Saturday, August 26, 2006

Very Nice!

I am back! I have had a few glitches with my laptop. If anyone has any ideas on why my antivirus might not be working I would love to hear from you. I have Symantec antivirus corporate edition. It messed up after a system restore. Since it is my work computer I have been paranoid to get on the web with it. HELP!! Please :). So I am now writing to you from my new computer which came with a 19" LCD flat panel monitor. Holy SMOKES! The world is for sure a bigger brighter place. Should be back on schedule posting, I have missed y'all. If anyone could help me with the other glitch I would be eternally greatful.


God Bless!

Larry

Monday, August 21, 2006

Summer Swelt!

Oh my gosh! Could it possibly get any hotter down here in Houston? I know it's not any hotter than it was last year (in fact it was hotter) but each August it always feels like the hottest August ever. Houston's legendary humidity doesn't help either. You ever see those cartoons where the elevator goes up real fast? The cartoon characters are smeared on the floor in a pool. Thats the way it feels when you walk out the door first thing at 7:30am. Thank God, fall is around the corner.

Got to catch up a bit. Yesterday was my daughter and my day. She has been asking me to take her to Pirates of the Carribbean Two. So I did, and it was great! Highly enjoyable. A great swashbuckling adventure Errol Flynn style, funny too.

We went to the mall right after church and found we had two hours to kill before the show. So we go window shopping. She looked so pretty, I kept thinking while we were walking that this was one of those moments to be enjoyed. One of those times that won't come again. A time to look back on. A movie montage.

We strolled into the Limited Too kid's clothing store. Of course it is The cool store for nine year olds to 12 year olds. We come to a rack and see the clothes dummy on top with a cool outfit. She likes it so I get help from the store clerk to figure out the sizes for me. ( I am clueless)
She picks out a skirt, top, vest, scarf, stretchy pants and matching hat. We go back to the dressing room, she tries it on ala pretty woman. A beautiful father daughter moment that will last through the ages right? What ever.

She wanted to wear the stuff out. I was the cool dad, "sure I said, no problem". She is beaming ear to ear and posing at every mirror. The clerk rings us up and gives the total, $156.83. Talk about a comical moment, I take you back to the cartoon, where the character is frightened silly and makes a big gulp swallow. That was me, I liked to have died. I figured I was at about 65 bucks or so. I couldn't even imagine those clothes would cost that much. What could I do? I was stuck over the barrel. No escape. Frozen grin plastered to my face I hand over my debit card. The store girl had to use her nail file to pry it from my fingers.

It was a beautiful moment, priceless and frozen in time forever. I will never hear the end of it. Lexie had no concept of what I had done. No concept of how much I had just spent. My wife knew, and my debit card is now at the bottom of the shredder like so much confetti.

Thank God I had the money



Larry

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Politization

Is it me? Have we gotten to the point in this country where everything has to be political? I am so sick of it I could puke. I hate the fact that there is no common ground between right and left anymore. This is dangerous for our country. And let me tell you why.

I am a conservative. I totally frustrated with the Bush administration. I keep thinking they are going to get their head out of their rear-ends and start communicating what the heck they are doing. Clean up their mistakes, and take the gloves off in Iraq, Iran, and North Korea.

The left offers me no alternative but to continue to vote for the same stuff. There is no alternative. Who am I going to trust national security to? Hillary? Biden? Murtha? Dean? Who! The democrats in this country have screamed wolf so long and so loud about Bush that there is nothing there. And if something really sinister was going on who would believe it? Bush can't even go to the bathroom without something being said.

I want an alternative. You disagree on Iraq? Offer me a solution. A real solution. Same goes with Iran. Quit ragging on us for being Christians, quit finding excuses to kill babies, quit trying to take away our freedoms, (prayer in school, ten commandments) Quit jamming alternitive lifestyles down our throats, and you just might win an election again.

I don't buy the fact that republicans are going to lose this fall. The chance of electing irresponsible people who treat our national security like it's no big deal? We won't stand for it.


Larry

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Carrying the Message

Last night at Celebrate Recovery our lesson was on carrying the message. Not just the message of recovery but Salvation too. I have been in recovery for three and a half years. When I first started in rehab I was told that only one out of ten "make it".

