Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Where Are My Children?

      Silent movies are not something my mother would have enjoyed. Fortunately talkies came out by the time she was old enough to go to the movie theater. She could enjoy a good dialog driven movie but someone would have had to read the title cards and explain the pantomime to her during a silent film and well, that's just not practical.
     Why am I telling you this? For some reason an old silent movie came to mind the other day. I saw it many years ago during a sleepless night. Restored in 2000, it was originally made in 1916 so the content surprised me. The main character was a prominent lawyer. The movie portrayed his wife and their high society lifestyle against the background of a trial he was prosecuting. A doctor was on trial for performing abortions. At the end of the movie the doctor discovers his wife's name in the doctor's log. It is in there three times and he asks, "Where are my children?"
      I wonder if God is asking the same question. I'm not talking about abortion but denying other's the chance to be called His by our silence. I don't know about you but I have never led anyone to the Lord. I've shared my testimony and led my brother back to the Lord but I've never brought a new believer into the fold. On judgement day is God going to say, "Where are my children, the ones you were supposed to lead to me?"
      Are we holding up title cards to a blind world or are we preaching the gospel in such a way that it draws others to Him?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

They say it's postpartum

     A very sad thing happened here in Orange the other day. A desperate woman, possibly suffering from postpartum depression, dropped her baby over the 4th floor railing of the parking garage at Children's Hospital Orange County (CHOC). She was not from the area and the baby was not a patient. NEW INFORMATION REBEALS THAT THE BABY DID HAVE HEALTH ISSUES and THE MOTHER WAS PREVIOUSLY HOSPITALIZED FOR DEPRESSION AND THAT SHE HADN'T ACCEPTED HER SON'S CONDIDTION. Postpartum depression is suspected. I read a brief article on WebM.D. about this disorder.
     But I also had first hand experience. I suffered from it after my youngest was born. As far as I know the difference between me and this woman is I got help. I don't know about her family and support which WebM.D. also stated plays a factor. HER HUSBAND WAS QUITE CONCERNED AND ASKS US NOT TO JUDGE HIS WIFE. Because of the help I got, and a few prayer warriors, I did not act on the fleeting thoughts of driving my car off a cliff with the children in it. My postpartum also stayed at the depression level and did not go into the realm of psychosis. Psychosis turns a fleeting thought into a thought that must be acted upon.
     The older I get, the more like my mother I become. Sure her first reaction to the news, which someone would have to tell her because she refused to watch the news, would be disgust. But after that initial reaction, she would lift up the entire situation to the Lord. The baby, last I heard, is in critical condition at UCI. Mom would pray for God's Will first and if it be His Will, healing. Then she'd pray for the mother with grace and compassion.
      That is the other sad point in this story. I've been watching my friend's and their friend's reactions on Facebook. I didn't divvy up the comments into condemnation and prayer so I don't have exact numbers for you. I can tell you though that it appears to be condemnation with a sprinkling of sympathy. As a Christian I believe it is our first priority to take this woman to the throne of God rather than send her to the electric chair. We don't know the full story but God does. We need to ask Him to become real to her and supply her needs in the days, months, and years to come. THE BABY"S DEATH DOES NOT CHANGE MY VIEWPOINT.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lord Teach Me to Pray

      We're having a prayer meeting tonight at church. There will be music and the pastor will guide us by telling us it's time for a prayer of thanksgiving or petition. We will praise God for what He as done in one segment. Another time we will focus on Who He is.

     Lord, teach me to pray. 

     The church did this about a month ago and it was a moving service. I participated but not as much as I could have. In my silence was dishonesty. I did not boldly petition my Abba, my Daddy, Who only wants the best for His children. I did not sing when Mom's song Thanks came to mind. I was self conscious but it's not about me. It's about Him.

     Lord, teach me to pray.

     I know the answer when the disciples asked the same question. What I don't know is how to be more like my mother. She'd pray out loud for you on the spot. One time she even started praying before I finished telling her the problem. I don't know how to forget the other people in the room. And I want to know.

      Lord, teach me to pray.

     I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. I am content with what God has given me. I have reason to rejoice and sing His praises. No, life is not perfect. A new health issue has come up but I know He will be with me as I take steps to regain my health. My salvation is secure and my hope is in Him. My silence has no place in church tonight.

      Lord, help me to pray.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Triangle

     Watching design shows the most popular piece of advice that comes up when designing a kitchen is that it should be a triangle. I don't think it matters if it's equalateral or right angle or one of the other terms I've forgotten from geometry. The point is to have your oven, refrigerator and sink on one of the three points. By design both my childhood home and current kitchen adhered to this advice but when I used each kitchen the design had been altered and the triangle broken. For some reason as I write this I am seeing the instrument known as the triangle. It is open on one end yet still works. I guess what that's telling me is that my kitchens still worked just not efficiently. 
      Let's go on a field trip today shall we? Back to my childhood home in Santa Ana where I'll show you the origianl design of the kitchen. We enter the kitchen from the dining room. To the left of the doorway is a long wall with a window in the middle. The refrigerator is at the far end of the wall facing out. Next to it on another wall is a counter and sink (under another window) and then another counter. Across from the sink is the oven/stove. Did you see the triangle. It was there by design. My father broke the triangle somewhere along the way. He moved the refrigerator to the service porch and built a long counter with storage underneath along the wall. The window was lower than the counter so he went around it. Not sure why. The window couldn't be opened because you couldn't reach it: the counter was too wide. Now the refrigerator ended up on the same wall as the stove but there was a wall between them. Our food pantry was also on the service porch. The oven still baked. The burners still held a pan and boiled water. The sink was still useful for washing dishes and the garbage disposal worked. The refrigerator/freezer still kept our food cold and colder. They just didn't work well together, according to recommended design. The triangle was broken. 
      Let's get out of the time machine now and come to my current kitchen. The sink is on one wall. The stove/oven and space for the refrigerator is across on the other long wall. Wait a minute, did I say space for refrigerator? Yes, you heard right. Our french door refrigerator is too wide for the space. Even if we could remove the molding on the wall and shove it in there, it wouldn't work. The doors wouldn't open and it would block the built in pantry. So our refrigerator isn't even in our kitchen. Talk about a broken triangle. The frig is in the dining area--yes area--too small to be considered a room. It's also open to the living room. Space broke the triangles. My father wanted more storage space and I don't have enough space. There's another triangle that comes to mind: the trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. You remember them? They're the 3 men Don McClean admired most in his song American Pie. Anyway, nothing can break the trinity but sin puts space between us and the Triune God. But the Great Designer provided a way to bridge that gap by sending us His Son to die for our sins. We cross that bridge by faith, by believing in Him and repenting of our sins.