Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Don't Marry the Pastor's Daughter

"He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment..."
Deuteronomy 32:4

You guys probably wonder where I've been.  Well, I'll tell you.  I've been at   (You really shouldn't give me the opportunity to insert those shameless plugs for myself)

But I'll be back around here more frequently over the next few years. There's something freeing about rambling about whatever I please and knowing that no one will see it.  And yes, I do go back and read these old posts.  Its like keeping a personal diary -- only I don't care if others read this one. 

This post will be a quick look at some new direction in our lives as a family.  I've split it into a couple of parts for ease-of-reading. 

Part 1 - The Calling

The other day we went on this canoe trip.  Canoe trips are awesome.  I'm about to go on another one.

As we're driving home, I could feel the Still Small Voice calling my name.  Over and over.  Repeatedly. I did my best to tune my heart, but was surprised to find out that my radio dial had become hard to turn -- corroded with compromise and the dust of indifference. 

But, slowly, the Lord got through to me.

I've had a dream for a long time.  Its my "Master Bucket List", if you will.  It's my action plan to serve the Lord that keeps my spirit placated through the mundane operations of this life.  Every time it starts to chafe about some mundane task I am undertaking I simply remind that "one day" we will leave the self-serving tasks behind and go give our best to the Master. 

And there, in the drive home, and the hectic-ness of work, I felt the Lord wooing me to the excitement of His mission.  His dreams. 

To lay it all down.  To "present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service" (Romans 12:1) 

Two days later, as we were leaving for church,  I told my wife -- the Pastor's daughter -- that we need to get ready for the mission field.  That I'm convinced that The Calling is a lot more pressing and closer than before and that we needed to start making adjustments to our lives to prepare.

A few hours later, the Pastor asked those being called to full-time ministry, to raise their hand. 

Seventy-Two hours before there wasn't a whisper in my soul.  Now, my family was committed. 

Part 2 - The Faith-Walk. 

A lot of my life right now has been centered around forming new habits.  Things like daily prayer and family devotions.  I've grown so accustomed to watching Stargate with the family instead of the bright Morning Star, if you will, and I'm ashamed to admit it. 

It also means some small steps of obedience.  Like making Wednesday night church a priority.  Yes, I have gone on canoe trips instead of to church. Regularly.  And that has got to change. But for me its an act of faith.  A struggle with that stupid red line in the banking account and an attempt to believe for things bigger than myself. 

On the other hand, this faith stuff is my wife's forte. While I was teething on crackers and milk, she was cutting her cuspids on faith.  I guess that's what happens when you're the Pastor's daughter. 

Take yesterday, for example.  We discussed how imperative it is to get her the Yellow Fever shot before she gets pregnant with our next child. So she did.  Took half of her grocery budget and got inoculated against this crazy future her husband is about to drag her into.  And then explained to me last night how its all okay because we can eat pinto beans and ramen and she can still do meatloaf and mashed potatoes on Sunday.  

I'll be honest.  My mind is still blown.  I got up early and checked the pantry.  And I believe she's right.  Sure, I'm eating oatmeal instead of cold cereal this morning. But I still have coffee.  We're still going on a float this morning.  

Deus e tao bom. God is so good. 

I still don't know where she got to be so trusting of Him. I hope I can keep up. 

Somewhere, I here His small voice, reminding me that I haven't seen anything yet. That others -- people I have known personally -- have believed Him through more testing than I've ever thought of. 

And I am humbled. 

Sometimes my life just don't make sense at all 
When the mountain looks so big 
And my faith just seems so small 

So hold me Jesus, 'cause I'm shakin' like a leaf 
You have been King of my Glory 
Won't you be my Prince of Peace 

I just let the dog out.  The rabbit sitting in the yard started to run, but stopped and started nibbling grass again.  


Then I realize our dog was standing right at the edge of the porch - unwilling to get his feet wet. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Watching Homer Watch TV

It's been over a month since I last updated.  And, frankly, I've been dreading this post.

There's nothing new going on.

My last post was labelled "Montony". And not much has changed.

Who wants to watch Homer watch TV?

Nobody.  We want to watch people live.  We want to see them climbing, flying, loving, risking...

It's what makes the movies so addicting.

They say, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step."

It's true.

courtesy refreshya
But just try talking to that wayfarer who has been journeying many days.  He's dirty. Smelly. Bored. Tired. His only thought is "one...more...step...". He's the character that you show 3 seconds of on TV (flying aerial view) and then cut to the part where he's showered. 

That's me right now.

We don't sit around the TV to watch people watch TV.  That'd be boring.

I broke away from the boring monotony this month. Several times, actually.  You see, my wife has been encouraging me to find the beauty of life's journey.  It's a slow lesson to learn.  But even on desert treks, you can find pleasure in so many little things.

The beauty of the shape of sand.  The way it feels.  The company you are with.

Ya' just have to look for it.

