Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Heart Of A Homeless Man...

One of my amazing homeless friends built this snowman. It's on the corner of Michigan and Pennsylvania Street . 
He says, "Everday I will put scarves, hats, and gloves on there until it starts to melt. If anyone needs the gloves or ear warmers please do take them."

This makes my heart smile. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Distroying What Seeks To Distroy Me...

I love this.

This is from The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

In his story, he and some others were on a bus trip that took them to the outskirts of heaven. There, they are able to get a glimpse of true reality - about heaven and themselves. The people from the bus trip are "ghosts" and each "Ghost" has something he must give up.

I saw coming towards us a Ghost who carried something on his shoulder. Like all the Ghosts, he was unsubstantial, but they differed from one another as smokes differ. Some had been whitish; this one was dark and oily. What sat on his shoulder was a little red lizard, and it was twitching its tail like a whip and whispering things in his ear. As we caught sight of him he turned his head to the reptile with a snarl of impatience. "Shut up, I tell you!" he said. It wagged its tail and continued to whisper to him. He ceased snarling, and presently began to smile. Then he turned and started to limp westward, away from the mountains.

"Off so soon?" said a voice.

The speaker was more or less human in shape but larger than a man, and so bright that I could hardly look at him. His presence smote on my eyes and on my body too (for there was heat coming from him as well as light) like the morning sun at the beginning of a tyrannous summer day.

"Yes, I'm off," said the Ghost. "Thanks for all your hospitality. But it's no good, you see. I told this little chap," (here he indicated the lizard), "that he'd have to be quiet if he came - which he insisted on doing. Of course his stuff won't do here: I realize that. But he won't stop. I shall just have to go home

"Would you like me to make him quiet?" said the flaming Spirit - an angel, as I now understood.

"Of course I would," said the Ghost.

"Then I will kill him," said the Angel, taking a step forward.

"Oh - ah - look out! You're burning me. Keep away," said the Ghost retreating.

"Don't you want him killed?" said the Angel.

"You didn't say anything about killing him at first. I hardly meant to bother you with something so drastic as that."

"It's the only way," said the Angel, whose burning hands were now very close to the lizard. "Shall I kill it?"

"Well, that's a further question. I'm quite open to consider it, but it's a new point, isn't it? I mean, for the moment I was only thinking about silencing it..." said the Ghost.

"May I kill it?" asked the Angel.

"Well, there's time to discuss that later" said the Ghost.

"There is no time. May I kill it?"

Please, I never meant to be such a nuisance. Please - really - don't bother. Look! It's gone to sleep of its own accord. I'm sure it will be all right now. Thanks ever so much."

"May I kill it?"

"Honestly, I don't think there's the slightest necessity for that. I'm sure I shall be able to keep it in order now. I think the gradual process would be far better than killing it." said the Ghost.

"The gradual process is of no use at all."

"Don't you think so? Well, I'll think over what you've said very carefully. I honestly will. In fact I'd let you kill it now, but as a matter of fact I'm not feeling frightfully well today. It would be silly to do it now. I'd need to be in good health for the operation. Some other day, perhaps."

"There is no other day. All days are present now."

"Get back! You're burning me. How can I tell you to kill it? You'd kill me if you did."

"It is not so."

"Why, you're hurting me now."

"I never said it wouldn't hurt you. I said it wouldn't kill you"...

The Angel's hands were almost closed on the Lizard, but not quite. Then the Lizard began chattering to the Ghost so loud that even I could hear what it was saying.

"Be careful," it said. "He can do what he says. He can kill me. One fatal word from you and he will! Then you'll be without me forever and ever. It's not natural. How could you live? You'd only be a sort of ghost, not a real man as you are now. He doesn't understand. He's only a cold, bloodless abstract thing. It may be natural for him, but it isn't for us. Yes, yes. I know there are no real pleasures now, only dreams. But aren't they better than nothing? And I'll be so good. I admit I've sometimes gone too far in the past, but I promise I won't do it again. I'll give you nothing but really nice dreams - all sweet and fresh and almost innocent. You might say, quite innocent..."

