Thursday, October 7, 2010

Moved


Just a reminder: I've moved.
You haven't heard from me here on Blogspot because I have moved to my own domain name, aaronhouseholder.net.

FeedBurner
If you subscribed through FeedBurner & are receiving this via email, then you will need to subscribe to my new site the same way. Go to my site. Enter you address. Click "Subscribe." Respond to the verification email. You're done. Every new post I write will be delivered right to your inbox.

RSS
If you subscribed to my RSS feed through the reader of the choice, then please redirect to my new site as well.

Either Way
Both are great ways to set it & forget it.

Please come join me there for greater content & features. You'll have all my old content, plus all the new stuff I try to post about once a week.

Thank you so much for walking through life with me.

In Christ,
Aaron

Monday, August 2, 2010

Not a Dotcom


"I'm not a dotcom sorta guy," I told my Techese-fluent friend, Chris De Jabet.

"I'm more of a dotnet," I said. The idea of a network of friends like you stopping by whenever they'd like holds more appeal to me. The "net" truncates "network", you know. Not that any of those suffixes matter much anymore, but that is how it started when Al Gore invented the internet.

Yes, I am moving. Blogger has been a great start, but the move to a Squarespace journal format allows my own domain name & much more functionality. I'll add photo galleries & other items as time allows in the future. Right now my site looks plainer than a shoe box, but that will change too.

Please join me at aaronhouseholder.net, Reader Friends, to continue the journey together. I'll keep writing. You keep stopping by or subscribing. The same subscription services, other than Google Friend Connect, are available now on my new site.

Will you join me?

By the way, I did purchase other domains, including dotcom, but I prefer being a dotnet sorta guy.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Watching You



Lord, forgive my failures in Fatherhood. Make me into the father you desire & my children deserve. Give me strength to serve when I am tired. Give me courage to do right when it is tough. Give me restraint to hold my tongue & harness my actions when I am angry. Give me wisdom to discern their growing hearts. Let me love them, the three precious children you have entrusted to me, as sacrificially as you love me. Amen.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Terrifying Power

Does this photo terrify you?

I get the willies just looking at it. I wouldn't want to walk there much less ride my mountain bike. Take note that his wheels are not on the ground. And that "ground" is only a narrow ledge.

These are the Cliffs Of Mohan where one false move sends you 600 feet to the Irish rocks & Atlantic waves below.

Crazies - that is riders - exult in "riding the edge." Navigating the terrifying treachery of this trail includes jumping four foot gaps & riding along four inch ledges. I question if they are riding the edge of sanity.

Terrifying.

Flashback nearly 2000 years from Irish Cliffs to dusty Nazareth. Mark 6:1-6. Jesus goes back to his hometown synagogue the first time as a Rabbi. He is initially welcomed. Miracle making, powerful preaching rock star of his day. Yet, familiarity with "the carpenter" & contempt for "Mary's son" with no mention of his earthly father allowed his hometown crowd to label & dismiss him.

Mark 6:5 offers terrifying truth, "He could not do any miracles there except lay his hands on a few sick people."

The previous chapter plus, Mark 4:35-5:43, delivers a potent story trio with one purpose: displaying Jesus' awesome power. Jesus' power over nature, 4:35-41, calming the storm. Jesus' power over evil, 5:1-20, casting out the legion of demons. And 5:21-43, Jesus' power over sickness & death. Yet, here in his own hometown we learn the power of unbelief.

Mark 6:5 is one of the boldest statements of the Gospels. It tells us something Jesus will not to.

Jesus is God in flesh. Omnipotent. He CAN do anything. Yet Jesus chooses to limit his limitless power in accordance with the faith of people.

Terrifying.

Mark 6:6 reports of Jesus, "And he was amazed at their lack of faith." The only other time Jesus is said to be amazed in the Bible is by the faith of the Centurion who believed Jesus could heal his sick servant from a distance by word alone (Luke 7:9). Yet, the LACK of faith in his hometown amazes him.

