Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Last week, I was out of town. Therefore no blog post. Thanks to the people who noticed (and mentioned) it was not here.

A few days ago, I posted on my Facebook status, "I want to get smaller." Almost immediately the questions came, "Smaller how?" " Do you want to lose weight?" "Do you want to be a Hobbit?" Yes, I like many people want to lose weight. No, I do not want to be a Hobbit. "Smaller how?" is the better question.

I am not 100% certain how I want to get smaller. I know I want to leave less of a carbon footprint. It is why I carry reusable bags to the grocery store, use compact fluorescent light bulbs, try not to jackrabbit start from the stoplight when I am driving, and I pull the weeds from my lawn by hand (no poison, please)! So, I want to have a smaller negative impact on the world in which I live and the world I will leave for future generations.

I think even more than being smaller in the carbon footprint legacy (which as a fairly typical Texan is way larger than I want to admit), I want to be smaller in terms of what people perceive when they come in contact with me. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to spend some time working with the Missionaries of Charity (think Mother Teresa). I was with several guys, big guys actually. After only a few minutes in the presence of these women one of us said, "I want to get smaller." These women are led so deeply by the Holy Spirit and come so much as the presence of Christ, that the women themselves almost disappeared. We, in our big, bold, brash Texas ways were out of place and out of sorts with this self-giving of the sisters to God, to their Order, and to the neighbor. (To read more about this adventure, you can read the book The Mystic Way of Evangelism by Elaine Heath.)

I want to get smaller. In that vein, I am working on being more diligent in prayer, listening more than speaking, waiting more than rushing, and putting God and family before anything else. To be smaller means to seek the mind of Christ, the will of God, and the leading of the Holy Spirit. I am not sure I am really getting smaller, but I pray that it may be so.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

World View

Sunday morning Pastor Ginger delivered a sermon that pushed an idea to the front of my brain. Nothing new really, just brought it from the recesses of the mind to the forefront of consciousness. I am not quoting her; her sermon is the jumping off point.

There are several ways to view the world. The pessimist sees the glass (see picture to the right) as half empty. The optimist sees the glass as half full. Often this is seen as the two options of viewing the world. Either you are an optimist or a pessimist. That is fine and good but I want to throw out two more options as world views and both have less to do the with glass and much more to do with faith.
The 23rd Psalm says, "my cup overflows." The person who walks in communion with God sees their cup as overflowing. The same cup on the right is not just half full or half empty. That cup is now overflowing, water dripping down the sides, with blessing and peace. I do not believe this overflowing cup is limited to Jews and Christians. Anyone who is in communion with the Divine and Holy can know their cup to be overflowing.
The fourth world view comes from my Papaw. Six years after he breathed his last, he still blesses me. He would say, "My cup gushes over." These are the words of hope spoken by a man of resurrection faith. Hope! Hope in a Christ who defeats death! Hope in a Spirit that lives and breathes in the lives of the faithful! This blessing is not dependent on how much water is in the glass. This blessing is not based on how good life is at this moment. This world view is based solely on the ability to see that resurrection changes everything.
Mine is the fourth view. Anyone can find the glass to be half empty or full. My cup gushes over.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Only You

I am sure you all remember Smokey the Bear telling us, "Only you can prevent forest fires." Never mind that I grew up in west Texas where it was rare to see two trees growing close together and the density of the trees in a true forest kind of freaks me out. That is a lot of pressure on a kid.

I have been rambling on and off about change and my future for the last several months. At some point in the last week I realized, "Only I can make a change in my life." I know this is not some radical thought or insight. No one is forcing me to change or not to change. No one can make me do something that I do not chose. At some point, I get to make a choice. It little and big ways, only I can make this change.

Think of it as Yoda looking at Luke in the Empire Strikes Back when Yoda says, "There is do or do not. There is no try." Either we give ourselves to Christ, and to holiness and wholeness and walk today a little more closely with our Lord and Savior, or we do not. Either it happens or it does not happen. This is a choice we must make every day and often a dozen times each day. It is not a decision we make one time when we are 13 and we are then good for always.

Today, I chose to walk in the way that leads to life eternal. Today, I want to do something good. Today, I give myself to the changes Christ is working in me. Today, I give myself fully to his grace. Today, I want to experience resurrection and life abundant. Only I can accept these changes. Only I can respond and grow in this calling on my life.