Chapter-a-Day Ezekiel 24

God’s Message came to
me: "Son of man, I’m about to take from you the delight of your life—a
real blow, I know. But, please, no tears. Keep your grief to yourself.
No public mourning. Get dressed as usual and go about your work—none of
the usual funeral rituals."
Ezekiel 24:15-17 (TM)

Truth can be a tough pill to swallow, and that makes reading the Old Testament prophets a difficult task, at times. The truth is that God is sovereign, and while He has a plan for our lives, there are times that He has the bigger picture in mind. His plan for us also includes developing within us character qualities like maturity, wholeness, endurance, perseverance – for which the teacher is trials and difficulties.

Chapter-a-Day Ezekiel 24

God’s Message came to
me: "Son of man, I’m about to take from you the delight of your life—a
real blow, I know. But, please, no tears. Keep your grief to yourself.
No public mourning. Get dressed as usual and go about your work—none of
the usual funeral rituals."
Ezekiel 24:15-17 (TM)

Truth can be a tough pill to swallow, and that makes reading the Old Testament prophets a difficult task, at times. The truth is that God is sovereign, and while He has a plan for our lives, there are times that He has the bigger picture in mind. His plan for us also includes developing within us character qualities like maturity, wholeness, endurance, perseverance – for which the teacher is trials and difficulties.

Chapter-a-Day Ezekiel 20

"’What you’re secretly thinking is never going to happen. You’re
thinking, "We’re going to be like everybody else, just like the other
nations. We’re going to worship gods we can make and control."
Ezekiel 20:32 (TM)

God seems a lot easier to take if my god is a god that I can control. If I can have a god of my own choosing, who fits with my world-view, who doesn’t make me uncomfortable, guilty or ashamed of my behavior. On the face of things, a god of my choosing will make me feel more comfortable and better about myself. Yet the god of my choosing is really just a reflection of me and my selfishness. A god of my choosing is not holy, or just, or right. A god of my choosing just entrenches me deeper into my own ways.

God, help me to see you, hear you, and trust you as you are – not as I would have you be.

Chapter-a-Day Ezekiel 20

"’What you’re secretly thinking is never going to happen. You’re
thinking, "We’re going to be like everybody else, just like the other
nations. We’re going to worship gods we can make and control."
Ezekiel 20:32 (TM)

God seems a lot easier to take if my god is a god that I can control. If I can have a god of my own choosing, who fits with my world-view, who doesn’t make me uncomfortable, guilty or ashamed of my behavior. On the face of things, a god of my choosing will make me feel more comfortable and better about myself. Yet the god of my choosing is really just a reflection of me and my selfishness. A god of my choosing is not holy, or just, or right. A god of my choosing just entrenches me deeper into my own ways.

God, help me to see you, hear you, and trust you as you are – not as I would have you be.

Chapter-a-Day Ezekiel 19

Sing the blues over the princes of Israel. Ezekiel 19:1 (TM)

The "blues" in Ecclesiastical Old Testament terms was a "lament", but it was "the blues". Yesterday I noted that "fairness was never part of the human equation" – but sadness definitely is, as well as sorrow, and difficulty, and pain. We shouldn’t marvel at this. God told us at the beginning that this is the way it would be. Ecclesiastes (along with The Byrds) remind us that there is a time for everything under the sun. There is a time to rejoice, and there is a time to sing the blues.

When it comes time to sing the blues – let it wail.

Chapter-a-Day Ezekiel 19

Sing the blues over the princes of Israel. Ezekiel 19:1 (TM)

The "blues" in Ecclesiastical Old Testament terms was a "lament", but it was "the blues". Yesterday I noted that "fairness was never part of the human equation" – but sadness definitely is, as well as sorrow, and difficulty, and pain. We shouldn’t marvel at this. God told us at the beginning that this is the way it would be. Ecclesiastes (along with The Byrds) remind us that there is a time for everything under the sun. There is a time to rejoice, and there is a time to sing the blues.

When it comes time to sing the blues – let it wail.

Mission: Mexico

Mexico_050


Taylor and Madison had a rewarding week on their mission to Mexico. Working in orphanages and building homes – they worked hard and loved hard. Over Father’s Day dinner they shared their experiences. As with all missions there were the humorous memories that will live on in infamy, like Taylor getting to San Diego and realizing she’d not packed underwear. She had to buy "granny panties" in Mexico. There were also scenes and experiences that gave them new perspectives to consider. There were opportunities to love others and to be loved.

Mexico_029_2
I remember when the girls were small and you could leave in the morning and come home in the evening to realize that their little bodies had grown. As I listened to the girls share about their trip and heard the heart-lessons God gave them on the trip – it was clear to me that their spirits had grown in that week. Their horizon is a little broader. Their wisdom is a bit deeper. Their perspective is a tad sharper.

Growth is good.Mexico_017_2

The Perfect Father’s Day

I couldn’t have received a better Father’s Day than to have Taylor and Madison back home from their trip to Mexico. They arrived home late Saturday night with big hugs for Wendy and me. They were tired, but full of stories and memories and laughter (more to post later about their trip).

Yesterday morning we worshiped together at Third. As I entered the sanctuary on of the ushers came up to me and said, "You have the best daughters in the world. I was with them in Mexico, and they were so sweet and worked so hard!" Now that is a Father’s Day present all it’s own!

We went home from church to enjoy a Father’s Day feast, complete with Wendy’s to-die-for chocolate cake (Madison to Wendy: "You should open up your own restaurant and call it ‘The Other Wendy’s"). The girls chattered on through lunch about their experiences in Mexico, and we took it all in.

The girls took Wendy and me to a matinée of "Surf’s Up" after lunch and we laughed together. Then we were off to Smokey Row for a cool summer afternoon treat.

It was a perfect day for this father.