failing fore:ward frequently

so back in the day my blog was called ‘failing forward frequently.’  i’m not sure where i originally used the term – i think it was in a sermon series in Oregon in 2002, but i can’t be totally sure.  however, when i went to wordpress.com from blogspot a few years ago i changed it, and coined it ‘5guys and 1amazing girl’ because it was about us as a family and our movements in life and ministry to and from Africa…and that is clearly who we are!

that specific season has [obviously] come to an end, and most of my posts and thoughts have returned to my pastoral and transformational musings, instead of largely being family updates, etc…

so – failing forward frequently?  yep.  that’s as simply as i can picture my walk with jesus.  in my mind, the picture i see is me with my boys when they were little – their hand in mine – walking across the reef at the beach or up a trail toward the top of Exectuion Point in Ezulwini Swaziland … them stumbling all the way and never falling – because of my love and protection for them.  they were, you see, falling and failing forward toward the goal of the day, be that an afternoon summit or finding that perfect reef discovery…  they were safe in my hand and grace, growing within the context of every fall as they clung to me and got their footing back.  these are obviously not new thoughts or my observations – david taught me this in Ps37.23-24 as he wrote:

23 The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
24 Though they stumble, they will never fall,
for the Lord holds them by the hand.

thanks God, my Father and Friend, that you continue to patiently hold my hand down the path of life – seeking for me to trust in you to make the path straight and clear [Prov 3.5-6], and catching me as i stumble on and off of it frequently.

re:funny the way it is

So today I was with one of my buddies who is fighting for his life and health – I was praying for him and his wife, thanking God for his recovery from surgery.  Grateful.  Optimistic.  Hope and joy for years ahead.

Shortly after that I heard of another buddy’s death – healthy guy for the most part, physically that is.  He took his life today.  Confused.  Devastating.  Final.  Questions and hurt unresolved.

One day.  2 different buddies.  The same fight, really.  2 different directions.  Very different days.

I can’t get DMB outta my head – and I can’t really say it any better…

“Funny the way it is
If you think about it
Somebody’s going hungry
And someone else is eating out
Funny the way it is
Not right or wrong
Somebody’s heart is broken
And it becomes your favorite song

The way your mouth feels in a lovers kiss
Like a pretty bird on a breeze or water to a fish
A bomb blast brings a building crashing to the floor
Hear the laughter while the children play war

Funny the way it is
If you think about it
One kid walks 10 miles to school
Another’s dropping out
Funny the way it is
Not right or wrong
On a soldier’s last breath
His baby is being born….”

Tonight my kids were complaining about doing there schoolwork.  2 years ago in Africa we were paying [as a family] for 4 kids to attend school – 2 of them walked 8 miles over a mountain peak to and from school every day to attend elementary classes.  Those Swazi kids would feel like the most blessed kids in the world to live in this house and go to this school – for a while, anyway.

Then the more they grow accustomed to the blessings they might/would fall into the same rut my kids are in.

Just like anyone of us, might lose sight of the hope of life in the Love and Truth, and fall into the same rut my buddy fell into.

Today I both mourn and rejoice in brotherly love kinda like Paul teaches in Romans 12.10-15 “10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”

Today I am grateful, and I’m mourning.  Funny the way it is, when you think about it…