Archive for January, 2010

The Brightness of Shining

January 9, 2010

The Brightness of Shining (14Jun09)

Some thoughts on Isaiah 60

Bill Johnson did a teaching on 31 May 2009 (www.iBethel.tv or www.iBethel.org )  re: the 1st 5 verses of this passage, and how almost exactly 30 years ago, to the very month, he had been reading this scripture while walking around Bethel Church during worship, which he had just become the pastor of some 6 months before, and the Lord used that particular passage to transform his outlook on what the Church is and how he was called to speak that into existence.

Barnes comments:

Verse 1. [Arise] This is evidently addressed to the church….She is now called on to arise from the dust, and to impart to others the rich privileges which were conferred on her….

[Shine] ….Vitringa regards the expression as equivalent to this, ‘pass into a state of light. That is, enjoy light thyself, and impart it freely to others, Gesenius renders it, ‘Shine, be bright; that is, be surrounded and resplendent with light.’ The idea probably is this, ‘rise now from a state of obscurity and darkness. Enter into light; enter into times of prosperity.’ It is not so much a command to impart light to others as it is to be encompassed with light and glory. It is the language of prophecy rather than of command; a call rather to participate in the light that was shining than to impart it to others.

Isaiah 60:2 …. [But the LORD shall arise upon thee…be seen upon thee] There is more emphatic meaning in the original here than is conveyed in our translation. The Hebrew word…does not mean merely that that glory would be visible, but that it would be conspicuous. It would be so bright and luminous that it would be seen afar-like a cloud or column of glory standing over Jerusalem that would be conspicuous to far distant people.

(from Barnes’ Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

We are called to become “conspicuous” in our “shining.” We are to transform the world, but in order to do so, we must ourselves be “shined upon” with waves of glory so intense that we ourselves are transformed first. This is the draw of superhero movies and stories, that we so desire to become that agent of change that we bring glory and goodness and salvation into the world. Deep inside, each of us desires to become a Superman, Zorro, Batman, William Wallace, or William Wilberforce. That is our calling, and if we are willing to learn and participate, it is our destiny.

How do we get there? Because we come from a culture that pushes performance, our immediate response would be, “What do I DO?” That is the wrong question. It is primarily a matter of BECOMING, not of DOING. Light shines OUT from us, RADIATES out from us, and it is a function, a by-product, not a focus. If we reach for results, we have a mentality of measuring, not of mirroring. We REFLECT glory that is poured out on us, given into us, transferred and conferred onto us. We are change AGENTS, not changers. It is as though we were called to be catalysts, unaffected by the change we cause (though in fact we ourselves will also be transformed in the process of transforming).

We must ready ourselves. It is more a matter of positioning ourselves, as T.D. Jakes says in the title of his book, “RE-Position Yourself!” We are called to get ourselves into alignment, much as a laser does, in order to so organize and focus the light coming into us that it cuts, heals, melts and molds into usable, profitable, beneficial , life-giving products and services.

We must not focus on ourselves or the results we think we are supposed to bring. The one who appears to get no results may in fact be over the long haul the most significant change-agent (as with Boris Cornfeld leading Solzhenitzen to salvation, or the little monk dying in the gladiator fights but in so doing, beginning their demise—2 stories told by Chuck Colson in Loving God). We must listen to the love-song of our Daddy singing over us, as the father did his young son who was fretting while the mother was shopping: “I love you. You’re my most wonderful son. You have been the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. I love you so dearly…” and on and on with made-up words and tune, and the son, when then dad puts him into the carseat and stops singing, looks up and says, “Sing it again to me, Daddy!” (a story told by Richard Foster in the intro to the book Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home). We must be so in tune with our heavenly Father that, like Jesus, we do only what we see him doing, say only what we hear him saying, act only when we know he is directing, and wait otherwise.

