Monday, May 19, 2014

Bloom Where You Are Planted


 
I was in a hurry.
 
I was going to be late if I did not make it to the time clock within the next three minutes and it was a five minute walk, so my pace changed from a brisk walk into a soft jog.
 
The hallway was full of people coming and going in their business and I moved to the left to dodge a family of four who were so engrossed in their conversation that they would have collided with me. It happened when I dodged left. I looked out a windowed section of the hallway and I saw something truly spectacular.
 
I have traveled the length of that hallway thousands of times in the last year going to and from departments for my job but had never noticed what I did today.
 


I saw this little guy (or girl because it really could be) and honestly, this is the first time that i have ever noticed this little flower. This is, in fact, the only flower in a very poorly maintained courtyard that no one walks in.

So here it sits, and here it blooms and it does so regardless if anyone ever takes the time to maintain it or notice it or appreciate it's beauty. It just sits here and does what it knows to do. It blooms. It gives off it's color and it's fragrance for the time that it is allowed by it's creator to do so.

Why?

The answer to this is so simple that it made me stop and really think. It does this because that is where it was planted.

There is a mistake that is taught in the Church culture that says "Success is measured in decades." In other words, "If you stay in one place long enough or do the same job long enough then you are a success in the eyes of God". King Saul had that same mindset and it turned out pretty bad for him.

The truth is, Father does move people to and from places. He places them in positions of power or within a church body for a season. Father plants people in the life of other people for a season and it is not up to us to decide how long or in what way He chooses to use them in that assignment. 

I was reading this passage this past weekend and all of the sudden, the little flower in the poorly cared for courtyard made sense.

I was reading a letter written by a similar plant.

The apostle Paul.

He was imprisoned and more than likely would be executed within a short time from when this letter was written to the church at Phillipi.

Here in a dirty, and poorly cared for courtyard if you will, surrounded by people whose lives resembled weeds and bitter plants there is a yellow flower.

It strains to take in the SON light and in turn processes that light into energy to emit a fragrance of sweetness and a color that honors it's creator.

Paul is giving off a powerful and beautiful fragrance to people who are in need and I cannot help but think about who else is within view of this courtyard that would be affected by the sight of a single flower just doing what it knew to do.

Blooming where it was planted. Inhale this fragrance with your eyes for a moment.

"But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear." ~Phillipians 1:12-14



I have to ask a question here.

How many people would have gone into that prison looking to see Christ?

Now ask this question in light of the understanding that Paul had. God planted him there for a season.

How much love is being displayed from an insanely powerful God who would arrange Himself a flower bed (Prison setting) for His flower to be planted in. For the sole aspect of reflecting Himself to those who would normally walk right on by but had to stop to see this flower.

LOVE this passage.

"And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed." ~ Genesis 2:8

God plants a garden and places a man in it.

He did not stop back then.

Father still prepares places and circumstances (Let's call those flower beds) that He chooses to plant His flowers in. Father prepares these flower beds and even arranges other flowers to be planted in them. He arranges His flowers together for seasons to give off a particular fragrance and color pattern and as with everything that He creates, it is to give glory to Him.

Have you ever wondered why certain people were introduced to your life for a season and then suddenly removed just as if you had never met them? Why is that? Once you were close and gained confidence and strength through the color fragrance that they provided and then it was if you were never planted together.

 It was for a season. Father plants people together and moves them at His will. You grow with each other and then He digs up and replants in another flower bed. The reason is the same each and every transplant. Soak Him deep in order to display how He made you to display for those that only you can display for.

Look how David worded it.

"And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."  ~Psalms 1:3

Here is the problem. When Father transplants us from one flower bed to another, we take it as a personal attack. We cannot just let it happen without assuming that there was a problem and ultimately we need to create a hostility to justify the transplant.

This is selfish at best and there have been a few times that I have needed to be reminded that it was Father who does the planting and it is Father who does the arranging and it is Father who knows what is best for me, His flower, as well as the mood He is creating with that particular flower bed in that particular season.

Some time back i was watching one of those gardening shows and these guys were way to into what they were doing. A really good landscaper plants with the intention of moving what he has planted after a certain cycle of seasons. He does this for the soil and for the general atmosphere he is looking to create.

Father is THE MASTER LANDSCAPER.

He is way to into what He does! He plants with the intention of doing what is best for the flower bed as well as for the general atmosphere He is looking to create.

So what then?

How do we "be ok" when He moves us to another flower bed or moves others out of ours?