What about you?

What do you think God can't do?

He can't change me. I'll have this habit forever.

He can't change them. They will always be that way.

He can't change the situation. I shouldn't even pray about it.

Do you realize that your lack of faith may be THE very reason he has not changed "it" whatever it is?

Terrifying.

You have power to stop the very thing that you need. You hold the keys to terrifying power. The power of unbelief.

Confess. Repent. Ask for faith.

May we live by faith fearing only of the holiness of God with no fear of our own faithlessness.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Humility Welcome


A dear Friend just delivered a great line that I must share.

"We welcome humility."

Let that marinate on your mind.

Profound.

We welcome humility because Jesus lived it & calls us to live it as well. Love one another. Honor one another. Serve one another. Lay down your life. Be honest. Confess your sin. Share your life. And you can think of many more.

God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the...

Did you guess, the humble?

Yes, God gives grace to the humble.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Liar Liar

Have you told a little white lie? Did you just lie about that?

How about the boldface lie? So completely unbelievable.

I've named a few more lies for us to consider.
  • The 7-11 Lie: Lying for convenience.
  • The Avis Lie: Lying to sound like you tried harder.
  • The BK Lie: Lying to get it your way.
  • The Awning Lie: Lying to shade the truth.
  • The Chiropractic Lie: Lying to gain better position or posture.
  • The Rebound Lie: Lying when a shot at the truth didn't work.
  • The Hopscotch Lie: Lying by skipping the truth.
  • The Underpants Lie: Lying to cover your backside.
  • The Bluelight Lie: Lying about what you paid for something.
  • The Airbrush Lie: Lying to make yourself look better.
  • The Plastic Surgery Lie: Lying by exaggerating the truth.
  • The Dirty Diaper Lie: Lying when everyone knows you are.
  • The Spandex Lie: Lying by stretching the truth.
You may have some other creatively named lies to contribute through comments below. Please do. Our creativity is a gift.

Truth, however, is always the BEST gift.

The LORD detests lying lips,
but he delights in men who are truthful.
Proverbs 12:22

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Difference Deference

ToMAYto. ToMAHto.


Difference. Deference.


God made me me. He made you you. He does nothing by accident. He makes no mistakes. Differences are His design. Without them a sad sameness world it would be.


Differences teach us. We do not need to homogenize our differences. We do need awareness where our differences may be an offense or threat to others. Christlike love compels me to humbly temper my differences in deference to others. I seek to honor others above myself. I strive to love others as I do myself.


Differences teach us. Awareness. Humility. Ourselves. Communication. Acceptance. Forgiveness. Cooperation. Variety. Unity. Functioning together as the Body of Christ.


I can do the relational math.


Different + different = bad deal.


Different + different = disturbingly difficult.


Or, as a Christ follower, the same equation comes out... different.


Different + different = God’s design.


Different + different = mutually beneficial.


A symphony has different instruments playing different parts in one composition led by one conductor. Differences are unified. Each instrument playing it's own part in it's own time. At other times that instrument is silent in deference to others.


A good meal has different dishes with different ingredients coming together to be pleasing as whole. Chili powder, caustic alone, is tasty when combined into the dish that bears it's name. Sugar, tasty alone, is even better when combined with other ingredients to bake your favorite desserts.


A human body has different parts with different functions that work together as a unified whole. Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-31. Verse 12 states, "The body is a unit, though it is make up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ."


Rather than complain or ignore or avoid differences - particularly within local church bodies - let us celebrate & appreciate & embrace differences. Differences are God's gifts to be used to bring glory to His name & growth to His Kingdom.


It takes maturity. It takes humility. It takes deference.


It offers unity. It offers peace. It offers joy.


Difference deference.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Longer Shorter

Al-mooooooos-t home. Same way I drive home from church all the time. 6.3 miles. East on Highway 2. South on 56th. East on Cavvy. South on 59th. 6.3 miles. Yet. Since I've been gone for two long days. Didn't sleep well either of the past two nights. Ate too much while visiting with colleagues. And road weary from all the miles. These last miles seem longer the shorter the distance is to home. Longer shorter.

On my mind. Near a year ago now I lost a good friend. A man who I respected like few. A man who held the admiration of all. A man of character. A man who fought cancer for months. And won. Relocating to a mansion on a street of gold. Yet. It was tough to see him go. His passing came slowly. The days seemed longer the closer he got to his eternal home. Longer shorter.

Thoughts now of a my last marathon. Absent here so far. 26.2 miles. Fort Worth Cowtown Marathon. Same race that I'd run a year previous. A hilly course, but much, much better weather this year. Yet. I was undertrained. Too few miles those months before. Too little consistency as well. Too fast on my first half. Too spent on the second. Those last miles. Those last few miles. Seemed so much longer the closer I got to the finish line. Longer shorter.

Longer shorter is not real.

It just seems real.

Road weary. Sickness weary. Race weary.

Weary.

But ready to be welcomed. Ready to be at the end of the road. End of the earthly journey. End of the race.

Weary.

But expectant of things to come.

That expectation. That makes longer shorter.

Would that I live each day as a gift with the urgency of eternity pressing me to live every moment fully here.

Longer shorter.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Why Bother?

A caffè latte is an espresso made with steamed milk, topped by foamed milk. The latte is the most popular espresso drink. As such, the latte has lots of jargonized options.

Some folks avoid coffee shops due to cost. Others due to spousal promises of caffeine avoidance. But some folks, like me, avoid them for fear of the the vocabulary. You gotta speak coffeese.

One such coffeese named latte came to mind while reading this morning. But I wasn't drinking one. Nor was I dreaming of one in caffeine withdrawals. I was reading, remember?

It is called a "Why Bother." A decaf, sugar free, nonfat latte.

Yes. Why bother? You just removed all the best reasons for drinking it! The caffeine, sugar & fat. All gone. What have you got left?

Why Bother latte? Because you can.

Why bother Jesus? Because he can.

Mark 4:35-5:43 is a potent story trio with one purpose: displaying Jesus' awesome power. Jesus' power over nature, 4:35-41, calming the storm. Jesus' power over evil, 5:1-20, casting out the legion of demons. And, here in 5:21-43, Jesus' power over sickness & death.

Jairus, a synagogue ruler with a dying daughter, falls down pleading before Jesus. "Please come & put your hands on her so that she will be healed." I am a Daddy who loves his little girl. I've got welly eyes & a lumpy throat as I feel this.

Jesus went with Jairus. Jairus hoped in Jesus.

But then, a woman, a woman with an issue of blood catches Jesus' attention along the way. The woman is healed. But Jairus' daughter dies.

Bad news bearers ask, "Why bother the teacher any more?," in verse 35.

Why bother?

Dead is dead.

Dead is final.

Jesus might have healed her while alive.

Now she is dead.

Jesus can not have that sort of power.

Why bother?

But. Thanks be to God, Jesus is more powerful than earthly anything even faithless anyones.

Goes verse 36, "Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, 'Don't be afraid. Just believe.'" The little girl was raised from the dead.

Why bother?

Because Jesus can.

(All Scriptures references NIV.)

XYV

With a gleeful snicker, most any kindergartener can demonstrate their newly acquired alphabetic ability to an unzipped friend, “XYZ.”


You might have been the embarrassed-and-hopefully-not-scarred-for-eternity recipient. Or you could have been the thinking-you-were-clever-and-glad-it-wasn’t-you deliverer of the phrase. XYZ.


Examine. Your. Zipper.


As adults we may still use the phrase. We may still snicker. Or be embarrassed. Depending on which end of the phrase we are on.


How about a new phrase that more often & more seriously applies to adults? XYV.


