Archive for August, 2008

Authenticity.

Posted: August 31, 2008 in Uncategorized

“I entered and looked. I couldn’t believe my eyes: painted all over the walls were pictures of reptiles and animals and monsters – the whole pantheon of Egyptian gods and goddesses – being worshiped by Israel. In the middle of the room were seventy leaders of Israel…each held his censer with the incense ring in a fragrant cloud. He said, “Son of man, do you see what the elders are doing here in the dark, each one before his favorite god-picture?” Ezekiel 8:10-11

From the outside, the House of God probably looked pretty normal. It stood steady and strong in the middle of Jerusalem, giving the people comfort as they went about their business that God was still in the neighborhood. As Ezekiel dug through the walls, however, he discovered that what used to be the home for God’s unmatched, uncontested presence, had become the home to “reptiles and animals and monsters – the gods of Egypt.” How did they get in there? Through the lives of the leaders. In the dark.

Probably the most dangerous lie we can believe in all of life is: “God doesn’t see.” It’s the lie that leads to every possible mistake. It causes us to question His love, His power, the need to be like Him, holiness…everything gets thrown off-kilter when we get comfortable with the idea of a distant or distracted God.

Also…um…the gods of EGYPT? Didn’t they leave these guys behind like 1000 years ago? Actually,  the recent kings – Jehoahaz and Johoiakim – had been pressed hard by Egypt. Jehoahaz was even taken captive by Pharoah Neco and died in captivity. Turns out that the thing they were fighting externally (domination by Egypt’s system) was also the very thing they were worshiping internally. It reminds me that the things that have power over me – in fact the ONLY things that have power over me – are the things that I have built an altar for inside of my life.

This week, I’ve been reading the sad stories of some prominent pastors who have recently been exposed for living double lives. Both were dealing with stuff that was hidden deep inside the walls and stealing their devotion, their character, their purity, and their peace. Now, we look on and see the fall that comes – hard, fast and far – when we try to cover the inside with the outside…our character with our gifts…our gods with our God. Like a gold-plated cigarette case: the outside is pretty, the stuff inside will kill you.

The singular cry of my heart today is: make me authentic. Real. Genuine. Holy. Even if it costs me everything that once looked really beautiful.

Honestly,

Bo

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Beginnings

Posted: August 25, 2008 in Uncategorized

The PBC campus. You have no idea how small the rooms are in those castle-y looking things.

Taking Tori to college – the very same campus I lived on 25 (yikes!) years ago – has made me very nostalgic lately. I’ve been remembering the joy, fear, turmoil and freshness of taking those first few breaths of adulthood. It was a fun time for me, but there are a few things I think I would do differently if I was starting over now.

  • I would not live on Top Ramen. I believe this launched a carb-craving that remains my nemesis (and my thigh’s nemesis) today. I don’t know what I would have lived on instead of Top Ramen, since my budget was about .08 per day, but still…it’s a wish.
  • I would have loved people WAY more intentionally and judged them WAY less harshly. I was young and opinionated and just, in general, right about EVERYTHING and I regret that attitude a lot. It cost me real friends at a time when I really needed them.
  • I would have prayed more. Oh wait – that’s on today’s wish list too.
  • I would have asked more questions. Being right all the time really limits one’s ability to gain actual knowledge.
  • I would have saved more money. Absolutely – this one is at the top of the list.
  • I would have worried a lot less about the little things and a lot more about the big picture.

There are lots more, but these came immediately to mind. So how bout you? I know that you’re all at different places in life right now, but what would you do differently if you were starting out fresh now? Your wisdom could make someone else very wealthy!

Looking back and looking ahead,

Bo

For More than a Lifetime

Posted: August 23, 2008 in Uncategorized

Have you ever felt like the Word was dead and dry and not life-changing? Here are some words that I believe are enough truth, hope and encouragement for a whole lifetime:

“My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. And friends, once that’s taken care of and we’re no longer accusing or condemning ourselves, we’re bold and free before God! We’re able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for becuase we’re doing what He said, doing what pleases Him.”

I John 3:18-20

Now, read it again. This scripture pretty much rescued my week…and I don’t think I could add anything as eloquent or accurate as the disciple Jesus loved did right here. Beautiful. Restoring. Hope-filled. Life.

Believing for God’s Reality,

Bo

P.S. That little picture at the top is a painting called “End of Summer” and I love it because it feels exactly the way I feel right now about the end of this season.

