Category Archives: Misc

Flowers on the Porch

Image result for flowers delivered

If God does something for me and I don’t realize it does it not matter?  Did it not happen because I don’t realize it happened? I wondered that as I realized His work in my life, sometimes years AFTER it happened.  Was it less a Blessing cause I didn’t realize it?  No, I don’t think so but it does change some things in me…


When our eldest son sent his mother flowers after her hospital stay last year…they delivered the flowers and left them on the front porch.  No note, no notice, and we didn’t realize the flowers were there till days later.  Even then, the absence of a note meant not knowing for sure who sent them.  We eventually figured it out but…we didn’t know…


So, did not knowing they were at the house change the fact the gift had been given?  No.  Did not finding them for a couple days change that they had already been “delivered”?  No.  Did not even knowing WHO they were from change Who they were from?  No!  The fact of the gift, the giver, and the love it represented did NOT change because we we late to the party!  We didn’t know, we didn’t acknowledge, we didn’t feel gratitude, and we weren’t immediately impacted…even though the fact of the gift was absolute!


How many times has God sent us flowers?  How much Love has He expressed that went unseen, unrealized, and thus… ignored?  Wow–could it be that our life has been one continuous series of such things…and we just didn’t know, or didn’t see, or missed the significance of?  Oh yeah!  How many flowers have been sitting on our front porch…never seen at all?


How much does it matter?  It matters a lot.  

1.  I can’t respond or give thanks.

2.  I miss out feeling the tangible love the gift represents.

3.  I don’t grow in my relationship with the Giver

4.  I don’t increase in my understanding of the Giver


I miss out on more than the Gift itself–I miss out on all the wonderful feelings and emotions that gifts elicit.

Delayed Delights

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God does indeed Bless us over and over.  Sadly, often, we don’t see it.  Why don’t we see it? Several possibilities, I suppose.


Maybe I just don’t know the gift is there.  Flowers on the Porch? Maybe it is buried under many layers of events and emotions.Maybe my understanding is such that I just can’t see the Good and Blessing in the event. Maybe my attitude is horrible, or selfish, or twisted by bitterness/anger. Maybe I just don’t want to see…


Sometimes…we see it much later after looking deeper or just seeing something we missed back when it happened. What should I call it when I finally see some wonderful act or Gift from God in my life much later, often years later?  How about Delayed Delights!   Delayed, for obvious reasons.  Delights, because often that is what it does to realize it.  Wow–look at what He did!


40+ years ago I “dated” a very attractive girl and we were getting close.  I didn’t realize then that I was just a toy to be enjoyed, not a genuine friend.  Another friend took this gal aside and probably told her to “lay off” and stop it.  When I learned of her rude intrusion into my personal affairs…I was offended and quite angry!  But, now, years later I can see God’s Blessing in this.  That event shaped who I was, how I behaved toward my eventual wife, and so much more.  Somehow, I missed all that until just last year.  Yes, it took 40 years to see the Gift in the event.  It was truly a Delayed Delight as I saw so clearly how and what God had done in those events, so many years before.  And, I wonder, how many such things have I never seen, nor will I see?


Probably a lot.  But, I still enjoy looking for those Delayed Delights.

Blessings & Life’s Details

When God Blesses us or gives us something amazing…does it mean that life’s details are suspended?  If He miraculously provides an ideal low mileage car that I thought was not even possible, and when it turns out to be right here in Portland, does that mean it can’t get a flat tire?  Or have its alternator stop working?  Do the normal details of life stop just because God has acted on my behalf?


I used to wonder why God told us so many details about the children of Israel in the old testament.  How applicable could that be to us?  Really, a bunch of nomadic complainers is somehow relevant to my life and understanding?  Oh yeah!  And, this part about Life’s Details really applies.  
God gave Israel amazing victories over the people in the promised land.  Jericho for example–a clear miracle of God’s gift to them.  So, after Jericho–was there stuff to do to deal with the booty and bounty God had given them?  Did they have to sweat and work hard to gather all the gold and jewels and did they have to carry and sort and somehow store all this wonderful stuff they gained from this battle?  Yes!  Did anyone get hurt?  Sprained ankles, dirt & grime, tripped and fell, got scratched on thorns or jagged metal?  Yes!  Was it hard work to carry and load and deal with all this wonderful stuff that resulted from His Gift to them?  Yes!  Did life’s details stop because God had given them this amazing victory? No!


There were other battles too.  Even if God gave them victory, did some get injured?  Did some possibly die?   Did they have to train and stay in shape?  Yes!  Life’s details did NOT stop just cause it was of God!

