Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Man Cave!

Welp my man cave has just taken a few big steps forward to perfection.  Recently, I added a small, dormitory sized refrigerator.   Now this evening, I have added a TV!!!!  So, true story, I'm blogging from my air-conditioned man cave while enjoying a cool beverage and enjoying the evening news.  Good stuff!  Indeed, I am blessed, even if I am bald!  Now, if I just had a urinal....

Monday, July 19, 2010

All By Itself...

So I was walking back from doing a little shopping at the neighborhood grocery store this morning when I noticed these stalks of corn growing out of the side of the little cliff above Brighton Road.  There are some almost ripe ears on them so I may rappel down in a week or two and harvest them, but that isn't the reason that I write.

The curious scene of corn growing in the middle of the city on a side of a cliff got me to thinking about a favorite passage of Scripture.  In Mark 4, Jesus said "This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.  All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.  As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come."

This just served to remind me of how often we try to do the things we should let God do all the while trying to get Him to do the things that we're supposed to do.  The "all by itself" phrase in Jesus' parable is, in my estimation, His way of saying that the farmer has a role and ought to play it.  But when all is said and done, there are some things only God can do.  We should be doing our stuff, and quit expecting Him to do it.  We should be letting Him do His, and quit trying to do His job.

Now I was going to go on to conjecture what some of "our jobs" and "His jobs" may be, but perhaps I'll wait.  Maybe I'll build on the list that you, faithful readers, provide.  Bring it on!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Feeling Very Blessed, Even if I Am Bald...

So yesterday I got to preach for the first time since I stepped away from Cornerstone.  My friend Jeff St. Clair asked me to fill in at their "contemporary" service and I did so.  I had a great time...I felt very free to share what the Lord placed on my heart and had an absolute blast doing it!

Afterward, this sweet lady started gushing about how much she enjoyed the message and how I was welcome to come preach anytime and yada, yada, yada.  And then she said "do you ever let your hair grow out?"  I swear, I'm not making this up!  The point she was making was that I might be a better preacher if I didn't shave my head...

Now this strange exchange got me to thinking.  I am truly blessed.  I love to preach, but I realize that I love that I'm free from the crosshairs (yes, pun intended) of every pew sitter (or in some cases, chair setters) and their endless need to dictate how I should live my life, right down to my hair.  I realize just how free I feel and how blessed I am to be at this stage of my life as I stare down the corridor of middle age.  (Notice I didn't indicate that I'm there yet!)  Jesus said when He sets us free, we'll be free indeed.  I feel that my life is such a living testimony to that.

I have a wonderful wife...my best friend and such a Godly influence on my life.  I am loving the ministry that God has opened for me at The Pittsburgh Project.  I have not looked back one day since I started there!  We have a gorgeous, just-our-size dream home with wonderful neighbors in a great neighborhood in the coolest city in the world.  We have some great friends, some great ways to pass the time, and a sense of calling that we are living out.  In brief, I'm feeling very blessed, even if I am bald...maybe especially because I am!  Thank you Lord!

Now if we can just decide on a church to call home so I can start to criticize  "my" pastor...

Monday, July 05, 2010

I won!!!

Well I have become both the envy and enemy of my newest neighborhood.  I, hater of gardening and most inept at all things green, have successfully won the "first ripe tomato on the block" unofficial contest.  My prize is pictured here for your enjoyment.  I planted our urban garden on the weekend after Mother's Day and calculated late July as when our "78 day Big Boy" tomato variety would produce its first fruit.  But alas, on this the fifth of July, our first tomato is ready for harvest.  We will have another ripe by the end of the week!

This is much to the chagrin of our dear friend and neighbor, Paul, who has held this coveted title for years.  Another neighbor, Sally, said "I have never known anyone to beat him..."  The problem is that Paul loves to cook and bake and share his creations with us.  Plus our respective dogs Shadrach and TeeBoo are the best of friends and daily playmates.  I was fearful this unseating of a longstanding champion would jeopardize our mutual jocularity, but alas, Paul just delivered two piece of his delicious homemade Blackberry pie.   All is well in Brighton Heights...