Monthly Archives: January 2009

Faith is Risky Business?

In our Bible class today, we talked about the concept of “risk” involved in our faith.  We began talking about Abraham, Moses, Daniel, and many more examples of faith in the scriptures.  All of these stories have some common threads which run through them which have to do with faith.  One of those concepts is risk.

Risk is involved in our faith from a worldly point of view.  There’s always a sense of risk when it comes to doing things for God that you do not know the outcome.  It would not be faith if we knew the outcome.  Abraham went to a land of which he didn’t know the exact location.   Daniel didn’t know what exactly was going to happen in the lions’ den, yet he had faith.

From God’s perspective, I believe that He probably knows the outcome.  In other words, for us, faith is a great leap of trust in Him, but He is not sweating it. He already knows what is about to happen.

Someone today made the statement, “I just want to be able to look back on my life and know that I did make a difference in some way.”  I think we all want our lives to make a difference.  One thing about those “difference-makers” in the world is the fact that they, at some point in their lives, decided that in order to make a difference I’m going to have to take steps that will look on the surface like taking a risk.  The difference between those who do this and those who do not determines the difference between a life lived in mediocrity and one lived to the fullest.

I don’t know if any of that makes sense, but it challenges me to take steps in my life in the future that may seem risky, but trusting in God to help me in the outcome simply turns all the risk into faith.

Answer these two questions if you will.  1) What’s the most “risky” thing that you’ve done in this world? (As an example, one guy said in class that he took a dive off of a 70 foot cliff in Hawaii.)  2)  What’s the most risky thing you’ve done for God in your spiritual journey? (An example here might be selling things and packing up your stuff and moving into a mission field.)


Spike

We have had Spike in our family now for a couple of years.  It’s really hard to believe that a little pound puppy can bring so much joy into our lives.

It really doesn’t matter what kind of day I’m having, Spike is excited to see me.  I can be gone for five minutes and return and he acts like I’ve been gone a week.  Sometimes, for no reason, he wants to be where I am.  I have even sent him away because he wants to be right under my feet and I almost trip over him.  Yet, no matter how much I yell at him, he’s right there when I calm down to play or just sit in my lap.  He doesn’t seem to let things bother him.  He has no tension, stress, or angry streaks.  He simply exists in order to spend time with his family.  He loves company too.  When people come over, he wants to be with them.  Even when they aren’t friendly to him, he wants to jump and play with them.

He seems so content with life here.  Just keep food and water in his bowl.  Show him some attention.  Love him or don’t, and he will love you anyway.  I think he’s a gift from God.  And I’m glad he came.

random-pics-049Spike not too long after we got him.

spike2Last year sometime.

spike-cigarretteSpike after picking up a bad habit!  LOL


What A Reunion

Sometimes when we’re struggling, any glimmer of light is a good thing.  Well, tonight I got to experience a complete ray of sunshine.  It was such a shot in the arm for me right now.  It seems that God will reach in and surprise us at times from places that  we might least expect it.

Tonight I got together with four other musician friends and played.  These are not just four ordinary guys.  These are friends of mine from our high school days.  The last time we played music as a group was about 26 years ago.  We had a band that changed names and faces (as garage bands usually do) so many times that to try and name this group would be strange.  We had the following names throughout our “career.”  We were Crossroads (everyone thought we were a Christian band), Stillbrook, and finally Allusion.  We had a total of three guitar players, two bass guitar players, a couple of lead singers, one keyboard player, and one drummer.  All of this in about a four year span.

We have been talking about this for a long time, but tonight it actually happened.  We started with “Spooky” and as soon as the first note was played, it was like magic.  We hadn’t forgotten anything and were much better musically than we ever were back then.  We played, Skynyrd, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Styx, Doobie Brothers, Cars, Rick Springfield, Beatles, and more.  It was a blast!

We have noticed some changes in these 27 years.  Everyone played sitting down.  There were lots more gray hairs on top of our heads.  Darrell brought a heater to stay warm.  And about 10:30pm, we were ready to call it a night.

One of the most important changes came after we were through playing music though.  We all stood around and talked.  The conversation was not riddled with profanity like in the old days.  There weren’t off color jokes.  There was not a hint of alcohol or drugs.

There was, however, conversation about our faith in Jesus.  There was encouragement.  There was a brotherhood that was so much stronger than ever before.  All of these guys are people of faith now.  Life has happened to all of us. We’ve all been through some hard struggles and have come out on the other side of them with a faith in God that is awesome.

I just wanted to share with you one of the most joyful events in my life lately.  It, to me was every bit a time of worship.  No religious songs or services–just some guys happy to be in Jesus and enjoy a night of fun together.  It was a night I shall not soon forget.