An incredibly difficult thing to do—waiting—but it is our HIGH CALLING! Waiting not simply as “killing” time, but rather as redeeming. Waiting as the best waiter in the highest-class restaurant waits—looking at the customer to see the slightest indication that something is amiss, that something is needed, that something is wanted. Looking at the Father’s eyes as in Psalm 32:8, looking to see where his eyes are directed, where he wants something done, where his heart is. Listening to his heartbeat and knowing the connection with his eyes, seeing the longing of his heart radiating out through his burning eyes. Being so penetrated that we melt into oneness, unable to move—and so is he, ravished by one look into our expectant eyes (S.Sol.4:9 ?), and we melt together in an embrace of love that rocks eternity.

And we have to be so changed that in the humdrum everydayness of life, we don’t even have to think about our boredom or inactivity. We are not focused on results, and so we do not have to measure our lack of “doing something.” Rather, we are available, a witness who may never get called to the stand, but nonetheless ready. And believing that exactly where we are is where we are supposed to be (as Neo was told in Matrix) for that given moment, nothing more, nothing less. “Locked and loaded,” even if never used.

Waiting.

Ready. Aim….

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10th Anniversary Prayer

January 5, 2010

10th Anniversary Prayer 31Jul09

Father, thank you for 10 years of marriage the 2nd time around, and for 25 the first. You are awesome, to keep us faithful to succeed in that! I appreciate your faithfulness in us, to make us more and more into the image of Christ, so that we can be successful like this, in faithfulness, in loyalty, in perseverance. And we have reaped the benefits of it, enjoying the companionship and fellowship, the joys and trials and overcomings that you presented along the way, that were to be had for the taking—Diane’s heart attack, building our home, finishing VLI, our real estate forays, all the ins and outs of living, the ups and downs with our kids and grandkids, the church relationships, the other gems along the way. Truly “You are good and what you do is good”! I appreciate you so much, Father.

Thank you for today, for another day of living, another day of life. Open my eyes to see what you are doing, where you are going, what you are asking of me. Take me in the direction you want me to go. Teach me to do the things you want me to do. I love you so much.

Thank you for 3 weeks of running now, for causing me to be successful in that. Thank you for showing me how to focus and become just a little more disciplined. Thank you for running with me, for causing me to, at least momentarily, know you were there with me.

What would you say to me this morning ?

Enjoy this time with Diane. I AM with you, and I celebrate this anniversary also. I love your presence, your seeking me, your trying to stay in touch with me. I want to cuddle next to you, to have you sit in my lap, to snuggle. Go and enjoy this day. Focus on Diane and celebrate her. In doing so, you honor me, b/c that is the way I feel about my Bride.

Thankfulness For My Uniqueness

January 5, 2010

Prayer of Thankfulness for My Uniqueness 6Jul09

Father, here I am again. How do I maintain some sort of consistency, of coherence, of “threaded-ness” in prayer? How do I maintain over the long haul? What is the key to persistence (or what are the keys)? I know a hunger to know you is one. I’m finding that more and more—in the evenings, when temptations come, there is a desire to please you, to not do anything that would cause separation between us. I hear your voice when you encourage me through the day, telling me that you have my whole life under control, that I can trust you fully to bring everything I need into my life, that I don’t have to strive. That is so precious to me, so tender it brings tears to my eyes right now. I love you so much, and appreciate those intimate touches, those times of bathing in the certainty of your love. Of course I wish they were more often, and more intense, but I am so thankful even to have them…I don’t remember them.

And then you send people like Gregg Finley to remind me that I have a history that has spoken into the lives of others, for him to see me choose Iris, un-beautiful (to the world’s eye), choosing a greater inner beauty, to deliberately have chosen someone in a wheelchair, handicapped, physically deformed, not physically desirable to almost all. And how I had written in a book I gave or loaned him about my desire to wash her with the water of the word, to bring her into the perfection of the Bride—I don’t remember doing that, but I must have, I’m sure of that. And then to be able to tell him how I came to be with Diane, asking her to marry me sight-unseen, and then following through even when repulsed by her weight, choosing again to go for inner beauty and depth. And here we are, coming on 10 years.

