Sunday, June 30, 2013

mixed nuts

At the worship kinship today, Todd said it, I had been thinking it.  He used the term 'mixed nuts'!  The beginning of the meeting these two words hung in my head and I didn't say anything...then Todd said it.  It was a personal confirmation for me.  God likes mixed nuts!

Our church has multiple worship leaders with different voices, different styles ~ different flavors of worship. Any Sunday you attend the Gadsden Vineyard you'll experience a different worship band doing something completely different.  One just doesn't know what to expect from one Sunday to the next.

There's no way to bring all of it into the sameness of flavor.  We might be able to crack it and put in the same can, but we can't change who we are individually to conform to a single flavor or taste.  We can however hone our skills, become better leaders, be more diligent in order to be the best individual nut we can be.  God likes mixed nuts!  He just wants us to become more disciplined and refined.  He wants us to be more diligent in our job as worship leaders.

I don't want to be the nut in the can who offers up something that God had rather eat around.  I desire to be that nut who the rest of the body can follow and join in with greater ease.  I desire my worship and praise offered to be as an aroma enjoyable to the Lord.  He inhabits our praise, so lets offer him a premium product.  Let us open up a can of our best individual efforts, to be a mixture of DELUXE mixed nuts.

I don't want to be the nut found in a can of a generic brand that tastes funky and weird ~ that one would wish to spit out.  If I am a mere cocktail nut, that's okay.  I'll strive to be the best cocktail nut that I can be.   I really want to be the pecan or the cashew, because that's what I like to find plenty of in each can of mixed nuts.  No matter what kind of nut we are, let us strive to become that delightful blend of nuts that are pleasing little morsels unto him.  No matter what kind of nut we each may be, just remember that God prefers salt on our sacrifices.  We will not be salty if we are not pursuing him throughout each day.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


i am a child
running releasing
running trusting
letting the wind do the rest
up and up
lift up the praise
lift up the adoration
lift up and up
running releasing
let the wind do the rest
simple words
words meant
simple like wood
like paper and string
running with it
to feel the wind tug
to simply release
to feel the wind take it
to let it soar
hold the string
till there's no more string
see the kite defy
all gravity
straight to our Father's ears
and heart
we love you
we adore you
we love you
we adore you

he's in the shop

One of dad's favorite places to spend time was in the garage.  He loved woodwork.  He had a large and low workbench made to accommodate his wheelchair.  He bought his first wheelchair in the late 1960 or early 1970's.  He made it his shop chair when he finally bought a new one.  Before he had the wheel chair, he'd use small wooden stools to work around the house or outside.  He made a ramp from the kitchen to the garage to get over the one step down into the garage.

Maybe it was growing up in the depression, but dad didn't throw away stuff.  He'd save every scrap piece of leather or wood he came across.  When the old television console broke down, dad asked me to go out there and break it down for the wood and and usable hardware.  The same went for any old washer and dryer.  I clearly remember sitting on the garage floor one Saturday dismantling an old dish washer.  You'd be surprised how many washers and screws hold those things together.  Most of it went to good use.  We didn't have to go to the hardware store much in those days because if you looked hard enough, you could find the size nut..the right size piece of metal to improvise and complete a job.  It was a mess to organize though.

Dad had a lot of large power tools in his shop too.  He built a stand with locking wheels for his table saw.  He built a stand with locking wheels for his jig saw.  He built a stand with locking wheels for his lathe.  Every large power tool he owned could be rolled around in that shop of his.  It was always my job to clean up the shop.  I didn't have to clean it often, but when I did, it took the most part of a weekend to do the job right.  I have always have been a pretty good organizer, but the more dad collected, the more difficult it was to keep that garage neat.

I organized that shop so many times, I can close my eyes and go through every drawer, every cabinet, every container and still see what was kept in each of them.  I look up on the shelves and see the Minwax cans...sitting next to the linseed oil. He had more hammers hanging on that pegboard than he could ever use. Most of the peg holes in those boards were mostly filled with tools for any occasion.  I don't believe there was a tool he didn't have.