Well, rats! Technical issues are giving me trouble.

T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

And that trouble is preventing me from telling you what I SO DEARLY want to tell you. However, my wonderful friend and long suffering mentoree, Elisa, sent me this amazing video this week and I thought it was perfect for Tuesday’s Child. While it shines a light on the problem, it also hints at a solution. Please enjoy the hope of it all.

Doesn’t it just make you want to DO SOMETHING? Me too. Stay tuned!

Believing,

Bo

I’m not politicizing, but I did really enjoy this conversation between Rick Warren and John McCain…especially McCain’s answer to  the question, “What’s the most gut-wrenching decision you’ve ever had to make?”  It made me realize that in terms of “gut-wrenching”, I’ve gotten off pretty easy in life.

I keep trying to get Obama and McCain to come to my house for a Civic Forum on the Laundry, but so far no luck.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Enjoy Monday,

Bo

A Page from the Journal

Posted: August 16, 2008 in Uncategorized

He touched their eyes and said, “Become what you believe.” It happened. They saw. Matthew 9:29

Become what you believe. It’s a bigger sentence than the blind guys probably realized at the time. They came to Jesus with their biggest problem. They didn’t say: “Make us like You.” They said, “Help us to see.” Their problem got them into the presence of Jesus. It opened the door for an interesection. In fact, this chapter is filled with people who were pushed by problems into His arms. A man with demons, a woman who wouldn’t stop bleeding, a man who’s daughter just died, a paralyzed guy. It’s overall a pretty sorry lot that pursues Him. And all the while, those whose lives are together – the ones who are supposed to have the map to God – stand on the comfortable perimeter and miss Him completely.

But Jesus didn’t just speak to the problem. He moved them to the next level of relationship.

“Your faith has made you whole.”

“Your sins are forgiven.”

“Become what you believe.”

These miracle moments in our lives – the place where our desperation meets His mercy – are big wins. When we see Him in action, working in love toward us, it changes something inside of us if we’ll let it. It moves us toward His heart and His character and His way.

I feel like these guys today. Nearly blind with regard to the future – I can’t even see my own hand in front of my face. But I’m asking this morning not necessarily to see the future – I’m asking to become what I already believe. I believe that You are strong and steady and faithful. I believe that You will never let go of us. I believe that You are the Lord of the Church and of my life. I believe that You love the next generation passionately and extravagantly and You won’t stop pursuing them. I believe You are the Father to the fatherless. I believe that Your eyes can see what mine cannot and Your arm is plenty strong to save, protect, provide, bless and multiply. I believe that You ARE the rewarder of those who diligently seek You.

I believe.

Help me to become.

A Mouse in the House

Posted: August 15, 2008 in Uncategorized

Caution: this story deals with the realities of life in the mean cul-de-sacs (culs-de-sac?) of Bend. It may shock and disturb. You’ve been warned.

You know how after losing his family and fortune, Job said, “The thing that I feared has come upon me.” Remember that? Well, today, I am Job.

I’m fine with bugs. Spiders? No problem. Even snakes don’t really bother me that much, though I probably wouldn’t want to share a home with them. Mice, however, are unacceptable. And by unacceptable I mean: AHHHHHHHHHHH! We’ve successfully navigated 23 years of marriage with no mouses in the houses…except there was a narrow brush back in 1990 when I had a dream that I saw one in the garage and wasn’t able to sleep for about 12 years.

So, you know where this is going. Last night, Josiah thought he saw a mouse run through the family room. In fact, he was so convinced that he decided to sleep with his door closed (cute, how he thinks the mouse could never get under the two-inch gap below his door.) Steve followed the United Nations Peacekeeping Protocol for Informing Your Wife of Rodents or Bounced Checks and calmly explained that MAYBE Joe had seen something scampery in the nether regions of our home. He also mentioned that there is a small hole in our laundry room wall from some repair work being done on our furnace and – hey – what if a mouse might see that hole and mistake it for the door to the Hilton? Steve (my hero) went down to cover the hole and discovered…the mouse, luggage in hand, checking in for the weekend. Actually, no luggage and there was no paperwork involved…just a very scared and speedy mouse, racing back up the hole and a very determined Steve, plugging that thing up so he can remain married to the wife of his youth.

So, it appears that I have survived the mouse visitation….but I haven’t been downstairs yet. I’m telling you, if I run into a rodent this house will be on the market by Saturday.

With no love for the ROUS’s,

Bo