Terrible odds isn't it. I was determined to be the one out of my ten.

I have seen them come and go. The wise, the noobs, the old and young. From felons and cops, to the indigent and wealthy. All have one thing in common, a struggle with addiction. A struggle with life's hurts, habits and hang-ups.

Why one and ten? Why such a refusal to surrender? How many times do we need our butts kicked? How many times do we need to lose our wives, families, jobs, homes, etc? How much guilt and shame do we need to heep on our bodies and souls? When do we stop adding to Christ's pain on the Cross? Must we twist the nails? Shove the crown down harder?

I have found my salvation in my Lord's Grace. Not, in a mindless desire to scrupulously avoid the subject of Jesus Christ in an N/A meeting. I was clean in N/A and A/A but my recovery didn't occur until I really surrendered to Christ's care and control. Once I did everything else came together. In the N/A home group I was a part of two years ago I don't recognize but three people. The ones I do? True program believers, but none I would especially say have any joy in their life. I firmly believe it is because they don't get the whole "god thing". (I am rolling my eyes at that one.) I hate it when they say that. It reeks of sarcasm.

Three and a half years ago we had nothing and and especially no hope. I want this recovery thing to be like a Christmas present. You want it all. You don't open a present a tear at a time. You don't throw it away before you open it. You rip it open and ooo and aww at the coolness of your gift.

I owe my life to God's Grace and Christ's death on the Cross. My position and my success is a direct result of my surrender to his will. I have to remember that. I can never lose sight of where I have been. I remember the shaking and baking the days after I entered rehab. I remember going to court to get three more days before the Sheriff showed up to move you out.

If you are out there and are struggling. If you want something more than the life you have. If you are tired of living in abject misery, there is another way. It's not the route of self, of nature, the doornob or some direction on a map. It is in the direct intervention of Christ's Love and Grace in our lives. We have to take action. We have to want to be saved. We have to surrender.

Don't wait

Do it

Write me if you want to know how.


Larry



Thursday, August 10, 2006

Today's Thoughts

Wow, What a week. I have been living in my car. Each day another side of town. For those of you who don't know, Houston is spread all over the place. It has been a very profitable week however. Praise God! I needed it!

I have had a difficult time as I posted yesterday writing. So I went off to my local bookstore and bought a moleskine (reporter's/poets/writers notebook). And have been jotting down my thoughts throughout the day. I thought I would share a few with you.

I am amazed at how exposed we are to sin in our culture. Billboard ads promoting drinking, sex and gambling. We can't hardly stroll into a place to get gas without a long row of porn mags beckoning. At my doctors office waiting to be called back, the tv blared several ads to do with sex, drinking, and gambling. LOL. It would be funny if it wasn't so darn insidious.

My verse of the day, Romans 8-28

In all things God works for the good of those who love Him. Who have been called according to His good purpose.
Meaning, everything that happens in this world, good, bad whatever, happens to his purpose and somehow applies for the good of us all.

Read a quote by CS Lewis today that I really enjoyed. "If you are worried about the people outside of Christianity, the most unreasonable thing you can do is remain outside it yourself."

How do we as Christians change the culture? It seems to me that when we leave our church we enter our own missionary field. We don't have to go to Africa, or some remote South American Jungle to spread the Good News. We can be a Main Street Missionary.

Just a snapshot into my ADHD brain. Blogging doesn't have to be all about carefully crafted set pieces does it?

Cool I found a new niche for my busy busy life!

Love and Blessings!


Larry



Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Driven to Distraction

A subtle change has come over my study life the last couple of weeks.
Didn't notice it for a bit. But finally I think I have caught onto it.
Before the move I had work, a bit of play and then home to the folks house with the bedroom upstairs. Once my wife and I were ensconced on our second story perch, the sequence of events went like this. Bible study, Blogging then Bed. Sometimes Lisa and I would throw in a movie for variety. A little boring but not too bad. A nice routine. One of the things I have discovered in blogging is, it isn't easy to come up with good stuff to write about every day. However at the folk's house, not many distractions. We stayed upstairs to give mom and dad space.

