Saturday, May 31, 2008

Indy Escapism at It's Best...and Some Deeper Thought

I have to tell you that I've forgotten how much fun an Indiana Jones movie can be. After all, it's been nearly twenty years since the last installment of one of my all-time favorite movie trilogies. On this particular Saturday the little wife and I were in desperate need of some good old fashioned escapism - especially after the stress and emotional smorgasbord of having our oldest daughter get married last Sunday sunrise...outside...and then having our middle daughter move out into her own place on Friday. You might say that it was a long and somewhat difficult week, so as we nestled into the seats at the Granbury Driftwood Theater this afternoon for a matinee showing of "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," I felt sort of like the Calgon bath commercial of some years ago..."Indiana, take me away." And take me away Indiana did. What a great movie! Yeah, yeah, I know, its been called brain candy, and some of the critics have panned it as not living up to the prior Indiana efforts; but hey, if I want deeper meaning, I'll go see an M. Night Shyamalan flick. Indiana Jones is precisely what we needed today, and it did not disappoint. You had all the escapist staples - good guys, bad guys, good-guys-turned bad guys, the primary villan, danger, intrigue, high energy chase scenes, stuff getting blown up, the love story was all here! Combine all this with a diet coke, a box of Junior Mints and my bride sitting next to me and I'm not sure, but I think I might have experienced a little slice of heaven right here in G-town, Texas today! But you know what? For no extra charge, I came away from this Indiana movie with a little deeper spiritual thought in my pocket - as I recall that I have with all three of the previous Indiana Jones movies as well. There always has been a very spiritual undercurrent to the Indiana Jones product. I mean, who could ever forget Indiana stepping out into nothingness over a bottomless abys, only to have the invisible bridge appear beneath his feet? A crystal clear illustration of the true nature of faith. In a similar vein, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is most definitely an Indiana Jones for the information age and it speaks directly to our most ardent search for knowledge, truth, and understanding. I'll not blow the plot for those of you who are yet to see it, but for those who have seen it, how poignant of a moment is it when Indiana realizes that its not a treasure of gold they've been seeking (an Indiana plot staple), but yet, a treasure of knowledge? Sitting there in the darkened theater, it reminded me that life really is a pursuit of knowledge, of continually trying to make sense of this window of time we have on this blue marble suspended in space. It reminded me that Solomon, obviously quite a seeker of knowledge himself, wrote that the "fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." It reminded me of the simple fact that without God and His Word, this life makes absolutely no sense at all. It reminded me again that it is in the discovering and living out of God's calling and purpose for our lives that true meaning and cotentment are found. It is serving the true and living God that gives life its context, its meaning, and its purpose. And after all, at the end of the day, isn't that what every human being desires in the deepest depths of their souls? To truly know why they are here and to understand what this life is all about. Reminds me of the old saying that the "richest man existing without knowing God's purpose for his life, lives in abject poverty of the soul." Wow! Indiana Jones is better than ever...pure-de escapism and deeper thought, too! And all that for just five bucks a head!

A Smashed Cell. A Broken Heart.

Our life is stranger than fiction I'm often told. And today, that especially rings true. A part of our time here has included the pool that is connected with the main clubhouse inside the highly secure gated community. I'm often teased for having a pool ministry. I'll take that.... especially this moment.

As I went into what's referred to as the "Teen Room" to order food for lunch.... she was behind the counter. She has served me a couple of times before recently. Each time - talking about more than just Gatorade's in different colors please. A teenage boy who is like one of my own was working as well. We chatted back and forth. As he was cooking our chicken tenders - she told me that he was trying to fix her cell phone. She then showed it to me.... A smashed cell phone.. it clearly had met some one's fist.

She turned away for a moment and I asked, "What happened to it?" She replied, "That's what happens when he drinks. My husband that is." She then continued to speak with more than just mere words. Her broken heart clearly evident. Then suddenly, she pointed to a little girl walking around the Teen Room and said, "My little boy is about that size and he's just nine months old." While there was a smile of a mother's love for her child - there was still the cry of the broken heart.

She has a tattoo on her arm that reads, "No Fear."

Her words, body language and cell phone speak otherwise.

Please pray for her, her husband and their child. Also for those who are connected in whatever ways....

Take time to notice others. Be willing to get involved.

Jesus is the Ultimate Thirst Quencher.

The Carters. More Than A Lawn.

Please pray for Mr. and Mrs. Carter. As the Lawn Pastor was spending time with Mr. Carter yesterday - he learned that Mrs. Carter is not expected to make it through the summer. She is currently in a 24-hour care facility. Mr. Carter goes to see her every single day.

