Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Screaming, Repenting, Rejoicing and a Vuvuzela too!

You know, life is funny sometimes. You can be going along thinking you're all together and on the right track and then *BLAMMO* something happens that catches you completely off guard, and your reaction is not at all what you'd thought it might be. I confess, I am not a big fan of blammo, and it shows up more often than I like. Biff and Ka-pow are almost as bad. Here is an example (sort of) of this and some other stuff on my mind this evening:

Saturday night when I crawled into bed, I was all set for a good night's sleep and then off to church Sunday morning. I turned over to get comfy and who shows up, but Blammo, Biff and Ka-pow, all at the same time, in my lower back.  I'm not really sure what I did but I did something and the pain was unlike anything I've ever felt, aside from natural childbirth.  It was like that all night and all day Sunday, and it finally subsided Monday and today I'm pretty much back to normal, minus a little twinge now and again.  On Sunday whenever I'd move a certain way it was "back FAIL" and the pain was so intense I couldn't help but scream. I did a lot of not moving on Sunday (as much as I was able, anyway), and at some point I told Kev "I'll be better when the screaming stops".  I don't know about anyone but me, but I know all my dignity goes completely out the window when I'm experiencing excruciating pain.  Oh I sure try to remain cool and focused, but it never quite works out that way. 

I prayed quite a bit and asked others to pray too, and I trusted that in His time God would be merciful and take the pain away.  He did exactly that, and when He did it occured to me that for so many (far too many than I like to think about) the eternal screaming will never stop. Those who enter into eternity seperated from God will be held accountable and pay for their own sins, forever.  Now I confess I don't quite grasp what it would be like to spend an enternity seperate from God, suffering under the torment of the price of my own sin - that I loved and enjoyed so much in life.  My mind just cannot get around that one, but it's a reality for those who reject Christ and glory in their own selfish desires. That's really a scary thought.

Last evening I received some information that I was in no way expecting and it blew me out of the water.  Minus all the gory details of the massively long story here was the scenario:
There is a rather nasty and untrue article about me on the web and it's been there for years. The author has been asked at least 3-4 times that I'm aware of (by myself and others that know it's untrue and unkind), to remove it and he refuses each time.  Many years ago I responded to the article with "my side" of the whole deal and I recently offered to remove all my responses if the author would in kind, remove the article.  The whole thing was just dumb to begin with as all it was, was a disagreement that should have been layed to rest ages ago.  In any event, the author responded to my request and agree to the mutual removal of content with some conditions.  The first condition was that I provide a public apology to him, and the second was that I offer up my pastor's contact info.

When I first heard this I laughed, because I thought it was a joke.  That would be like Ergun Caner demanding an apology from James White, for James posting the truth about him. Indeed, its laughable and would be laughable if such an apology were to be asked for.  Ergun Caner may be prone to embellishing on his past but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say I don't think even he is that arrogant to ever ask for such a thing.

When I realized the request for an apology wasn't a joke, I was angry.  Then I was REALLY angry and the first thought I had was "how DARE he ask me to apologize, I did nothing to apologize for and he knows it".  Thankfully, I was in the right place at the right time and was able to talk to a friend and be completely honest and admit I was toying with the idea of blowing a gasket.   I was immediately reminded of a few things that I really needed to hear, and the first was - how dare YOU say how dare he, when you know your own pitiful attempts at repentance and seeking forgiveness and walking straight before the Lord are not nearly what they should be 100% of the time? Oh ouch, that one hurt, but it was so true.  Rather than have a "how dare you" attitude I need to have an eager attitude to be ready to forgive, genuinely forgive someone who wrongs me.  We all have our besetting sins, and we all want to be forgiven when we blow it, myself included.  Now this person isn't asking me for forgiveness (by any stretch) but maybe the Holy Spirit will work on his heart and maybe someday he will ask for my forgiveness.  I need to be honestly ready to genuinely forgive him.  That's a lot easier said than done, but it's the right thing to do, and what I aim for.  Even if this person never comes and confesses his sin and askes me to forgive him, I still need to have a godly attitude about it all instead of a how-dare-you attitude.  That was a real eye opener for me.  I have SO far to go, to be where I know I should be.

Also last night I had the very unique priviledge of hearing a man preach I've never heard of, or heard before.  The man's name is David Platt, and he's the young pastor of The Church at Brook Hills. You may know him, or know of him.  You may have also heard his evangelism message last night as the final message live streamed at the SBC Annual Pastor's Meeting.  I say it was a unique thing because a.) I don't have any affiliation to the SBC and I would not normally watch or listen or pay much attention to what goes on there and b.) after having dial up for the last 8 years I have never had the opportunity to live stream any kind of video message, even if I wanted to.  However, some friends were looking forward to hearing his message and so I decided to tune in as well.  Unfortunately, I do not have unlimited data on my wireless high speed, but I simply could not stop watching and listening.  His message was so spot on, so moving, so deeply convicting that I had to watch the whole thing, even if it did cost me 1/4 of my data use for the month (and the month just started, so I'm in trouble here).  If you click that link above for the pastor's meeting, it gives you the option to watch the archives, but I clicked it and it didn't want to cooperate.  I'll update if/when I find a link to share for you to listen to this incredible message.

Last but not least...

Love them or hate them, I don't care who you are or what color your socks are, VUVUZELA is a fun word to say.  Go ahead, say it outloud right now: voo-voo-ZAY-luh.  Yep, go ahead and say it again, no one's listening. See, now wasn't that fun?  Personally, I don't really have an attachment one way or another but I love the word and know that if I were in South African culture, I'd have one and I'd use it liberally.  Are they really as annoying as many claim?  Well, I'm not really sure but I suppose 10 thousand of them being blown at the same time for hours on end... just might cause violent tendencies in certain people.  I know some of the sportscasters and sports writers for major newspapers are already about to snap.  In any case, I went ahead and had a little vuvuzela fun of my own tonight, for the vuvuzela fans.  I just wrote that twice because it's as fun to write as it is to say. No other reason, but I'm about to do it again: GO HERE to get your vuvuzela t-shirt today!

Graphic design by Carla Rolfe