Thursday, August 30, 2007

Having doubts

So it appears that if one is a declared believer in God he (or she) is counted as faithless or maybe even a hero for expressing doubts, depending upon who you ask.

Apparantly, letters from Mother Teresa have surfaced from years ago which refer to her lack of faith, or more appropriately, crisis of faith. An article in Newsweek comes to a conclusion that Mother Teresa long stopped believing:

For this, she is hailed as courageous for even expressing her doubts; her difficulty in believing Something she could not see.

But, some are saying, her life full of frustration and faithlessness are qualities that should prevent her from achieving sainthood. The scriptures make it abundantly clear that all who are followers of Jesus are saints, so for that, the Catholic church committee that is deciding this issue can pack sand. Mother Teresa was a saint. And so are all who believe and follow Jesus.

My question: was it still worth it, Teresa?

Only Mother Teresa would know, and, alas, she no longer is here. But considering the countless suffering people who received help and comfort from her obedience, I would say yes.

But I have a difficult time with those who point at this and other related issues as proof in the pudding that what we believe is not true, that we're just wasting our time on foolishness, etc. But faith is just that: faith. One must have faith because there isn't a difinitive tangible answer for all things. Eventually, one has to take the leap. And eventually all roads lead to the an ultimate end, which, in turn, forces us to either accept or reject it. The end question is whether one will believe in Someone who already has proven Himself and has evidence for Himself everywhere we turn.

It doesn't surprise me that Mother Teresa had her doubts. How could one in her position not have doubts while being surrounded by endless suffering and pain, yet being told by her order that she should just suck it up? I only need to look at the many examples of scripture to see that Abraham, Peter, David and countless others had doubts and fears, and even shortcomings, yet were considered heroes of the faith. Even Jesus wanted the cup of indignation to pass from Him as He prayed in the Garden before His arrest, but He submitted to the will of the Father. So if our Lord had fears, then I don't think He's too concerned when we say we're having trouble even believing in what we're doing.

I heard a song lyric from Toby McKeehen recently that really sums up what I want to be like:

"I'm letting go of everything I am.
And I'm holding on to everything you are.
I'm letting go of everything I once was.
I'm all in.
I'm falling into your arms again."

I hope that Mother Teresa eventually felt this way, because, honestly, it's all we've got when everything else seems hopeless and pointless. And considering the alternative, it's everything we need.


Thursday, August 23, 2007


It was a day like any other day.

Last Tuesday afternoon I was inside the house just taking care of business like usual when I heard a plane overhead. Then I heard a blood-curdling scream from our little guy in the backyard. I looked out the back door and saw him run from the back fence toward the house, screaming all the way. What could be the problem? Did he get bit by a spider? Did a squirrel get too close? Did he stick his hand through the fence and get bit by our neighbor's dog? He ran toward me, crying. When I picked him up he buried his face in my chest, And then he looked up at the sky, pointed and blabbered on in his 23-month-old language. I was at first confused, but then I realized: my boy is afraid of planes.

I imagined the Japanese conducting a bomb run on Pearl Harbor. "You afraid they're going to get you, boy?" I asked as I carried him into the house.

I don't know when this started. We have had numerous planes fly over our homes during my son's young life. At our old place out in the country, planes of all sorts would fly pretty low. I don't remember him being afraid when we'd run outside to see the single engine Cessna or bi-plane buzzing the powerlines. We'd even wave and at least once got a wing dip in response. But since moving back to town, where we are closer to a nearby naval station, we get all sorts of very loud aircraft fly overhead. Perhaps that's what's scared him.

But he's not afraid of helicopters. We get plenty of those, too. When one is flying nearby, Ulie waves and yells hello. Even if he hears one from inside the house, he looks up at the ceiling, waves and hollars hello. I bought him a little toy helicopter the other day, which he loves.

At any rate, when a plane flies overhead, and if Ulie is in the backyard, like today, it's like World War II all over again around here.

I think I might have to build a air raid shelter.


Monday, August 20, 2007

A travelin' man, his daughter and getting a little jumpy, perhaps

Our oldest and I just returned Saturday from a quick trip to Northern California, where we ended up after driving a couple of friends going through a rough time. It was a 18-hour trip down beginning Wednesday night, and a 16-hour trip back beginning Friday night. Certainly not a fun trip but one where we all got closer together and to the Lord and learned to lean on Him more, which should be the result of going through any tough time.

