Thursday, February 10, 2011

Suffer Well or Grumble

Cheesy Picture Intentional
I thought my fever was gone and I was on the mend.  I know better than that, but what's wrong with being hopeful?  As I laid in bed, wearing pajama pants, socks, t-shirt, and a fleece, while underneath a sheet, blanket, and comforter shivering, I was reminded that I have a choice, even when I suffer of who or what I will worship.

This point was even more poignant because my little girl, B, has a low fever as well, so we were sitting in the 'sick bed' together.  Not to be so self-centered as to think that it's all up to me for my daughter to fall in love with Jesus, but I can set an example for her in all aspects of my life, including suffering.

The 'self-centered' caveat may not even be necessary, but I do have a fever and I don't want to miscommunicate.

Rumor has it, men are wussies when they are sick (True).  Also, as I mentioned in my previous blog, we have our next preview service for our church plant this Sunday.  I have a choice to either shake my fist at the Heavens (misplaced angst) or rest in the sovereignty and goodness of God.  After all, I preach of a big God who is in control, so it would be prudent to live in view of that, would it not?

To be honest, I have been tempted a few times to grumble about being sick, and may have once or twice (or 12 times), but I am aware that God is in control and I can rest in Him.

Here are a few things I have learned:

  1. God is the One who will build His church.  There is only so much that I can do to gather people, but at the end of the day, it is His.
  2. My wife and daughter, whom I have the great privilege and responsibility to lead, get to see up close whether or not I live what I say what I believe and what I teach others. (Thank God they are super gracious!)
  3. "God uses all things for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose." - Romans 8:28 -  While I may not see it at this moment, I am very hopeful.
Thanks for all of the prayers and encouragement.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

No me gusta la gripe... (FLU)...

I woke up in the middle of the night with chills.  Thinking that it was just because another cold front was heading in, I didn't put much concern into it.  However, when I woke up in the morning, I felt sick.  I took my temperature and it came back at 101˚!

Immediately flashbacks started flooding into my head of all the people coughing in the airplane this weekend.  I remember one lady was covering her mouth in such a way that it seemed like she was trying to project her cough for the world to share.  I'm sure it's just my imagination... Right?

I went to one of those clinics in the grocery store, had them stick this thing up my nose, and almost immediately they let me know I had the flu.  Bummer.  They told me that I was lucky that I had caught it early and that with some meds I should be feeling better in a few days.  This is good news since Christ Community Church of Magnolia has our second preview service this upcoming Sunday!

I'm seriously considering wearing a SARs mask (like the one above, gotta be stylish, no?) and carrying cans of Lysol with me.  Or, maybe I should just plan on getting a flu shot.  Either way, no me gusta la gripe...

Monday, February 07, 2011

There and Back

This past weekend I had the privilege of preaching at Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon, FL. I have always enjoyed my time with the leaders and students from this church and was greatly looking forward to being with them again. However, on Friday morning, I wasn't sure that I was going to make it there.

At the end of last week, Houston experienced a serious(?) ice storm. Now, Houstonians have a rough enough time driving in rain, so you can imagine their struggle when ice forms. My flight was scheduled to leave Friday at 12:05 pm from Houston's Hobby Airport (HOU), so I left extra early in order to make sure I had adequate time to get there.

My wife, Steph, was a bit worried about me driving through the ice, but I told her that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was compelling me to at least try and make my flight. I assured her that I would take my time and be extra careful.

On my way there, I was shocked by how many accidents I saw.  It seems that the 'ol boys down here in H-Town got a bit impatient and decided to slam on their brakes when things got slick.  Whoops...

After taking the scenic route through South Houston and over the ship channel, I finally made it to the airport and was overwhelmed by how long the lines were.  By the time I made it to the counter my flight was scheduled to have already left.  So, they took my suitcase and put a 'Transfer' tag on it.

I then proceeded to enter into the 45 minute+ security line and slowly made my way through the maze.  Security was a breeze once I got there and I got through without a hitch.

As I was going to the desk to find a later flight, I noticed the door was still open for the gate I was supposed to leave from almost an hour earlier!  I went up to the guy and said, "Is the flight to Tampa still here?"  He answered that it was and I replied, "I want to go to there." (or something like that).  As I was going over to the desk to get my original boarding pass printed up, I was allowed to cut in front of a huge line (made tons of fans) and got my boarding pass.

Once on the plane, I felt like I was re-enacting the school bus scene in Forest Gump with all of the boys and girls having middle seats open shifting their weight in such a way that let me know that they were not going to let me sit without a fight.

Finally, I made it to the back of the plane, and had no other choice but to sit between two, although I'm sure nice, but large folks.  I'm no lightweight myself, so as I was getting in, I assured them that I could make myself super narrow.  Apparently they liked the idea and took me up on the offer.  After getting settled (squished) in, they got on the intercom to inform us that our pilot was running late due to traffic (later than I was!?) and that we would be leaving in a few moments.  Phew!

I landed in Tampa, picked up my rental car, and then headed to the hotel.  I didn't have a change of clothes, but fortunately, they had an event T-shirt that I could wear.  So, I donned the new shirt, went on stage, and preached.  Afterwards I was informed by my friend that when she went to the airport that they still had not located my luggage...  Grr...

So, I did what anyone would do, and went to Target™ and bought a new shirt, socks, under-roos, etc.   Later that night I received a phone call from the airline that my bag had arrived and that they would be delivering it overnight.

Overall, it wasn't that horrible, but definitely a bit inconvenient.  The ministry event, however, went very well and I pray that as the seeds are watered, that the students and leaders will bear much fruit and that God will bring the harvest.