Category Archives: Jesus

Pharisee and Believer Recipes

Pharisee Recipe

Pour two cups of pride into a large mixing bowl while forgetting all the bad things you’ve done.

Add cup and half of good works to a cup of following church norms. Extra flavor occurs when family activities are sacrificed to accommodate church commitments.

Carefully compare yourself to others who’ve done worse things, then generously sprinkle in bowl when you need to feel good about yourself.

Smile continuously at those like you, but shake your head in “pity and concern” for those in need of God.  Demonstrate disdain for particularly sinful people, and keep your distance unless, of course, on a church mission trip.

Carefully sift from consciousness all personal weaknesses, struggles, failures, sin and wrongs against others.  Hide sifted mixture in large Tupperware container in back of your memory pantry.  Use multiple containers, when necessary, and cover with black trash bags to insure no one accidentally sees your Tupperware.
Continue reading Pharisee and Believer Recipes

Advertisements

The Valley Waits

You took me to a valley, a deep, dark, ominous land.  You pointed the way and asked me to go through.  You made it clear that only I could walk through it, alone, but you weaved character and stamina of heart together with thread and twine of pain and hope.  The twine seems so harsh and hard, rough, painful as it cuts into the heart beating flesh, but the thread is fine, gold laced, with soothing salve that brings peace with every beat.

It is velvety soft, but iron clad, happy yet sad, good and bad, all at the same time.

And now, You tell me:

Go now through the dark place.  I will not carry you, nor walk for you, for you alone must take the steps.  You must both descend, and climb, the rugged trail.  Know this, however, know that I number your steps as I do your days.  You lift your foot. I’ll light your path.  You take the steps.  I’ll guide your way. Continue reading The Valley Waits

Dear Easton,

Dear Easton,

Welcome to the family!  Welcome to the world!  At six months old now, you’re learning all kinds of things!

Even before the gender reveal party, when your mama pitched a baseball to your daddy and he hit the ball that exploded blue, we were waiting on you!   You’ve been loved from the beginning!Janet and Easton (2)

There’s so much ahead of you!  You’ve already grown like a weed the last six months and now you stare in people’s eyes when they hold you and start smiling and laughing.  You’re even working on turning over!  Soon you’ll be doing all kinds of things!

It’s funny how it will all seem so extraordinarily slow to you, but so incredibly fast to the adults in your life!  In fact, the longest year of your life will be when you turn 15 and waiting on your driver’s license.  Then, it will seem like forever before you graduate from high school, become a legal adult and then turn 21.

Don’t begrudge those years, Easton.  They are full of fun, adventure, life and memories!

After you reach those milestones Easton, and every other one in life, time will start to fly by faster than you can possibly imagine! Continue reading Dear Easton,

Baby Jesus Dreams

Joseph and Mary watched baby Jesus sleep.  He stretched, smiled, then let out a little complaint as Mary removed a piece of hay scratching His neck.  His little face relaxed into deep, silent night sleep.

His eyes moved back and forth in rapid eye movement sleep.  Sometimes He smiled when He dreamed. Sometimes deep agonizing pain came across His face.

Mary asked, “What do you think He’s dreaming?”

Without looking away Joseph whispered, “I really don’t know.”

There’s no guide-book on how to parent the Savior of the world.  The immensity of raising a son, who’s also the Son of the Living God, is beyond comprehension. They really didn’t know what to do except the things that were in front of them minute by minute.

The sleeping newborn was completely, physically dependent on His parents, but there was so much more.  How could Mary and Joseph understand that as they smiled upon their sleeping child, He smiled upon them?  How could they fathom their dreaming baby was hearing people praying to Him at that very moment?  How could they know He was dreaming in human form, but in God form knew everything? Continue reading Baby Jesus Dreams

Climb The Mountain

Shake the desert sand out of your shoes. Get the pebble out of the toe. There’s a mountain to conquer.

It’s not too big or tall, not too steep or too rocky to be settled. It can be done. No matter what the circumstances, it can be conquered. There is a way.  The size of the mountain is not as much of a limit as how we think about it.

There’s always fresh challenges, additional issues, new problems. There’s always something different that starts to make the mountains look the same.

I want the green, lush valley of rest, where gentle breezes and bubbling brooks wind their way through the trees and flowers.  I want the easy path instead of a hard climb, the gentle road, not of the stony trail, but that’s not how it usually goes.

Climb anyway. Continue reading Climb The Mountain

At The Foot Of The Cross

At the foot of the cross,

Where dirt gives way and rugged wood is revealed,

Where sweat, blood and tears drop from above,

Where laughter, jeers and taunts are heard,

Where only a faithful few remain, overcome in pain as they look on…

At the foot of the cross,

Where the blood mud puddles,

Where evil raises its hands in victory unaware it just lost the war,

Where one death births life for all… Continue reading At The Foot Of The Cross

I’m Kind of HIS Father

Dear Mom,

I hope this letter finds you doing well.  In your last letter, you asked me to describe more about Jesus to you.  I’ll do my best:

As you know, I am his father, at least in name.  His existence has literally nothing to do with me. He would have been here, one way or the other.  I know that.  Really, I’m just lucky, blessed that I get to be where I am.

The angel told me what happened, and part of what would be.  I knew then my part in His life was an honor and privilege.

Some people frown at me, particularly some of the high and mighty people around here. They look down their noses at Mary and I and sometimes say cruel things.  We just keep going.

I want to react, to fight back and tell them how the camel eats the grapevine.  Instead, Mary quietly reminds me to relish today.  After all, the end is the prize, not the present.

Continue reading I’m Kind of HIS Father

No More Angel Tears

When the heart’s tap root hits pain, angels cry. Do you feel it?  Do you feel them, something, somewhere, swirling, moving, circling the soul as the root draws up pain watering the heart making it swarthy and bruised?

Some people, some personalities cannot get away from the pain. It’s not that they don’t deal with their own. They do. It’s that some can’t get away from other’s pain.

Sometimes out of the blue it can hit you, in the store, watching TV, hearing a story, understanding what has happened.  The person’s pain, both shown, and even more intense, the hidden pain, grabs hold with a dry ice-cold grip burning the very beats of one’s own heart.

It can’t be explained with words, for words don’t express it. Letters can’t convey it, and the alphabet becomes nothing more than scissors on the tongue.  You can’t get out what has gone in. Continue reading No More Angel Tears

It’s Always Been About The Heart

I, like you, feel deep compassion for the people of Santa Fe, and every other school, movie theatre, club, church and public location that has experienced a mass murder.

What to do? What do we do?

Well meaning people are now looking to, in fact, clamoring for the government to “fix” the problem and solve the dilemma. People are demanding legislation for sentences for “hate crimes”, creating programs to treat mental illness, gun control restrictions and regulating behaviors.

In my simple mind, it’s a paradox. It seems common sense that after planting plum trees, you get plums. You get the fruit of what you plant.

Stay with me.

Continue reading It’s Always Been About The Heart

A Child’s Wisdom

We saw the toddler boy with his parents waiting to board a tour of Mayan ruins in Mexico. That’s not normally where you’d take a toddler on vacation, but he was too little to care. Besides, it was his parent’s vacation.

The toddler was clinging to his parents, no one else. The mother even told a well-meaning worker trying to help them off the bus that he never, ever went to strangers.

Two hours later, standing a distance from the Chichen Izu ruins, the toddler pitter patted away from his parents right up to my wife, Janet. He looked up at her and held up his arms to be picked up.

She simply said, “Awe”, reached down and scooped him up in her arms. The little boy looked at her closely, then laid his head on her shoulder in peaceful contentment. Continue reading A Child’s Wisdom