Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Love this Boy and Love this Song!

Check this out, I guarantee it will make you smile. Thanks E. for the song and Momma for posting it for all to enjoy. You are my son, Shinn.

Come, Ye Weary, Heavy-Laden

Lent has been draining on my DW and I.

Two weeks ago, I left the pulpit feeling like a total failure. The guitar had picked up a local radio station and relayed it through the sound system. I had to disconnect. It was only me playing and singing so it was not up to par. The sermon focused on Jesus' fifth and sixth saying from the cross, "I am thirsty. It is finished." These are powerful sayings yet I felt the whole thing went flat. I literally had to fight back tears as I felt I failed in conveying the deep meaning of these words to our folks. I had failed...

This week L. left totally drained by the struggle with the nursery and the strain of constant service. She tried to share that with me, but I did not hear her clearly. I did not want to hear that she, too, was drained and discouraged.

We love our folks and each other. Sometimes the load gets heavy and the yoke gales a bit. While sitting here in writer's block, I heard Jesus singing to me, "Come ye weary, heavy-laden...if you tarry 'til you're better, you will never come at all." So, "I will arise and go to Jesus. He will embrace me in his arms. And in the arms of my dear Savior, there are 10,000 charms."

Come, SLIDE with me...

My DW is so creative. She amazes me with the things she imagines into reality. My life is definitely more interesting and wonderful because of her.

She had this idea. Let's put a slide off our back deck onto the patio for the kids. You just need to move a few runners and nail it down and it will work safely.

So we went to Lowe's and bought an 8-foot sliding board. I removed three runners and lag-bolted the slide into place. Then I moved our grill to the other end of the patio so they would not fall into searing hot metal at the end of their rides.

The kids almost exploded with excitement and anticipation as I went through the assembly.

Finally, E. was commissioned as the test pilot. He barely moved. The excitement meter went from explosive to fizzled in an instant.

So what's a Papa to do but go to the garage and retrieve the car wax to help things along. Yes, I waxed the board and buffed it to a high-gloss finish.

E.'s next test flight was literally a flight. One nanosecond he was sitting at the top of the slide, the next he was at the bottom. It was as if the car wax had transformed the slide into a Star Trek-like transporter, capable of moving matter through space instantly.

The excitement meter rebounded to near-explosive as E & J streaked down the lighting slide of speed.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Oh Daddy, Jesus Has Boo-Boo's!!!!

Shortly after Lent began God brought the reality of it all home to me through the voice of my son, E.

We read often to and with our kids. Sometimes at bedtime. Sometimes in the evening. Sometimes just to fill in time. One evening, right after supper we were reading a few books. Mommy brought in a little book about the Easter story. As she read through them, E. looked at the pictures and made comments or asked questions. At the turn of a page, Lisa began reading about the crucifixion. E yelled out, "Oh Daddy! Jesus has BOO-BOO's!!!" He was very upset.

The tears just streaked down my face and I struggled to say clearly, "Yes, E. Jesus got those boo-boos because He loves us."

There's Lent and Holy Week in a nutshell: Jesus has BOO-BOOs!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Seven Last Words from the Cross

We begin our Lenten series of teachings sitting at the foot of the cross. Being this close, we can hear the Last Seven Words of Jesus. This closeness is important, for the dying Jesus does not have the breathe to declare loud or long statements.

He undulates between cruel, painful torture and life-ending suffication. He purchases each next breathe with extreme torment. Yet He wishes to speak meaning into His execution so that we will not be blinded by the pain and shame. What happens here for the next 6 hours far exceeds the wooden beams, the thorny crown, the torn flesh, the slow, agonizing death.

Jesus speaks 7 times. We need the combined witness of all four Gospels to hear him for no one contains them all. Luke and John each give us 3 for a total of 6 while Matthew and Mark share the middle saying that makes up the seven.

In the course of our 2009 Lent/Spring Teaching we, at times, will combine sayings to keep the contextual cohesiveness. Each could be parsed and disected, but their power rests in the fact that our Savior spoke them while dying -- for the sins of the whole world.