Month: December 2012

Footprints Towards a New Path

With 2012  grinding to a close in a few weeks, I am making an announcement that I will be heading down a  “New Path” in 2013.

footprintschangeIt is a new path,  one that may be filled with potholes, winding curves and steep hills.  No matter how this turns out, I will be starting my journey today.

I am sure that this will lead to places that I never planned on going.  Maybe it will lead to other paths as well.  

Only time will tell.

I used to look for an end in sight as I sojourned along the well-worn paths that I have traveled these last few years.  I believed that there was a goal or a destination that I could reach with my words…but I have discovered that the path I am currently on is still far away from where I was hoping to be.  As much as I hate to admit it, I am still on the backside of the desert and as much as I want something to happen, I simply cannot make a wish and make it to be so.desert

I still believe that somewhere in the failure of my Christian walk, there is a lesson learned and a story to tell.  Clearly I am  aware that timing is everything and now simply isn’t the time for everything in my story to be told. 

But this I am sure of… I am convinced that my story is one of caution.  Caution for all… because if it can happen to me… it can happen to anyone.

My actions and my influence have planted “footprints” in my family.  My footprints have left behind a legacy that my children will have to deal with their whole life.  I know and understand that each of my children have to forge their own path.  Just as I cannot blame those that influenced me as an excuse for not doing right, they cannot use me as an excuse to not live for Jesus Christ.  However, I cannot help but think of the times that I failed them as a father.  It is overwhelming to me when I think about that.  I think back and wonder, what could have been had I not been this, or had not done that.   My footprints will indeed leave a legacy in their lives.  Will this legacy leave a mark that will be positive and point them to Christ or will it leave a scar that they will carry for the rest of their lives?  

Again, only time will tell.

What I am trying to say is that my intention is for now and for the forseeable future this is will be the last post to this blog.  For the blank-notebook-and-pen-300x247second time in my life I am putting my pen down.

I will not “bury” these writings like I did all those years ago when I stopped writing in the early 90’s.  I have decided to keep the blog active for a while. Maybe some people will still find some insight from the drivel I have posted over the past four years.

As of this moment, 412,118 people visited my blog.  I am amazed by that…and I am humbled.  However, it truly is one of the reasons I have considered stopping writing.  I love writing, however, words are easy to say and to write.  Living up to those words is what is hard.  I do not want to deceive anyone, especially my family because they know if my words match my actions.

Simply put… I have grown in good ways and God has helped me change my perspective on a few things that I would not have learned if I had not been writing.

Hopefully, the footprints that I  continue to leave will point others in the right direction and towards Jesus Christ.

Please do not interpret this change as anything other than what it is.  It has been a wonderful, amazing time in my life and I have no bitterness , nor regret of anything I have done with my writings.

I will continue on my journey and my hope and prayer is that one day I will be free to share my story and be able to be used of God once again.

As I have said from the very start of this blog… 

  • Thank you to all who have commented on my posts…95% of your comments never got posted (sorry about that… I think).
  • Thank you to those that played along and allowed me to pick up some of the broken pieces of my life and share a portion of my story with you. 

Always remember that your footprints leave a legacy for the world to see… may God be honored by what you leave behind.

I Have Nothing More to Say

You may have noticed I have been writing less as of late. Perhaps the best way to explain this is bynothing-to-say reference to that well-known advice your mother may have given you: “if you don’t have anything good or positive to say, don’t say anything.”  For a while now I’ve been at that place where I have nothing profound or even boring to say or write so I’ve been absent.  The tank has been empty!  

Well…if I have nothing to say, why am I blogging about it? I will tell you…

The last few days I’ve been dwelling on something that I have asked the Lord to give me clear direction on what He would have me to do.  Seems like since I made that request nothing has gone right.  It’s always been clear to me that nothing of God will ever happen apart from Him doing it.  I can want it, beg for it, try to create it, but if God isn’t behind it…it doesn’t work.  I know God wants to do something in me, but at the moment I can’t see what it is.  I’ve been at this place before.  I don’t like the wait, but I know God will give me insight.  Until then… I wait.

My experience in waiting for God is most often about Him waiting for me.  He’s waiting for me to get out of His way.  I believe He gets tired of the way I’ve been doing things.  He’s waiting for me to give up my pride and my thoughts of doubt.  What seems like me waiting for Him is most often Him waiting for me.  I have to admit it is an embarrassing statement to make, but it is true that God is more willing to work in my life, to speak to my spirit, to lead me, to do anything than I am willing to let Him.  It takes some work to break up the hard soil of my heart before anything could grow anyway.  I know there are things that the Lord wants to do in my life. I just get near-sighted and cannot see it sometimes.

