Wednesday, December 16, 2009

If We Have Food and Covering

Birds have nests, foxes have dens,
But the hope of the whole world rests
On the shoulders of a homeless man
You had the shoulders of a homeless man
No, You did not have a home---Rich Mullins

And she gave birth to her first-born son; and she wrapped him in cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Two customers, two different experiences:

“I really need a coffee. I was up until eleven-I’m house shopping with my parents. We’re going to live in a house together. We looked at five-bedrooms and some seven-bedrooms. One of them was 3,500 square feet. I really don’t need a pool….”


“My dad is about 89 or 90, something like that. He has a tumor between his heart and his bladder. We gave him some poison, from a scorpion. They said he was going to die but he’s lived three years. We grew up in Mexicali, my dad played in a salsa band. When he came home, (no air conditioning) he’d tell me to wave a piece of cardboard until he fell asleep, ‘when I fall asleep, I don’t feel nothing.’

We lived in a house with mats-we didn’t have furniture. Little house, with, (he illustrates with his hands, and I understand it to be) a thatched roof. The river had everything in it, shrimp and crab, and fish. We have a picture of me as a boy with big shrimp. Poor, what’s poor? We had everything. "

"For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.-1 Timothy 6:7,8

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Not Quite Writers' Block...

Yes, I know. I've got ideas spinning around in my head. I scribble notes. I imagine photographs. I laugh at my own jokes. I second guess myself and stop writing. I have a good idea at three a.m. and forget it by morning. So, I promise a new post before Thursday.

Do you have any ideas? Anything you'd like me to write about? Questions you'd like answered? Let me know, and check back in Thursday. I promise something new---just don't know what.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Blessing In The Wilderness-When God Leads Out

Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him."

God blesses us not only in what He leads us into, but what He leads us out of. Lately, security has been on my mind. I seek to find financial security in my work and in my investments. I revel in a relationship that will be there through my fading years. Pray for protection and maturity for my daughter to carry her into adulthood and all the adventures that await her there. Though God blesses by these still waters, greater blessings oft come as we walk down darker roads.

As I embarked upon adulthood, a friend gave me a pamphlet which reads, in part, “…but it is likely God will keep you poor, because he wants you to have something better than gold, namely, a helpless dependence upon Him, that he may have the privilege of supplying your needs day by day out of an unseen treasury.” It is from this unseen treasury that God desires we find our security.

Previously I lived with my family in a nice five-bedroom house in a nice neighborhood. We went to a church where most of the dads worked, and the moms stayed at home. Getting a well paying job would have kept me there. The status quo meant moving to the desert-literally. No job came, no door opened. God dragged me out to the desert. My marriage ended, and I ended up in a small rental house on the bad side of town.

Through that whole experience of reliance, I grew in character. I grew in my trust of God for the daily things. Living in a hotel room for three weeks, hot showers were a cause of praise, not something I took for granted. Forcing me into the wilderness showed me that (quoting Lewis) my faith was built on a house of cards.

To have stayed would have meant a faith on cruise-control, never shifting to higher levels, never growing solid, never growing real. I can see a shadow of these now five years out. Outwardly, I would have felt more secure. Certainly the grass would have been greener, heck, I would have had grass. Inwardly though, I think I would have died a slow death through boredom and lack of heart. Comfort and complacency would have killed me.

Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi.