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Archive for July, 2010

It’s war on the way to hope. Every day can house some serious skirmishes to prevent you from getting there. It becomes a matter of dogged determination…
The first thing you should know is that I bought a house with a beautiful view of the river that faces the east so I could see the sunrise every morning.
During a recent nine-month remodel of our home, I would go there almost every day and be overwhelmed by the cost overruns, debris and dust and the seemingly snail’s-pace progression.
There were many days that it occurred to me to go there early and catch the sunrise as a down payment on hope. I think i did it once.
The rest of the emotional time I plunged into the despair of two-by-fours and my check book.
Now, I’ve been in the house for weeks and the sunrises are spectacular – like nothing I’ve ever seen. Each morning is different; like going into a gallery of an overactive genius who puts up fresh masterpieces EVERY NIGHT!
I could have been enjoying those sunrises during the battle. But I chose to gaze upon the inches of dust.
My bad.
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The Sweat of Romance

Most lovers know that sweat is not uncommon and not unnecessary on their path to passion.

Thomas Edison said that genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.
But for the romantics, it’s, “Vive la vision!” We love ideas! But there is a backside to every beautiful baby and it’s a miserable situation when that bottom gets ignored.
Recently, I took on remodeling an old house where the vision seemed so real and logical… it just felt right.I felt God kept nudging me through my fear of the vision through a series of unbelievable confirmations. There’s no sense taking on a project if it’s not of the Lord for the scriptures say that “unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.” (Psalm 127:1) But I’ve never sweated so much in my life. Sweated out delays, huge financial overruns and emotional costs. The vision just wouldn’t get out of my way. 
I think vision is what makes the world go around…literally. “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” (Hebrews 11:3) If we didn’t know that God rested on the seventh day, we couldn’t assume that He sweated for six days. Yeah, He works hard to accomplish His visions. 
And in the end, lovers get their babies, inventors get light bulbs and the world gets populated and electrified.
But, again for the romantic, it’s good to pay the Piper. For once the romantic right-sided-brain people have to put some elbow grease into their vision, they appreciate the results of that same vision and appreciate the people alongside them who pay a price as well. They will also fight very hard to protect their results against Satan who comes in afterward like a thief to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).
Anyone can dream. But it’s those who need deodorant who don’t have to awake from their dream. Believe me, they don’t have to pinch themselves to know it’s real.

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STONED!!!

STONED!!!

You ever do something in anger or just have a bad attitude and wonder why you’re not struck dead? Let me walk you through my latest lesson on God’s mercy.

I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

The stones wept at the demolition of the walls of Jerusalem. Lamentations 2:8b
And Jesus said that the stones would cry out if the crowd stopped praising God for bringing His Son into Jerusalem. Luke 19:40
David chose five smooth stones to bring down the blasphemer. 1 Sam 17:40
Paul was stoned and lived, the adulteress came within Jesus’ breadth of being stoned and Stephen saw Jesus while being stoned.
Of all things, why does such a clunky thing like a rock get so much play and personification in the bible?
God will often show us how lifeless we’ve become in such analogies. A heart doesn’t get hard overnight. The Pharisees demanded that Jesus shut up His followers because these religious rulers had drifted so far in their souls over years of laws instead of spiritual softness.
Sometimes, my heart gets numb or dull. It’s probably a stubborn behavior or attitude toward something God is trying remove and instead of having a softening affect, my willfulness gets caked on. Most of us have dealt with a burned pot or a tough stain in a fabric. We become the rock that doesn’t roll. 
But God has a way of dealing with hard hearts in a tough/soft paradox…
After witnessing a breath-taking sunrise this morning, I seemed to understand in a deeper way one of the most hopeful of all scriptures: “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning.” Lamentations 3:22,23
Instead of stoning me (which He should have many times over), He simply says, “Let’s try this again.” Like the movie “Groundhog Day” on steroids.
What pointed it out to me was how much of Himself He puts into the painting of the sky this morning. After some attitude problems yesterday, I felt He should just be so mad at me; you know, strike me dead or whatever. If someone did something bad to me, I’d probably assertively or passively withhold my love. BUT NOT HIM. He made the sky more beautiful than ever this morning to show me that His mercies are as original as each sunrise. 
Goliath needed a stone to sink into his thick skull. But this sunrise hit me like a ton of rocks… and I finally rolled.
 

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