Saturday, December 29, 2012

Are You Who You Want to Be?

There is a song by the group “Switchfoot” that I absolutely love.  It’s called, “This Is Your Life.” 

It speaks of how quickly time goes by and how you only have today.  The chorus asks a profound question:  “This is your life, are you who you want to be?”

It’s a question we all need to ask ourselves, no matter our age or what stage of life we are in.  This is your life.  Take a look around you.  This is the life you have been given. 

You might have wanted something different.  It might not have turned out the way you expected or hoped for.  But this is your life.

With that understanding, now you need to ask yourself, with what you have been given…with what you have today, are you who you want to be?  Notice the question isn’t, “Would you change your life?”  But it’s essentially would you change you?

We are about to embark on a brand New Year.  Forget the “New Year’s Resolutions.”  Those are made to be broken.  Instead, put your life into the hands of the One who created it and gave it to you.  Yes, the good and the bad.

Nothing comes as a surprise to the Lord.  It all gets filtered through His holy hands.  So if that’s true, no matter what you faced this past year and no matter what is before you, there is nothing to fear. 

There is much you can’t change and won’t be able to change.  About the only real control you have is over yourself.  So again, I ask…are you who you want to be?  And if not, what steps can you take to become that person?

Photo above by nem_youth in stock.xchng

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Power in the Name

Mass shootings, some involving young children.

Military action against hostile forces.

Fallen church leaders.

Sudden and unexpected deaths leaving families to grieve.   

All of this in just the last few weeks, with some of it touching me personally and some of it affecting me from a distance.  Merry Christmas?

It causes me to look even deeper into the story of Christmas.  The babe in the manger, innocence wrapped up by a blanket. 

I lean over and take a peek into the eyes of a newborn that will one day carry the weight of all this and so much more.  The sin of this world.  My sin.  Your sin. 

And I breathe out the beautiful name of “Jesus.”  I don’t see just a baby any longer.  No, I see power.  Power in the name of the one who is being held in the arms of a new mother. 

When life seems unbearable and the pain too deep, there is only one word that I need to say.  There is just one word that holds all the power we need…Jesus.

And yes, I can now say with renewed hope and joy in my heart…MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Gift Fit for a King

One of my favorite Christmas songs is “The Little Drummer Boy.”  At the end of this blog, I am including a video to one of my favorite versions of this song.

There is a stanza in this classic song that I can especially relate to.  It is this:

“Baby Jesus, pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
That’s fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum”

Sometimes I feel like a lost soul who has nothing to give.  What could I possibly offer to my King and Savior that is fit for him?

Give Him myself?  My imperfect, flawed self?

Give Him all that is within me, the good, the bad and the ugly?

It just doesn’t seem right.  If I were a King, would I want the whole of me? 

It’s when I look through my human eyes that I don’t see worth.  But I am so grateful that Jesus doesn’t view me this way.  He sees me through the loving eyes of my Heavenly Father. 

And in His eyes, I am of great worth.  My life is a gift to Him.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

One Decision

If you have ever watched the show “What Would You Do?” hosted by John Quinones, you know it’s about setting people up.  They suddenly find themselves in the midst of an uncomfortable situation and the idea is to see how many people will get involved.

This past Friday it felt like I was living this out.  Not that I was set up but it came down to would I get involved.

I had just picked my daughter up from her driver’s education class.  It was already dark out and for whatever reason; I took an entirely different way home. 

As we passed an area that had very little street lights, with an open field on our right, out of the corner of my eye I noticed a group of what appeared to be teenagers.  One was wearing a very long, dark trench coat and it appeared from the few seconds I was able to see, they were hovering over something.

Just as we passed I asked my daughter if she could see what they were doing.  She said not but it looked strange.

We were about a mile from our house and I kept going.  But as I continued on, a knot in my stomach began to form.  Something didn’t seem right about what was going on. 

I felt pulled.  I wanted to go back but then another side of me thought it was a stupid idea.

By the time we got to our house, I couldn’t ignore the gnawing pain in the pit of my stomach any longer.  Something was telling me that I needed to go back.  So I dropped my daughter off and told her what I was doing.  She looked at me like I was nuts. 

When I got back to the area, the teens were no where to be seen.  For a moment I felt foolish but then as I turned my car around to go back home, my headlights shined on a body lying in the grass.

My initial thought was that this person must have gotten beat up.  I pulled over and unrolled my window, afraid to get out because the lighting was so poor and I had no idea if the teens were still around.

I yelled out and asked, “Are you okay?” but there was no movement.  I could see that the person’s pants were pulled down enough you could see underwear.  So then I thought it might have been a sexual assault.

My fingers were shaking as I called 911.  They needed to know where I was.  I only live a mile away but I was so flustered, I couldn’t even remember.  I got out of my car and began to walk to the corner, where I could see the street sign and told the 911 operator.

I was still afraid and not sure if I should go over to the person or get in my car.  I ended up walking to the body and then saw it was a boy.  I asked him if he was okay.  He struggled to bring his head up but then it flopped back down.

A couple of minutes later I see a car pull over, a good block away.  A woman gets out and is calling, “Carl!  Carl!”  I yell down to her, “Are you looking for a boy?”  She begins running toward me and when she sees what turns out to be her son lying there, she begins screaming. 

Oh the agony of seeing this woman crouched over her son.  She is shaking him but he can’t move and then he starts to vomit.  Just then a police officer and a fire engine arrive. 

Apparently he was drunk.  I still don’t know why his pants were down or everything that happened.  But the police officer thanked me for coming back and calling them.

As I drove home, still pretty shaken up, God spoke something to my heart.  That all it takes is one moment, one decision and the course of events can drastically change.

That one decision of deciding to go back and get involved might have made the difference in him being found.  Who knows, it could have meant the saving of his life. 

We are faced with many “one” decisions every single day.  Most won’t be as drastic as something like this.  But some will be life changing.  That one decision to give in to temptation.  That one decision to tell someone off.  That one decision to follow what you know in your heart to be true.

It takes just one moment, one decision for the direction of your life to change…for the good or for the bad.