Monday, April 26, 2010

The Storm

This weekend, we were trapped in a picnic shelter during a downpour. As the lightning and thunder kicked in, Noah snuggles up to Bud and says "I'm scared." Bud, being Bud, begins to explain the scientific improbability of lightning striking us where we’re sitting. His explanation is even complete with a demonstration and some impressive (though questionable) statistics.
Out of nowhere, Molly chimes in with wisdom beyond her years.

“Noah, God will save us!,” she insists.

My question is, what are you afraid of this week? What statistically improbable things might God be asking you to trust him in? Where is the Maker of heaven and earth calling you to be “strong and courageous?"

1"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God[a]; trust also in me. John 14:1

Friday, February 19, 2010

Working on My Attitude this Week...

From James McDonald...
"When we express resentment over circumstances beyond our control and about which we're doing nothing, God hears it and hates it. Why? Because complaining is a sin.

Maybe you're thinking, Wait a minute; complaining may not be a great thing, but a sin? Who am I really hurting when I complain?

  • Yourself. When you complain you're choosing a response that does you harm rather than good. Our complaints may lead to anger, bitterness, and even depression. God loves you. He doesn't want you hurting yourself.

  • God. That's because complaining questions God's sovereignty! To complain is to say, in effect, "God, you blew it! You had a chance to meet my expectations, but you couldn't handle it!"

  • People around you. No one likes a negatron or a lifetime member of the cold-water brigade, do they? If your friends and family hear you complaining all the time, your "stinking thinking" is bringing them down. "But they do the same thing," you say. Okay, then, y'all are bringing each other down."

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The song...

I wrote the song posted below in 2002, after my brother, Randy, had been diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. I added the third verse after his death in 2003.

As a child I remember being plagued by nightmares. Not just your average, run-of the mill nightmares, but those remarkably vivid, eyes open, fingernails white, and still peeing your pants horrors I believe they call night terrors these days. Fortunately for me, my brother and my bedrooms had adjoining closets. Most nights found me insisting he sleep with his closet doors open, as I would do, so I could be assured he was “watching me” through the dark. “Are you watching me?’ became the mantra of my childhood evenings – and the inspiration of this song.

Randy’s been gone for 7 years this week, but occasionally, I still sing this song to my children. Though they will not have the privilege of knowing their uncle this side of heaven, I hope they’ll someday see through my eyes, the man I was proud to call brother.

My Brother Watching Me

From my perch atop the swing set
Or from treetops in the sun,
I’d command rapt attention
As I flipped and dipped and hung.
In my fanciful imaginings,
I was graceful as could be
But the key to my performance
Was my brother watching me.

From the darkness of a bedroom,
Buried ‘neath teddy bear limbs
I would call out my terror.
I would call out to him.
Through the night
And through the closet,
I was sure that he could see,
And as long as he was watching
I was safe and I was free.

Eyes of mischief, Eyes of glee;
My brother watched o’er me;
Drove the nightmares from my room;
Conjured giggles out of gloom;
Taught me,” spread my wings and fly;”
“Close your eyes and hold on tight.”
But for all the things I owe;
He taught me best to let it go.

From my chair along his bedside,
In the wee hours of the night,
We entwined sibling hands,
Drawing deep for one last flight.
“They that wait upon the Lord,
Shall renew their strength and fly.”
One last lesson brother taught,
“Keep your eyes upon the sky.”

Eyes of courage, Eyes at peace;
Brother, are you watching me?
Eyes of husband, Eyes of son,
Eyes of father, Eyes of one
Who sought the Savior thru the pain
To point us each toward Heaven’s gate,
Where he watches for us now
To join him there and take our crowns.

From my rocker on the front porch,
I will tenderly recall
The years of love and laughter
Of our family free-for-all.
But among my fondest memories,
The simplest truth may be:
I owe many of my life’s lessons
to my brother watching me.

Eyes of courage, Eyes at peace;
Brother, are you watching me?
Eyes of husband, Eyes of son,
Eyes of father, Eyes of one
Who sought the Savior thru the pain
To point us each toward Heaven’s gate
Where he watches for us now
To join him there and take our crowns.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Things That Must be Dealt With...

Feeling extra special pensive this January... I could have written the beginning of this blog, by Karen Hancock...

"(This was) one of the most difficult and challenging holiday seasons I’ve ever experienced. There was no one major element that made it difficult, but rather a rash of small hits, insults, losses, obstacles, disappointments, inconveniences and just plain weird sequences of events, the timing of which, the interweaving of which, the seemingly tailored nature of which produced an unrelenting parade of Things That Must be Dealt With..."

She goes on to draw lessons from the floomies that I'm struggling to internalize this January. Check it out here: