Tag Archives: blessing

Jake Olsen… A true Christian Inspiration

When I saw this video,  I knew I had to share it with my readers….   here it is the Jake Olsen story…..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dX0ovhkgR7s

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Unexpected Blessings….

One day I will learn that God can blind side you with a blessing…  from out of nowhere…. created from whole cloth…  Joy created seemingly from the vibrant light….

That out of his magnificent hands can come unmeasured grace…. opportunity

I thank him so much for leading me to answer this call…. this turn of affairs that only God can bring about… a time when he reveals himself in a way that brings awe…

I am a math guy… sometimes I see combinations of the events that are so astronomically improbable as to be unimaginable….

One of those things happened to me tonight.. and it turned into one of those times when the happiness and fulfilment is almost too much to take in… almost too much to realize with you human mind…

Those times are rare… but when they happen the realization of what has occurred has the same effect as the unexpected sound of thunder so close you freeze wondering what has happened.

At this stage of ministry and life all I care about is being close enough to God to feel his breath… to sense his unfathomable glory… tonight was such a night….

And you walk in praise…..

There is such a satisfaction at such times that you feel you really did fulfil what you were put here to do… what your supreme purpose is in life. 

And that it happened because you had a choice and you obeyed… you made the conscious decision to follow… you followed the precious fragrance of the spirit….

He said he has plans for us, plans that are good and not meant for our harm…. and he proved it tonight…

and you walk in praise….

You can see just a bit down the road that you are going to follow… that with one act of grace he has changed lives forever…..

And that in helping your life is changed…. often he teaches us as he gives us words to help others….

I was shown again to trust him… completely…

for when I didn’t have the words, he gave them to me…

for when I did not know what was coming, he prepared me…

for when I thought I was going to be struck dumb, he gave me grace…

for when I could not imagine the next move, I was shown transcendent light,

for I felt most unprotected, there came a hedge of protection…

for when I felt weak to the challenge, he gave me the strength…

I am thankful tonight that God has allowed me to grow to the point where I just stepped out of the boat… and the water held me up… and I felt him there, I felt his presence…

I am thankful tonight that I have developed the courage to step out of this boat into the troubled sea… and that through his grace and awesome power… he allowed me to calm the sea….

I am thankful for the words he gave me when I had none…. that I was able to give answers I could never have thought before….

And I walk in praise…..

Friday is for grace

Today I woke to paws standing on my chest…  my little dog whining to me for attention at five in the morning… looking to me with the assurance that I would provide what she needs… unadulterated faith….

Lord help me to have the same kind of faith… unadulterated… knowing that my needs are going to be supplied… 

This summer has been a summer of plenty… gifts abundantly supplied… grace unbounded…

Today was the day I went to my family doctor to begin clearances to have a knee replaced… a knee which has helped me learn “pain”…..  

Father, when am I going to learn not to worry… heart fine… blood pressure… perfect… lungs… clear and well….

Why, after all you have carried me through this summer do I still sometimes wonder… “Is this going to be ok?”… “What if this happens?”

Is it the lot of all who inhabit our bodies of clay to be weak in our resolve… I wonder…

Nothing I wondered about or worried about this summer came to pass…. I came out of an accident that could have killed me without any significant injury… people who didn’t know I had been in the mangled truck asked within my hearing… “Did the person in there get out?”…. But you got me out…

You supplied everything… you supplied money from places I could never have imagined… you stilled my mind so I could rest… there was only those single footprints on the beach of this summer because you were carrying me…

The mysteries kept coming… combinations of events so incomprehensible as to be impossible without you…

So what was surprising today…. all reports good… Father I know the day will come when they aren’t… that is the way of all flesh… but when that day comes let me have that unadulterated complete faith… Let me have that unquestioning faith that comes only from you….

But for now I am so thankful for unexpected grace… unexpected love… unexpected wonder…

And Father overcome my natural tendencies… let me always be kind, moderate in my responses to people, patient…. let me always have that kind of faith…

the faith that I saw in my little dogs eyes….

she knows I will provide her food…

she knows I will provide her with love… petting…

she knows she will get a treat when I tell her she will have a treat….

she knows I will let her out when she needs to go out….

Father, let me have that innocent faith, that complete faith….

Knowing that you are always there, always caring, always guiding…

So I am thankful for Friday faith… Friday grace….

Thursdays can be for complete regeneration

Regeneration… renewal… realization of the reality of grace…..

