Chapter-a-Day 2 Chronicles 31

Everything he took up, whether it had to do with worship in God’s Temple or the carrying out of God’s Law and Commandments, he did well in a spirit of prayerful worship. He was a great success2 Chronicles 31:11 (MSG)

I was at men’s group last night and around my table we were discussing our need to pray continually. In the midst of the discussion, I had a word picture come to mind. It fits perfectly with today’s chapter.

As a husband and a dad, it’s easy to be distracted. There are so many things running through your mind and the t0-do list is never ending. As a boy, I remember running errands on Saturday mornings with my dad. I sat next to him in the car but there were times his mind seemed a million miles away. It was as if I wasn’t even there. When my daughters were young, I know they could relate the same experience when they tagged along with me. I was preoccupied with the task in which I was engaged and ignored the relationship that was right there in the car seat next to me.

Hezekiah was focused on the task, but did it in “a spirit of prayerful worship.” He was aware of God’s presence wherever he went and whatever he did. He was in active relationship and conversation with God, even in the midst of the work at hand.

Today, I’m going to keep my conversation with God going through tasks, meetings, drive time, family time, and rehearsal.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and mufan96

Chapter-a-Day 2 Chronicles 30

There were a lot of people, especially those from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, who did not eat the Passover meal because they had not prepared themselves adequately. 2 Chronicles 30:18 (MSG)

It’s football season, and as I write this I’m watching all of the television commercials prompting people to be prepared and well stocked for tailgating. I hear people talking about their weekly pre-game parties. I’ve never been into tailgating, but even Wendy and I know when the game will be on and are generally prepared to be on the couch in proper team regalia.

When I read today that the people weren’t prepared for their worship at the Passover, it leapt off the page at me. I started asking myself how “prepared” I am for worship on Sunday mornings. What do I do to make sure that my head and my heart are ready to worship God and hear what He might have to say to me?

The reality is, I give more thought to being prepared to watch a football game than I do to being prepared to worship of my Lord. Don’t get me wrong. I love football, and I love to get into the game and all the fun that surrounds it. Today, however, I’m giving thought to how I can ready myself for the event on Sunday which has eternal significance.

Chapter-a-Day 2 Chronicles 29

“Children, don’t drag your feet in this! God has chosen you to take your place before him to serve in conducting and leading worship—this is your life work; make sure you do it and do it well.” 2 Chronicles 29:11 (MSG)

I was at rehearsal last night for our community theater’s production of Annie. It felt great to be rehearsing. I love it. I’ve been involved on stage most of my life. I was trained in theater all through junior high, high school and college. Then, I didn’t step foot on stage for sixteen years.

There is something inside you that is always out of sorts when you aren’t doing what you’re gifted and called to do.

Photo by Madison Vander Well

The people Hezekiah assembled before him were the men of the tribe of Levi, who were given responsibility for overseeing the temple and leading in worship. Everything in the nation was out of sorts. They hadn’t been doing what they’d been called upon to do, and until the Levites did their appointed work, and did it well, no one was going to experience the blessing of worship.

Do what you are gifted, called and given to do. Do it well.

Chapter-a-Day 2 Chronicles 28

Arrogant King Ahaz, acting as if he could do without God’s help…. 2 Chronicles 28:19a (MSG)

Wendy and I spent last week at lake. It was our last hurrah of summer. We are blessed to have a nice home on the lake to share with friends and family. After a year of hard work to make it a reality, the Playhouse is complete. Wendy painted the last two rooms this past week. We were able to sit back and enjoy the weekend with her family.

To finish the home and save some money, we decided to finish the lower level in do-it-yourself fashion. We wanted to be self-reliant and save money. I knew however, that self-reliance did not mean doing it all ourselves. I’ve screwed up enough do-it-yourself projects to know that we needed help, and we were blessed with faithful family and friends who pitched in. A hearty thanks to Dad & Mom VW, Chad & Shay, Matthew, Dave, and JP. “Do-it-yourself” would have spelled disaster were it not for each of you.

Self-reliance is a virtue in our culture, but it is wisdom to acknowledge that we are in constant need of God’s help, and the help of others. Refusal to acknowledge that we need the help of God and others is the fruit of original sin (that I can be like God) at work in our daily lives.

Photo by Wendy Vander Well

Hall Family Weekend at the Lake

Hall Family at the Lake

We had a wonderful weekend hosting the Halls this weekend. Food, conversation, and rest were the only things on the agenda. We enjoyed a beautiful, cool boat ride on Friday evening as a big, almost full moon rose over the lake.

Being morning people, Tom and Mr. Ed spent the pre-dawn hour at Daylight Donuts while the rest of the family slept in. Of course, they felt obligated to provide goodies for the crew!

There was a lot of conversation around the table, on the dock, on the deck and in the living room. There were Mario Kart races on the Wii, rides on the Waverunners, and plenty of alone time as people read, slept, and rested. And, of course, Wendy kept everyone well fed.

Can’t wait until the rest of the family can come to the Playhouse and join in the fun!

Sophia feeds the Bluegill that live under the dock.
Shelob LIVES!
Quiet conversation on the dock.
Mmmmmm. Daylight Donuts with dinosaur sprinkles. Thanks Grandpa!!
Mom & Dad Hall

The Halls Visit the Playhouse

Captain Tom and his new first mate.

Wendy and I are excited to have Wendy’s family visiting us at the Playhouse this weekend. It’s taken an entire summer of scheduling and coordinating to make this happen, but it’s finally happening. The festivities began with Heidi and Sophia arriving last night. We enjoyed grilling burgers and a quiet evening of catching up.

This morning we took Sophia for a boat ride. It was a little chilly. The sun was warm, but you can feel autumn on the wind. We went slow and enjoyed a nice cruise around the lake. Sophia loved helping Uncle Tom drive the boat.

No, seriously, I can put it on MYSELF!
I think we're gonna need a smaller lifejacket!
"Look, mom! WATER!"
"I'm QUEEN OF THE WORLD!!"

Chapter-a-Day 2 Chronicles 27

Jotham’s strength was rooted in his steady and determined life of obedience to God. 2 Chronicles 27:6 (MSG)

When I was a kid, Saturday morning meant one thing and one thing only: cartoons. Before cable television, when your television had four channels, there was a limit of shows for kids and the networks reserved Saturday morning for children’s programming. I was there in front of the television every Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m. in my blue pajamas with the red cuffs (onto which mom had sewn on an “S” so I could be Superman).

The first and most important cartoon of the morning was “Superfriends” which told stories of the “Justice League” of Superheroes: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and the Wonder Twins. Each hero had their own unique powers.  Each character seemed to have an interesting story about the source of their special strength and power.

Along life’s journey, we each walk through stretches when we need to draw upon supernatural strength. For those who walk the narrow path of obedience, like Jotham, there is comfort in knowing that an unlimited supply of strength is available at the Source.

And, you don’t even need a cape.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and andrewmartin