Thursday, November 30, 2006

There is ice and snow in Tulsa! Welcome to the Christmas season.

Brent and Deanna - and the city of Tulsa for that matter, are "locked down" for an incoming winter storm so everything is closed up today; as a result Brent will not have access to his computer to share as he normally does. Wind chills this morning are 11 degrees (ironically, it was 65 in Indianapolis this morning) and there is a dusting of snow but they are expecting 8-12 inches of snow today. Hopefully this won't delay the closing on the house but it won't be easy to move in all of that snow.

Deanna wants you all to know how much she appreciated the messages of encouragement and birthday wishes yesterday -- it really brightened her day and made it special.

I had a long, annual phone conversation with an acquaintance of mine last night, his name is Tam. Tam has led a very unusual life which, as we joke every year, would make for a very interesting read if it were ever published. Each year there is more drama in a very real sense of the word. Suffice it to say Tam was wondering aloud why God is keeping him alive through all of this drama - he has been near death on several occassions due to various health issues (and physical threats of the human variety). Tam is a big man with a gruff exterior that hides a big, tender heart.

This friend has led a "colorful" life, one that most of us do not - nor in many cases would we want to - share the experiences and life that he has. He does however, profess a belief in God and at least some type of personal relationship. It is obvious that there are things in his life that could be different, maybe should be different, but as so many people do he feels he is "just being who God made me." For the first time in our annual visits he admitted that if he could go back and change his past he wouldn't hesitate to do so. He doesn't have many Christian friends because "they all want me to fit their mold" and because he doesn't, they tune him out (and therefor he has no place for them). He expressed his desire for them to just listen to him at times, to hear his heart.

I challenge each of us to think about the people we know who don't fit our mold of what a believer should be and then think and pray about how we react to and interact with them. Maybe they need to change things in their lives, their hearts, but maybe they really need us to just listen to them and encourage them. If we are willing to listen to them, then they are more willing to hear us when we share out of God's love. It is up to the Holy Spirit to change hearts but listening is one way we can act to water the planted seeds.

Happy Birthday to both Deanna and Brent and Brent, I hope you get your wish to both close and begin your move tomorrow.

With love,



At 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Often times we think that everyone around us has this clear understanding that there is a loving Lord that we can have a relationship with. I remember my first few months at Northside. I was in awe at how the youth knew scripture and knew Christ in a real and powerful way. I was blown away, and intimidated at my lack of knowledge. My daughter was being fed, so I kept on attending the youth group meetings -- not for her, but for me! As posted, be sure that when a new face in the crowd comes along, that a listening ear and a hand at the basics are so meaningful. Sharing the simple biblical truths with those that are biblically ignorant is so powerful! Not to mold, but to share an understanding -- without judgement.

At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, being outside of the 'mold' can result in trouble with 'religious' types, as our Lord Jesus experienced as well!

At 12:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it melt! Let it melt! Let it melt!

At 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 6:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoy the snow, but praying it won't push off the move. Stay warm!
Awesome message Brad, thanks. Yes, we have a tendency to "expect"things from other Christians, but Jesus never molded himself or molded others, He just walked the way He knew He should. That needs to be the same for all of us, but in His timing, love, and will, not ours for others.

May God bless you today and always!

Praying in Pink,

Linda Anderson

At 3:58 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Great message Brad, (as usual).
The snow is absoloutely wonderful and sooooooo beautiful. Being an Aussie and living mainly in constant sunshine and heat snow is a new thing for me. You can imagine my surprise when I woke to a thick blanket of snow. It snowed all day and the temps went down to -7c (the temps I understand) or 22 F,,, f r e e z i n g.
I think we got a good foot and a half, probably not alot for those of you used to these sort of weather conditions, but for me it was wonderful. I was out in it taking photo's galore to email back home to the kids and my mum. Snowed so much the back door is snowed shut. I just love it, love, love it.
Thanks for asking Marti, I've kept pretty quiet. The last time I posted about what was happening I got what I considered a rather "short" response from another, and not one for confrontation I tend to withdraw while I try to work things out. Plus this time of year I find rather difficult, with family so far away and no friends here, but we make the best of what the Lord has given us, and that's what I'm trying to do.
But good news, Hollie is doing so well, both Kevin and I are so proud of her, she's pulled her grades up from failing to A's and B's. She'll be home for a week over the Christmas week and we are so looking forward to spending time with her.
Oops I've rambled and not been very responsive to the original post.

In His Love

At 7:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! Your move has been pushed back, but look on the bright side of're snowed in with your lovely wife! Enjoy it!

At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Happy Birthday! I hope it ends up being a wonderful day for you.

Thanks for sharing. It is a good reminder to not look at others differently because they don't fit the mold of the majority of us. Some are more expressive in their faith and others are less. We each share in the way that is most comfortable for us.



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