Monday, November 8, 2010

Fractured and Disconnected

One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the woman at the well. It has some of the most prolific applications to my faith and what it means to be a christian. As I was pondering life this morning I was thinking about a book I was TRYING to read last night about the AIDS epidemic in Africa. Than I kind of flashed to this scripture with the woman at the well. It is the very beginning of the scripture that catches me this morning. Jesus was just chilling out by the well. He wasn't too busy to notice the woman coming to the well. He was connected to the world and what was happening around him. He wasn't rushing from one event to the next responding to all of HIS tasks the needs that His ministry required. This happens in another place in the Bible when Jesus is heading to Lazarus. At the news of his friends illness He begins to head to his house to bring healing. On His way the people that are around Him have a need. Instead of blowing them off to get to one of His closest friends He pauses to help them. He is aware of His surroundings enough to respond to the people. He was connected to His surroundings and the people in them. It was out of this connection, connection to people, connection to His Father, that Jesus operated on a daily basis. We see Jesus make these comments about such things ...."Let no man say to another tomorrow we will go to this village and make money" .... "Don't worry about tomorrow"..... "doesn't the Father dress the flowers of the field and feed the Sparrows".... All of these teachings seem to have one thing in common. They address our obsession with what is coming next. We worry, we plan, we are preoccupied. All of these things keep us from being present right now. The point to the Mary and Martha story in the Bible is not that we need to slow down and be ministered too, it's that we need to be fully present in the moment. If Martha was aware of what was happening she very well may have stopped and been awed by God (who by the way was teaching in her house). There are so many implications to just that one verse and it's meaning (are we aware that God is present where ever we are at right now? and that He is wanting to speak to us, to have our attention right now?). We focus on ourselves way too much. That may be the core issue. We focus on what WE are doing and maybe not enough on what God is doing, on who is around us.

When I connect to the moment right now, I connect with the pain. I connect with the turmoil. I connect with all the voices saying you aren't doing enough or the voices that say you aren't good enough, I connect with my own un-forgiveness. I connect with my failures.

These are perhaps the reasons we all look for ways to get and stayed disconnected. Isn't this the beauty of the internet and all our social online networking? I can stay involved with you without ever having to connect with you. It is a tool to make me feel better about being disconnected. Hey I don't have time to talk to you right now, facebook me......

The good news is this-

That when I connect I also connect to my family. I connect to my kids. I connect to my wife. I connect with my job. I connect with God.

When I connect with God He trumps all that other crap.

When I connect I am alive.

Yes when I connect I feel things, but isn't it better to feel and be alive? or would we rather stay disconnected and live in a self-made prison keeping everything else out and ignoring all the negative crap that is in there with us?

Monday, September 20, 2010


Deirdre and I were up late (that's 10 P.M. in our house) the other night watching Dr. Oz (and yes I feel a little on the less then masculine side with the beginning of this post-) and he was discussing adult ADHD. He had some expert on the topic talking about ways to tell if you have it. I scored a 17 out of 20 on the test and that was being lenient with a few topics because I have gotten better with them over the past few years. The description was pretty accurate when they were explaining what your brain does with ADHD. He said it moves faster than you can organize the information. I notice it most when I am talking. It is the reason why I always have so many rabbit trails. My wife notices it all the time. It is the constant distractions during a conversation or the half done chores around the house. I know that it influences my work because I have a lot of half done projects there also. I will get half-way done with something and notice a mess somewhere else and I have to go clean-up the mess.

I have never been someone who believes in letting impulses control you. No such thing as can or can't in my world - only will and won't. I believe that you can do whatever you stick your head too you just have to work hard in order to do it. Do it with conviction - do it with the passion of someone who believes in the direction of their life.

