Breaking up with Frank

I’m breaking up with Frank.


Frank and I used to be close. He was the one that I would come to gladly. He made me smile to see his bright and gleaming steel and metal and overwhelming collection of big planes as I wiped the sleep from my eyes. I’d fly all night to see Frank. Afterall, he does live across the Atlantic. We didn’t see each other much, but how I loved Frank. See his picture?


I was the one that defended him when others complained about him. He’s long and wide and kinda hard to figure out sometimes, but I had a rhythm with Frank. He was always good to me.


But lately, Frank and I started having problems. I guess you could say it started when I switched carriers. Frank hid the new carrier in what seemed like a dungeon. I had to walk what felt like miles to get there. And, then Frank really started presenting me with some bad company. No pleasantries. This was atypical of Frank – at least I thought so.

But this trip to see Frank made me feel certain that it was time to call the relationship off. As I flew in to see Frank, he played me. As tired as I was, I approached the officer to give him my passport. No smiles. No morgen. No talking. No nothing. Okay, Frank was being non-responsive today. It was alright.

I had a three hour layover, so I made my usual strides to do a few things while I waited. I moved from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1. No traffic, just walking to the Skyline and riding over. I went to the Lufthansa transfer counter. No sense of urgency. Slow and more slow. I went through security, making the strides through the rows, only to be cut off by someone who the officer let through in front of me. No courtesy. I went through the scanners. No problem. I walked all the way to the gate at the west end of nowhere. The sign said it should take me 8 minutes to walk there. It did. I finally saw Gate 32. No room. All the seats were taken. I moved further to gate 34 just to sit down. About 30 minutes before boarding, I decided to move back to gate 32. Glad I did. I checked on my flight and it had been moved to another gate. I did not hear a gate change announcement – back on the swollen feet again to a gate near the security line – gate 11. 8 more minutes. All of this made me realize something – Frank does not love me. So, I’m breaking up with Frank before he breaks me. I cannot take the layout and the people and the changes any further.

Frank, what they said about you was true. I’m breaking up with you. No longer will I see you Mr. Frankfurt Airport. I’m turning my attention to Munich now. I hope you will understand.

And, I hope you bloggers will understand! Just having a bit of fun! Happy to be back in the US!

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A Sermon In a Song?

Take a look at this video. I think this can be a bit controversial, so I’ll hold my own thoughts on this video – you know I have a plenty! It is a preacher, using secular music, to preach a good portion of his sermon – most of his congregants follow his lead but it seems that when he turns back to the gospel hymn, he gets all of his congregants to follow his lead.

Some people say that it all depends on who you are singing to. Others say that the spiritual and the secular should never mix. The best way I could describe this is to tell you what the video clip is called – “a sermon in a song.”

What do you think? See this video here.

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International Destinations?

Whew! I’ve had a week away from work but I would not by any stretch of the imagination call it a vacation. I’ve been with the kids from my church at camp in the woods, running errands, and getting things accomplished that have been piling up on my to-do list.

And while getting those needed things done makes me feel better, I still grimace at all the things I have yet to do. You see, there is always something waiting for me to take care of. I need a real vacation.

I’m talking about not visiting anyone, just going to some nice location and letting my mind scale back a bit. I think I’ll start thinking about where I’ll go and when. I’m going to make it for this year. A pleasure trip. Any ideas where I can go?

I could go back to the Cayman Islands. I’m pretty familiar with the island since I’ve practically driven myself all around it. Maybe that nice Ritz Carlton is calling my name…white sandy beaches, beautiful blue water, snorkeling at Rum Point or the stocked Turtle Farm… hmmm. Sounds good.

But, maybe I should explore some place I’ve never been… Maybe Rome or Florence. Crossing the Atlantic has become commonplace now. And, the airline miles wouldn’t hurt.

What do you think? Where have you been internationally that you’d go back to again in a heartbeat?

