Monday, April 28, 2008

Be Careful

A few short days ago my little daughter Shiloh was running a temperature that was nearly 103. She had a cough, and was just hurting all over. I held her in my arms and for the time in my life I felt something and said something so enormous and so profound, that I surprised myself. I don't know why I was surprised when God chose to honor my request.

As I held my frail, sick daughter I said a simple prayer to the Lord, "Father, if you would just take her sickness and give it to me. If you'd just remove her symptoms and place it on me. I just want her to feel better." Now, at the time, I was sincere...I meant every word I was the pulse of my heart for my sweet little girl to get well. And I remember sort of marveling at how I could come to a place of selflessness for another person, specifically as it related to pain and health and such. However, my belief and understanding of what God would do was this--that He would be proud of my selfless prayer, heal my daughter, and that would be that. I did not anticipate Him making good on my words.

I got her sickness. I got her fever. I got her cough. I got even worse drainage and swelling of my glands and throat. And did I mention I was swabbed for strep throat and missed days from work? Now, understand that being a children's minister now will put me in more direct contact with kids and their germs, but I'm thinking my illness might have been linked to those sweet, innocent, and powerful words I prayed with my daughter in my arms. Be careful when you pray and ask God for things--whether they're for you or someone else. He is listening, and delighted to grant our requests, in His own special way.

Also, be careful when you choose to read the Bible in 90 days. You're in for an adventure in discovery, discipline, and the divine. I highly encourage any believer who feels they're up for a challenge in their walk with Christ to experience this.

If you're looking for some incredible new music, be careful with Vampire Weekend. Those of you who know me recognize my musical tastes lie somewhere between classic rock and praise/worship music. This is neither of those, but boy howdy, is it something. Sort of a what a modernized '50s swing band would be, and the songs aren't even that long either. They always leave me wanting more. (warning: 2 songs do contain an offensive word, but pay particular attention to "Punk" and "Boston.")

Be careful if you choose to read The Shack. It is not something for the close-minded, the stubborn, or the judgemental. Wait a minute, maybe that's exactly who it's for. Proceed with caution, but be prepared to be encouraged in your relationship with Papa, Jesus, and Sarayu.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

10 Things I Think

It has been way too long...I have aged...I have slacked from this site...and yet I've been reading my little tail off in my 90-day Bible Challenge. In fact, one of the coolest things from this past weekend @ the Saturn Road Retreat I was speaking at was this: a note from a junior high girl who said she enjoyed my talks and wished me good luck on my Bible Challenge. That little piece of paper is joining me on my Scripture journey. Okay, so here's the updated ramblings of my mind--stay tuned for a regular post in the next few days. Enjoy, friends, and thanks for taking a few minutes to bond with my brain in this digital world. Peace.
10 Things I Think...

1) The NCAA Final Four this weekend is gonna be sick. You've got the 4 #1 seeds, arguably the 4 best teams in the land, and I'd be happy with 3 of the 4 winning...and I'll admit it--I cannot stand Memphis. I've yet to see them shoot baskets, free-throws, or long putts on the green against Happy Gilmore. My bracket has Kansas cutting down the nets, but I'm just happy for some unbelievable hoops in a 48 hour span.

2) Some sports personalities took the whole April Fools Day thing the full extent of the fool. Driving into work on the local Houston channel, I heard that the Rockets had traded Luis Scola to the Kings for Ron Artest straight up. Although shocked and sort of disappointed, I took the bait. It was hard not to--they had people calling in, making conversation. And when I realized the error of my ways, I was most certainly not going to fall for it again. So when Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon (my PTI boys) led their show on April Fools with a story about how Kansas and Davidson had to replay the final 16 seconds of their game from Sunday because a player on the floor had 5 fouls and never left--I didn't bite. I was actually proud of myself this time...maybe related to that whole "fool me once, fool me twice" thing.

3) The Israelites in the Old Testament sure knew how to fight...they also knew how to complain with the best of 'em. And for the record, I apologize for always visualizing them as a bunch of wusses in turbines who just had whips and sticks for weapons--Joshua, Joab, Abner--these cats could dish it out for the Lord!

4) My wife is a pretty hot pregnant lady. If you weren't happy for me before she began to house our little fella, then you most definitely are now. And in the words of a one-legged Amy Poehler, "Jealous!?" I am a lucky fella to say the least.

5) Have to confess----there have been several moments where I've missed my XBOX 360 & Call of Duty 4. Moment of silence, please.

6) My daughter placing 6 of her dolls and babies face down on the floor, each with individual pillows and blankets for nap time is unreal. She had just moved them all over from being in the "naughty spot" (a.k.a. "Timeout).

7) Sermon prep for an Easter Message, while daunting, was actually a blessing. In fact, it was quite fun, and I rather enjoyed it...especially the time @ Panera Bread, writing my intro drama.

8) Being kissed on the cheek during the Kids Offering has to be one of my highlights as a minister. Especially when the little fella has a heart of gold, Down's syndrome, and just the biggest smile on his face as his $$ goes into the bucket.

9) So, the MLB 2008 Season has started...really? I kind of hadn't noticed.

10) Bring on the ever-close return of The Office, 30 ROCK, Battlestar Galactica, and the completion of LOST Season 4...hooray for no more writers' strike!