Thursday, September 21, 2006

Jo and I worked on our soon to be announced website for the Shepherd's Call for three hours over the phone. Afterall, she lives in Nashville- three hours away from me. Distance isn't going to inhibit our work. Now I've got butterflies fluttering about inside at the potential of our project- I mean it. I must say, I am so very proud of our work.

I dashed off the phone in time to drive Tater to soccer practice and have a run on my favorite path. I asked God, "Will the bunny be there?"
I got a very clear answer, "Not until you show your son after practice. The bunny will be there for you and your son to share."

As I stretched my thighs, calves, and quads on the grass before the run, I noticed the rich green clover mixed into the grass. "God, wouldn't it be delightful if you'd wish me luck on The Shepherd's Call with a four leaf clover?" I grinned at the silliness of my request. I don't recall ever finding a four leaf clover myself before, but my son Peace picks them in abundance.

As I leaned my head forward onto my left knee, an impossible thing caught my eye. "It can't be." But it was. A four leaf clover. A present from God to me to wish me luck. I plucked it in amazement at the intimacy I felt with Him at that moment.

"All right, God. Shouldn't there be one for Jo too?" I joked back with Him in my playful joy.
I reached for my other foot snuggled into a worn running shoe, and I could not believe my eyes. The second miraculous four leaf clover poked proudly just in my reach beyond the plastic black and powder blue tip of my toe. I snatched it up, and carefully placed both of my treasures in a safe place between the front carseats of my reliable old Honda.

I haven't explained this before, but sometimes I trust God to speak to me in the "shuffle songs" setting of my ipod, but sometimes I don't. I decided today God might just want to say more than "Good luck", and even though the first three songs in the shuffle annoyed me for various hard hearted reasons, I let God pick the songs. The theme which I gleaned from listening to God's mix turned out to be something along the lines of, "True, here are your spheres of influence reflected in these songs and those you see on the path while you run."

You might wonder, what I saw on the path besides the normal Canada geese, ducks, and a few squirrels? I saw a group of middle school boys hanging, a mom and daughter, a couple, a couple with a baby, an hispanic man, an older woman with that "teacher" look, a woman a little older than myself, and another group of local middle or high school boys and girls.

Remember, I was also looking for Jesus in the bunny in my five loops around, but he did not appear. I saw another bunny rush across the path at another location, but I could tell he was not mine, his body too long, too sleek, too grown. The still small voice reminded, "He's not the one. You'll see Jesus bunny with your son."

When I approached Tater, I heard him announce loudly twice, "That sucks!" In my book, "sucks" rhymes with other curse words and isn't permitted in the Vyne household unless it correlates with drinking through a straw. I kept my mouth shut for once, and asked Tater to collect his ball and follow me.

"Where are we going, Mom?" he asked suspiciuosly.

"I want to show you something which makes me think of you when I run." I threw as a "bone".

He hates secrets and bugged me the entire quarter of a mile, "What is it? What is it?"

I lowered my voice to a whisper"When we go around this bend, you must keep your ball in your hands and not speak a word, or you won't be able to see it."

"Mom, that doesn't make any..."

"Shhh, Honey. Trust me. You'll like this."

Consider the fact that Mr. Long Ears hadn't been there five times before that same evening, but with my new found clover faith, I knew he'd be wiggling his nose and flashing his huge black eyes when my boy rounded the bend.

Tater's eyes grew wide as he hushed out, "Mom! Is he always there? Maybe it's someone's pet that got loose. He lets you get so close. Can we take him home? Please, Mom. Please? We have a place for him."

I giggled and spoke softly, "This is his home. I don't think he'd like a cage. Besides we visit often."

When Tater got within a foot of his brown cotton ball tail, Mr. Long Ears lept back into the brush.

Next Tater and I went on a hunt for Touch-Me-Nots seed pods together. Tater worried the bursting seeds might sting when their natural "flingers" projected their bounty. The sun faded too quickly, and he never got to test his concern.

Is it trite to write the lessons learned? If so, I'll risk the goober consequences.

My Big Dad loves me deeply. I ask for something simple, and it is His pleasure to place it in my hands. God knows my past, present, and future. He's not concerned as much with my particular musical tastes as much as He with me in learning my lessons well. He's making a way for me to share my gifts with everyman. My Jesus loves my son and I and whispers a unsophisticated plan to tie our hearts together in a bundle of three in sharing an alluring creature in the shape of a not yet grown rabbit and among brilliant orange flowers.

