Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pull It Over

A couple of days ago, while I was driving home from work. I had stayed late so it was about 1:10am. I came up to the light when I saw a Dallas police car there. I came up beside him and proceeded after the light turned green. I was doing the speed limit and after about a mile, the police car came up behind me and turned on his lights. I was wondering what was going on, so I just pulled over. I did what I was told to do years ago when you're pulled over. I placed both hands on the steering wheel and waited. Since I have tinted wind0ws in the back so I also rolled down the back windows so the police can look back there. One of the officer came up beside me and asked the standard question, "Sir, do you know why we pulled you over?" Of course i said, "No, Sir." He then replied, "The reason we pulled you over is because the license plate on this vehicle belongs to a Chevolet." I drive a Ford Expedition. I was taken aback and answered, "I beg your pardon?" He then asked for registration and my driver's license. I handed over more than enough documentation. His partner asked how long I had had this vehicle. I told him we had bought it new, since 2002. He asked if we had ever had personalized plates on it before. I responded no. They asked me to wait and they would run all my info. After about ten minutes or so, they came back saying they had made a mistake and ran the wrong plate number. They apologized and let me continue on home.

This is the first time in over five years I've been pulled over, and I can't remember the time before that. It's funny that even though I hadn't done anything wrong, I was still nervous. Those bright lights and two men with guns...

I hope you have a good week. Blessings!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Can I Be Too Honset?

This is my first blog in over 6 months. I want to start writing more often. I am amazed as I read old blogs the things the Lord has allowed me to observe. One thing that has hit me and I’ve been chewing on this for a couple of weeks is how honest is too honest. Let me give you some background. As a middle aged guy, I grew up in a home where there were a lot of secrets. Many a time my mom would say, “This is a family secret. We don’t talk to anyone else about this.” As I have grown and matured, I have seen the damage all these secrets can cause. I came to a point in my life several years ago where I got tired of hiding stuff. I wanted to be as transparent as possible. It was eye opening to see the freedom in this transparency.

I want to address something that I have seen in our younger folk –too much honesty! When I say too much honesty, I mean we must learn to balance what comes out of mouths. We must be honest with others, but we must know when it is best not to say anything at all. I am afraid that some have taken this “liberty” to express their feelings or thoughts without giving much consideration of how this may affect others.

I have spoken with a couple of couples who will blurt out whatever they are feeling in that moment with the guise of “just being honest”. I’ve heard one tell their spouse, “I don’t love you right now”, and “I sometimes ask myself why I married you!” These so called honest feelings will wound and will damage a relationship. Please hear me, it is not that you don’t feel that way, but you must ask yourself of what good saying something like that be helpful in a relation? James 1 says, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” And then later says, “…take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”

This passage is saying to think before you speak. Ask yourself if what you are about say will hurt or wound. Then ask the Father to give you wisdom for the words that bring healing and love.

I pray you will have a great week in seeking words that encourage and build, not destroy.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Where are you running?

It's been a while since I last wrote an article for this blog. You could say I've been on a bit of a writing sabaticol.
I heard my pastor say this in one of his sermons recently and I have been chewing on this for about a week. And I want to share with you my thoughts on this.
We all acknowledge that we live in a fallen world and this means we will fall daily into sin. Some of the sin might be new sin, but most of it is the same sin we have been dealing with for years.
In the Christian life, we struggle. But it is the Christian that is rooted in the Word of God that has a different perspective on sin. He is the one who will run to the Father with his shortcomings. The immature Christian or non-believer will hide from God with his sin.
A very close brother gave me an analogy his pastor had given him. He said that when he was growing up, he learned a very valuable lesson from his older brother. He observed that when his brother had acted up and was due a spanking from their father, his brother would always try to run away. He said this never worked , because his father had a hand like vise. So he would grab his brother with one hand and with the other pull out the belt. With the brother at arm's length away, their father had plenty of momentum to come from way back and strike.
The pastor thought about it and decided a different approach. He would run to his father and hug him. This would hinder the dad from retrieving his belt and because he was so close, the dad had no leverage. So the impact of the belt was minimal and as a matter of fact, the dad would end up hitting himself half the time.
It makes me wonder, what would have happened if Adam and Eve instead of hiding from God in the garden after sinning, they would have run to the Father? My question to you today is: where are you running? Are you running to the Father or away? My prayer for you is that you will run with your arms wide open to the Father.

