Sunday, March 1, 2015

Doin' Love means...


I woke around 1:00 a.m. and noticed the kids had left on the television. When I went to shut it off, I stepped in a puddle of something. Something wet. Something wet in the middle of the living room. The living room with the new carpet. The living room where the kids had been told—a hundred times—not to eat or drink.

I spent the next two and a half hours, ten bath towels and one roll of paper towels blotting up something that, when my wife finds out she’ll tell you, had absolutely nothing to do with her grandchildren—those precious little angels. She’s such a granny.

I thought about waking them. All of them. Making them blot and blot and talk and tell why and what they had done. Who made the mess? Who broke the rules? Someone has to pay for this sin! I looked at them sprawled on the couch and another upside down on the recliner. I carried wet towels to the laundry room and spread them out over the washer and dryer. I wanted to get the shop vac and make some noise, suck it up quick and noisy and with obnoxious behavior. I listened to them breath. Softly snore. I blotted some more, real quiet and silent, in the dark…and wondered why I wouldn’t wake them.

Somewhere between one and four, headlights pierced the night. The neighbor’s kids were headed north. They’d driven hundreds of miles from other states just to stay not much more than a day. Why? I wondered as I stepped on the paper towel and felt the carpet pad give up its liquid. Why’d they spend so much and sleep so little just to say a few simple words of hello and goodbye? To see their dad…one last time.

The whole neighborhood rallied to bring them food. Plate after plate, platter upon platter, neighbors lined up to feed this family and meet their need. Why? Why would they come with arms full of dinners and desserts?

I set up fans and hung up towels and tried to sleep but it wouldn’t come for my wandering mind, wondering why.

Why’d I not wake them?

Why’d the kids come?

Why’d the neighbors rally?

The words softly whispered from FATHER to son…

LOVE woke and slipped in while you slept in the dark.

LOVE cleaned up the spilled and broken mess you’d made of your heart.

LOVE let you rest until you woke in the Light.

LOVE rallied to meet your need.

LOVE drove the distance, pierced the night with Light.


Sometimes…doin’ LOVE means doin’ what’s hard.


Greater love has no man than this: that he lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)






Friday, February 27, 2015

My neighbor's a super-hero


Hi Mike,

Guess you’re getting ready to go soon now, huh?

Well…you’ve been getting ready for a long time. What’s it been, some 15 years or so, you’ve been fightin’ with a heart that just wants to quit?

I want you to know it’s been a real pleasure—an honor—getting to know you.

Roxy and I are thankful you and Brenda moved in, and God allowed us to be neighbors…friends.

You fought hard, like a real super hero. You did the right things, even when no one was looking, even when it hurt. You got up and went to church—when most folks would stay in bed. You took care of yourself, ate right and exercised…and yet, here you are, on a hospice bed in the middle of your living room, with an oxygen mask indenting your cheeks.

And I think things like, it’s just not fair.

But you say words like, “When the doctors are through, and there’s no more they can do, then…I’ll go bye-bye.” You lift a little smile, like it’s no big deal. And I’m always impressed every time you do.

You’ve lived in today, while being packed and ready to step into tomorrow—that always impressed me about you, too.

You and Brenda were forever bringing treats for the kids and little gifts for us—wish we could’ve shared some of that last pecan pie you bought. But, I ate your share, and mine. You’ve spoiled us…and wore a path from your house, and heart, to ours.

Thanks for hanging out in the carport while I worked on that old fixer-upper boat. I saw the smile under your oxygen mask every time I’d make a stupid joke—thanks for that, too.

We spent last Christmas morning playing chess in a hospital room—don’t tell my family, but I can’t remember a better Christmas. 

Remember the other day when you said, “I’m not gonna make it.”?

Well, my friend, you’ve already have made it. You’ve lived a Godly life, raised a family and loved your wife.

You told me you’d never make it ‘til Friday, ‘til when all you kids could come. 

Well…Mike, my friend. I just looked out the window and saw a car drive up in front of your house and the last of your kids are piling out.

They drove all night—700 miles. Guess what? It’s Friday. They’re here. You made it. Well done.

Oh, and one more thing, if you don’t mind… when the time comes for you to go bye-bye, please tell God, that I said…“Thanks.”



Thursday, February 26, 2015

Am I just seeing things...or was it a sign?


While you were sleeping, I was typing. I woke with questions running through my head.

If you want someone to find you, what do you do?
Give them directions, right?
What do you find on every road?
Road signs, right?
How do you find your gate at the airport?
Follow the signs, right?

