"...and I will dwell in the House of the LORD forever!"

Monday, February 27, 2012

Blue Skin?

In 1975, baby Benjamin Stacy alarmed maternity doctors with something they had never seen before--blue skin. Not white. Not black. Not red. Not yellow. Blue. In fact, doctors said his skin was "...as blue as Lake Louise". Doctors later discovered that Benjamin's condition ran in the family. His great grandmother Luna Fugate was one of the "Blue Fugates of Troublesome Creek", a family with blue skin. Relatives described Luna as "...blue all over".

"Blue Skin" is a rare but real genetic condition, medically known as Methemoglobinemia. In Methemoglobinemia, an abnormal amount of hemoglobin (responsible for distributing oxygen to the body) is produced. Since an abnormal amount of hemoglobin is produced, it's difficult for the hemoglobin to carry and release oxygen to body tissues, consequently turning skin and lips blue.

It would be very difficult to live with this disorder. We can only imagine the stares and strange looks one would receive with such a poignant color of skin.

As Christians, we aren't commanded to have "Blue Skin", but we are commanded to be different. Scripture is full of metaphors that describe our uniqueness: "Light of the World" (Matthew 5:14), "Salt of the Earth" (Matthew 5:13), "Shining Stars" (Philippians 2:15), "Ambassadors for Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:20), "Royal Priesthood" (1 Peter 2:9). Take your pick. Each one, in its own way, dares us to be different.

Regardless of your "shade", God sends the same message--"Be holy, as I am holy." (Leviticus 11:44)

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Massive Mistake

The Facebook frenzy continues to sweep the world. Originally a "hobby" of college students, Facebook is now a worldwide, competitive networking tool with millions of users.

If you're a Facebook user, you've heard of Mark Zuckerberg, the Ivy League rebel drop-out who founded the social media goldmine. Zuckerberg didn't "fit in" with his Harvard colleagues, and he didn't finish his degree, but now he's worth $17.5 billion. I'm sure Harvard is proud.

Zuckerberg became an icon, but you probably don't know Joe Green. Before the Facebook behemoth was born, Zuckerberg asked Green, one of his buddies in the dormitory, to also drop out and help begin Facebook. Green declined the invitation and decided to take the "safe route", stay at Harvard, and complete his degree. Good for him. Other than the fact that Facebook business consultants say Green's decision was a $400 million dollar mistake! Green graduated from Harvard, started his own business, and he's doing well. But he certainly hasn't replaced that $400 million.

Jesus has asked us to be His partner in Kingdom work. The work is very difficult. It takes us down the road less travelled, and it certainly isn't the most popular choice. But if we turn down His invitation, it will be a "Massive Mistake." And this mistake won't be monetary; it will be eternal, and it can't be replaced!

The offer is on the table. Jesus is waiting for an answer. Will you accept?

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Supplemental Spirit

These past few weeks have been stressful at the Hawk's Nest. Natalie was attacked by the ominous "Cedar Fever" that constantly graces the Texas Hill Country, spinning everyone's allergies out of control. To make it even worse, her ailments were transferred to Hayden, and for the first time, I watched my baby boy cough, sneeze, and cry out for relief.

Natalie is already a superb "Dr. Mom". Since she stays home with him every day and attends to him like a pro, she had a better understanding of what Hayden was trying to say through his cries; but me? I was helpless. I didn't have a clue. I wanted to step in and be the hero, but I don't speak "Infant", and I don't understand. With a broken heart aching for my son, I was so glad that Natalie was my translator.

In all of these ordeals, I was reminded of Paul's thoughts abut the "Supplemental Spirit" in Romans 8:26 when he writes, "...the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." When we don't know what to say, the Spirit does. When we can't say it, the Spirit will. Long, eloquent prayers aren't necessary, but only pure hearts that ooze with comforting, supplemental groans of the Spirit.

Hayden has seen the doctor, and Lord willing, he will be much better soon. But when I span over the history of my life, I'm so thankful that I can pray with confidence and pour out my aching heart to the Father. Even when I'm at a loss for words, with the aid of the "Supplemental Spirit", the "Great Physician" provides healing.