Archive for July, 2013

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Ordinary is extraordinary!

Posted: July 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

I had to share this from Lisa-Jo Baker
This is a quick read that shouts volumes!

When you think your love story is boring

“My love life will never be satisfactory until someone runs through an airport to stop me from getting on a flight.” ~Teenager post of the week via the Huffington Post.

He drove us all home 18 hours over two days.

Three kids and hundreds of miles and potty breaks and princess pull-ups, the car covered in the markers I’d bought for window art. Turns out the soft beige ceiling of a mini van makes a perfect canvas. Rainbow swirls color the door panels and there are goldfish crackers crushed so deep into the seats that they will likely be there come next summer and this same road trip all the way to Northern Michigan and the lake that his family have been coming to for decades.

He’s never run through an airport for me.

Three times he’s held my hands, my shaking legs, my head, my heart as I’ve bared down and groaned a baby into being. He has run for ice chips and doctors and night shifts and laid himself low to help me hold on through the hard rock and roll and push and pull of labor and I’ve never drowned holding onto his hand.

There is a rumor, an urban myth, a fiction, a fantasy, a black and white screen cliché that love looks like the mad, romantic dash through airports for a last chance at a flailing kiss.

And then the credits roll.

And the lights come on.

And we must go back to our real lives where we forget that love really lives.

When you think your love story is boring via lisajobaker.com

I threw up so hard and fast and often one night in a farmhouse in Pennsylvania that I couldn’t stand come morning. He moved over and out and gave me the bed. He went out for crackers and soda and mind numbing games to keep the three kids occupied and away from mom.

I looked in the mirror and there was nothing romantic looking back at me, but around the wrinkles in my eyes, the parched, white cheeks, there was the deep romance of being loved beyond how I looked.

He’s never run through an airport for me.

He’s gone out for milk at 10pm, he’s held our children through bouts of stomach viruses and told me there is nothing about his kids that disgusts him. He’s carried us on his shoulders when we were too tired or too sad or too done to keep doing the every day ins and outs that make up a life.

He’s unloaded a hundred loads of laundry and put the dishes away.

He lays down his life and it looks like so many ordinary moments stitched together into the testimony of a good man who comes home to his family in the old minivan, the one with the broken air conditioning.

It undoes me every time to look around and find him there, having my back in the day to day and the late night into late night and then next year again.

He’s run a thousand times around the sun with me and we hold hands and touch feet at night between the covers even when we’re wretched and fighting we’re always fighting our way back to each other.

He’s never run through an airport for me.

He runs on snatched sleep and kids tucked into his shoulder on both sides of the bed.

He is patient and kind.

He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

And we come running to him. When the battered white minivan pulls into the driveway his children trip over themselves, their abandoned Crocs and the pool bag to be the first to open the door and spill out their day into the hands of the man who can catch them.

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He’s never run through an airport for me.

This ordinary unremarkable love walks slowly every day alongside. One step, one day, one T-ball practice at a time.

One permission slip signed, one Lunchable, one school play, one art project, one Lego box, one more night time cup of water delivered at a time.

This ordinary love that wakes up with bad breath and crease marks on its cheeks and is the daily bread that sustains across time zones and countries and cultures and the exhaustion of trying to figure out how to be a parent and a grown up and somebody’s forever.

And this is a love life – to live life each small, sometimes unbearably tedious moment – together.

To trip over old jokes and misunderstandings. To catch our runaway tongues and tempers and gift them into the hands of the person who was gifted to us.

He lets me warm my ice cold feet between his legs and the covers at night.

He has never run through an airport for me.

This is love with the lights on and eyes wide open. This is the brave love, the scared love, the sacred boring, the holy ordinary over sinks of dirty dishes and that one cupboard in the kitchen with the broken hinge.

Visit Lisa-Jo Baker’s blog

 

Danny Leavitt has a blog

Katie’s Story

Posted: July 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

Oportunities Arise

Posted: July 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

     Image       The weather was perfect this Sunday at Eisenhower Park–clear blue sky, slight cool breeze, and chirping birds in tall elm trees. About halfway through the message, I noticed a young man ride up on a bicycle. He had all the official cycling gear and took a spot to rest under a nearby tree. He seemed to be listening to the message. You never know who is going to show up at an outdoor church! I was sharing about the “Expectation Gap”. How there is a gap between what we expect of God and what actually happens in real life. For many people the Expectation Gap increases as bad things happen. As I reached this point in the message, I noticed the cyclist seemed to be paying more attention.  I mentioned how many people find it difficult to live in the Expectation Gap of life. That what we dreamed or expected life would be like and what it actually is can be twp points that are very far apart. The gap can be the place where discouragement and depression bloom.  We start to doubt God because our circumstances drive our faith. Instead of grabbing firmly to the eternity of the resurrection, we are blown away by the wind of our own immediate feelings. The one point I tried to make was that the gap in our life as Christians can be closed by grabbing on to this one truth: our expectations should be founded on something that happened once and for all and not just our current situation.  This once and for all event is what has changed millions of lives over the centuries. Here is the Bible passage that I used:

Hebrews 4:14  NIV

     Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.

     This once for all time game changer, the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, is what we can hold on to as our permanent source of strength. Our expectation gap will close as we set our minds on the permanent rather than the temporary.
     After the message and closing song I was able to spend some time with our visitor. He shared that he had “smoked a lot of weed” that morning. I asked him if he knew Jesus as savior and he replied that he did. It was an interesting conversation which jumped from diverse topics like brain mapping and the universal logos to how to get food as a homeless person. I will keep praying for him get closer to God and that his expectation gap would close. At this point another member of the Gathering continued to share with our visiting cyclist as my attention was drawn away by two more visitors who saw our signs on the street and came needing help. This couple was stranded in Denver as their bus tickets back to Houston were stolen along with the wife’s purse. At first this sounded like an old “con” game to me, but after listening for a while and praying, I felt they were legit. They shared that they needed a ride to East Colfax. They had  called the bus lines and someone had found the purse. The tickets were at Auto Zone. They had been in Seattle for a funeral and were heading back to Houston when the purse was stolen. They had visited several churches and received no assistance. The couple had seen our signs on the corner of Colorado Blvd. and Dartmouth. Joseph and I drove them to Auto Zone to get the purse and bus tickets, and we got to share Jesus with them.
     It was an amazing day at The Gathering yesterday! I want to invite you to the Gathering this Sunday in Eisenhower Park. The topic of discussion will be angels. Come expecting God to do wonderful things!