Archive for October, 2008

Mixed Washington emotions.

I leave in the morning to join Linda in Washington for an extra long weekend.  Not the best time to be away from here with the Convergence Summit to begin in two weeks but it is the time we have.  We are getting very close to the 50 students (41 today) we asked God for.  It is going to be a powerful time!

Going back to Washington is always filled with mixed emotionsGreat joy at seeing our children and our 5 grandchildren.  They are all so fun to be with and in different ways doing great things for the Kingdom.  Nothing better than that and the focus will be totally there.  I am so blessed to have great children, who are more friends than “kids” and grandchildren who get excited when they see us.

But there is still a sadness in returning.  Knowing, after almost exactly 3 years, nothing has changed between people who were my “best” friends and me.  Our relationships are still broken and no attempt is being made to fix them.  I made a run at it one relationship this past summer and the other person tried and I appreciated their effort, but finishing the task was not as important to them as everything else in their life.  Others it seems, just don’t care.  And really, why would they?  Three years have gone by, everyone has moved on…  To find real, obvious, public forgiveness is too hard, too messy.  Why bother?

I reread Abba’s Child with regularity.  This is the passage I opened to, tonight: The exigencies of forgiveness are simply beyond the capacity of ungraced human will.  Only reckless confidence in a Source greater than ourselves can empower us to forgive the wounds inflicted by others. Experientially, the inner healing of the heart is seldom a sudden catharsis or an instant liberation from bitterness, anger, resentment and hatred.  More often it is a gentle growing into oneness with the Crucified who has achieved our peace through His blood on the cross.  This may take considerable time because the memories are still so vivid and the hurt so deep.  But it will happen.

I hope so.

(Abba’s Child-Brennan Manning, Navpress 1994, 2002, page 68)

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October 30, 2008 at 9:08 am 6 comments

The unforgiveable sin? Guest blogger-Tyler Johnson

One of my goals for this site is to have guest bloggers share some of their thoughts with my readers.  Today is the first of what I hope will be a regular feature on The View From the Juniper Tree.

Tyler Johnson is a unigue young man. His passion for the Father and his determination to walk out what it means to advance the Kingdom is amazing and inspiring to me.  He has an unwavering conviction that the …blind (will) see, the lame (will) walk, the lepers (will be) cured, the deaf (will) hear, the dead (will be) raised to life and the Good News (will be) preached to the poor… (Matthew 11:4-6) This strong and confrontive conviction has opened him up to criticism and rejection, but he remains undettered. I love that about him.  He is a good friend and a son in the Lord.  The Family needs his voice!

Tyler is married to Christine and last August 10th they welcomed baby Joshua into their home.

According to Jesus, one of the most serious things we can do is blaspheme the Holy Spirit by attributing the Holy Spirit’s works to the devil. He said that it was the only sin that was unforgivable.

I know a lot of study has gone into trying to understand such a strong statement, and that there are many views of what Jesus could have meant when He said this. But nonetheless, I am starting to understand what He meant, at least in part, though I have never before heard the following view taught.

It is a very serious thing when a person sees what is good and calls it evil. I wonder what it will be like for that person the day they stand before God and His angels to be judged. Will they see God, or will they see satan, disguising himself as an angel of light?

I am starting to understand that people who see that which is good as evil, people that attribute that which is God to satan, hold to this observation tighter than anything in their lives. They clench it with a fist so tightly that their knuckles turn white. No amount of talking to them will change their mind. They are willing to cut off relationships for it, willing to divide churches over it, willing to crucify other’s lives over it. It is so very important to them.

The logical prerequisite to forgiveness is to acknowledge that what you have done, was wrong. But they aren’t wondering in the least bit if what they are doing is wrong, let alone then taking the leap of humility to ask for forgiveness. Because these people hold to their belief about something being evil with such tenacity, they never allow themselves to be forgiven. This is why Jesus said it was the unforgivable sin. It isn’t that God won’t forgive them, it is that they won’t allow themselves to be forgiven.

We know that God forgives any sin, even rape and murder. But God won’t force a person to ask for forgiveness for something that person does not acknowledge to be wrong. This is why attributing the things of the Spirit to the devil is very dangerous. You begin to sit in judgment on God Himself, and because you have judged God, you will not go to Him to ask for forgiveness. You become so proud in your certainty that you are right, the possibility of asking for forgiveness becomes impossible. God would forgive a person for blaspheming the Holy Spirit, but the people who commit this sin don’t want to be forgiven. As a result, forgiveness becomes impossible.

