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I have a beautiful wife, an infant son & a schnauzer. viva la tex-mex. Words that describe or excite: Missional, Glocal, Lead, Innovate, Initiate, Create, Risk, Community

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The little dock that stood.

Week before last we got alot of rain in a short amount of time. And on the way to work there is a little farm with a barn with the Texas flag pointed on the roof of the barn. It sounds to quaint to be true but it is. And they have slowly been "spiffing" the place up. Cleaning out the fence row. Putting in a new gate. Digging up an old crumbling storm cellar. Building a new barn. Digging out some stock ponds and doing some general landscaping and drainage work with a back hoe.

Well this one little pond has been sitting all through the summer and most of the winter with just a little pool of water at the bottom. The pond is right up close to the western fence and right on the otherside of the fence are the railroad tracks. I look at this pond often because I get caught alot by the train. To be specific I get caught by the train everytime I am late to work or in a rush to get home. So I sit and look at this pond. For the last year or so the North Texas area has been drought sticken and fire prone. This little pond, with a shallow puddle of a few inches of water about the size and depth of a one of those plastic kiddie pools that you get at walmart, has a nice new dock built out over where the water should be but isn't.

Or I should say wasn't. After the torrent of rains we say about a week and a half ago that is ancient history. Now you can only see the top railing of the dock. The whole thing save the top arm railing is submerged. This is so funny and heart breaking at the same time. Here we have had this drought going and I thought the pond would never fill up. For monthes it seemed like such a waste and a sad reminder of the drought that plagued the whole area. Now the opposite is true. There is such and over abundance of water that it has found a completely new way to render the dock completely useless.

Either way the dock looked absurd. There it stood way to big for the little pond yet at the same time still not far enough out to reach the water. Now it stands hardly even recognizable submerged in water about 3 feet to deep to be useful. I just have to laugh. I think this is such an accurate picture of how God works in our lives sometimes.

Don't get me wrong. I don't mean to say that God is cruel or that He has a mean spirited sense of humor. What I mean is that we make our plans, we structure our lives, to fit a certain perspective, ours. And then God comes along and does what He does and we find ourselves completely missing the point--as in the case of the dock when it didn't even reach out over the tiny pool of water that exist in the shallow basin of the empty pond. Or God comes along after we have been praying, even crying, begging, pleading, or wrestling with Him to bless us and when it happens we are so overwhelmed and overtaken by it that we are no longer recognizable as our former selves.

I hope God will use this in my life to remind me daily and constanly to stop trying to build my dock based on where I want the water to be or hope it to be--I do this most days I think.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

a quote for it.

"Why blame the dark for being dark? It's far more helpful to ask why the light isn't as bright as it should be." -Rob Bell

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Do things sometimes not go your way? Do you sometimes think LIFE isn't going your way? I know I do. For the most part I am a pretty laid back guy when it comes to the difficulties and hardships that life can throw at us. But sometimes it just gets to be too much to handle. I have been crying out to God all day. I have been sitting a church office with other 'pastors' and 'church staff' and been on the verge of tears all day. I just can't handle 'one more' thing sometimes. It is scary because today noone seemed to notice. Is that because I am a good liar? Am I good at not being real? Is anybody good at being real?

I don't like to share that "I can't handle it." In ministry sometimes we are lead to believe that we put others needs before our own and sometimes I think we take that to mean that our needs are not important at all. They are but I don't want to share my needs and thus expose myself to the possibility of being labeled "needy." What a catch-22? I think that is Satan rather than God. If you are reading this and you are a "lay person" realize that pastors are people too. We have feelings and hurts and needs and -gasp- even wants too.

God in His word makes it very clear that we are ultimately accountable to Him and that He holds us to a higher standard. But from one human to another: we are just human. Don't put us on a pedastal or hold us to a higher standard than you would hold for yourself and your own family. That is hypocrisy. And more importantly it sets you and me, both of us, up for failure. I fail when I don't live up because I am human and you fail because you focus on false standards for others while ignoring the high standards God calls all believers to equally. Requardless of rank or title or position God says "Be holy for I am holy." There is no pay scale of holiness. I am to have intergrity in what I do however you are not held to a seperate lower level of integrity.

Pastors have wives and families that are real, ordinary, normal people that have needs and desires and feelings like everyone else. I hope you realize that if you expect something out of others that you don't expect out of yourself then that is hypocrisy. I do think that Jesus was not just good at being real but that He is "the most real." He hung out with sinners never judged them harshly and was chastised for loving them. He accepted people for who they were and found ways to extend grace to them so that they would realize who they could become.

I am trying, sometimes miserably, sometimes well, to become more like Jesus. He is my standard, not anyone else. I hope He is your standard too. Not for me or for others, but for yourself first. Remember the only time He dealt harshly with people was when they were using a double standard to judge people and using God's name to condone their own hypocrisy. Let us both look at Jesus as our standard rather than each other and we will realize we are more like brothers than enemies.