Self Centered

38 A man in the crowd called out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. 39 A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him. 40 I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.”

41 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied,“how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.” (Luke 9:38-41)

I have always wondered why Jesus came down so hard on this dad. This morning, listening to this passage in Spanish, it came to me. The dad’s words reveal his motive: “for he is my only child.” He could have said first off something about how much the child was suffering. He did not. His primary concern was about himself, his position in society, the continuation of his family line, and all the things which in that society were associated with having a son. Since the boy was an only child, he was his dad’s only hope for all these things.

I think Jesus was angry because this dad was thinking of his son as an item of property, a possession. His core motive was not love and compassion for another human being, his own son, in such distress. The son was an important possession, and the dad wanted him fixed, wanted him to function properly, behave properly, fit in with the dad’s plans, goals and societal aspirations. I think that is why Jesus said what he said.

The take away for me? I’d better be darn careful about my own  motives when I ask God’s blessing. Am I so focused on my needs that I disregard the sacred humanity of another person for whom Christ lived and died and lives today?

Source of Life?

52  . . . all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.” 53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. (Luke 8: 53-55)

Lord, fill me more and more with your spirit. I want more and more life.

Heavenly Floodgates: Wasps and Yellow Jackets

I am in the midst of one of the biggest fights of  my  life. The renters trashed the house. A lot of the funds I had to repair and restore slipped away down some rat holes. Now my needs far outstrip my resources. Will I be able to finish the tasks and get this house sold or rented in time to survive financially?

As you might imagine, I have been praying for help. And what was the answer? A comforting gift of money? Not! Sweet words of forgiveness for my blunders, sins, and general stupidity? Not! Instead, a bit of a fatherly dress down.

“Son, I would like to help you. I am trying to help you. But you are not letting me help you!” But, Lord, I answer, I am ready to receive anything you give. “No, you are not. You are disobedient. I told you to bring the whole tithe into the storehouse. Then, I will open the floodgates of heaven. You see, I want to bless you, I am ready to bless you, I love you, I forgive you, I gave my life for you. However, your disobedience and lack of faith put you in a place where you can not receive.”

The memory came to mind of fighting wasps. When I was a boy, my friends and I loved to roam the woods. We particularly liked finding a wasp or yellow jacket nest just brimming with those winged stingers. Did we let the insects alone to live their lives and do their tasks? No, we threw rocks and ran like mad, but sometimes not fast enough. Back at home, my Mom would bemoan the red and swollen welts on my neck, arms and sometimes face. Again and again she had warned me.

Essentially, Mom let me know that if I chose to rile up the wasps and yellow jackets, she could not keep me from getting stung. I think the Holy Spirit’s message is something similar. Like ,”Obey and put yourself where I can bless you or disobey and put yourself where you can get stung. It’s your choice.”

So two weeks ago, I wrote my meager tithe check and dropped it in the box at Gateway Church, Southlake,  Texas.

How about “the rest of the story” as  Paul Harvey used to say? Please look for a coming post.


Sustain and Rescue

When I went to this morning, I found a message just for me:

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. (Isaiah 46:4, New International Version)

Defend and Protect is a great police motto.  I do need that, no doubt. Humble and abundant thanks to the folks who keep my street safe day and night.

Right now, though, Lord, give me Sustain and Rescue. I urgently lay claim to this promise. I qualify! Old age, check. Gray hairs, check (of those that are left).

So, Lord, sustain me in the good fight! Carry me through when I stumble and fall. Rescue me when I am outnumbered, out gunned, and out maneuvered.

Tally ho!




El camión de basura

This is dedicated to my friend Mike Hennen, who found The  Dame I Let Die too much darkened by the trash truck. It appears he may be right! Maybe I was carrying around more trash than the truck.

El Camión de basura, from Pastor Cesar Osmar and Pastora Dora Chamorro

El Camión de basuratext from José Luis Prieto

¿Con qué frecuencia permites que la estupidez y la insensatez de otras personas cambien tu estado de ánimo? ¿Te enfadas cuando otro conductor comete un error de transito, un empleado  te trata irrespetuosamente, cuando alguien se burla de ti, o un jefe te exige injustificadamente más trabajo de lo que te corresponde hacer?

Hace varios años, como de costumbre subí a un taxi para ir a mi trabajo, habíamos entablado una conversación con el conductor y de repente, sin saber por qué otro automóvil, se cruzó tan bruscamente, que para no causar una tragedia, el conductor del taxi tuvo que girar el auto y frenar súbitamente.

