Monday, September 1, 2008

Reflecting on some Essential Things

I am on the plane towards Anchorage after being back in Tennessee this past weekend. And find myself pondering on the significant things of life…

• We should never take for granted the history we have with people we love. There is something profound about sitting with people you have walked with over the long haul. While living in Alaska provides the opportunity to establish new relationships (we love this), we miss our history with family and friends in middle Tennessee. A journey with people is a gift. I realize how big a gift it is now that I’m so far away.
• Praying with friends on a front porch is like water over my soul. Thanks Lance, Amy, and Chris.
• Being an uncle to AJ, Madi, and Sidney is a gift of God’s grace to me. We set a new record with 33 hits on the beach ball in my parents’ pool.
• Homemade Ice Cream on a Sunday Afternoon…sitting around eating it together as a family. Good stuff mom and dad. I love the simplicity.
• Sitting on the “side porch” with my PaPa and Granny. Visiting my Pa in the nursing home. I cried when I left them. They are getting older now…I’m sad about that. I miss them a lot…I’m sad about that. They are close to heaven…I’m glad about that.
• “You are Two Imperfect People, Entering into a Committed Relationship, Diligently Pursuing Intimacy, Under the Sovereign rule of God.” I had the opportunity to speak these words to a dear couple at their wedding on Saturday night. I was reminded that marriage is such a gift. My wife is a gift of God’s grace to me…and provision to make me more like the Son.
• Control and Trust are mutually exclusive. “Trust is letting go of our need to control outcomes, letting God be God.” (John Wimber) People joke about being a “control freak.” It’s not a laughing matter…being in prison isn’t something to joke about. If the captives have been set free, why are we still holding onto the chains? “Trusting God is pivotal to this whole business of being a Christian.” (John Wimber)
• “Our words have the power to curse or bless.” (Lindsay Swain) What if we didn’t miss opportunities to tell people what we see in them and how we feel about them?
• Why do so many feel the pressure to impress and the pressure to hide, including me? Why is the truth of our lives and story so hard to trust people with? Why can people tell their secrets to a stranger on a postcard but they can’t come into the light with the people they know and love? I long to see the local church as the place people know they can go to with their pain and shame…to find grace, deliverance, healing, and restoration.
• I am really bummed I’m missing the Tennessee game right now…Why is college football and the NFL so significant to me? To others? What if we gathered in homes to worship and pray like we do to watch games?
• What makes my friend’s wife (she is my friend too) move out of the country to foster her little girl for over 2 months until she can bring her home? What sustains the husband as he waits for his girls to come home? (there is hope Eliana will be home this month…please join us in praying for this)
• Legalism is from the pit. Religiosity keeps people from Grace. Is it worse to be accused of being a legalist or someone who offers too much grace? I’m going for broke with grace.
• When I am away from my kids, my heart physically aches for them. Is this how it is with God when my heart is away from Him? I think so…
• What is it about me that makes me so uptight sometimes at all the insignificant things? What if the small stuff didn’t rob us of serenity?
• If this earth is not my home, why do I live as though it is?
• I wish people would stop apologizing for their tears. Who decided that tears are so offensive? Tears speak to something deep within…they tell what we value. Can you know me if I don’t show you my tears?


Heather said...

OH wow, great post! I love the part at the end about our hearts and God's aching when we are away from him, very well put and I often wonder is some of the things that we go through in life is Him trying to get a hold of us and bring us back to Him.
But oh it made me sad to hear that you were back in TN for a little while and we weren't there. We would have loved to have seen your sweet family. But I am so glad that we can keep up this way. Love you guys!

Chris & Lindsey Wheeler said...

Thanks so much for your encouragement! Your soul is so refreshing to mine bro! You are one heck of a listener!

Sitting on a porch with you is so significant to me! God uses you mightily...even when you think you're just chilling and just being you.

You really need to post more are a great writer and your words are so good to hear! It's basically an extension of your ministry and your heart!

Grace and Peace,

Chris & Lindsey Wheeler said...

Thanks so much for praying for Eliana and Linds...I'm really hoping we get our Birth Cert. signed this Friday. Please pray things start speeding up...I really miss my girls!


Samantha said...

Thank you for an amazing wedding! It was such a joy to have you both there to be an integral part of our special weekend. We love and miss you guys.