Examine. Your. Values.


Just as the downed zipper may expose the garments we think are guarded, so too do our words, or lack of, & our actions, or lack of, speak of our values.


No matter what you say.


No matter what you do.


Your values are showing.


XYV.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pigsworth

Dawn follows the once stormy then miraculously calm night of my last post. Jesus has crossed the Sea of Galilee west to east for his first mission into Gentile territory. Reference Mark 5:1-20. Immediately upon landing he is confronted by a demon possessed man. So violent was this man, he’d been known to cut himself & shriek uncontrollably. So strong that chains & fetters couldn’t hold him. So problematic he’d been driven to live among the dead in cave tombs rather than in town or a village.


Jesus asked him, "What is your name?"


"My name is Legion," he replied, "for we are many."


Legion. That was 6000+ Roman soldiers. This man was possessed by more demons than could be counted.


Demons, speaking through the man, ask Jesus to be merciful enough to allow them to be sent into a herd of pigs nearby. About 2000 of them. Jesus allows this. Then, explainable only by the desire to cause harm to some incarnate being, the demons rush the pigs down the steep bank to drown.


Herdsmen run to spread the news. The returning crowd sees the restored man sitting calmly & clothed. “They were afraid,” Mark 5:15 states. They ask Jesus to leave their region.


Formerly fearful of the formerly fearsome demon possessed man. Now fearful of The Man possessing the power to cast out demons.


Their fear is stated.


Their care is not.


It may appear that they cared more for the pigs than they did for their newly freed neighbor. I was just about to write about that. But. The Bible makes no statement of it & we can not know what they were thinking. We can know what we would be thinking.


If those were my pigs & that frightening fella & some Jewish miracle worker from across the Sea had caused it, I know who I’d be mad at. I’d think my first reaction would be anger. My pigs. My property. Gone. And for what? The chain-breaking menace? The shrieking nuisance? So this Jewish preacher guy could display some crazy power?


If so…


I’d need to ask the forgiveness of the Jewish Preacher with crazy power. I care more for pigs than a person. Yes, the financial loss is real, but the restored man is, well, unreal. And does it make a difference whether it’s two pigs of 2000? Just mine or my friends’ too? Or should the soul of another person be worth much more to me. A man is free. Clothed. Peaceful. A miracle has occurred.


What legions haunt the souls I know? What habits possess? What sins control?


Who has power to cast them out? What is that worth?


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

In the Storm


Not the easiest of days in hard human life.

He couldn't even eat indoors due to the crowds. His family thought he was crazy & tried to kidnap him. He stated his real family was whoever would do God's will. The Pharisees, now dogging his every step, asserted he was controlled by the Devil. He countered with solid verbal punches in what was a theological prize fight. Later, teaching by the lake, the crowd pressed so that he had to teach seated in a boat on the water. Sun baked for hours. Exhausted. Evening arriving. He ordered the boat to set out for the other side of the lake. Finding the rudder-man's cushion he placed it as a pillow under his head & fell asleep upon the hard planks astern.

Not the easiest of days in a hard human life.

620 feet below sea level & surrounded by ravine-cut mountains the lake, or Sea of Galilee, was notorious for sudden squalls. Most in afternoons. Worse at night. Worse that night. A storm of seismic proportions blew in. Jesus, having lived not the easiest of days in a hard human life, slept still. Waves churning. Spray blowing. Rain falling. Boat sinking. Disciples shouting. His Disciples, some seasoned fishermen, were scared for their lives. They cried out, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" They had no where to turn but Jesus. They were right where God wanted them. Jesus was with them in the storm.

The Disciples wanted Jesus to do something for them.

Jesus wanted the Disciples to trust in him.

His presence was all they needed, yet they begged for his action.

We lose some of Jesus' force in translation. "Silence! Be muzzled!," he commands the wind & waves. Immediately the great storm became a megas or "great" calm.

