Sunday, March 4, 2012

Reaping and sowing

"You can't reap unless you sow!" the phrase hit me in a way that I, honestly, had never thought about sowing-and-reaping before. I was at the theater watching The Lorax with my two young sons and that phrase jumped from the big screen into my thoughts.

As a child, I grew up with the biblical paraphrase, "you reap what you sow." I have always understood it as a warning; you do something bad and something bad will happen. I remember countless times praying for crop failure.

Today I heard the phrase with a different, redemptive tone. It's not a warning; it is a promise, a call to life! It is an encouraging voice asking me to live fully--to embrace life. Do I have the courage, the self preservation, to sow what I really need to reap; to live a life worthy of living.

A half dead existence of addiction and shame--praying for crop failure is not what I was intended for. I am meant to trully live. Like Dr Suess' story, I can't reap a forrest of beauty unless I plant the rare seed in my life that can restore me.

"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap." -Galations 6:7

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The wisdom of children

Zak--one of our little miracles
This morning, my seven year old son, Zak, proudly stated, "I know how to make a baby!"
My curiosity was peaked, "How do you make a baby?"
He confidently answered, "You marry somebody and then you pray."

There is an amazing amount of truth in his innocence.
As adults, we can be so caught up in trying to control and manipulate our world that we often forget how little control we actually have. We put forth our best efforts, however in many circumstances, we do not possess the power to decide the actual outcomes. As a man living with AIDS I am continually learning that lesson.

Zak has heard the story of his inception many times. "Mommy and Daddy couldn't have a baby. We wanted one so bad, so we prayed and prayed. Finally, God remembered our prayers for a child and gave us you. So we named you Zakariah which means, God has remembered."

Most people know how a baby is made. For us, it took a cup, lab, syringe, doctor and stirrups (Sperm washing). We all made our best efforts but ultimately there was no guarantee it was going to work. After two painful years, on the eleventh try, the miracle of conception happened resulting in an adorable little blond haired boy.

Mommy and Daddy got married and then prayed.
God remembered them; the miracle happened.
A simple lesson.

"Now stand here and see the great thing the Lord is about to do." -1 Samual 12:16

Friday, November 25, 2011

Juxtaposed

I am...
A determined saint, persistent sinner.
A husband, an individual.
A father, a son.
A lover of people, learning to love myself.
Grateful I'm not God, sometimes act like I'm God.
Bad at whistling, uncomfortable with yelling.
Happy to rough-house with Zak and Grey, sad that they are at the right height to do serious hurt with a well placed punch.
Healthy, living with AIDS.
Honest, a recovering sex addict.
43 years old, still not dead.
An optimist, realist.
Enjoy a good workout, love naps more.
Very social, need limited solitude.
An occasional flosser, fearful that my dentist will judge me.
A servant, not prone to giving.
A fan of Gungor, frustrated to be 50% deaf.
Afraid of heights, enjoy climbing.
A slow driver, have more tickets than my wife.
An Accord owner (yawn), I have a great appreciation for beautiful car design.
Skilled at loading a dishwasher, suck at wiping down the counters.
Always right, my wife is never wrong.
A Coke snob--McDonalds got their mixture right, I ridicule coffee snobs.
A fan of graphic novels, embarrassed to have just admitted that.
Actually a fan of superheroes, now I'm mortified.
Not a budgeted spender, grateful to have discovered mint.com.
An iPhone 4S owner, iTunes won't run on my PC--UGH!
Reading the bible on my iPhone, justifying how much time I spend on my iPhone.
Tired of living in a condo, thankful I don't have to mow a yard.
A green thumb, sad I don't have a garden.
Obsessive, focused.
Oriented bisexual, my preference is Natalie.
A civil war, becoming integrated.
Accepting things about myself, changing things about myself.
A victim of bullying as a child, now I'm learning not to bully myself.
Listening to affirmation from others, starting to believe it.
Connected, withdrawn.
Thin or lean, not skinny.
An ectomorph, wish I was a mesomorph, satisfied I'm not an endomorph.
A follower of Christ, God is merciful.
Grateful to commune with other believers, I hate religion.
A man who has f'd up, a soul experiencing grace.
Tempted by darkness, thrive in the light.
Fallible, courageous.
A lover of scripture, often perplexed.
Compassionate to a fault, have a surprising capacity to judge.
An insightful counselor, I don't have a piece of paper to frame on my wall.
A stutterer, a compelling public speaker.
Balanced, chaotic.
Artistic on the computer, loathe pencil and paper.
Athletic, don't enjoy team sports.
Not a fan of athletic shoes, crazy about Chuck Taylor All Stars.
Love the ocean, live in Colorado.
A bit of a geek, not in the cool way.
American, fortunate.
A bleeding heart, politics make my head hurt.
A man who talks too much, one of my closest friends is deaf.
Treasured, ignored.
Unable to grow a beard, I have hair on my feet.
A sci-fi nut, my boys think I'm awesome.
Bragging that I was 6th in my class, there were only 8 seniors.
The student who had the highest ACT score in my school, I didn't study for it.
A twin, I'm taller.
The 3,550,009,380th person alive on earth when I was born, a surprise to my parents--they weren't expecting a twin.
Grateful for life, don't always live like it.
Wounded, healer.
Trusting that God is good, I don't understand God.
Black and white, embracing gray.
Lousy at singing, why do people complain when I lip sync?
Aware that my teeth are crooked, they are cavity free and pretty white.
A food enthusiast, afraid of eggplant.
Always eating, rarely gain weight.
Laid back, freakishly controlling in a crisis.
A procrastinator, work well with deadlines.
The anti-type A, I'll live longer.
Mending the past, hoping for the future.
Discerning, merciful.
Learning more, knowing less.
Unfinished, I am becoming.
Mike, I am good.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

In the Land of the Living

In 1996 I started the year almost dead from AIDS. I ended the year alive, married and cofounding HIV Care Link. This is what inspires me:

"[What, what would have become of me] had I not believed that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living! Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord." (Psalm 27:13, 14 AMP)

This blog is about me; a fallible, unfinished, striving, yet resolute, believer as I continue to wait, hope and expect to see the Lord's goodness in the land of the living.