504 Java Profile

504 Java Profile
Two of my favorite things

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Power of Words from 12/2008

Communication has an intricate ring
Our speech has power to move
But tone and context are everything
Words alone have no love.

A conversation is incomplete
When reduced to words on a screen
Send, receive, text, delete
How do we say what we mean?

Patience is forgotten–answer me NOW
I can’t see you’re busy or such--
When you don’t respond, I assume somehow
You’re unconcerned, I don’t matter much

Without touch, a pause, a smile, a wink
The text cannot possibly say
How much I want for you to think
That your words matter today

Older Entries from other blogs #3

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

thinking about teenagers

An open letter to teenagers.

I have been in love with teenagers in various youth groups for over 25 years as a youth pastor. I am desperately in love with the two who live in my house. Yet, as a dad and as a youth pastor (and as a youth professor), I have been reminded that sometimes I don't do a very good job of letting you be--you.

I had dinner with a friend who wrote a book about teenagers called, "Hurt" and he reminded me in our conversation that kids get clobbered by the culture pretty much everywhere they go. Coaches, parents, teachers, drama directors, choir leaders, bosses--all have a set of expectations that get communicated well or not so well.

It would be easy to hear "you are too much of something" or "you are not enough of something" but I hope that you will hear some of us say that we love you. To my own kids--please forgive me when I push you to a place where you feel you can't measure up. There is no part of what God created us to be where that is fair.

I am trying to do more of what King David wrote about in Psalm 46:10. I want to do more "still" and less "busy" and know that I have the smile of the Heavenly Father. And I want my kids--Aaron and Sarah and all of the other kids with whom I am privileged to minsiter--to know that I am working on seeing the masterpiece that God made--without any qualification. I still want the best for you. I still want to show you shortcuts that you aren't interested in taking. I want to take the bullets for you and help you out of the hard places. But I know that I can't and shouldn't.

Know that I pray for you.

Older Entries from other blogs #2

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

on healing and redemption

I am sitting in a surgical waiting room because my son Aaron broke his leg in a high school football game on Friday night. He needs to have a plate and a pin inserted so that his leg will heal properly.

I have been in conversations lately with friends who are broken. They have made mistakes or have gone down a road in their life journey that has produced painful consequences.

Aaron's surgeon seemed excited to begin the process of healing. But first he had to cut. He said that pain can be managed, but is unavoidable (after, not during surgery!).

In trying to give good counsel to my friends, I am aware that the Christian community is not among the best at initiating healing. We tend to shoot our wounded and leave them lying on the battlefield. I want to be excited about healing. What if a surgeon didn't want to mess with Aaron because the surgery was messy?

Healing is messy. Redemption cost a messy death on a Roman cross. We cannot condemn abortion and fail to care for teenaged moms. We cannot conndemn premarital sex and then expel from our Christian schools the guilty parties. We cannot be sad about AIDS and then finish our bagel without a second thought because we don't personally know AIDS patients. We cannot read about the homeless and never get around to lifting a hammer at a Habitat site. We must think about the process of redemption that was paid for on a Roman cross. Then and now, fixing broken things is not without pain. Pardon the rant. I apologize if I have offended.

My accountabilty partners, Rob and Greg are walking through Scripture with me to investigate what Jesus said about "responible repentance." Jesus doesn't give a pass on sin, but He allows for reconciliation to the one who is of the mind to "go and sin no more." He describes the community of faith as "salt" (irritant and healing agent) and "light" (exposing things in darkness and lighting a right path). May we be both cutter and healer--speaking the truth in love, but "restoring with a spirit of gentleness" and "watching ourselves lest we be tempted." (Gal. 6:1)

If you have a thought about how we can daily deal with the messiness of restoration, weigh in. At any rate, please pray for Rob and Greg and me as we journey through the redemption and repentence themes in the Sermon on the Mount.

Oh, and thanks for praying for Aaron.

Older Entries from other blogs #1

I have always enjoyed writing thoughts. These are a couple of journal entries from other online places...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

why we love on Valentine's Day
In John 14, Jesus speaks of a motivation for obedience. He calls it love. As I thought about that concept, I considered how far I am from that motivation for doing the things that please the people around me. I do what is expected, often because--well, it is expected. How slow I am sometimes--I delight when my own children do the right thing because they love their daddy and have learned the right thing from my words or my actions. As I purchased Valentine's "happys" for my wife, I don't think it occurred to me that I would get in trouble if I forgot or if the gift wasn't the right thing or if I didn't spend enough money. I bought because I love my bride (going on 24 years). How I want all of the "obedience" in my life to be because I love and honor Jesus. I understand that driving the speed limit because I love Jesus may seem a stretch, but maybe not. I know that Jesus was as exasperated with man-made laws as we are, yet He honored authority because of His relationship with His Father. He smiles when my obedience steps out of the legalism box and into a relationship box. Though I fear the consequences of a traffic ticket, the opportunity to worship God through my restraint should bring me joy. I understand through a human (and probably pagan) holiday that a gift brought from a heart of love is so much more special than a gift brought from a sense of duty and fear. This is a good day for me to practice worship through obedience.

Maiden Voyage

I confess to being an absolute novice at blogging. Maybe it is my age or that I am by nature a bit too analytical. I have resisted the Twitter fad because I thought it a bit narcissistic to think that anyone cared what I was thinking when I came out of Popeye's Fried Chicken or a movie.

I also read blogs that were a bit of a downer. They appeared to be vents, rages, self-absorbed compositions explaining why life wasn't fair.

Then I read a blog forwarded to me by a student (actually future student) at the New Orleans seminary and realized that a blog was both therapy for the blogger and a place to write thoughts that reflected humility, gratitude, and wonder at what God does with frail humans who journey with Him.

If nobody else reads this, I pray that it is a place to be able to see where I need course corrections. Proverbs 23:7 says, (and I like the New King James translation) "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he." Too often, I am not honest with myself about what is going on in my heart. Perhaps seeing my words will make me more honest.