A Busy God Part Two

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Birthday’s are really anniversary’s; days you celebrate your birth. This day is for me is both an anniversary and a birthday celebration. Five years ago on this very day God chose to gift me with Gracie Muriel Harris and just as importantly He used the opportunity to make a new man of me; I needed both.

Just after Gracie’s birth we learned that she was born with Down syndrome; this was a major shock to the system since we had been told that all was fine with Kim and the baby. Five years ago I walked through one of if not the longest days of my life; this is the anniversary of that day.

Shortly after her birth I wrote a devotional titled “A Busy God”. I spoke of all the ways God intervened in my life to walk with me through one of those ‘punch to the gut’ type of days. Looking back on things now this is what I am positive of; God is always a busy God!

Instead of being busy walking me through a crisis moment He has since been busy making me a different person using the life of a special needs child to do it.

I love Gracie with all my heart but with her comes the lesson of patience. We prayed for the day she would walk and rejoiced with that day. Since that time though we have said this phrase every day ten times a day; ‘where is Gracie’. She like her father cannot be trusted and we have to know where she is at all times. There is no break with this either, let up for a second and you will find yourself dealing with a mess you would have never dreamed of. Gracie is a 24 hour a day job, that is not a complaint just a fact of life. A busy God gave us a busy girl!

He has taught me patience to deal with the stares of people who don’t understand or don’t care to try. Oh we get stares everywhere; some are good ones of people making contact with Gracie for a smile or wave. While others are of those who see her as something to be examined or pitied, in our world of tolerance a special needs child that looks different of acts different still draws a lot of attention. God reminded me who I was before January 27th, 2006 and has given me patience to understand.

My busy God has taken the last five years to make me understand true compassion as opposed to just having me preach on it. It is one thing to preach or teach about a loving God it is another thing to have to learn to rely on it daily. It is one thing to say you love everyone, the misguided, the poor, the disabled and it is another to learn how to love that way in your own home. Yes, He is a busy God.

God has taken the last five years to show me I wasn’t the best at being a friend in the past or even the best family member. He has taught me how change and crisis can reveal those who truly love and how to truly love back. He showed me how especially in the difficult moments people can shine their best, show mercy, love and kindness. Then he turned the light on me and showed me how I had some work to do.

He has reminded me that talk is cheap and actions show the true desire of the heart.

Perhaps the toughest lesson but best has been his education on how to be a real husband. I realize now what a pretender I was. He taught me how to love a wife in the ways that count, not just the ways that benefit me. Taught me how to sacrifice some of my needs and how much sacrifice goes into meeting mine. God has taught me to ‘man up’ and be responsible for my family and not leave a heavy burden on Kim. A busy God indeed, unfortunately he has much work to do.

This is the anniversary of God beginning a real transformation in my life; not one of words and theology but one of action and reality. Had I been given the choice I would have never chosen this form of transformation. But He is not only a busy God but a wise one and I have learned His presence is a gift.

Today Gracie is five; she will be busy, her eyes will get as big as saucers as she looks at presents and enjoys the love of her family. She will boss me around which is her favorite sport, she will answer the phone before we get there and in general be herself. She will make us laugh and remind us that her repaired heart has a capacity to love that all of us normal people could use a heavy dose of. She will never know the lives she has affected and how her birth began a transformation of her dad’s heart. But no doubt I will thank God for her and the opportunity for change.

I will praise God for all of the family and friends that have walked with us through these first five years of Gracie’s life and how God used them to teach me so many things. I will thank God for her good health and happy attitude when I know things could have been far more difficult.

Today I say Happy Birthday Gracie, I love you! I also say thank you Lord for giving me an anniversary to celebrate, an anniversary of a changed heart, I love you too!

Dear Lord, thank you for not just being busy on the tough days but in each day.

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:27-28, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are,

Prayer: Dear Lord, we thank you that you are busy in our lives; giving comfort, love, support and most of all showing us where we need to adjust our ways to be more like yours. We ask that you never let us go and we have confidence that you will not. We ask these things in the name of Christ, Amen.

Simple/truths 161 written by Richard Harris for more simple/truths go to simple-truths.net.
If you live in the Dallas area you can purchase Simple Truths Volume I for a suggested donation of 20 dollars to Our Hands, His Heart. For further purchase information reply back to richardgrl@aol.com. If you do not live in the Dallas area you can purchase Simple Truths Volume I at simple-truths.net.

A Super Cover Up

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On at 12:03 PM

In case you have lived under a rock for all of 2010 in North Texas I need to let you know the Super Bowl is coming to Dallas, well actually Arlington but close enough. In case you don’t live in Texas I also want to let you know this is a very big deal to many people in the Dallas area.

Each and every mover and shaker in Dallas has been a big player in this event. Even the local newspaper has a clock that is counting down every second before the big game. Party’s are planned, hotels are booked and this all with the countdown standing at 25 days 7 hours, 32 minutes and 30 seconds. They have been planning this for years; the big day is almost here.

They are expecting people from all over the country and world to be here; upward of 250,000 visitors. With that expectation comes the fact that Dallas wants to put its best foot forward; I have no problem with that; we all like to put our best foot forward for guest. I am from Dallas, love the area and even with its faults think it is a great place to live; of course I want others to think the same. With this in mind……

I saw a headline the other day where the city was clearing up the graffiti on the walls, sidewalks and building all throughout the city. I thought this was a great idea; then I read the reason of the clean up was for the Super Bowl. Seems to me we have a Super Bowl Cover Up going on.

