Thursday

ah, lyrics

I was listening to the radio yesterday (talk radio - how boring, right?) and a commercial came on for the Ten Tenors coming to town. They play background music (I assume of the Tenors) while they tell you how amazing etc. the show will be. And I heard the commercial probably 10 times.

I'm a Queen fan. Hopefully that won't surprise anyone. Anyway, the vocal talent of Freddy Mercury alone puts them in my top 10 for bands of all time. Incredible. One of the songs in the background of the commercial was a cover of Queen's, "Who Wants to Live Forever"(the theme from the film, Highlander, if you can't remember it - if you don't know the movie, then nevermind). I know the song was written for a movie about a guy who is immortal unless his head is cut off - but music has a way of reaching many levels - and this one has always haunted me a little.

the last part of the song says:

Who wants to live forever?

Who dares to love forever?
When love must die

But touch my tears with your lips
Touch my world with your fingertips
And we can have forever
And we can love forever
Forever is our today
Who wants to live forever
Who wants to live forever?
Forever is our today

Who waits forever anyway?

The writer of Ecclesiastes tells us that "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end." (3:11)

Who wants to live forever? I DO! After Jesus fed the five thousand, the crowd asks Jesus to give them bread as God had given Moses bread in the desert during the Exodus. He tells them this:

John 6:48-51 "I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

God has created us a forever people. The tragedy of that song is that the guys who wrote it, I think anyway, did not know this. If this earth were all there was to me, if I didn't know Jesus, if the eternity that God had put in my heart yearned to know He who created it and yet remained lost - I would want my life to end too. I would want to just love and experience what good I could today and then, mercifully, have it end in 80 or so years.

Freddy Mercury died of AIDS and though he did not write this song, he sang it with a voice his Creator gave him. And the melody of it haunts me. For men and women have this eternity designed within us. And there is a savior who draws us to himself and who came to save those very hearts who look and ask, "who wants this forever?" And he answers them with himself. He answers and tells us, "You want to live forever because I created you to love you and I plan on loving you forever." He is forever and his salvation is forever and I wish, oh, how I wish there would be more of us sharing forever with him.



All this from a radio commercial. I think I need a hobby. :-)

Monday

the cool thing about growing up

We had the pleasure of attending church yesterday. And it was a church here in Lubbock where we have some history. Westminster Presbyterian Church is where a college ministry named LateNite met while Jenny and I were in school. I worked at the preschool and served the last 3 years of college on the LateNite staff. I say staff, but it was more a volunteer thing - wonderful.

We spoke at the two morning services. See my good friend Matt is the missions pastor there. I have been in a covenant group with him and 5-6 other guys for almost 10 years and now he's back where he used to be a youth pastor. So he asked us to speak during a Missions Moment and we were thrilled to do so.

As we stood in the sanctuary, Jenny and I realized that the last time we were there we were getting married. When we followed Matt out and up the center aisle after the services it was so surreal because the last time we did that we were arm in arm married all of 4 minutes. Now we're there with two kids and all the youth kids I served while I was there are grown and married or out of school - some of them have kids of their own - and the church has undergone a great transition.

They are currently looking for a pastor and a lot of the church feels like they have lost their vision for ministry. And Matt was preaching yesterday. And when I met with him Tuesday he has NO idea what to say so I was really interested to see what the Lord would do.

Matt preached from Nehemiah. And he stood there on the Sunday where the church (at their between-service congregational meeting) would decide if they should give him a raise or not. And he preached truth to that body. He told them that people come up to him and show him the broken walls of Jerusalem they see in their church and they tell him to fix them. And he told his congregation that his job is not to do the work but to equip them to do it. Nehemiah couldn't raise that wall on his own. That's not how God does it. He told them that their vision for ministry doesn't come from the senior pastor. He told them that their vision for ministry comes from God Almighty and it is to Him that we must turn. Nehemiah, when he got the report from his brother, fasted and prayed and that this congregation must fast and pray and listen to her Shepherd's voice and ask the Lord to lead them. He said that senior pastors are only supposed to take God's vision and help the body accomplish it. Men don't bring vision to a church. Only God does!

