What uncommon things do we want to become common?

Things like:
our children having mutual love and respect for each other.
our teenage children having love, honor, respect and obedience for their parents.
us continually becoming better friends and lovers.
our family totally trusting God in all things and putting our faith in Him to fulfill his promises.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Life is a Gift. Everyday.


By Creg

The two phrases "10 year old child" and "life threatening" shouldn't be in the same sentence.

But on Monday the 27th they were. There is now no competition for the longest day of my life.

Samantha, who was nearing a diabetic coma (though we were unaware that she had diabetes), and Chelsa were flown by emergency helicopter to Cook Children's Hospital in Ft. Worth. As strange as this may sound my thoughts were not on whether Samantha would live or die, but on who God would reach through this ordeal. A few people came to mind.

Throughout the week I thought of many things a father would be thinking, I suppose, who was in this position. The more I thought, the more I realized who God was reaching. It wasn't the people I had in mind, it was me. God was speaking to me about life, fatherhood, relationships. I can see God reaching a lot of us in large and small ways during circumstances like this when we fill our thoughts with Him and make time to listen .

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Man Triumphs Over Beast or Temptations Lead to Traps



By Creg
Step 1-I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost...I am helpless. It isn't my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.
Step 2-I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don't see it. I fall in again. I can't believe I am in the same place, but it isn't my fault. It still takes a long time to get out.
Step 3-I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I still fall in...It's a habit. My eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately.
Step 4-I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.
Step 5-I walk down another street. (by Portia Nelson)

Isn't that the way we deal with temptations sometimes? It's a good thing bobcats don't get to step 4 or 5.

For the last 9 months our chickens have been an occasional supper for a bobcat. We've seen her periodically and have even taken a few shots at her. I actually caught her, momentarily, 3 times in 3 different traps (in picture) but she's always escaped. One time she ripped through the metal screen covering (see the hole).

Our army of egg layers went from about 35 to 4. The bobcat would come about every three or four days near dusk to try and catch one of our free-range chickens before they were in the safety of their portable pen for the night. Finally, I set a big claw trap with a live chicken as bait after I saw her near the coop at 1:30 pm. I knew she was desperate to be hunting that early in the day and I knew which path she would take. The temptation proved to be too much for her to turn down and she was caught. While checking the trap the next morning, I was within 10 feet of the tree where I chained the trap. I noticed the trap tunnel was messed up & before I realized what had happened, she roared. Overcome with a fear that only a loud roar in the wild can produce, I almost fell into a batch of cactus. Before composing myself, I ran screaming to Chelsa, "We caught the bobcat! We caught the bobcat!" Special thanks to Duane, Geoff, Jeremiah & Phillip for the use of traps, guns & ammunition.

Chelsa got the bobcat fur slippers she wanted for Christmas.

Commander Creg protects his house.

Forgiveness


By Creg
Shoes, vases & figurines flew through the air, some a direct hit. When nothing else presented itself as a weapon, Deborah pounded Ron with her bare fists until her arms wore out & hung limp at her sides. Ron had just confessed to committing adultery.
The next day they went to their pastor for counseling. That night while sitting in their bedroom talking, Deborah asked, "I want to talk to her. Will you give me her number?" He did.
"This is Deborah Hall, Ron's wife." Ron could only imagine what was going on at the other end of the line. "I want you to know that I don't blame you for the affair with my husband. I know that I've not been the kind of wife Ron needed, & I take responsibility for that." She paused, listening.
"I want you to know that I forgive you. I hope you find someone who will not only truly love you but honor you."
Her grace was stunning. "I intend to work on being the best wife Ron could ever want, & if I do my job right, you will not be hearing from my husband again."
Deborah hangs up the phone looks eye to eye with Ron. "You & I are now going to rewrite the future history of our marriage. Let's go to counseling. I forgive you & I promise I will never bring this up, ever again." (From "Same Kind of Different as Me" ch. 14)
Mt 18:21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus goes on to tell a story of a King who forgave a debt of millions to a servant. That servant then refused to forgive a debt of hundreds. Could a person be forgiven that much yet refuse to forgive so little? Notice what God does when the servant refuses to forgive.
34 In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
I think we are our own jailer. We torture ourselves with anger, bitterness, resentment & revenge. But we can let ourselves out of jail by forgiving. Deborah Hall figured that out. True forgiveness means second chances, not holding grudges.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Be a Lamp

By Creg
“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light."
Jesus (Luke 11:33)
A lamp is a container that lets the light out. It's the answer for darkness. I think Jesus uses lamps to represent Christians. We're the vessel that allows the light to be seen so people can come out of the darkness.

Notice Jesus says that people are coming in to see the light. That tells me we should be in contact with people that need the light. Too often we pray for unbelievers that we safely avoid having conversations with during the day.

Two friends of ours, Ezzell & Tracy, came by my parent's house for a visit today. They were homeless when we first met them, but now they have a place to stay & she's starting a job this weekend. We haven't seen them in a while & when they came in, Tracy told Chelsa that they were struggling. They knew they needed to get God back in their lives by going to church, Bible study & surrounding themselves with Christians. Then Tracy said, "I'm not exactly sure what to do, but I knew we needed to come here (my parent's house)."

It doesn't take long for people to notice that my parents are good lamps.