Thursday, December 27, 2012

Coffee with a Bite!

The other week I was doing some reading and having a cup of take-away coffee from a local café.  I decided to enjoy the cup of Joe just outside my office on the veranda.  It was a pleasant day with the sun shining, birds singing, and white fluffy clouds floating by. (my attempt to rub it in to the northern hemisphere readers…it’s summer here)  I set my take away cappuccino cup down on the cement next to my chair.  As I finished the drink I did what I normally do, took the lid off the cup and began licking the froth that had settled on the inside of the cup. (I normally do this in seclusion, not in public) All of a sudden I felt a sharp sting on my tongue as if I had cut it.   Investigating further, I took my tongue and began rubbing it over my teeth trying to determine exactly where the pain was coming from.  The spot was right in the middle of my tongue.  Resigned to the fact that I had probably sliced it on the seam of the cup I went back to my reading.  A few moments later I continued my investigation by sticking out my tongue and touching the spot and discovering a tiny lump.  As I continued to examine the lump the sting grew in intensity.  It was then I looked down where my cup had been setting and knew immediately what the cause of my pain was.  ANTS!  Yep, an ant had climbed into the cup and was now holding on to my tongue for dear life!  I quickly performed an ant-ectomy. 

Here are some of my observations:

1.     Don’t put my coffee on the veranda floor.

2.     Use a spoon to get the remaining froth from the cup.

3.     Discovered the ancient secret of ant’s hyper activity…caffeine!

Have a great one,


Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Tragedy on So Many Levels

Words are not adequate to express the deep sorrow and sadness that permeates the tragedy that happened in Newton Connecticut.  Two things come to my mind as I try to process this horrible event. First, is the degree of grief for those who lost precious children and loved ones.  As I type this blog, Natalie is in flight from the U.S. to Australia for her Christmas break.  The plane cannot go fast enough for this father to embrace his daughter again.  Thinking of the families who have lost that chance seems almost unbearable.  The level of grief, anger, frustration and the replaying of the day’s events would send even a strong person into despair.  My heart goes out to those families.  I pray for God’s presence to overwhelm them.  For those who in the midst of this crisis who don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus, my hope is that Christ-Followers will surround them, grieve with them, love them, and appropriately point them to Jesus.

The other thought is the depth of brokenness we live with in this world.  Behind the acts of violence and murder was a broken, troubled, and very confused young man.  What was his past? What was going through his mind as he pulled the trigger repeatedly?  What level of deception had overcome his mind to act with such random violence that changed the lives of so many parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors, teachers, and friends?  He was someone’s son, brother, nephew, neighbor, and friend.  How many people will look back and wonder if there was anything they could have done to somehow impact his life?  There is so much to process with this.  I can’t help but think how God’s heart is breaking for not only the victims and their families but also for the perpetrator who demonstrated yet another convincing act that reminds us all, life has gotten so far out of whack from what God intended.   

When tragedy like this occurs I wonder how I would respond if this happened in my family?  Then, I wonder how I would respond if this happened in my community?  I hope I would respond with the grace, love, and appropriateness of Jesus.  I, and I know a lot of you reading this; pray that God’s will, would be done on earth as it is in heaven.  One of our responsibilities as followers of Jesus is to live, love, and act in such as way that brings up there, down here.  I don’t want to wait for a tragedy to nudge me in that mission.  Who knows whom I may impact away from acting out evil?  My prayer is that each day I will pursue life to that end…bringing up there, down here!

Be assured of His Presence even in dark times,


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Just Wait!

This morning I was in a waiting room.  My car was getting serviced so I camped out at the dealer with a book, smart phone, and computer!  I was waiting but I was productive!!!  As I was pondering deep issues this morning it occurred to me I have never heard anyone say: I just love to wait. Or, I have the spiritual gift of waiting! But, there is so much of life that entails waiting: the wait to be born, the wait to go to school, the wait to get your drivers license, the wait to graduate, etc.  Each day there seems to be time consumed in waiting, even for the most trivial of things.

We are in the season that for some, waiting becomes hard: Christmas.  I can remember the agony of waiting until: the Christmas eve meal was eaten, the dishes were all done, and mom and dad got settled before presents were opened.  Those few hours seemed like days to a 9 year old!  One Christmas I caved into the temptation not to wait.  In our family, Sunday afternoons were times of rest and relaxation.  The routine was predictable: mom and dad would retreat to their bedroom for a couple of hours while my older brothers held up in their bedrooms.  I was left all alone in the living room with the TV usually on a basketball game and a Christmas tree loaded with gifts!  On one quiet Sunday afternoon as I lay on the floor near the tree I notice one of my gifts.  There was a flap of wrapping paper where the tape had given way, exposing the end of my gift.  I perfected on that wintery afternoon the fine art of peeling tape back without ripping the paper and meticulously re-applying the tape after I had discovered what treasure lay beneath the tree.  I couldn't wait!

Christmas is about waiting isn't it?  Think of the many years the faithful of Israel waited for the Messiah.  I'm sure there were times they wanted to peel back the future to just see what was coming!  I have come to realize over the last several years the hardest part about waiting.  Want to know what it is?  WAITING!!!  We have had a few times when waiting seemed to drag on: waiting for Natalie to be born and waiting to know where the next ministry takes us.  Yep, were on a journey of waiting and discovering where we will be next.  Our time in Australia will come to a close no later than the end of April 2013.  So now we wait.

Here are a few things I've come to realize about waiting: First, waiting doesn't mean inactivity, neutral, or doing nothing.  While I'm waiting I can use this time to be productive.  Three things I can do without knowing what's next are: Listen, Learn, and Love.  I can listen for God's voice as I wait.  The Psalmist says: Be still and know that I am God (Ps. 46:10).  Next I can learn.  When I'm waiting time seems to be a luxury that leaves when direction is clear.  I can use the time to read, review what I have learned or learn something new. In this case learn to play the didgeridoo...concert information will be available soon!  And last but not least, I can love.  The world is full of tons of opportunities to express the love of God.  While I wait, I need to get my eyes off myself and onto what God sees!  Serving, encouraging, helping never go out of style!

The last thought goes back to the waiting that happened over 2000 years ago.  Once Jesus entered this world the wait for the Savior was over and the reality of His Kingdom came to life.  Even in the midst of my waiting right now, I don't have to wait for a Savior, Redeemer, Friend, Lord, and King to arrive and bring hope to my wait.  He's already here.  Waiting with someone is so much better than waiting alone.  So, for now, I'll wait, how about you???

Have a great Christmas!