The Repenting Levite

This is how God, by and through his love, turned my heart around so that I could love my neighbors.

We hurried home because we had plans to visit my aunt, and deteriorating 93 year-old grandmother for Mother's Day.  However, I ran into Joel again.  We talked about the wind storm.  He rebuked his black Great Dane, saying, "Don't get his nice clean clothes dirty."  I don't know if he intended the irony, but God did, and it was dripping.

Here was the clean, nicely-dressed, white-collar Christian who had left the neighborhood tragedy to go to church.  He was now waiting for his wife to return from his house so they could again leave to go to loving family members and good food.  Making a meager attempt to somehow connect with Joel, I thanked him for checking on us.  He said, "No problem.  Thats what neighbors are for...I think."  Again, I don't think he ment the irony, but it bit my soul like a viper.

The Levite

I had a real struggle with the sin in my life today.  I didn't face the temptation of an adulterous woman.  I didn't face the call to greedily bow to the god of mammon.  But, I faced my own struggle with pleasing man, keeping up appearances, and maintaining the status quo.

While we were getting ready for church the morning of the wind storm, Courtney noticed the neighbors gathering outside.  She wanted to go out, but I, still in my robe, said that we needed to hurry and get ready for church. 

I knew right then that the right thing for me to do was to put on my work clothes, get out there and help, but I was afraid of what people would think.  What would Courtney think about that idea?  What would people think if I skipped church?  What would my neighbors thinking of me butting into their business?  So, we proceeded to get ready for church.

Wind Storm

At 5:40 or so my son called for me to come lie down with him for a minute.  He doesn't do this too, often, so I agreed, and laid down for 5 minutes or so until he went to sleep.  Then I went to bed.The next thing I knew, I heard a booming wind and the crash of thunder.  I don't remember noticing the time, but the power was soon out, and the wind was knocking our porch chairs over.We lay in bed for a couple hours listening to the storm, and got up to get ready for church.  I looked out the window.  Devastation is the word that comes to mind.  It is a slight overstatement, but there were tree limbs everywhere, and it looked like someone had cut the tops off of all of our neighbors trees.  It was a mess.  A tornado was rumored, but the weather service says that it was a windstorm with winds from 60-80 mph.  My only question is that some places seemed undisturbed while others had trees over 2ft in diameter uprooted.

Historical District 5K/Fun Run

We will be there.  Our friends the Welchs are managing the race, and I will be working the computer.  Courtney will be participating in the Fun Run with the boys. 

Register online @ www.runtex.com or www.wacostriders.com or sign up on race day

Get cool tee shirts, gift bags, medals, and overall Male and Female trophies (Original blown glass design by Ryno Glass).

New Proverb

I have shared a new proverb with a couple of people that seems to catch their interest. I am thereby certifying it as a genuine Heath Robinson proverb. "If it is worth doing well, it is worth doing poorly." Don't laugh. I'm serious. Now this isn't a proverb for anybody. You have to have the unfortunate personality I call, "The perfectionist who gave up." These are people who see everything wrong, and they have even attempted to set things straight; however, since we are fallen creatures in a fallen world, the effort has miserably failed. Seeing this, the inevitability of failure, the perfectionists who gave up decides not to even try. Of course, there are different levels to this personality disease, and it affects different regions of life, but underachievement is always the result. To combat this, I have come up with the aforementioned proverb. Use it often and thoroughly when you feel that there is no point in making much of an effort since you won't be happy with the result. In a nicomachean sort of way, it will lead you to the normalcy that most people enjoy, that of the relative satisfaction of a job done relatively well. Your perfection will not save you. Christ will.

Stickin' w/ the company...for now

Well, I have just told my Dad that for now I'm stickin' with my current employer. His salesman let him know that he was retiring in June, so he called and offered me the job. I thought about it and the possibility of going into the home construction business with him as well. In the end, I decided that my passion did not lie there. Now, I am not sure where I can say it truly lies, but it isn't there. I prayed and prayed today at lunch that God would give me some guidance. I am so thankful that my dad came over tonight to talk to me about it. God really used him to help me think through where I need to go next. I really need to decide where I want to be in 5, 10, 20 years and go for it. When I took the job for my current employer, I told them I was thinking I would be there 5 years or so. Ever since I have been thinking, "What's next?" It will be 3 years in August, and I really need to start thinking. I have felt for some time that I live my life on the edge of greatness afraid of falling off the other side. So, I step back and let opportunities go by as I speculate on what I should have done. It is all probably hubris, but my fear and doubt is real all the same. What an ass I am! God graciously loves me, bears my stuttering faith, and offers me more. He is so good.

My Life, the DVD

I think one of our favorite pastimes in the new creation will be showing the DVD of our lives to each other. Now, you might think it might be sad or gross or offensive, but we will have a different perspective. What we will see is the true glory of Christ as we see how he painstakingly weaves together our story. I can imagine that we will see new things in our life or one of our brothers or sisters lives with every viewing. Sure, there will be worship too. In fact, this will be one of the things that fuels our worship. Who knows, maybe I will even see the glory in my getting a CS degree from UMHB instead of Texas A & M. I know I will. I can't wait to see yours. I bet he is doing some great things right now.

American Restaurant Service

Wednesday I went to lunch with a friend.. He took me to Cheeve's for lunch. We went to Cheeve's, so I expected good food and good service. Wrong!

The food was decent, I was amazed at the service. It stunk. Dining out in France pretty much ruined me on most service in American resaurants. Those Frenchies really know how to do it. They don't really try to converse. They don't ask you questions. They just do what you need done when you need it and stay out of the way of your enjoying the food, atmosphere and company. They are true professionals.

The first thing our waiter did was offer us his hand and introduce himself. It was particularly odd because he was probably a freshman in college. Friendly is good, I guess, but it was too much. The staff repeatedly asked us about our meal. We were probably asked 3 times before we ever really had a chance to try it. It was almost amusing. I told my friend that in French restaurants, they didn't ask if the food was good because they knew it was good. They thought, "We are the food experts: If it wasn't good, we wouldn't serve it." It was rather annoying because we were trying to have a serious conversation, and we kept being interrupted.

Stupid Procrastination, Unrighteous me

Tomorrow is our first small group meeting! While I am really excited, I am also a bit frustrated. It was my intention to send out a couple of emails before we got started to remind everyone, but here it is the night before, and I have not sent one.

Thanks to Autumn for organizing the meal, so most people will probably remember. Maybe I will send an email out after this.

In addition, as I have been preparing this weekend, I realize that I should have set everyone the lesson last week. I knew that, why didn't I do it?

You know, if someone would do everything I know to do, he would be great human being.

New Book: Bonfire of the Vanities

I had asked Courtney to pick me out a new fiction book. I recently heard on This I Believe an essay from John Updike in which he claimed that fiction was more precise than non-fiction. I found this intriguing.

I can see where in some ways he is right. Fiction is more apt to capture the non-verbal communication of through its use of narrative, social cues, and descriptions. My reading is heavily weighted toward non-fiction if you don't count movies :-).

So, I am now reading Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe. It is quite good so far. I am picking up on themes of the universality of self-righteousness. It will certainly be an interesting read.