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Changed for Christ

Our church youth are on retreat in the woods. And, when I say woods, that’s exactly what I mean. I’m talking gravel path, no electricity woods. No Wi-Fi woods. I’m talking thick, thick woods. Y’all, I’m not exaggerating – really. We tell them that they cannot bring electronics to the campsite like cell phones and the like – but seriously – they wouldn’t be able to get a signal anyway!

But, no cell phones. We take them out there for a week. Not as some sort of punishment but instead as a form of purging. For a week, they will not plop in front of a television or air-conditioning. They will not have i-pods and all sorts of music being poured into their souls. For one week, they will hear from the Lord while they are in the midst of His creation. And, it’s a beautiful thing – for after the week is done, behold, we come back with children changed for Christ.

I cannot count the souls saved at camp last year (I don’t have the official number – sorry). I do not know all the ways the Lord will move this year. I don’t know whose heart will burst forth full of praise for God. I do know that my God is able.

I cannot wait to see what He’s going to do! This year, the atmosphere is already different – better. The advisors and counselors are not having to do as much talking to maintain order and discipline. It’s all good. We are all learning the ropes again.

Your youth camp days may have long passed you by but you still have an opportunity to purge yourself. Cut off your TV, shut off that MP3 player and spend some uninterrupted time with the Lord. You will never regret it. After you complete that one-on-one time, you will come back changed for Christ!

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What do you want?

What do you want?

I mean, really, sincerely, what do you want?

Some people will be able to answer that question with a straight forward, uncomplicated response. They can articuluate what they want in 10 words or less. Some are not so short on words and will count it a light day to answer that question in 10 sentences or less – or in some cases 10 minutes. But at least, they understand what they want.

I have not always known what I wanted. Did not matter the area. What do you want to do when you grow up? Dunno.

What do you want to eat? Dunno.

What do you want to wear? Dunno.

From there, I moved to having a range of things – couldn’t be just one. What’s your favorite color (I would name three…)

Now, if you were to ask – what do you want – my answer would be simple – uncomplicated and would extend across the entirety of my existance. I don’t want the fancy trappings of the world. I know that the material things only satisfy temporarily. No, I want something more. And thanks be to God that one thing I desire most is coming my way.

So, I ask you once again, what do you want? Do you know? Identify that thing and take it to the Lord in prayer.

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Psalm 149

Last night, during my study time, I saw some interesting things tucked into Psalm 149. They, of course, were not hiding from me – it was more of a matter of my just glossing over the words before. This time it was different. This time, each word made itself known. It was as if the words leapt from the page and introduced themselves to me. I promise you, I have not been taking any medications that would cause such a vision – promise, promise. Instead, I believe that this is an area that God wants our attention – praise.

From my meet and greet last night with Psalm 149, I have some things to share.

  • Praise is supposed to be joyful. Now, I know that sounds obvious, but think about it. Sometimes, when we start praising somebody or something, we manage to slip in a negative aspect. Let me share some examples so that you can see how easy it is to slip a polish into a praise:

    -It was good but it would have been better if…
    -That was good – that was the best she could do … I would have done…

  • Praise is to be purposeful. Don’t just say the words – mean the words. Be sincere about what you say.
  • Praise produces excitement. Be so excited about praise that you cannot even sleep! You know how it is when you are getting excited about something – it consumes you with joyous energy and thrills you so much that sleep becomes inconsequential. God wants our praise to be like this – where we recognize and appreciate his awesome majesty and as a result, we praise Him out of the sincerity of our heart.
  • Praise is a result of privilege. Because of the love of the Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit, we have access to the Kingdom and one day the faithful will be God’s agents of judgment. That’s an incredible privilege for a people like us!

So, in your quite time, make sure you spend some time looking into Psalm 149 and watch the words come alive. I’m going to post a few of the verses here, just to get you started!

Psa 149:1 Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, [and] his praise in the congregation of saints.

Psa 149:2 Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.

Psa 149:3 Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.

