Murph Notes

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Dirt and Coasters

"Digging in my garden is like going to church, only more spiritual." - Jenny (a fellow blogger with unique beliefs)

This got me thinking about how many things in life draw me near to God and inspire me to worship Him. I am looking forward to the rollercoasters this weekend. I know that will be a spiritual time; the exhilaration and feeling of being alive, the screams and deep laughs from the depth of my being - Jesus will smile.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


This is a good reminder:

"We need to stop being so afraid that the devil is winning. The devil's not winning—we are winning. Jesus is winning. God is winning. We have the strength and the time to open our arms to absolutely everyone. Rushing to judgment, condemning whole classes and groups of people--that is not in the spirit of Christ that I see in the Gospel. I can't find that spirit. I see the spirit of love, taking the message to absolutely everyone.” - author Anne Rice

Stuff like this article just makes me nuts; I don't have time to think this kind of stuff through and really want to:

Friday, April 14, 2006

Cry Baby

Wednesday night my teens led the congregations through the Stations of the Cross. As people were waiting to leave in small groups I sat up front and read the Birth Story of Jesus. At one point I felt the goosebumps rise and I started crying.

Tonight we had this somber Good Friday service and I was asked to be one of the readers. As I was reading about Jesus hanging on the cross and "it is finished" I again started crying in front of everyone.

I am beginning to think I should not read the Truth in front of people anymore.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

This Pup Is Long

This evening I had the privilege of serving at a station for a healing service at our church. I got to anoint people with oil, lay my hand on them and pray over and for them. This was a wonderful experience. It left me deeply contradicted/conflicted in my soul.

I love that my God is full of forgiveness and grace and loves to lavish on us the desires of our heart. He has been so good to me here in NC. My Senior Pastor has given me so many opportunities for ministry that most Youth Dudes would love to be considered for. While there are those in our family/church that are not so sure about me, the leadership continues to hold me up and invest in me. It feels good after the last couple of years.

Tonight as I was thinking about what I needed God heal in my life if anything I wandered in the thought area of forgiveness for a long time. I have someone I am in the process of forgiving (yes for me, unfortunately, this is often a process) and that I need to ask to forgive me. At the same time I need to lovingly confront her about some things she has done and said that she needs to recognize as wrong and deal with. Some of these are the very things I am forgiving her for. How do I exhort her and ask her forgiveness at the same time? I spent a long time thinking around and about this and other related issues.

I landed on, and quickly bounced away from, the need to forgive myself. Later, as I continued to talk with God and myself, I realized I had bounced pretty fast and wondered why and forced myself to examine and be examined. I found that this was a very very difficult one to really unwind. I could pay homage to forgiving myself, say it was done and move on but in reality I didn’t even know how to start thinking about this. I am very hard on myself. I, like most people, continue to beat myself about things long after I should, long after I have sought and received His forgiveness. I even tie things together, related or not, to beat myself up with more efficiently. Then, in the same second, I am full of pride, laziness, lust (did I say/write that), anger, lies, etc. and give myself way too much latitude and make very convincing arguments to weave around these attitudes, thoughts, words and actions to keep them warm and looking professional (to me and others). I do not even know how to start thinking about how to truly forgive me. How do I do this without letting myself off and what should and shouldn’t I expect from me?

I put the sign of the cross in oil on a man’s forehead tonight and he actually flinched not once but twice. I laid my hands on him and prayed. I know this man to an extent and believe he loves Jesus and has him as his Lord and Savior. I have no idea what to make of that one. Weirdness abounds.

All the people who came to my station tonight shared something they wanted God to heal in them. In every instance I felt like there was something more to their request that they just weren’t ready to verbalize yet, maybe to me or maybe period. I didn’t push, which is amazing for me. I would like to think I was leaving room for the Holy Spirit but I think I just sensed they weren’t ready yet and didn’t want/need me to push at that time.

