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

Monday, October 29, 2012

Finding Tim Taylor

On September 8th, 2012, Larry Wright embarked on a hike in Sequoia National Park with his son and grandson. Being an avid hiker, Larry had already mastered the hike six times, but this time it was very different. As they were climbing Milestone Mountain to view a lake below, they ran across an old, rusty container. Inside the container, they found a note in perfect condition from 1972 that read, “Tim Taylor climbed to this peak, Thursday, August 17, 1972. Age 13 years. Anyone finding this note please write.” Tim even included his home address! I’m surprised he didn’t include a stamp.

As soon as Larry came down off the mountain, he began to search for Tim Taylor so he could write him a note as Tim requested. However, finding Tim Taylor has been much harder than climbing the mountain that housed his note. Tim no longer lives at the address (records show that he did at one time). Larry tried searching for him on Google, but that didn’t work either. Larry even wrote into the local newspaper, hoping that by publishing the story, it would gain publicity and produce Tim, but even that hasn’t developed the desired result.

This unusual event reminds me of our relationship with God’s word. The Bible has been compiled by finding documents in different areas. One of the biggest discoveries came back in 1947 when the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in caves. These scrolls are believed to have been hidden on the eve of the Roman Destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Nevertheless, regardless where these “notes” from God are found, they send a message; not “Write Me”, but “Follow Me. Trust Me. Obey Me. Honor Me. Love Me.”

I’m confident Larry will find Tim Taylor because he is using every method available at his disposal. However, I’m certain we can find God, because God tells us exactly how to do it. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
Seek. Find. Live.

Monday, October 8, 2012

From Summit to Valley

Life often deals a difficult hand, but Pat Neshek and his wife Stephanee, understand how painful and unpredictable the cards can be. Pat Neshek is a star pitcher for the Oakland A’s, playing a critical role in Oakland’s “fairy tale” season, bouncing back from a thirteen game deficit and defeating my beloved Texas Rangers to win the Division. Pat’s career hasn’t always been so magical. Neshek has been pitching in the majors since 2006, but in 2009 he was forced to have Tommy John surgery—a serious procedure that often ends careers. But, Pat bounced back from that surgery just like the A’s bounced back from double digit despair.

However, Pat and Stephanee have recently travelled from the summit to the valley in one of life’s toughest challenges. Read the course of events that both Pat and Stephanee posted to their Twitter accounts:

October 2nd

Pat Neshek @PatNeshek

Thinking of the long nights in AAA, my TJ surgery & the days I thought it was over…Makes for the sweetest playoff birth of my career!

October 2nd

Pat Neshek @Pat Neshek

What a day, my wife is now in labor! #playoffbaby

October 3rd

Stephanee Neshek @StephaneeNeshek

It’s a boy Gehring John Neshek…8lbs 5 oz. born 10/2/12. Pat flew Oakland to FL just in time for birth! #playoffbaby

October 3rd (2 Hours Later)

Pat Neshek @Pat Neshek

Please pray for my family. Tonight my wife and I lost our first & only son 23 hours after he was born with no explanation.

Life supplies many tough questions, but we can’t always supply adequate answers. “The Lord Giveth and the Lord Taketh Away” isn’t a comforting explanation during the fiercest winds of the storm.

However, we can hang our hat on some good news—even though our circumstances change, our God remains stable. We will travel from the summit to the valley several times in our lives, but with faith, we know our Father will once again lift us up to higher ground.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Left Behind

A group of friends went on their annual deer hunting trip, and one morning they decided to pair off in twos. After a long day in the blinds, one hunter staggered back to the cabin without his partner, carrying an eight-point buck on his shoulders. The other hunters asked him, “Where’s Harry?” He responded, “Oh, Harry tripped and broke his ankle a couple of miles back up the trail.” The other hunters were appalled at his lack of concern for his friend and asked him, “You left Harry lying there, and carried the deer back instead of him?” The man quickly replied, “Well, I didn’t think anyone was going to steal Harry!”

We laugh, and we might even say, “That’s terrible”, but how many friends have you left behind on the “trail”?

During his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.” (Matthew 5:41). It’s impossible to walk a step we aren’t commanded to walk with entitlement attitudes, so Jesus tells us to let go of entitlement and give Him eight laps instead of four.

In Luke 6:31, Jesus gave His disciples strict orders we call the “Golden Rule”, when he said, “Do to others as you would have them do unto you.” None of us want to be left on the "trail", but we often leave others behind with the circumstances we strive to avoid.

Possibly Paul gave us the greatest challenge when he said, “…in humility, consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3) Do you really consider others better than yourself? It’s very difficult to do in our “bigger and better” society.

Whatever burden we’re carrying, appointment we’re keeping, or promotion we’re seeking, it doesn’t hold the same importance as the “cargo” we leave behind when we focus on the problem and prize rather than the person.