Signs make sense.

So, if God wanted us to find Him, it’d make sense that He’d want to put up some signs, right?
A road builder puts signs along the road for all to see.
But, where would a world builder put a sign for all to see?
My guess is—the sky.

It’s not just a guess, either. I know it’s true…because He told me. He told you too.

“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for appointed times and for days and years” (Genesis 1:14)

“He appointed the moon for times and seasons...” (Psalm 104:19)

I said all that to say the following. I think I saw a sign. I didn’t mean to. It was an accident. I didn’t even know I saw it until I woke up in the middle of the night...and what I saw came back to me.

I had skimmed right past the minor detail, hidden in the article. But now, I think, perhaps it might not be so minor after all, perhaps it's a sign—a warning sign. (Don't get hung up on the headline because it's not where I'm going with this.)  


V15 (Victory 2015) is a group founded by Nimrod Dweck, and is backed by a group called, One Voice. They have hired a consulting firm, composed of staffers from President Obama’s re-election campaign, to defeat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


Did you see it? Wait—first, let’s talk about something more obvious.

Take a look at a few things piling up on each other in the next few weeks.

  • On March 3rd Bibi (Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) is to give a speech to United States Congress regarding America and Israel’s enemies, specifically Iran. (The President & staff plan to skip this meeting.)
  • March 4th  Fast of Esther (Day enemies planned to destroy Israel)
  • March 5th  Purim (Day Israel achieved victory over enemies)
  • March 17th  Israel election
  • March 20th -21st (sunset to sunset): Solar Eclipse (1 Nisan—Jewish New Year)
  • April 3rd Blood Moon—Passover

Much has been written about these fascinating signs in the sky, so I’ll just mention that the Solar Eclipse on Jewish New Year and the Blood Moon on Passover are only two, in the middle of multiple signs in the sky, which have, and will appear, coinciding with Jewish Holidays in 2014-2015.

In the meantime back on earth…

Did you see the sign in the article above? Let me break it down.

Nimrod backed by 'One Voice.'

Where have we heard that before?

Do you remember Nimrod in the Bible? Noah’s great grandson. Isn’t he the guy who built the tower of Babel—where the people were of one language, one voice?

Nimrod is introduced in Genesis immediately preceding God's call of Abraham from among the Gentiles to bring him into the Promised Land.

Does history echo?

I did a little research at Biblehub.com and found that Babel originally meant "the gate of God," but afterwards, because of the judgment the Lord inflicted, it came to mean "Confusion." 

Nimrod's ambition was to establish a world-empire, one world government…sound familiar? Theologians claim Nimrod was a type of antichrist with his desire to raise his throne to the heavens. Historians say he was ruthless and brutal in his quest for fame and blatant defiance of The Creator.

I find it interesting that The Holy Spirit inserts record of Nimrod right before the inspired account of God bringing Abraham into The Promise Land. As if drawing a map of what was to come, by HIS divine destruction described in the words, “Let US go down and confound their language.” Confound their one-voice.

You’ve likely heard it said that the world revolves around Israel. God is spinning HIS-tory around dealing with Israel.

Now, please bear with me as I step out on a limb.

If Nimrod represents antichrist and Bibi represents Israel, the headline above could be broken down to read: 

Nimrod army against Israel
Babel against Israel
Antichrist against God

Is the mention of nimrod, one voice, Signs in the Heavens, coincidence?

Or, could it be, The Voice crying in the wilderness, “Prepare ye the way of the LORD.”


 “And I will cause wonders in the heavens and on the earth—
    blood and fire and columns of smoke.
The sun will become dark,
    and the moon will turn blood red
    before that great and terrible day of the Lord arrives.”
But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord
    will be saved…” (Joel 2:30-32)


** please share this message & share with me your thoughts**

**click above links for further study**

~

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Why, The Voice, broke the rules


Doug, I have a question about, The Voice

Okay—shoot.

Why’d you break the rules?

What rules?

You’re supposed to capitalize proper nouns.

I did.

No…you didn’t.

Whaddya mean?

You didn’t capitalize some of the names.

What names?

All the ones related to the demonic realm.

Didn’t you say I should capitalize proper nouns?

Yes.


Well…they ain’t nowhere near proper.



Thursday, February 19, 2015

Soul repairman


Cowboy boots dangled at my side, hanging from a finger looped through each pull—that’s the loop thingy sown to the top of the boot to help pull them on.
   