Come the move, come the new house, come the big screen, distractions galore. I have adhd enough as it is. Throw all the other stuff in such as unpacking, organizing rooms and fixing the new place up, guess what? Quality blogging pops the drivers side air bag.

I know there are more important things to be concerned about but it's been on my mind. I thought I owed an explanation.



Got my routine down now.

No more worries


Larry


Saturday, August 5, 2006

The Day Off


I have written the last few weeks about how busy we have been moving. Moving, getting ready to move etc. I took a little bit of pride last week that I took Sunday off from church because I was "tired". I used the same excuse when I bailed out from church Wednesday night. "I need a break" I said. "I need to catch up on my rest".

I had a terrible week this week. Financially it was wonderful. Closed a big account and made some money. Mentally, spiritually? Terrible. I was disconnected and miserable Monday through Friday. That is until Last night when I stepped up on the stage to lead our Celebrate Recovery members in praise and worship. As soon as we started singing, the bad week melted away.

It is funny how the devil leads us away isn't it? Of course in my past I just stayed away. No worries, I just didn't have a clue. He didn't have to do much. I was right where he wanted me.
Nowadays in my recovery I have a good relationship with my savior. I am fully aware of when I sin. I confess and repent pretty quickly now.

It's usually the little stuff that gets me now. Your tired, stay home. Take a nap, take it easy. Riggght. Next thing I know I am in a bad place and miserable. If I am not carrying out his plans for me I am right back where I used to be. And that, I cannot afford.

My Day off, My day of rest, is in my Fathers House.


Larry


Friday, August 4, 2006

Spiritual Vacuums

Thought I would share one of my Daily Devotionals with you today.

Hope you enjoy!


Larry


Spritual Vacuums
by John Fischer

Everybody worships something or someone. Worship may be a new emphasis for the church these days, but it is not new for human beings. We have been doing it since we were created. That’s because we were created for this purpose. But God did more than create us and tell us to worship him. He created us with a NEED for worship.

Blaise Pascal, the brilliant French physicist of the seventeenth century who had a dramatic conversion to Christ and went on to write some of the most famous apologetic for the Christian faith in history, is the one who came up with the idea of a God-shaped vacuum in every human heart. That’s because he studied the vacuum and noticed that whenever a vacuum exists something by nature has to rush in and fill it. It seemed to him the perfect picture of how God created us, as constantly pulling in something. Think of yourself as a giant spiritual vacuum.

Now the thing about a vacuum is that it will pull in anything that is within its reach. Like me, you may have heard this concept before, and like me, you may have assumed its work was already accomplished in your life by becoming a Christian. God created us with a need for him—a hole inside us that is in the shape of God so nothing else satisfies that need but him, and once I respond to Christ, that hole is filled and I am spiritually satisfied. But this description doesn’t go far enough. It doesn’t show that we are continuing to need him. God doesn’t plug up the hole so we can go on and indulge in whatever we like since this foremost thing is taken care of. He has made us with an enduring need to keep filling ourselves up with him. In other words, we not only have a vacuum, we are vacuums—always on, always sucking up whatever is near the heart.
Whatever you put near the door of your heart is going to be sucked in. Think of the number of things cluttering our spiritual core simply because we have not kept God and his truths close to our hearts at all times. This is why Jesus said we couldn’t serve God and something else. In order to live with our primary purpose fulfilled, we need to keep God as the focus of our worship and nothing else—not pride, or money, or material things, or even people.

What are you placing near your heart today? That is what you worship, and that is what will be sucked into the core of your being—the place where only God belongs, because only he can
satisfy.


John Fischer is the Senior Writer for Purpose Driven Life Daily Devotionals. He resides in Southern California with his wife, Marti and son, Chandler. They also have two adult children, Christopher and Anne.

John is a published author and popular speaker.

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Tuesday, August 1, 2006

What Price Peace?

Pacifism, a noble ideal. Ghandi, Martin Luther King. Both achieved their goals through non-violent protest. They wore their oppressors down. They won the hearts and minds and minds of the people who accepted the status quo and thus, change was born. The Indians won their freedom and African Americans recieved their equality.




The first Christians went peacefully to the arenas of Rome. It is recorded that, they went to their deaths praying and singing praise to Christ as the Lions tore their flesh.