We trust Him and don't take it as a failure on our part or create offenses against others, and we simply soak Him in and bloom the color and fragrance that He gives us to bloom and let the other plants do the same.

"Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." ~Phillipians 4:9-13

This is only done through Christ. We can only do this when we soak Him in and bloom through His strength and energy.

Easier said than done, but Life was never promised to be easy.... It was promised to be possible!

Bloom today and don't stop for anything or anyone because you were planted in the flower bed you were planted in to do just that. Don't focus on the flowers that have been removed or waste effort questioning why they left or how they left. Just bloom your color and fragrance so that other recieve the message that you were planted to give!!!

Planted with you,
~Dan




Monday, May 5, 2014

Father Time


 
 
It started in the lumber department at Lowe's.
 
I am not sure quite what it is about a home improvement store, but something captures you the minute that you walk inside  the store and between the apron clad workers asking if you are finding everything alright and the smell of construction material, you are hooked.
 
I always feel the need to start a project when i go into these kind of stores and I truly believe that a spouse would be far more successful if she were to burn a "Lowe's" or "Home Depot" scented candle around the house. I truly believe that it is the smell of construction that stirs the need to construct further.
 
I was in the home improvement store last week and passed the treated 4x4s. I was suddenly inspired to construct an outdoor exercise area to fit my more recent lifestyle change of physical exercise.
 
Before I knew what I was doing, there was a cart filled with supplies at the checkout and the clerk was giving me a total cost. After I recovered from that shock I loaded up the supplies and headed to the house to draw up what I was seeing in my head in regards to this new project.


 

 
This past Saturday I embarked on a very intensive yard work project. The work was not as intensive as trying to complete a yard project with three little “Helpers” who love to know “WHY” everything is done the way it is and “Why” Daddy needs to keep re-cutting the same board so many times.
 
As they “helped” my older two children found other things to draw them away from the work site but my two year old was locked in determined to “help” Daddy.
 
 
I loved it!!!
 
He was watching everything that I did with such intensity and trying to emulate everything that he saw and as we spent the time together I was very much aware of him.
 
Not because he was trying to work with me, but just that he was close to me and as we worked together I loved listening to him sing little made up songs about his daddy. That absolutely thrilled me.
 
 
Father God is the same way. He desires our time and meditation..
 
What is it that you enjoy doing with Father?
Walking in the woods?
Working out?
Listening to music?
Drinking a cup of coffee in the morning stillness?
Reading the Word?
Getting together with friends?
 
 
"Whatever it is, don’t pass up an opportunity to spend in the moment with Him, because it is in those moments that you learn to emulate Him."
 
 
By the way, the Cross-fit workout area turned out amazing and as I was able to use it at 5am today, it was cool and still outside and I took full advantage of the opportunity to hum some made up songs about my “Daddy” and just be close to Him!
 
 


 Seize the "moments" while you have them to take hold of, because today's "moments" are all that you have.


Climbing with you,
~Dan



  themanandthewall.tumblr.com




Friday, May 2, 2014

Listening to the Wind


video

"And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden." ~Genesis 1:3

In Genesis, the Bible say that God spoke with Adam in the cool of the day and walked with him and I can remember that I would wonder as a boy what that must have looked like.

I used to picture a big guy walking with a little man, kind of like those old kibbles and bits commercials. You remember the commercials with  the big bull dog and little dog (If your old enough to remember those).
 
I was reading this passage recently and decided to really look at that picture and what I found was absolutely AMAZING!!!

The word “voice was taken from the word that we use as “Wind". It is the same wording that was used in the book of Acts to describe the "Mighty rushing WIND".

Think about that for just a minute.

God’s voice in the garden was the wind and how big is that?
 
How much area does the wind occupy? A 5 x 5 block of space?

No!

His voice literally swept across the garden. It touched every inch of tree bark and rustled every leaf. It caressed every blade of grass and flower and it stirred every hair follicle on Adam’s body.
 
God’s voice, when He spoke, touched every single thing that He created!!!

A few mornings ago I was running some errands outside of the building where I work when I heard the most annoying chirping sound coming from the tree above me.
 
A tremendous rainstorm had just swept through our area and nothing was moving outside except for this little bird. It was just him by himself and i searched through the trees with my eyes until I could see him.
 
There he was.

A little grey bird.
 
Sitting there soaking wet and singing his heart out.

 He was singing so loud and strong that it was almost annoying yet he was so small.

