Voted Early

I went in this morning and voted in the primary. Things are already settled in my party’s primary for President, but it is my civic duty. Plus I wanted to cast my protest vote.

I voted for Ron Paul. I actually agree with all his positions on issues except Iraq. I would have voted for him even if there was someone else in the race at this point, but there isn’t.

In Texas you don’t say what party you are going to vote for in the primaries until you get to the polls. I live in a very Republican district. But the whole time I was there, maybe 5 minutes, not a single person declared Republican but me. I wonder if it was Republicans wanting to vote against someone on the Democrat side. My wife thought about that, but I know she would never forgive herself if she voted for Hillary. That’s just a blot on your soul you can’t watch out even if she loses.

OMTL Day 19: Metamorphosis

Inner change is the subject of this chapter. Like butterflies it is the change on the inside that turns us from caterpillars.

When was the last time you were still?

I’ve been still a number of times in the last couple of weeks with this study. Specifically I remember coming in from a run, the boys still in bed, the wife already gone to school. I sat down with the OMTL book, read and then just sat and thought about what was going on. This morning I prayed as well.

Presently, what person or persons are you serving who can offer you nothing in return?

I can’t think of anyone. My service is mostly to church, but I feel I get something from that. My service is also to my family, but I get something from that. I don’t know of anyone whom I serve who can’t give back, or at least whom I expect no reward for.

I few months back, after reading Divine Conspiracy, I was practicing Jesus’ commands to give to anyone who asks. That was serving people expecting nothing in return. I’ve gotten away from that. Beggars make me nervous again, because I feel I have to qualify them before I can give to them. Instead I need to re-realize I’m giving to God and he’ll take care of it.

Answered Prayer

Twice this week I’ve felt God has either talked to me or worked directly in my life. Thought I’d blog it so I can remember to look back.

I’m getting fat. I currently way 219. I’ve gained 6 pounds this month. The Mrs and I are both starting to worry about my health. But I just can’t seem to get myself to do anything about it. I know what to do. A few months on Body For Life and I’d be in great shape, have lots of energy, look great, be healthy. But I haven’t been able to get doing it. It just seems daunting. Seems my whole life will have to get centered around eating and working out. I’m just too lazy for that right now.

On Sunday night I decided I needed to do something. So I got out my iPhone alarm clock and change the wake up time from 8AM to 7AM. I’ve done this before, but have just turned it off. Before turning the light off, I said a quick prayer, “God if you really care about this stuff, help me get up in the morning.”

Next morning my wife was up and out of the house by the time my alarm went off. I woke up and said to myself, “Just get up”. The strange thing was I did. You may not think that is God, but I know it was. I went and ran for 30 minutes.

He gave me a song

On Wenesday my wife woke up at 5:30 in the morning. I didn’t really go back to sleep after that, though I stayed in bed. Before my alarm – still at 7 – went off, I did my daily OMTL reading. It was GPS, a discussion of using your gifts and struggles to achieve your passions. I got out of be after that and bundled up to go run. I plugged the head phones into my iPhone and went out.

I was listening to my Rich Mullen’s play list on shuffle and the first song caught my ear. It was Who God is Going to Use. I’ll put the lyrics at the end of the post. But that morning I could feel God speaking to me through this song. I related to Balam’s donkey and Ester.

Now Balaam, he had a donkey
Who was gentle and true and kind
And the donkey saw an angel with a sword
So he slipped old Balaam past him
And when he done it three times
Well, Balaam got so me mad he beat the donkey
And so the Lord
Well, he gave the donkey language
And the donkey plainly brayed,
“Well, there’s an angel about to strike you from the path”
Then old Balaam’s eyes were opened
And he realized he’d been saved
By his donkey from the angel of God’s wrath

(Chorus)
And a princess pulled a baby out of the water
He was hidden in the rushes
Sleeping in a basket made of reeds
And you never know who God is gonna use
A princess or a baby
Or maybe even you or me

Now Esther, she was a beauty
Who was pleasing to a man
And the man that she was pleasing was a king
But her people’s lives were threatened
By some wicked men’s plans
Nobody knew just how the lord was gonna intervene
Well, Mordecai her uncle, he was honest but he was smart
And he knew that Esther’s beauty was a gift
He said, “Maybe you could cook some supper
Maybe you could change a king’s heart
Who knows but what you come into the world
For such a time as this”

(Chorus)

There was Miriam dancing
And there was Jubal with a harp
There was poor blind Samson
Even Pontius Pilate played a part

(Chorus)
(Chorus)

OMTL Day 18: Hurricanes

Today’s lesson is about change. How it is a part of life and how biblical principles can help us deal with it. The text is the story of Paul in the storm of Acts 27.

