Be Holy

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The Circle of Life

Last night I had a dream. I believe that it was God talking to me. I guess that makes me an old Man.

“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams” – Acts 2:17

There have been many men in my life that have been mentors and people that I respect and look up to. Bob McMahon is one of them. Not only does he have a kind and generous heart, he truly cares for people. I see him as an example of what a good christian man should be. It is fitting that God would use him as an illustration in my dream.

Dream “Circle of Life”

I was sitting at a round table with a group of people waiting to see God for judgement. Pretty dreary to start out with. We were instructed to cut a circle out of a piece of cardboard paper to represent our life. In my mind I new that I could not submit anything less than a perfect circle to God.  I traced a circle, the representation of a perfect life. As I began to cut it out, I felt like a 5 year old using scissors for the first time. I poked the scissors through the paper and right off the bat I knew that mine was messed up. Eventually mine was cut out of the paper. As I inspected the rough edges, the jags, and the miss cuts, I realized that mine was in horrible shape. I even thought maybe I could smooth out the lines if I were careful, but also knew that it would make it too small and wouldn’t help. That is when I began to cry.

Then I heard a voice behind me. It was actually Bob. He sat down next too me at the table and put his hand on my shoulder. Like a small child I showed him my mangled circle with a tear in my eye and told him, “I don’t think that I am going to make it into heaven.” The circle that represented my life was a tattered mess. Then Bob reached down into his pocket and showed me his circle and Wanda’s. Even though it had smoother lines, it wasn’t a perfect circle either. He told me that even though mine as so messed up, they were all going to have jags and messed up edges.

I realized that Christ was the only one that had the perfect circle and His would cover mine. Lesson:

  • We all need mentors: People that we look up to and teach us life. I believe that he represented the example of what we are to do for others.
  • Even they are not perfect, but he was willing to sit with me
  • Even with our best intentions, we cannot smooth out our own edges. We can pretend, but it won’t work out in the end.
  • It took him showing me that even the best of us are messed up
  • Life is going to take you for a loop
  • Christ is the perfect circle: A love that has no beginning and no end –  perfect love
  • His covering blocks out our rough edges
  • We should have a child’s heart when living our life. I have seen the tears of frustration when my little one cannot get it right. He is such a perfectionist and sometimes he won’t even try because he feels that he won’t get it right. Not trying to make the next cut wouldn’t be living life though. Eventually our life’s circle will be cut out and presented to God.

Gift of a Homeless Man

Many years ago when I was attending Christ’s Church Assembly of God, I asked Pastor John Fowler, “How do you know when to give to a homeless person or not?” I explained to him that I worked in an area that had quite a few homeless people, and I knew that I couldn’t help them all. His answer was quite simple actually. He said, “God will tell you! Sometimes God will tell you yes, and sometimes he won’t. You just have to listen.”

I try to live by this statement when money is available. Sometimes I do my best  not to make eye contact; let alone look at the person with the sign. We all have probably done this because it makes us uncomfortable and we are afraid that we might feel convicted to give. Other times I ask God and I don’t always get a yes, but I can feel it in my heart when he does.

While driving the other day on the north side of Houston, there was a young man with a rough beard and a sign asking for help. He was sitting there with his cardboard sign, just watching. At first I just wanted to avoid eye contact because I didn’t want to give, but heard in the back of my mind, “You have two dollars in your wallet.”At first the thought came, “What can two dollars really do anyway, but it is Christmas and I do have it.”

Pulling the money out of my wallet, I rolled the window down and and gave it to him. His comment to me was “God bless you.” Hearing this many times before I didn’t think too much of it, until he sat back down and said a little prayer. This isn’t something that I have ever seen before. He thanked God for the little that I gave him. What a $2 to $10,000 lesson that was. When do we truly sit down and thank God for the things that we have, especially at the Christmas season. What a lesson that I get to take into the new year. I just hope that I can be grateful for the things that he gives. Who knows, maybe that was the whole purpose.

Hebrews 13:2(NIV)

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

Thank you to all who have served and who are serving.

The Cooking Carpenter

Well it is Memorial weekend and what does that mean? Well it means more than BBQ. This year I wanted to do more than just stand at the grill to commemorate a day that most of the time I just don’t think about. Memorial day is meant to commemorate those who have fallen in the line of service for our country. It needs to be more than just the military, or officers, or firefighters. We can remember everyone who have gone before us. Each, whether they died for our freedom, security, or even safety, are our heroes, but there are so many more.