The issue- I think- is figuring out how to focus. It made me laugh when they suggested make a list. On the top of my list is - look at the list. I make list all the time. Most of them are half done list cause I get distracted half-way through and forget what I was going to put on there. Then I stick it in my pocket or it is on my phone and I never see them again. I do try though. It's not as if I haven't realized I have a few issues here. I think the sad thing is I just kind of accept them. I have this uncanny ability to look right over look certain things that would drive most people crazy. That's why I always thought I made a good room mate. I realize that just makes me the unorganized messy room mate. My poor wife. I do bring excitement though. Never a dull moment. I come home with something new everyday. Yesterday we should sell insurance, today we should be real estate tycoons, tomorrow we should run a internet business. Imagine hearing that from your spouse everyday. Deirdre has been blessed with patience and a profound understanding.

ADHD is not an excuse.

I am responsible for my life. If I do I have an issue with ADHD it is just another thing that needs to be overcome.

We can't live our lives making excuses. Losers make excuses. I don't want to be a loser. I understand issues and needing to reboot, reorganize, or regroup, but never quit. I have made plenty of excuses in my life. I just don't want to make any more.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What Do You Have to Lose?

Well I have to say that time is the biggest challenge in my life. I am trying to balance a team mates position with Bellevue Public Schools- work full time with Radiator Depot- and make time for a wife, 5 year old, 4 year old, and a 8 month old. To top it all off Time management is not the greatest strength for me.
Isn't that life though? I can either make it an excuse to not perform well or I can get after it and make a difference in my little world. Life is to important to waste just trying to survive and meet the minimum requirements. I want to succeed and I want to excel in my endeavors. I know that I will fail at some things- I don't care. Life is not about winning everything it's about the effort we put in to it. I talk everyday to people who are scared of taking a risk. What if they fail? What if it doesn't work out? I say it is better to find out than to spend your life wondering what if. Really what do you have to lose?

Monday, August 9, 2010

On Second Thought......

I like to re-read blogs. I get swiftly escorted back to the emotions and the thoughts that once were. As I get older sometimes I feel like I am losing all the zeal and passions of my youth. The "let's change the world" talk has tapered off and been replaced with "children can we not screech in the house" talk. My emotions though are still very much alive and the passions have not left- only they have been quieted a little with the concerns of money and food and now pre-school and kindergarten.

I watched a documentary on Tom Osborne yesterday. Understand I grew up border-line hating the Huskers. Really for no reason other than being from Colorado and having my then good friend leave for Nebraska on family vacation. He would wear the Huskers gear to school and we would all razz him for it. All that being thrown out there- I felt a deep respect and reverence for this man as I watched his life being recanted on this show. Working with the Team Mates program watching the people of that organization and getting an opportunity to see their values- well it made me believe that character does matter in a world of manipulation and a get money at any costs society.

I was reminded that the goal in life is to live from a value based conviction that centers itself around God. All the religious jargon and fancy ideas of how to and what if are no match for hard work and determination.

The first step to changing the world....... Show-up.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The beginning of a new worship

SO lately there has been this discussion on facebook about worship and God and agnosticism. One of the points made in this discussion was the chemically induced "high" that occurs from singing or participating in a worship service. There is a little bit of a background to that discussion, but I don't need to get in to that. I started thinking about this (again by the way) and processing all the information about the emotional "high" we get from music and the affects this has on our belief system and our reactions to life events. Leading worship, I always paid attention to what a song stirred in people. If you change your voice inflections or you change to just a drum beat or you have just the girls sing a line and then the boys- it all affected the emotional experience a person would have within the worship service. If you tried to pick a song selection that people didn't know or like they simply would not participate. I am not trying to say any of these things make a worship service any more or less "real" just making observations. A question I ponder (and open to responses) is what is the difference between this and going to a Bono concert? Each are equally moving and arguably spiritual (although Bono might be just a tad bit better in the musical department).

We have associated worship with music probably from our first experience with church. It is part of the programming. We go to a service and we will have the first song, a welcome maybe announcements, three more songs give or take a song, listen to some special announcement and then have a sermon. Different churches have different processes here, but the structure here is fairly common place. The music part is commonly referred to as the "praise and worship" segment of the service.

