Monday, September 29, 2008


In Paradox of Prayer, I opined that being a parent enhances your understanding of scripture. As a parent, I am amazed at how, even the most familiar of passages, read like brand new.

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Matthew 6:26

One of my greatest fears is that my children be without food, shelter, or protection. Simply put, if my family needs food, then I'm already dead. As a father, I cannot comprehend any of my children worrying about such things. Michael and Anna go about their day oblivious to the labor involved with securing their food and shelter. They have no idea that a bank owns the house we live in. When I leave for work in the morning, they just know I'm "going to make nickels". They don't even know what a nickel is. For them, they are ignorant of what happens "under the hood" of life. And for them, ignorance is truly bliss.

I take my duties as a father pretty serious. If my wife and kids wanted to offend me, they need not ask me if I've put on a few pounds. Just ask if If I plan on feeding them that day. I have a good sense of humor and can take a joke, but that's one thing you don't joke about. If I knew they even worried for a second about such a thing, I would shrink into a puddle of snot.

So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Matthew 6:28-30

As a father, I understand the foolishness of my children worrying about their needs. It would break my heart to find out they were concerned about their future and welfare. So, I have no doubt it breaks the heart of God when I do the same thing. When I worry about the economy, gas prices, the next president, or terrorist, is it just as foolish? When I realize that God IS a father, I'm not concerned with how foolish it sounds, I'm nervous it is borderline insulting.

He is the God who provides, regardless of how well the stock market is doing. If I'm alive tomorrow, it is because He decided, not Al-Qaeda. If gas becomes $10 a gallon and God wants me to go somewhere, then He has to get creative, not me. God doesn't hope for the best, but plan for the worst. That's what I do. I am notorious for worrying FIRST, and praying LAST. If my family did this to me, I would be offended.

Monday, September 8, 2008


I have a playlist on my ipod called "goosebumps". On Friday, I added a new song to that list and I CAN'T stop listening to it. Not only does it give me goosebumps, but it gives my goosebumps, goosebumps. The song is called "Healer" and it written by Michael Guglielmucci. After hearing it a dozen times, I decided to go online and find the story behind this powerful song. What I found, was NOT what I was looking for.

The author of my new favorite song, had been living a lie, for the past 2 years. Guglielmucci said he had written the song after being diagnosed with "an aggressive form of cancer."

"I just went home. I knew I had to go home and needed to get alone with God. I walked into my studio at home and for some reason I sat at a piano and began to worship. I sang that song from start to finish. I was crying. I just realised that God had given me an incredible gift and I realize that song was going to be my strength."

The truth is, not only did he not have cancer, but he had never seen a doctor. He confessed that he created the fake story to cover up his addiction to pornography. He was so entrenched in this struggle, that he began to show signs of depression. Though it was impossible to hide from the symptoms, he decided to hide from the cause. And he hid for 2 years.

For a few minutes, I had no idea how to process the news. Should I still listen to the song? Should I be outraged? Should I feel betrayed? And if so, why? I admit, the LAST thing I decided to do, was pray for Michael. Because the writer failed, did the song also fail? Because the messenger made a mistake, was the message now a mistake? Since the songwriter lived a lie, was the song a lie? What was I to do with all of the emotions of joy and peace that I had experienced listening to the song. Life is full of disappointments, and for a few moments, I was disappointed.

On Sunday, my Pastor preached a great sermon on Elijah. He recalled the time Elijah was told by God to go up to the mountain. As Elijah stood on the mountain, a great wind passed and moved the rocks. But God was NOT in the wind. After the wind, an earthquake shook the mountain. But God was NOT in the earthquake. After the earthquake, a fire burned. But God was NOT in the fire. After the wind, earthquake, and fire, a still small voice came to Elijah, and God WAS in the voice. As I sat in church, I was reminded of something very important. Not everything that moves and shakes is God. The wind and earthquake precluded God, but it wasn't God. God was NOT in the song, but he was in the still small voice that spoke, challenged, and changed me after hearing the song.

There are great songs, sermons, and even blogs. But God is not in any of them. We can only hope that they POINT you to the one true God, and the one true voice. I love music. I love how it makes me feel. But if it doesn't lead me to God, then what's the point? If the experience leads me to God, then the experience did it's job. Don't put your trust in the moving, shaking, or feeling. Put your trust in the one who really DOES hold the world in His hands. The song is called "Healer", and it STILL is in my ipod.........under "goosebumps".