Monthly Archives: March 2014

Memory

As I convert all my home movies to DVD, I am reminded again and again how valuable memory is.  I’ve walked back through my life from roughly 1988 to 2004.  I still have many miles of tape to go through, but today’s recordings really struck a soft cord in my heart. 

As I went through 2003-2004, I watched the baptism of our twins Britney and Brandon at Creekside church.  I saw my son Brandon play a great game in the 2004 Dixie Youth World Series as we hosted the Florida state champs.  We lost a heart breaker 1-0.  I then watched Tabitha and Danielle march in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome at the Bands of America to my favorite show music they ever played–Tapestry of Nations/Chaos.  We won our third consecutive BOA Class A championship that year.

Through memory I relive the times spent close to one another.  We shivered in the tough cold of Atlanta loading and unloading equipment as band parents.  We spent countless hours preparing for the World Series (Britney also played in one of those) with practices.  To have your children learn about Jesus and come to the waters of baptism is the greatest feeling in the world.  I remember Britney saying, “We were born together as twins–we will now be born again together.”  Wow!!

It’s strange how memory works.  So often I can hear a song, experience a smell, or see a video and have the same exact feelings that I had the moment it was actually taking place.  While watching that baseball game–knowing the outcome before it started–I found myself routing on our team as though we were playing it today.  (We still lost 1-0).

In God’s word, James tells us that life is a mist that appears for a short time and then vanishes away.  I know it sounds trite, but it really does feel like yesterday that these things happened.  The mist of time is swiftly passing by.  I don’t want it to go so fast, but it seems I can do nothing about it.

This August, Lord willing, I will turn 50 years old.  It’s difficult to even write that.  I shudder to think about how fast the next 50 will pass by.  By the way, all of you who are older than me, please stop reminding me that the second half goes faster. I really don’t need or want to hear that right now. Ha!

God help me to spend the second half of my life better than the first.  Help me to be the husband, father, and grandfather You want me to be.  Help me to strive after the things that will mean something.  As I leave my youth, help me to mature as Your man.  Overrule all the mistakes I’ve made thus far, Lord, and help those around me to only sense more deeply that I have been with You.  In Jesus Name, AMEN!!

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Learning to Let Go

How many times have you heard the expression, “Let go and let God”?  I think I understand what that phrase means, but more times than not I don’t adhere to what I think it means.

First, what I think it means.  I know that there are many situations and circumstances that are just simply out of our control as parents, spouses, ministers, teachers, co-workers–just being human puts in life situations where we are totally out of control and just don’t know what to do.  Quite frankly, even when we think we know what to do, we really buck against it.  It’s just our nature.  

I think “letting go and letting God” means that we have already decided that in whatever place we find ourselves, He is in control and we are not.  If we enter into all relationships that way, it takes so much pressure off.

Now for my situation.  I’ve been holding on to a grudge for many years. Today it hit me square in the eyes just how much it has controlled my life.  I have been guilty of pride, selfishness, anger, maybe even hatred for some, jealousy, and all the nasty thoughts and emotions that come to those who harbor such feelings.

In an attempt to protect my pride I have been defensive and sarcastic in conversations with people about said grudge!  I find myself walking away from conversations asking, “Why did you just say that?” or “Why do I feel such a need to defend myself?”  

Today that same conversation started again with someone and I found myself becoming defensive just like many times before.  I noticed that when the conversation started, my lovely wife of 30+ years just dismissed herself to the restroom.  When she came back, she just looked at me with love and compassion and said, “You need to let this go.”  Then five minutes later, the very person I was talking to said the same thing.  I just simply broke down and asked right there if they would pray with me.

You see, this week I’ve attended the Tulsa Workshop and learned so much about the nature of who God is and who He wants us to be.  The one glaring phrase that has come from today was from our brother Patrick Mead.  He said that we need to approach people “with arms wide open and hands empty of stones.”  I have no right to be judge, jury, and executioner.  And I certainly have no right to cast stones with all the sin in my own life.  This message has set me free.

I have some plans when I get back to the office on Monday.  I am having a burning ceremony.  I have in my office a particular article that I took great offense to many years ago.  Why I kept it is really a mystery!  I used to say that I kept it as a testimony to the pride and arrogance of people.  Low and behold–the very thing I thought was a reminder of others’ arrogance and selfishness was simply serving to keep me captive.  I have been captive to my own arrogance and jealousy.  No more!!  Letting go is long overdue!  I’m done with that chapter of my life.

Dear God, help me to let this go and give it all to You.  I proclaim love for these people in Jesus name.  I pray for their continued success and that many souls be brought to Jesus.  I thank You for Your grace and mercy!  Praise Your Holy Name!!! Through Jesus!  AMEN!!!