Healing Power

Running commentary on how Jesus' Healing Power is affecting my life - and helping me to help others.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

It's not the destination...

A long time between posts. It seems to be the way I'm blogging now. But the road has gone from a dirt trail to an expressway of life.

Why have I returned to my blog? Well, we got a new iMac computer and it came with a free iPod Touch. So, when I posted an update on my LinkedIn page, using the LinkedIn App for iPhone/iPod, it put a tag in the line that I was using that app. And a friend made a comment about how far we had come.

So, I went back and reviewed the time until I quit blogging. There's a heckuvan emotional trip there. At one point, I posted how much I missed eating meat. There was another reference to the darkest time in my marriage. But we emerged from the depths of the valley to the top of the mountain when God led me to a new job.

I travelled this journey. Looking back on my footsteps is almost scary. And not all of it is contained within Healing Power. My conclusion is that there is no destination in life. It is a journey.

I'm not sure when I'll be posting again. I'm working two jobs and the rare moments I'm off, I find myself enjoying my family or doing some light housework. I rarely spend time on the computer. And, as much as I want to delve into this new iMac ('specially GarageBand!), the overwhelming desire is to relax.

Thank you, Squat and Melanie and the couple of others out there, for reading this rarely updated blog.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Funniest Thing Jesus Said

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.
- Matthew 7:1-7, NIV

I think this is the funniest thing Jesus said. Can you imagine someone walking around with a telephone pole sticking out of their eye? Jesus did, and he likely laughed when He told the story.

This week, my two lovely daughters were arguing over petty things. I brought out my bible and asked them to read this passage. Just six little verses. Then I asked them what it meant.

"If there is a log in your eye, you won't be able to reach the person with the speck. How can you take it out?"

I gotta say - that answer caught me off guard. But it did (kinda-sorta) drive my point home. "If you can't help them with their speck because of your own log, what should you do?"

"Well, you have to take the log out of your eye first, I guess."

It was all I could do not to shout out for joy.

I went on to explain how their situation that night lined up with this story. It's been stuck in my head for the last few days and I have found a heckuva lot of logs in my own eyes. For example:

  • As I finally passed someone who refused to let me into their lane even though my blinker was on, I inadvertently blocked someone who had their blinker on.
  • As I ranted about another's stupidity, I committed a stupid act that cost me an hours' work.
  • As I chastised my daughters for not cleaning their room, they pointed out my shoes and jacket which were not put away.

Yeah, everything that comes around goes around. "...with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." - Matthew 7:2, NIV

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Response to Missional? When?

My friend and pastor, Sean Palmer, has a great vlog (that's video blog and blog is short for web log so I guess vlog is short for video web log). It regards the "Missional Church". In it, he asks us to define a "Missional Church". My answer got too long for a comment, so I'm posting it here. And it got even longer once I posted it here...

A "missional church" (all one phrase) is not an easy thing to answer. I tend to think about it on a global scale rather than an individual scale. Forget about the local institution and focus on the universal church.

Missional means spreading Christ's word. Pure and simple. Not necessarily evangelical, but giving people what they need physically and spiritually. How can an institution do that? Star of Hope. Boy and Girl Scouts (those are in alphabetical order - not picking favorites). Food pantry. Prison. Clinic.

The question becomes less about "What can I do," and more about "How did Jesus do it?" Jesus was at the places where people needed Him. He hung out with tax collectors and sinners. Perhaps in our day He'd be hanging out at the rock concerts and nightclubs. Whether He participated or not is answered by 2 Cor. 5:21 - that He knew no sin.

So, to be missional, the church needs to be in places it really doesn't want to be. Montrose. Sixth Street. San Francisco. Vegas. The church - and that means its people - need to be out in their unchurched world and living the life.

  • Be a friend to a flaming homosexual without endorsing - or condemning - their lifestyle.
  • Be a friend to the alcoholic without endorsing - or condemning - their lifestyle.
  • Be a friend to the Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu or other non-Christian without endorsing - or ridiculing - their choice.
Once you establish the friendships, as Jesus had, you can see lives change. You can see them healed.

I think singer Todd Agnew hit the nail on the head in his song "My Jesus":

(Note: This video is not by Todd Agnew)

How does one become missional? One simply looks past the lifestyle, the dirt, the corruption, the addiction, the crime... and finds a soul to love. That's what Jesus did. I know it's hard. The last place I want to be is in a place where everybody around me is living a life I consider to be repugnant - a place like a homosexual community. But that's where My Jesus would be. He wouldn't participate, but He would definitely show the love.

So, in a nutshell, WWJD is being missional. Go there. Do that. Get the T-Shirt. Remember - it's not just about the poor. There are probably more wealthy unchurched than poor. It's about sinners. It's about you and me.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

This, Too, is Pretty Sad

Twenty days between blog updates. And it's not like I'm incredibly busy. I can even get to blogger from work. But, for some reason, I am failing miserably to update my blog.

