Archives For June 2016

From Trash To Treasure

Mike —  June 14, 2016 — Leave a comment

I have a problem. I maintain that it’s a good problem, but still… a problem.

It’s hope.

Hope is my problem.

I can’t stop hope.

I can’t look at someone or something and write them off as a lost cause.

This morning, I took a truckload of crap that’s been cluttering up my yard for way too long to the dump. Why did I have all this stuff laying around? Hope. That rotted railroad tie might be useful for something… If I can get a few more Christmas tree trunks, I could make something… That block of scrap wood could be turned into a… something. It’s not bad enough that I’ve let all this stuff clutter up my yard/patio/garage/shop/etc. It’s worse.

As I was loading up, trying to maneuver 8 feet of waterlogged timber into place, I stopped to evaluate if I REALLY needed to get rid of it. As I was holding this filthy, heavy, rotting corpse of something once useful, I (I’m not making this up) stopped and stood for several seconds trying desperately to find some legitimate justification for NOT dumping it! I have a problem.

I can’t see trash.

Oh, I can look at it. But I always see more. I always see potential for something else. As frustrating as this can be (just ask my wife) in the “workshop”, when it comes to people, I’m glad I have this problem. It’s allowed me to see beyond the Facebook facade and the haze of smoke and the hard stares and razor scars and blank eyes and concealing hoods and accolades and great test scores and smiles and makeup and so many other things that have concealed some of the amazing students I’ve known and grown to call friends. Hope has somehow let me see what could be, not just what was.

God can always change what was. I may not ever get around to making “something” out of the debris (let’s just call it what it is) that I’ve held on to, but I believe with every fiber of my being that God can bring hope to any situation. I’ve watched it happen. He can pick up the filthy, rotting corpses of our lives and breathe new life into our lungs. He can breathe hope anywhere…

even in homes wrecked by alcohol and drugs and the abuse that so often comes with them.

even in journalists that can’t seem to agree on what facts are actually facts.

even in election cycles that drag on forever and divide us from each other.

even in families mourning the tragic loss of a child.

even in war ravaged nations and villages.

even in Orlando.

even in me.

This world is so broken. Humanity is so in need of hope. Would you let Him breathe hope through you today? Look through the clutter and noise, find someone who’s hurting or hiding or just in need of someone who will really SEE them, then hope. You just might get to watch transformation take place before your very eyes!

Hi. It’s been a while… Sorry for that. Circumstances have caused a great deal of self editing as I’ve been wrestling with them. But life continues to happen, and I’ve been working on a new project that I’m going to need some help with. I hate to ask after not sharing anything here for a couple months, but I have to. For years, friends and family have encouraged me to write a book. Several of you who read this blog regularly have been the most vocal in your support. Now is the time that I’m hoping that support will translate into the funds needed to get this project off the ground.

I have a guided journal that I’ve used a few times with groups of students that has been helpful to them in developing a deeper life of prayer and I want to make it available to a wider audience. I’ve expanded it a bit and added some elements to help spark the journalers thinking about prayer. But it will cost a little more than I can cover to get this published in the right format, so I’ve started a Kickstarter to help with part of the upfront costs.

So much of our life grows out of who we think we are.

Who we think we are should be informed by our communication with the One who made us and knows us better than we know ourselves.

You are who God says you are.

But how do you know who God says you are? Can you learn to listen to that ‘still, small voice’? This project will help people look into what the Biblical writers thought about prayer and just how they conversed with God, and also guide readers/journalers in some creative steps into that conversation as well.

Check out the funding page if you’d like to help give this bird wings.