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Archive for August, 2011

I thought Alfred Hitchcock had come back to direct again and that I was an actor in his film.

Newark Liberty Airport was eery with no lines at security. Pilots were announcing that they “couldn’t wait to get out of there” and the baggage clerk was getting defensive with an anxious flyer: “I don’t what to do, Ma’am, we’ve never had a hurricane here before.”

While I had planned to visit my sister in New Jersey for her 60th birthday, Hurricane Irene was about to visit the Garden State with some unwelcome presents. I had to make a quick decision and was able to catch the last plane for Portland before authorities shut down the airport.

I missed Paula’s 6oth. Irene did not.

But even tropical storms have silver linings. Some braved the storm to honor her on her big event. I think that’s a pretty demonstrative expression of love and loyalty.

Maybe someone should write a song… “Ain’t no mountain high enough…” Naaah, that’s been done before. “Irene, you’re so mean, I bet you think this song is about you…”

Oh, please, someone send in a suggestion, the wind is out of my sails.

Happy Birthday, Paula. When you throw a party, we never know who is going to be your guest.

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It’s another picture perfect day in Portland except when I turn on the TV to find that my hometown is going to get hit with the fury of Hurricane Irene losing her temper.

A half of foot of rainfall, winds of up to 50 mph and my house is already among the 5 million homes without power.

And I’m 3,000 miles away and I can’t do anything about it.

Right now, I know a lot of people who are under water and without the power to stop their emotional, physical and spiritual pain. And I feel further than 3,000 miles away from their hurts. I can’t stop it. I can’t do anything but pray and try to be their friend.

The scriptures tell us that know one can truly understand another’s pain or joy! Each person is assigned some measure of good and bad that only God can understand. It’s a divine strategy that either draws us closer to Him as we discover He truly does get it OR it moves us toward anger. “Bitter or better” is the saying my pastor used repeatedly.

Right now, those I love are getting bullied by the rage of a tropical storm while I sit under a beautiful and calm sky on the opposite coast. I am safe and sound. But I am not at ease. I feel for those far away.

Scripture talks about a place where there is no more pain or suffering. In heaven, the bible also speaks of “a cloud of witnesses” up there. (Hebrews 12:1) I like to think they are like those at the end of the marathon who welcome the weary and worn runner. Only those who have made the run truly understand what it takes to cross that finish line.

And what of Jesus whose pure heartstrings are pulled even though it sometimes feels as if He is so far away?

“Christ Jesus…is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Romans 8:34 [Although salvific, it’s no stretch to know He pulls for us especially that suffering might be used to bring some to salvation]

Father, Be My God

Words and Music by Robert J. LaCosta

1st & 2nd Chorus:

Father, be my God

God, be my Father, too

Everywhere and anytime

I want to be near You

As close as Your breast

Be my only rest

Watch over all I think and do

I want to be near You (2X)

Verse:

Complexity has found me

After years and years of trying

Simplicity escaped me

I watched Eden dying

Loved ones on life’s ledges

Perilously they walk

And I’m caught on their edges

With prayer my only talk

Bridge:

Close to You I hear Your heart beat

It just doesn’t get any better

and this is where love is begun

we feel their pain together

3rd Chorus

Child, be My son, I’ll be you Father, too

Everywhere and anytime, I want to be near you

As close as My breast, come to Me, we’ll rest

I’ll watch over all you do, I’ll always be with you

I love to be with you

 

“Father, Be My God”: Copyright, 2010. No Reputation Communications, LLC. All rights reserved. Words and music by Robert J. LaCosta.

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Fort Williams and the Portland Head Lighthouse strategically sit high upon the rocks overlooking the entrance to South Portland bay.

Both courageously guard. One protects boats by its light and extremely loud foghorns of the imminent dangers of getting too close to her jagged rocks and cliffs. The other protected the citizens and sounded warnings should an enemy think that they would escape its notice.

The setting is as imposing as it is beautiful, with its east-facing direction that guarantees a wake-up call from the spectacular and almost intimidating sunrises.

What’s interesting is that Fort Williams has been retired. It is now one of the most lovely parks imaginable with constant sweeping seascapes. Whether walking a dog or out for a hard run, this former fort is now a place of peace.

Fort Williams serves as precursor to heaven and the end of the ages when the “glory” of war will be exchanged for the “glory” of The Prince of Peace and eternal bliss.

All of God’s same soldiers will be in civvies. Praise God!

“And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”  Isaiah 2:4

In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety. Hosea 2:18

 

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When Jesus mentioned that our Heavenly Father feeds the birds of the air, we tend to think of the little creatures that are within our view in our backyards or on the way to work.

But what the gospels don’t record is that there are over 100 billion such birds that God takes care of every day and He always gets them their paychecks.

When Jesus talks about every hair on our head being counted, we think that’s a lot until we consider that each of our heads have about 120,000 strands. If you times that times 6 billion…well, you get the picture.

And when He said He takes care of the lilies of the valley and that we shouldn’t be overly concerned about our clothes, we should multiply all the clothes in all the dressers in the world times six billion. That’s a whole lot of underwear.

And Jesus talks a lot about money even though the stock market wasn’t riding a roller coaster in Jerusalem at the time. It’s safe to say that He knows what’s happening and what is about to occur on Wall Street. Talk about inside trading!

So, it all gets back to how much we trust the Keeper of the food, hair, money…and underwear.

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I reached over my head, pushed the button and the sunroof obeyed by closing – but not before I heard a noticeable “clank.”

 

The stock market closed, but not before it lost an incredibly noticeable 5.55% of its value. Sure was clanky.

 

I got a call from the doctor’s office to schedule my last appointment with him before he closes down when he retires. Speaking of health, if I push my body, there are more than a few clanks in it, as well.

 

Everything from sunroofs to bodies break down and it seems as if the world as a whole is folding up like a blanket. It may not be a tidy fold. It sure appears as if the timeline of humanity is about as clanky as it can get.

 

Nothing lasts forever except: “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” … Isaiah 40:8

 

And His word is simple and pure: that if we acknowledge our sins and our contribution toward all of this evil in our world, He will forgive, forget and fix all our clankiness. Eventually, all will be new in body and in spirit.

 

What a Redeemer!              August 9, 2011

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