And then yesterday, looking at the house we’ve built—different, custom, totally unique, our own design and creation…to realize that over the years, you have made me not care what the world thought, made me different and aware of that difference enough to stand alone, to become my own man. That revelation was your voice speaking to me, encouraging me, applauding me. I thank you for that, Father.

Father, thank you for making me me. Thank you for not making me fit into anyone else’s mold. Yes, I have used that uniqueness to rebel against you sometimes, to insist on my ways over yours, but I keep coming back to you and the unique way you made me, the person who is appreciated by the Gregg Finleys and by Iris and Diane and our kids and grandkids…and I am humbled, and so grateful. I love you so much, Father. Thank you. Thank you so much.

And when I get to the end of this life, I really don’t care so much that I have succeeded in superficial, surface ways. I want the depth to be there, the memories of those who have loved me and seen me walk the path you’ve laid out for me, and that I have agreed to, and even helped blaze. I want a treasury of memories of having been kind and helpful and loving, of having poured into those who were unlovely, who had no standing in the world. I want to pour words of encouragement into others, and acts of service and love and giving, and life simply by my presence, by my choice of whom I commit to. That is the main consistency I want, a life spent walking as a prayer, a connecting-link between those I meet and you, Father, a way of bringing integrity and wholeness in and through me, in such a way that others know you more by knowing me, or having known me.

GOD’S THOUGHTS TOWARD ME

January 1, 2010

Father, I commit this day to you. Cause me to know your will and your ways. Is there anything specific you wish to say to me right now? (25Jun2008)

Are you really ready to listen? You know where you are right now, and you so often put Me on the back burner or out of the picture altogether.

What is the solution to that, Father?

You have to train yourself to listen more. I AM trying to relate to you. The things that happen in a day are not the important things. What is important is that you see Me in the things that happen. I AM directing your life in a thousand million ways each day that you never see. All of life is sustained by My energy, by My Holy Spirit, and you would not exist without My holding all of life together. Do you not think I have every little thing in your life mapped out? That is why pride is so wrong. When you think you are in control of your life and your destiny, you downgrade me to a mechanical cause and try to manipulate life, instead of appreciating what I am sending into it. I AM so into you—you have no idea.

How do I change my thinking on that?

Renew your mind. Transform your thinking. Metanoia. Reverse osmosis—let My nature soak into you and the old nature be replaced by me. It’s the natural process of meditating on My Word, of allowing Me to be in everything, of being thankful in everything.

Is there anything I can do to speed the process?

Speed is not the issue. I AM eternal—I don’t change. Neither does the intensity of My purpose in you, the “intentionality,” as Graham Cooke calls it. I am so fiercely intentional toward you, toward making you what you were designed to be, that the amount of energy focused on you as an individual, or any other individual, is enough to shatter the earth into individual molecules and send every one to the furthest possible distance from every other one. How is that for how great My “lovingkindnesses,” My “intentionality,” is toward you??? Remember the Psalmist said, “How great are your thoughts toward me! How vast is the sum of them!” That was his way of expressing this concept. Every person on earth now and every person ever created could come up with as many unique ways of expressing My love for one particular individual, and it still would be only a drop in the bucket compared with how vast that love is. I AM so incredibly vast, so limitless, that there is literally no end to My thoughts toward you! They were in me before time began, before anything was created, and if all creation stopped existing, they would still be in Me! Walt Whitman was feeling that immensity as part of his being when he said, “I am large. I contain multitudes.” He had no idea how close he was to My thoughts toward him, let alone all mankind. This is why the angels stand in awe of you and My relationship toward you.

Father, I am speechless.

As well you should be. Only in the silence can you begin to enter into the fullness of the Godhead. “The fullness of the Godhead bodily dwells in my Lord, and we are complete in Him.” Real completeness and fulfillment are waiting, more than you can ever know—and yet you can enter into it enough to satisfy every longing, while creating a thousand more of greater intensity! Come and be satisfied! Come and be filled! Come and enter into the greatest longing ever known! Come and abide in Me!