And so I sat there and watched my friend and brother preach the word and stand firm in the truth of God. And I too listened to his message and am praying for the broken walls in my own life and in the world around me. And I look forward today to picking up my sword in one hand and my trowel in the other and working for God's glory in unison with the amazing body of Christ He has placed me in. Not because I'm great. But because God is. Because, as Nehemiah tells the workers, "Our God will fight for us".

That's the cool thing about growing up. You get to be involved in responsibilities. You get to experience the majesty of God in the everyday by relying on Him to accomplish His plans through you. So I encourage you today - Monday - with this from Nehemiah:

2:20, "So I answered and said to them, 'The God of heaven will give us success; therefore we His servants will arise and build."

Have a great Monday!

Friday

sleep

Sleep is a very important thing. This is one of those things that you don't really appreciate until you do not get enough of it. And the Lord just did not make 2 week olds to sleep in a manner corollary to the average adult. I know there are books and more books that will tell us 40 ways to Sunday how to solve our child's sleep problems and I've read most of them. But you can't make a baby sleep - at least not on cue. And so when she's wide awake from 11pm-2 am, well, so are we. Of course, a 2 week old doesn't have to get up and go to work or, you know, be an adult, so they can kind of sleep whenever.

Oh sure, there is the "let them cry it out" method. This is great on paper - not so good when the child is in the room with you. Madeline's nursery is in Guatemala.

So - anyway - not to ignite a child-rearing war. We're just tired.

And Jenny, Lord love her, had a root canal today. Whew.

Tuesday

The Birds

Not the Hitchcock type.

Birds have played a cool role in the past few days.

It's winter here and we're in a drought so pickings are slim. For the birds, I guess. So I put seeds in the feeder and keep water in the bird bath. And the birds seem to like it.

A lot.

I'm not an Audubon member so I know only that there are doves and sparrows and chickadees and everyone who's studied biology can spot a finch but that's about as far as I go. But man, they love that food and it's cool to watch them come at dawn and dusk and sit on the fence and watch the other birds take turns at the feeder like people in line at CiCi's. And just - be birds. They flutter away when you get too close to the window and they peck to pick up the pieces and the doves try unsuccessfully to come inside via the window.

It makes me wonder what we will experience in a world made new and without sin where we, as the original stewards of animals, will interact with them as Adam and Eve before the fall. I have no idea what that will look like but it must be cool.

The other night I was taking out the trash (in a home where there are four children 4 and under, this happens often) and the sun had nestled down beyond the horizon and the moon was full and low in the dark eastern sky. I heard geese in their winged cacophony and looked up to see them high and glowing bright against the blackberry sky, a neon formation heading to warmer lands. They flared bright and faded as they passed through the suns last rays before disappearing into darkness. I stood there coat less and cold with a Hefty bag in tow and listened to them honk their way, invisible. And for a moment they were gone. Then just as their voices faded away, I saw them silhouetted, the opal moon their new canvas, before they passed their sturdy V into the night to lands only they know.

And so I have enjoyed these little creatures and tasted, I think, a little of eternity.

Saturday

Have you ever eaten at Furrs?

My days here have become rather un-extraordinary. Wake up as early as I can, read a little of the Bible, get our toddler up and take care of him, run errands, try to get stuff done to get back to Guatemala. Try to stay moderately organized. Look at bills. Look at the bank account.

I pour hot water in the bird bath every morning because they are frozen over and the birds are pretty thirsty and unable to peck through the ice. Strange, I know. I cook and clean and do laundry and serve my beautiful wife and try to teach our 2 year old that his desires are not the most important thing in the universe. I put gas in the car and make coffee and take showers and shave and fold laundry while I watch MythBusters and Good Eats. This is evening fun. We try to go to bed early because we are very sleepy but our little daughter doesn't understand our sleep needs as of yet. I take out trash and organize the pantry and get splashed giving a toddler a bath. I read the same book over and over and over and eat leftovers for lunch.

I live a life.

And I am happy.

Not because it's extraordinary. Not because it's glamorous. Not because it's uber-holy.

But because it's where the Lord has me right now. And it's a season. He's told me to be content in every circumstance and so it makes sense for me to actually do that.

