Thursday, January 27, 2011

Is there a leak in the the dam?

Remember that scene from National Lampoons Family Vacation when Chevy Chase and his family were taking the tour and he stood there trying to put his bubble gum over the leaks in the Hoover Dam? Ridiculous right? You were watching it like me thinking, OMG - what an idiot!
Have you ever noticed a light on your dash board that says service engine soon and just kept driving? Maybe your heat and air unit made a strange noise every now and then but it was too cold to think about possibly having it off for a few hours to have it checked so you didn't? Your lap top froze a few times and you got that weird blue screen - not the fatal one - the other one that does however warn that something’s not right?
But we drive on, ignore, keep working, the whole time saying to ourselves that we really need to attend to whatever the noise, light, and warning sign has been. Then BOOM! The bottom of whatever it is drops out and there we are, shocked at the chaos, the aggravation, the attention that now must be poured into whatever is not working properly. Yes, even though there have been signs all along that we have ignored we then find ourselves in full blown panic and race around trying to plug up the proverbial hole in the dam even though there has been water leaking out for some time.
What about in our relationships? In our own physical or emotional lives? We see, feel, know that something’s not right and we even think to ourselves, I really need to tend to that - later.
What about that friend you haven’t talked to much in awhile because you had that weird argument? The spouse you find yourself just sort of existing within the house each day but its been going on so long you couldn't even put your finger on when it all started? The child that doesn’t seem to be at family dinners as much, doesn’t seem to be making an effort anymore at school when they always have before?
There are always warning signs. But for some reason we put off the things in life that make us feel uneasy until they become so unbelievably uncomfortable we can't even imagine addressing the issues at all.
Heed the warning signs - they're always there. Just like when the dashboard light comes on, when you first realize the relationship just isn’t what it was, when communication isn’t happening, when you are spending more and more time in uncertainty then stop, take stock, and address the problems before they become loud, smelly, chaotic, uncomfortable and costly holes in the dam.

"You have seen many things, but have paid no attention; your ears are open, but you hear nothing." Isaiah 42:20


Marisa Lykins
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Our state of the union - sad, but for a different reason

I'm not gonna get into the direction of Obama's speech - you have your opinions and beliefs and I have my mine, right? But what I do want to note - sadly - is that one way to gage I think the state of our union is unfortunately by the huge amount of Americans out there who could care less about actively participating in it.
They want no part of listening and watching a speech by the appointed and elected leader of our country. A man who is attempting to set the tone and direction for the next 12 months. Many prefer to get info second hand, watch tv shows that are on every week already, talk about frivolous things, and post random comments when people in other countries were listening and watching it all and would die, and do die, to have the chance to participate in what their governments are doing.
I purposefully kept one eye on Twitter and Facebook while I was listening.
So many were either slamming it before it began, not caring enough to know it was even on, or purposely choosing not to listen.
If its because of a certain party they feel the President does or does not represent, then they are choosing not to care based on completely affiliating themselves with a certain group of people - a group of human people. Humans. Where does that normally get any of us?
If its because his personal beliefs don’t align completely with theirs, how could they then not want to be informed first hand about what actions and direction he intends to take on behalf of our country?

I posted this verse earlier for a different reason but in this case I think it bears repeating.

Daniel 2:21-22
He controls the course of world events;

he removes kings and sets up other kings.

He gives wisdom to the wise

and knowledge to the scholars.

He reveals deep and mysterious things

and knows what lies hidden in darkness,

though he is surrounded by light.

Just like with anything else - God doesn't intend for us to sit back and let government and political agendas just happen TO us. Yes, He spins the cosmos, He tells the seasons to change, He doesn’t need us, He is that God.

But that God allows and expects us to actively be IN His story. Every part of His story. And as characters, not bystanders simply reading about it. And in the midst of it all He reveals things He wants us to know, to feel, to understand.

If the government is upon Christ’s shoulders shouldn't we take an interest in it?

If we are to intercede and pray for kings and those in authority because it pleases our Savior, then shouldn’t we do that from an informed basis? These are things His word tells us are true.

Look, its not always exciting or even easy to understand but we also cannot base what we think or believe in this arena any more than we can depend on what someone else says Gods word means if we don’t read it and study it for ourselves. If we actively engage, participate, and pray for wisdom, guidance, and enlightenment it will please Him.

Plus, I cant gripe about what I don’t try to understand or help change.

Just my humble opinion.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Sometimes a girl just misses her Daddy.

My Daddy died on April 1st 2005. Which I must tell you, I do still find just a bit hilarious. Daddy was such a prankster, a joker, and had just the best and silliest sense of humor - so really, it should have come as no surprise to me that God picked April Fools Day to bring him home :)
But here I am, almost 6 years later, sitting on the couch, unable to sleep, and missing my Daddy tonight.
I recently lost not just my job of 13 years, but my biggest outlet for personal ministry. But tonight its not so much about that, as how taken aback I am with how deeply I still need my Daddy.
Don't get me wrong, I have seen God moving in my life very specifically during this change and season.
"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling." Psalm 68:5
And I am a blessed woman in that He is speaking and loving on me when I most need it.
Matthew 6:8 “Your Father knows the things you have need of, before you ask Him.”
But when I feel any sense of loss, or a feeling of being lost myself, I not only want my heavenly Father but I always want my earthly Daddy too!
I just want to be able to talk with him. Be able to sit with him. To pour out my heart to him, to let him just love me as he listens.
Daddy was a good listener.
You know how it is when someone isn't. There you are sharing your core self, your thoughts, your innermost feelings, and you slowly become aware that at some point the person you are with has already jumped a full 2 minutes ahead of you in the conversation. They really aren't hearing half of what you say because they somehow feel that what they're about to share with you next will completely change the way you look at the world and bring you to great enlightenment so they can hardly concentrate on anything else. You know what I'm talking about. In fact you can envision their face. Yep, me too.
But not Paul Rush. A man with a lifetime of experience, who loved God, loved me, and truly wanted to help never rushed to respond. He always made sure he was hearing clearly the cry of my heart, that each feeling I had was expressed, and that he never interrupted me. He simply listened. It was important to him to understand me. Then, if I hadn't already fleshed out my own answer - which tends to happen if we take the time to talk through it out loud - he would then quietly began to ask me questions. The questions I hadn't thought to ask because I was too wrapped up in the emotion and hurt, or the questions I had dared not ask myself because I feared having to look deep enough to answer them.
One of the other things I also miss about how well my Daddy listened was that at some point, at exactly the right time, he would use that wonderful sense of humor of his to make me laugh (no doubt also why I was attracted to my husband, who still makes me laugh so hard each day). It was never too soon so that I didn't feel like he wasn't taking me seriously. Never at the wrong moment where I could have taken it that he was uncomfortable with our talk. And never just thrown in randomly at the end to try and wrap it up too soon. It always came from a place of love, care, and when and where he was led by the Holy Spirit.
Paul Rush was a man, a marine, a pastor, and a tradesman of a different generation - this all could have easily added up to him being a no nonsense kind of a guy. Things could have been very very different. He could have assessed the situations I brought him, complied the evidence quickly, determined the most plausible course of action I should take, and have been done.
But Daddy was a good listener. He loved me through that. And I really wish I could talk with him now. Sometimes a girl just misses her Daddy...

Marisa Lykins