Monday, April 28, 2008


Memories of the feast still linger in my head.

I sit at a table set with such splendor, beautiful china and silver laid out for each person. Dishes overflowing with food fulfilling every desire. My eyes drift to the Host, seated at the head of the table. And even from a distance He has the ability to make each guest feel like they are at an intimate dinner alone with Him. We share amazing food and deep conversation. A free flow of talking and listening, sharing fears, hopes, and dreams. Long after we begin, the food never diminishes and the conversation never lulls. Surely the Host wishes His guests would return to their own homes, their own lives. But no, His home is open to all for as long as we desire to stay. He never tires of hearing me speak, He never falters with an answer of wisdom or encouragement. At time we just sit, enjoying the presence of the other, words unnecessary.

And then in the midst of comfort and belonging, my mind turned to other things. Deadlines, to-do lists, my life outside of the banquet began to tug at my thoughts. Somehow, someway I found myself pulling out of conversation, avoiding eye contact with the Host. I withdrew from the midst of them.

As I sit here, far from the banqueting table and the presence of the Host my thoughts return to that time. I look at the plate of leftovers He sent with me. The food is the same and serves the function of nourishment, but it's a shadow of the feast it once was. And while it sustains me, it fails to fill me. The memories of those moments, sitting face to face with Him flood my mind. I yearn to be back there, feasting on new, fresh food that never lacks, sitting so intimately with Him, hearing His voice and knowing He hears mine. Yet, here I sit, eating leftovers from the place I want to be.

The invitation is always open. The Host glances at the empty chair waiting for my return, for the conversation to flow free again, for Him to share with me the bounty of His feast, His encouraging words of wisdom, and an ear who listens intently knowing my heart.

Even knowing my place is always open, I once again pull out the leftovers and mourn that I am not at the table. Desiring so much to return to where I once sat and for some reason struggling to find my way back. And so I pull out the leftovers again.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Stuff . . . . (sometimes known as baggage)

Driving home the other night I glanced at the car next to me at a stoplight. The driver was barely visible threw a collection of "stuff". Boxes, bags, piles, and most interestingly pine cones filled his car.

Now we've all seen cars like this. I realize that for some people their vehicle is also the place they call home, others have an obsession with collecting everything they put their hands on, and then some people are just messy. Yet, as I looked with shock, awe, and I'll admit a bit of humor (pine cones? at least a few dozen of them?) I wondered what stuff I carry around with me at all times.

I wonder if these people know what it's like to have a clean car, one where a friend can join you for a road trip, one where you can enjoy the view through all the windows? And then I think of my life, of the stuff that overwhelms me and crowds out the free space for new opportunities, new adventures, new relationships.

If you haven't figured out, I'm not talking about stuff here but that great little word that's hip in therapy circles called "baggage". The stuff we hold on to for no other reason than to carry it with us through life, oftentimes much like some of those overfilled cars out there. Baggage has a tendency to weigh us down, separate us from other people, and block out the opportunity for a clear view of the horizon.

I don't have all the answers on how to get rid of baggage, and I'm not sure we ever will. Hey, my trunk carries it's own share of junk, but at least it doesn't block my shotgun seat or the view out my back window. Nope, it was just a question to ask myself as I pulled up alongside a car overwhelmed by stuff. How much of my "stuff" overwhelms me?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Please Read

Hey everyone, both of my sisters work for CPS and Kristen passed on the following:

Not sure this is were to put this but I am asking for a prayer request for all of the women and children in Eldorado. Most everyone has seen on the new what is going on down there. I have personally been a part of it and believe the right thing is being done. But it is heart breaking to see these children and young mothers scared about the unknown and the "outside." I also sympathize with these individuals who have been taken from thier home, some have never left thier "ranch" and are being taken and questioned about thier religion. It is a hard situation for everyone involved, and I hope for peace and understand from all involved, including those being taken from thier home. They deserve and are being treated with the upmost respect. Even though most do not agree with what they believe in, everyone has the right to believe in what they want. The only problem is the illegal aspect of part of thier beliefs. So please if you get a chance, pray not only for the women and children, but all of the workers and individuals given the hard task of implementing what a judge has told us to do.Thanks

Thursday, April 03, 2008


I read this quote in a book recently:

"Never settle for an Ishmael when you can have an Isaac."

It was a little quote in the middle of dialogue in a fiction novel. Nothing profound really, just a piece of advice one character gave to another. And yet since reading it (again in fact, as I've read the book before) I've had a hard time getting it out of my head.

If you're confused by who Ismael and Isaac are, here's the cliff notes version: Abraham (from the Bible) is promised a son by God, even though he's pretty old as is his wife, Sarah. Well patience didn't seem to be their strong points so Sarah, gave her handmaiden, Hagar, to Abraham to produce a child . . . Ishmael. The problem was that God had promised a child for Abraham through Sarah, not Hagar. So here you have a son, the first born in fact, that isn't the child of promise. And then of course, God kept His promise, and Sarah had Isaac. Drama ensues as you have two sons, one of promise and one of people.

So this comment keeps popping up in my head and I ask myself how often to I settle for the Ishmael. How often do I create a solution to a problem and even though it's not God's solution or even his promised/intended outcome do I settle for it because it's an answer and it's an answer now.

I want the Isaacs, I want God's answers and solutions but often I settle for my answers because they are on my timeline.

So I'm still thinking on this one so you might see more about it soon. But let me leave you with this question: What Ishmaels are you settling for in your life? What Isaacs are you not willing to wait for and so create Ishmaels?