Monday, January 26, 2009
But recently I have found myself longing for Monday morning. There is something exciting about a fresh start. I mean, the reality is that last week is only just a few hours ago, but it seems like a distant past. And what lies ahead begins to take on new meaning and urgency. I seem to gain clarity about what needs to happen as stale dates, numbers, and "to-do's" seem to gain life and meaning. It's like a do over, a new start, a time to begin with a clean slate. And most of the things I messed up last week will face me again. But this time there is the potential to handle them with more love, compassion, detail and excellence.
I usually start my Monday with a 6:00am work out (thanks D-Spann) or basketball game. After a few minutes with the family we all take off to start our week. I then spend the next few hours studying, reading, praying, listening to music and sermons and planning. I have designated Monday morning to preparing for the future. It could be as simple as planning for a meeting that will take place within a few days, or as complex as thinking through how and when our high school students will spend their summer in various countries around the world.
Another "tradition" I have added to my Monday morning routine is listening to "New Day" by Robbie Seay Band. It has been one of my favorites for over a year now. It captures the thoughts and emotions of beginning, newness, and starting fresh regardless of how life may have treated me in the past. In a way, it stirs my soul and reminds me of who I am, and even more WHOSE I am. It serves as a constant reminder that my Father sees me as clean, fresh and new because he sees me through the lens of Jesus. Knowing the truth that all of my sins (past, present, and future) have been paid for, and that Jesus continually intercedes on my behalf gives me meaning, purpose and hope to know that things can be different this week. Ultimately, my hope is not in my actions but in the person of Jesus. So if you find yourself struggling to "get in gear" on Monday mornings, I encourage you to follow the prescription found in the lyrics of "New Day." Try beginning your day with hope, coffee, and melody!
Monday, January 19, 2009
While driving back from the school I pondered what it must be like for my heavenly father to look at me with the joy and happiness the way I do toward my kids. He created us in his image and made us for his glory. And in spite of all our desires to run, hide and cover ourselves from him, he chooses to love us in ways we can't even comprehend. He chose to crush his "own" son so that I may be called his son (1 John 3:1). That is unbelievable! That is the gospel! That is true love! And that is why Paul calls it the most important thing (1 Corinthians 15:3).
I know that it will not always be like this. In fact, I am too often reminded of that as I work with over 300 teenagers on a weekly basis. I mean our students love their parents......but it's different. When their mom and dad walk in from work, our teens do not welcome them with cartwheels, high fives and family hugs. But that's ok too. I mean that is the way God intended it to be. It's a subtle reminder of how much he loves us and that even our kids are not really ours. That, they too, are created by him and for him and so if we are going to do our jobs well we must be pointing them to something other than ourselves. To help them wrestle with the mind-boggling truth that Jesus loves them far more than Mommy and Daddy. I have to admit those thoughts excite and scare me all the same. I definitely have some things to learn in the coming years of parenting. But for now, I will relish the rock star status I have among my two kids and keep trying to soak up the deep feelings of joy and happiness they bring to my life.
Monday, January 12, 2009
This is old but thought I would upload it since I am just starting this thing!
Last week I was on a date with my daughter Harper. She was busy telling me about all that she wanted for Christmas when she paused and asked me, "Daddy, what do you want the "mostest" for Christmas?" Shocked by the sudden pause in her exhaustive list, I thought for a while and told her that what I wanted most was for "the brothers" (the twin boys we are trying to adopt from Peru) to be home for Christmas. At that moment my 4 year old theologian quickly responded, "Daddy, the only person that can bring the brothers to us is God, we just have to keep praying that God will do that." You see, she said that because we do pray for that every night along with their prayers for toys, yummy food and good weather. Driving and choking back tears I began to think about the things the both of us want so deeply. I mean on one hand, it seems obvious that asking Jesus for an adoption is a much more worthy request than Elf on the Shelf or a cupcake maker. But is it? I mean could it be that my fixation on what God can get me is just as absurd as asking him for a plastic toy? No matter what it is, if I desire it more than Jesus, then he is not supreme and the affections that belong to him are now bent toward what he can get me. In those moments I am just a religious sinner whose desires are more acceptable to the culture but are no more pleasing to God who demands to be first place in everything. That thought, that idea, has caused me to wrestle with the gospel in a new way. Is Jesus really enough for me? Or do I find myself longing for what he can get me? (a perfect marriage, obedient kids, a successful ministry, etc.) If the gospel is true, then what must be ultimate, what must be my greatest desire, where I find true joy, is in the person of Jesus. Period! The message is clear, I get God! So, as I watch my kids unwrap their gifts this year, I will do it with a fresh perspective. I will know that whether we get what we want, even if we ask it from Jesus, we have been given God. And that……is what I want to desire the "mostest." Every moment of every day I want to press into Jesus more deeply and to want more of him, regardless of what additions he may or may not bring my way.
Friday, January 9, 2009
For over a year and a half I have been thinking about the phrase "anchor of the soul." It comes from Hebrews 6:19 (hence the title of my blog). The imagery of Christ alone being what holds my soul at bay is one that I continue to ponder and wrestle with. It's hard to grasp the depths of his love for me. And not just for me but for all of mankind. To know that he alone can fix the brokenness that exists throughout this world as well as the brokenness that resonates within the soul of everyone is just so hard to fathom. It is truly a concept that cannot be grasped or understood by my simple mind. So the thoughts that follow, the stories I share, the questions I ask will all be clothed in the fact that God loves me more than I know and even more than I can believe. And He does that in a person, the God-man Jesus. Wow! That is what will keep me resting deeply in Him alone regardless of the depth of the sea or the severity of the storm.