Wednesday, April 29, 2009

PS22 Chorus VIVA LA VIDA by Coldplay acoustic guitar version

Great teacher and willing hearts.

Inspiration - all it takes is a good teacher and a willing heart! Check out the video in above post.)

How would you like to have had this guy as your music teacher! It is amazing what an inspiration one leader can be. This teacher faced great opposition to his style of music and teaching, he overcame those obstacles and look at what he has instilled in these young lives!

This week be inspired, be in awe of the creation around you and the creator at the heart of it all. When was the last time that you were overcome by enthusiasm? As Christians we have the greatest teacher of all in Christ yet we mope around pointing out "issues." We have unwilling hearts! Be inspired this week and then be inspiring to someone else. Be excited - by friends, your kids, your school, your job, the environment, take your pick. Then let that enthusism make someone elses day.

be deliberate
be persistant (make em smile)
be self less
be lover of others
get over your condition
get into something, anything
Laugh (or at least smile)

May God bless you and keep you, May he make his face SHINE upon you, and give you HIS ENTHUSIASM for life (which brings peace.)

Let's you and I give it a try. (also check out fix you by young@heart on you tube - I will try to post but it isn't working - check it out and have a Kleanex ready)


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Brother Lawrence Says...

All things are possible
to him who believes,
they are less difficult
to him who hopes,
they are more easy
to him who loves,
and still more easy
to him who perserveres
in the practice of
these three virtues.

Brother Lawrence
Believe, let others see it through your optimism and hope, and love others remembering God created them well. Perserverance in difficult times shows your real level of faith and produces a confidence in all situations. God bless this week.
Portage Dave

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Puppy Breath?

There is something about a puppy that is hard to understand - they are so small and so inexperienced but they can read their owners like a book from day one.
We picked up our PWD (Portuguese Water Dog - a pre-Obama purchase!) a week ago and now we are deep in the puppy learning stages. My last pup was almost 17 years ago so we picked up half a dozen books, looked up the Dog Whisperer web site, and have solicited info from friends and family alike. We want to be good parents, say the right things in the right ways to have a dog that is happy and well behaved. So far it is going well, at least most of the time.
One thing every book tells you is that your dog can pick up a great deal of information from YOUR behavior. They can tell if you are nervous or confident, staying or leaving, annoyed or pleased. They watch you, listen to you, and anticipate your every move. HOW can such a small animal pick all this up?
This reminds me a bit of our relationship as Christians with the world and our children. It isn't what we preach or say as much as the vibe we give off, the little things we do without even thinking about it. I mean the watching world has every sense focused on our behavior to find out what makes us tick or what makes us such hypocrites. It ALL matters in our witness, even the stuff we are unaware off.
Pray today that God will work in your life in such a way that you can automatically exude the joy and confidence we have in our creator given life. People pick up your vibe way before your actions. Become aware of your mood and your responses as seen by the a watching world. Be a sweet aroma in your environment and be as attractive (for Christ) as a puppy - with better breath and potty habits!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Emanate light

There is something about light, the right light, that is so attractive. I love to drive in the country with the light behind me, illuminating the surroundings in awesome ways. I also love the light on Portage Lake in the fall when the far shore reflects the sun off of the trees and cabin windows like a fire lit by God hand. Light can be attractive, it can be reassuring at night, it can be helpful in getting to the bathroom in the dark -- light can be a very good thing.

BUT light can be blinding and even disconcerting. Directors have long used lighting to make scenes for horror movies. Alfred Hitchcock was a master of using light to create drama and fear. Lights shined directly in your eye can actually blind you, at least temporarily. Light can be a weapon used against prisoners to produce anxiety and sleeplessness.

So what sort of light is talked about in the Bible when Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” Jesus could have been a blinding light like on Paul's trip to Damascus (acts 9:3), or a light of transfiguration or supernatural power (Matt. 17:2) But I think Christ embodied a light that was so attractive that others were drawn to it, a light based in pure love and selfless passion. Jesus was fully God and capable of great power but he chose to model the life of a servant which proved to be the most attractive light of all.

So - emanate the light of Christ to all around you. Do not do but be a light of love and compassion. Don't take on a new project or good deed but emanate the light of Christ where you are and in what you do. Allow others to be attracted to that light and ask you about it's origins. Sorry but it might take years of being light for others to see it, so you better start today. And by the way, you will probably never win a medal or get any notoriety for this -- but do it anyway for the father.

Happy Easter,

Friday, April 3, 2009

Any opportune time?

Spring break - what a concept, a time to rest with none of the trapping of formal holidays. There are no extensive decorations or plans or traditions - just one goal, fun. I still get to enjoy spring break because my kids demand it --we went down to the Smoky Mountains and had all the prescribed fun we were could handle. It was an opportune time to be together as a family and simply enjoy being together.

During the break I was reading in Luke (4:1-30) and I was struck by the story of Jesus temptation by Satan. After 40 days of fasting in the desert, Satan tempted Jesus with all he had. But of course it was to no avail - Jesus, tired and weak as he was, simply would not be swayed from the will of his father. After the temptations there is a curious line in the bible, "When the Devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. " (???)

An opportune time ? It seems that Satan didn't give up on Jesus but began to look for another time to tempt him. (Again to no avail!) I believe this is the same tactic Satan uses on all of us. He looks for times when we are weak, or our guard is down -- an opportune time to tempt us again. He never gives up, he knows that sooner or later we will be more available to his temptation. What are those times for you? Are their times or areas of your life that you let your guard down. Are there people in your life that make you more vulnerable to Satan's call.

Take a look this week at the rhythms of your life. Take note of places, times, and events that leave you tired and vulnerable - opportune times for you to be tempted. (to envy, to lust, to be prideful, to be selfish, to be gluttonous...) Find those moments and say a little prayer for God to help you to remain strong, for him to guide you through your weak times. At your most vulnerable points you can be sure Satan will show up so commit yourself to thinking about your Father. MAKE YOURSELF, train yourself to equate vulnerable times with Christ - and invite him in to protect and love you. He will ALWAYS answer your call - but YOU must invite him in. This will not be easy but once learned will be invaluable.

Be Strong and Couragous,
Dave (Prov. 3:5-6)