I think the big problem is that my passion for writing is at a low right now. I have no desire to write. I still get worked up about things, but I just talk about it with live people rather than write in my blog.

Sadder still, though, is the friend who called and asked, “Did you get my message?” Or the prisoner with whom I've been corresponding saying “You must be very busy. I haven't heard from you in a while.” Worse yet - “Have you been praying for me like you promised?”


Where does the time go? And when I sit down to document it all, I still come up with nothing. I mean, I find time to watch 80-year-old movies, but I can't find the time to write a friend who can really benefit from a letter. I can find time to surf the internet, but not to call a friend who's left four messages for me. I can find time to stay fat and lazy but not to ______ (fill in the blank).

And why do we do this? Why is it so hard to get started doing the easy things? I have my ideas. In my case, I'm lazy. I don't want to do the things I have to, so I find creative ways to get around them. I have my Classic Movie Weekend. I say “I have to spend time with my family.” Hey - what's more noble than that? Or, I update a blog that nobody reads.

OK - that was a cheap shot at you, Squatpuke.

Seriously, though. Who wants to pledge to actually do the noble things you say you're going to do? Who wants to actually find the time to mentor that person who needs help? Who wants to actually volunteer in the prisons or schools or Big Brothers/Big Sisters? Who wants to spend a weekend beautifying their church? Or mowing the lawn for a neighbor who can't? Or visiting a sick friend or family member or church member or total stranger with no family in the hospital? Now, that last one, I don't think I can do.


Almighty Heavenly Father,
You have told us that we are the Body of Christ. We are His hands and feet - His hug and kind voice. Through You alone, working in us, we can demonstrate your immense love for this lost world. But we need to get our lazy selves motivated to do something.

Father, create in us a heart that cries for Your Spirit - for Your motivation - for Your willingness and capabilities to reach out to those around us who may not even know you exist. Shine Your light through us - but get us out into the world where Your light will do some good.

Thank You for being there for us. Now help us to be there for someone else.

In Jesus' Holy Name we pray,

Sunday, July 27, 2008

It's So Sad

It's so sad - and all you veterans will likely agree.

This was my “Classic Movie Week” and it includes such classics as “Metropolis” (1928), “Casablanca” (1941), “The Maltese Falcon” (1939), and others. Having discovered the greatness of Humphrey Bogart, I returned to the library and picked up more Bogie Movies (though I still haven't figured out what is meant by “Bogart-ing” a smoke). The one I sat down to watch today was titled “Across the Pacific” and starred his Maltese Falcon leading lady, Mary Astor.

On the top menu of the DVD for “Across the Pacific” was a choice for “Warner’s Night at the Movies”. It included a trailer for a Cagney film about the RCAF, a newsreel with details about raising a sunken Japanese bomber from the bottom of Pearl Harbor, a cartoon (which I have not yet watched) and “Men of the Sky”, a 30-minute story about the heroes of the US Army Air Corps. It is this last portion I wish to elaborate upon.

This was a production of Warner Bros. I do not know their stance during recent years of national trauma, but Hollywood, in general, is very keen to make the American Fighting Men and Women look like terrorists rather than patriots.

“Men of the Sky” begins with a look at a USAAC graduating class - where they came from and where they are going. It ends with... Well, I was going to paraphrase, but I'll let the narrator do the talking. He said it much better than I could.

Through sky and wind and heat and cold, darkness and fog. But that's where we have to go to fight a war. That and a lot of other places. To keep the murderers we know well; the barbarians against the freedom of free people away from our shores, our homes and our families.

What's under those wings? {camera zooms to wings on Airman's chest} Why, the small towns of America. And hundreds of churches where we worship as we please. And kids playing in their front yards. And soda pop. And farmers digging the soil. And the right to say what we think and believe what we believe.

And you're under those wings - you who built the planes that keep 'em flying. You who gave us these boys; who saw them grow up and go to school and get jobs and go off to fight a war for the very things you taught them were worth fighting for. Yes, and you who hope they'll come back.

That's what's under those wings! It's us! All of us and what we're fighting for!

So spread those wings Army Airmen! Spread them over Tokyo! Boom! And Yokohama! Boom! Drop your bombs! Boom! On Berlin! Boom! And Osaka! Boom! And Dresden! Boom! And Hamburg! Boom! Bomb their factories and their ammunition plants! Boom! And blast their planes right out of the skies! Rat-a-tat-a-tat!

The hearts of all of us fly with you under those wings!

Why can't Hollywood make something like that today? Rather than a movie about how the government betrayed their soldiers (“Black Hawk Down”) or about how our government bombed our own shores in order to start a war (“Fahrenheit 911”)? Why can't Hollywood celebrate the men and women keeping us free rather than portraying them as madmen (“Full Metal Jacket”)?

