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Stuart, Fries and Bailey’s

September 17, 2006

This has got to be a first. A blog entry being written from the bar at Red Robin. Well, don’t have wifi here, but I’ve got OpenOffice and that’ll do well enough. I’ll just post when I get home. Alright, I’m just stalling now.

I’m chomping on bottomless steak fries (are there any better than Red Robin?) and sipping on a milkshake that has Bailey’s in it. Fantastic. A few TVs litter the bar. Sportscenter, women’s basketball and Stuart Little. Yeah, Stuart Little is really big with the bar crowd.

But what am I doing in Red Robin’s bar? That’s a great question. When you figure it out, let me know. I haven’t blogged anything deep for a while now. I blogged a while ago, after the really rough go, that I would be open and honest and not pull punches. Well, if I don’t blog, I don’t have to keep up on that. But I need to. As Steph said tonight, before I left, I’m a thinker and I haven’t had the opportunity to do that in a long time. It’s simply been moving from one thing to the next, cruise control. But cruise control gives the impression of smoothness and I’m not quite sure I could call it that really. Cause I’m sitting in a Red Robin bar. That doesn’t give the impression of smoothness to me. Well anyway, my intention is to be as honest with myself, God and you right now as possible. I don’t want to be. It’s hard and quite easy to be misunderstood. Especially if this is read by a non-Christian. No offense, but I’m afraid you just might not get it, and then think ill of me or of my God. But then again, as I posted a while ago, I want all parties, non-Christian and Christian alike, to be witness to my life, my faith. Even with all the bumps and bruises. And perhaps that will be a better thing than if I was to fake it and smooth it over so you couldn’t see ’em. But then I would be lying to myself, my God and you, and I’m pretty sure that’s a no-go somewhere in the Bible.

So, lemme grab another fry and take another sip of my shake and we’ll get down to business.

I hated the stream of consciousness writing exercises in English class. But I’m afraid I may have to tap into those here. (Random aside: I just saw that Hugh Laurie, of House fame, is in Stuart Little. That, ladies and gentlemen, is hilarious).

I don’t feel loved. There I said it. I s’pose that could sum up everything that’s been going on in me for the last few weeks? Months? I cognitively know that I am loved. That’s not the issue. Steph continues to sleep next to me at night and laugh at my jokes, even when they’re bad. My daughter still freaks out (in a happy way) when I come home. People far away email me to check up on me from time to time. I know I’m thought of and cherished, even. I know that.

I know that God loves me. One, I was inundated with that fact over and over for four years and it continues at GCC every Sunday. The world is still spinning, the sun still rises and sets everyday and a giant meteor hasn’t come down to crush me. I know He loves me. But apparently that doesn’t mean much right now.

My chest is starting to tighten. Physiological response to thought. An interesting thing, isn’t it?

Why does God’s love not mean much to me? That’s a great question. I know it’s there. All the signs are there. He continues to provide for us as a loving Father should. Steph and I were able to weather the whole surgery thing and the expenses are being taken care of. That’s not to say our savings didn’t take a hit, but we’re not in the poor house. We survived. And we both recognize that it is the provision of God. I don’t doubt that for a second. But that’s not the issue. (Why do people think that ranch goes with steak fries. How gross is that? But I have a nice waitress nonetheless. She seems to understand that I’m just here to think and write. Nice gal).

So God provides for me, unfailingly. That’s established. He spared my daughter. He very easily could have let her die. And quite frankly it wouldn’t have been shocking really. Maybe it would have shocked the doctors up the hill that she didn’t survive, but to the normal lay person, if a baby is born with two major heart defects, that baby not surviving wouldn’t necessarily be a big surprise. But God spared her. But Himself in front of the death angel and kept her alive. By a nurse who was simply doing a routine checkup. By a nursery nurse who knew this was beyond her. By doctors who identified what was wrong in less than 30 minutes. By an exploratory surgery that could have gone drastically awry but ended up being a great learning tool. By the steady hands of a team of surgeons that repaired a tiny hole in a heart that was no bigger than a walnut. A friggin’ walnut. I can thread a needle through pants, and these people can sew up a hole inside a tiny chamber that’s a fifth of a walnut. There is a God in heaven and He was present in an operating room on June 29, 2005. And He is every day.

And His love is not enough to stabilize my fickle emotions and heart? What the hell is wrong with me?

/// Eating fries while I ponder this ///

bq. Rom 1:16-25

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

/// Slowly eating fries and milking my water as I read Romans for a little bit ///

Speaking of Abraham… “In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations…” Then later in chapter 5 – “Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.”

We rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. Haven’t taken time lately to think about that. I get to spend eternity in a place that John couldn’t even begin to describe it was so amazing.
When we endure, it produces character because we’ve been able to hack it. And if we’ve experienced crap and still come out okay, then that experience produces hope because it is hope that gets us through? Is that how it works? But what if you don’t come out okay? What then? How does hope play in there? Nevertheless, hope does not disappoint, it’s worth the effort and flying in the face of all that seems real and present, because God has not lied and has poured out His love through the Holy Spirit. I’ve experienced that. In a real physical way. Camp after senior year. I can’t deny it. I just have to remember it. And I often don’t. I should. I know it’s real. The love of God, the Holy Spirit. Hope. It’s real. That’s where I’ve gotten off track. No hope.

Later in Romans (thank you concordance) — “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.”

So hope is rooted in the scriptures. That’s another place I’ve been off track. Big shocker. Hard not to have hope when immersed in His promises. Yeah, check number 2.

So that’s what I should been focusing on in this next season of life, faith. Hope. God of Hope, please fill me with all joy and peace in believing you and your love, so that I can love and feel loved, bless Steph and be blessed by her. May it and I abound.


May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 22, 2006 12:36 pm

    Well said, hope isn’t really hope if it isn’t based in truth. We can’t find truth apart from scripture.

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