Showing posts from November, 2009

Oh that's easy, just do this, this, this and this...

I am a firm believer that God has given us everything we need to live a life that is full and free in the Bible. Now, the application of the Scripture to a particular situation can be excruciatingly difficult. Compounding the issues are my doubts, fears, feelings, prejudices, etc. all swirling around in my head that cloud my judgment, lead me down paths of intolerance, and even diminish my desire to even want to dig through the Word to look for the command or principle that will apply to a situation that I am in. It is all so easy on paper but gets so muddy because, well, I am frail. And I know that I am weak. And I do not afford others that same perspective when I ask them to do something that is hard. I just assume that they want to. I just assume that all of their doubts, fears...all of it can be thrown to the wind so easily and that they will more than willingly subject themselves to the truth of the Bible and live a life that God wants them to live. Even in my orientation toward m


"I can feel the wind Before it hits my skin..." Alive Again, Matt Maher There have been times, and they seem to be more fleeting and less numerous these recent days, when I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has given me a glimpse of heaven. Just a thimble-full here of what the Son's light must feel like on the back of my neck; just a crumb there of what the streets of gold have to feel like beneath my bare feet. Rather than make me long for more of this earth it always produces a desire in me for this life, and its wearying work, to end. Those are the times when I want to extend my old, wrinkled, worn out hands far over my head and grab onto the hands of the one that will take me to where He, most completely, is. I wouldn't care if that hand were bony, or steel, or sharp. Any discomfort or pain would be swallowed up in the wind that would caress my skin and tussle my hair. Thanks be to God that, at times, I can feel that wind now. Sometimes it is the coolness o

Waning poetic

For those of you that read yesterday's blog post and, even remotely, entered into the ideal with me as I planned to linger one last time over the hydrangea that were wilting due to lack of rain, well, the poetry of it all trumped reality once again. I got home from work to find that the killing frost had more to do with the state of the hydrangea than the lack of water. It rained practically all day yesterday and I saw no visible difference in their state as a result of it. I did linger over them like I said I would, but it was much less satisfying than I had envisioned it to be. I know they still speak of the death, burial, and resurrection of their Creator as they progress through Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer. I know that I need to rejoice in a God that could build Himself into a plant so completely that it reflects His Gospel 24/7/365.25, but sometimes I get so caught up in the poetry of it all. I get lost in my words, and so much so that I forget that words are, among oth

Kind of digging the rain

We have been dry lately. Really dry. The leaves that we got up last weekend were bone dry. They were so dry it seemed as though I could have blown them into a pile myself...without a leaf blower or any other mechanical device. Well, we have been experiencing quite a bit of rain today and I am totally digging it. I noticed that the hydrangea on the right side of our hous, that my wife uncovered from their cloak of leaves, were wilting quite badly. Their leaves were still green though and I was wondering if I should water them so that I could give them a proper goodbye as they displayed their subtle glory. Thank God for the rain which should perk them up just fine so that I can get a good look at them tomorrow morning before I head out to work. I'll drink in their splendor one last time with only slightly less regret than I have now. I would have liked to have lingered over them a little more last Spring and Summer as they leafed and bloomed. But now I need to be content with the vap

55 bags and counting

Since I have been married I have had to do a lot of leaves in the Fall. In our previous abode we had a large oak tree in our back yard that dumped a boatload of leaves (very late in the season I may add) and in our current house we have many more trees that dump many more leaves. The one thing that is nice about the amount of leaves we have to deal with is that we have quite a nice system down for getting them up and into bags and it provides no end of exercise for me. The boys helped out more this year than in years past so I am sure that this will get easier. We scored a nice, new leaf blower over the weekend that significantly impacted the process for the better. We were looking at a gas model, but found an electric one that we were more comfortable buying this late in the season. It was a great purchase and cut our leaf blowing time in half (at least) when compared to our more than 10 year old blower we were holding on to and nursing through another season. Where were these leaf bl

She's good for me

One of the bad things about a busy life, for me, is that I don't do busy well. I tend to focus on the wrong things which leaves me short in the critical areas. I then have to scramble to get that completed and it always turns out to be something less than it should be. It has been tough to get over the tyranny of the urgent...especially lately. I do deep breathing and sighing well though. The people that are in the cubes around me must think I am unstable. So, not doing busy well, I need her to help sort things out for me. It is hard for me to know where intellectual laziness and counsel meet. There are certain areas, like time management, where I feel a marked incompetence compared to her ability. Those are the areas where I need her input the most. Then there are all of the relationship areas that she seems to have down a lot more than me as well. She has keen insight into how to relate to people and what hospitality and generosity is. I also have a tendency to drive off a cliff

Can't quite do it

Yes, I admit it. I can be truly insensitive when it comes to my humor. I can absolutely guarantee that I have offended quite a few people in the course of my joking and have bitten my tongue on more than one occasion as a result of my sensitivity to the issue. Sounds like a bit of a paradox doesn't it? It does to me too. I believe that if there was a Spiritual Gift of idiocy that it would be my primary gift. The problem with idiocy is that, while it is usually funny, it is idiocy and idiots often offend. I was typing out something this morning to post here and thought better of it. I thought it was funny, and I knew that other people would as well, but I just couldn't quite push the "Publish to Nonsensical Ramblings of Mark - Blogger" button. There were enough questions in my mind that I thought better of it. It was hard not to though. I am sure that I am too PC in my humor (right?). The fact is that the laugh or chuckle is less important to me than me offending someo

This time I'm keeping track

For as long as I have been married I have raked a lot of leaves in the fall. In our former house we had a very big oak tree in our backyard that was late in giving up its leaves every year. When it did give up its leaves, however, it made a blanket over the grass in our yard that had to be seen to be believed. Well, people would always ask how much raking we had to do in the Autumn and we would always give some sort of guesstimate, but never really had firm numbers. Our house that we moved into in 2003 also has more trees than the average house and, again, we find ourselves raking leaves a lot in the Fall. This year, however, I am determined to keep track of the number of lawn and leaf bags I take to the leaf dump in Greece. So far I have taken 27 bags there and I estimate we are half done with the raking. I always thought the count was around 50 or so but I did not know for sure. Now at least I will have an idea. I was very happy to have found my orange rubber gloves so that I could c