I'm a bottom-line kind of guy. The end goal is worth any cost. Winning worth any pain.  I drive and drive and drive until I burn out.  Then I get sick (like today), sleep til noon and get up and go at it again.

I walk right pass that flowering cactus without giving it a second glance. 

The Darling is helping me refocus.  She's made us guarantee a date night/afternoon.  Sometimes that's appetizers at Applebees and a perusing of Barnes and Noble.  Sometimes its a nature walk with the kid.

Also, I'm learning to spend more time with extended friends and family.  I still don't have the time to devote to it that I used to have when I was single.  Man, I would drop everything and tear off to every event.  Good times.  But, now, I've swung the other way and am threatening to become a self-absorbed hermit.  

My brother-in-law called and suggested we go canoeing.  I picked a crappy creek but it left us with some good memories and beautiful scenery.

Finley Creek Near Ozark.

Let me put 2 points on this ramble

Don't Just Chase The Exciting. 

"It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth." - Lamentations 3:27

In America we have two loves: Sugar, and TV.  Thankfully, I've gotten most of the TV out of my life.  I'm still working on the sugar addiction.

We American's have an insatiable appetite for distraction.  Just look at all of the kids milling around on these "Occupy" protests.  They went to college.  Now they are in debt and feel trapped.  Let me ask: "Why did they go to college?"

Obviously it was not to give back to society.  Their entire goal has always been to be entertained.  To be given wealth.  To be given nice things.

They thought a few years of partying in college would do that.

They got suckered. Why should they be surprised?  They've never given one ounce of effort into making their life better.

They followed the piper and his fanciful visions.  (I did, too, so I know what I'm talking about.) They spent hundreds on his video games, his college textbooks, his movies, his beer, his vacations....

Unemployed?  Go start a company.  (And wash dishes so you don't starve)

These guys are distracted right now.  The piper has left, they are in their rags, but all they are trying to do is find another piper to follow. And, soon, they will be distracted by something else.

Quit being distracted by the shiny, the fun, the romantic.  Find something worthwhile and work for it.

Don't Miss The Refreshing.

Just listened to a great sermon by Ravi Zacharias.  It's like 10 minutes long, so take a few moments and enjoy it. (Ok, so it's technically 25 minutes, I guess.  It felt shorter. His speeches always feel short.)

The Problem of Pleasure - Ravi Zacharias

The Refreshing is powerful.  That canoe trip was  a great break from the hum-drum of my everyday trudging.  As are those dates with The Darling.

But, too often I make poor recreation choices.  Like when we had TV.  I would spend hours in front of "NCIS" and "Dog, the Bounty Hunter". Hours.  It was the same way with my Xbox. Hours.

Refreshment comes in small doses.  And it should be uplifting.  I still take time for movies, but its more because it gives our family a moment to do something together than anything else.

The journey of 1,000 miles is boring. And long.  But a few moments beside a stream of clear water is refreshing, and will not add a significant amount of time to the journey.

So, take time to enjoy the beauty of the journey.

So I guess all of that is to say that we've had a great month of enjoying each other and making progress on our goals.  Isn't that what life is supposed to be about?

Friday, September 30, 2011


So, last month I decided I was going to try to start updating at least once a month.

This month, I'm updating a little early. Right now I am actually trying to use this new software called Dragon NaturallySpeaking. It's taking a little bit of a learning curve, (I apologize for all of the wrong homonyms) but I think once I get the hang of it, it's actually going to be quite a bit faster than typing.

For me this has been a month of growing, a month learning more about myself.

I've always been want to hold the things of this life too dear. I like my money, I like my dreams, I like to go spend money on my wife...

I've too often been critical of my friends who seem to get wrapped up in the monotony of life. I have to say that right now I am there. In the monotony of life.

But the nice thing is this period of life is growing me. It's going to make me taller, older, wiser.

I've been spending a lot of time contemplating what Christ meant when he said as "wise as serpents and as harmless as doves."

One day we'll be there.


I'm thrilled to have my younger sister living with me. It's so exciting to get to share some of the things I've learned in life with her. I think that I am learning that I like to be a teacher.

Not that I have any skill at being a teacher.

I guess some things are learned by doing aren't they?


Gavin is growing up so fast, he's walking, he's learning, he's listening. I'm so blessed he has a personality that is easy to connect with and that seems to just grab you every time you talk to him.

Too often I feel like we only like our kids when they are convenient. And, I have to say that in my life I find that to be true. Especially we dads, we really struggle with making time for our kids.

I never want our kids to think for a second that I wasn't involved enough. "Distant" is not a phrase I want anywhere near my name.


Okay, so I think this Dragon NaturallySpeaking could be a dangerous thing. Maybe I bare my heart a little more when speaking is that typing. But that's what this blog is for, isn't it? It's about asking questions.

I hope you ask questions of your own.

"In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet, the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul. "

Invictus -- William Ernest Henley