Archive for November, 2009

Forgot your password?

“Enter with the password ‘thank you’ make yourselves at home, talking praise, thank Him.  Worship Him.  For God is sheer beauty, all generous in love, loyal always and ever”( Psalms 100:4-5 The Message)

 “The username and password entered do not match.  Please enter correct username and password before proceeding”.

 How many times have you seen that message, or one like it, splashed across your computer screen?

 My mind races, it can’t be the username; I usually use the same one!  It has to be the password, what password did I use when I set up this account?  For the life of me I can’t remember.  I enter one password after another, but none seems to be the right one.  What was I thinking?

 After some time I resort to the link just below the login box.  “Forgot your password?” the helping hand most men avoid as a sign of utter failure.  After all, are we that lame, we can’t remember the password WE created?

The next screen asks us to answer a couple of questions: 

“What was your Mothers maiden name?”  I don’t remember giving that information to this site!  “What was the model of your first car?”  Why do they care?  I cover my sense of failure with sarcasms.

 Finally, I get the message; “Your password was sent to the email on record.”

 Today’s technology has provided a simple similitude.  If we want to experience, or access, the knowledge, tools, pleasures, or relationships offered beyond where we are now, we must have the right password.

 Just as passwords open sites in cyberspace, the password, thank you, opens doors for us in our spiritual walk.

 The United States is one of only a few countries that have a holiday specifically for the purpose of saying thank you.

 Given this emphasis, consider two of my recent experiences:

I stood holding the door as, one after another; the young ladies who made up the cheerleading team, their coaches, and chaperones, stepped off the bus they were traveling on, and passed through the open door into the restaurant ahead of me.  Saying not a word, as they passed, they now stood in line, waiting to be seated.  There were approximately 30 in the group.

 After dinner, my wife and I crossed the street to do s little shopping at the local Target store.  There I encountered a young father struggling to load a few 12 packs of soft drinks on his basket without getting too far from the baby resting in the basket.  Seeing his struggle, I stepped in and helped by moving the products into his waiting basket as he stood silently and watched.  He went on about his shopping as if nothing had happened.

 Although not a scientific study, or even a good representative sample, these two incidents reflect a spreading insensitivity, on the part of persons in our western culture, to the need to acknowledge acts of kindness.  We have forgotten our password, — thank you.

 For the life of us we can’t figure out what it is.  We want what is beyond the login screen of our spiritual life.  We struggle to open the site with every material activity or gift we can think of, but we can’t think of the simple password.

If we continue to concentrate on our own self-interests, we will never know the wonders that wait beyond our present state. 

Romans 15:1-7 gives us clear direction:

Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status.  Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?”  That’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy for himself by avoiding people’s troubles, but waded right in and helped out. “I took on the troubles of the troubled,” is the way Scripture puts it.  .Even if it was written in Scripture long ago, you can be sure it’s written for us. God wants the combination of his steady, constant calling and warm, personal counsel in Scripture to come to characterize us, keeping us alert for whatever he will do next.  May our dependably steady and warmly personal God develop maturity in you so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us all.  Then we’ll be a choir – not our voices only, but our very lives singing in harmony in a stunning anthem to the God and Father of our Master Jesus!  So reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it! (The Message)

As we celebrate our Thanksgiving, think about how we might live up to the charge of Romans 15.  Don’t make it easy on ourselves, look inwardly and ask others, “How can I help?”; when someone, even a total stranger, serves us in some way, repay their kindness with acknowledgement. 

Think about all the God of all creation has done for us.  What sacrifice He made for us, His constant presence doting on children He adores. Acknowledge Him in everything. 

We have the choice, we can be a single voiceless “taker” in this world, and remain forever locked in our present state with no hope of entering into something greater, or we can “join the choirnot our voices only, but our very lives singing in harmony in a stunning anthem.” 

Remember your password – thank you.

En servicio como Padre

Dave

The secret of tears

I watched from a reasonable distance as a family, I recently became acquainted with, wept tears of mourning for a wife and mother lost to cancer a few days earlier.

Having been an acquaintance and not fully a part of the inner circle of this family, I was torn on how to respond.

It was easier in the days and months that preceded this event. I could stop by, offer words of encouragement, perhaps offer a prayer or two, and offer to help in any way I could, but in the end the result was the same, a family struggling through their own “vale of tears.”

Tears that would forever change the lives of every family member, and many of those who were in the family’s circle of friends. Tears that in some cases, represent the deep regret that, perhaps, they did not spend more time with their loved one. Other tears may have been of anguish, knowing the one they loved more than anyone would not be there when the awoke the next morning. Still others could be tears of relief, as they watched the long progression of the disease and the slow decline of a once vital person.

When I was a child, the thought of the day was that men should not cry. It was considered a sign of weakness. Young boys were chided for expressing their fears, anger, sorrow, or any other emotion, through tears.

As I review my life, I can honestly say, I never saw my father cry although I have no doubt he shed them in secret.

We were a family, like most, who had our issues and co dependencies, but we were a family who operated with the knowledge of love. My father and mother loved each of their eight children with unconditional love, but tears were not part of my father’s repertoire.

My mother, on the other hand, was not afraid to show her tears. She was a strong woman who could be stern in her discipline, but she was also a woman who learned the value of tears.

Psalm 56:8 says; “you number and record my wanderings; put my tears in your bottle – are they not in your book?”

God, our perfect Father, captures our tears and records each one they are so valuable to Him.

The Apostle Paul, one of the toughest men to ever walk the face of this earth, in my opinion, refers to himself as “serving the Lord in all humility in tears.” Acts 20:10

As modern fathers, we must recognize life is not always going to be a rosy picture for us. We will face adversity, pain, and suffering. We will experience apparent defeat and sudden setbacks. In all these; tears are a valuable part of our healing.

Likewise in times of celebration, our personal and family success, major accomplishments, etc, can bring you to tears of joy and excitement.

I contend to you, fathers, that tears are not at all a sign of weakness. Instead, they are a sign of a truly healthy heart. For each tear carries with it such great emotion and the tools by which the Holy Spirit can cleanse, repair, and build the compassionate heart of a true father.

Take the risk, your vale of tears is one of your greatest assets.

En servicio como Padre

Dave

Your Favorite Veteran – Veterans Day 2009

Remember your Veteran

Once again this Veterans day I am providing a place for readers to tell the story of their favorite veteran.

Most of us had the unfortunate opportunity to have the ultimate sacrifice veteran have made over the years clearly broadcast and brought to mindcapt through the Fort Hood attack and the resulting memorial service. Horrible as it is, it was a clear reminder to all Americans.

Before you go, take a moment to comment on this blog about Your favorite Veteran. My readers and I would be extremely grateful and proud capt.e02fef37ab6a4123a0b6980f5717f832to read about those who have and still are putting their country ahead of their personal ambitions to make our lives a little safer.

I will lift each one up in a prayer of thanksgiving for their sacrifice, and pray for their good health and protection. I further encourage everyone who reads these accounts to do the same. It is the least we can do on this Veterans Day 2009.

God Bless you all and God Bless the United States of America

En Servicio Como Padre

Dave

Thanks to http://www.freerepublic.com for the Picture


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