Thoughts from an Ordinary Guy

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

Month: November 2015 (page 1 of 3)

A Poem About Kids

 by Kathy Winters

 I am the child that looks healthy and fine.

 I was born with ten fingers and toes.

 

But something is different, somewhere in my mind,

 And what it is, nobody knows.

 I am the child that struggles in school,

 Though they say that I’m perfectly smart.

 They tell me I’m lazy — can learn if I try —

 But I don’t seem to know where to start.

 I am the child that won’t wear the clothes

 Which hurt me or bother my feet.

 I dread sudden noises, can’t handle most smells,

 And tastes — there are few foods I’ll eat.

 I am the child that can’t catch the ball

 And runs with an awkward gait.

 I am the one chosen last on the team

 And I cringe as I stand there and wait.

 I am the child with whom no one will play —

 The one that gets bullied and teased.

 I try to fit in and I want to be liked,

 But nothing I do seems to please.

 I am the child that tantrums and freaks

 Over things that seem petty and trite.

 You’ll never know how I panic inside,

 When I’m lost in my anger and fright.

 I am the child that fidgets and squirms

 Though I’m told to sit still and be good.

 Do you think that I choose to be out of control?

 Don’t you know that I would if I could?

 I am the child with the broken heart

 Though I act like I don’t really care.

 Perhaps there’s a reason God made me this way —

 Some message he sent me to share.

 For I am the child that needs to be loved

 And accepted and valued too.

 I am the child that is misunderstood.

 I am different – but look just like you.

While We Were Eating Turkey

A friend of mine on Facebook posted this about her day on Thanksgiving.   Please take the time to read……

I want to share this somewhere:

I worked a 16 on Thursday. I left my driveway at 520am and pulled out of the parking lot at work at 1230am the following day. It was a long one. (TWSS…. haha). Anywho, I have always liked working holidays in healthcare. There is a sacred holiness to the days. Special things always happen. And every now and then, a miracle happens.
*sigh* At 1015am, a “medical emergency” was called. Med.E’s are called a few times a day in the jail…. no big deal. Our census rolls close to 3,000 people on a daily basis and stuff happens: falls, seizures, traumas on the basketball court, fights, diabetic hypoglycemeic episodes, intractable vomiting, psychotic breaks or hyperventilation with alkalosis…. and, sometimes cardiac arrest.
For whatever reason, on Thanskgiving, two ER nurses, two veteran hospital nurses, a seasoned and technically experienced LPN and the jail medical director were all scheduled and present at work… and when the code was called, all those people responded. Nobody ever knows what a medical emergency holds in store, but on Thanksgiving, all those people showed up, willing to do ‘whatever’.
Well, “whatever” was what we encountered: 46yo black male face down in a puddle of blood on the gym floor… unresponsive, pulseless, not breathing, and dead.

James was dead.

I could bore you with a very descriptive scene from a medical drama…. but that isn’t the point. We did every thing right…. we used the ambubag with O2 to push air into dead lugs, we circulated oxygenated blood with chest compressions, and we applied the pads and the AED decided to shock this guys heart. Someone also called EMS.

By the time EMS arrived, James was breathing on his own with a pulse and a blood pressure in the 100’s.

James is not dead anymore.

Yesterday, James was sitting up in bed — schackled, mind you — but sitting up in bed and laughing and talking and telling jokes.

It doesn’t matter if I am where I am supposed to be for the rest of my life and it doesn’t matter if I’m living out my passion or if I’m just some high paid a** wiper and pill pusher in a rough and nasty and dirty repository of all the evil in the world, surrounded by degenerates and faced daily with the eyes of killers…
None of that matters. All I know is that on Thanksgiving Day, I showed up at work where I was supposed to be with the expectation of a miracle… and a miracle happened.

I’ll tell you this to share some hope:
Even if you aren’t where you think you want to be, you are where you are supposed to be.
For now.
Wake up everyday ready to be part of somebody’s miracle.
Your impact on the world is much bigger than you know.

Tom here – read that last part again……

”Even if you aren’t where you think you want to be, you are where you are supposed to be.
For now.
Wake up everyday ready to be part of somebody’s miracle.
Your impact on the world is much bigger than you know.”

A Reminder

That’s what going to church is.

Or at least what it should be.

Not a reminder of your past screw ups.  Not a reminder of the ways that you’ve messed up this week.

Not a reminder of what an awful mess our world seems to be (okay is.)

Or how screwed up the people who want to or do lead our governments seem to be.

Or how much better it seems that your friends on Facebook are doing than you are.

That’s not what church is supposed to be a reminder of.

Church should be a reminder.

A reminder that how you “compare” to your neighbor doesn’t matter.

A reminder that no matter how much you feel like you messed up, God still welcomes you.

A reminder that no matter how out of control your life or the world seem, God’s bigger than those problems.

A reminder that when the ground under your feet is shifting (either literally or figuratively), God’s there with a hand that holds you.   A hand that helps you up.

That’s what church should be. 

A reminder that no matter how bad things seem, “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”

A reminder that, as we sang in church for Thanksgiving, “God’s love never changes.”

