Friday, July 31, 2009
Yesterday I was greatly humbled and excited as a result of a phone call I received while sitting in my office. Jeff, from my publishing company called me and informed that The Superman Syndrome has climbed to new heights. He went on to tell me that he is in negations with a buyer from Brazil who wants to buy the rights to The Superman Syndrome in Portuguese. I am greatly humbled and excited that my book will be shared with people from all over the world. There are also talks of the possibility of me going to speak and sign at the first of the year to launch the book. To God be the Glory!!!
Live to Love,
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
As I continued down the highway, I thought to myself about the sanitary landfill sign, “How in the world can a landfill be sanitary?” I wondered to myself, “Did the person that came up with the name sanitary landfill every look in an American dumpster? I mean honestly, I have been involved in quite a few conversations around a trashcan due to working with a homeless ministry for so long. I must confess there is not one trashcan that I have been around that had been washed with instant sanitizer. So how in the world could a place that has the sole job to house trash is sanitary? What a paradox.
Frank was one of the first homeless men that I personally invested in. Like many homeless that became known to me as my friends Frank was a severe alcoholic. He woke up each morning staring his addiction face to face when his body desperately craved a beer. His normal routine each day would be to somehow find a way to pay for his addiction. This was accomplished through him working several odd jobs or collecting aluminum cans. After many months of speaking love to Frank instead of judgment an incredibly meaningful relationship was birthed between us. I remember as if yesterday when my office phone rang, on the other in was Frank in a trembling voice. “Chad, I am ready.” Instantly I knew what Frank was trying to say. I had told him time and time again that when he was ready to get treatment for his deadly addiction all he had to do was call me. The next thing I know Frank and I were in my car headed to a treatment facility in a city about an hour and half away from my residence. As Frank opened the door to my car he was shaking as a result of his body going through withdrawal. His eyes were glazing yellowish color due to harmful consequences that alcohol had caused to his body. He slowly got in my car, filled with anxiety and fear, Frank buckled up and we are on our way to his vindication. Honestly I was scared to death that Frank would die on the way to the treatment facility. This was the first time in my life that I witnessed firsthand how deadly alcohol could be. About thirty minutes in to our trip Frank began to share with me what had happened the night before. He said, “Chad you know how bad it was raining last night.” I said, “yeah bro it was terrible…what did you do to stay out of the weather.” He slightly chucked, and said the funniest thing happened. He went on to say, “I was trying really hard to find a dry spot to lay my head, and I couldn’t.” As the rain increased I was left with only one option, the trash can. A brim smile then began to surface on his face, he said so I jumped in the trashcan. In the midst of a beating down rain, the trashcan was a new found refuge to Frank. He said, “I had a hard time falling a sleep, so I prayed to God to give me peace, rest, and a changed life.” He said the next thing he knows he wakes up, and thinks he is right middle of rapture. He attempts to stand up, and reality hit him in the head as his head struck the top of the dumpster. He laughed with even a greater energy and said “I threw my arms up in the air and pushed the top of the dumpster lid off my head. I began screaming at the top of my lungs for the trash man to stop.” It was apparent that God was not finished with Frank, the keenly aware garbage man saved Franks life that day. I have to be honest this was one of the funniest stories I had ever heard. I took Frank to the treatment day, He completed treatment, developed a deeper relationship with Christ. Sadly enough, I must say Frank’s addiction crept back in and eventually ended his living years.
Paradoxes run rampant throughout humanity. Paradoxes are statements that seem contradictory or absurd but are actually found to be truthful. I mean have you ever wondered why we park on driveways and drive on parkways? Another paradox that I remember growing up that still doesn’t make sense is when I use to get in trouble one of my family members would say, “Good grief Chad!” Think about this statement honestly is there such a thing as grief that is good? As my mind chases down this rabbit trail of thinking about paradoxes, I realized that the greatest author of paradoxes was Jesus Christ himself.