This battle of flesh and Spirit is such a subtle thing.  The battle wages on even when I think I’m doing well.  I struggle with my heart desiring to do things MY way.  Even in my desire to please God I often discover that I want to please Him MY way and in that apparent desire for good the flesh is in control. Pleasing God must be HIS way, done by surrender to His work and His leading in my life.  For all my efforts to be a “good Christian” I will fail completely in the quest unless I once more raise the white flag of surrender to Him and His will, plan and timing in my life.

Frankly most spiritual warfare for me happens in my heart and soul.  It’s a battle for Lordship.  Only when Jesus wins, when He is allowed to be King, do I truly please God.  

That is the war of this world, isn’t it?  It’s a war for who is King.  Will it be me or Christ?  

So, on this cold evening in December I’m praying,  trying to give up my fight to “get God to do something” and letting Him do as He wishes…..whatever that may look like.  

So if I don’t post for a while it will be because I am still waiting for clear direction and what my future holds in my service to Him.

I have nothing more to say.

Your prayers would be greatly appreciated.

It’s Not About the Wrapping

I have talked about this before. 

My wife  has a problem.  I may have to have an intervention.

ChristmastreeShe is a Christmas Junkie. 

She can’t get enough of it.  She loves everything about it.

The planning…the shopping…the decorations…the shopping…the music…the shopping…the tree…the shopping…the baking of cookies…the shopping…the stockings…the shopping…the lights…the shopping…the candles…the shopping…the movies…the shopping…the crowds…the shopping.

She will go from the extreme high of Christmas morning to a slight depression the next morning  that lasts until she gets up and takes off for all of those “After Christmas” deals and starts the process for next year’s holiday.  I mean she has to get busy because Christmas is only 365 days away.

Did I mention she loves the shopping?

Yes, Christmas…she loves it.

Everything except the wrapping.

She hates the wrapping… you would never really pick that up if you would take a tour of our Christmas warehouse of a basement.  We have more ribbons and bows than we ever could use and we have “in stock” more wrapping paper than our local Wal-Mart.  

The Christmas gift bag is her friend but she still cannot put all of the gifts in bags so she is forced to sit down and meticulously wrap gifts.  badly wrapped gift

I learned a very simple truth a long time ago.  If you look like you are trying  but do something intentionally bad the first time you usually do not get asked a second time to do it.  This is the simple truth I learned about wrapping presents.  The first time my wife asked me to help wrap presents I intentionally wrapped the box really bad and I was relieved of my duties.

I have tried to tell my wife that it isn’t about the wrapping.

There is a cute commercial running on TV right now. The Grandpa is asking his son on Skype how the baby likes the present he sent for Christmas. They show grandpa that the baby is having a ball with the box and ignoring the present. That happens every year.

Babies always play with the box, but as they mature the box is just in the way of what they want.  Sure they admire it but make it as pretty as you want and they still just want what’s inside!

All that money and effort gone in seconds, reduced to a pile of rubble. gifts

That whole  wrapping the present thing is all too often a picture of the season. We spend all that time and effort to make it look perfect and in reality it is what is on the inside of the box that makes the present special. It isn’t the wrapping paper nor the bag that makes it special.

It is the gift itself… it is the thought and purpose of the gift.  The gift is given out of love and it is an expression of that love to the person receiving the gift.  It matters not how it was wrapped or its appearance.  The important part of giving a gift is the gift itself.

The real gift of the season, the reason for the season is not the wrapped box.  As a matter of fact, I have never seen a BOX that even remotely could contain the real gift of the Christmas season.  Ultimately, the true gift of Christmas is “wrapped” up in the birth of Jesus Christ.  God’s gift to us… that led to Christ’s gift of forgiveness to us by His death on the cross of Calvary.

There is nothing wrong with Boxes, just keep in mind they are ONLY BOXES and don’t let them replace the real gift of Christmas, a real relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ.

So as my wife continues to wrap presents, I know that these presents that she wraps with loving care is an expression of her love for those she loves.  Her heart is in the right place and I look at her with awe and I am proud to be her husband.  She is the example of what Christmas should be for all of us. 

So for the rest of us that may have a little bit of Scrooge in us or may be too concerned about how the box looks… let’s not try to get so wrapped up with the box that we never get to the true gift of Christmas.