Thankful?  Seriously?

It’s been 6 days since it seems like the world changed.

But in reality, it didn’t change as much as the evil that is in the world jumped up and slapped us across the face.

The evil was already there.   In Syria, in Egypt, in Saudi Arabia, in Iraq, in Iran, in Nigeria, in the United States, on Facebook, on Twitter.   The evil is already there.   The evil is already here.

For those of us in the USA, a week from today is Thanksgiving.   A day that we’re supposed to set aside and eat too much, watch too much football and be thankful for all that we have.

How do we give thanks when the world seems to be crumbling around us?

How do we give thanks when those we thought were friends are spouting ideas and feelings we can’t agree with?

How do we give thanks when people are dying on the open sea literally running for their lives?

How do we give thanks when a lot of the state governors are sending distinctly mixed and controversial messages about refugees from Syria.  

  • It appears that they are saying, “We don’t want Syrian refugees, we don’t want more Muslims in our state.”   
  • We hope that what they really mean is, “We don’t believe that the Federal government can process the refugee requests for this many refugees and do it in a way that helps them and keeps us safe, so let’s stop and figure out a better way.”

A couple of ways we can be thankful this coming week, not inspite of these struggles but because of them.

  • Be thankful that people care.   Even though there are huge discrepancies in how people think that the refugees should be cared for, I have yet to hear anyone say that they should just be left to fend for themselves.  The world has woken up to the plight of the refugees and that in and of itself is a reason for thanks.
  • Be thankful that God gives you the means and the gifts to share with others.   Whether it is helping the refugees or supporting an adoptive parent or giving to a local homeless shelter, we all have the ability to do something.
  • Be thankful for the small things in life.   The quiet of a new sunsrise.   The hug of a child. The smile from a spouse.  Don’t lose the small picture because of the big and really scary and really noisy picture.

Be thankful for love.   God’s love for us.   Our love for those around us.   But also the love that God calls us to show and live and give to others.   Those others might be nearby or far away.   It might mean direct “in your face” sit with them in the oncology department while their loved one fades away.   It might mean being a listening ear over social media to a friend who is far away but is struggling.   It might mean stepping way out of your comfort zone to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

God is love.  God shows us love whether we deserve it or not.   We need to follow His example.

To quote one of my favorite authors/speakers and attorneys, Bob Goff,  

“Love Wins”

TJV

Remember that Time When Your Little Brother…….

Remember that time when you got mad at your little brother because he was using one of your things?   

And you yelled at him and pushed him and he looked at you and sneered and said, “Well, if that’s the way you want to be about it?  Take this!” and then proceeded to throw your favorite Lego on the floor and stomp on it?

And then things got really ugly and Dad had to step in?

Retired General David Petraeus spoke last night here in West Michigan and I heard part of it on the news last night.   In it, he describes the events of  Paris and the surrounding reactions and such as “potential game changers.”

Sort of like that moment when your snotty little brother purposely smashed your Legos?   It went from a squabble to all out fighting and got ugly real fast.

The Devil is sort of like your little brother.   No, I did NOT say that your little brother is the Devil.   The Devil, in the events since last Friday, has basically said to the world and said to Christians everywhere,  “So, you think this is bad, then take THAT!”

He elevated his game and it’s a game changer.    And I’m not just talking what ISIS did in Paris, I’m talking about the seams that it has “popped” in the Christian world response to it all.   ISIS is a tool of the devil and the way that the world has responded unfortunately shows that we’re more like the big brother who either pounds on the little brother or goes and whines to Mom,  “Mom, Jimmy stomped on my Lego airplane and broke it!”

So how do we respond?   How do we react to what has happened?   Do we whine and cry and pull back and fight?

Or do we react with over sensitivity  and irrationality?

What would Jesus want us to do?

I know he wouldn’t want us to be the big brother that pounds on the little brother – even if the little brother deserved it.   That’s the role of God and of divinely appointed governments to measure out and administer punishment and consequences.

If we react with the same snarling revenge filled attitude and actions as the obnoxious little brother, then we’re no better than them and we did exactly what they wanted us to do.

So how do we react?   How do we deal with the questions, the uncertainties and the mess of it all?

I’m going to leave it with that question and then links to some of the better opinions and articles that I’ve read about it recently.   I hope you’ll read them and then respond in the way you feel God is calling you.

I think that it’s not an exaggeration to say that the future of the church, the future relevance of the church in life in the first world is in many ways at stake based on how we respond.

TJV 

Links to read:

John Pavolvitz – he’s written a couple of thought provoking pieces since Paris happened.

Jeremy Courtneyt – “The world is scary as hell.   Love anyways.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/11/17/the-world-is-scary-as-hell-love-anyway/

Chris Marlow – http://chrismarlow.me/2015/11/a-response-to-paris/

Ann Voskamp – http://www.aholyexperience.com/2015/11/when-you-want-to-live-love-large-in-a-world-with-terrorists-a-movement-of-giftivists/

Sarah Bessey – what to do when you don’t know what to do – http://sarahbessey.com/ordinary-work/

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