God Only Knows, But Still I'd Like an Answer

I'm sure many or most of you have heard the devastating news by now of the passing of Steven Curtis Chapman's little daughter, Maria Sue Chapman. She was only 5-years-old. You can read more about it here.

This hits me especially hard right now given the fact that I'm soon to be a father of a little girl. My heart, my thoughts, and my prayers are certainly with the Chapman family as they begin to walk forward from here.

This tragedy brings to mind so many questions. God, where were you? God, why did You allow this to happen? God, why did this little girl die? God, why the Chapman's? Are you angry with them? Did they do something wrong? What? Why? Where? How?

Tragedies, such as this, also bring with it so many emotions. Anger. Grief. Despair. Doubts. Sorrow. Abandonment. Betrayal. Bitterness. I am very familiar with all of these, as I'm sure, so are you. We've all experienced loss. Someone you knew and loved was taken unfairly, too soon, and quite unexpectantly.

Still, I wonder "WHY?" I too have my personal list of "why's." Why has it been so difficult for Michele and I to conceive a child of our own? Why did we have to endure so many miscarraiges? Why did you allow Michele to have endometriosis? Why does she have to suffer so much pain from it? Why are so many babies aborted every minute when there are so many couples hungry to have them? Why us, are You mad at us? Upset with us? Are you punishing us for an unconfessed sin? Why?

Obviously I'm not God. I'm not even going to begin to think I have THE answer. Or that I could possibly even comprehend the wisdom by which it was formulated. One possible reason I humbly propose, however, for all the "unfair" and "unjust" and just plain "crappy" things that happen in this world is simply this:


Because sin is in the world, we have tragedies. Because of sin, this world is broken. Because of sin, things don't always go our way. Because of sin, there is pain. Because of sin, there is grief. Because of sin, babies die. Because of sin, children starve. Becaues of sin, people fly planes into buildings in the name of their "god." Because of sin, Heaven will be the sweetest thing.

God didn't bring sin into this world. Pain was not in His original plan. Suffering wasn't either. Neither were tears. They are all aftershocks from the original sin of Adam and Eve. Like a father has compassion on his little girl who fell and scraped her knee, God too has compasssion on His children as we patiently endure the trials and tribulations of this sin-wrought world. He cries when we cry. He groans when we groan. For you see, they weren't meant to be, and they will soon be gone for good! All praise to our Glorious Redeemer for His matchless grace!

Why is YAWNING so Addictive?

While we were watching my baby girl on the 3D/4D ultrasound, she let out one great big
Right there in the womb! And then I did the same exact thing!
Sometimes at work, just to annoy my technicians I'll start what I call a "YAWN war!" A YAWN war is basically where someone YAWNS, either for real or not, really loud. This invariably leads to someone else YAWNING really big. And then someone else YAWNS too. By that time everybody in the room is YAWNING really big. Kinda like YOU are right now! Am I right?
With one of my friends, all I have to do is text message her with the word "YAWWWWN" and she will! YAWNS are soooo addictive. One of my favorite childhood books was "The YAWN Book" by Dr. Seuss. "The YAWN Book" is all about all the different kinds of YAWNS YAWNED all around the world. My grandfather would read it to me everynight to put me to sleep - and it usually put him to sleep before me!
So, have you ever been caught in a YAWN war before? Are you in one now?

I've Fallen for Another Woman

So I have to confess to my blog readers that I have fallen for another woman.

Don't worry, my wife is well aware. In fact, she's pretty excited about it too. You see, the "other woman" is my future daughter we are adopting in July.

I haven't yet blogged about this momentous event that is happening in our lives for various reasons. Lately, however, I have felt the urge to share with all of you about what God has been teaching me as my wife and I walk down this path. So, this week's focus will be on adoption.

This past weekend I got to see my baby girl, literally, via a 3D/4D ultrasound appointment. It's a moment I'll never forget. To see her tiny features - her nose, chin, chubby litte cheeks, feet, and ears - was nothing short of amazing. I may be biased, but to me, she is the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. I can't wait to finally get to hold her. I find myself daydreaming about all the fun things I want to do with her - the zoo, Santa pictures, pictures with her cousins, pictures with her mom and I, dance recitals, etc. Needless to say, I'm excited.