John 4:21-24

21. Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.

22. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.
23. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

24.God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

When we read this entire passage and we study what Jesus says throughout the Gospels we see that He refers to worship as something much different than music. I would say that worship has very little to do with music at all and that music is simply an opportunity for us to express our emotions to God. Many times music in a service is more for us than it is for God. We want to be moved and have an experience during that Sunday service. This is part of the misconceptions about worship. Worship engulfs a total life style and commitment to bringing honor to God. True worship can not be measured or taught because true worship is sooo profoundly deep and personal to an individual. A persons worship may include working for the Police department, moving to Africa, staying at home with their children, simply having a conversation about God, or any activity which is done out of reverence of God in obedience to the "calling" He has on one's life.

Worship is unique to to the relationship a person has with God.

James 4:11 NIV

Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.

The only two people who can decide if you worship God are you and God. Who can decipher the motives of another man's heart? We can only assume from what we know and what we have been taught. These are often fallible teachings that lead to legalism and forms of religion.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Brief Moment of Insanity

I have been involved in one way or another regarding church for the last 12-13 years now. What I have found is that God makes no sense to me. One minute I get something pinned down a wicked slider comes through the back door and I am left with a bat and helmet walking back to the dug out in the bottom of the ninth. There are few things that are solid in life's little surprises. God say's He desires obedience over sacrifice. What does that Mean? What are we to be obedient to when the only thing we seem to comprehend is sacrifice? It is easy to blast religious leaders especially in today's culture because we have seen so many fail, but walking with God has nothing to do with religion. It is a wrestling between you and God- something that seems to be outside of all religious understanding. What do you do when it seems that God leads you away from all the good works within the church? What do you do when it seems that God chooses to whisper instead of yell and you can't seem to discern His voice? What do you do when working as a volunteer with a church doesn't seem to be possible? The things that are for sure is that God wants me to be a father to my children and a husband to my wife. Those things NEVER change- everything else is fluid and changes from day to day. Weeding out what God says in the midst of every one else's emotions is near impossible and than we add our own and holy crap we have a recipe for some strange religion. I have found that I have to turn back to what I know is for sure and right now that has little to do with a church. It is the wrestling between God and I, my Family, and the relationships I have that seem to be part of the anchor for my sanity.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Release: IMAGE

The Release: IMAGE


The whole thing started on an air-boat in the Florida everglades. I was running from these snakes with Matthew Mcconeghy (sp?) and at the same time we were looking for the snake. It was kind of like that cheesey movie Anaconda where there is this huge snake that is eating people. In my dream we were just trying to survive when something got switched. I don't know what it was exactly, but instead of running from the snake we were trying to find the snake. Big Matt (yeah now he's my best friend because he was in my dream- now if I can convince him to give me money.....) decided that we needed to confront this snake, but had no plan or explanation to what we were to do once we found this snake. I was convinced he was trying to kill us both and I had no way of escaping this now raving lunatic who was on a suicide mission. Matthew had found the den where there were some smaller pregnant snakes and we caught one and killed it. he sliced open the belly to reveal the unborn snakes that were still wiggling but dying as we pulled them out of the womb. Matthew knew exactly where the snake was living and took us there to dump the babies and infuriate this giant mammoth that could swallow us with one strike. Oddly I was afraid, but somewhat in a trance as I followed the lead of this man whom I some how have been stuck with. We waited at this location for probably hours, but in dream land it felt like minutes. Suddenly there was a commotion in the water around the boat. Somehow we knew that the death of these babies would ignite the snakes temper, yet at the same time I think the snake took more pleasure in seeing us destroyed than in caring about the dead babies. It was as if this snake had really set the trap for us knowing there was no way of escape once we committed to this plan of action. The water boiled and up came this monster snake, which teetered more on the side of dragonish than snake, but somehow maintained this modest image of a snake. Matthew turned to face the snake - more zombie like than hunter - and faced this enormous creature. In one lunge I watched as this beast swallowed Matthew whole and realized that the snake had somehow controlled Matthew's behavior the entire time even in the little things like deciding to catch the pregnant snake and kill the babies. It had deceived us somehow and convinced us that we were fighting it even though in the end we were simply being drug to the very location where we would be consumed and devoured by it. It laughed at us and called us fools and we simply were no more.

