It is all about people

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Location: Hatboro, Pennsylvania, United States

Monday, May 10, 2010

In the pine trees that surround the ball field behind the church is a hawk's next. I like watching the raptors and hope they aren't too annoyed that I occasionally stare up at them from the base of the tree they call home.
But then insert the crows. The poor hawk barely gets off and into flight before 2 or 3 of these large lustrous black birds begin to attack and pick on it. Really, it seems to always be the case. I can't imagine what the bird thinks, but I am even tired of those crows.
I'm tired of picking, period. The crows on the hawk. The devil on me. I'm tired of picking.
You should meet some of the people that live and work close to me... they are like the crows, and just as good at picking.
They are bad news. I am the poor hawk going about my own business, when "ca ca" (that's suppose to be a crow sound).
Well this was my thesis until this week: Me the hawk, them the crows.
Insert God. He's taken me to see that I might be the hawk... but I'm also the crow. That Satan and sin is not all about using the world to get at me but my own self(ishness). That it is my own pride that causes me to be picked on. It is impossible to be humiliated when I have humility, or to be disgraced when I am living a life of grace.
C.S. Lewis says this is where it all begins-"Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind."
Books tell them to call selfishness by other names. Fear, weakness, frustration, and hurt all can all point to someone else being the crow. Without any interest in excusing them, we must realize, they aren't the one's picking.
I am tired of being picked on by my own sin. So, I am headed back to spending a "thoughtful hour on the life of Christ" each morning-to learn from that life of humility and grace.

Monday, May 03, 2010

I had an uneventful flight this last week and it’s always fun to see the earth from 30,000 feet. I can only be thankful that my flight included only Chicago and Phoenix and not London or Paris. Thanks to Iceland’s remote volcano Eyjafjallajokull which filled the sky with ash 7 miles high, 100,000 flights were canceled and hundreds of thousands of passengers were literally left sitting in many European airports. The stranded weren’t just the “coach” passengers, but included government officials headed to Poland, an Olympian headed to the Boston marathon, Oxford University bigwigs, and even a New Yorker who had to have her wedding changed from the planned country of France.

“But the impact,” writes Bryan Walsh, of the volcanic crisis went far beyond the inconvenience of stranded vacationers and sprained tongues of newscasters trying to pronounce Eyjafjallajokull.” Kenyan farmers suffered when the fresh flowers they provide to a significant part of Europe couldn’t leave the their continent. Although the price tag was significant for the airlines (estimated 1.2 billion), they were the only ones to suffer, this really had a global effect.

I had realized most of this, but it wasn’t until I saw the title for Bryan Walsh’s article in time magazine that my imagination and even emotions were arrested: “The Cloud That Closed A Continent.” Walsh goes on to comment that this is one more reminder of how vulnerable are world remains. I’m sure you are ahead of me already – “The Cloud That Closed a Continent.” What about the headlines “The Cloud that Will Close the Planet?”

Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. (Luke 21:27) John says that He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped. (Revelation 14:16)

Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull was unheard of until it's cloud "closed a continent." That’s what we are all about – living our lives so that the world expects the cloud that will "close" the planet.