The 3D/4D ultrasound reminded me of this verse. God doesn't need an ultrasound to see what's going on in our hearts and minds. He can read our minds just like you are reading this blog. Ultrasounds can reveal flaws in a baby's development. If they have a cleft palate, you can see it. If they have a deformed heart or spine, you can see it. As we were watching our baby girl, I was silently praying "God, please let her be whole." And she was! 10 fingers, 10 toes, perfect heart and spine, and a cute little chubby face! However, if she did have some kind of birth defect, I would still be as crazy about her as I am now. Of that I'm certain. You see, she is my baby girl. And daddies love their children no matter what.

Prior to this experience, I used to pause and ponder "How can God love me so much when I have so many spiritual deformities?" Now I understand. A Father's love transcends any and all "faults." For that, I am eternally grateful.

How about you?

10 Ways to Drive Your Pharmacist Out of His Ever-Lovin' Mind

Let me preface this post with this: I love serving the public. I truly do. It's my passion, my calling, my ministry. However, there are moments when I fight very hard to remember Whom I serve and why. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it includes several of these "moments." Enjoy!
  1. Call your phamacist and ask for a refill. Give him your first name only and hang up. Pharmacist's like a challenge. How many Michelles or Johns could there be, right?
  2. After planning your vacation for months, call your pharmacist (the more panicked the better) a mere hour or two before you need to catch your plane for a refill on your medicine. Throw a big fit when your pharmacist informs you your prescription is out of refills and the doctor will have to be called (by the way, this scenario usually occurs after the doctor's office is closed for the day). Your pharmacist is obviously slacking on their ESP capabilities and deserves a good verbal lashing.
  3. Call your pharmacist and tell them you need a refill on your "subscription" and would like to have it in a "genetic" if at all possible.
  4. By all means hand your pharmacist your empty tube of prescription hemorrhoid cream, rectal tip still attached, and ask them to throw it away for you. Pharmacists' hands are impervious to germs - especially the fecal kind.
  5. Write a hot $150 check for your prescriptions. Then pay for it (and the added bank fee) with dollar coins. Pharmacists are good at counting and look for any and every chance to showcase their skills.
  6. While picking up your flu prescriptions, cough and sneeze all over your hands, then hand the pharmacist your money. Feel free to use the bills like a Kleenex first. See #4.
  7. When you get new insurance cards in the mail, or if you switch to another insurance company, keep it a secret from your pharmacist. They love taking 45 minutes to talk to an insurance representative from a call-center in India - who just learned English the week before - only to learn you have new insurance. It's especially fun when you stand in the lobby waiting and glaring at us and tapping your foot while we are talking to said insurance representative. It's even more fun when you laugh as you realize you forgot and hand us your brand new card. We think you're a real card.
  8. The pharmacy is your children's playground. Let them roam, run, climb, touch, scream and drain the water cooler dry all over the ground. We pharmacists think your kids are "precious."
  9. Call your refill into your pharmacy and beg them to have it ready in 15 minutes, but don't pick it up for three days.
  10. Come into the pharmacy and walk up to the counter all the while talking on your cell phone. When the pharmacist or technician comes to assist you, hold up your finger and mouth "Just a minute." We don't have anything better to do than to stand there and listen-in as you carry on your majorly important phone conversation about when your hair stylist will be able to squeeze you in for for a quick coloring treatment.

There they are. Seriously, I've experienced every one of these scenarious at one time or another. I'm just thankful God has given me germ-repellant hands. ;)

I Have Been Tampered With. You?

Have you ever noticed how everything you buy these days has a foil or semi-plastic seal on it? Over-the-counter medications, milk, orange juice, etc. The idea is if any of these items were opened, you would noticed it right away. Something about it has been changed. Permanently. Irrepairably. Tampered with. Never again the same.

It makes me think about this verse.

Christ, through the work of the Spirit, tampers with you as you walk with Him.
My question is this: could anybody tell that I've been tampered

Can I see significant changes in my character over the years? I have seen some (more patient, less prone to swearing, quicker to confess sin, etc.) but, to be honest, in some areas it seems not so much (will purity always be a struggle?).

What about you? Where has God tampered with you the most? What is He tampering with right now in your life?

If something is child-proof, then why can't I open it?

