Predictably, Israel cries out, "My God! We know you!’ – But they don’t act like it. Hosea 8:2 (TM)
Jesus told us "you’ll know them by their fruit." We can’t judge people, God is very clear about that. The judgment seat is too big for any save Him. But, we are told to be fruit inspectors. Nevertheless, verses like this one in Hosea always make me turn inward. Instead of wondering about the fruit of others I ask myself, "Do others see love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control in me?"
I’ve found in my years of doing theatre that there’s always this rehearsal somewhere just short of performance where everything falls apart. It’s the "Murphy’s Law" rehearsal when anything that can go wrong does. The actors screw up all of their lines, the timing is all off, the cues are messed up. The director’s list of notes looks like a short novel they penned in two hours. Everyone looks at each other and says, "Oh my gosh – we’re supposed to be ready next week!"
We had that rehearsal last night for The Dominie’s Wife. Arrrghh. Since it always seems to happen, I have learned to expect it. And now I embrace it. I think that there’s a purpose for it in the grand scheme of production. It motivates and re-energizes the cast and crew. You go back to the script to polish up the lines you’re struggling with. You review your cues. You dive in to make sure that you don’t have one of those rehearsals again.
So, today it’s back to reviewing my lines and following up all the director’s notes (which were right on target, btw). Full dress rehearsal tonight. You can bet that it’s going to be a good one.
They turn, but not to me– turn here, then there, like a weather vane. Hosea 7:16 (TM)
It’s funny to watch fads come and go. Remember Shirley McLaine and the whole reincarnation stuff? How about TM? Now it’s the Jewish mystical sect of Kabbala getting all the Hollywood stars and the press. I’m know all of these things "fads" are still around, but the world seems to latch on to a "new" spiritual fad ever few years to keep itself spinning like a weather vane, never finding true North – never stopping in the direction of the One who said, "I AM the Way, the Truth, the Life – no one comes to the Father but through Me."
I’m after love that lasts, not more religion. I want you to know GOD, not go to more prayer meetings. Hosea 6:6
I’m so glad that God want a relationship with me. It’s not about how good I am. It’s not about the gold stars on my Sunday School attendance chart. It’s not about how well I clean up and look the part. It’s about a relationship with God. It’s knowing Him more and opening more of myself to Him. It’s about quality time building intimacy with Him. And the cool thing is, the more I’m with Him, the more I get to know Him, the more I desire to be with Him and be like Him.
We had our Creative Path small group last night. It was a gorgeous Spring evening, so we sat on the back porch among the blooming maple and the hostas that are rocketing out of the ground. As we went around the circle and talked about what each of us were doing:
- Karen helped start a creative movement troupe that performed at one of our local church on Easter Sunday, and it was a great success
- Kathy has started making jewelry, and on Saturday a woman not only took all of her jewelry to sell in her shop, but begged for more
- Randy spent Saturday painting by the Des Moines river and showed us a picture of a sign that he painted for a friend’s shop
- Wendy showed the group a finished pot that she threw on the potter’s wheel, and discussed her parts in two local productions and plans to direct a third
It just made me feel good to think back to when our class began a year and a half ago. Most of these people would have told you that they don’t have a creative bone in their body. Either that, or they had been so beaten down with shame that they didn’t have even a mustard seed of faith to pursue their creative desires. Now look at them. It’s so cool. I’m so proud of them all.
Madison is attending a girls retreat at church this weekend. For some strange reason, our wicked youth ministry directors, Steph and Sarah, didn’t want the girls staying overnight in the church, so they all came to OUR house!
Upon arrival, the gaggle of gigglers stampeded downstairs. A minute later Madison asked me where the sleeping bags were. I told her I’d get them out and proceeded downstairs to the storage alcove behind the family room. In the 60 seconds from the girls entering the back door to me entering the family room, a couple of the girls had decided to change into their sweats.
Now, I swear I saw nothing (thank you Sgt. Schultz)! But I it was an embarrassing moment for all parties involved. I went upstairs where Madison, who missed the whole incident, was scraping up extra pillows. I told her what happened and apologized.
Madison knows her dad so well. Seeing that I was shaken up and felt terrible, she patted me on the back with a chuckle. "Don’t worry, Dad. Just go down and watch Lord of the Rings and forget about it."
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I was on the road yesterday in Minneapolis with a fellow group member. We were driving back in an afternoon downpour and I witnessed the most brilliant rainbow I’ve ever seen in my life. I don’t know if it was a trick played by my windshield or what, but this was a double rainbow that went through the color spectrum twice. It was so brilliant that it hurt our eyes to look at it. If you looked at it and then turned away you saw rainbows wherever you looked. It was awesome.
Of course, I can’t look at a rainbow without thinking of God’s promise. Yesterdays rainbow was another little reminder to me that God loves us extravagantly (Eph 5:2) and his promises are just as sure.