Do I want to be back in Guatemala teaching pastors? Very much so. Do I want to be able to "be productive" every day? Sure. Do I want to have time to write and study and prepare and...

Wait a minute. Why are those things any more important? Certainly they are desires to use gifts the Lord has given me, but that doesn't make them more or less valid. And if the Lord has placed those desires in my heart is He not going to bring them about?

I think that's His job. He's good with ordinary.

Our toddler wants up. And my mother in law just told me I should be writing a book. She says that a lot.

So I'm off to live life today - ordinarily.

Friday

The hardest job around

So we had a baby. And since we have a 2 year old it has been my job to take care of him and also take care of all chores around the house.

Laundry.
Cleaning.
Cooking.
Caring for Deacon.
Laundry.
Cleaning.
Cooking.

Did I say Laundry?

Sound redundant? It IS! Wow. And not easy. Maybe for some, but not for this human male. I tell you - and this goes out to all you stay-at-home moms, all you 'house-wives' and 'home-makers' and 'domestic engineers' (I'm sure I'm leaving out some of the nomenclature...but to all you ladies whose full time job is being Mom - you are amazing.

I don't know how you do it. It's non stop. I mean, I'm only doing this for a couple of weeks and it's wearing me out. I get up before 7 and go to bed after 11 and ain't nobody makin' Slurpies. The sheer volume of laundry is devastating. And to those moms who work both another job - you have too much to do. My mind can't even fathom. I don't know how else to put it. Maybe when the kids are a little older they are more autonomous - I don't know. But you ladies amaze me.

So, to every mom out there. You have the toughest and probably most important job in the universe. And I have one amazing wife whose incredible talents at being Mom have never amazed me more. She's a tireless servant of her family. Any of you folks out there who have an idea how I can show appreciation for her - please speak up! And this goes for you fellas too.

Whew. Deacon has been watching Sesame Street this whole time. He's learning about the violin, the letter A and the number 6. And now he's up and out of the room.........later.

Monday

Guess what happened


This time yesterday....
at 9:56 am
January 6 2007
7 lb 3oz Madeline Lea came into our world. Welcome, little one.




Everyone is doing fine. We're a little tired. Or a lot. Everyone is healthy and good. And Deacon is excited about his baby sister. Like she's a puppy. Jenny's water broke at 12:45 am, Sunday and things moved along normally. Thank you for all your prayers.

Here's a few more pics:


Note: this is a copy of what's on Jenny's blog

Thursday

The mystery of waiting

Madeline Lea Scott is....

due today.

But that doesn't really mean much. Jenny calls the due date a 'due fortnight' and that seems more appropriate. Our first was a week late so we'll see with this one. Everyone says something different about first and second kids and what to do to get the baby out. Eat spicy food, walk, acupuncture, reflexology, pre-natal massage, jump up and down, drink weird teas, etc, etc.

But all those things are just things.

I was reading in Genesis about Sarah's very miraculous conception of Issac. It was definitely not a virgin birth, but she was post menopausal. !. She literally could NOT have a baby. But the Lord had other plans. Anyway...

Her and Abraham did some pretty silly things (like giving Hagar to Abraham) while they waited. And so it's pretty normal for people to do funny (and stupid) things while they wait for things to happen.

But when Sarah conceived, the Bible says that it was "at the appointed time". And that's HUGE! God is never surprised. And yet He, although knowing the future and being totally sovereign, not needing approval for anything, allows us a whole lot of freedom in what we do. That includes making mistakes. Even really big ones. And we're prone to making them as we wait.

People have a hard time waiting before they get married to "be married". It's hard to wait for that. We don't like waiting to own a house, or own anything for that matter and credit card companies make a LOT of money because of it. We don't like waiting to put up Christmas decor (although waiting to take them down comes easily for me). We dislike the wait. Now some of you folks out there are more patient (it's still a virtue, right?) and so demonstrate this amazing peace in waiting for things. Right now we're waiting for a baby to come. And the Lord knows when she's coming. He has her days counted already.

But we still have to wait. And wait we will.

At least a little while longer.