As I woke from this dream I realized I was not in a state of panic. I wasn't even locked in fear as a person might be when waking from a dream that depicted themselves being eaten by a monster snake. Instead I found myself asking God, "what does this mean? Was this a crazy dream or are you talking to me." At once I was seeking answers. If this was a God dream than what does it mean? What do I need to hear from this and what do I do when the answer is revealed?

I feel like the answer is this-

Matthew Mcconahey (still not spelled right) represents an image in my life. The image of success. Someone who has money, is in good shape, has good looks, he captures what America values. It is significant that he is an actor. It is significant that what we know of this man is an act put on to entertain us.

I had no control of what we did. The image (Matthew M.) of success was driving the boat and leading us to the snakes lair.

Killing a smaller pregnant snake and taking the babies- was a symbol of the victories of fighting the IMAGE of the great snake. Yet the victory was a perceived victory that ultimately brought us to the crushing death strike of the real enemy.- Take note that the smaller snake was in a small den and was too small to actually hurt a full grown person yet was probably 3 feet long.

The snake teetered on the verge of a dragon. In Revelations we see the image of the Devil (or whatever name you want to call him) attacking the church. Also, in Genesis we see the snake as the great deceiver the enemy of our souls and it is through this creature that sin and suffering as we know it was given birth.

I was Matthew M. It was the desire for this image that was driving me. I wanted victory and I wanted success. I wanted to capture the attention of people and be admired. I was being driven by an IMAGE and this image was leading to my destruction. This image was not real- it was only an act put on to allow others to see what I wanted them to see and no more. This IMAGE WAS the deception of the snake. I believed the passions of this image and I allowed it to overtake what I knew to be the truth.

We as a culture have an Identity issue. We are following an image and have no clue who we are. We are bombarded every day with a not good enough message, and a look and see what REAL living is like media frenzy. We preach adultery in our advertisement yet crucify men for cheating on their wives in the media. Our media is a two headed dragon that will devour our very souls if we continue to buy their marketing.

The thing that leaves me the most disturbed after this dream was the final sequence.

Can I escape the image driven air-boat or am I destined to be devoured by the great beast?

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Nature of ME.

Who am I? What was I created to be? I seem to wrestle with this question over and over and over again. I have been toying with the idea of blogging about my story and taking the time and energy to put my "testimony" on here. I guess it never hurts to try..........

So the start of me begins with my family. I have two brothers and a younger sister. I am the oldest of us four and we have all had a pretty eventful life to put it in a positive spin. We were all born in the Denver/ Aurora Colorado area and we are all products of the late 70's early 80's. My sister and I are only 11 months apart (apparently my sister was the 6 weeks after baby....) and we have shared quite a few moments and pains together as we grew up. My two younger brothers are a few years behind us, but in all we are clustered together in a 5 year gap from oldest to youngest. My parents are products of dysfunctional homes. Both of my grandfathers had tempers and had no problems expressing that anger through physical violence. This had deep and profound affects on both of my parents. My pop met my mom while they were hitchhiking in California and at the young age of 17 my mom married my 22 year old dad. My mom ran from an abusive father to a man who made her feel safe, only later to find that he was more like her dad than she realized. My mom gave birth to me at 17 - 10 months after they got married- or so the story goes. We have already covered the earlier parts so you know that my sister came less than a year later and both brothers arrived before my mom turned 23. She had a crazy teen life and an even crazier young adult experience. Later in life my mom would tell me that she never had a chance to be a kid- I guess that was an excuse to not have to be a mom later on.

