Here at TLE, we strive to do things Laz would have done as a direct response to Jesus and his shouting us out of the tomb. Five words characterize our actions for forty days, Easter to Ascension Day. The actions we take are because of Jesus, for Jesus, with Jesus, and in Jesus.
The five words that help frame our actions are:
Let's take these up in order the next five days.
Intentionality is not just making plans. Not just dreaming about doing something. Not just intending. Intentionality is doing, acting, making plans happen.Planning is definitely a part of it. Dreaming and scheming and plotting and conspiring, too. But if that's all you ever do, it's not being intentional. It's just being lazy.
If I was Lazarus - (this is, after all, the game we're playing) - I know one of the things I would stop doing is planning on doing something without doing something to do something. See what I'm doing there?
I have way too many roads slathered with good intentions. If I died and then four days later got called out, I know beyond any doubt that after kissing Jesus and kissing my wife, I would take action on all the dreams and ideas and goals and determinations and really good thoughts I'd had before I kicked the bucket.
I'll come clean here: I go to bed every night with a list of things I'd intended to do. While some of them may be morally "iffy" (eat some donuts), others are really noble and good (call my cancer-fighting friend, read my Bible, write my novel, take a walk, paint the house, tell my neighbor about Jesus, yada, yada, yada).
And - get this - I pat myself on my back and commend myself for my Godly list of good intentions. It's really quite stupid. Is it really the thought that counts? No, it is not.
Getting my head into Lazarus', I'm convinced he would have no more of those feeble, empty, "well-intentioned" but poorly executed lists.
Intentional new-life living involves plans made and carried out.
Try this: one plan, one goal, no list.
For The Lazarus Experiment, an exercise: every night before going to bed, pray for one clear idea or plan for the next day. If God gives it to you right then, write it down and don't keep thinking about it. If he doesn't spring one into your heart at that time, sleep on it, with a pen and a pad near your bed. You'll find that you wake up with an idea. Write it down, and then determine to do it. Then do it. Don't shrink from the idea - chances are it will be outrageous and crazy and way beyond your comfort zone. Do it anyway.
If you don't do it that day? Don't ask for another idea. Don't keep asking if you're not going to do it anyway. When you accomplish the plan, go to him for another one.Some of us have already made a list of things we might do on The Experiment. That's OK. But there are no holy brownie points for the list. Pick one thing on that list and do it. Today. It's the way Laz would have lived.
New life, intentionally. That's what we're after.
Suggested Scripture For Today: Matthew 25
Ask your spouse to give you an idea.
Write a note and send it to someone without a real reason.
Break a cultural rule in Jesus' name.Question of the Day: Who are the first people Lazarus would want to spend time with after R-Day? (Resurrection Day).
You are all in my prayers. This is getting exciting.
And my response:
Day Four - since I missed yesterday and it's hard to catch up on yesterday's assignment today, I'll begin tonight. That being said, I am also beginning today with intention and clear direction.
Today my son begins treatment for one of the worst cases of bullying in our county. We have had him in treatment for Severe GERD, severe IBS and Severe Unknown Abdominal Pain to the point of vomiting 30-50 times each morning - 15-20 an hour sometimes. he has been vomiting blood (the origin of which was esophageal damage and has been repaired now) but the pain and tests he's endured have been extensive.
We had him at yet another specialists office and he finally blurted out the truth - He gets beaten up each day he goes to school. There area number of children who have bullied him for years now verbally but this has gotten physical. And it happens int he bathroom, it happens in crowded hallways, it happens on the bus where it's always so crowded you can get away with it. He's been beaten in the genitals with footballs and fists and the result is an injury for which surgery is required. His migraines have miraculously stopped since I withdrew him from his school. (He's not being hit in the head repeatedly!) He is currently being home bound educated and will continue to be until I can get him into a different school.
He has had only three days of upset stomach since I removed him.
Until another event night before last has caused yet another loss in his sweet life. Most of you know I lost my dear husband two years ago St. Patrick's day. Dalton is obviously still hurting from that. My precious father passed away on September 8th, 2012. Dalton's dog had to leave on Tuesday. He's gone through enough. I've been praying for the Lord to send me in the right direction for him to start developing better coping skills. I've prayed for the right people to be place in our path. I've prayed for someone to hear us loud and clearly and I think we've finally gotten it in place. Today we begin a new journey - one foot in front of the other.
Today I pray even harder and will pray harder tomorrow, that we are finally on the journey home to a healed and happy boy.