Category Archives: Sacrifice

Season Finale

“To everything there is a season. . . “ so says the book of Ecclesiastes. And this blog is no different. At the beginning of ’09, I committed to several goals this year. Unfortunately, in the process of juggling all these ambitions, I have dropped some along the way. Of course, I may pick them back up but it’s not long before one drops again. I have learned in life that when you are overwhelmed with all the things you are juggling, you can do one of three things: you can keep doing what you’re doing with the hope that you eventually “get it,” you can juggle with less balls until you have mastered that level, or you can just quit juggling.

I have decided to juggle with less balls. Here’s the thought process: If I drop just one ball even periodically, and more than likely it’d be a different ball each time, I fail at juggling period. In other words, I may not reach any of my accomplishments or it will certainly take me longer to get there. On the other hand, if I juggle with less balls dropping none, I am a success, albeit I am a less accomplished juggler than if I were to hit all my targets in the first example but my odds are better. If I stop juggling all together, not only do I fail at juggling but I fail at even trying; failure is certain. Rhetorically, let me ask you this: would you rather invest in a long shot, a sure shot, or a dud?

I want to be a sure shot! And it is for that reason that I am regretfully postponing my blog posts. I have been focusing so much on ensuring a post three times a week that I have  neglected the writing of my book. Writing is my dream. And I have been accomplishing my dream through you, the readers of this blog. But at the same time, the true realization of a writer’s dream, at least this writer’s dream, is publication. Just like our life here on earth is a dress rehearsal for Heaven, this blog has been a dress rehearsal for publication of a book. I appreciate all of you for aiding and abetting me in testing and reforming my style through this medium. While I am not a perfect writer (and never will be), my heart is ready. And quite frankly, that is all that is needed for the realization of a  dream. A heart that is ready will let nothing get in its way. A heart that is ready will not quit or back down. A heart that is ready will not bargain for second best; it will not rest until it has reached its destination; it will not be denied.

This is not a series finale, it is merely the end of a season. I will live to blog again; you have not seen the last of Brian Shaw. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I am taking my series to the big screen if you will. I am taking my passion and purpose to a higher pursuit. Please keep your eyes peeled for the release of my “feature film” in the near future. This is not the end, it is just the beginning . . .

Oh, and if by remote chance there is a published author who has any great advice or contacts he or she would like to share, or better yet, a publisher with some interest in my work, feel free to comment now. (LOL)

To all of you fellow dreamers: I encourage you on your pursuit. Make sure you take time to pause from time to time to compare your map and your current location to make sure that you are still on the shortest distance to your destination. If so, pursue relentlessly. If not, make the necessary adjustments and get back on the road.

Please keep me in your prayers. I am working on writing a 30 day devotional. Pray that the Lord would give me wisdom and continual revelation. Pray that he would guide my pen to position words in a way that will speak encouragement and hope to a multitude of people, not for my own profit but for kingdom profit, that those far from God may be drawn into greater intimacy with the Father through the Son. Pray that He keep me ever so humble and grateful for any talent that He has blessed me with. Finally, pray that I keep “first things first,” not neglecting my own spiritual walk or my own family.

Thank You and May God Bless You Abundantly!

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The World Is Your Oyster

pearlYou’ve no doubt heard how pearls are formed. They are formed when an irritant like a grain of sand enters its shell. It’s natural response is to create a barrier around that irritant to protect itself. The result, of course, is a polished pearly white stone with little to no blemish.

Likewise, God sent Christ into this world as an irritant, with a message so offensive that the world would put Him to death. Out of that, you were washed clean of your sin and made into a precious gem in the eyes of God. You are a pearl for which He paid the highest price, the life of His only begotten son.

You are valuable to God!

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. ~Matthew 13:45-46

Precious Little One

All three of my nephews (Ryan, Ben, and Jacob) are special each in his own way. The youngest, Jacob, who will turn five in December has “batted a thousand” despite some malicious curve balls thrown his way.

At 2 1/2, he was diagnosed with diabetes and has since been the target of six or more finger sticks and a minimum of four needle sticks per day. At the tender age of 4 years old, he gets enough sticks to make Keith Richards look like an amateur; not out of addiction and certainly not out of choice but by necessity. On top of that, he has had to forfeit the typical adolescent diet of cakes and candy for a diet more favorable to his health. By virtue of his fate, Jacob makes greater sacrifices than some of us will ever have to endure.

On Monday afternoon, as if his lot in life wasn’t already a bummer enough, Jacob experienced a seizure. After extensive diagnostic testing including an EEG, a diagnosis of epilepsy was confirmed. While further testing is being planned, an oral medication has been added to his existing insulin regimen.

Despite the circumstances, Jacob has been a real trooper through his plight. He is proof that spirit is much harder to break than body. These adult-sized afflictions may have attempted to take the life out of the boy but he has refused to let them take the boy out of his life. With two older, rambunctious brothers, Jacob has no time to give these ailments any kind of foothold. He is all boy and when life wants to play hardball, this little guy is going to hit it out of the park.

That being said, no child and no family should have to go through such an ordeal. This kind of adversity would be difficult no matter how tough and resilient. And it’s been no cakewalk for Jacob and his family either. Barring any major medical advances or a supernatural healing, both of these are lifelong diseases that require enormous courage and significant changes to lifestyle. Besides how it affects Jacob, it has resulted in tremendous pressure on the entire family. Things as simple as finding a baby sitter skilled enough to provide for Jacob’s complex medical condition is a challenge. And Jacob’s mother has had to sacrifice her job for the care of her son. Plain and simple, this sucks!

Please pray for Jacob: for normal blood sugar levels, no seizures, the discipline to handle the altered lifestyle, the strength to handle a crisis, and ultimately for his complete healing. Also pray for Rabs (pronounced with short a) and Suzie, Jacob’s dad and mom: for wisdom and patience in providing for Jacob’s needs, financial security, and the strength and peace to deal with it all. And finally, pray for Ryan and Ben: for their health and that they are continually supportive in their brother’s care.

Thanks for letting me boast about my family!

Rabs and family, we love you guys!

Meatatarian

I know everyone is sick of the Wendy’s meatatarian commercial but it hits home lately, as the leadership and other obedient participants of my church engage in the Daniel Fast. In short, the Daniel Fast eliminates all foods that are sinfully delicious––no meats, no deep fried foods, no bread (unless unleavened and whole wheat a.k.a. cardboard), no refined sugar (or substitutes even), no caffeine, no processed foods, and no ice cream to name a few. It’s a heart healthy (and colon cleansing) diet. It’s a meat-lover’s nightmare!

Thankfully, I’m still sleeping well. But I do have to give props to those who have made the sacrifice to do this for 10, and some for 21, days. I applaud your obedience and I pray that you will hear from God and deepen your relationship with Him. As for me, I’m probably going to Hell for my disobedience. Really though, I’m struggling enough right now simply to not gorge and to just eat my adequate portions. There is certainly no excuse for disobedience and I’m not trying to make any. All I can say is, thank God for His amazing grace. I have made some sacrifices in the past and my next season for an Olympic-caliber sacrifice is probably right around the corner. Of course, no sacrifice would ever be big enough to come close to that of Christ’s.

To anyone making the Daniel Fast sacrifice at Elevation Church, only eight days to go. I cheer you on and admire your efforts!