Our childhood was full of adventure. In the midst of my parents dysfunction and pain they did everything they could to love the four of us. I have pictures of when I was a baby and my parents took us (my sister and I) camping. My mom told me he would take me for a walk and have talks with me about girls and the meaning of life. Of course I was only eleven or twelve months old so I don't remember one word, but I believe that he loved us the best that he could. One day after a counseling session I was remembering a camping trip and called my dad to ask him a few questions. He commented right away saying "we only tied you and Amy up to keep you from falling in the river" not quite what I was recalling, but very interesting all the same. It's funny how counseling will make every one nervous about what stories are going to be revealed to a random stranger who may or may not be able to help you get "fixed" emotionally (is anyone ever really "fixed" emotionally or are we all in some state of brokenness that influences our reactions to our surroundings?). So we talked about the camping trip and my parents were surprised that I was recalling things from when I was 2 years old.

My siblings and I spent our childhood drifting from one rental house to another. My parents struggled with alcohol and marijuana. This is relevant because we never had a lot of money growing up. My mom took on a job babysitting some kids from down the street. At this time when I say down the street it means 5-15 miles away from our house. We lived in a house on the side of a small mountain. You needed a four by four to get to the front door of our house and we were tucked away in a forest of evergreens and often snow. We would walk the distance of our driveway to get to the bus stop down at the road. For a kindergartner it felt like a mile although it was probably about 400 meters (a track length) to get from the bus stop to the house. This 400 meters by the way was up the side of a "mountain". Part of our rental agreement was to care for a pair of hound dogs for the owner. One of the dogs (the old male) was named Duke and the other (a young female) was named Amy. These dogs used to walk me to the bus stop in the morning. One of those mornings as I walked to the bus stop a mountain lion appeared and screamed at the three of us as we were heading to the stop. That was a day that I was grateful for dogs as Duke and Amy popped to a guarding stance and barked loudly keeping the cougar at bay. Eventually the bus came and honked the horn scaring off the big cat and I made it to school just fine. My parents didn't believe the story, but I remember it clear as day. My dad was a framer (construction) and during the winter months work was always slow so my mom worked also. She worked the night shift at a gas station in the next little town from us. Sometimes when she came home she would bring us Charleston Chews. My sister and I loved the strawberry ones and would always get really excited for the cheapest treats my parents could afford. Even to this day when I find those candy's I have to get one just for the nostalgia. Those were such a big treat because we rarely had the luxury of nice food. We had a month straight of beans and if we were lucky we would get cornbread with them. It took me most of my life to ever like beans again. In fact it has only been the last five years that I have actually allowed myself to enjoy the thought of eating beans. One of these months was really hard and we were having a hard time paying rent and getting food so my mom took on a baby sitting for a family down the road. These kids were a brother and sister and they came from a good family.Now my parents would randomly have "weed" stashed in these little red sandwich meat tuperware dishes that had white-sh lids that sealed shut. One day the boy (who was much older than I was) wanted to get some bologna meat and grabbed the container. I yelled at him telling him that is where my parents kept their "special" stuff. This led to my mom losing the job that was feeding us and a very un-happy parental unit to say the least. We had lots of adventures in that house although we probably only lived there for a year or so before we moved to Glenwood Springs. That will have to be another post though for another day.

One night we were all sitting in the living room. We had a potbellied wood-burning stove that we used for heat because we couldn't afford to pay for the gas it took to heat the house. We kept a large pile of chopped wood on the back porch to keep the fire burning. We also had a dog door on one of the rear doors to allow Amy and Duke in and out during the night so my parents did not have to get up to let them out. One night when we were all sleeping close to the wood-burning stove (again there was no heat and the house was freezing)the dogs began to bark at the dog door. My dad got up and grabbed his gun not knowing what was going on. As the dogs tried to get out the door we heard the animal outside let out a scream and we all knew what was outside trying to get in. My mom grabbed all of us kids and huddled us together and my dad made a dash to push a heavy chair against the dog door. After a few more barks from Amy and Duke (they made it out before the chair got pushed on the door) and a few screams from the big cat we heard silence. A few moments later there were some scratching on the door and we were relieved to find that both dogs were safe and trying to get in.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Shack

