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Inspiration

October 2, 2009 — 4 Comments

Last night I had a sermon on my heart and I could not get rid of it so I started writing notes.  What started as a 5 minute brainstorm turned into an hour of thought and reflection.  It is what I call “inspiration”.  Not the biblical inspiration we think of (cf. 2 Tim. 3:16) but the inspiration that comes through study, prompting, prayer and experience.  Some sermons do not even come to me and I have to work and wrestle with the Scriptures to even gain a decent thought or idea.  Sometimes…a sermon just plays out like in my head like a symphony and I put the pieces together.  Consider my notes below that I took down at midnight last night. 

Inspired

I know this looks like gibberish but I get so excited that I just start writing things down so fast.  What moments do you get inspired?  If I were a painter I would fail at my inspiration because it is hard for me to calm down.  Maybe you get inspired when you are in a chorus performance and all of the voices blend together to give a sound only the heavens could author.  Maybe you get inspired when you are on the football field and a play goes in slow motion and you can see everything so clear and you execute the play to perfection.  Maybe you get inspired when you are teaching a class and some students just “get it” and you come out of the class feeling better about life and it inspires you. 

We all need inspiration which gives us motivation that keeps us from deprivation.  How’s that for a quote? What inspires you?

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Life is too quick.

July 21, 2009 — 2 Comments

I am sitting in the family room of the house we rented for the week in Mirimar Beach, Florida (near Destin) and I can’t help but to think the week is just about over.  I remember as a kid we used to complain about how long it took to get to Florida or Canada and how the weeks seemed like they never ended.  I drove most of the night by myself after services Sunday morning to get down here and realized that it really was not that bad.  It was 7 hours and 15 minutes and I only stopped once.  And now I am writing a blog on Tuesday and before I know it we will be loading up heading back home.  Life is truly enigmatic.  When we are young we want life to come to us so fast and then when we are old we want it to slow down.  What can be done?  I am not sure.  We ate at a beautiful place for lunch called Pompano Joe’s (if you ever goto Destin make this a stop) and it was right on the beach and we could see the crystal blue ocean.  I thought to myself as I saw my whole family enjoying the moment, “I may never get to see something this beautiful again.”  How does one enjoy the moment?  It seems we have to make sure that the moment is in the Lord.  God has allowed me to see so much since I have been on this world.  On the beach there are a lot of things to look at but I am always amazed at the simpleness of the sea.  The sounds of the waves as the land on the shore almost like it was meant to be.  Then to look up and see the birds waiting in anticipation as they look for a distracted fish to pounce on.  As I was laying out I could hear people walking in the sand even when they were 10-15 feet away from me.  I could see how crabs could communicate.  I never noticed this stuff when I went to the beach as a kid.  IT was always, “Where’s the next wave to surf or what can I do next?”  Life is too quick. 

I wish I would have savored the moment a little better when I was in high-school.  I wish I would have enjoyed the friendships more and spent more time with my family.  I can say that from experience 75-80% of all practice (athletic or whatever) really do not matter.  Most people are not going to get a scholarship and most people are not going to get paid for playing sports.  I wish I could convey that to high-school students more.  You know what?  It really does not matter if you miss a practice or if you don’t make the cut.  Life is so much bigger than Hoover playing Odessa-Permian in the National High School Football Championship.  Who cares?  Life is too short.  I guess I am speaking from a context of one who has been there and has realized that it does not matter.  What matters is if you have your life straight!  Mike Vick probably got a taste of what was really important during his imprisonment.  Life tends to matter when everything has been taken away. 

Random thoughts but that is what is going through my head right now.  Funniest memory so far since I have been in Florida…Amelia took her bathing suit off and peed in a plastic bag…right as the Sheriff was driving by in his truck on the beach.  How red neck is that?  Blessings.

Beach or Mountains?

July 17, 2009 — 2 Comments

It is hard for me to go on vacation each year because I am not one to sit down and relax.  Each year my family goes with Heather’s parents to the beach somewhere.  They are all beach bums and love to sit in the hot sun for hours at a time and relax.  It is so hard for me to go each year because I have no clue what it means to relax.  My idea of vacations means we go places but we also do things each day.  So most of my past vacations have actually caused me to become more tired than anything.  But I love going because my kids are an absolute blast when we go.  They soak it all in and seem to enjoy every single second of it.  That makes it all worth it. 

