Sunday, January 27, 2013

Laughter is Good Medicine!

“If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane.”  Robert Frost

“I don't trust anyone who doesn't laugh.” Maya Angelou

“Laughter is the sound of the soul dancing. My soul probably looks like Fred Astaire.”  Jarod Kintz

One of the main things that I remember about my PawPaw Boze (Roland Prestenbach, Maternal Grandfather) was his boisterous laugh.  You knew when he was in the room.  You knew when he was in the house.  You even knew when he was in the neighborhood.  And, it was infectuous. You could not help but smile and join in.  When it was all said and done, he made you feel better.  He made you feel like family.  He made you feel at home.  I miss those days.  Our family gatherings have never been the same.  There have been many times in my life since he went home with the Lord that I could have used that laugh.

Thankfully, God has brought people into my life to bring back some of the laughter.  I have been blessed to be a part of a family that has met for the past 8+ years on Thursday nights to play games, watch sports, just hang out and/or eat (usually "and").  These brothers and sisters all have recognizable voices and laughs.  And, you can here them in the room, in the house and in the neighborhood.  We laugh.  Pick on each other.  Laugh.  Pick on ourselves.  And, laugh some more.

I call this my "therapy night."  I need it more than these words can ever say.  I need them more than words can ever say.  These people I trust and love.  And, these people trust and love me.  What an amazing place to be when you can strip down all the walls and masks and just be yourself.  To be allowed the space and freedom to be in whatever mood and whatever state-of-mind without judgement is so unbelievably therapeutic.  After our Thursday nights, I always feel better, I always feel like family and I always feel at home.

The Lord truly uses these nights and these people to reenergize me.  He uses these nights and these people to teach me.  He uses these nights and these people to hug me.  He uses these nights and these people to sharpen me.  He uses these nights and these people to love me.

Now, we all have our faults and our issues.  And, there are very rare days we don't like each other.  But, they are perfect for me.  And, listen, nobody can take the place of my relationship with the Lord.  But, I am thankful He chooses to reveal a little of Himself to me during these nights and through these people.

So, thanks to David Kelly, Karen Kelly, Alan Mielke and Karen Mielke, my brothers and sisters.

I pray that you have a place and a family where you can laugh and be yourself.  If so, be thankful and let them know it.  If not, pray that He will bring the right people into your life.

Love ya!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Who is it that we worship?

The idolatrous heart assumes that God is other than He is - in itself a monstrous sin - and substitutes for the true God one made after its own likeness. - A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy

Well, I feel like I was just punched in the gut. Tozer has always had an uncanny way of doing that to me.  Ever since I was first introduced to him when I was in college, he has challenged the way I think through his writings.

Do I think rightly about God? Does it matter what I think about God?  Do I really need to think?

If I make God to be something other than who He really is I am committing idolatry.  That is a heavy thought that weighs on me. So, the question is - Do I know God? Do I know who I am worshiping?  I want to say yes.  But, if I am being honest, I am not too sure.

The God I know is the God that I have heard about in songs; or the God that I have heard others talk about in sermans and bible studies; or the God I have read about in books written about Him.  Very little is from a serious pursuit to know Him more in study of His scripures or in time with Him.  Sure, I read the bible and spend time with Him.  But, it seems shallow in hindsight.  I have made God into someone that I can control, someone that makes me feel good. That needs to change.

Per God, He hates idolatry. Ergo, I guess it does matter what I think.

To be a true worshiper of the Living God, I need to truly know Him. But, how do I get from where I am to where I need to be? The beauty of the answer is in its simplicity: Read and meditate on God's Word to me (us) where He reveals Himself. Rely on the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to its (the Word) truth. And, spend time with Him by being an active listener.

My job is to follow hard after God and to believe about Him what He reveals to me through scripture and our time together. See, it's simple. Easy? Not so much. But it is worth the effort.

So, join me on this journey of worship of the ONE TRUE GOD.