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Legend Retires

Today a Legend in the NFL retired. He is a legend to me because he continues to rise above his circumstances. I wrote about him exactly a year ago.
He was great on and off the field. He is a great role model and when he was asked today what he plans to do next, he responded that he would be in ministry. He mentioned that he carries his Bible everywhere he goes. He is definitely not bashful of his faith.
You will understand more of who I am talking about if you go back into my older posts and look up the one I wrote on January 28th, 2009.
He is a stand up guy and I know the Lord will use him to bring others to His Namesake.
Also, how can the Lord use you, even though you and I might not have the type of platform he has? The Lord just wants you to be obedient.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

For The Love of God

I've been reading one of John Piper's books, "God is the Gospel". I must confess to you that his books are hard for me to read. First of all, I'm not that smart and usually am not that deep of a thinker. I have to read his stuff in small increments and read it several times for it to really sink in.

That being said, I would like for you to read the following excerpt from the introduction that I have been chewing on for a few days. Read it and re-read it please and let it sink in.

"The gospel of Jesus Christ reveals what splendor is. Paul calls it the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (2 cor. 4:4). Two verses later he calls it the glory of God in the face Jesus Christ.

When I say that God is the Gospel I mean that the highest, best, final, decisive good of the gospel, without which no other gifts would be good, is the glory of God in the face of Christ revealed for our everlasting enjoyment. The saving love of God is God's commitment to do everything necessary to enthrall us with what is deeply and durably satisfying, namely himself. Since we are sinners and have no right and desire to be enthralled in God, therefore God's love enacted a plan of redemption to provide that right and that desire. The supreme demonstration of God's love was the sending of his Son to die for our sins and to rise again so that sinners might have the right to approach God and have the pleasure of his presence forever.

In order for the Christian gospel to be good news it must provide an all-satisfying and eternal gift that undeserving sinners can receive and enjoy. For that to be true, the gift must be three things. First, the gift must be purchased by the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ, the son of God. Our sins must be covered, and the wrath of God against us must be removed, and Christ's righteousness must be imputed to us. Second, the gift must be free and not earned. There would be no good news if we had to merit the gift of the gospel. Third, the gift must be God himself, above all other gifts.

The gospel is the good news of our final and full enjoyment of the glory of God in the face of Christ. That this enjoyment had to be purchased for sinners at the cost of Christ's life makes his glory shine all the more brightly. And this enjoyment is a free and unmerited gift makes it shine more brightly still. But the price Jesus paid for the gift and the unmerited freedom of the gift are not the gift. The gift is Christ himself as the glorious image of God- seen and savored with everlasting joy."

Every time I read that passage, I just go "WOW!" For me it is like every time I read Colossians 1:15-20, the supremacy of Christ. I understand it, yet I don't.

I hope you are encouraged by this and also humbled by the love of God.


