Saturday, December 30, 2006

How bad do you want it?

At my age (48) you realize that the preceeding question is the most important one in your life. I want to retire someday comfortably but do I want it bad enough to save money; I want to loose weight but not bad enough to exercise and eat right; etc. How bad do I really want it?

Discipline has never been my strong suite but last year I made a determination to run 3 or 4 times a week a minimum of 1.5 miles each time. And with a few exceptional times of injuries and one week of the flu- I stuck to it. Right now God is pestering my spirit ( know what I mean?) with the thoughts of a renewal stirring. Prophetic gifts have been prophecying since the fire of Brownsville began to die down that there is a new wave coming. I want it.... but how bad?

Most Christians I know are like me in this respect- they want an extraordinary walk with God on a cut rate price. But real sacrifice is called for - demanded, even- if we are going to be in on the extraordinary. Being a radical for Christ demands radical response. What is more radical than spending the first hours of your day seeking God? Or pushing the lastest celebrity news to the back burner while you get some of the Good News in you? Or living a life of love toward strangers around you? This is some crazy stuff here.

So what is it you say you want? Revival? Toronto-type blessings? Renewed fire in your heart? You will have to get off your fat butt and down on your knees: you will have to fast and pray ( you heard right!); you will have to reprioritize your time; you will have to know God and not just about him. Because he is asking you prophetically right now... How bad do you want it?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

It's Family that Matters

It doesn't take long into the holiday season for me to get sick and tired of being pushed in the mall lines and have my parking place stolen from underneath me by some ignorant punks. I don't really like the addition of tinsel, and lights on my home in December and the thought of taking it all down, well, that is depressing enough. The wife is fussing with the elaborate meal she prepares each Christmas day and the young people are trying on clothes and new gadgets that were purchased for them.

I am sitting in my chair (at my age you get one of your own!) and petting the dog and thinking about what I like best about Christmas and it is simple... family. Family are the people who tick you off the most and yet, for some reason that I cannot explain, the house sure feels good when it is full of them. Yelling and talking at the top of their lungs ( if there is ever a game show we are sure to win for the loudest family in North America) laughing at the stupidest things (its not really a holiday until somebody has drink shoot out their nose in riotous laughter) and arguing about which one of them dressed up like woverine at age 4!

These kids have put me through the ringer! Each one with there insecurities and weird excentricities. With their problems and their joys, it has been exhausting to keep up with the tears, jeers, and laughter. But I am so glad they come back! I love them so...

So now can they go back to their houses!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

More, Please!

The American Psyche is a fragile thing. It is growing increasingly so as the half hearted effort to win in Iraq goes on. We are increasingly hearing the drumbeat of a so-called "unwinnable war" and the call to "bring them home". In my never to be humble estimation this will be tragic to the American psyche. It will effect us in the same way that the Afganistan conflict affected the USSR. If a group of thugs and weakly armed insurgents push the army of the most powerful nation in the world out of Iraq, we had better give up any hope of influence in the world and just brace ourselves for an ongoing series of attacks both here and abroad by maniacal terrorist-types. Please, Mr President, don't back down; don't pull out; don't weaken this nation further.

Instead, muster up 60,000 more troops and put them in the most violent places in Iraq. The numbers combined with the determined resolve to spend whatever it cost to win will beat them. They live in the hope that we are weak, and that we are unwilling to invest whatever it cost to defeat them. They live off of the feeling that a little while longer and Speaker Nancy and her boys (the Nancy Boys!) will bring back our troops and leave them to carp out for themselves a new terrorist training ground. Assessing the strength of the US as unfathomable, and the resolve to win as strong (there are a few of us who desire to see the democratic Iraq succeed), why not raise the ante and increase the troop strengths. Violence will drop (as it has before) and the civil unrest will be quelled.

The problem has always been one of strategy. Rummy wanted to weigh the cost of the warfare and lived too close to the margin of error. Overwhelming force (remember shock and awe) needs to be the continuing tactic. Once these insurgents realize that the US is committed to win beyond word but in the spending of capital and investment of blood they will have to crawl into the woodwork again. This will enable the US to leave with a victory- and will save the face of the US Armed forces in the world.

If not, those men who have fought the hardest, sacrificed the most, paid the dearest, and should be the proudest- will forever hang their head in shame and will hide their old uniforms in the back of the closet. All because we sent them to win a war on the meagerest rations and the slightest margin.

Mr President, please ignore the Iraq Study groups report( it is the lowest common denominator of compromise and pessimism), and send more troops please! Let our boys win.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

When in Doubt DON"T

This morning I read the story of Abram and Sarai. When the overwhelming promise was made to the Father of our Faith that he would indeed have a son from his own loins. He and Sarai got together to try to figure out how they could "help God" fulfill his promise. The brilliant deduction of these two spiritual giants was that Abram would impregnate Hagar, Sarai's maid servant and this would fulfill the promise. The result of that action was a son named Ishmael who God said would be " a wild donkey of a man" who would "raise his hand against everyone... and live in hostility toward all his brothers" (Gen 15.12).

Now I don't think I need to make any references to the current situation in the Middle East to confirm the truthfulness of the prophetic utterance regarding Ishmael the father of the Arab people. But what strikes me is the insistence that we humans have on cobbling together a fulfillment other than the one that God has has in his mind.

Whenever we do this we screw up the works and leave lasting implications for the "real promise" that God has for us. Perhaps instead of trying to cobble together a blessing we would be better to trust the divine providence that brought us to the place of promise in the first place.

God, help us to respond in faith to what you have promised and to do nothing out of doubt and unbelief- and so to incur the blessing of your hand upon our present and our future. AMEN