The picture of the group shows (from left to right) Rusty Moody (Singer song-writer, guitar player and owns a sporting goods store in our town), Moi (Drummer, Singer, Preacher), Darrell Triplett (Guitar player and owner of a guitar store in our town), Mark Narmore (Singer, Song-writer, Wrote “Moon Over Georgia”, “What I Love About Sundays” and has about 60 cuts with major country music artists), Mark Sandlin (Bass guitar, works for TVA in our town).  The picture of the one guy is our friend Bill Hyde.  Billy lives in Huntsville, AL.  He was our sound man in the old days.  It was great to have him there too.dscf6650

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Trust In The Lord

When I’m through trusting in  people, places, money, circumstances, things, or any other earthly stuff, I end up where I should have started all along.  My struggles come from putting my hope in places that it does not belong–especially people.

God is faithful, however, and He will have the final say.  He is faithful to comfort us through His Holy Spirit and His Word.  He is comforting us right now through the love of Jesus and if my trust will remain in Him, I will win the war.

Here are some passages of hope and confidence from God.  He is the giver of all good things and the Savior of our souls.

(Isaiah 40:27-31 NIV)  “Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God”? {28} Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. {29} He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. {30} Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; {31} but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

(Matthew 5:43-48 NIV)  “”You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ {44} But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, {45} that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. {46} If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? {47} And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? {48} Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”


The Experiment (From The Kids’ Perspective)

Well, the week-long experiment is done and today we start a new work-week.  I had told you that I wanted to let the kids answer a couple of questions concerning the week.  The two questions were:  “What did you learn about yourself and your role in the household?” and “What did you learn about each of your siblings?”

Just as their week to take care of the household started with Tabitha taking the lead, she was also the first to write her feelings.  After listing some good things about her siblings, she shared about herself.  Here is a quote:

“I learned the first half of the week that it’s hard to manage a house alone and so many times we expect that from mom.  I learned that if I go the extra mile, my mom wouldn’t be so stressed about our house as much.  What we do or don’t do affects everyone in the household at some point.”

Britney wrote next.  She is the youngest in the family–one of the twins.

“I have learned that buying groceries is a difficult challenge.  When you don’t have a lot of money, it’s really hard to cut back on what you really need.”  She said about Tabitha, “I think Tabitha was the mom of the group.  She made sure we stayed on task…even though she was at work most of the time.”

Her twin brother Brandon wrote next.

“I learned that even though I was gone or busy, the time I was here, I was really needed.  This experience  wasn’t quite as hard as I imagined, but now, knowing the difficulty, I can learn to help a lot more.”

Danielle, the middle of four children said,

“I think it helped us all out.  Since this experiment, I have not seen or been in a fight or argument with one of my siblings.  I think the experience went great and it really helped us see what it’s going to be like when we get out on our own.”

There you have it.  I think those are pretty good lessons.

As far as continuing this, I had two votes to stop it and I think that is what we will do.  I hope that it can become a part of their lives–helping around the house– in a more meaningful way.  I hope to that they see that they play a huge role in making things go more smoothly and productive.



The Experiment Day 6

This will be my last progress report concerning my kids and this week long experiment with taking over the household.  At this point, I’m still undecided if we go another week or not.  It all hinges upon their response to the project left for them tomorrow about which I’ve only hinted to them.

My plans are for them to write a one page essay about the week and what they’ve learned.  Two questions and two half page paragraphs.  Question 1:  What have you learned about yourself this week and your role in the family?  Question 2:  What have you learned about each of your siblings?

With their permission, I will post some portions of their essays on my Monday blog.  We may put this to a blog vote to see if you think we need to stretch this out more than a week.  Of course, I have veto power in this process.  I would just like to hear from you about it.

No matter what happens with all this, this is much bigger than just an experiment and it’s certainly not just a blog game.  This has been a wonderful experience for the whole family. It’s been something that I know will last into the future in some form.

Thanks for looking in and I will see you on Monday as I reveal the total end results.  Thanks too for your comments as they have made me laugh, think, and encouraged me this week.


The Experiment Day 5

I think that I’ve really seen some growth in my children this week.  They are working well together.  They are taking responsibility.  They have not asked for a dime in money yet for groceries, and that is awesome.  The cupboard is somewhat bare right now, so we’ll see how that goes, but we’ve been pleased thus far.

Tonight Brandon, Britney, and Danielle, the three youngest had supper duties because Tabitha had to work.  We had hamburger helper and rolls.  Though there were no veggies to go with it, but it was really tasty.

This brings me to the funny story of the day.  It seems that each day we learn something new that our kids didn’t know.  We also have learned that the things they don’t know usually centers on cooking.  Today, they discovered that if you buy hamburger helper, you must purchase the meat to put with it.  You can fill in all the funny blanks there.

Another day with towels and wash cloths in the closet, a clean house, clean clothes, and supper on the table. This old doting father can truly say, “What wonderful kids we have!”