Why I Love Old Abraham

“By faith Abraham heard God’s call to travel to a place he would one day receive as an inheritance; and he obeyed, not knowing where God’s call would take him. By faith he journeyed to the land of the promise as a foreigner; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, his fellow heirs to the promise because Abraham looked ahead to a city with foundations, a city laid out and built by God.

By faith Abraham’s wife Sarah became fertile long after menopause because she believed God would be faithful to His promise. So from this man, who was almost at death’s door, God brought forth descendants, as many as the stars in the sky and as impossible to count as the sands of the shore” (Hebrews 11:8-12).

“That’s what Scripture means when it says, ‘Abraham entrusted himself to God, and God credited him with righteousness.’ And living a faithful life earned Abraham the title of ‘God’s friend'” (James 2:23, The Voice).

I like Abraham. I can relate to Abraham.

Sure, he was the father of many nations. Sure, he’s the one through whose line came the Messiah, the Hope of the World.

But he also had clay feet at times.

Remember the time when he lied about his wife, saying she was his sister? Twice?

Remember when he tried to help God out by agreeing to go to bed with Sarah’s servant Hagar to produce the heir God promised?

Remember when Abraham had a hard time believing that God could keep His word in giving him a child?

Yeah, I can relate to all of that. Abraham’s my kind of guy.

The Bible is full of people like that. Not saints in the sense of people who walked through life with halos hanging over their heads who never messed up or got a hair out of place or got their knickers in a bunch. More like saints who stumbled and fell often, but kept getting back up, kept trusting in the next step, kept trusting that God knew where he was leading them through all the deserts and foreign countries.

Sometimes faith is simply showing up and taking the next step, trusting that God knows where He’s leading you. As Corrie Ten Boom said, faith is trusting the conductor of the train when it goes into a pitch black tunnel instead of jumping off the back of the caboose.

I suppose we’re all thankful that even faith the size of a mustard seed can move  mountains and uproot trees. It can change stubborn old hearts like yours and mine.

Best of all, faith leads you to the place where God is, where you were always meant to be, the place where your heart can rest.

 

Why I Call Myself Blessed

“One word, Ma’am,” he said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain. “One word. All you’ve been saying is quite right, I shouldn’t wonder. I’m a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won’t deny any of what you said. But there’s one more thing to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things-trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we’re leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that’s a small loss if the world’s as dull a place as you say” (C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair).

Good ol’ Puddleglum. For those not familiar with Narnia, that’s the character speaking these words. And I like them.

I am currently jobless. Again. But I still consider myself blessed.

I’d rather be where I am right now with God than in my dream job, making ridiculous amounts of money, without Him.

I’ve found out this simple equation:

Me + God > Me + Everything Else – God

I don’t know if that’s grammatically or mathematically correct, but it’s right as far as I’m concerned.

I’m blessed because I have God. I’m blessed because this God promises not to give me what I need or lead me to it, but because He’s promised that HE HIMSELF will be my provision.

Even if God never did another blessed thing for me, if God never gave me another sign or another visible reminder of His prescence, He would still have been better to me that I deserve for saving my soul.

So if I wake up tomorrow and draw breath, if I get out of bed and live through the next 24 hours, I’m blessed because God is with me. If I don’t wake up tomorrow, I’m still blessed because then I’ll be with God.

I call that a win-win.

Things I Love 24: From a Guy Who’s Running on Caffeine and Hope

island hammock

I had a fantastic conversation with a friend tonight at Starbucks. Even though we’ve never met in person before, we talked like we’d been friends for years. The meds are working. I am still blessed. Which brings us to #656.

656) Laptops that actually fit in your lap (does anyone remember the old portable computers that weighed 50 pounds and had a 2-inch screen?)

657) Conversations that last for hours over coffee drinks.

658) Love that will not let me go.

659) Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

660) Turkey sausage from Cracker Barrel.

661) When someone gets one of my obscure movie references.

662) IMDB for when my usually spot-on memory for names of actors fails me.

663) The little emoticons on Facebook messaging.

664) Free books on Kindle or iBooks.

665) Leaving ridiculous tips, i.e. 50% or higher, whenever I eat out.

666) Not being freaked out by the number 666.

667) Being 2/3 of the way through my list of 1,000 things I love.

668) Bare feet on carpet.

669) People complimenting me on my I Am Second bracelet.

670) Finding that Friends Trivia Game at Music City Thrift for $1.

671) Those people in the Bible who God used who were possibly even crazier and more messed up than me.

672) Gregorian chant music.

673) My organic liquid hand soap that smells like Canadian pine with white sage.

674) Being manly enough to admit that I have organic liquid hand soap that smells like trees.

675) Knowing just enough Spanish to be dangerous (and to order at Taco Bell).

676) Being able to read most of John 1 in my Greek New Testament,

677) Movie soundtracks.

678) Getting packages in the mail.

679) Color correcting old pictures on Adobe Photoshop.

680) Birthday presents.

681) Watching other people open gifts.

682) Christmas presents.

683) Presents in general.

684) Being present in the moment.

685) Leigh Nash’s voice.

686) That guitar sound in the song Luka by Suzanne Vega.

687) That guys aren’t better than girls and girls aren’t better than guys. We’re just different.

688) Being uniquely and wonderfully made.

689) Owning all four seasons of Felicity.

690) A good night’s sleep after a really good day.