The Pharisees, the most studied in religious matters of the day, completely missed God when He came to the earth. They mistook Him for a normal man, or even worse, a tool of beelzebub. They didn’t just reject His words, they took it into their own hands to kill this man, because He contradicted their belief system so violently. And yet, He was God.

I look at the world today, and I ask myself who looks most like the Pharisees. Who is the most studied in the bible? Who deems morality as the highest aim? Who has their rituals down to an exact science? It is many who claim to be Christians.

Sometimes I wonder if our religious customs, studies, and social events actually take us further away from understanding who God actually is rather than bringing us closer to Him. That was the case with the Pharisees, while the woman caught in adultery learned through her sin, that He is a kind and loving God.

I have a hunch that things aren’t as they seem, and that if Jesus showed up today (which is more than plausible), many of us would not recognize Him. Let what is of God, be from God, and what is from the enemy, from the enemy. God, give us eyes to see and ears to hear and know the difference.

Like Stephen, those that get a hold of the revelation of Jesus often offend those around them that are still stuck in the old way of thinking about God. Relationship is nearly impossible with these present day Pharisees, because they are convinced that deep inside, you, like Stephen, are evil. They see that which is of heaven as being from hell, and everything about your demeanor is incorrect in their eyes. They disagree with you, abhor you, and will even throw stones at you, because their drive is to rid the world of that which is not of God.

If they only knew who God was and what He does. Then they would throw their stones in the right direction.

October 28, 2008 at 7:18 pm 4 comments

Monday morning meanderings. Vol.61

Cold this morning but the sun is shining.  That does make a difference.  As I have said repeatedly, the weather is very good here except for the wind. 

Item one.  Did you see T. Boone Pickins on 60 minutes last night.  He loves the wind we have out here.  Check this map out. (HERE)  His ranch and wind farm is about an hour or so west of here.  You can watch the 60 Minutes interview with T. Boone HERE.  I like this guy and wish he was running for prez.  He has actual plans and actually putting his money where his mouth is.  What a novel idea.  Maybe T. Boone could hook up with W. Buffett and fix things.  His view of things HERE.

Item two. Only 8 more days till the election.  Are you being bombarded with emails like I am with information about Obama?  I just don’t know what to think.  Is he a Muslim?  Is he the Biblical anti-Christ?  Are we on the door of the great tribulation?  Is he the messiah?  I know I won’t vote for him and there are a lot of questions but how does anyone actually know what is true and what is just made up?  What role does God play in all of this?  Does He place people in places of power or does He just let us have what we want?  A fairly reasoned approach to this subject can be found over at Vanguard.  I am not endorsing it, just find it interesting.  Find it HERE.

Item three.  Linda is in Washington now after a week with her family in Oregon.  She seems to be having a good time and enjoyed a few days on the Oregon coast with her two sisters.  I will join her Thursday evening for a long weekend.  Really looking forward to being back “home”. 

Item four.  Could there be anymore of a difference between the football teams of my home state and the ones in my adopted state.  Washington and Washington State are a combined 0-for the season and ranked near the very bottom of the Top 125 while Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have only one loss each and both to the #1 team in the country, Texas.  Oklahoma is #4 and Oklahoma State is #9.  Is it possible that two large state schools in the same state could be as miserable as UW and WSU? I watched a little of the UW/Notre Dame game and it was pathetic, not just horrible, embarrassing horrible.  On the other hand I watched both OU and OSU and they are very, very good, both of them.  It is fun to be in a state where the football is so good and Texas is on TV every week too.  Texas Tech and Missouri aren’t to bad either. If you like college football, this is a very good year to spend some time in the heartland. Update:  I forgot WSU did beat Portland State a junior varsity team.  There is another team here in Oklahoma that is 7-0, the Univerity of Tulsa Golden Hurricane. 

Have a great week.

October 27, 2008 at 9:51 pm Leave a comment

Paul Scott Scandrett is 30 today.

Paul Scott Scandrett October 24, 1978-December 31, 1994.  

Hard to believe our 16 year old boy is 30 years old today.  I know lots of us are thinking about him on this day of his birth, but thought this little note I got today from his cousin Ryan, was fun.  Ryan and Paul are a few months a part in age.

Thinking of you and your family today on Paul’s birthday. I’d a made fun of him for turning 30…although, i’d be right behind him.

Ryan

October 25, 2008 at 1:07 am 3 comments

Friday Funny: Cody Custer style

Our friend Cody Custer, a world champion bull rider, and frankly a world champion bull pitcher, always has a joke or two to share via is ever present iPhone.  Along with his practical jokes and fun loving nature, Cody is passionate about his Father and his family, which includes a lot of people like Linda and me. We are grateful for Cody and Stacey’s friendship. 

