Hello Friends:  Alan here:  It’s been a good day.  I was able to take a nice walk and bust out a few push-ups (no doubt this was Jack LaLanne channeling himself) and other exercises early this morning.  Additionally, I had a nice day at my pseudo-office working with a few of my comrades in arms in the world of healthcare IT.  

 

A week or so ago I toyed with the idea of reporting out to you in the form of a haiku.  That quickly proved out to be somewhere between impractical and overly difficult.  Tonight, however, I’ve decided to branch out into……Photographic Essay.

 

Now don’t get disturbed (or intrigued) that I’m going to show up with some kind of sight specific art form next that occasions me to wear a tutu and beat out my message in Morse Code with dead badgers on a tribal tom tom drum.  I’ve just decided to use some pictures to put some ideas out to you.  

 

The subject that started this thought process is FAITH.  As you know, I’m running on it right now.  I am praising God’s ability to heal me.  But FAITH is like wind.  You can tell that it’s there but it’s hard to measure it’s amount.  You can’t put in on a scale and weigh it.  At times it’s strong as a hurricane while at other its a doldrum; and you can’t predict how either the wind or FAITH is going to present from moment to moment.  This describes a.  why the weathermen make the big bucks and b.  one of the intrinsic weaknesses of the human spirit.

 

But let’s ignore the weakness of fluctuating FAITH.  Let’s talk about Faith when it’s working.  The best example I can think of is back in elementary school.  Yes, I’m talking about a child’s faith.  A question is asked and the child doesn’t think about “what if I get it wrong” or “what will they think of me” he just raises his little hand like there’s a butterfly to catch ready to spout out his answer (right, wrong, irrelevant).  That’s faith in ability. 

 

What I want to examine with you, however, is Faith with or without ACTION.  Same child sits in class.  Thinks he knows the answer.  Doesn’t grab the air like there are butterflies up there.  Doesn’t have the courage to put himself out there because someone might have told him he’s not smart…and crushed his Faith.  I guess this story started out with a damaged faith and a lack of action.  Both Faith and Action are negligent here. 

 

But, is there such a thing as strong FAITH that has no subsequent ACTION?  Remember the faithful Christian that was shipwrecked?  I’m thinking that strong FAITH is only strong if it has a downstream ACTION.  

 

Many have had faith that they can accomplish things and that faith was followed up by ACTION.  Here are some examples that I like (in case it’s not obvious, here’s the pictoral essay):

apollo 11 launch

 

babe ruth

billy_graham ii

braveheart

chuck-yeager

dickhoyt250

diff lighthouse wave

everest summit

IwoJima_flag

jazz-improvisation-satchmo

lou gerig farewell

michael-jordon-slam-dunk-nba-sport-1

moon landing

rocky steps 1

spirit of 76

yoda do or do not

TigerWoods

arnold-schwarzenegger-big_muscle

BE028412

I think that I have FAITH but I’m troubled as to how I’m supposed to ACT.  I have cancer cells in my body.  I’ve read that Lance Armstrong continued to punish (tune?) his body hundreds of miles per week on a bicycle.  I’ve read that rest is the best medicine.  I’ve read that you should only eat cruciferous vegetables.  My doctor has told me I should eat to maintain body weight.  The Apollo astronauts and scientists, Winston Churchill, Michael Jordan and all the images above speak to someone having FAITH in something AND taking ACTION.  

 

What do we do when it’s not obvious?  I’d work on my vertical leap.  Or my ability to take a hill.  Or my organizational  and leadership skill to organize a coalition.  Or practice my trumpet.  Action on your FAITH seems easier on a Point A to Point B exercise than what I’m doing.  I bet that when you look at your Faith and what tests it you might also wish for something “easier” or at least better defined like going to the moon or freeing Scotland from oppressive Brits.  

 

I feel that tonight I’m raising more confusion and questions than answers or lessons learned.  I’m forced to try and tie it all together with prayer.  Let me re-cap: 

 

  • I’ve got cancer in my body.
  • I have Faith that God can wash it
  • I think that Faith without action isn’t Faith at all.  If Peter believed he could walk on water but did not exit the boat, could you call that Faith?  No. 
  • I think that Faith is apt to fluctuate in this human vessel.  Peter lost concentration (faith) and found himself quickly up to neck in the lake.  

 

How do we get faith?  How do we maintain sufficient levels of it?  How do we attach the proper action to validate the faith and attain our (His?)  intent?  I think I know the answer: 

 

We PRAY for them all. 

 

Let me know YOUR thoughts on this one.  I feel that I’ve kind of just laid it out there.  

 

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.  I tell you whole-heartedly that they are lifting me and my family up.  This thing we’re doing is not easy and we need your prayers and His power to carry us.  Have a great day!!!  Love,

Alan

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