Friday, September 08, 2006

I was delighted to see the tail end of the bunny fleeing into the bushes last night on my path. It was the tail end of my laps, and I thought, “God, if you have something to say, I’ve already run more than I should have, and my knees are screaming for me to stop. Would you mind speaking quickly though I know that’s not exactly how you work.”

Nothing .

I got to my destination beside my son’s soccer practice field and found a place to sprawl alone under the gorgeous clouds and bright blue sky. I thought, “This is a good spot to remain quiet and listening.” And I did until I got distracted by the practice game- a field full of mostly 10 year old boys with their shirts off sweating profusely, some with long hair flying behind them as they ran. All. Over. The. Place. When the coach took some time to explain something to the kids in mid-field, the ones closest to me and the goal began to make their arms into swinging elephant trunks and give wild explosive elephant calls. They also came up with a brilliant plan to do somersaults in celebration when their team scored. I was proud to see my son doing some interesting backwards footwork to free the ball from the mob and take control a bit.

“I’m supposed to listening to You, God” when I recognized my thoughts had wandered. I laid down face up to the sky again for a while until I heard footsteps close to my head. “How are you?” Tom, a team dad, inquired. I sat up and chatted, and somehow our conversation turned from science to intelligent design, evangelical Christians, faith, his opinion that the Bible is flawed but a good book to live life by, living a good life and being rewarded, then homosexuality.

I added a few comments to Tom’s well thought out and well put opinions. I believe the Bible to be fact, but I also believe too many people major in what I think to be the minors of inerrancy of the Bible and creationism, when the purpose of Christianity is RELATIONSHIP with Jesus and one another. And I know I do not deserve a heavenly reward in any shape or form for the good life I lead, because I fail and fail and fail and fail. Tom suggested a good life is a process as opposed to perfection to which I agreed. However, the more I try to lead a good life, the more obvious it becomes that I do not.

We ventured down the homosexuality conversation course a while, and he mentioned long term relationships and the need for couple’s rights to be acknowledged by the government. We spoke on gay pride and the uncomfortableness of PDA. I told him I think I regret not having friendship with anyone gay in that I’ve known people who’ve “come out” and then the friendship disappeared. There are still some people out there I consider to be a friend whom I’d more than welcome a visit or phone call. I didn’t have time to mention to Tom, the horrible job I feel we Evangelicals are doing regarding caring for homosexuals.

The conversation closed as the boys flooded from the field toward us.

So, I didn’t have any God bunny epiphanies, but instead good conversation. That counts for something I suppose.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Maya Angelou carries herself with an exquisite beauty which originates within and somehow shines through magically transparent skin to the outside.

Christians - By Maya Angelou

When I say... "I am a Christian
"I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin'.
"I'm whispering "I was lost,
Now I'm found and forgiven."

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble
and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... "I am a Christian
"I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak
And need His strength to carry on.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visibleBut,
God believes I am worth it.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His name.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner
Who received God's good grace, somehow!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Gifted Response

I've been fooled by Matt Redman. Twice. I've never met him as he's a worship leader from England, but Buck was one of five hundred people he chatted intimately with at a Passion worship conference a few years ago. Anyhow, I've read his song title Gifted Response on my ipod and went through the same incorrect thought processes two times as follows- one might think I could learn from the first mistake, but apparently I'm not such a sharp study.

Inside True's head: Gifted Response- This song must be about how we as gifted and talented humans respond to God's love and revelation with something beautiful. After all, God created us, and I mean me, with such aptitude, ability, genius, skill, and we, I, have so much to offer God.

You may laugh now at how badly I missed the mark. The song couldn't convey a more opposite message than my arrogant thoughts. Matt gets something I often forget- we have utterly nothing within ourselves to present to God. Matt knows even our ability to respond at all to God is a gift from God Himself.

This is a gifted response
Father we cannot come to
You by our own merit
We will come in the name of
Your son
As He glorifies You
And in the power of Your spirit


We have come to something so mysterious
Too deep for minds to comprehend
Through the open door
Where the angels sing
And the host of heaven are antheming...
And we'll sing the glory of Your name
Celebrate the glories of Your grace
We will worship You,
We will worship You
And we'll make Your praise so glorious
Singing songs of everlasting praise
We will worship You, we will worship You

I am sadly stunned at my habitual lack of humility. However, I couldn't possibly work on it unless God, in His goodness, continues to reveal my weaknesses time and again. Now that's faithful.