Monday, January 4, 2010

A Suitable Helper

Seven years ago today, January 4, 2003, I had the privilege to be united in matrimony to Stephanie. We had met two years earlier at a church retreat. It was one of those meetings that went, "Hi my name is Ed. Nice to meet you." And that was the end of that. Six months later I saw her again at a church Singles Leadership retreat. Again, we exchanged pleasantries and went our own ways. This time it was only a couple of months later when she went with a group of us to eat after church one Sunday night.
A group of our church single adults went out every Sunday night to eat after church. The group could range from six to thirty. It seemed Stephanie was getting more involved and I was getting to know her more and more. I never saw her as more than a friend and the feeling for her was the same.
As time progressed, we found ourselves kind of hanging out. One evening three of us, Stephanie, her friend, Tiffany, and myself went to play putt-putt. Afterwards, we all piled into my car to go grab a bite. When we got back, Tiffany started to pepper me with questions. I had nothing to hide and gave them my story.
A couple of months later, Stephanie invited me to spend the day after Thanksgiving with her and her family. I already knew her Mom & Dad from church and really liked them. Her older brother, wife and two kids were there also. They were very funny and have a great sense of humor. I had a blast hanging out with them.
The next day, Saturday, her brother and family were heading back to Oklahoma. Stephanie and I hung out the rest of the day by ourselves. We decided to go to a movie that evening. we had a little more than an hour to kill before the movie started. I decided it was DTR time. (Determine The Relationship) I told Stephanie we needed to talk. I asked her, "Are we dating?" In which she replied, "I don't know, are we?" Great! she threw it back on me.
"Stephanie, you know I don't date around. The only reason I would date anyone is strictly to get married." I continued, "If we are going to date, there are some non-negotiables." I went on to rattle off about six items. I do not remember those six items, but I know it was the Holy Spirit speaking thru me, because they were very good. In the back of my mind, I recall saying to myself, "Someone should be writing this down, because this is good stuff." I concluded with saying, "Stephanie, you have to agree 100% with all of what I have said or we have to go our separate ways and just be friends." Stephanie just nodded yes. I then said, "Great! Now let's go see the movie."
We courted for the next thirteen months. Looking back, we really could have gotten married that night. That's how sure I was God had put us together. Stephanie has been much much more than I could have ever thought I needed. God knew exactly what type of woman I needed as a "suitable helper."
I have had so much fun in the last seven years with Stephanie and I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for us in the future. God has blessed me with an incredible godly, beautiful, smart wife that makes me laugh a lot.
Happy Seventh Anniversary to The Princess! I love you! Besos!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Would You?

Back in the mid-eighties, there was a series called "Amazing Stories". The creator was Stephen Spielberg. It was a kind of a Twilight Zone type of series. I never saw the original, but I rented the VHS with three or four episodes on it. One really stood out for me. The story, as best to my recollection, goes like this:
A man, played by character actor Joe Seneca, wakes up after being in a coma for over twenty years. Everyone is amazed because its like he's been asleep the whole time. They start to give him updates of the news and what has happened in the world. He starts to walk around the hospital floor. As he walks, he can hear what others can't. As he visits with patients, he has great empathy and there is a sense of peace about him. Along this journey, he also finds out he has healing powers. But each time he touches someone and they are healed, it takes something out of Joe.
As you can imagine, word around the hospital gets out quickly. People are asking for him to come to heal them. Joe explains that this is not what he wanted in the first place. One patient that had gotten his attention was a little girl around eight years old. She is terminally ill and she is dying quickly. Her parents reach out to Joe to save their daughter. If he doesn't do something, she will die within the next hour.
Joe goes back to his room to contemplate what to do next. He is feeling weak as he has healed several people. Joe knows that if he chooses to heal the little girl, it probably take his life. He goes back to the girls room one last time. Her parents plead with him to save their daughter. Joe finally goes over to the little girl's bed and he lays over her. Joe gets up and slowly walks back to his room.
As Joe gets into his bed, the little girl begins to wake up. She completely healed. The parents rush over to Joe's room to tell him what has transpired to find out he has passed away.
I don't know why, but the other night, I had a dream about this episode, one which I hadn't seen in over twenty years. I started to dwell on that scenario and began to ask myself the question, "Would I be willing to give up my life in exchange for a complete stranger?" I know it's easy to lay one's life down for a spouse or one's own child, but someone I don't even know? As I have played it over and over in my head, I still haven't come up with a definite answer.
Then I am reminded of my Savior, Jesus Christ. Scripture says, "God made Him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become be the righteousness of God." (2Corinthians 5:21)
We have unmerited salvation, because Christ was willing to take on sin our place. I have eternal gratitude for His sacrifice. I pray you continue to press into Jesus Christ and the Good News He brings! Blessings in the new year.