Thursday, October 27, 2011

Now there was room...

I have always liked the passage in Matthew where Jesus gets mad and clears out the Temple.

It's the kind of Jesus I think we are all waiting on to show up. The One that will set all right with the world; rip open His Jesus togo and expose the Big G (instead of the S for Superman it will be like Super God). He might say something like "Truth, justice and yes folks The American Way." Well, maybe not that part but nonetheless - we need, want and really wait for a hero to come in and save the day. Save us without 9-9-9 or some complicated healthcare reform we just want things fixed and frankly, at this point we are finally realizing we're in one "helluva" mess only God can fix.

"Jesus went straight to the Temple and threw out everyone who had set up shop, buying and selling... "My house was designated a house of prayer; you've made it a hangout for thieves."

That's a Texas kinda Jesus, kicking him some b--- and taking names! Heck, He probably had a pair of cowboy boots!

But this time when I read the passage after I adjusted my b-kicking boots and had offered up a few "Go God" exclamations like I had been at the World Series and was bring the runner home, I kept reading the passage.

After Jesus kicks the bad guys out, and sets things right it says:

"...Now there was room for the blind and crippled to get in. They came to Jesus..."

We see what's wrong with that picture NOW we get it. Our churches are filled with coffeehouses, bookstores, youth meeting rooms and all those "things" and programs are worthy, wonderful and great. But is our local Temple (we call church) so full of socializing we're at risk of excluding? Excluding the people who need to see Jesus and be saved? to be healed?...

...and He healed them." Matthew 21:12-14 The Message

The Co-Director, the Director's assistant and I left Thousand Oaks later than planned. They didn't plan on transporting a lot until they saw the 100 pounds of clown paraphernalia, 30 Hawaiian luala shirts I had shipped or what that would look like traveling with three people.

What can I say? It looked like a clown car! We had packed every nook and cranny, under the seats were rolled up blankets, the back had luggage, coconuts, umbrellas, beaches in a bottle and all manner of fun the next dew days were going to take us.

Tonight we came together as a team. We trained, we listened and we prayed. Tonight we laid down our fear and anxiety at the throne. We cleared the Temple inside our hearts of self-sufficienctcy and made room.

But really what I saw in a fresh way in the passage was "who" there was now room for: "now there was room for the lame and the blind to come and have a special touch of Jesus! We are expecting that kind of touch for these families the kind of healing they need. We have unloaded the supplies, the costumes, the program materials but more critically, we have emptied our burdens and cares on the One who is so careful towards us!

Please remember to pray for the 9 families coming. God has something extraordinary for them to "taste and see that He is good and He is who He says He is.

Emptying with a smile

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

E Ticket Ride

If you've ever been to Disneyland or Magic Kingdom there is a good possibility you're familiar with the term "E Ticket Ride." If you haven't and you're wondering if I am referring to some new form of ticketless air travel let me give you Wikipedia's definition:

The phrase E Ticket (or E ticket ride) refers to an unusually interesting, thrilling or expensive experience. It derives from the admission system used at Disneyland theme parks before 1982, in which the E ticket admitted the bearer to the newest, most advanced, and/or most popular rides and attractions.

And in a whole lot less words "fun with a capital F!"

Unusually interesting and thrilling - that's the adventure I am preparing to embark on over the next two weeks. Of course it's a great deal different than Disneyland, but the first part of the adventure does begin in California. I leave Tuesday for my eleventh mission to serve with Joni and Friends at a Wounded Warrior Getaway (soldiers don't retreat). There is fun planned around every corner: rock climbing and a rock band, hot air balloon rides, spa time for the women, and a carnival with a special appearance from Care EE the clown. When I return, I'll head down to San Antonio for a reunion of all the soldiers and their families that have attended over the past four years. It is sure to be a great blessing for all!

When questioned by the media, celebrities and championship winning athletes are paid for their endorsements and to say, "I'm going to Disneyland." But no paycheck or promise was given to a Master Sergeant as he expressed his thanks for being able to attend the Wounded Warrior event. It was with sincerity of heart and experiencing the love and peace of our Savior that lead him to say, "This is better than Disneyland!"

E Ticket holder with a smile,

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