So for the Friday Funny, here are a couple from Cody:

Joke #1

A lawyer and a blonde woman are sitting next to each other on a long flight.The lawyer asks if she would like to play a fun game.

The blonde is tired and just wants to take a nap, so she politely declines and tries to catch a few winks.

The lawyer persists, that the game is a lot of fun. ‘I ask you a question, and if you don’t know the answer, you pay me only $5; you ask me one, and if I don’t know the answer, I will pay you $500.’

This catches the blonde’s attention; and, to keep him quiet, she agrees to play the game.

The lawyer asks the first question. ‘What’s the distance from the earth to the moon?’

The blonde doesn’t say a word, reaches in to her purse, pulls out a five-dollar bill, and hands it to the lawyer

Now, it’s the blonde’s turn. She asks the lawyer, ‘What goes up a hill with three legs, and comes down with four?’

The lawyer uses his laptop, searches all references. He uses the Airphone; he searches the Net and even the Library of Congress. He sends e-mails to all the smart friends he knows, all to no avail. After one hour of searching he finally gives up.

He wakes up the blonde and hands her $500.

The blonde takes the $500 and goes back to sleep.

The lawyer is going nuts not knowing the answer.

He wakes her up and asks, ‘Well, so what goes up a hill with three legs and comes down with four?’

The blonde reaches into her purse, hands the lawyer $5 and goes back to sleep.

Don’t mess with blondes…..

Joke #2

A cabbie picks up a nun. She gets into the cab, and notices that the VERY handsome cab driver won’t stop staring at her.

She asks him why he is staring. He replies: “I have a question to ask, but I don’t want to offend you.”

She answers, “My son, you cannot offend me. When you’re as old as I am and have been a nun as long as I have, you get a chance to see and hear just about everything. I’m sure that there’s nothing you could say or ask that I would find offensive.”

“Well, I’ve always had a fantasy to have a nun kiss me.”

She responds, “Well, let’s see what we can do about that: #1, you have to be single and #2, you must be Catholic.”

The cab driver very excitedly replies, “Yes, I’m single and Catholic!”

“OK,” the nun says. “Pull into the next alley.”

The nun fulfills his fantasy with a kiss that would make a hooker blush.

But when they get back on the road, the cab driver starts crying.

“My dear child,” says the nun, “Why are you crying?”

“Forgive me but I’ve sinned. I lied and I must confess…I’m married and I’m Jewish!”

The nun replies, “That’s OK…my name is Kevin and I’m going to a Halloween party!”

With things as they are a good laugh feels pretty good.

October 24, 2008 at 7:24 pm 1 comment

Monday morning meanderings. Vol.60 (Wednesday)

The great weather has gone away for a few days, replaced by 30 mph winds with gusts to 40+, and some rain too.  I have gotten really spoiled by the weather here as it is has been so good most of the months we have been here.  The wind is the part I struggle with the most because it blows the trailer around some.  Oh well, good with bad.  The better weather will be back this weekend.

Item one.Linda left from OKC Monday to spend some time with her family in Oregon and then up to Washington to be with the kids and grandkids.  She is having a good time.  We couldn’t remember the last time she spent time alone with her parents so this is a good thing for all of them.  I miss having her here but will join her in Washington the end of the month.

Item two.  We have been doing quite a bit of travelling the last few days.  We drove up into the Oklahoma panhandle (Guyman) to bring an older 5th wheel back here for some friends.  It was a 400+ round trip. Then Monday the 300 mile RT to Oklahoma City for some business and to the airport, than yesterday a 2 hour RT up to Canadian, Texas to a meeting.  A little unusual to be out and about this much but always good to get on the road and see the country.

Item three.  For those of you in Washington, did you ever expect to see the Seattle Times endorsing a Republican for Governor?  I was so suprised to find this endorsement in the Times last week.  Even a liberal paper like the Times can see that in these times of economic upheaval we can’t have a liberal running the state. 

Item four.  Why are young evangelicals supporting Barack Obama for prez?  Apparently even the abortion issue is not enough to overcome the dissatisfaction with the status quo.  Look here for survey.

Item five.  We Christians are so often smug about the sins of others while ignoring our own.  In spite of an almost universal belief in free grace we are not very free with it.  This post is a must read.  Find it HERE.