I finally finished reading "The Shack" this morning. I know that this book was just a story written by a guy riding a subway train to work, but I have experienced my own personal retreat with God. There were so many ideas and images that were presented in the story that tugged on every belief and emotion that I have felt towards God. To put the father in a picture that demolishes our perceptions and western thought on God in a way that doesn't cause me to curse a man for blasphemy was amazing. Then to push deeper int o the thought and idea that maybe God wants a relationship that is deeper and more profound than a rule or the walls of a church captured the essence of my being and escalated my fervor to find God and to be found by God. My friend Dan wrote about a spiritual battle and the awkwardness of how it can sound if you have never considered those types of things and for me this book touches on some of the deeper ideas of the spiritual nature of God.

It's hard to get it all out on paper smoothly and with a solid line of thought so I may not even try. I believe that everything we do is an act of worship to God. What healed in me during the reading of the Shack, I can not pinpoint, but there was a peace that fell on my soul and calmed the turmoil that has been eve present all my life. It was not that the Shack is a book of biblical stature, but it helped the loose connections of the ideas I have had of God and connect them in a way that only a child like story could do. I believe that I have found God again and that possibly God has found me again.

OOh and also, I have fallen deeper in love with the most beautiful woman I know. I love you my wife. Please know that as I grow closer to God I am able to grow closer to you. It is through Him that I can even love you at all.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Where The Wild Things Are

I can not be held captive. I was created to run free- to gallop with horses and chariots - to be a wild creation divinely built by my creator. The rules that have been created by men do not apply to me - though I will willingly and lovingly submit for the good of those around me, I am not held bound by these rules. I do Not have to say the politically correct thing, I do not have to manage the emotions of those around me, I do not have to make everyone feel good for the sake of their loyalty to me. I serve one master and one Master only. To him I am bound held by the heart of the One who has created me. It is He who has captivated my loyalty and to Him I will for ever have my knee bent. I do not serve a man and I never want to. I will serve people and do this under the tutelage of The King, but that is a different thought all together. I am rebellious, but not against what is right. I am rebellious against the message of this culture of the culture that says I am meant to be slave to people and to things. I am rebellious against the "do what feels good" culture that is in the heart of every advertisement and commercial, because I know the end result is always death and emotional pain. No I was not meant to be tethered and held bound to these rules that have been set before me. I was meant to live free and to run with wild horses and chariots.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Waiting and praying

We have been waiting and watching Facebook for the past few days to see how our friends are doing. He has had brain surgery- two if I am correct and they are waiting for the results. It sucks having to sit and wait and not being able to do anything to help them. I am confident in faith that they will be o.k. and that God has them in His hands right now- geeze could I sound anymore churchy with that answer- but its hard being helpless. I want to be able to pick up a sword and fight this great evil that is causing these seizures, but I am rendered helpless behind a computer screen in my living room. I don't know if they will ever read this, but I am constantly praying as I think of you and your situation. My heart is burdened when I read your post. I love you guys.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Tuesday for the Ages