GROWTH IN GOD

January 1, 2010

Father God speaking to me: (26Jun2008)

I have unlimited resources. All of life is all about training, about growing you into the fullness of a mature Son. It takes time; it takes mistakes; it takes learning to listen. You do not listen to Me enough, but you have to learn that. I AM patient; I AM not in a hurry. When you are in a hurry, you are most likely to miss Me. I see the heart; I see the intent, and I AM satisfied with incomplete actions when your heart is right. I will bring you to the level where there are completed, perfected actions with right heart, but the only way to learn how to do it right is by having done it wrong as well. There is no other way.

I don’t call it trial and error; I call it trial and learning. You are trying; you are learning. I AM orchestrating the bigger picture so you will learn what you need to. What kind of father would I be if I didn’t bring you to maturity when I had the capability to do so? But maturity includes risk on My part—I have to allow you room to grow, to choose options beyond mere puppetry control. That requires “mistakes,” mis-steps, missed opportunities that can never be recovered. We don’t do “Ground Hog Day,” where you get to do exactly the same thing over and over with an increasing knowledge base until it is perfect. What I do is far more intricate and elaborate, far more amazing, giving the same test in different clothing, in different venues, in alternative situations, so you really learn the basics. And the basics are about character, about relationship with Me and others, about meaning and presence and purpose and direction, about life and love and healing and health, about living abundantly. You have no idea how My heart aches for you to come into the abundance I have for you.

You saw a good lesson while watering: “The one who has much will be given more.” The large hydrangea gets more watering from you b/c it is larger and needs it. The one who has much I give more to both b/c he needs it to sustain the level I’ve taken him to, and b/c he is able to use the more I give to expand to greater heights, depths, and breadths. He requires more to take more territory. It is the way I get the best ROI on investment. Small will grow in greater percentage, but large will grow in greater quantity: for 1 to become 2 is 100% growth, but for 1000 to become 1100 is only 10% growth, even though the quantity of growth is 100 times the growth of the small one.

So don’t envy what I give them, b/c I measure them differently than you. Be faithful in what I give you—enjoy it, develop it, be thankful for it, use it— and you will be happier, and you will bring Me greater joy. Grow where I plant you, in the ways I lead you, and know that I could have placed you in any one of millions of other situations, none of which were exactly right for you! Where you are is exactly where I want you to be! The more you fight, the less you can be what I really designed you to be. The more you listen, cooperate, learn, grow, the more you will find fulfillment, life, joy, fruitfulness, and meaningful relationship with Me and with those I have placed in your life!

HOW SPECIAL I AM

January 1, 2010

Father, what do you want to say to me this morning? (20April2008)

[from y’day:] Keep fighting the good fight. You are doing well at learning to be diligent yet flexible. I AM proud of you. You are learning to fight, to try to take territory, to extend the boundaries of my kingdom. B/c you are doing that, I am increasing your kingdom and boundaries, and you will begin to see growth that will be extremely satisfying to you. You enjoy productivity—I made you that way, and you glorify me when you are most productive in a holy way. You enjoy flowing in me, in motion with me, connected with me in an integral way, becoming one in the flow. And I am bringing that to pass in you, and teaching you how to flow in it more and more. Keep going. Keep pressing in. Keep loving me. I LOVE YOU!! And I am pleased with the path you’re on…

You are special to me. You don’t always feel it, but you are. Yes, every single person can be special in a unique way, and as you relate to each of your children differently, so I relate to each of you differently. That’s not news to you, but what is news is that I have always felt that way about you. That’s why I created you. That’s why I watch over you. That’s why you are where you are. If I didn’t leave the creation of the world to chance, if I didn’t leave the growth of the lilies to chance (and each one is  more beautifully arrayed than Solomon, just like the bearded iris you picked this morning, even though they are unnoticed and grow in abundance—I provide for each one uniquely. I know what each one is doing, what it is capable of, what I have planned for it. Do you think I would leave you to chance, to the devices of the world, to the “devil-may-care” attitudes of those who have no vested interest in your success? I HAVE A VESTED INTEREST IN SEEING YOU SUCCEED! MY HONOR is at stake, just as in Ezek.36.