I am not Dr. Doolittle and I do not talk to the animals, but my spirit told me that he was talking to and praising his creator.
 
"Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord." ~Psalm 150:6

" The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world." ~ Psalms 19:1-4a


I took this video and when I played it back I saw something in the background that I did not know I was also catching on camera.

The trees behind him.

They were moving with the wind and all of the sudden I got goose bumps because I realized that I was eavesdropping on a conversation between the creation and his Creator. (If you missed it when you watched it the first time, please go back and watch it again because it is cooler than cool!)

Today, or sometime this weekend I want to encourage you to step outside and be aware.

Close your eyes and just feel Him. He is speaking and He longs so much for us to just listen.

"Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. ear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows." ~Matthew 10:29-31

I guess what came to my mind was that God saw this little bird, and that He values me and my insignificant and, even fickle at times, praise even more!!!


They say that the majority of the world is asleep and the small percentage of people that are truly awake live their life in total amazement!

Take advantage of His voice and every opportunity that He provides to hear Him!

 
Climbing with you,
~Dan

Themanandthewall.blogspot.com                                            Themanandthewall.tumblr.com

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Risk of Color

 
  If you know me at all then you probably know that I have an obsession with Superman. (Ok, the point of this thought is not to reveal all of my obsessions to you)
 
Last night my 9 year old son Clark (Yes, that is really his name) and I were coloring at the table and of course it was a Superman color book. He had a box of crayons that had 164 crayons in it and before we started coloring, he carefully selected the "6 standard Superman colors" for his page and as soon as he started to color, I began to use every single crayon in the box.
We did what you always do when you color a Superman color page. We hummed the Superman theme song and talked about what it would be like to have super powers and what we do to the bad guys that threatened the safety of Metropolis.
As we talked and colored I could see him glancing at my reckless use of color and getting annoyed with me until finally he could take it no longer and burst out, “Dad!!! Why are you using ALL of the crayons? You are supposed to use these certain crayons if you want Superman to look right!”
 
What? Six colors? Use only six colors when there is an entire box that is full of crayons and they are screaming to be used!
 
Yes, I used all 164 on my picture even the silver, gold and white and of course the burnt umber (Not sure what an umber is or why someone would want to burn one) because I had them all at my disposal.
 
I said, “Son, you use all of the crayons because you have all of the crayons to use. Life gives you colors, why limit yourself because someone else has decided that there are only six crayons to make a picture complete?”
 
 
I honestly believe that we are afraid to use all of the colors in our crayon box of life because we are afraid of messing up the picture. We have been told that the picture is supposed to look just like one that is shown to us by another person and if we differ from their color selections then our page will not be "perfect".
 
So we cautiously select the pre-approved colors and we try to stay perfectly in the lines and we get upset if we smudge because the picture needed to be "just right".
 
Who convinced you that you were only to display certain abilities and that the picture would be messed up if you displayed all of them?
 
I want to show you something that came to mind as we colored and it is the thought that i was able to share with my son while we had the time together.
 
Most of us have heard this story in relation to what we need to be doing FOR God and it is rarely presented in the light of what I believe it was intended to be presented in. This is not a passage about doing FOR God as much as it is a passage about what we can now do FROM God.
 
"For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 
Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents." ~Matthew 25:14-16
 
This "Kingdom of Heaven" is very much like that box of crayons. We ultimately make the personal choice to be able to experience this here while on earth.
 
 I believe it is speaking about out our life.
 
How much of Him do you want to experience? How much of what you have been given you do you want to bury because you are afraid of going outside the "lines"?
 
Can I make a suggestion?
 
Take an honest look at your box of crayons ( life) and look at the variety of colors that God Himself has given you to use on the picture.

In the end, it is no one’s fault but our own for leaving unused crayons in the box. God has given YOU everything you need to make a seemingly ordinary picture explode with brilliant and beautiful detail, so why settle?
(The Picture with every one of the 164 crayons)
 
It boils down to us being willing to take a risk.

 
Risk a mistake.
 
Risk making a mess up of things.
 
Risk the colors colliding and blending.
 
Risk even ruining the picture because great art is always born out of risks.
 
Don't think that the picture is about you. It is not about you as much as it is about the one that you color for in the first place.
 
(This was one that Clark colored for me. The colors are random and wild, and the picture stirred my heart because of the love that was put into it.)
 
 
Today, don’t be afraid to color with all the crayons and don’ be shocked to see something amazing take shape for you when you do.
 
 
Coloring with you,
~Dan