I have had the opportunity to volunteer with a youth group in North Omaha for the past few months. It has been an incredible journey of learning and struggle. Tonight we had a couple people decide they had beef with each other. One of these people was an ADULT who hangs with their cousins and family (about 25% of the kids are related somehow). It is an interesting thing to watch as an adult partakes in the emotions and the craziness even egging it on a little. It's hard to explain exactly what goes on during an urban youth group service. It's an experience that only can be explained by being present one's self. I found that being white there are certain challenges that I face in trying to reach out to these kids. The biggest obstacle I believe is the lack of quality volunteerism in this community. The majority of the white people they know are fly-by volunteers that have good intentions, but lack the understanding of the effort true transformation requires. It has taken three months just for me to get some of the kids to acknowledge that I exist. Even tonight I had a girl who walked right by me and ignored my greetings of "hey it's good to see you and I am glad that you are here tonight". Even though I say this to her every week she continues to ignore the fact that I am looking at her and only standing two feet away from her. Of course that triggers the "I will not be ignored" button deep down inside me, so I just repeat it to her and make sure she has at least seen me out of the corner of her eye. No response still - other than a concerted effort to avoid any eye contact at all and a brisker pace as she gallops by me. It is good to live a life that reflects the values that are centered around a belief system. Most of the time I feel misunderstood when I tell people about our church about why we drag our children to a church where there may be weapons and fights in the middle of a service. There is something in me that screams we can't live an insulated life. There is no where that is "safe" because every where is surrounded by imperfect people. Yet even tonight as my family was leaving to get loaded in the van I had to escort them to the van and lift all six foot four inches and two-hundred and fifty pounds to the largest possible swell too make sure that everyone knew by a glimpse that any horse play or threats would mean certain catastrophe to all foolish enough to impose a beef or an accidental shove. It is nerve racking to think there is a real possibility of a stray bullet or a misplaced shank of a weapon. I worry about my kids although the day we got in the van and my daughter said "what the hell was that" as a flash from a passing car caught her eye caused my wife and I to giggle after a stern correction of what we do and don't say. Apparently Jesus walking on water was not the only lesson learned in Sunday school that morning. I haven't seen my wife this invested in a long time as she is starting a parenting class for a group of the pregnant teenagers in our group. It seems that there are quite a few as the group started with three and in the past week or so and my wife has found two or three more making at least six in a group of under a hundred. I believe that it was James that said true religion is this to take care of the orphaned and the widowed. I don't think that we will be here forever, but I know that we are here right now and that right now we get to try to fulfill what we believe about being a follower of Jesus Christ. That it is more than a Sunday service and a song on the radio. That truly following Jesus means allowing ourselves to be led into a life that requires faith and sacrifice. That following God means that we don't wait for the poor and the hopeless to come to us, but we go to them. Not everyone needs to do what we are doing, but I believe that we all need to be straining forward to discover what it is our faith is demanding from us.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The First Post

So I guess that this will be random spewing of emotions and opinions mostly left unheard. I have a friend who is going to have brain surgery this week. I am a little nervous for him and I am praying that he will be o.k. I have been feeling this need to think more to the future today. I want to make sure that my family is well taken care of and that D and I have a place to rest our heads at the end of our lives. Money is not the answer to any of lives issues, relationship is. Real tangible relationship. The kind that has understanding at the lightest touch of the fingers when its time to finally leave church or the gentle squeeze of the hand as you share the emotions of that first ultra-sound. It's the tears spent at an altar as you wrestle out an issue with God and the moments you spend pleading for a change in the hearts of those you care the most for, or perhaps those you have the hardest time loving. Life is about the moments that you have with each of your children- when you have your daddy daughter dates or your daddy son adventures.
The moments when your 5 year old daughter sings crazy made up songs or when your children point out the craziness of something that you did. When you take your son to the bathroom in the dollar theater and you ask him not to touch anything and he gets as close to the pot as he can and wizzez all over the back wall. Or when you have to take your daughter with you and you are trying to protect her from seeing anything crazy- in the mens room of a dollar theater mind you- and she points out the filthiness of the whole thing. Life is about the kids hiding in plain sight when I walk in the door and scream surprise as soon as I get inside. Life is about the cuddling with your spouse when she has Mastitis and can't stop shivering because she is too cold under two or three sets of blankets (and you are sweating like a pig in August). Or the time you spend with your best friend in your underwear fishing in ankle deep water in the middle of Harlan Reservoir. Yeah lifes not about how much you can get or even how much you can accomplish, but really who you get to accomplish it with.

I have to say that I have been blessed to accomplish life with my best friend as my wife and with the best people in the world as my closest friends.