Don’t try to analyze it. It ‘s a matter of the heart, of spirit to spirit. I LOVE YOU! I HAVE GREAT PLANS FOR YOU, PLANS YOU COULD NOT BEGIN TO IMAGINE!!!!!!!

You have to believe it without feeling it. You have to trust me on this one. YOU HAVE NOT FAILED! YOU HAVE NOT MISSED ME! KEEP ON TRUSTING! KEEP ON PRESSING IN!

FINDING MY PLACE AND FEELING FRUITFUL

January 1, 2010

I often struggle with whether I’m really being fruitful and finding my place as God intends. This morning, in my quiet time, He spoke to me in this way:

He told me that I am a seed-planter (linking of teacher [my redemptive gift] w/ day 3 of creation and seeds, plants & trees, and the land, per Arthur Burk’s teachings on individuals’ redemptive gifts), and that my results are not often visible and therefore I don’t need to expect them to be. I had been impressed earlier with the fact that Haggai’s entire mission in life, as far as we are given to know, was to utter 3-4 prophecies over a 4-month period! And we often see this with people, that the entire impact we’re given to see is compressed in a small window, maybe even after they die—such as the 2 instances Chuck Colson gives in Loving God of the monk whose death helped stop gladiator fights and Boris Cornfeld, the “completed Jew” doctor in the Russian gulag who, by witnessing to a fevered man during the night before BC was bludgeoned to death for his testimony, led that man, Solzinetzsin (sp?), to the Lord! And such instances of sacrificial impact in one moment of time are probably as abundant as the flowers and seeds of plants that no one ever enjoys except God and the angels!

We ought not to measure ourselves in this life, but that seems to be one of the most difficult lessons to learn. Our competitive society amplifies our own self-perceptions of inadequacy and failure, and we typically come down hard on ourselves in comparison with other people. We hear so many negative voices that, though not our own and not those of a Prodigal (original meaning “extravagant”)  Father who desires to have back home with Himself, drag us down, and we listen to them and buy into their negativity and believe them—to put a twist on the famous statement by the cartoon Pogo, “We have met the enemy and it is us!” But it is SO NOT US! We are created in God’s likeness, intended for eternal greatness, blessed beyond measure—and so unaware of it! Our unbelieving hearts betray us, and we “feel” we have to see it before we will believe it, not knowing that we entomb ourselves in a belief system that would not let us believe, even if we saw! We are like the brothers of rich man who awoke in hell and, realizing that he could not escape, begged for someone to be sent back to his brothers so they would believe: “No,” he was told. “They have Moses and the Prophets. If they won’t believe them, how would they ever believe, even if someone was sent back from the dead?” And Jesus was sent back from the dead, but how often do we really believe that resurrection life applies to us in this life??

I was struck by a comment in a testimony by Jennifer Miller Toledo that we in the Western world cannot preach an unadulterated gospel. We have a gospel we think is the “real” gospel, but is so powerless and inept as to drive more away than it attracts. The real gospel does drive away, but only those to whom it is the stench of death, those destined for death—possibly by their own clear choices before entering time. (Someone else has wisely said, “God doesn’t send anyone to hell, but if they insist, He will allow them their free will to choose.”)

In the final analysis, our fruitfulness in this life is not for us to measure, and the more we try, the more we partake of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Notice, it is not just the knowledge of evil—we honestly believe as we partake that we can take the good and leave the evil, but that is an impossibility. The more we judge and evaluate our results, the less effective we probably are. “The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment.” (1 Cor.2:15) Including, I think we fail to realize, his own. Paul speaks in other places of not even judging his own effectiveness, but leaving that for the Lord to judge, and of continuing to run the race in such a way as to not be disqualified.

Bottom line? I don’t know. Am I trying to persuade myself? Maybe. This is definitely a truth I need to learn in such a way that it is totally embedded in me. There is a story that goes something like this:

A Chinese man buys a horse. “Good!” say his friends.

But he responds, “Who knows whether it is good or bad?’

The horse gets lost. “Bad!” say his friends.