What do you consider the happiest season of your life? How often do you find yourself wishing you were back in it? How does your present season of life compare to it? Is nostalgia causing you to miss out on present opportunities?

The two times I would think of nostalgically were undergrad in college and when we went to Hope Chapel in Austin. I don’t think about wanting to be back there alot, though Hope came up Monday night when the elders from my son’s church, my old church, came to visit to ask us why we left. But I also remember the pain of one of those broken small groups there. I remember crying in my dorm room about some girl related thing. I know not everything was roses back then, so I don’t think it keeps me from opportunities today.

What tangible “cargo” have you lost in one of life’s hurricanes?

I’m not positive I even understand the question. I don’t remember losing tangible items in any of life’s hurricanes. In my life the hurricanes were generally medical problems with family members, my wife at both childbirths, myself when I got pneumonia. Didn’t lose material possessions.

OMTL Day 17: GPS

Today’s discussion is about being lost and using your gifts and struggles to get find your way.

When was the last time you were driving and became lost? Did you stop for directions? What is your usual response when feeling lost?

You know I can’t remember the last time I was lost. I can remember not knowing exactly how to get to the place I was going, but I didn’t think I was lost, only unable to find a route. I am a male and don’t like to ask for directions.

What about when I feel lost metaphorically? I’m really bad about just standing still when I don’t know what to do next. My boys do that and it annoys the crap out of me. I want to yell “Well try something! Don’t just stand there!” But I don’t because I try not to yell at them much. Maybe I should take my own advice.

When was the last time you felt passionate about an experience? What gifts did you use?

The last thing I felt really excited and expectant about was the OMTL stuff, especially the challenge group. Now that is starting to wain because we have had no one come to our small group. I was thinking about it after reading this and wondered if maybe we don’t have the gift of starting a small group. I think I can lead one, but every group we’ve ever started ended in a disaster. It either piddle away, never got off the ground, or ended in conflict. Mmmm.

OMTL Day 16:Star Power

Starting section three today, Learn Humbly. One thing that popped out of me was from Kerry and Chris’ talk about the Lion King. In the scene he talks about Musfa appears to Simba and says “Simba, you have forgotten me.”

Simba says, “But, Dad, how could I ever forget you?”

Mufasa answers, “You have forgotten who you are, and therefore have forgotten me. Remember who you are. You are my child, the one true king.”

Kerry says God talks to us and says, “You are my child. You are the child of the King“. The thing that popped out at me wasn’t how I was super powerful or important, but that the child of the King has a responsibility to the people of the kingdom. It is his job to protect, lead and serve them.

When was the last time you wondered about your identity and place in life?

Actually haven’t thought about it much, though I am concerned with who I am and what I’m here to do.

Have you experienced the Enemy trying to steal you identity?

I think so. I think I’ve given up dreams but I’ve also changed them to be something they shouldn’t be. Often after I change my dream to what the devil wants it to be, I realize it isn’t a good thing anymore and decided not to do it. How’s that for convoluted?

OMTL Day 15: Last Call

I was so hoping for a bar based metaphor, but alas it was about telephones.

Right now in your life do you have a relationship in which the lines of communication are really breaking down?

Nope. Do need to call my grandmother though.

Do you consider yourself a good listener? What prevents you from listening more closely to those you care about?

My wife and I have been excited over new possibilities this last week. We’ve talked to each other a lot about them. Only problem is I know I’m mostly thinking about what I’m going to say in when she stops talking. Which is bad. The two things were excited about are different. Hers is finding a job at a four year college and teaching new courses. Mine is filmmaking. Seems sometimes we just take turns talking about these things at each other. I need to listen more.

Look through the speed-dial on your cell phone. Whom do you consider the most important? How often do you call them compared to the others on the list?

My wife is first on the list and I’ve talked to her on the phone at least 5 times today. I’ve talked to no one else. So I guess I talk to her a lot.