A funny thing just happened to me. One of my patients came in to pick up his prescription for an eye drop. He asked me to administer his drops for him, and I happily obliged. The trouble was, I couldn't hardly open the dang dropper bottle because it was "child-proofed" with a plastic wrapper around the cap. I struggled, and struggled, and pulled, and did everything short of jumping up and down on it to get that darn wrapper off!

Then it hit me like a bolt of lightning.

For some non-believers, this is exactly what church, God, and the Bible is like to them. We Christians have "child-proofed" the Gospel. They want to get it, they know they need it, but can't get past the "packaging." Here's what I mean:
  • Marathon-length church services.
  • Worship music that's dated, stale, and just down-right awful. Don't get me wrong, I like a good old hymn once and a while, but there's a reason you can't find a radio station in your town that plays hymns all day long. Think about it.
  • Unwritten "dress-codes" at church.
  • Christian speak. "Thanks be to Jesus who is our sanctification and justification by the election of God's redemptive predestination!" (Not trying to be sacreligious here, just saying.)
  • "Us" vs. "Them" mentality. Come to us, we aren't coming to you.

Do you see any "child-proofing" at your church? If so, let me remind you of this verse and this one. Now, what are you going to do about it?

The Final Random Question for the Time Being

Hey everybody, thanks for journeying with me this week...very introspective and fun week...lots of good comments.

Which brings up another point, if you read my blog, and like it, tell somebody about it. Better yet, link to it and let me know so I can link back to yours too.

With that said....here's the Final Random Question for the Time Being:

What can you do at work today that will bring recognition to Christ? How can you let others see Him in you?

For me, one of my employee's mother passed last night. I'm praying for Christ to be her comfort and peace. I'm also going to try to be God's comfort and peace to her and her family via flowers, a card signed by all of us, a phone call, and more. I'll be honest and tell you I often don't know what to do or say in times such as these, but I do know just being there for someone means more than you know.

How about you?

Random Questions

In case you haven't noticed the lil' widget to the right there, I'm now a Twitter person. You can follow me everywhere I go now. Aren't you excited?!

What's your go-to Starbuck's drink?

Mine? Grande Caramel Macchiato. Mmm-mmm good!

Random Questions

If you could share one helpful tip about Bible study with someone else, what would it be?
Let me have it!

Random Questions

I had breakfast this morning with a friend, and we were discussing this one:
Which would you prefer: a DVD-based small group Bible study featuring a teacher you didn't personally know,
or a small group Bible study taught "live" by someone you did know?

Let me just say I love my church. I'm 100% on-board with most of what they're trying to do for the Kingdom. One thing I don't love so much is DVD-based small group Bible study material. Here's my reasons why:
  • It's a lazy way to lead a small group Bible study. What I mean is it doesn't challenge a leader to properly prepare for leading the Bible discussion. All they have to do is plug in a DVD and it does it all for them.
  • A key element of small groups is relationships. It's difficult to relate to a teacher on a DVD, especially if you don't know them.
  • Not all DVD players are the same. Not all TV's are the same either. I personally get frustrated if there are glitches in a DVD video.
  • What if the leader put all their faith in the DVD, didn't prepare for the meeting whatsoever, plugged in the DVD, and it wouldn't work? Serious waste of people's time. See point #1.
  • It assumes people would rather engage with a TV than a live person in a small group setting. Seriously? When was the last time you struck up a deep conversation with your TV set?

What are your thoughts?

Random Questions

Here's a random question for you...no agenda...just wanna hear your thoughts.

Who was more influential to you as a Christian, a
pastor or lay person? Why?

Disturbing Scriptures

Here's Numer Two: 1 Corinthians 10:14-22

Context: Paul warns the Corinthians to have nothing to do with idol worship.

Have you ever seen a buddha? They look so cutesy and all, but Paul warns in this passage there's more than meets the eye. Consider
verse 20. Now what do you think? That cute little plump "deity" is nothing more than a fancy facade for a demon. Not just buddha, but behind every idol worshipped on this plaent is a demon. I'm d-i-s-t-u-r-b-e-d when I think about all the prayers lifted up to these demonic powers all around the world - and what power that must give them to torment those who don't have Christ. Power to blind. Power to harm. Power to steal, kill, and destroy.

What disturbs me most is I tend to think of idols as only little statues, but they can also be my TV, golf, porn, drugs, etc. Anything that competes for the attention only God should have in your life is an idol.

What's disturbing you right now?