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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

MY Precious Etch-a-Sketch

      Always wanting more and more is never enough. Nothing makes us want something more than your neighbor, family or friend getting something new. A car, house, phone laptop. Admit it soon as you see the latest greatest laptop or ipad you look down at yours and realize you are now a proud of owner of a Etch a Sketch. Some of us get so consume by our wants its like "Smeagol" now is living through us "my precious". But like with him many times once we get something we have wanted so long we wish to be free of it. I know its not just me with the "case of the wants" from a 7 course meal at Golden Corral  when its about 2am (why is legal to show restaurant commercial after hours) to seeing others having things or going on vacations.
The Word clearly states our problem
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.



I would like to think, believe that I just want to be content with my walk with God. And if anything just give me Wisdom to live my days as Solomon requested. But again that thought doesn't hold water when a want is before me, not a need but a want. These wants are usually enjoyed for a period of time like a child with a Christmas toy. I will soon be "needing another want". And as for the state of contentment, that changes monthly if not weekly when bills come our way or the billion dollar lottery is advertised and you realize you have a better chance of finding Bigfoot in your backyard. But hey maybe God is going to grace you this one time with this "jackpot"
And of course we promise to use the majority of the winnings to make the world a better place. And use the money wisely. Sure we may suck at it now and be in debt and spend more on self than others but that will change when we have millions (See: sarcasm). Just a note to self: God does indeed bless us and that is to be a blessing to others.
So this issue comes more alive to me during the holiday season when we turn Thanksgiving day into a brawl for a new TV or toy. And for my wife and I we have a sons birthday to celebrate just a week before Christmas. We have discuss how to go about this and one suggestion was to buy for him only on his birthday and very little or nothing on Christmas so he can be taught the real reason for Christmas and buy for others who have little or nothing. The problem with that is between family and friends he may get "everything and then some" for his birthday and he wouldn't even realize he didn't get gifts for Christmas.                                               
God this is a struggle for most of us and it shouldn't be. You indeed have place before us an offering of the most precious gift in the world. And yet whenever we find ourselves wanting more its saying that Your gift does not satisfy. This time of year may our hearts truly look to you and may others see in us the contentment that this world could never offer but found only

Two things I ask of you, O Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches,but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God. - Proverbs 30:7-9

Saturday, December 1, 2012

EUCHARISTEO

Happy Thanksgiving. Yea I know its about a week late  but just like with other Holidays why do we keep it to just one day where we actually take a moment or two to reflect and really, truly give thanks. I knew it had been a while since I last blogged but didnt realize its been this long and that my last entry was about "giving Thanks". As I wrote in March I have much (Much) to be thankful for but I would say my lips have uttered complaints, worries and futile, foolish words to the wind more so then encouraging, laughter,hope, giving thanks.
      Recently a video by Ann VosKamp was brought to my attention. She shares where a friend challenged her to see if she could list a 1,000 things to be thankful for and she offers back that she could not stop at just a 1,000. As I listen to her I was thinking surely she has been through some very harsh things in life or else this would just be too "cheesy" for me. And indeed she does share that she saw the death of her younger sister happen right before her eyes, said goodbye to her mom as she was locked away in a pysch ward, cut herself because she just wanted to bleed out of her own skin. captive by panic attacks and has agoraphobia a fear of being in places where it is hard to escape, or where help might not be available and she reveals "its been my own skin difficult to escape" (I love those words as it reflects what many if not all of us struggles with as well).
      Its not that bad things don't happen to me and so much more bad happens to others around me. And I wish it wasn't so. I don't deny such happens but at the same time I don't want to get caught up in it. Because I know I have been blessed. And I tend to forget that and I let the things of the world take me away. I'm blessed to have my family. A wife and son that are beyond my expectations and dreams. Blessed to live in the USA where as a family we have been blessed that we may bless others. Family, Friends,Health,Shelter,Mission Trips, Vacations...the list goes on and on. And I didn't plan for this to be a repeat from March but more of reminder for me and you the reader to focus on giving Thanks. Thanks to God and also those around you. There is a lot to be thankful for.
     EUCHARISTEO-to give Thanks. A life that would focus on Thankfulness.Again this is reminding me that I need to put words into practice that they would become my ways. There is a saying Believers throw out there "Life isn't fair but God is good". I say throw out there because in all honesty we tend to use cliche sayings to explain things away that simply put cannot be explained away. But for me in the same breathe I wish things such as cancer didn't exist and we lived in a world of praise reports. I also know my life reflects Grace for there are people, things in my life that I have despite things I have done, despite being who I was and who I am. And for that and so much more I am Thankful. Now as I go and see if I can come up with a 100 and along the way go for the thousand.  I will close with these words from Ann VosKamp.
"In silent times Seek God in painful times Praise God in Terrible Times Trust God and at all times (at all times ) Thank God"
"Give Thanks to the Lord for His Love endures Forever".. 2 Chron. 20:21