And the symbol of it all was something as mundane as a truck… a thing… a gift…

Such worries… such fears… me… a person who tells others of the grace of God… of the protection… of the shade of his magnificent hand…

Yet, much of my summer was spent in worry… the deepest darkness… from the moment last May when I stepped out of a wreckage of twisted metal… an engine soaking me in fuel beside me… still running… electricity still sparking between bits of metal in the still running  engine…my body soaked with fuel…. and I walked away….

Suddenly I found myself relying on the kindness of strangers… thy grace of people who did not know me who I did not know… help from the blue.. human love expressed for another human being in need…

On that same day a job had ended… that I loved and needed… that made up part of my life… I had just driven away from it 15 minutes before…. and then the crash… the unbelievablility of it all… it felt like shattered light… beyond comprehension… no job, no vehicle, not enough money… A period of rest suddenly turned into nothing but questions…

Then two hours later… I drove home in a new vehicle… that I thought to have only a few days… when I got home I lay down saying “enough for the troubles of this day”… tomorrow will take care of its own troubles.. and I slept…

When I woke the next morning I took stock… not able to see how to get to the end of it… a month passed.. another month… a third… 

Endless grace… for every worry, I received a gift… I was at least wise enough to pray… and with every prayer an answer came… not always the one I thought best… but an answer… every time I needed something it came…. finally I decided to stop worrying, especially after I preached a sermon on laying back in the current, on the hands of God….

Nothing about which I worried came to pass… Money came when it was needed… this was the summer of photography… word of mouth… the kindness of strangers…

I am standing in a grocery check out line with a photography magazine… a lady behind me with four kids in tow asked me if I was a photographer… soon there was a beautiful afternoon recording the lives of a beautiful family… then another… and another… all from a smiling exchange in a grocery check out line… what are the odds… incalculable…  

Paperwork can always go wrong…  it did over and over… soon I am paying for a vehicle myself without enough money to do so.. yet, things kept coming… grace upon grace… blessing upon blessing.. 

Lord were you teaching me to lay back on the current… were you teaching me to lay in your magnificent hand… were you teaching me about your love… Lord, I am a miracle guy… it all has meaning to me… I see you behind the veil… though I can only perceive your shadow, I see the work of your hand…

Then all the right things came together in a way I could never have predicted… it required a change of hearts… it required a plentitude of grace…

So I have learned this summer that I can lay back on the raging current and your strong hands will be there…. not one thing that gave me worry came to pass… not one thing that caused me to wake in a sweat at night arose to show itself…

I am home now… all the financial issues are gone… a beautiful vehicle… a near duplicate of the one I had carried my mother in to her last visit to the doctor, her last visit to see her precious nieces and nephews… the relatives who loved her so much… the one I drove to the hospital when one of my dearest friends called me to say “she’s gone sweetheart, she’s gone”… the vehicle I drove home to walk through the door to the home that had been hers also… truly alone for the second time in my life… the vehicle that had carried her for the last time to visit the resting place of my father, her husband and the place she was to rest  only 34 days later her body so tired at 92…  and that I was nostalgic for because it had taken me through so much… It was something that had been such a precious part of my life that was now gone in twisted metal… important only to me… holding precious memories…

When I went to visit a sales lot to look at a car, a compromise, a substitute… the salesman said “wait, I think I have something that just came in you might like”…. I went back to wait in the office…

A few minutes later he turned the corner…. a transcendent moment…. the truck he drove was exactly a copy of the truck I lost, in color, in interior… but better….

The last few days I had been nostalgic, thinking remembering… not praying for or asking for something like this to happen… that seemed small….

But, then everything started to fall into place… I drove home that afternoon in peace… realizing that something inexplicable had happened… I am a miracle guy…. I accept it for what it is…. what are the odds that I would be given back the same vehicle… but better… right down to the color  of the markings on the gauges….

Silly…. maybe…it’s just a truck… but only the Lord could have known what that particular truck meant to me… deep in my soul I know and feel and accept a gift…. that I didn’t deserve but turned me back onto a path….

So this Thursday, I am regenerated… I am full, I am happy and at peace… not because of a truck, but because of a gift that my soul knows was God saying I care, I know you and I love you…..

Thursdays can be for regeneration…. Thank you Lord….

Tá cion agam ort, a stór mo chroí

I love you…Tá cion agam ort … ancient, beautiful,  my ancestral language… the Irish language.   

A language shared between an American boy… a French girl…  two human hearts caught in love between each other… and music… and God.

Thankfulness for a language… yes…  the language of our love and our life… not as much as the language shared between our eyes… between our hearts… our lips…  

How precious were the hours I listened to her bring life to an ancient violin…an instrument made in love several hundred years before…  love in sound… love disguised as soft music floating through the cold shimmering air above the great Puget Sound…   the golden light from inside the old cabin giving illumination to her long blond hair…  time held still

She gave me life… the heart beating in her living body each day giving me love… and in giving me love… giving me life…

I am so thankful… thankful that I had her warmth for a while… thankful that I saw the love she gave me freely in her perfect eyes… the love I knew was mine as she touched me…  for there is a touch that only those in profound, holy love will ever know…   there is a love so deep that it will never leave… I am so thankful that years and years can be lived and loved in the briefest of times… the feel of her hand as she caressed the hair from my eyes as we stood in awe of the wind coming off the Olympic peaks… as we held each other on cliffs where the massive Pacific waves crash into the headlands of America for the first time after their long journey…. Cape Flattery… Forks…  where I saw the golden setting sun glow in her eyes…

She stood with me… made me feel such strength as I’ve never felt…  made  me love as I never had before… made me love my God as I never could before…  I saw God in everything she did… the way she cradled a childs’ face…  the way she gave love to those who wanted just to be near her… to feel her presence… to touch her…

The way she worshiped God… The way she lived her faith…

The way she spoke of me… the way she held my hand as we met others… the way she came to me… how she made me feel and be so much more than I was… the fear she took from me…

Thankfulness… that I could be loved by a radiant being such as she… that I could stand in that radiance for a while… the gift she gave both of us in a little boy…

Thankfulness… for how she held Joel… for the first moment she gave him to me… a love too deep for tears… a time when I was young and and she made me feel strong to protect them both…

Thankfulness …  for time… though short… yet so long… 

Thankfulness… for a world seen in beauty with a woman who lifted me to wonder at the marvel of how such love, such beauty could be… for music made more tender and pure by love for one so tender and pure… for giving me her pure soul as she stood near me drawing music from that beautiful instrument… giving me the passion to return what she gave to me through the musicians who so lovingly let us touch each other in the music they made…  and who gave a us another way to express our love to one another.

Thankfulness… for when I first held her, I could then make music I could not begin to understand before… to have lived enough through her to be able to somehow show an orchestra or a chorus to turn a phrase just so… so the truest, purest meaning I could hear inside my heart could be sent out into the living air…  for just a moment to connect our music to the source of all music…

I am thankful to God for you, a Godly woman, the greatest gift…

And as I said on that beautiful cliff side overlooking the Pacific on that last day…

Laura, Tá cion agam ort, a stór mo chroí….

Laura, I love you, love of my heart…

Hope, like the gleaming taper’s light,
Adorns and cheers our way;
And still, as darker grows the night
Emits a brighter ray.
From The Captivity (act II, sc. 1) by Oliver Goldsmith

Prayers answered, blessings, miracles and amazement

Prayer and thankfulness… Why am I amazed and awed by their indescribable power? 

I believe…I know… I don’t need proof… but I am like a child opening his eyes of Christmas morning at the miracles in life…

It’s the “knowing” inside my spirit I think… that indescribable peace when you realize the answer has come… the curtain on the workings of God are pulled back for just a little while… You see the glorious light for just a moment… a glimpse… an eyeblink.. but you see it… you feel it so deep you are shaken with wonder…

The moment is as if the Earth reversed it polarity…   the thrill of contact with the  glorious truth… a life changed forever

Perhaps the surest thing is to know something within your soul…. to share it with someone… to look into eyes that are changed… to see a soul that is different… not the same as it was…  as if the drab shade of a lamp has been changed to one made of fantastical colors and textures of stained glass by a master artisan.  A new light radiates from within the soul of the person changed…

And can you look up expecting the old vessel without being amazed at the new one that stands  before you…

I’ve seen it so many times before but not a brightly shining as now…   

Yes, a spirit can change instantly… from the dark to the light… renewed… remade… not just restored… but a new vessel…

A person who could never have changed is changed…  a prayer that seemed a major miracle is answered with proof… as if a new-born child materialized in your hands… a new spirit is created…

I have seen with my own eyes… felt with my own heart… know with my own spirit… that miracles still happen… that Jesus Christ creates new lives… I wonder what my soul was like before I saw with my own eyes… 

I am a witness…  I care not if I am believed… I know that it has happened again…  that the power of God’s spirit has worked in a life… that a life will never be the same…

I am a witness that tears are signals from the deepest reaches of the soul… that being unable to explain in words is the proof of a thousand sermons….

Yet, I am still amazed… still humbled…  like the first time I stopped on a road in west Texas at night having just thought that I might be able to see the Milky Way only to find that I could see it and what seemed to be all of the stars in the universe…staring in wonder and amazement….

Yet, I shouldn’t be … because I am a witness…. I know…