The city is seeking to cover up its ugly side for a period of time. What works for the city, works for people as well, as I look around we as people, normally have a super cover up going on ourselves, we just don’t put it on the front page of the newspaper. Here is how it works.

We like the city are concerned with what others will think of us so we cover up our ugly side as best we can. We dress up, smile and tell everyone life is great while on the inside our heart is breaking, we are depressed or we are struggling with our failures.

This is one of the great wastes of times in life for several reasons. One is when we do this we assume that everyone else is doing so great when in reality they have their own cover up going on. We all hurt, we all sin, and we all have things we are not proud of. The sooner we realize that the sooner we stop wasting our time on our great cover up.

Another reason this is a waste of time is that it keeps us from seeking the help and support available to us. As soon as we drop our guard and are real then healing begins. In this area the first stop should be God; here is the most useless place to attempt to cover things up. God already knows, take it to Him first, admit you hurt, admit you’re frustrated, and admit you’ve blown it. Then ask for the help that is always available, always understanding and always deals with us in a redemptive manner when we cease the big cover up.

No matter how much we seek to hide some aspect of our life trust me people will always find it. Many are actually looking for it, which is a waste of their life but we will talk about that another day. We waste our lives trying to keep some kind of ‘perfect life’ reputation going; let’s be real. Actually when people see you have overcome the ‘graffiti’ in your life they can be inspired and given hope that they can do it to.

Let’s face it no city how great it is will be able to get rid of all the ugly aspects of city living but there is nothing wrong with trying. We as individual’s need to face it as well, we will never be able to completely rid ourselves completely of our ugly side.

The city is using a lot of tricky formulas to rid itself of the unwanted writing on the wall, it seems to be working but even they know it will only be for a period of time. For us and the ‘unwanted’ aspects of our life we have a formula that will last forever; the forgiving blood of Christ.

Cover yourself with that.

Scripture: Hebrews 9:14, “Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to avoid the trap of worrying about what others think instead of what you think of our lives. Guide us to lean on you and more than anything thank you for helping to clean us up. We ask these things in the name of Christ, Amen.

Simple/truths 160 written by Richard Harris for more simple/truths go to simple-truths.net.

If you live in the Dallas area you can purchase Simple Truths Volume I for a suggested donation of 20 dollars to Our Hands, His Heart. For further purchase information reply back to richardgrl@aol.com. If you do not live in the Dallas area you can purchase Simple Truths Volume I at simple-truths.net.

Christmas: Is about touch.

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 3:56 PM

Quick name your favorite thing to do with preschool children…..Okay time is up. I am thinking if you are like me going to the park is a great thing to do with the kids. Maybe you like to watch a movie with preschoolers or play some sport with them. All of these are on my favorite list. Now this is just a guess but I am thinking not too many of you put shopping down as one of your favorites. I love my preschoolers for a lot of reasons, first and foremost because we think a lot of like.

Secondly they cannot sit still this is another one of my habits. But when it comes to doing some Christmas shopping, well they are not so much fun, bless their hearts.
I love to shop at Mardel’s here in Texas and they try to help us parents of preschoolers out, but it just does not always work so well. Last week Kim and I took our 6 and 4 year old to the local Mardel’s and did a little shopping. This is how it works. Kim goes around the store doing the shopping and I watch the kids over in an area where there is a wooden train set and a television for the kids. For Caleb, the six year old this is great stuff, nonstop playing with the wooden train.

For Gracie all of this wooden train stuff means little to her.
She likes to explore a little more than the average bear. So while Caleb is safely tucked away at the train set; Gracie and I are exploring a certain corner of the store. Here is how Gracie rolls. She moves to the stuffed animals and must touch each one. She does not have to pick them up but she must touch them. Then we move over to the doll with long hair and she needs to touch her as well. From there we move down the aisle to the videos. Each one must be touched and then if it looks out of place we must rearrange it as well. Putting each one in the order Gracie thinks it should be in. Dad’s job is to get things back the way Mardel’s likes it.

I am sure they have a picture of me and Gracie in the back on the ‘keep an eye on these two list’
. After we have touched all the stuffed animals and videos and have rearranged our portion of the store we move to the toys. Ahhh the toys they too must be, you guessed it, touched. Not picked up I remind you just touched. That is unless it is a doll or looks like something a girl would enjoy. Those items must be investigated more closely. Christmas shopping with Gracie is all about touch; come to think of it Christmas from a Godly perspective is all about touch as well.

Christmas is about a loving God that sent his son for us. That babe in the manger; that is all about touch. God at just the right time reached down into our sinful, hurting world and touched us with His love; we can still feel his touch today.
That moment when someone you love has died and you feel that peace that you are going to make it another day; that is a touch from God. When a dream has died and your heart is broken but somehow you make it through the day to face another. That strength you gather; that is a touch from God. When you are feeling lonely, lost and insignificant in this big world; but out of nowhere a friend appears or a word is spoken that gives hope. That is God’s touch.

Perhaps Gracie and I touch a few too many things at Mardel’s, so far they have shown no limit to our touches.

When they do I am sure they will let us know.
Fortunately we have a God whose touch reaches far beyond a corner of a store. We know this because he sent his son to touch our lives; he did it in person those many years ago on that Christmas day. That touch still resonates in our world and most of all in our hearts today. Thank you Lord for your indescribable gift; the gift of touch in our lives.

John 1:1-4, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, we come with just a thought of praise for your wonderful gift. We thank you Lord that you love us enough to be involved in our life. We give this praise in the name of Christ, Amen.
all simple/truths are written by richard harris

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