I wish I could say that I was surprised by the current political climate. I’m not. I’m also not overly concerned about it. I mean, at least not in an anxiety-ridden–the-world-is-doomed-if-“x”-becomes-President-kind-of-way. I’m not because I’m conscious of two things: nothing happens apart from God’s knowing and, in fact (and this thought regularly baffles me), as part of His Master Plan for creation, the world and you & me. The second thing is this: in the last days people will become lovers of themselves.
Over the past six years, I’ve come to not only appreciate but embrace my singleness. I’d like to think that mostly has to do with the availability and flexibility to serve God, but if I’m really honest, there is another major “benefit”: I get to do what I want when I want where I want and how I want…and don’t have to answer to any earthly person for it. I also get to be left to myself to choose whether or not to be introspective, to be self-critical, to grow as a human on planet earth.
I’m not proud to admit this, but about twice a year I clean my office at work. By “clean” I mean remove dust bunnies and give the keyboard a good once over. Apparently once every 5 years or so I do a thorough purge. That’s what happened this week. It did feel great. I also found something that made me smile.
Several months into my move to Albuquerque and start at the ministry Faith Comes By Hearing, I was invited to be on a radio program to share my story. A story of relentless pursuit and redemption with a sequel including a desperate prayer, more than a few missteps and the patience of a loving God. Ultimately, a story of the power of Good News – and how that always always makes the headline.
Below is the audio recording from that radio program – the story of how I came into a personal relationship with a loving and patient God and how He brought me to be part of sharing His message of hope with the world. I pray it is a blessing to someone, somehow, somewhere…
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes… Romans 1:16
I want to retell a story told from a man who was retelling a story (with a few of my own embellishments thrown in for good measure!)…
There was a man who was having a rough day. In the busyness of life, many things had gone wrong and he was looking forward to getting home and relaxing. Upon his arrival though, his puppy had other plans. At the sound of the car door closing, Puppy was there dropping the tennis ball at his feet for a rousing game of fetch. “Oh, Puppy, not today. Today has been hard. I just want to hold you.” This was met with Puppy nudging the ball a little closer with expectant eyes as to where the ball would be thrown. “No, Puppy. I don’t want to play. I just want to hold you. I just want to love you. Okay?” A third time this happened and as the man pleaded with Puppy “I juuuuust want to looooooooove you!!!” it was as if he heard the voice of God crying out the same…
“I just one to love you. You want to be doing, doing, doing – even sometimes for Me. But, ultimately, I just want to love you.”
I’ve been playing this stupid game on my iPhone. It’s called Cascade and it’s one of those match three jewels to advance kind of games – but it has a bunch of twists. Sometimes you have to not only match colors but break a certain number of boulders or stone walls. Sometimes you have to free jewels from behind bars or in boxes. Sometimes you have to disable bombs. The one that specifically has me inspired to write this post, though, is the level where vines creep in and encapsulate colors. There seems to be no rhyme or reason. It just happens. Sometimes on one side of the screen. Sometimes on the other. There is almost always a way to free them, but you have to be strategic and judicious with your moves. Sometimes you want to go for the “big match” and stick a blue in with the big massive sea of blue in the right upper corner but if you look closely, there are two blues hidden in the lower left, covered in vines but with an open spot beside them that welcomes freedom.
It makes me think about sin. How we can be going along, having what appears to be (and maybe even is): success, meaningful service, fun, etc. and, if we’re not very careful, sin can creep in and ensnare us – or, at the very least, tempt us. If you are a follower of Jesus (and even if you’re not but you’re human), this is an absolute promise. But here’s the reality and the good news: Jesus said “when you are tempted (reality), God will provide a way out (good news). What I wonder though is this: how often do we take time to see it?