul:
thy Jesus can repay,
from his own fulness,
all he takes away.

Be still, my soul:
the hour is hastening on
when we shall be
forever with the Lord,
when disappointment,
grief and fear are gone,
sorrow forgot,
love's purest joys restored,.
Be still, my soul:
when change and tears are past,
all safe and bless├ęd
we shall meet at last.

What Life is All About

"This life therefore, is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness, not health but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it; the process is not yet finished but it is going on. This is not the end of the road; all does not yet gleam in glory but all is being purified."

Martin Luther

1 John 4

9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

1 Corinthians 13

4 Love is patient and kind...It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged...7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
...12 Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.