Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Did you hear that?

"Weren't you listening?"

"How can you possibly be listening if you are still talking?"

Every year my children continue to teach me and help me with my communication skills. One of the most important skills is the ability to listen. I am not talking about the ability to hear. Let's just start with a couple of definitions:

Hearing - To perceive or apprehend by the ear; to gain knowledge of by hearing; to listen to with attention.

Listening - To pay attention to sound; to hear something with thoughtful attention; to give consideration; to be alert to catch an unexpected sound.

"To hear something with thoughtful attention" As a child, I lacked SO much self-control and I was not trained to stop and listen, that it was difficult for me to listen. There was so much noise in my head that I would go to sleep to very loud rock music....there were headphones back then but I preferred my portable radio.

At the ripe old age of 20, I began to listen as only the dying can. A 180 was needed in my life and so far, I had not done well at all in running my own life. If I really wanted a life, I needed to start listening to others. It was humbling and I was desperate. Desperate for much needed change. Even though I still had an attitude towards authority, I discovered that I needed to submit to someone else rule in my heart, in my mind.....





This post is sort of disjointed but that is ok with me. I need to be listening more these days.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Malcolm MacDonald

Isn't that a great name for a Bag Piper? Well, it just so happens that my nephew Malcolm MacDonald is a Piper and one that I can highly recommend for any event where you might want to have one. The most popular events are weddings and funerals. Now that he is a Piper for hire, I thought I would do a spot for him here on my blog.
Malcolm is facing us in this picture taken at the Loon Mtn Highland Games last fall where he competed with his pipe and drum corp.

Malcolm MacDonald

Just a bit from Malcolm's letter to prospective clients:
"The most requested tune at funerals, is of course, Amazing Grace. Many Pipers, including myself, usually reserve that noble standard for the very last tune. Also, there is the walk-away effect, where when the playing the last verse, the Piper will walk away, creating a fading sound."

If you are in need of a piper for any event, please give Malcolm a call or shoot him an email. He does realize for funerals, it can be a last minute thing, if he is unable to meet your needs, he will gladly find another quality piper who can.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

"The very stones would cry out."
The mystery of the love and sorrow found at the Cross may be found in the shadow of our Lord's magnificent entry into the city. Jesus was being hailed as the King, homage was being paid and the Pharisees were ticked off. There was however no stopping what was taking place. If Jesus' followers kept silent he told the Pharisees then the rocks would cry out.
In my life, I have had seasons of carrying a rock or rocks in my pocket to remind me that if I don't praise my Lord, the rocks would. Do I believe that the very rocks in my pocket would cry out?
Do I believe that Jesus was bodily resurrected from the dead?
Do I believe He is fully man and fully God?
Is there power in the blood?
What is belief?
Who holds the Key?
Did Almighty God make the first move? (or did we)
This is not what I expected this post to be, but when I reflect on the Passion during this Week of Remembrance, it makes me scratch my head. I am full of questions because the LIFE and Death of Jesus Christ....the Resurrection is a mystery.
The best way to describe my faith may seem weak and feeble to some but it is truthful and to no surprise they are words taken from the Bible, written by the Apostle Paul from his 1st letter to the Corinthians:
"we see in a mirror dimly"
When will I/we see and know fully as we are fully known? The 13th chapter indicates that it will be upon His Return, when Jesus Christ the King of Kings and Lord of Lords returns with power and might. His first coming was in humility, His Second coming will be nothing like the first.
The Lord Jesus made loving appearances once he was resurrected. Not as a ghost but as the man that He was only made new baring the scars of His brutal death. Jesus cooked and dined with His Beloved. The Beloved were bold over by His Great Love for them:
Mary, a woman, a sinner forgiven was the first one recorded to have met the Risen Lord and upon hearing Him call her by her own name, she knew in an instant that it was her "Master" and Jesus gave her the task of bringing the Good News to his disciples.

Peter ran like the wind to get to the empty tomb. Later, Jesus made him breakfast and restored Peter as he had him affirm three times, that he did indeed love His Lord.

The two who were on the road to Emmaus, walking and talking with the One First Born from the Dead and not realizing it until He supped with them and broke the bread. Before taking off to find the eleven they said to one another: "did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us...?" There is something in a heart to heart conversation that knits those hearts together.

When I think of power and might, it makes me think of war. Will Jesus come as a great warrior?
But what about the greatest of these things, Love?
What will the Greatest Thing in the World look like? We can dream, we can imagine, but that brings us back to the beginning of this post and that is mystery.....

In the book of proverbs chapter 30, there is something of a clue
18 Three things are too wonderful for me;
four I do not understand:
19the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a serpent on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a virgin.

Are not these things full of mystery?
Here is another: When you discover a friend, that you didn't ever expect to be your friend are you not delighted in this new friendship? Can you explain it?

What will Love look like through the lens of Power and Might? A Glory beyond our imaginations?
I contend that He bids us to try.....use the imagination He has given you and me. Paint a painting, run a race, write a song, fight a battle, touch the skin of a new born baby, hold the hand of a new widow, craft the story.

Colossians 1
15He is the image of the invisible God,the firstborn of all creation. 16For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Praising my God less the rocks cry out!