"Have I your permission?" asked the Angel to the Ghost.

"I know it will kill me."

"It won't. But supposing it did?" asked the Angel

"You're right. It would be better to be dead than to live with this creature."

"Then I may?"

"...Go on can't you! Get it over. Do what you like," bellowed the Ghost: but ended, whimpering, "God help me. God help me."

Next moment the Ghost gave a scream of agony such as I never heard on Earth. The Burning One closed his crimson grip on the reptile: twisted it, while it bit and writhed, and then flung it, broken backed on the turf.

What a great reminder. Satan is a LIAR and DECEIVER. And sometimes we have to make radical choices in order to follow Jesus. It isn't always easy and doesn't always 'feel good'. But, it will be worth it. It will be MORE than worth it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I'm The Price I Pay...

Chasen - Castaway
I Feel Destruction Running Hard Through My Veins
But I See Redemption Rushing My Way
My Victories Are Bittersweet, And Now I Can Tell
The Only Place My Plans Have Led Me Is Right Where I Fell

I'm Overboard, Too Far From Shore
A Castaway Trying To Make It Home
I Catch My Breath To Save Myself But I Can't
In My Sight You Were Just In Time
I Feel You Now You're By My Side
And I Know You Gave Me, A Gift Of A Second Chance

I Had A Dream Of A Life Of My Own
And I Had A Place That I Thought Was My Home
But Now I See I Just Can't Have It Any Other Way
It's All Or Nothing, Do Or Die And I'm The Price I Pay Because

I'm Overboard, Too Far From Shore
A Castaway Trying To Make It Home
I Catch My Breath To Save Myself But I Can't
In My Sight You Were Just In Time
I Feel You Now You're By My Side
And I Know You Gave Me, A Gift Of A Second Chance
A Second Chance

A Second Chance I Won't Forget
A Second Life I Won't Regret
A Second Wind To Brave This Night
A Second More To Make It Right

I'm Overboard, Too Far From Shore
A Castaway Trying To Make It Home
I Catch My Breath To Save Myself But I Can't
In My Sight You Were Just In Time
I Feel You Now You're By My Side
And I Know You Gave Me, A Gift Of A Second Chance

A Gift Of A Second Chance
I'm A Castaway, With A Gift Of A Second Chance

Monday, October 04, 2010

If You Are Willing...

A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed. 
-Mark 1:40-42

Jesus may not physically be in front of me...and I may not have 'leprosy', per say, but...I've still got dirt. I still have frequent moments where I need to fall on my face and ask Jesus to make me clean. There is nothing I can do to fix my 'human condition'...nothing. There is only one way. One truth. One life. And that one touch is enough. His grace IS enough.

So, here I go. Kneeling in front of my savior. Begging to be healed. Lord, if you are willing...make me clean. Because you're the only one who can. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

He Hears My Voice...

Man, life gets hard sometimes. And life gets really dark sometimes. I start to wonder if I'm ever going to get a break. If there is ever a way out. I'm quick to believe the lies that Satan feeds me. I start thinking there is no use. It's too hard. God has had enough of my bull sh*t. I've been down this road. It's nothing new. I should have learned. I'M sick of trying to give myself second, third, fourth...hundred-and-fifty-seven-thousandth chance. Why would someone so perfect take me back again and again. I just always start to wonder. 

But, my God is so gracious and so merciful and his love abounds! I love when He brings me back to that place. That place where His love is so real. His mercy is so fresh. His grace is so amazing.

This Psalm is so perfect when I'm in these moments. I need to be reminded that God hears my voice. He BENDS DOWN TO LISTEN. Is that not a beautiful picture? 

I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! Death wrapped its ropes around me; the terrors of the grave overtook me. I saw only trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Please, Lord, save me!” How kind the Lord is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours! The Lord protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and he saved me. Let my soul be at rest again, for the Lord has been good to me. He has saved me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. And so I walk in the Lord’s presence as I live here on earth!
-Psalm 116:1-9