When Jesus powerfully calmed the object of their fear his Disciples became fearful of him.

My greatest fear should not be of my situation. My greatest fear should be of Jesus' great power.

My greatest request should not be for his action. My greatest request should be assurance of Jesus' presence.

Next time I have not the easiest of days in my human life, I should remember: storms WILL come; God is with me; He will not allow me anywhere He can not effect; He will bring me through; He wants me to call on Him; His power changes everything.

(This post references Mark 3:20-4:41.)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tribes


A first for this blog: Selected quotes from a single book. Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin is a leadership book with common sense for all us. Comment to let me know if you like this quote idea or specific quote/s.


A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest & a way to communicate.


Tribes are about faith—about belief in an idea & in a community.


Leadership isn’t difficult, but you’ve been trained for years to avoid it.


Management is manipulating resources to get a known job done.


Boring ideas don’t spread. Ideas that spread win.


(You have) everything you need to build something far bigger than yourself.


The question isn’t, Is it possible for me to do that? Now the question is, Will I choose to do that?


What people are afraid of isn’t failure. It’s blame. Criticism. We choose not to be remarkable because we’re worried about criticism.


Changing things... requires bravery.


Leadership is scarce because few people are willing to go through the discomfort required to lead.


Groups create vacuums—small pockets where stasis sets in, where nothing is happening. Leaders figure out how to step into those vacuums & create motion.


Leadership is a choice. It is a choice to not do nothing.


Leaders change the status quo.


If religion comprises rules you follow, faith is demonstrated by the actions you take.


The religion gets in the way of the faith. Static gets in the way of motion. Rules get in the way of principle.


Faith is critical to all innovation.


The easiest thing is to react. The second easiest is to respond. But the hardest thing is to initiate.


The status quo is persistent & resistant. It exists because everyone wants it to. Everyone believes that what they’ve got is probably better than the risk & fear that come with change.


Initiative is such a successful tool: because it’s rare.


Too many people get “stuck on stupid”.


Einstein said, “Imagination is more important that knowledge.” You can’t manage without knowledge. You can’t lead without imagination.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Thou, O Lord


2009 was a tough year.


Threats & concerns that my ministry here was over. My errors & shortcomings discussed evident. Stung by some. Embraced by others. My failure palpable. My grief overwhelming at times. Trying to live life as a hubby & daddy, continue to minister, & act like all is well. Broken & humbled. Experiencing God’s grace profoundly.


Late Autumn during a week away with family God gave me peace. No matter what. Stay or go. He was in control. He’d take care of my family. My church. Me. He loved more than I could know or imagine.


Weeks later I headed out for a Saturday morning long run. Eight degrees. New worship music loaded on my iPod. My first listen. I did worship. With each breath. Each step. Through the cold. The dark. Each note. Each word. Through my pain. The grief.


And then. First time I’d ever heard it.


Many are they increased that troubled me
Many are they that rise up against me
Many there be which say of my soul
There is no help for him in God


Tears. Rolling down. Weeping. As I ran.


But thou, O Lord are a shield for me
My glory and the lifter of my head
Thou, O Lord are shield for me
My glory and the lifter of my head

Tears. Freezing on my cheeks. Joyful. As I ran.

I cried unto the Lord with my voice
And he heard me out of His holy hill
I laid me down and slept and awaked
For the Lord sustained, for he sustained me


Arms. Uplifted in praise. Emboldened. As I ran.


Thou, O Lord are a shield for me
My glory and the lifter of my head
Thou, O Lord are shield for me
My glory and the lifter of my head


Voice. Lifted in worship. Strengthened. As I ran.


Don’t know how many times I replayed it. Felt like I was running on air the remaining eight miles to loop back home. Those words of the Third Psalm inspiring me.


I have a second chance. Redemption.


We have a God of second chances. A Redeemer.


Why don’t you come back to Him? Your Protector, Provider, Redeemer.