Are you like me?  Do you find it difficult to sit down and let your mind go on a vacation.  Most of the world thinks of the beach when they think about vacation but I think of mountains.  The beach is nice but I hate sweating.  I love going to the mountains and looking at snow and smelling the different aromas a forest gives you.  There is something real and raw that a forest yields that a beach could never touch.  I mean for crying out loud..you sit there and sit there…and sit there and look at water.  Not me.  I can roam through the woods and get lost in my sea of trees and animals.  I guess each person has their own concept of vacation and so my perspective is not universal which makes this world amazing. 

Some people in our churches are beach people where they are content with sitting there and looking at things and some people are mountain people where they like to roam around the mountains and discover new things.  I can’t help but to be Wild at Heart (to quote a title of a book) and let my inner manhood run free.  I look forward to this vacation but don’t be surprised to hear of a story of Robbie Mackenzie doing something different and discovering something fun down at the beach.  I may get a chance to blog I may not.  I may return and I may not.  Who knows what is in store for me but I look forward to loads of fun either way. 

I appreicate the few of you who read this on a consistent basis listening to my random thoughts and laughing at my stupidity.  You are truly a blessing to me.  I love you and look forward to sharing much more with you.


Last night was probably one of the weirdest experiences of my 5 year career at Main Street.  In the summer we have what is called the Summer Series (most congregations do).  There was a storm going on but we did not think much about it because everything seemed to be going well.  About 15 minutes into the lesson we heard the tornado sirens.  The speaker paused and said, “Do we need to go some where or do something?”  Everyone looked at me as if I needed to say something but I thought there was no need to panic and encouraged the speaker to keep speaking.  I knew that there would be men in the congregation who would get up and check it anyways so I thought we need to keep doing the same thing until we knew exactly what was occurring.  For some reason I like to look at people when things are going wrong.  I know it is weird and may seem demented but I believe a person’s real character comes out when something goes completely wrong.  I looked at people and they were fidgeting in their seats and they kept checking their cell phones to look at the radar and some of them got up and went downstairs immediately.  Some of them wanted to be close to their children and some of them just wanted to run away.  People kept talking to each other all the while the speaker is trying to break the bread of life to us.  My wife and I are very calm in situations like these.  We do not freak out but we do not under-exaggerate the problem either.  Whenever their is a tornado or a storm anywhere near Robertson County we get phone calls from people telling us to “TAKE SHELTER” because “THIS ONE IS REALLY BAD.”  Our thoughts are usually, “how is this one any different from the thousands we have seen before?”  But there is always the fear of the uncertain and so usually we will take cover some where.  Back to last night…about 3 minutes after some men left the auditorium they came back and one of the elders walked up to the podium and announced that the storm was really bad and we should take cover in our fellowship room which was mostly underground.  Most people were calm about it but there were quite a few who immediately got on the cell phones and called all over the place to see who was where and what was where.  People would relay, “The tornado was seen in……..” or, “there were reports of a tornado that touched down near……”  My thoughts are, “Who cares where there have been reports about the tornado all we need to be concerned about is that things are ok right here and right now.”  but I do see the logic in knowing where something is so that you can make necessary preparations.  Maybe I am too laid back when it comes to this stuff (I never used to be…marriage to my wife has rubbed off on me).  We got chairs set up in the fellowship room and everything turned out to be fine.  I doubt I will ever experience something like that again but it was a good life lesson to watch people’s reactions.  I flipped through and found Psalm 29 (by chance or on purpose?) and read it in the New Living Translation and thought it was so appropriate for last night. 

1 Honor the Lord, you heavenly beings;
      honor the Lord for his glory and strength.
 2 Honor the Lord for the glory of his name.
      Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

 3 The voice of the Lord echoes above the sea.
      The God of glory thunders.
      The Lord thunders over the mighty sea.
 4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
      the voice of the Lord is majestic.
 5 The voice of the Lord splits the mighty cedars;
      the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon.
 6 He makes Lebanon’s mountains skip like a calf;
      he makes Mount Hermon leap like a young wild ox.
 7 The voice of the Lord strikes
      with bolts of lightning.
 8 The voice of the Lord makes the barren wilderness quake;
      the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
 9 The voice of the Lord twists mighty oaks
      and strips the forests bare.
   In his Temple everyone shouts, “Glory!”

 10 The Lord rules over the floodwaters.
      The Lord reigns as king forever.
 11 The Lord gives his people strength.
      The Lord blesses them with peace.

May you be blessed with peace.  God reigns over the hearts of men but he also reigns over the storms of the earth!