I'm off my soapbox. I want to go watch my cartoon and movie. Let me know what you think. Is it me or Hollywood that's nuts?


Monday, July 07, 2008

What's my connection...

What is your connection with God? Do you have one? Have you ever felt His presence during a time of prayer or worship? Have you relied on His guidance so much that if you let go you would surely fall? Have you literally communed with Him - by that, I mean established a communal link where you speak to Him and He speaks to you?

For most of us, those are stories in the Bible. For some, those are fleeting moments. For a very rare few, those are everyday occurrences. I fall into the middle category. Either I've experienced communion with Him or I've had some fantastic hallucinations. I lean toward the former. Problem is, those moments are fleeting.

And, I've found that they most often happen when I'm in the presence of the woman who led me to Him. Well, this week, she went to visit her mother out of state. I'm at home alone. 36 hours after she left, I found the alone-ness to be more than I could bear. There I sat, in the pew at church, without her by my side. Though I was surrounded by friends, I was still utterly alone. Suddenly, the realization hit me. Sure, I have found connection with God, but it's only through her.

I spoke with an elder at my church concerning this. I want that connection with Him back. I don't want to have to plug in through her. I am supposed to have a direct connection with Jesus - like I have with people standing right next to me. That happens rarely enough and only with her present. Not to mention the fact that I know how God fixes problems like this - He removes the stumbling block. Just like He's done before by removing my job, rendered my education worthless and shown me glimpses of poor health. Now I'm terrified He'll remove my wife.

So I asked an elder how to fix this. He's been a preacher most of his life; if anyone knows how to fix it, it'll be him. He told me it's simple. “Confess to God what you just told me. Ask Him to fix it.”

I thought, “No way. It can't be that simple.”

I first called my wife and told her my thoughts. I also told her what the elder told me. She said, “You know how God fixes this sorta thing, right?” See, I'm not paranoid. “It's a good thing I came to Mom's house. It'll give you a chance to fix this.”

So I sat down and I prayed. I confessed this co-dependency to Him and asked Him to help me establish a direct connection with Him. I don't pray as much as I should. In fact, I gotta admit that I have a reminder on my computer at work. It pops up once every two hours and simply says “Pray.” There's a funny story about that - and I'll tell it at the end.

Anyway, I don't pray much, but I did on Sunday after I got home from church. And I didn't feel God's presence like I had in those few minutes in my past. What I did feel, was a comfort, even in my alone-ness. In fact, the alone-ness was completely gone. Rather than stay up all night depressed 'cuz I'm all alone, I worked around the house, cleaning my daughter's room some and starting laundry. I went to bed at a decent hour, too.

Is the connection via my wife cut? Am I directly connected to God? Only time will tell for sure. I've shortened the duration on my “Pray” reminder to one hour. It sure cuts into my work. But I think it's worth it in the long run. I don't say much, I just thank Him for giving me His time out of His busy schedule, and ask that He help me to be His representative here on Earth. Another job I'm not doing too well, but that's another topic for another day.

So, pray with me. Pray that I - and, likely, so many others out there - get and keep a direct connection to our Lord and Maker. Pray that we can help others establish and maintain the same connection. Pray for our country's leaders, our lawmakers, our law enforcers and our soldiers. Especially pray for our sailors - I had to add that 'cuz I used to be one.


Almighty Heavenly Father,
Thank you for this day. Thank you for the opportunity you've given each of us to worship you. Your holiness, your majesty. There is nobody worthy of praise except you!

Father, we confess that we have put others in our lives before you. Our spouses, our children, our parents, our friends. We acknowledge that this sin separates us from you. By putting another first in our lives, we set ourselves - and them - up for failure. Nobody can live up to the love you embody. Forgive us this sin, we pray. Pour out your love on us that we may reflect your holiness.

Father, as we move through our lives, pour out your blessings of love and peace upon us. Fill us with your Spirit; your joy.

In Christ's Holy Name we pray,

Funny Story

At work last week, a fellow SysAdmin was showing me how a certain software package worked. After installing it, and right when I started it up for the first time, my computer reminded me to pray. He started laughing out loud. “That's scary. You start the program and your computer tells you to pray. I hope it doesn't explode!”

Thursday, June 12, 2008

How Do You Do It?

I used to be crude. I used to enjoy crude humor. "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me." (1 Cor. 13:11, NIV) Apparently, though, becoming a man doesn't mean anything if I don't keep pushing it.

I keep finding myself drawn to that crude humor. I laugh at it. I participate in it. I make people laugh and I feel better. Why?

I long to be like Christ. I long to be an example for others. Yet I also don't want to alienate anybody. So, in my pursuit of commonality, I surrender that which is most vital - my tiny bit of holiness.

So, how do others do it? How do people remain an integral part of society; accepted in a world of sin while retaining their holiness? How do people avoid being shunned for their relationship with the Savior? Better yet - how do people truly stand up for Christ without the fear of being shunned?