Thoughts from an Ordinary Guy

This journey through life is never boring......

Month: August 2014 (page 1 of 3)

Rehearsing God?

Psalm 42:6 “When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of you,”  (The Message)

This was part of my personal devotions this morning.   With everything that seems to be going wrong in the world today, I think this is a really good idea.

When we’re “down in the dumps” over things in our personal lives, rehearse what you know of God and what He does and can do.

When we’re scared of the things that are happening in this world that illustrate the evil that Satan is perpetrating, practice the presence of God and remember that He’s got this.

When we’re concerned about the direction of things in the first world church and don’t know what to do, rehearse what we know of God.   Did Jesus treat the marginalized the way that the first world church treats them?    No he did not.  (Sweeping generalizations acknowledged in prior statement).

If we spent more time rehearsing what we know of God, what we know of how He works, what we know of His plan for our world and our lives, we’d spend a lot less time in the dumps and and a lot more time as soldiers in a spiritual battle.

Rehearse what you know of God.   And repeat it often.

Hmmmm,

Tom

The Dust Settles–But does it?

In many ways after the earthquake, the dust settled.

The emergency medical cases were treated.  The dead were mourned.   The relief supplies were brought in and distributed.

But in many ways, the dust hasn’t settled.    I’m not talking about the physical dust – though there is still a lot of that…..

I’m talking about the emotional and relational dust.   Estimates vary from under 100,000 to over 300,000 people died on January 12, 2010.    No matter what the number, there are a lot of emotional scars from that kind of loss.    A lot of people lost loved ones – fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, gone with the shake of the land.

A lot of people lost their source of support – their primary wage earner is no longer there and that hurts – both financially and physically and also emotionally.

Those who did survive did so through a traumatic and life altering time and experience.    An experience that will leave them  changed forever.

Anyone who knows anything about Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD) knows that surviving and living in Haiti during those traumatic first months after the quake (let alone the first days) makes one a prime candidate for PTSD.

The dust has settled – but the dust is still being felt in many ways.

I get a lot of people asking me how Haiti is doing at rebuilding – my standard answer is that it is – but compared to the pace at which the U.S. is rebuilding from Katrina, it’s a slow motion movie……..

Less Noise, More God

Thinking more about the discussion from last night……

  http://tomvanderwell.net/2014/08/really/ 

Less noise and more God.

How do we do that?  

Or let me rephrase that question – how do I do that?

For me, it’s a couple of things:

  • Less TV watching and more reading – I didn’t say none, I said, less.
  • More of the music that speaks to me about God – that would be Building 429, Mike’s Chair, Need to Breathe, Sidewalk Prophets, Third Day, Matt Maher and more.
  • More writing – some of it for sharing on here, some in my personal diary, some on http://thevulnerableproject.org/ and some on a book series I’m working on about adoption, what it means and how to understand and do it better.
  • More time spent working on “being” where God wants me to be.

Stay tuned and let’s see what God’s up to…….

Tom

“Really?”

Things have been weighing a lot lately.

Ferguson

Iraq

Israel

Hamas

Ebola

Ukraine

Nigeria

……….

It’s hard to see so many things that are happening and feel like, in many ways, it’s hard to know what to do.   I mean, we all know that none of these situations are acceptable but why so many right now and what do we do about it?

And then to feel like God is saying, “No, I want you to work at home.   Your kids, their struggles need to come first.”

I’ll be honest, I’ve seen that and seen significant growth in that this summer – both in them and in me.    But it’s also mixed with frustration.    God, I want to go out and make a difference!

And then tonight, I open my devotions, and one of the chapters I read is Psalm 37.    Vs. 7 hits me straight across the forehead.

“Be still before the Lord.   Wait patiently for him.”

REALLY?  

Is that what God wants me to do?  

That’s a whole lot easier said than done.   May we all experience more stillness and more waiting for God.

Less noise, more God.

I like that idea.

Tom

Pictures of the Homecoming in Grand Rapids

So, is Elliana and Jayne’s story the only one from that night? Absolutely not.

Rather than attempting to describe the rest of the evening in words, I’m going to describe it in the pictures that Jen Kroll took that evening. Their family’s story is another one of the blessings that I’ve experienced through this walk down God’s pathway.

Enjoy………

Special thanks to Jen Kroll from Jen Kroll Photography for capturing the event and for sharing the pictures so freely.

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