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When God blessed me with the most amazing wife a man could have…did it mean she couldn’t get sick, or have a bad day or maybe even get cancer?  Did it mean she’s always in a wonderful mood and never has a headache?  No, there is no doubt I was blessed big time with this amazing woman but it did not mean God suspended life’s details, sickness, pain, or even…cancer…And yes, that wonderful miraculous low miles Audi found right here in Portland, for half its normal price…did breakdown with a bad alternator.  And yes, that amazing woman God gave me and Blessed me to no end…she did get cancer, twice…But, just as His Blessings aren’t limited by life’s details…I can still give Him thanks because my gratitude and praise aren’t limited by life’s details either.

Wait on the Lord…

This concept of waiting on the Lord has never been so real to me as it is right now. With Linda’s terminal prognosis, and cancer that has spread through her body, and with the possibility of things literally changing in hours…I understand “Wait” better than ever before.

This whole new phase of our life is so clearly bathed in Grace. So many layers of His provision in the unfolding of this situation as well as in the progression so far. Lots of Grace bombs–events that explode into our realization as God’s Grace and we’re sometimes surprised! And, we ask ourselves, “why are we so surprised? Didn’t we pray for ….?” But more than those answers and provisions are the neat little gifts He has thrown at us. Little things we can see so clearly as tender mercies, little love gifts that only the Giver and receiver understand the significance of. So many. So many.

The situation is clearly under God’s Sovereignty. And, He has answered our prayer, “Thy will be done” as well as “let us see your will in all this”. What is His will? It appears to be that Linda will die in the next few months.  But, there is emerging another wonderful layer.  That Linda, because of her imminent death,  will have an amazing impact on many people she cares for.  We see that not only has Linda had an impact on many people by her life, but now, we see that her death may have a secondary and possibly greater impact on many as well.  Such Grace!!  To have one’s life revealed to be so used by God in so many lives, but, to also have your death used as an amazing tool to impact just as many lives.  Or to impact them even further…or to challenge them in new ways…or to have leverage to cut thru the crap of human issues and speak Truth…or to simply leave someone with words and encouragement they will NEVER forget!

All that is truly wonderful.  But, when will all this happen?  How much time does she have?  When will things wind down aggressively and transition her to her new body?  We don’t know.  We won’t know.  And, we wait.  Literally, wait.  And, clearly, we are waiting on the Lord…to see such things unfold.  To see Him working in her circumstances.  To see people drawn to her due to her impending death, compelled to be with her, anxious to speak with her, simply wanting to be with her before she’s gone…Listening intently to every word she says…between gasps sometimes.

When we don’t know how much time we have, we wait on the Lord.  When we don’t know what will happen and how we might be used, we wait on the Lord.  When we wish to see how He will unfold a situation, we wait on the Lord.  When we are unsettled, confused, worn out, emotionally distraught, and have trouble knowing even what day it is…we wait on the Lord.

We wait on the Lord for Linda to depart.  To transition from her worn out cancer ridden body into a new wonderful body, and to be “with the Lord”.

 

 

 

The Mystical Search For God’s Will

Image result for clip art mystical

Why is it we seem to always get mystical as we try to discern God’s will?

We all seem to default to looking for mystical signs of God leading us in our decisions.  We behave as if every event MUST have some meaning…we just need to figure it out…Oh, this car has 3 owners–that’s a sign God is saying don’t get this one.  Oh, that guy didn’t call me back for two days, must mean its not my car.  Oh, a new one showed up in Craig’s List–that means…!  Total unmitigated baloney as we try so hard to attribute meaning to every occurrence.

Really?  Does God make our lives a rat’s maze of twists and turns and we need to “discover” what His will is?  God has a “will” for our car?  For our TV?  For our xyz choice?  Really?  Is our calling to be always searching for His will in all these areas, blindly stumbling along watching carefully for the signs…like an old western tracker peering at the ground for footprints and broken twigs to tell him where to go?  Is that how God “leads”?

Or does God give us the freedom to live our lives and make our own choices, glorifying Him by letting His Word be the basis of our thinking.  The choice of car or job or house or rental or vacation spot does NOT need to be vetted by our Father since He can work His will regardless of which choices we make.  And, shocker–He knew what that choice would be in His Omniscience anyway and didn’t need to wait to find out!  He’s Sovereign and not limited by time or not knowing what we’ll choose.  We make our choices and He causes all things to work together for good…as promised.

His will is not which car but which priority.  Grow in Grace and the Knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Be conformed to the image of His Son.  Proclaim His excellencies.  As newborn babes desire the sincere milk of His Word.  Those are His Will, not which car, which job, which vacation…Those are trivial and easily subject to His Sovereign Will and Causation!

So cool to be able to Rest…