Psa 149:4 For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.

Psa 149:5 Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.

Scripture pasted from KJV:Blueletterbible.org; Emphasis mine.



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Praise Him in the Midst of Your Storm

Storm clouds of inclement health were looming. I went to bed not feeling well but I had a praise on my lips as I prayed for better health. I woke up with a melody in my heart this morning – feeling better. As I pondered this miracle while driving this morning, the lyrics to Casting Crowns “Praise You in This Storm” sprung forth. Here they are if you are unfamiliar with the song.

Praise You in This Storm
words by Mark Hall/music by Mark Hall and Bernie Herms

I was sure by now, God, that You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it’s still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
“I’m with you”
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

Chorus:
And I’ll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I’ve cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone how can I carry on
if I can’t find You
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away

Chorus

I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth

Chorus

I think this song is very appropriate to where we are in our economy, our lives, and our faith right now. And, I love that it reminds us that despite the situations that we encounter and the drama that may fill our hours, we are to still, in the midst of the storm, listen for Him – His still small voice will reassure us when we need comforting. He’s with us. He has never forgotten us and never will. He can no more forget us than a nursing mother can forget her child sucking at her breast – and even if she somehow does, He never will. He will not forsake us. He cares for us. And, well, that’s enough to praise Him in your storm.

He may not respond when you want Him to, but that does not mean that He’s not aware of your situation. Give Him Praise. Remember how He has brought you through other trials. Give Him Praise. No matter what, give Him praise in the midst of your storm!

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Chunks is Modeling

We ended last week with a story about how Chunks, my beloved 13-month-old godson, conducted his first finger experiment. Now, we will begin this week with another “chunkism.” Are you ready?

Are you sure?

Okay, here we go.

Chunks went pee-pee in the potty! Yay! His mom sent me a picture of the proof. I know. But, I’m a happy godmom so it was alright with me. Don’t worry, we won’t share that picture with you. Just think how upset Chunks would be with me if he found out I posted said photo. Not to mention the whole “ewwww” factor. Sometimes somethings are just for the parents and godparents to love. Nevertheless, at 13 mos old, we are so thrilled. Maybe, just maybe, potty training will be easy for the little fella.

Now, Chunks got to the point because he was modeling behavior. He saw it and he did it. How many times do we find ourselves doing this? We see it and then we do it.

Immediately, you may think about teenagers – and think that this is limited to them. It’s not. Even as adults, we model the behavior of others. Take for instance, driving. Sometimes, if a pack of cars are driving above the speed limit, you too join in and drive faster with them. Sometimes, in a line, if you see people migrating to get into a shorter lane, you do the same. If you are around a group that is only ordering salads, you tend to order a salad too. Ever notice that? There are thousands of examples but the key is that we model behavior – both good and bad.

And since this is the case, I would like for us to pay a bit more attention to the area of modeling.
Think about this:

A. Who are you modeling? Is it Jesus? Is it someone else?
B. Are your actions honoring to God? In other words, would He be pleased with your actions?
C. Who is modeling you?

Gives you pause doesn’t it.

Kids are not the only ones watching.

From a Christian perspective, everything that we do and are about should glorify God. Think on that…and have a God-honoring Monday!

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Chunks and the Finger Experiment

I had to tell you this. It’s Friday and it’s worth a chuckle.

So, everyone knows how deeply I love my godson, aka “Chunks.” He is the apple of my eye so to speak. For those of you reading this on FB, check out his picture in my profile. Cute! Yes, I’m biased. Anyway, he’s one year old now. And, he knows ~20 words. He also knows his body parts and points to them.

Well, during a stirring rendition of identifying the parts of his face, he was asked to identify his nose. He did. Yay! He then went the extra mile. He touched his nose, stuck his finger in it, pulled it out and put that self same finger in his mouth. And then he said ummmmmm! – like he really liked it. GROSS GROSS GROSS. Indeed, he’s all boy!

Have a great weekend!

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