Saturday, December 26, 2009

Uno champs!

The ground is level at Calvary and at the Uno table with my two granddaughters' age 6 and 4. They no longer need any assistance, and what an absolute joy, to see their minds fully engaged in strategic planning as they took delight in delivering draw two's, draw four's, reverse and skip, etc to their grand dad. I already knew the oldest needed no more help. To experience the youngest fully engaged and 'into it', with a joyful delight when she would lay down a draw two for me after planning on the exact moment really was the capstone to a blessed Christmas. I don't deserve, nor merit these favors from God, and this understanding makes it even easier to give thanks unto God. Redemption included for the mother of my grand children, no stain of all the negative choices I made while searching for truth. I continually marvel at the undeserved grace of God that washed away all the affects of my mistakes and removed generational dysfunctions. It was an undeserved gift from God to isolate the burnt brain cells from drug use, and dead ones from alcohol use from the gene pool. It was an unmerited gift for my children to be freed from generational dysfunctions.

Lord, on this day after Christmas, we all have so many things to be thankful for. Help us not focus in on the few things that are still not right. Lord, help young adults turn away from habits that without your unmerited grace will be passed onto their children and children's children for multiple generations.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Eve of the Second Advent?

Just typing it, gives me shivers. I am ready, but am I ready/ready. I finally got ready for the eve of the celebration of the First Advent, but I won't be ready-ready until after putting the finishing touch on the Christmas Eve service. There are multiple pages in my book, "Constant Forward Motion-The Running of the Lymphoma Ultra Series" dedicated to the mental/ processes I went through following a diagnosis of an incurable (by man) cancer. I thought I was doing exactly what I wanted to be doing, and I thought I was living in a pleasing way to God and family, but the process of readiness was more complete in the days following the diagnosis. All kinds of thoughts came in and out of my head during that time, and not all were positive leading. As I purchased the final gift yesterday, I received a call from a friend asking if I am ready for Christmas.

"Now I am".

Lord, help all of us, take a moment to quietly ponder the question. Am I ready for the day of the Second Advent? Lead us and guide us through the process, by showing us small and large issues that need adjusting. Lord, help us all fully and completely understand Your coming the first time. Help us make room for you, and receive you.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Books are available at Amazon.com

Books are also available at http://store.believerspress.com/shop/constant-forward-motion/.

Also available at the Vienna Tyson's Regional Chamber of Commerce business office, Vienna Presbyterian Book store, and at Vienna Assembly of God.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Book Signing Tuesday from 7-9p.m.

Tuesday night, at Vienna Assembly of God, 100 Ayrhill Ave. N.E., I will be signing books and offering a 50% discount for Northern Virginia residents. I love my community, and the context of the book, Constant Forward Motion-The Running of the Lymphoma Ultra Series is set in Vienna, Virginia. If you come tonight, I will make it worth your while. Use the covered entrance to the right of the church building as there is less ice at that entrance. We will be gathering outside the kitchen and enjoying some festive refreshments, as well. All attendees of Vienna Assembly of God will receive a complimentary book.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gifts

What would our lives be like if we no longer felt like anyone, especially our spouse owed us anything? What if we didn't keep an emotional bank account? What if anything and everything was a free will offering, freely given without any sense of obligation, but with joy of a gift given freely. What if on the giving end every gift was freely given and on the receiving end was a complete and total understanding that it was undeserved and unmerited? What if every person no longer felt like God, government, loved ones, or anyone owed us.

My wife and I had a discussion about this during our 'snow bound' home worship service this morning. It was a very meaningful discussion and it helped us move forward with some issues of life. The full message is found at ViennaAG.com complete with everything one would need for a home service.

Lord, help us overcome any feeling of entitlement or emotional obligation. Help us overcome thinking we are entitled to anything, so that whatever we receive is a special surprise gift that will be seasoned with thanksgiving.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

16 But the earth helped the woman by… (Rev. 12 NIV)

The Revelation of Jesus Christ also reveals things about the earth. If the earth can help in a spiritual cause, then let us the return the favor as stewards of the earth, by doing all we can do to make the earth better, not worse. Since summer, Brenda and I have been composting everything we can and even after months of this activity, our compost barrel is not halfway full. I understand that organic waste is a major problem in landfills, and it is just one small way to assist the earth. Today is our town's recycling day, and every week, our recycling can is at minimum four times fuller than the one we use for other trash. It takes just a little effort to assist the earth, and conversely, it also takes effort to hurt the earth. What if every human being chose as one of their life goals, to 'leave everything and everyone better than when they found it or them'. Being a grandfather, I think about the earth my grandkids are inheriting. Little effort, combined with every human being will result in great results. I think, that the more revelation one receives about the Lord, the more helpful revelation about 'down to earth' stuff comes as well.

