TrAAcking Time. God’s grace in Ocular Myasthenia Gravis

I’m TrAAcking Time today. TRACKING MIKES FLIGHT TO SHAIGHAI

Using flightaware.com, watching as my husband’s 787 moves across the western side of America toward Shanghai. It’s been five years since he piloted a plane. Five. Years.

I’ve always known he was a badass. It’s what attracted me to him in the very beginning. JMK had the ‘it’ factor-brains, authority, tenacity and a work ethic that exhausts the rest of mankind. It was all packaged up in that Irish soul, a deceptive kind of strength. Like Bond, James Bond. Who doesn’t look like a badass until he’s in a bad ass kind of moment. Then watch out, he engages. And it’s do-or-die time and that’s when you want a badass in your corner. In front of you with confidence, taking care of business and telling you exactly what to do. And not do. (I forget this sometimes. That the very thing that made me fall in love can also make me… um, get extremely frustrated.  Badasses are notorious bullies.)

But for five years my badass got grounded from his occupation. Ocular Myasthenia Gravis– grave muscle weakness- it attacked his eyes and gave him double vision. In the beginning he looked the part- badass pirate mike. He could do anything with an eye-patch-Harley, ski, hunt, fish as he friend-ed, fathered and husbanded and brother-ed us all on. But he lost his flight medical and took a seat at a desk job beside me. We thought God was crazy. Anyone will tell you don’t go into business with your wife. But we beat the odds and our marriage even prospered along with the business. And our spiritual growth, well it was on more steroids than mike’s daily dose of prednisone.

There isn’t enough paper and ink to chronicle what we learned in 1825 days-what we gave up and what we gained. But God. But. God. My two favorite words put together. But God, how we changed. Financially, to live with less and appreciate more. Spiritually, to live out that we trusted God to be in control. Physically, that God can heal anything and if He chooses not to or calls you to wait, that His grace is sufficient. Emotionally, that our worth and purpose is found in Christ-we are loved by Him and becoming like him is our chief ambition-not being a pilot, business owner, badass, or writer. Relation-ally, that what is eternal is found only in relationships. There God supplied everything we needed.

Jesus is a badass too.

The original badass but that’s a rabbit trail you can read about another day.

I thank you, and you know who you are- You and you and you. Family. Friends. We thank God for your prayers, encouragement and love.
Today, as I track time I am intensely sentimental and overwhelmed with gratitude and pride. Pride that we finished the race we were called to run. The last 42 days were all uphill in this marathon. Flight Training.
I can only explain it this way. Five years ago you drove a ’78 Ford standard shift truck held together with duct tape-78 ford dashboard

and now they drop you into an Indy racer ie-787 Dreamliner high-tech simulator.

dreamliner 787

And you’re 54 now. Your eyes are great-thanks to bi-focals but the brain is foggy. And the paper manual I picked up at Kinkos-1000+ pages printed both sides- you have to memorize. Of course they want you to study it off an Ipad. Now. That’s where your flight manual is housed. It used to be 20lbs of kit bag. Now it’s all on the Ipad, if you can find it with a swipe.  I joke, he can, now… but for 42 days it was badasserie at its finest. A juggling act of bi-focals (for 3 focal points), Ipad, Dreamliner and temper that sat beside Daral-a God send AA check-airman captain.

The final exam always comes at the end of the course- I’m talking about the five year grounding – and he passed. American was so glad to have him back they started sending him free stuff- Ipad, Cole Hahn briefcase, beautiful new uniforms! Ok… yes the FedEx guy told me he was delivering them all over DFW this week. But I like to think everyone was celebrating with us. And as the new uniform was hung on the door hook of the closet and his new CCK;) bag tags were put on his carry on luggage and he did what badasses do—preflight the next day. I felt so proud of him and for him.  My badass is back in the cockpit.

Ocular Myasthenia Gravis enabled us to behold His glory.

“We [actually] saw His glory, glory as belongs to the [One and] only begotten Son of the Father, [the Son who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, who is] full of grace and truth (absolutely free of deception). (And I testify of this)  For out of His fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift].
John 1:14 & 16

May you see God and His furious love in whatever your circumstances are today. Grace upon Grace, and Peace.