Slowly over 200 years Christ and the Holy Spirit's influence spread, as the persecutions increased until Constantine converted and the empire became Christian.

Christian Rome ruled, from the lonely isle of Britain, to the wastes of North Africa and Egypt. From Spain, to modern day Romania.

Sometime over the next several hundred years Rome collapsed in upon itself. Repeated barbarian invasions from Germany, eastern Europe, and Asia tore the ancient nation apart. The eastern empire, ruled from Byzantium (Constantinople) continued on until 1453 when it was conquered by the Turks. (Muslims)





The only vestiges of pacifism left in the world for the next thousand years were in the east. Various sects of buddism and other eastern mystic religions practiced pacifism.

In Europe different religious groups like the Amish and the Mennonites practiced pacifism. Perhaps the best known in the US were the Quakers. In the present day pacifism seems to be the politically correct thing to be. In liberal circles pacifism is almost worn like a badge of honor. Some talk it, others sincerely walk it. My friend Helen Losse at Windows Toward the World, I believe, is someone who truly walks it.

I believe pacifism is a wonderful ideal. The problem I believe, is that we live in a sinful world. There is always someone who wants to hurt another. A country that wants more. A religion who's creed is domination, or people who murder, rape and pillage in the name of that religion.

Who then, is here to protect the pacifists?


Larry

There They Go Again


It seems we can't get a break from the left or the right.
The following is an email response I sent to Paul Chesser, regarding a column he wrote for The American Spectator. My comments were directed specifically to what he had to say about average church goers being "politically aware". I did a double take when I first read it and I must say I was a bit irritated. The gist of his column was beware of categorizing evangelicals, yet that is just what he did. Anyway my letter is below.

Larry


I want to thank you for doing exactly what you accuse everyone else of in your column "Values Apply to All " My favorite sentence was "But go to your local evangelistic Christian church on any Sunday and ask the politically aware (few are, sadly) what their chief concerns are about the country, and the answers will be little, if any, different from what you hear from anyone else." Thank you for 100% missing the boat. It seems you are just as ignorant as the rest of the media/pundit/Hollywood crowd when it comes to what your average Christian is thinking. I don't mean that as insult but as a sad fact.

I attend a small Baptist Church just outside of Houston, Texas. We have a nice cross section of America who attend. Blue collar, white collar, young old, poor, and wealthy. Engineers, police officers, teachers, secretarys, sales people, machinists, mechanics, ditch-diggers etc. In the three and a half years I have been a member of this congregation I have never had a discussion with anyone about, "Issue No. 1 likely is: Do I have the promise of a job to provide for my family? No. 2 (and closely related to No. 1): Can I afford in the current economy to meet my family's needs? Never, not once and I am usually there three or four days out of the week. I lead a ministry and serve in other capacities. (When I am not there I am out pounding the pavement to make a living.)

Here's a slice of recent discussion topics.
Gas prices, we grumble and gripe but what can you do.
The war in Iraq, it stinks but it is necessary. There is usually someone in the military on our prayer list each week. We are always praying for our troops.
Iran, why haven't we destroyed the mullahs? We know they have caused most of the problems in the middle east since Carter. Why haven't we bombed them into the stone age? Why haven't we done the same to Syria? I know I know, how can you say that and be a Christian. You see, we who aren't so "politically aware" know that without freedom we will be back in the arena fighting off lions. We know the consequences of Iran nuking Haifa, or Tel Aviv. We also know Iraq, Iran, N. Korea, Syria, and Hezbollah are all connected and the sooner they are dealt with the fewer lives lost.
These are actually rare conversations. We don't go to church to solve the world's problems. We go to praise and worship Christ our Saviour. To fellowship and serve. To love our God with all our might, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. We don't always do a good job, we screw up a lot but, we don't stop trying. We all have a sinful nature, but Christ has made it possible by His death on the cross that we can be saved. He died for all of us. You, me, and even the mullahs. Our job is to accept, to have faith, to surrender to him. If we don't nothing can save us and we are then truly dead.

I am linking your article to my blog.

Thanks



Larry Hicks
ldhix@pdq.net
http://hallelujahs.blogspot.com/
To hear some Good News, click here.

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