First love

wood bridge on sunset

I pray that wherever you are in relation to your dreams – whether putting them to bed or waking them up – crying out for new visions or mourning the death of old ones – I pray that you would endure…

Not just in terms of putting one foot in front of the other (that’s survival), but in terms of first love – the endurance of the heart.  Specifically I pray that… [click to continue…]

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Frozen in Time

by Andy Wood on September 22, 2014

in 100 Words, Ability, Life Currency, Photos

Clock

The clock in my office, as you can see, says it’s 8:24.

Come back in an hour, it’ll say the same thing.

All day, every day, 8:24.

What the picture doesn’t show is that the battery isn’t dead.

The clock ticks.

The pendulum swings.

Regardless, the results are the same. [click to continue…]

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Christmas LoveIt starts out innocently enough.  You dutifully climb into the attic and start hauling out the boxes of decorations.  Once again the house is tricked out with stockings, twinkling lights, and the scents you save for just this time of year.

You ask the familiar questions: Do we go with same-old same-old, or try something completely new and different?  Are we staying home, or traveling, or both?  Who’s coming and going?  What’s on the calendar between here and there?  And of course, what should be get for [fill in the blank] this year for Christmas?

But here’s the tricky part – other than Black Friday, nobody’s giving you any extra time to make all that happen.  You still have a job to go to (hopefully), 21 meals a week to account for, meetings to attend, bills to pay, promises to keep.

So how do you make it all fit together?  You hurry.  You scurry.  And sometimes you worry that it never quite seems to all get done.

Truth be told, sometimes sacrifices have to be made to get it all in.  And therein lies the rub… because the one thing that Christmas is all about often gets lost in the flurry.  [click to continue…]

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LeapingSitting on the back porch this morning, watching Thomas G. Glavine. Not the famous pitcher for the Braves and some other nameless team, but the yellow-striped cat named in his honor.  The G. doesn’t really stand for anything – that’s just something we tossed in there for good measure.

Glavine is a world-class mouser and extraordinary bird hunter.  He’s almost 11 years old and may have lost a step or two, but don’t tell the birds that.  A dove was sitting on top of the 10-foot fence this morning, and Glavine went to work.  His tail started swirling back and forth.  He waited and watched for the perfect moment.  Then he made an epic, heroic leap off the patio table and landed eye-to-eye with the bird, tail still swirling.

Well, the dove flew off and lived to see another day, and the cat went on the prowl for other prospects.  And the Lord and I had a little talk about what I had just witnessed.

See, before his feet made the leap to the top of the fence, his heart was leaping at the sight of the bird.  [click to continue…]

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Dance in the Rain 2

Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, acknowledging his name (Hebrews 13:15 NET).

I.
So much you’ve wanted to write or to say,
To sing from the heart
Or create magic with words
And rhythm and feeling…
Art from the heart
To show the supreme worth
Of your Dearest Friend,
Your Immortal Beloved,
Or your Infinite Redeemer.

Yet the words don’t say it all,
Do it all,
Or show it all.
The Dearest, Immortal and Infinite
Are worthy of so much more.
So there you are…
Yearning to capture the perfect refrain
For the One who has taught you to dance in the rain. [click to continue…]

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It’s dandelion season again.  Truth be told, in some places and hearts, they never go out of season.  And here this year, for some reason, they’re back with an attitude.  Deep roots that say, “I’m here to stay.”  Those big, ugly leaves that just invite themselves to your next salad.  The bright yellow blooming heralds of spring.  And of course, the seed head that remains the fascination of children of all ages and life stages.

Here’s a cure for all kinds of blues and blahs:  The next time you see a dandelion in all its glory, pick it up and free those windborne seeds to sail into the breeze.  So what if you’re holding a briefcase, wearing a business suit, and late for a really important meeting?  Let it fly!  I don’t care if you’re still snared by the pursuit of an immaculate lawn.  Pull the roots if you must – but be a kid again for a few seconds in the process.

