Friday, December 20, 2013

Meditation: Brood of Vipers

I'm on a roll tonight, LORD. Baby needs new shoes.

Jesus called the Pharisees and Sadducees a "brood of vipers." Why?

Because He loves us, and
Because we are.

A healer, to heal, doesn't say: "it's okay, everything will be fine" when you have cancer. No: it's "You have cancer. We need to operate, now, to remove the tumor. Then we have a strict regimen of chemotherapy to ensure the cancer is removed and stays in remission. That's what a healer says to heal. Jesus didn't say "Everything is good; it's okay, keep doing what you are doing, and I'm sure it'll turn out okay in the end." No. He said we will be separated, wheat from chaff, and we will be cast into the fires of Gehenna, the trash pit fire that burns without end, where we will wail and gnash our teeth. He also told us the cure in the Ten Commandments and then the Beatitudes. And we still don't get it. He had to scold His own disciples: 'Unless you become like these [a little child], you will not enter the kingdom of heaven."

And we still don't get it.

Jesus loves us, and He wants us to be happy, and we can't be happen when we hurt each other and ourselves.

I had a conversation totday with Mr. Sh. He told me that back in India, a family named their son 'Satan.' He asked me, 'Have you ever seen an exorcism?' I said, 'No.' I asked him if he knew why Satan wasn't present in the world as before with possessions and the like. He said, 'no.' I said that it was because, now, Satan doesn't need to be present in the world anymore. We, by ourselves, in all the evil we do today, are going straight down the path to hell without any prompting from him. And we call evil 'good': 'my preferences,' 'my rights,' 'a woman's choice,' 'me-time,' 'my needs,' 'it doesn't hurt anybody.'

All this.

And Jesus called the Pharisees and Sadducees a "Brood of Vipers" because they were doing what they thought was good and right: leading the Jews through a difficult Roman occupancy.

What would Jesus say to us, today?

Save us, LORD, from the Evil One. Save us, LORD, from ourselves.

I ask this in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Meditation: Cast your worry on Him because He loves you, 1 Peter 5:7

So, Mr. Sh. and I were walking along during lunch break, and he asked me if I were worried about losing my job.

"No," I said, "not really. This is God's problem, so I told Him to fix it, or else I'll just have to go up to heaven and kick His ..." Yeah. That.

Mr. Sh. burst out laughing at my effrontery to God, but I see it differently. I see it like this.

God is bigger than the Boogie man. God is bigger than my problems. God is bigger than me.

Jesus told me (personally) not to worry about what the morrow will bring, what I shall eat, what clothes I shall wear. God cares about every bird that falls from the sky, and so, would He not care for me so much more, His child?

So, I can take Jesus at His word (for He is The Word), or I can solve all my problems on my own, because I'm bigger than God, and I don't need God in my life to solve my problems, nor to help me solve my problems, or anything. God's up there, and He's not welcome, not allowed down here anymore.

That's effrontery.

That we say: God is fine enough on His own, or He doesn't exist (only God can say that), or He is not allowed in our affairs and in our concerns.

Like we can put boundaries around Him? And we're fine with that?

No, it's my respect for God that has me dare to say: "Hey, look, God! We got a family to feed here and it's frikken Christmas, now get to work, 'cause Thine be the Glory."

You want proof?

Jacob didn't serve the Angel tea and crumpets. He wrestled with him all night long, and only quit after the Angel broke his leg, and because Jacob had the gumption to do this, to wrestle with God's messenger (angel), the, okay, get this: the angel blessed him!

God has blessed me with so much for so long, and I know one thing about myself: I'm really good at writing code, but I suck at just about everything else, and if I don't ask for, no: demand, God's help, then I will royally screw it up, and 'it' is not just me and my life, but so many other people's lives I affect.

AND I'm totally fine with getting on my knees and begging.