I didn't share dad's interest or talent with wood.  I was often drafted into the garage to help him.  He always wanted to do as much as he could by himself, so I was there to reach for items out of his reach or steady a piece of wood for him to make a cut.  Every now and then he needed a steady hand to hold a nail for him to hammer.  I learned the hard way not to use my hands.  After a couple of times of getting hammered by a miss, he would then act insulted when I started holding the nail using needle nose pliers.

Even if there wasn't anything to mend or build, he'd go out there and come up with a project or two using scraps of this and that.  He was good at that.  For a man who didn't have two good hands, he sure enjoyed using them.

The last project I remember us working on was a glue table.  He had seen an expensive picture of one in a woodworking magazine and decided to build one to his wheelchair height.  We spent a day out in the garage.  I didn't know what I was doing, but he was mighty good at instructing his shop helpers on  what to do.  The glue table turned out really nice.  I don't think he ever got a chance to use it.  It's now out in my garage.  I never used it for what it was made for either.  It collects stuff out there.  I still have his workbench.  I still have many of dad's old tools.  It's nice to have them out there, use them when something needs fix'n.

I never cared much for spending all those hours out there as a boy, but I sure wouldn't mind lending him a hand if he were still around.  Every now and again while working out there, I feel a connection, enjoying a little of what he enjoyed doing so much.

Happy Father's Day Dad.

Friday, June 14, 2013

of rainbows and men

Earlier this week, while driving around town, I was thinking of rainbows.  I was thinking how the rainbow was given as a symbol for the promise God made to never destroy man again by flood because of sin.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender (LGBT) community have taken that very symbol of God's promise and use it as their banner.

Let him that is taught in the word communicate to him that teaches in all good things.  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap.  For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption;  but he that sows to the Spirit of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
Galatians 6:7-8

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends; With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.  The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?  You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.  That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.  But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.  Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom  that God gave him.
2 Peter 3:8-15

Thursday, June 6, 2013

God told you what?

Did God really tell you to do that?  If this is so, why doesn't it jibe with his holy word?  God doesn't contradict himself.  Is this God talking to you or your flesh, or some other spirit?  We must test what we 'hear' by scripture before we attribute it to him.  Though God does speak to his children regularly, we must be careful not to reference his name with something that he didn't say...even if it 'feels right'.  To do so would be taking his name in vain.

When we compare what we are hearing directly to scripture - we'll either discover enlightenment through correction or enlightenment through an even deeper tier of meaning to what was heard.  It's a win/win situation to test everything...and it's the right thing to do.

Do not quench the Spirit.  Do not treat prophecies with contempt, but test them all hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.
-1 Thessalonians 5:20-22.

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirit to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
-1 John 4:1

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
-2 Timothy 2:15

I have hidden the word of God in my heart so that I may not sin against you.
-Psalm 119:11

What we feel we hear can be confirmed with scripture.  Instilling his word in us, is an app that filters out a lot of deceptive and godless junk-mail.

Monday, June 3, 2013

returning to you

Today the Holy Spirit gave me some words as worship came to a close.  I found a piece of scrap paper and wrote them down.  The promise was made for me, my brother and the body at Vineyard.

He is returning what was taken from you
what was stolen from you
what was lost
what was misplaced

God is returning what he meant for you
what he made for you
what he made in you
what he placed in you

Returning what you once gave away
what you once let slip away
what was abandoned
and forgotten
is returning to you
for your completion
and to his glory

Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke on you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart and you shall find rest to your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.
-Matthew 11:28-30

I was also impressed to encourage my church family to share scripture with one another.  Persons have been coming to mind as I've been reading lately.  If perchance you think of someone while in your study, and God puts that brother/sister on your heart and mind, go ahead and share that particular verse with them.  Don't delay, just visit them, call them, text them or message them.  You don't have to read into it or interpret, just deliver that mail.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

a woman

A woman sees in a man what a man can't see in himself.