You see, dandelions are God’s version of a helium balloon or a birthday candle. [click to continue…]

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First Snow

by Andy Wood on February 3, 2011

in 100 Words, Life Currency, Love, Photos

Something charming about the word, “first.”

We remember first loves, first cars, first dates.

 

Sometimes we remember what others can’t – like first birthdays, first steps…

And yes, first snow.

 

The first experience of anything significant

Carries a unique mix of curiosity and delight… [click to continue…]

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communityJan is a mother of four, two each from two failed marriages.  This morning, her 19-year-old lost his temper and verbally crushed his mother with a flurry of profanity and rage.  Jan wanted to die, literally. I got the call.

Last year, at the tender age of 44, Bruce became a husband for the first time.  Less than a month later, his bride, this time blushing with anger, ordered Bruce out of the house.  Their divorce was final last week.

Larry introduced himself to me by telling me how he was betrayed and fired by his corporate board.  Then he faced the most insidious wound of all – the church wound.  After months of being ostracized, the victim of church politics, Larry finally realized the need for a change. “When your wife has to take a tranquilizer on Sunday mornings just to go to church,” he said, “it’s time to do something different.”

All these people share two things in common.  First, they’re living in the Land of Nod (see the previous post).  The age that’s given us instant gratification, disposable everything, and technology-on-demand has elevated revolving door relationships to an art form.  The people I just introduced you to are Exhibit A.

Second, on Sundays they’re in our church.  [click to continue…]

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(A Turning Point Story)

Watermelon 2“Boys, if you want a watermelon, all you have to do is come knock on my door and ask.  I’ll give you all the watermelons you want.  But please, don’t steal my watermelons.”

You know where this is going, right?

I couldn’t help but laugh. A lot.  I was on the bus with a group of men from our church coming back from a meeting, and we were discussing one of my favorite subjects: watermelon.

I suppose as long as there have been watermelon farmers, there have been watermelon thieves, and Lloyd was describing how he and his friends had done it in their younger years in Indiana. They smiled and said “yes sir” to the farmer’s request.

Later that night, they went to work.

Lloyd and his friends weren’t content just to sneak into the patch and dash away with a big, fat prize. They added insult to injury! Under the cover of darkness, they would take long, sharp knives and carefully cut a plug out of the end of the melon attached to the vine. Then they would eat the heart – the sweetest part – out of the melon and replace the plug.

The next day they’d return to the scene of the crime, climb a tree near the patch, and watch as the farmer came to check his melons. He would carefully thump the watermelon and listen for just the right sound that told him the fruit was ready. The climax came when the farmer picked up a hollow melon and discovered the plug. He would throw his cap on the ground, shake his fist in the air, and vow to kill whoever did it. Not only had he been robbed, he had been deceived as well.

Oh, we laughed.

The image of sitting in a tree trying to hold in the hilarity while someone below is losing it was very amusing. But what was funny to me one day soon became very sobering. God has a way of doing that.

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Passion FirePassion is in.  I was reminded of that today as I finished the latest chapter of the book that Kaye, my sister-in-law, and I are working on together.

Passion is a cool word, and you’re cool if you use it in a sentence.  Extra points if your face is filled with passion when you use “passion” in the aforesaid sentence.

Tony Robbins ends all the sessions in his famous audio series with it.  “Live with passion!” he says.  Sure beats the alternative.  (Die with boredom?)  Anyway…

There’s a huge college and young adult ministry called Passion that has been a driving force for worship influences, discipleship and evangelism for more than a decade now.  Even the name connects with something that people sense a yearning for.

“Passions” is the name of a daytime drama, and passion.com is a sex-based dating service.  Same word; different meaning entirely.

Sports fans talk about a passion for the game, or a passion for winning.  Talk to a Cardinals, Red Sox, or Yankees fan on opening day.  Hang out in a barbecue or beer joint in Birmingham around Thanksgiving weekend.  Or watch Dale Jr. do – well, just about anything – and you’ll see passion.

[click to continue…]

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