Our oldest is becoming quite the prayer warrior, as that was her assignment there in the waiting area outside the courtroom. She said to me a couple of times that she didn't think she was being much help, but I told her that she was doing what God has gifted her to do, and that is pray. And prayer was much needed in that courtroom. It's a sad case all around, but we pray that God's hand will move and the right outcome will be made by the judge.

But the lack of sleep sure has made for some tension here. We got back at about 8:30 a.m., only to scarf down some food, shower and run off to work. While I got some sleep on Saturday night, I still was pretty tired and a little on edge when Sunday came and we headed off to church.

So, there we were in the McDonald's drive thru after dropping off our oldest at a horse barn where she works from time to time. We felt as if we were hit from behind. I watched the van behind us as the driver edged closer to our rear. Wham! It felt like we were hit again. I got out and said loudly, "You hit us twice!" The lady in the van, looked at me bewildered. "I did?" she asked as she peered over the dash. I got out and looked at the bumper. At least five-feet separated us. I then told the lady that it must have been something else and went back to my van. Glory and I then noticed our four-year-old in the back slamming herself back into the seat as hard as she could; just playing around. How I could mistake a 40-pound girl goofing around in the back seat with getting rear-ended is beyond me, but I did. Embarrassed, I got out again and apologized to the lady. She said no problem. I don't think I made a complete fool of myself, but getting out and telling the lady that she just hit me twice was probably a little premature.

Fortunately I got some more sleep this weekend and am ready for whatever comes our way this week. I think I will avoid the drive-thrus, however. I'm finding that I am imagining things right now.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

If I Could Scoot 2,000 Miles

And I have.

This morning my Honda Ruckus topped 2,000 miles on the way to work. 2,000 miles in just 14 months. It's been a lot of fun scooting around this area, to and from work mostly.

The reason for getting the 49cc scooter was to save some money. And it seems I have. I get 100 miles to the gallon. At an average of $3 per gallon over the past year, I have just had to shell out $60 for gas. That's one tankful in the van. The same 2,000 miles in the van would have cost $300. I did have to take the bike in for a tune up this spring. That bill wiped out the $240 savings we've enjoyed, but still, it has paid for itself.

Now that we live in town again, and that I am just three miles from work, there is no reason why I can't drive the Ruckus year-round and save more money, which really helps our budget-minded family.

I have earned the respect of the most grizzled Harley riders who have been impressed by my Honda's fuel efficiency. I appreciate the nods and waves of I get, but I know I'm not in their league...yet. I just wish I could go faster and look a little more menacing. While 42 mph is fun, it doesn't blow my hair back. And I probably would look stupid in leathers on that thing. And a tattoo that reads "Born to be wild," or "Mama" in a heart wouldn't look good on me either.

Perhaps a Harley is in order.



Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Love of my Life

I hope you feel like this, today...on top of the world! Have a wonderful Birthday, Honey!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Happy 14th Birthday!

Our bloomin' sweet daughter:

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Crying out to God

So the bridge collapse in Minnesota last nigth has got us wondering about something.

Ever notice that whenever there is some tragedy (natural disaster, a murder or other crime against a person, or any other horrible event), people cry out to the Lord, or thank the Lord if things aren't as bad as they thought or if they barely escaped, etc?

In short, they invoke the Name of the Lord.

That's fine. That's good.

It makes me more and more certain that people do believe in God and know that He's there somewhere. For those who have experienced loss during these tragedies, I often hear and see in the media quotes to the effect of blaming or at least questioning why GOD allowed this to happen. Some might criticize such complaints, but I have had to rethink this. For me, I am encouraged that they really do know that there is a God and that He is out there somewhere. At least they are one step closer to acknowledging Him directly, which is what God wants.

I take this one step further with those who say there is no God or don't believe in Jesus or any deity for that matter. Why then, when swearing, is the name of God or Jesus invoked? Curious. When one stubs their toe on the living room coffee table, they don't say "Oh BUDDHA!!" No, it usually is a cursing with God's name or Jesus' name in it. Makes me think that in our innermost being we all know that God is out there somewhere, whether we like it or not or whether we want to believe it or not.

And while we don't understand God's ways, I believe He is looking on even those who died in Minneapolis last night. I just pray that He will give comfort to those who lost loved ones in that mess.