Psalm 51 verse 6 says “You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart”. What cutting language - secret heart. I would prefer Jesus just deal with behavior modification. Don’t deal with me, just what comes out of me. I want God to give me wisdom that people can see and I can use. He wants to deal with wisdom between Him and I. My secret heart - it’s really just about my relationship with Him... formost or only? I find myself dealing with Jesus less and less personally, Him and I - our relationship. I am all about studying the Word, praying corporately, talking about Jesus, theologizing. I am very busy and professional (in my own quirky way). But He doesn’t care about those burnt offerings. Get real...

So Mark 14 the lady (Mary) pours the oil on Jesus’ head and it was sooooo expensive it would have cost a half a years wages. Will I lavish that much on my Jesus, especially if it looks irresponsible to those around me that seem like they know what one should and should not do to be a good steward? What is the Nard of today? Will I offer God what costs me the most?The impersonating, conterfit, poser of and imposter. How is that for a title on one’s business card. Today I feel that and yet at the same time I feel like a prince. I feel deeply loved by my Abba the King. I feel treasured. Contridictions abound.

I have many more thoughts to spew. I have been writing them down lately on the sides of pages of other things (to do list, bulletins, etc.) and really want to write. I want to write. I just don’t have the time. It cannot be a high enough priority. Tonight though I caved. I wanted to share all this with the keyboard, and those of you who read it, before I could sanitize it and murphiritualize it.

As I sat in the emptying sanctuary (I know I will hear about my staying so long in prayer tommorow - people will wonder if I am ok and ask and others will tell my boss or someone else, but not me, that it was inappropriate of me to do so and draw attention to myself or show what could be perceived as weakness - I was to be there for others not myself) I asked my Abba for peace and stillness/calmness. Even as I continued to plead my jaws and shoulders remained tense. I asked God if I should continue to ask and meditate on the words I was meditating on (peace and holy). He did not answer. The muscles did not release and the inner swirling did not and has not ceased. I finally stood and left. All the time I sat and prayed (and it was a long time not just in Murph time), a lady in our church sat beside me with her hand on my back. She is not someone I know well. I know her on sight but not her name. I do not know why she sat with me or if she prayed as I was praying. I know she sat beside me.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


I have a friend from High School days that gave me the book "The Virtue of Selfishness" to read. He has always been an atheist and seemed to have really bought into this philosophy.

I have to say the author, Ayn Rand, seems to have read the Bible but I don't know if she read the same Bible I read. She just doesn't get it and talks as if she does. It infuriates me. I want to argue points with my friend but I know that is not the answer.

I wish he could read Rand's stuff and the Bible with the eyes I do. I wish for him the Life I know.

If you start with the premise that there is no creator, no god, then it is very difficult to find "reason" in life let alone a definition of "reason". Her stuff unravels faster than she can weave it.

Perspective is reality...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Wants and Laughs

I want a bike (to go on rides with my family - T. and the girls have bikes but I don't), a grill (I left my old one in MN - It was not worth moving), and a guitar (I gotta learn how to play).

Yesterday I was standing in our walk-in closet hanging a shirt or something and my wife sneaks up behind me and makes this noise that sounded something like a cross between a lion and a constipated pirate. It scared the daylights out of me and then made me laugh pretty darn hard. She is so funny at times. I love my wife.

I think A., my 8 year old, may be a genius.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Weaving Word

Reading John 12:20-33 and wondering why Philip didn't just go get Jesus by himself; why did he grab Andrew first? - Silly Philip.

Reading Isaiah 43:21 and noticing that God not only formed us "for Himself" but He formed us with purpose - "that we may proclaim His praises". I like this stuff.

The day before yesterday I was tearing my home apart for a good 30 minutes trying to find my cell phone. It became a family project. Finally A. comes up and very sweetly asks "Daddy, have you prayed about finding your phone yet?" Oh My Gosh! Out of the mouth of babes. I told her I had not and asked her to pray too, which she did immediately. I finally stopped obsessing about the phone and it showed up at the rental place where I had left it in the 15 passenger I had drove down to Mississippi with the teens and had returned the day before. I love my A!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Tonya Randomness

"There are tweezers in your door"