Lord, help us be helpful to earth, not hurtful.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Spiritual Super Heroes.

Rev. 11 speaks of two witnesses that have incredible super powers. I distinctly remember the first time I ever read about them. At age 19, I said to myself, "I want to be like that". They had power, coupled with a humility not often associated with God's people endued with this type of power. They will have the power to consume anyone that opposes them, with fire that will come out of their mouth. They will be a future version of a fire breathing prophet. It is imagination expansion to consider the possibilities of a person endued with this level of God's power. I am glad I don't have that kind of power. I would have torched a few people, that now I know were trying to help me see a better way of doing things. These guys will be able to do miracles of incredible description, not just blow torch their enemies. Being a redeemed redneck I have taken a mouth filled with lighter fluid and become a human blow torch in my BC (Before Christ) days but this, will be completely different.

Lord, thank you for the gift of imaginative faith. Help all of us see more victories and fewer defeats as we look for you in the season of Advent. Help us have more meekness than power. Thank you for forgiving us for all kinds and types of things.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Just another angel

So mighty is an angel that one foot is on the sea and another on the land (Rev. 10). Yet, this mighty angel, worships, honors and obeys God. As we keep moving forward in life, we pass into and out of seasons of more or less obedience to God. In a long trail run, such as the Hellgate 100K held this week end in the mountains of Virginia, less obedience to the path the race director chose could mean death or dismemberment. Making your own path in an ultra marathon leads to destruction and frustration at many levels. Why not superimpose this into our lives, and just keep following the path laid out before us by our creator and stop wandering through the cold, dark mountains of our negative choices.

Lord, help us keep our eyes on the path you have chosen for us to follow. Help us get back on the path, if we have strayed, and help us keep following and trusting you.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Abyss.

There is an Abyss (Rev. 9). I don't know too much about it, except to love God, others and life so I won't spend any time there. If standing in line during the holidays seem awful, then you really don't want to spend much time there either.

Lord, help all of us have a loving relationship with You, others and the life you gave us, so we can spend our time in more meaningful places.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Keep moving forward.

Getting to the bottom of administrative stacks is a blessing. Doing administrative things when I am not feeling overly visionary keeps me moving forward.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Original, authentic, spiritual, awe inspiring and a bit raw.

This summarizes VAOG's Christmas program. We have toddlers as singing angels, a first grader reading a lengthy text of scripture, children operating puppets and performing drama, youth singing both reverent and almost irreverent original songs, young adults reading bible texts in Spanish and English, adults reading poems, scripture, singing high end, high church songs, and the inspiring story of the incarnation of Jesus Christ is presented. It isn't close to the rawness of a baby born to a virgin, miles from her mother in a stable grotto and sleeping in an animal food trough wrapped in discarded rags, but it will have to do.

For a dose or authenticity, albeit raw, come to Vienna Assembly of God, 100 Ayrhill Ave. N.E. Vienna, VA. @ the 10:30 service. We will give you a free calendar and some nice bread.

Lord, help us see and experience the rawness of your birth. Help us throw off the chains of expected perfectness during this very special season. Especially comfort those, who will face their Christmas without a loved one, away from loved ones, or with a fatal diagnosis, or with very difficult unmentionable issues'.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

… thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ (2 Cor. 2:14 KJV)

Focused, unshakeable, firm, non-ending gratefulness to God always causes us to triumph. There is nothing wrong on God's side of the equation, and God never misses the mark (sin), so adjusted improvement is always on the human side of the equation. God can cause any human being to always triumph if that human being will keep their focused, meditative, grateful gaze upon Him. The result is worth transitioning.

Anyone using binoculars knows that there is a focus wheel that is always being adjusted as ones gaze moves across a landscape. As the landscape of our lives moves through seasons of life, we must continually adjust our focused gaze upon the Lord.