The Lawn Pastor (aka hubby - Brother G) spent some quality time with Mr. Carter last night after taking care of their property. Needless to say - it is no surprise - nor coincidence that one of Mr. Carter's literal neighbors put him in contact with the Lawn Pastor back a few weeks ago now.

Mr. Carter told the Lawn Pastor that they are not connected with any church. This is about more than a lawn.

It is about real life and certain death.

While you're praying for the Carters and the Lawn Pastor too... Ask God to help you think about your neighbors... And then DO!

It's not enough just to talk about it when one can actually do something too!

It is about real life and certain death.

Are you willing to die to self this moment?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Leaping. Going Froggy!

Last night I had the incredible opportunity to share some about what is going on with the G family currently with a few close friends.. individuals who are a part of our family due to God's amazing grace and love. And while I cannot share as much here yet as I did with them - I can share this....

Back in April, I was contacted about doing some writing. At first I was blown away - it moved me to tears. Fear stepped in shortly after and held me for a bit. There's a difference between writing on one's little blog (and other places) and the type of writing that was inquired about doing. The person who was inquiring actually wrote one of my all time favorite books. A book that to this day has had a lasting impact on my life and how I live it. It also influenced my dad, Austin, Micky and numerous others.

Within the last few days - this person came knocking again. And I am leaping. Going Froggy! It's a strange time to start this type of adventure given all else going on in our lives. If it made total sense - would it really take a leap? Faith? I'm SOOOOO not capable of this on my own.

So.... I ask that you pray for me and the rest of the G family. (And for the one who asked me. lol)

And to answer a question that was asked of me last night, "Does it have any thing to do with Evangelism?" Yep. It does. And discipleship....

A Leap Frog for God

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Spiritual Warfare III - Today IS It!

The G family has been going through some of our wildest times ever the last few weeks. The Spiritual Warfare is thicker..... it is deeper.... Today IS It! I'm even more convinced of it than ever. What do I mean? Let me explain.

God's Word is clear. We are not guaranteed a tomorrow. We're not guaranteed that we will make it through the hours of today. Am I being grim? Nope. Speaking the truth.

Why must we have an urgency about today? Because our moments are not ours. For the Christ follower - we must be about our Father's Business if we are to truly follow Him. Not wait until Sunday... Saturday night... or for whenever there's a time listed on a website or in a worship folder or on a big screen. Today.

If we believe that we are the church.... then we must act like it. If we have Good News to share - we must make the most of every opportunity to share it. And by sharing it - sometimes words are necessary. Other times our actions speak much louder than any single thing we could possibly say.

Think about where you go... what you are doing... who are you crossing paths with.

Today IS It! If we were to live as if today is our last day - can you just imagine what a difference it could make? I know I can....

I am unashamed to believe in God. I am a Christ follower. His Spirit lives in me! And I know that there is nothing that compares to the Love of God. There is no one Greater than God.....

What about you?

Are you going to live today like it is your last? Or are you going to sit by and say, "It can wait until tomorrow?"

His Word is Alive! Not dead.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lessons from the Little Store.

Austin has been working at the little store located in the highly secure gated community for several months now. This morning, he is actually off work. Funny thing about Austin and that little store? The lessons we continue to learn from it. The following is an example of one such lesson.

There is no question that Austin has great love for the little store. It actually pains him when the store is not in the condition he knows it ought to be in and should strive to be in. Whether it is the produce section or aisle 3 where the jello is at - he wants to the store to be in tip top condition.

Austin is surrendered to God. That's part of where his love for the little store comes from. He sees what he does there as a way to show God's love. Does it really matter if all the jellos are faced the same way? To Austin it does.... it shows someone cares and takes the time to attend to that section of the store instead of overlooking it and saying it does not matter as much as the bananas. Oh.. speaking of bananas - they are the top selling item in the little store.

Ah... the lessons that come from the little store. And from the sixteen-year-old who does not just see it as a job.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Servant Evangelism Alive

These are some of the pictures of Servant Evangelism alive and in action at our monthly Love Granbury event! We would like to thank Wendy's for allowing us to use their parking lot and their water. More pics to come and hopefully a very amateurish video as well.
Note: Yes, Travis is our middle son. Parker is our youngest. Austin was at work at the little store in the highly secure gated community. Brother G was out and about being the Lawn Pastor. Micky is the guy with his back to the camera looking at the jeep.