But he responds, “Who knows whether it is good or bad?’

The horse is found. “Good!” say his friends.

But he responds, “Who knows whether it is good or bad?’

His son rides, falls, breaks his leg. “Bad!” say his friends.

But he responds, “Who knows whether it is good or bad?’

A war breaks out and the son cannot go because of his broken leg…

See the logic? We never fully know in this life whether a particular thing is “good” or “bad.” Hezekiah thought it good that he was given 15 years more to live, but that 15 years produced Manassah, who was unarguably the most evil king ever, and who led the nation into destruction. If Hezekiah had been willing to go ahead and die at his appointed time, who knows whether the nation might have been spared for centuries? Good? Bad? Only God knows.

So how do I apply that, Lord? You keep telling me not to worry, not to measure my effectiveness, not to get discouraged at where I am. And I try, I honestly do. Is there some way you can teach me to measure myself by nothing except my closeness to you? I smile at that thought, because then how would I even experience the dark night of the soul? Then again, Hosea took Gomer—and you take us—into the wilderness to woo us. I don’t know. I am only me. I can only put one step in front of the other. Just teach me, Lord, to know, even if only faintly, that each next step is the one you want me to take. (8:39 am, 17May2008)

LEARNING TO PLAY–IT TAKES A LIFETIME!

January 1, 2010

As a child, I have few memories of playing. My perception of myself was always of being serious, an old man in a young body. (I seem to recall T.S. Eliot having some similar perception of himself, bringing criticism from the establishment for calling himself an aged eagle at age 21 or some such.)  I have very few memories of early childhood, either good or bad.

Part of this may have stemmed from the death of my father at age 3½ from suicide and, being older than my sister, having to become the “man of the house.” When my mother remarried some 4 years later, my new step-father turned out to be an alcoholic and wife-abuser. (My mother was his 2nd wife, and his 3rd shot him in the back and ended up living with him till his death.)

I remember being a loner, immersing myself in academics and reading fantasy. I had few friends and was a “nerd” before the term was coined. I remember wishing I could be grown up, always wanting to be in on adult conversations, and disliking being forced to stay outside to play in the yard.

My first marriage was by and large a serious matter. My wife Iris was paraplegic, having had a spinal injury at age 22 months and being confined to a wheelchair with no movement or feeling in her legs. She was 4 years older than I—we married when I was 21 and she was 25. I had just finished my MA, taking exams the week I turned 21.

I worked at being an electrician, and we had a couple of kids, but most of the time our focus was on serious matters—work, family, church. Occasionally there was play, but it was almost incidental, certainly not a focus.

When she died after 25 years of marriage and I began to get serious about Diane over the internet, I actually asked her to marry me sight-unseen. I remember talking to my pastor in a roundabout and indirect way about beginning to date again. When he said that would be OK, just not to get serious too quickly, I retorted, “Bill, you don’t understand—dating for me was always serious. I would never date anyone who wasn’t a potential mate, and the sole purpose I see in dating is to find a mate!”

When we married (7 months to the day after my first wife died) Diane had her work cut out for her. In building my electrical business, I had become a workaholic, and work interfered with our marriage. I carried a pager as well as a cell phone, and it took her several years to rid me of the pager. Work always came first. In the first 3 years of our marriage, we built a huge house, I took a church-related leadership course (VLI—Vineyard Leadership Institute, a 7-quarter period requiring 20 hours per week for 10 weeks of each quarter), and maintained the electrical business.

In our wedding vows, Diane and I pledged to try to make each other laugh every day. Learning to do that has been a growing process, and not always an easy one. We often laugh over mistakes we’ve made over the years—like when I told her to get on the back of the jet ski at the dock, and we both went into the water without leaving the dock. We have a lot of fun with our kids and grandkids, hers and mine, and love playing jokes on each other.

We find it easier to play when we go off for a weekend jaunt or a vacation, getting away from the stress of everyday life. After we built the house and finished VLI, we took a 2-week vacation, the first in either of our lives. We experienced a joy in playing we had never known. Though our play is not physical—we’re both in our mid-50’s and neither very physically active in sports, etc.—we do “work at” learning to play as a focus, and it is still a priority.