“Let’s check the directory.” Roxy pointed at the lighted sign in the middle of the food court.

“Nope. Nothing listed. Maybe I was wrong.” I looked across the mall corridor. “Let’s ask in there.” I pointed at one of those franchise shoe stores.

“Yep, it’s that way—” the shoe store clerk pointed—“straight across from the jewelry store.”  

“I knew I saw one in here…there it is, David Clark Shoe Repair.”  

A small black man greeted us with a smile so big it lifted his glasses. His hands were calloused leather.

I handed him my boots. The leather soles were worn clean through in the middle, and the heels looked like they’d been filed off at an angle. If those soles were souls, I’d know exactly how they felt.

That’s when I noticed the sign.

JESUS, GRANT THAT I MAY NOT CRITICIZE MY NEIGHBOR UNTIL I HAVE WALKED A MILE IN HIS SHOES

I loved it—and I told him so.

His glasses raised again behind laughing eyes. “What the world needs is more lovin’ Jesus. That would change everything.”

Roxy started reading the other signs taped to the wall behind the counter. They were hand written on simple typing paper—all were encouraging words of wisdom. “Can I take a picture of those?” She asked.

“Sure. Come on back here so you can get closer.”

She did.

I picked up his business card, it read:

 David Clark Shoe Repair
Repair * Build-up * Modifications

    JESUS LOVES YOU

Before we were through we found out he was from where I was born, Muncie Indiana. He’d helped teach about feet at Ball State, where my dad had gone to college. He told us how he invested years caring for his aging parents, and finally moved to Florida to care for the man that had been his mentor. And repairing soles, is the only hobby he’s ever had.

He told us he’d have the soles repaired by early next week. 

I can hardly wait ‘cuz there’s just something about him. I’ve got a feeling he repairs, builds-up and modifies more than just the soles on boots. 

So, if you ever find yourself soul worn weary, be encouraged because, in the middle of the mall, there’s a simple little shop, and a man with calloused hands and a tender heart that has the answer.

 “What the world needs is more lovin’ Jesus. That would change everything.”








  



Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Voice ~ what's it about?




What’s it about?

Well…It’s got sailing, and fighting and loving and crying and angels and demons and boats and water and sharks and beaches and a whole lotta prayin’

Mac was the only child of a sailor. His mom died giving him birth. His dad spent a lot of time deployed at sea.

All Mac wanted was a big, noisy, messy, happy family.

And he thought he was on his way, when he met Maggie.
She wanted that too.
That was good.

But then, something happened.
And that was sad.

But then, Mac’s son Richey had the same dream.
A big, noisy, messy, happy family.
And that was good.

But then, something happened.
And that was sad.
Real sad.

Mac gave up on that dream.
Mac gave up on a lot of things.

But then, something happened.

And his dream came back to life.
And that was good.
Very good.

By the time you’re through you’ll laugh and cry and hear God more clearly and love your family more dearly and you'll know where to find the greatest place on earth. 


It reads like a movie, so grab some popcorn and a box of tissue or two, and give it watch. 

~

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Voice Christening





Finally.

January of 2012 the first letter on the keyboard was punched. Lofty goals were set. Only, I didn’t realize the key I’d use the most, was the one that said:

Delete.

The story that was written on my heart, erased and rewritten, has finally reached a christening point. 

I read through the red line edits and errors, and regretted the days I played too much Tom and Huck, and not enough John-boy. But even still, the short nights and long days were worth every minute, because nothing compares to, The Voice,  releasing the song in your soul.


Thank you for setting sail with me, as we ride the waves with a little boy, an old sailor and a wounded warrior. I pray this story touches your heart. But more, I pray you feel His touch, and hear His Voice.

If angels and demons bicker back and forth, I do not know. But one thing’s for sure and certain—a battle rages just outside our natural senses. It’s a battle for your soul, and mine. I’ve asked the Lord to illuminate through this simple story, that battle, and the power of prayer.  

In the making of this book, long before one drop of ink was spilled—tears were shed and prayers were said. You see, I’ve lived much of the pain within these pages.

Have you ever felt the silencing grip of fear? Or, the lonesome agony of a lost loved one? Perhaps, you’ve known rejection. Or you’ve carried scars that bar others from seeing your heart?

Maybe…you still do.

I pray for you, to…

Hear, The Voice, that calls you now
Know, He hears, no matter how far
Accept, His Love, that casts out fear

…and sees no scars.