Cartography- a word that gets you where you need to be like Steve Thomason

Cartography- a word that gets you where you need to be- like Steve Thomason

cartographer

I didn’t know what a cartographer was until I looked up the word ‘mapmaker’.  Cartography (from Greek χάρτης khartēs, “map”; and γράφειν graphein, “write”) is the study and practice of making maps. Combining science, aesthetics, and technique, cartography builds on the premise that reality can be modeled in ways that communicate spatial information effectively.

I’ve always thought of life as a journey. God has moved me around a lot, I’ve been scattered and gathered. He’s called me out then shown me the way to go. His word is our map and His Spirit our compass. But often it’s God’s people who help explain the directions.

This year God connected me to “cartographer” Steve Thomason.  His visual art-theology website was like mousing into Disneyworld. Where do you go first? It’s wonderful. It’s deep yet simple. It’s thought provoking teaching from a authentic and vulnerably courageous voice. I’ve learned so much from Steve.  He is a map-writer that communicates spiritual direction effectively. And he’s not afraid if you see things differently – he loves Jesus and he loves God’s people.

Like a map, Steve Thomason points to the direction of exciting things.  Look, over here at what the Bible Project is doing at this video on HOLY.   Or like a Scout he lets you into his personal journal to read his journey notes on the current scenery of how his PhD dissertation-Missional Spirituality in the Suburbs– is going – I can’t wait to refer to him as Dr. Thomason-so cool.  He even lets you into the ‘situation room’ that place we see in the White house on the TV dramas where the top secret stuff is happening. He’s brave enough to let us know he’s ‘living with disagreement and mapping out that conversation’.  Someone pointed him to Brene’ Brown’s TED talk and he put “the power of vulnerability” on the map for me.  Thank you Steve.

We all want maps. I hate wasting time and getting lost, don’t you? We want to know where to go, which way to turn, what’s a seriously dangerous dead end or an exquisitely glorious lookout.  And YOU’VE been somewhere I want to go. We all need to Map-Write more. We all need to be spiritual Cartographers who model ways that communicate the truth of Jesus Christ and the journey of spiritual transformation in Him and tell about the practical places to find it in God’s word or through God’s teachers.

Don’t keep the good news to yourself, be brave and share it.

How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!” Romans 10:14-15

PLEASE, post a comment if you have something to point us to.

 

FURY Book Two ECHO by JL Kelly
FURY book two ECHO by JL Kelly http://amzn.to/1KMrLlv

Now available.

 

pre-game intentionality Romans 12:1-2

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2
The Message

in·ten·tion·al
adjective
done on purpose; deliberate.

The glorification of the word busy is something I recently determined needed to be stopped.  But how?  i still have a great deal to do, more ‘to do’ than time to ‘do it’ in.  And all this ‘busyness’ just as the definition determines does keep me occupied.  And I spend my most valued commodity: time-immersed in this unintentional busyness with nothing but the sweat on my brow to show for it at the 11th hour and then i’m too exhausted to do what really matters.  It’s frustrating.  That we are all so ‘well adjusted to our culture that we’re fitting in without even thinking about it’ as Romans 12 warns us.   Living life  ‘without even thinking’ is the chaos the world seems to lock us in and it’s mantra is ‘I’m busy’. Doing what?  All this stuff.  What stuff?  I don’t know, life stuff.  I don’t know is the problem.  We’re thoughtlessly going about life. Stuck in unintentional busyness.  And we do glorify it, constantly. “I’m so busy!”   And as I considered the words of Romans 12:1-2 thoughtfully, the first step is to re-focus.  To fix our eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ instead of all this thoughtless doing and recognize what He wants from me.  Today, I was determined to change.  First step-intention-get serious about it with some thoughtful pre-planning so tomorrow I don’t start the bad habit all over again which Eugene Peterson describes as our cultures’ immaturity problem.  Fixing my attention on God I asked for change from the inside out.  Knowing God is the One capable of re-ordering my thinking (knowing the truth instead of believing the lie), feeling (understanding this is God’s will for me & trusting Him) and doing (committing to it actively) and that God alone will bring out the best in the way He uniquely designed me–we’re talking about His plans (prayer).   God is lovingly calling me to pursue time with Him so we can figure this strategy out together.  So we’re in the pre-game of this living life ‘with much thought’ intentionality of seizing the day-Carpi Diem.   It’s the call to give our time to God as an offering (something we offer up that has a cost associated with it) and let Him make the most of the minutes.   Because the command is accompanied with the promise- we will recognize God’s will.  We’ll get direction.  We’ll be driven by God’s purpose and God will bring out the best of us.   Be intentional.  It’s a high calling.