Having enough to meet our needs can be done by increasing income or by decreasing expenses. One of our current goals is to sell our home and get ourselves back into a situation of less debt load, in order to free ourselves up to play and enjoy life more. When Diane and I first married, we owed very little on our house and, looking back, were better able to make it on less income and enjoy it more. As I’ve counseled with mentors about my life and my work goals, I’ve realized that “going for the gold” may not be the best choice for me. I’m more ready to wind it down, relax, have fun, and really focus on learning to play.

(originally written January 29, 2008)

HOW DO I HEAR THEE?

January 1, 2010

How Do I Hear Thee?

Poem Written 2008 02 19 Tues 8:30am

I think of the poem (by Elizabeth Barrett Browning?),

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

I love thee…

And I re-phrase it in terms of prayer:

How do I hear Thee? Let me count the ways:

I hear thee in the little things that come,

Encouraging my heart to find its home

Within Your heart and there for all my days

To travel without leaving from Your grace,

To find my strength in You and You alone,

To see myself as seated on Your throne,

Upon Your lap, and looking at Your face.


The world would crash and savage me again,

My flesh join in and gleefully agree,

The devil take advantage every chance.

But I take refuge in my Rock and stand

Against myself and all attacking me,

And know, again, the joy, the rest, the Dance.

KCSJr 2/19/08

How do I see Thee? Every passing day

Reveals new mercies—I am still alive

With joy and strength; my spirit starts to thrive

In watching for Your hand to guide my way.

I close my eyes but see Your majesty,

Abounding in my thoughts and in my dreams,

As dolphins leap, or rushing mountain streams

Cascade upon the rocks in splashing glee.


But still, I long to see You face to face,

To melt into Your gaze of fire, to know

The vantage point of Your perspective, high

Above the changing, pointless, fruitless race

I find me in—I want to find the flow

Of seeing through Your focused, perfect Eye.

KCSJr 2/29/08

A REVELATION ABOUT FATHERING

January 1, 2010

When my son was an infant—he is now 34—I began crying out to God about my perceived inability to father. My own father had committed suicide when I was 3½, and had been in the Navy on an aircraft carrier and so was mostly absent. My mother remarried when I was almost 8, and that man was an alcoholic who was abusive often when drunk, and unpredictable in his fathering, either authoritarian and heavy-handed or absentee. I even went to college a year early to escape the situation at home.

One day, as I was crying out, the Lord gave me an unexpected revelation which brought tremendous relief. He caused me to look at the situation of the 40-year wilderness experience of Israel coming out of Egypt. There a large group of fathers—perhaps in the millions—coming out of a slave mentality, failed to take God at His promise that He would enable them to take the Promised Land. Yet over the next 40 years, they managed to raise up a generation that could do what they were not able to! A generation of unbelievers raised up a generation of believers! In light of that, my failure at fathering could still become a glorious success in my children, enabling them to go farther and higher than I had.

My son is now entering into some of that. After a year of a fairly successful business blog (www.ChangeForge.com), related to his profession (head of IT [Information Technology at what used to be Kearns Business Solutions, now part of the world-wide $30-billion Sharp Business Systems]), he has just launched a spiritual blog (www.SeekingtheSon.org), chronicling his journey spiritually. His insights and ability to convey them in both arenas still quietly amaze me. Definitely an answer to prayer!

Update: As we start the new decade (today is Friday, January 1, New Year’s Day 2010) my son is now 35. He and I went hiking this past Wednesday to Rainbow Falls on the Horsepasture River in NC, hiking in from the new Gorges State Park entrance. In June of 1999, I scattered his mother’s ashes from a rock here into the water running over the falls, because her name–Iris–means “rainbow” in Greek. We had a great time talking, he sharing his dreams and other info about what he had learned in various stations of life, and as I got out of the car upon returning, I told him how proud I was to have him as a son. He responded about how proud he was to have me as a dad. The blessings just keep reverberating!