Lord, help me and others continually adjust our focus to always be gratefully thankful to You who always causes us to triumph. Forgive us for focusing on the issue at hand.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Good enough.

After numerous 'final' proofs, I still find a few issues, but I find issues in encyclopedia's and academic articles. So, Constant Forward Motion-the Running of the Lymphoma Ultra Series goes to print so it can be out for Christmas. Rereading, I relearned lessons and I pray it will be a blessing to all who read it.

Change of plans

Tonight, I was to attend a grand parenting class, but the final proof for "Constant Forward Motion- the Running of the Lymphoma Ultra series" has come from my publisher. Every time I re-read it, I am reminded of the grace, power, wisdom, direction, words, strength, of God that carried me and family from diagnosis of an incurable cancer through multiple faith promise runs for missions and lots of good laughter. I hope it is ready by December 21 and can be ordered on Amazon, Bethany Press, or Barnes and Noble. It can also be picked up at my house in Vienna, VA., or at my brother's houses in Brooksville, Florida and Poquoson, VA.

Preparing for the Mountain Masochist 50 Mile Trail run in 2010

I have made a slow and humble start to a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) for 2010. Tomorrow I get my chemo port flushed, next week I get a complete MRI of my spine, and more and more checkups by doctors, but life goes on with or without my active participation. Time is slipping by as another December is experienced. November just disappeared, and will never come back again. Choosing to move forward towards improbable goals can be undergirded by a renewed sense of thankfulness to God who "always causes us to triumph" (2 Corinthians 2:14 KJV). Running 50 miles next November is even more improbable than other things the future holds, yet improbable can become 'done', as thanks to God is offered who always, not sometimes, causes us to triumph.

Lord, forgive me and others for lots of stuff. Help us all be thankful to You and less complaining, or doubting, or self pitying, for you always cause us to triumph over some impossible goals.

Amazing females of VAOG

My wife had planned and prepared a Ladies Tea for Saturday. At about 9:30 a.m. the rain turned to a very pretty snow. All morning, as she continued her intensive preparation, we kept discussing the option of cancelling due to the weather. The final choice was made to continue. The parking lot was scraped in preparation, and one by one, 99% of those who had RSVP'd showed up and had a fabulous time in the Lord. We had about 3-4 inches of snow on the ground when the ladies ventured out, and once again proved that all the men of VAOG married way up. If it had been another event, a men's event, I am sure we would have cancelled.

Lord, bless the present and future ladies of VAOG. Thank you for each and every one of them.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I apologize:

Apologies (Repentance) by a human being prepare the way for the Lord. Human nature tends to focus on what we are struggling with, or is hurting over, or a pain we are experiencing, or what we lack. Human nature tends to justify our actions. We tend to focus on our perceived injustice, our perceived lack, our perceived or actual poverty, our perceived or actual diseases, and we tend to so focus on these, that it hinders the way of the Lord into our life. Just one act, of repentance, and turning into a life of thankfulness, prepares the way of the Lord to intervene. Here is an example of what repentance looks like.

1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV)

There is never a time to blame God for a lack of any type. Let us ask for help in being thankful to God and move our attention away from our lack. This Sunday in every church that uses the Revised Common Lectionary will read in the gospel account of John the Baptist's message that repentance prepares the way for the Lord to intervene into a situation.

Just maybe, the act of apologies could pave a path for the Lord to come and intervene. Just maybe, John the Baptist's message is still timely and very revelant to all of us.

Lord, help me and others, apologize to you, others and to ourselves for things we have missed the mark in. We really do want and need you to come into our life. Help us as we turn our focus away from self to a life of giving thanks to you.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Some amazing creatures spend their eternal lives giving honor and glory to the Lord

The more I read the Revelation of Jesus Christ, I realize how little I know about Jesus. The ones who see the Lord and are in the presence of the Lord, including some pretty amazing and difficult to describe creatures, spend their eternal lives singing various versions of 'worthy is the Lord, holy is the Lord, great is the Lord, etc, etc, is the Lord". In our finite minds, this may seem trite and trivial, but in an eternal mind, in the very presence of the Lord, this is the ultimate in creative expression.

Lord, help me and others be more aware of who You really are, and erase any memory of who others say you are, but aren't. Help us to creatively express to you, our continual positive amazement at who You are.