For many it is a lost husband or wife, child or parent, friend or relative. I want to make this Holiday mean more than I have before. I want to make it mean more than a day to BBQing, or that I get to spend the day off. I want…

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Friction in a Dream (About Homosexuality)

Yes, it is 3:00 in the morning and I awoke with a struggle, a war inside my mind. Yesterday at DePelchin we talked about loss and the grieving process, and I came face to face with an aspect from my childhood. In the homework we were to discuss the losses that we have experienced in our life. One of those experiences was with my father leaving my mother for another man.

I was only about four years old when it happened and didn’t fully understand the extent of it until I was about nine years old. I was trying to figure out why he left and was told more about what happened at this point. Sooner or later the information would have come out anyway because of meeting my father’s significant other. I think that this is when the seed of hatred for the gay community started in my life. After all they had taken my father from me. (Please give me the chance to finish before you pass judgment.) Different things in my life fed on this hatred until I could have been called a bigot. Yes, harsh words to describe oneself.

Later, I became friends with someone at The Art Institute of Houston when I was going for my CAD degree. One of the classes that I had to take was speech. This is where I found out the person I was becoming friends with, was gay. He talked about his significant other and their pet ferret. I will always remember that for some reason. There was warmth in his heart and it started to soften mine. His friendship became my first positive confrontation with homosexuality.

As life went on, my best friend started bartending for a local night club and became friends with one of the other bartenders. We found out quickly that he was a gay man. He did not have anyone special in his life at the time, but MAN could he cook! Michael (my best friend at the time) and I would go over and have wonderful meals and enjoy each other’s friendship. His friendship was the second positive confrontation I had with homosexuality.

My mind was changing. I do not quite understand the draw for them; to want someone of the same sex, but at this point I no longer hated them.

Yesterday at DePelchin there was a gay couple that is looking to do Foster Care. To be honest I really don’t know what to think about it, but was confronted once again with my past experience.  This is really where the friction starts. The positive rubbing up against the negative until something is burnt up. That was my dream. This couple was in my dream and they were helping me with various things on a ship. I believe my mind was struggling with what I should believe about them and the warmth and friendship that they displayed. Their laughs, their camaraderie, their help and generosity were all on display. However, there were creatures in the dream as well. If these creatures came into contact with you the friction of their touch would consume the person that they came in contact with.

I think that ultimately my mind was trying to cope with the warmth of the people with the thought of their lifestyle and what scripture says. Scripture states:

Leviticus 18:22 – “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” (NIV)

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 – “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (NIV).

These are harsh words, just to name a few. But I really believe it comes down to the word SIN. God hates sin! We have all sinned or done something in our life that we can agree has hurt someone in some way. I believe that this is what sin really is: “Something done at the expense of someone else to the rearing of some sort of hurt in that person or thing.” I also believe that this is why God hates sin so much (the hurt that it causes). Above are harsh words, but I believe that God truly wants our best interest.

Now comes the friction once again. Ultimately I believe that Homosexuality itself is destructive and I have my reasons stated above. However, I also have seen the love that can come from the people themselves. I have heard the statement “Love the people, but hate the SIN.” This comes to heart with me. I confess the hatred that I used to have in my life toward them and hope that they understand why I believe the way that I do. This hatred was sin in my life and I ask  the gay community to forgive me for that hatred. I cannot, because of my life’s experience, agree with the lifestyle but my attitude is very different now and I am thankful for that.

My calling is one of warning, as a watchman on the tower telling of the incoming battle (Ezekiel 3). Sin is destructive and I will sound the alarm as best that I can. Hopefully I will warn the people in a loving way and not a destructive one myself as many people (not only in the gay community) have encountered. It is up to the people to decide what they will do with what I have just said, but hopefully they will understand my heart and why I believe the way that I do.

Song on my Heart

Have you ever just woke up and had a song on your heart. Not one that you have heard over and over in church or on the radio, but one that is sitting within you. That is what this morning was like for me.

 We watched “The Voice” last night and maybe some of the music stuck within me because I had a dream about such an instance. They were judging a person and just didn’t think that he had what it took. I was a janitor and just cleaning up some things and everyone was feeling really sorry for this poor fellow. We were actually in the poor part of town instead of on a stage, so everyone was really hoping that he would make it – to give them hope as well. All the sudden I started singing softly, then a little louder, and then into an all out jazzy song and I actually sounded good in my dream. Parts of the song were on my mind when I woke up and I wish I could remember the rest.

 Ultimately we all want the chance to be someone or do something special. There is hope a yearning for something more. I am just glad that I have someone special in my life; not only in my wife but with my God as well. He gives me hope and not all people have that. I could not imagine what my life would be like without him.

Some might think that is strange, others that I am outright crazy, while others that I have a beautiful thing. Wherever you might be, my hope is that you too will find this kind of love and hope as well.

I hope that you can wake up with a song on your heart, and a feeling of being loved by the creator of the Universe. I have a reason in believing in him and much of it lies within this hope.