God, please, please, please, please, please, please, please! help me. I need to be all the things You need me to be, and I don't have the strength to do this on my own. I need to be a daddy my little girls faces shine when they see me. I need to be a rock of tenderness my wife can have not one question in her mind about, no: that she can lean on, trust, and know that she can rely on me to screw up, but to get up again, and try again, and fail again, and keep fighting, every day, for her, for my little girls, for ... for everything, for our happiness.

And our hearts are restless until they rest in You.

I rest my heart in You, LORD. Take my heart, set it ablaze, enkindling it with the fire of the Holy Spirit, and let's rock this town and this Christmas, huh, LORD?

I ask this in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What I Got for Christmas: Fired

Dear LORD,

Thank You for today.

So. I got fired Monday, me, along with nearly everyone else on my contract, and not only me, and my fellow contractors, but also across the board: other companies working on this and other projects all were told we are done.

Mr. Sh. asked me how I feel about all this, and at that time I had no answer, but now, thinking about it, dwelling on it, I'm angry, sad, and bitter. Just before Christmas is when this company lets go of all these people? Advent is supposed to be the time of preparing for Your coming, not for updating my resume and looking for a contract and negotiating a price. Don't these decision-makers realize the damage they have done to not just "contractors" but to families? And on Christmas?

Yeah: angry, sad, and bitter.


Either You are LORD of all, or You are not.

And either I accept this, and accept that You are, or I do not.

Come, LORD, into my resentful heart, and heal it.

I ask this in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Heart for People

יח  כִּי בְּרֹב חָכְמָה, רָב-כָּעַס; וְיוֹסִיף דַּעַת, יוֹסִיף מַכְאוֹב.

18 For in much wisdom is much vexation; and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow. 

Dear LORD,

Thank You for today. Just a few more short weeks until Christ Mass. Really, the days are flying and Advent will be over before it's even started to take root in my heart. Not Your fault; it's mine. Convert my rootless heart, LORD. Lift my concerns above myself and how I look to others and let me look upon Thy Precious Face, and not die, but live, abiding in Thee. Help me to help others. Let me not be a troublesome pain and disappointment ot others, but a guide and a help. Open my closed heart so that others may see me for what I am, unworthy, unwilling, selfish and spiteful, but in all that, a person who wants to do good and want sot avoid the bad.

Work has been hard: issues in the code create more issues, and it feels like I'm not making progress; it feels like I'm making regress. And all the while I have tow other developers waiting on my work completion so they can get started with theirs. Annoying and frustrating for them and for me, for me: that they don't start with the interfaces I've provided, but the lesson for me is that not everyone is like me nor does what I want them to do, and they are good, beautiful and perfect in Your Eyes.

So, that's work, but that's just work, no more, no less than my vocation while here and alive on this Earth.

Then, but now, there is choir. Thank You for making me a help there. Thank You for the gratitude of the men and of the choir director. And I hate it. I hate that I'm liked by the older people and mistrusted by the younger people. 

Or is that just my snap judgment? 

At work and at choir, I have to be with people I don't know nor love, and I have to function, and do the best I can, regardless of their thoughts and feelings, and regardless of mine. This Christ Mass, this Liturgical New Year, turn my thoughts and feelings to You, so that I may know good, and do good.

I ask this in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

"Good Game!"

Dear LORD,

Thank You for today. Thank You for showing me something today. Thank You for showing me that, yes, hard work, teamwork, coordination, and skill all pay off, and to the victor goes the spoils. But thank You for showing me also, that never giving up wins, too. That, in defeat, it is possible to hold your head high, not to be cowed, but to fight on, and to lose, but to have that last huzzah.

The Caps lost to the NC Hurricanes 1-4 tonight, but I came away from that game happy, because in my book, the Caps weren't losers. They lost, but they played all out to the end, against a much better team, and scored that third period goal that let them know that they were still in the game. Most people quit on the Caps; left early. I didn't. I stayed on, cheering their good plays to the end.

LORD, let me stay in the game to the end, fighting the good fight, like our Caps, tonight.

I ask this in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.