Item six. Here is a fun fall post from friend Rachel in Kansas.  It has lots of pictures and shows just how nice it can be out here in the fall.  Find it Here (especially like the finger pics!)  Rachel’s sister, Kaylee has moved to Pennsylvania and posts a lot of pictures of her new life too.  Find her HERE.  Kaden Cronquist is 3, 3 weeks that is.  Cool looking kid, right HERE.  Son Brad has several new posts as well on a variety of subjects.  Find him HERE. Good to see these young people doing so well and following Jesus.

Well, need to get on to other things.  Have a great rest of the week.

October 22, 2008 at 8:40 pm 2 comments

Monday morning meanderings. Vol.59

Sayre, Oklahoma

When we got up this morning it was nearly 70 degrees and now at 1pm it is 50. A little cold front moving through. Guess we will be in this trend for a few days and then back to the beautiful Western Oklahoma weather, 75 and sunny.

Item one. The truck driving part of my life is about the same. I am still in a learning mode. I try to go with a friend as often as possible so I can drive more, load and unload frac tanks and get used to 4 wheelin’ in a semi. (see last meanderings for information on hauling frac tanks) I compared it to log truck driving in virgin forests in the NW. I think it is a fair comparison. It is amazing to me what an oil boom brings to an area. There are literally hundreds of heavy duty trucks, rigs of all kinds, pickups etc that are flying down narrow roads between here and the Texas Panhandle. There is an intersection in the little town of Sweetwater, Oklahoma that is just a four way stop in the middle of nowhere, where, between 7-9 in the morning I would bet, 1500-2000 vehicles pass through on there way to various oil/natural gas wells. I have never seen anything like it. Highway 6 is a very dangerous highway that runs from Oklahoma out into Texas over which much of this traffic flows. It reminds me a lot of Highway 3 in Washington between Shelton and Bremerton because of the amount of traffic and the many accidents, but it is far more isolated and has more big rig traffic driven by people going too fast with too little sleep. Good times!

Item two. The Convergence Summit, our intensive 10 day school which begins November 13, is fast coming together. We asked the Lord to give us 50 people and we are nearing 30. It will be fine with those numbers but I really think we are supposed to have 50. We have people coming from all over the west and midwest and the schedule is packed. We are doing the food service, providing housing, doing some of the teaching and managing the daily schedule. We have good help, of course, great help in fact, but the responsibility falls to us. We are thankful that we were called to this, because that assures the Spirit will carry us. Thanks for your prayers.

Item three. There are some beautiful pics of our beautiful granddaughter Sage Olivia Scandrett on Summer’s blog. I don’t believe there is anything more important you could do with your time than to go HERE and see this beautiful little girl. No, I am not prejudiced, as I think you will see when you go look at the pics, she is all that…

Item four. We are getting close, again, to our son Paul’s birthday. He will be 30 years old. I am sure I will write about it again on the day (24th) but it seems I have been missing that boy more lately. Being away from Traci and Brad and their families might be part of why I miss the little guy more, just more in the “missing” mode, these days. This is year 14 of this… losing a child journey, and while time does heal the gaping wound, there is still that scar, that missing. I wonder how our friends David and Lena are doing in year 15? How about Paul and Margie, who must be in about year 13 of the missing? Or Michael in year 5. Or maybe the new friend Linda made this weekend who is in year 3 or 4 of missing her daughter. How about Bill and Leslee in year 2? My friend Sumi is in year 1 and writes so honestly about the “missing”. You can find her latest HERE.

Item five. I found this burden lifting prayer HERE. May it unburden you as you pray it today.

God who offers abundance and plenty where we expect scarcity,
Provide for all those who are hungry and in need of food today.
God who lives amongst us, hear our prayer
God who promises security and safety when we expect turmoil,
Provide for all those who have lost jobs and are forced into homelessness today.
God who lives amongst us, hear our prayer
God who grants us rest in face of our fears and anxieties
Provide for all those who are anxious about finances today,
God who lives amongst us, hear our prayer
God who provides community for all who are alone and abandoned
Provide for all who feel abandoned and uncared for in these troubled times
God who lives amongst us, hear our prayer
God who is always in control even when nations shake and economies crumble,
Fill all who are empty and rescue those who are enslaved by debt
God who lives amongst us, hear our prayer

May the God who led the people of Israel through the desert
Guard and protect you this day

May the Christ who transforms the worst experiences into the best of God
Comfort and embrace you this day

May the Spirit who draws close and seals you with God’s love in times of need
Reach into your circumstances and fill you with the water of life.

The peace of the Creator of love be yours
The peace of the Christ of hope be yours
The peace of the Spirit of life be yours

The peace of all peace be yours this day and forever.

Amen

October 14, 2008 at 3:45 am 2 comments

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