Friday, August 28, 2009

Fact or Fiction?

As most folks know, I love a good mystery. Always have. Even as a 4th grader, I was fascinated with stories that held suspense. That's the first time I remember learning about the Loch Ness Monster and the Bermuda Triangle. (Although I was in high school before I realized the Monster was not located in the Bermuda Triangle, but my 10th grade Geography teacher straightened that out.)

I guess that's why I found this tidbit from Christian History so interesting:
August 22, 565
Celtic missionary and abbot Columba reportedly confronts the Loch Ness Monster and becomes the first recorded observer of the creature. "At the voice of the saint, the monster was terrified," wrote his biographer, "and fled more quickly than if it had been pulled back with ropes."
Science has worked to prove or disprove the existence of the Loch Ness creature, using sonars and satellites to resound a distorted signal due to the air in "Nessie's" lungs.

Honestly, I don't really care whether it's true or not. I've heard theories proposing "Leviathan" in Job 3 & 41, Psalm 74 & 104 and Isaiah 27 are everything from crocodiles and alligators to the Loch Ness Monster.

However, I do find it interesting a saint is the first recorded observer. Hmmm.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

At War with the Spiders

Funny things, spider's webs. Small kingdoms in dark corners. Nearly invisible for a time, you usually can't even see them until they've captured a prey, stuck to the silky threads, seemingly defying gravity as it dangles in space. There's not much proactive hunting that goes on in the life of a spider that way. It's more of a "wait for it to come to me" mentality. Yet, the whole time it waits, it's working. Spinning. Building its kingdom strand by strand.

But it's not a strong kingdom. It will fail with a strong burst of wind or the intrusion of a larger object.

Lately, in my house, the spiders have been winning. With all the hot weather, and while we were out of town, several arachnids moved in and set up shop. I keep finding them under cabinets, tangled in light fixtures, tucked in tiny places even my vacuum can't reach.

I can't help but think I let that happen in my own life, sometimes. While I'm checked out doing life, focusing on my other "rat-killing" as my Dad calls it, the spiders creep in, and in the dark places of my mind and heart, begin to catch joy and distort it. They take areas of my discontent and turn them into jealousy. They catch my struggle with a relationship, and that struggle remains stuck in limbo, neither healing nor breaking. Instead, it is simply consumed and thereby destroyed.

It's in those moments, when the spiders are winning, I must cry out to the One who can clean out those dark corners with the light of his Truth; the power of his hand, wiping away the fragile cobwebs of Satan's lies. It might take a while for it all to get cleaned up, but it will be well worth the result.

But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us... 1 John 1:7

Monday, August 17, 2009


I seem to have a lot a of bookends in my life. Moments that define the beginning of one segment of my journey and the end of another. Yesterday was one of those moments. It was awkward. I actually wanted to throw up a couple of times. It wasn't that I didn't want the bookend, I just wanted to get it over with. Emotions were fragile and very close to the surface. It was our last day of worship with FBC Frankston.

I did great until friends from the congregation came to lay hands and pray over Darin, Lil' D and me. It was a beautiful, touching, face-to-face reminder of the lives God has blessed me to know. Some of those faces have crawled on the ground beside me weeding flower beds; others have wept with me in prayer. Some have sung with me in worship to our Savior, or winked in glee over a game of dominoes. Some have had loving, welcoming smiles to dissipate the sorrow of a frustrating day. Those faces have purpose and meaning for me. They may not know until Heaven the tremendous depths of my soul they touched.

When I remember Frankston, I will remember that moment of prayer, looking up to see the faces of people who showed their love by committing my future to our eternal Father. Loving me and God enough to let me go be obedient somewhere else.

Now for the first chapter in the next book...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mission Trip Catch-Up

I'm finally taking time to post some pictures from our mission trip to Galveston. Truthfully, I'd rather be in bed than posting these pictures, but since I can't sleep at this 6:30 hour on Saturday morning, I'm finding a way to at least be semi-productive. (Nobody should be doing something as necessary as laundry at this time of day.)

These first two pix were taken on Monday of our trip. We painted Hazel's house. (That's "Daffodil" if you'd like the name of the paint color.) We also painted a bathroom and cleaned some on the inside, buying her a few decorative and food items. I had a classic Three Stooges type-moment when someone warned me the handrail was wet as I prepared to descend the front steps. Two seconds later, when I needed to run back inside the house and grab something, I put my hand right on the rail's wet paint. Short-term memory loss. Oh, and do not try this at home: It's important to note in the second photo Zak is seated on the bottom of the ladder on which I am standing. This is significant because the ladder is on the inclined ramp. Without his weight counter-balancing my own, I'd have been head first on top of Duane there.

The coordinators of the rebuilding effort expected the painting to take us two days, but we were so speedy, they had to hunt around for a couple of hours on Tuesday morning to find us another project:

What you're seeing here are the before and after photos. We weeded a frog pond and butterfly garden at a local elementary school. It was untouched since the hurricane. Yes, the water still looks green, but at least you can now differentiate it from the grass! I think we counted 9 bags of weeds and trash from this 25' x 25' area!

On Wednesday morning, we worked in a warehouse helping the workers organize boxes and crates of donated furniture and other goods. Most of the items were given by The Today Show, including this tractor which Al Roker rode!

Finally, on Thursday, we joined the balance of our group at a house being insulated and sheet-rocked (not sure what the past tense of that activity actually is). Mostly, I cleaned the yard, swept the interior and tried to stay out of the way!

Then in the afternoon, we visited the beach:

We fed seagulls, buried Josh and splashed in the waves. Fabulous!

As you can see, God used us to make several small, but significant differences in the lives of the people we helped. We worked hard, sweated profusely and loved every minute of it!
Oh, and here's what we did for the balance of our time: