Saturday, July 19, 2008

I've put a silencer on my gun of praise

"Accept our praise, O Lord, for all Your glorious power. We will write songs to celebrate Your mighty acts!" (Psalm 21:13).

I'm just sitting around quietly praising today. Not being really loud. Just quietly praising.

It's sort of like putting a silencer on my gun of praise, so to speak. I heard a minister use that terminology recently and I really liked that. It made me giggle.

What are you doing today? Praising? Making good choices? Choosing happiness?

Here's my new song I've written to celebrate His mighty acts. It's called, "Put a Silencer on Your Gun of Praise."

I've placed a silencer, on my gun of praise
We're gonna sing this song to the Ancient of Days
Quietly and boldly thank Him for His ways
But place a silencer, on your gun of praise


Chorus
Bang! Bang! Bang! To the Lord of Hosts
Praise Him in the understanding and the Holy Ghost
Fire in the air, send the devil a memo
The praises of God are the ultimate ammo

Is the devil in your life not behaving right?
Get some Holy Ghost thugs praisin' in the middle of the night
Bang! Bang! Bang! God's still on the throne
He inhabits our praises so unload your gun

Quietly! Don't wake the neighbors
Reverently! Surrounded by His favor
He's got your back with his firepower of love
It's like an arsenal of power raining from above


Not too bad. I just came up with that in a few minutes sitting here. Israel you can use that without any royalties or anything like that. That would be great on the next Lakewood CD.

Don't look now but KSBJ is queuing up "Undo" this very moment. And I'm changing the station. I really do need to change what I've been listening to.

Have any of you ordered your Personal Fart Package yet? I really need a miracle and I'm starting to think this might be exactly what I need. Please see this video for more information.

If anyone has already ordered it an had good results, please let me know. I'd go ahead and call and get mine today but I want to know it works before I get on this guy's mailing list. You know how annoying it can be when one of these folks starts sending you mail all the time.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Goodbye to Dr. Michael DeBakey

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Michael E. DeBakey last night.

As someone who has worked at both Baylor College of Medicine and the Methodist Hospital, I can tell you that I've never known a figure in my lifetime that was more revered in a workplace.

He really was loved. At both institutions, there was a level of respect and admiration not only for the incredible history he brought to those places and the Texas Medical Center, but also the fact that well, well into his 90s he was still coming to work and contributing whenever needed.

I've been around famous people before, but I was never as nervous as I was when I was around Dr. DeBakey. You realized you were in the presence of greatness, someone who had literally saved the lives of so many people around the world by his contributions to medicine.

Some said he could be tough at times. I never saw that. Every time I was around him and saw him interact with others, he was gracious, kind and humble.

Once I remember I was working in the PR office at Baylor, when I got a call from NPR, requesting an on-air interview with him. They offered to send him a limousine, and he turned it down. Through his sister, Lois, he instead asked if he could ride over to the radio station with me in my car.

I remember being petrified wondering how I was going to maintain a conversation for that long with someone so legendary, but was relieved to find a man who loved to talk about Houston and how he had literally watched the city and the medical center grow up over the years.

I never got to see him in the OR. I was usually ushering a member of the press up to his office for an interview when I spent time with him, but it was always a distinct and special pleasure to be able to work with on the occasions I did.

My thoughts and prayers are with his family today.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

You need to let Jesus sleep

Have you ever wanted to wake Jesus up?

I mean, just yell and scream and end his nap?

My mind is drawn to the story in Mark 4, when the disciples are in the boat and a furious storm ensues.

They are being tossed and turned by the violent sea, water flying into the small vessel. And where is God? He's asleep on a comfy cushion, of course.

You can just imagine them yelling:

"Jesus!! We are going to die a miserable death!"

"We will surely perish when these huge waves cover us!"

You know, it's easy for us to marvel at their lack of faith when we are reading the story safe and dry on the shore. However, it can be much more difficult not to give in to the temptation to wake him ourselves when our faith is being tested.

Can I get a better "amen?"

We can learn a lot from this story. It's interesting that Jesus seems more disappointed by a lack of trust than anything else. Throughout the gospels, Christ continually makes remarks like, "Do you still have no faith?" or "Don't be afraid. Just believe."

My friends, it is very apparent: "Without faith it is impossible to please God." (Heb. 11:6)

He is not pleased with doubt. He is not pleased with fear. Fear indicates a lack of trust, and Jesus is obviously offended by a lack of trust.

Faith moves God. There is nothing wrong with trusting your Heavenly Father to do exactly what his word says he will do.

We all know the storms in life will come, don't we? The Word teaches us that the rain falls on the just and the unjust. If you're not in a storm right now, you've either just come out of one or look out, your heading straight into one. I'm in one right now, and I'm actually starting to enjoy it.

The storms are important. They teach us to trust. They teach us to take God at his word. The thing to keep in mind is that we shouldn't be swayed by circumstances, no matter how uncomfortable or daunting they may seem.

He's going to work everything out for your good. He may use a storm to push you into doing something he's asked you to do for Him. Wouldn't that be exciting.

No matter how bad the trial gets, our God ensures us that He is with us through it all:

"So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10)

Stay calm and know God is God. I think I've heard someone say it like this: "It's okay to find yourself inside a storm, just make sure the storm doesn't get inside of you." I like that.

What storm are you facing today?

You may think he's asleep, but he is very aware of what you are going through. Maintain your faith, find promises in his word that apply to you and your situation, and speak directly to the wind and the waves in all the authority God has given to you as a believer.

Let God, the enemy and yourself hear those words coming out of your mouth! Remember, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom. 10:17). All the faith you need to conquer your circumstances is in his word.

Let me ask you a question today: What wave has got your eyes off Jesus? Don't look at the waves! Look at the funny picture of Jesus laughing if you have to.

Come on, rest. Let Jesus take his nap. Remember, no matter what adversity we face today, the son of the Living God is still on our boat.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Special thanks to Franscisca Kruissink

Today wouldn't be complete without sending out a special "thank you" to Franscisca Kruissink, owner and operator of the Dutch Web site, Hit2Hit.com.

As you probably know, increasing readership of this blog, all over planet Earth, is important for a number of reasons. One of which is we want everyone to know the fantastic things God is doing (and will continue to do) here in the United States.

Franscisca recently awarded me 15,000 free visitors to my site, insuring that more and more and more wonderful people will look at my blog. A good woman with a good heart. And deserving of our "thanks."

Hit2Hit is an online community and advertising portal that provides traffic worldwide for Web site owners, either free or at a very low cost. I use a YouTube video as an outlet to promote this blog, and I say with a great deal of humility today, that it is working pleasantly well to bring readers.

(This is despite the fact that I am convinced that the YouTube hit counters don't work. That video is getting two to three times the visits than actually show on the counter, and I have the stats to prove it. Since 12:01 a.m. I have personally sent more than 1,200 unique visitors to that page. Where are they at, YouTube?).

If you have a business, Web site, church, ministry, radio station or rock bank, and you'd like to brand yourself for free worldwide, click right here and get started today.

And again, thank you, Franscisca and Hit2Hit, for being a true warrior overseas in our mission to get the word out about all the great things happening here in the United States. May God continue to bless your business and Web endeavors.


Blogger's note: I love to thank people publically for doing the right thing. It's a passion of mine. If you have an online community, a traffic exchange, or any other ad portal and would like to get a free plug and thanks here, simply follow Franscisca's lead.

A nice haircut for a youngster


My mom always made sure I had cute haircuts as a kid, but I'm not convinced that letting your five-year old go to school on picture day wearing a polka dotted bow tie is really a good idea.

I look like a young Heber Taylor. Not that there's anything wrong with Heber's bow ties, I'm just not sure five- and six-year olds quite understand the fashion statement. With the wrong classmates, it could have been catastrophic.

Alas, I survived it to share that photo with you all today.

Are we all resting today in God's sufficiency? That's what I like to hear.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Rest!

"'Not by might nor power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty." (Zech. 4:6).

If you're anything like me, there is a tendency when things get hectic or I'm in the middle of a battle to forget that I am resting in God's strength and sufficiency alone. We get tempted to do things in our own strength, and when we carry that out we often don't see God's intended outcomes for our life in any situation.

I read that familiar scripture today and it reminded me of His incredible strength and ability, and our lack of it when we rely on our human limitations.

Anything worthwhile is accomplished soley through the spirit of God operating within us and around us, and we can rest today knowing that He is at work in our lives -- leveling the mountains and making our crooked places straight before us.

I would encouage each of you who read this today to be consistent in the daily disciplines that allow you to see God's power and strength in your life. Read your Bible. Keep your mind renewed. Don't neglect your prayer time and those moments of the day specifically set aside for hearing His voice and following after His direction.

God does want to do great things in and through our lives, but it truly is not by might or power, but by His Spirit.

Part of this is just resting in Him, and surrendering our will completely to Him. The picture that some have used to describe this would be a baby resting in the arms of its mother.

Lately, that's the way I've had to imagine it. When my thoughts try to return to worry or the struggle, I simply have to picture myself resting in His arms like a baby, knowing that He is supremely concerned with my life and my needs, knowing that He is truly working all things out for good and that His ways are higher than ours.

Even in those times when we when we don't understand everything going on around us, we can rest knowing it's all in His plan and He will ultimately get glory out of our particular situations and lives.

So today you can rest. Know that no matter what you're facing, God is for you and nothing can throw off the great plan He has for your life (Prov. 21:30). When we realize that we can do nothing apart from His love and power operating in our lives, it's actually very freeing. And it's the 4th of July, so let's be free. We don't have to worry or struggle, but we can know that His power is made perfect in whatever weakness we may have and we can rest in the knowledge that He's at work getting everything prepared in our lives.