Eat What I Give You

8/28/2005 5:57 AM

S: “But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like
that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you..” Ezekiel

O: God is giving Ezekiel some basic instruction, saying that He is going to
give him the words to say and he shouldn’t hold back, but should do what he
is called to do.

A: I hear something totally different in this passage right now. I hear the
phrase, “Life isn’t fair, get used to it.” I’ve said that to my kids since
Seth first said “That’s not fair!” probably 11-12 years ago. After I had
been saying it for about 5 years, I heard that Bill Gates also says the same
basic phrase to his kids.

The reason I hear that phrase is that people are dealt different cards over
the course of their lives. They are given different plates to eat. I hear
this passage:

13The only temptation that has come to you is that which everyone has. But
you can trust God, who will not permit you to be tempted more than you can
stand. But when you are tempted, he will also give you a way to escape so
that you will be able to stand it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NCV)

Ellen White says it another way. God measures out on scales the temptations
that come to us and only allows those things to come through which we can be
triumphant over.

So, Ezekiel says, eat what God has given to me. This is my plate, this is
my task before me. God wouldn’t place it before me if he didn’t think I
could handle it. Sometimes I wish God didn’t trust me so much.

You see, my mom’s stroke has some far reaching consequences. Evidently she
has kind of given up the last couple of days. I haven’t talked with her,
although I tried to call her on Friday night. But her attitude is “Why try?
I’m going to die anyway.” Therefore, the only option is to put mom back on
Hospice care and bring her home. The nursing care facility will cost them
$100/day after Medicare picks up all the costs they will pick up.

I feel a little trapped. Although I could not put my mom in a nursing home.
But I feel trapped by the idea that my mom won’t try. It makes me angry.
It makes me struggle. But at 67 years of age, I will not be able to teach
my mom, train her, or change her way of viewing life. She has ALWAYS made
decisions based on what she felt. She has ALWAYS made decisions based on
her emotions rather than logic. It has NEVER mattered that she may change
her mind in two days, she’s never been able to deal with that.

And an emotional based decision system is always going to lead you down the
wrong path someday. Your choices make choices for you.

I guess I mind a little that my mom is giving in. I think I was taught to
be a fighter. I guess I mind a little that she is succumbing to something
that is unnecessary to succumb to. I guess I mind just a little that her
choices are making choices for her. But those are small. I’m disappointed.
I don’t want to see her give up and die. I’d like my kids to get to know
her better. I would like my kids to grow up with their grandparents.
Because I still believe I had the best parents in the world.

What I think I am most angry about is that her choices are making choices
for me. I have no control over my own life right now. I get to bring my
mom in who is incontinent, cannot communicate well, will require help at
nearly every little task. I’m struggling with this because I believe that
she is capable of fixing some of the issues through her rehab. And it
sounds like she is refusing to do it.

Maybe I’m a control freak. I’m sure in some ways I’ve tried to control my
friends and family. I understand that. But I think I should be given the
privilege of at least controlling my own life. God put me in charge of that
one at least.

But on the flip side, I could not put my mom in a nursing care facility – at
least not while we are able to take care of her. And I also think this is
about teaching my kids (and me perhaps) that the older generation is to be
honored even when they are not honorable, or even when they can’t

Our society tends to honor youth and vigor. My mom has neither of them.
Nor does my dad. I want to teach my kids to honor them anyway. And this
may be providential for me and them to learn this stuff. Perhaps, when I am
old a feeble, my kids will look back and take care of me rather than put me
into a stinky nursing home.

P: Lord, You say through Ezekiel, “eat what I give you.” Logically, I’m
willing, Lord. I see no other options. But emotionally I’m struggling. I
want to submit to you right now. I want to submit this situation with my
mom. I want to submit my life to you. I want to submit my wife and kids to
you. I pray for the Holy Spirit.

We didn’t go to see my mom last night, Lord, although Gail and I were on our
way, because we were tired and it’s been a long week, and instead, we
decided to stay and save our energy for the long haul. Right now, that
feels like the right decision.

Lord, I have a lot of questions now:
1. What happens when we bring my mom home?
2. What happens when we want to go on vacation?
3. What happens when all of us go for church, or for a hike, or for a
half day out? Will she be okay to leave at those times?
4. What happens when we are due to be out of town in October, in
December, at other times? Who watches Mom then? Will we transfer her to
Gary and Jen’s?
5. What other things are in front of us that I don’t see?

I hear you saying, God, “eat what I give you.” You have measured this out.
So, I guess we’ll take it a day at a time? I guess we’ll take it moment by

Lord, give me strength, give me wisdom and give me courage. I pray for
help. I pray for angels. I pray for your way and your path. I pray you
will lead us.

Please come into my heart and into my life. I pray you will guide me. I
love you, Lord and I trust you.

Working Through Issues

This has been a really interesting month at The Adventure. In many ways it
seems as if our church is coming together while at the same time it’s as if
it is falling a part.

What does that mean? It just means that while some of the systems
are still not in place, many of them area actually coming together. But
while we are getting more and more done and becoming much more effective
about what we’re doing, it seems as if there are still loose ends to shore

For me, that simply means that the church is reflecting me. I don’t take
any of the good credit here – rather I take the blame for living too long as
an undisciplined and disorganized pastor. That’s not the case anymore. But
for years I did.

Other things going on this month. We’re in contract negotiations with our
landlords and they are seeking to raise our rent by 75+% Although that may
seem incredible (it is), I find it interesting how God is moving us and how
he is shaping us. Perhaps this is just the push we need to get us to move
into our own place. There are a few options out there. And they are worth
pursuing. But for now, we’re trying to negotiate with our current facility
owners and see where that leads us.

We have Outdoor Worship Today (8/20/2005) at 5pm. And we are praying that
the weather holds for us. We also have another baptism of two individuals
today. This is AWESOME!