Milagrosamente no ocurrió nada, pero el conductor del vehiculo que había cometido la imprudencia, se bajo bruscamente de su auto y comenzó a gritar e insultar al taxista.

El taxista, a pesar de lo injusto de la situación, sonrió, levantó su mano y lo saludo muy amablemente diciéndole lo siento, que Dios le bendiga y que tenga un buen día y luego sin decir nada más retomó la marcha.
Sorprendido por esta actitud, le pregunte: -Porque le ha respondido así, esa persona por poco destruye su automóvil y además casi nos envía a los dos al hospital.

Entonces el taxista me dio una lección que jamás olvidaré, me dijo: -Muchas personas son como el camión de la basura. Están cargados de enojo, odio, frustración, resentimiento… y ante cualquier situación aprovechan para descargarla.
-Pero, porque lo hacen ante una situación como esta, si usted no le ofendió y solo fue su culpa.
-Lo hacen ante la primera oportunidad, porque necesitan eliminar de su interior toda la basura acumulada, porque ya no hay lugar para más.

Desde aquel día no he vuelto a permitir que los camiones de basura, tomen el control de mis sentimientos y mucho menos de mis reacciones.
Aprendí, que sonreírles a los insatisfechos, malhumorados y frustrados es la mejor medicina que puede ayudarles a cambiar su perspectiva de la vida.

“Sé amable con las personas alteradas y entiende que están librando su propia batalla. Pero asegúrate de no ser tú, el lugar en el que descargan toda su basura. Tú no eres un basurero”

The dame I let die

I’m out, walking, giving thanks, praying for the day ahead.

She catches my eye! There she is, on the curb! Fair and blond.

What a beauty. I can’t believe it. I draw closer.

She is what she appears to be. Unblemished!

Solid, functional, like my boyhood bed frame.


I’ll rescue her, take her home to sleep with me.

I’ll dream dreams of  days long past.

Every morning my youth will greet me

as I awake in her embrace.

I turn toward home. She’ll be comfortable and safe

lying in the back of my old station wagon,

a short ride to her new abode.

A moment or two I dally in the kitchen,

then head out to make her mine.


She is gone, crushed and broken. Her splinters

Mingle with the foulest of remains

in the innards of the trash truck.

Distracted, I let  her die.

Distracted, I die.


Oh,  Lord, when you bless,

give me focus to receive.

Give me the gift

of instant obedience

to make the most

of every moment

for the days are evil

And trash swallows beauty.



The Bible

Here is something I am excited to share with you. It comes from

The HOLY BIBLE contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s charter. Here Paradise is restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. 
CHRIST is its grand subject, our good the design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened at the judgment, and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labour, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.

Creation Story

What really happened? Before anything else was, the spirit of wisdom was created, and wisdom was called she, and everything else was created in and through and for her, this spirit of wisdom. Later, when she entered a body it was the body of a man. As it is written, there is neither male nor female for in Christ both are one. (Galatians 3:28). You find this creation story in Proverbs.

Proverbs 8:

22 “The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works,
    before his deeds of old;
23 I was formed long ages ago,
    at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
24 When there were no watery depths, I was given birth,
    when there were no springs overflowing with water;
25 before the mountains were settled in place,
    before the hills, I was given birth,
26 before he made the world or its fields
    or any of the dust of the earth.
27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,
    when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
28 when he established the clouds above
    and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
29 when he gave the sea its boundary
    so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
30     Then I was constantly at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
    rejoicing always in his presence,
31 rejoicing in his whole world
    and delighting in mankind.

First fruits

Proverbs 3

Honor the Lord with your wealth,
    with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
    and your vats will brim over with new wine.

Lord, I have been greatly remiss in this instruction. I repent. In your power I commit to do this, starting today! This month will be the month of honoring You with my wealth and the firstfruits of the harvest.

House blessing

Proverbs 3

33 The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
    but he blesses the home of the righteous.

Lord, keep me from wickedness this day and guide me in the right way. I need your blessing. I desire above all to avoid your curse. Bless my home today in ways that make your power and your love obvious.

I hand this home over to you and ask you to make it your home, a place where your Holy Spirit guides and guards. Let no wickedness have any part in my home. I urgently need the blessing of your spirit in my home, in that home that I have in Texas, in that home where recently loss and turbulence have so often prevailed. Let your peace enter in and displace all chaos. Bless my family there with joy.