The Tree Light Miracle

Megan and I have been talking about helping our kids (and us too) learn to see God’s hand at work all around us.

Just yesterday Megan was setting up the pre-lit Christmas tree (I know blasphemy) when after it had been up and decorated for several hours, the whole middle section of lights went out.  This was very frustrating for Megan.  But she decided this could be a God at work moment.  She interrupted the kids from whatever they were doing and told them they needed to pray that God would help them fix the lights quickly and easily.  Before praying Megan had been fiddling with the fuses and bulbs trying to discover and decipher which light was the culprit, after praying it only took a few moments and the second light she messed with turned all the lights back on.

I know, simple and silly, but to us a big deal. We want to stop being so self-reliant and teach our kids God really does care and is involved with our lives at every level.  So for us- Another Festivus Miracle!

P.S. I’m sure I was being helpful somewhere else (probably outside hanging those lights).

Vintage or Veneer?

I was at Guitar Center this last week and a guitar caught my eye.  It wasn’t pretty, in fact it was set up to look like an old vintage guitar which had seen lots of wear and tear in it’s day, a real classic which had a story to tell.  The only problem, it was all manufactured to look old.  It wasn’t, it came brand new from the factory pre-rusted up, with a paint job that looked like an old paint job.

Something just seemed wrong with the whole concept.  You hear stories of people finding an old ugly guitar that plays like a dream.  They find it in a hidden away pawn shop where, because of the way it looks, it is forgotten, until one day someone is fortunate to pick it up and play it and they find a hidden gem.  That’s the guitar I want to find, a true classic a lost then found treasure.

I think I do the same thing in life.  I see people in life who have really done some incredible things.  I see the end result of their experiences and wisdom and want to have what they have.  I see their scars and stories and I want what they have, but without going through the time it takes to earn the rust and wear and tear.

The problem is, it’s not real.  It’s all image, surface with no substance. In the process of trying to get what everyone else has, I miss out on my own story.  Do I want the great story of living a real vintage life one day or just a faux paint job on my life so it kind of looks cool from a distance?…I”ll see you at the pawn shop.

You Got To Tell Somebody!

“Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half sorrow. ” Swedish Proverb

In 2 Kings 7 there is another cool story during the time of Elisha the prophet.  Now Elisha was the “heir” of Elijah.  If you remember he received a double portion of Elijah’s spirit.  And wow, some incredible cool things happen by God through the life of Elisha…

This particular story finds the city of the Israelites under siege by an enemy army and the people of the city starving to death.  It’s so bad not only are they eating the heads of donkeys, but they’ve resorted to boiling their own children (I’m assuming and hoping after they had already died-YUCK!).

A group of lepers living outside the city are starving as well, so they decide it would be better to wander into the enemy camp with the hope of receiving some mercy and some food.  Even if the enemy decides to kill them it would be better than starving to death. Well, God does a miracle so when the lepers approach the camp, the army actually hears the sound of chariots and soldiers and they are stricken with great fear.

The lepers are completely unaware of the miracle, but when they wander into the camp it’s completely deserted.  Jackpot baby!  These guys begin to eat all they want and start carrying off treasure and hide it.  When they are getting their second helping of spoil, they have one of those moments of realization and conviction, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news.  If we are silent and wait until the morning light, punishment will overtake us.  Now therefore come; let us go and tell the king’s household.”  (and maybe they added, “of course, we don’t need to share about the treasure we already took…”).

I think I’m like those lepers-at least in a spiritual condition and I’ve found great treasure by the miraculous working of God.  Now, what should I do? Simply load up on blessings or recognize the goodness of God and how this is spoil for all who are starving and dying because of the hold the enemy USED to have?  When you’ve got something good pass it on.

“Have you had a kindness shown? Pass it on; ‘Twas not given for thee alone, Pass it on; Let it travel down the years, Let it wipe another’s tears, ‘Til in Heaven the deed appears – Pass it on. ”

Henry Burton (1840-1930);
Clergyman, Writer

Charlie, A Horse Ride, and A Loving God.

It only took a few minutes.  The line lasted a lot longer….but it was worth it.  Man was it worth it!  His face says it all.  Just look, happy and so proud.  It makes my heart so glad.  The moon is shining bright behind his shoulder!  Charlie got to ride a horse!  A huge, gigantic, bigger than life horse! At least to him, but this was his moment.  He got to be a big boy, a real cowboy.

What a joy it is to me as a dad to be able to bless Charlie with this experience.  It totally moves my heart to give this time to my son.  As I was walking next to him and his face was shining with that wonderful smile, I was smiling right there with him.

It hits home in moments like this:  “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”  Matthew 7:11

I love seeing my kids smile. So does God, why do we have such trouble believing it?