Even as young chubby, middle school kid I focused intently on working hard developing a dating career. I remember as if it was yesterday, there she was sitting in the foyer of our school. The new girl had long brown hair, dark eyes, and attitude that could scare off anybody. Attitude and all I found my new crush, and I was going to do all I could to gain her attention. During the school day I found myself taking different routes, trying to cross her path. The next thing I know God must have been looking out for me because as I entered my eighth period class there was the most beautiful sight I had ever seen. The new girl was sitting in a desk right next to mine. Sweaty palms and all, I eased into my chair praying that I would have the conversational skills to sweep her off her feet. After many notes were exchanged and late night telephone conversations I asked her a dangerous question. She answered with a smile, “of course I will be your girlfriend.” A few short weeks later, my hunger had suppressed and I broke up with her. Looking back on those years, I spent so much time trying to be liked, trying to talk to the popular girl, doing all I possibly could to gain the respect of my peers. Yet I still remained empty, as if I was a car running on fumes. The one person I should neglect the least was none existent to me, the creator of the universe. Yet on any given day I would literally go out of my way to make conversation with a popular kid, which would entail us talking about meaningless things for hours, cross the path of the latest hottie, or try to gain attention through sports. The harsh reality is why didn’t I pursue my relationship with God so intently if I only would have spent my time, energy, and resources on my relationship with the Savior of the world.
My high school years were filled with the same persistent pattern, in fact more intensely than before. One late winter afternoon my cousin that was a cheerleader told me that a cheerleader friend of hers wanted to borrow my letter jacket. “How could this be?” I thought to myself. One of the most popular girls in my school wanted to wear my jacket. I drove home at a fast speed and went into my closet to grab my letter jacket. The next thing I did would definitely make one of the top ten stupidest things I have ever done. I grabbed my jacket and grabbed a bottle of cologne off the top of my dresser. I then proceeded to spray my letter jacket with countless amounts of my cologne. In a few short seconds my doorbell rang. I opened the door with hesitation, there she was one of the most popular and in my eyes the prettiest girl in school. I handed her the jacket, short of words I asked her how her day was. After a short time of conversation she was off to go cheer at one of high school sporting events. Later that night I got word that the strong fragrance of my cologne still reeked in hear car, and she was unable to wear my jacket because the smell made her nauseous.
Looking back, It is downright heartbreaking to see how much time I wasted pursuing the approval of others and failing to pursue my Savior with the same passion.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
As my life progresses, as my age increases in numeric value, the frailty of life becomes more real, more apparent. On a simple journey to the local supermarket, mall, or even convenience store my eyes quickly observe cars that have handicap license plates fastened to their bumpers. My mind begins to drift towards the curiosity of what illness, what infirmity, what disadvantage, has brought the owners of the handicap marked vehicles to this point. Is it old age? Is it an illness since birth? Was it a car wreck or accident? Then the scales instantaneously fall from my eyes, a quick revelation becomes present in my mind. The only difference between the owner of those automobiles and myself is their car quickly reveals that they are handicap; my car conceals my handicap, which causes people to think I’m healthy. Yet, in my innermost being there is no difference between the visible handicap and myself. Yet I am no different than anyone else. Everybody has some type of obstacle, some type of disadvantage, some type of hindrance that stands in our way of truly being whole. It is a fact that God does not always remove the handicap, whether spiritual or physical, but He does however give us the ability to overcome our handicaps, yet so many refuse. But to those that chose to allow Christ to overcome the handicaps in their life, there is an indescribable liberation.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Martin Luther King once said, "The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people. "The sad reality is we hear story after heartbreaking story as the list of violent crimes in our city continues to grow--gang violence and drive-by shootings, domestic violence and abuse, random disputes gone awry, and malevolent intentional harm. We hear it on the news all the time unaffected as long it doesn’t touch people we know personally. If a crime doesn’t actually interfere in our own lives, we remain unchanged, unaware that in reality, one single act of violence touches so many more lives than just the one taken. The traumatized living victims remain nameless and faceless to us and we are ignorant of the long-term consequences they face. It’s none of our concern. We shake our heads in pity and compassions but, in all honesty, our lives remain unaffected by the painful suffering of others…until violence touches our own lives and we or someone we love becomes a victim. Suddenly, the chaos on the news becomes our own personal stories. What is it going to take to make YOU raise your voice?
Friday, July 17, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Live to Love.