Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hard to Believe

One of the things we have been so grateful for during the past 19 months are the kind words and prayers of family, friends and a whole lot of folks we don't even know. These blessings are touching, strength-giving and much appreciated. Thank you so much...

Sadly, I have yet more disappointing news. Nicol miscarried on Thursday. Physically, aside from the normal affects of miscarriage, she's doing fine. Emotionally, both of us are pretty sad. 

It's just really hard to believe.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Latest

I know it's been forever since I've posted anything by way of an update. The reality is, I just haven't had much to write about... better said, there has been a lot on my mind, but I haven't had the desire to share much of anything. Just shooting straight with you.

That's REALLY bad for maintaining interest in your blog... 

Anyway, there are a couple of things I want to share. First, Nicol miscarried again in October (as you may remember, she miscarried in April as well). You might think of April as a right hook, with October being the left uppercut that buckled our knees and sort of left us in a heap. I say "sort of" because we were rocked, no doubt about it. But God, as He has been over and over again, has been so kind and gracious. Can't deny that it's been pretty rough just the same though.

The second part of this update - and incredible news at that - is that on November 4, following several days of unusually excessive fatigue (for Nicol, not me! :)), we found out that she was expecting AGAIN! We were pretty much dumbfounded... mostly because we didn't know that it was physiologically possible to conceive so soon after a miscarriage... as a matter of fact, Nov 4 was just 25 days after Nicol miscarried... do the math, it doesn't really add up, but like our friend Lindal says, our math obviously isn't God's math... so somewhere in there I like to think a miracle happened.

We are thrilled and so thankful. Nicol's due date is July 15 (she's almost 10 weeks along). She's had minor nausea so far, which is a BIG change from Summer and Luke, when she was sick 24/7 all the way up to 18-19 weeks. Honestly though, we are relieved every time it hits her because it seems to indicate that things are okay. Since her doc says that every pregnancy is different, there's probably not a lot of substance to my theory. Whatever the case, I hate the sickness for her, but oddly enough it's a relief for both of us. AND the other piece of good news is that each of her ultrasounds have shown that the baby has a "happy, healthy, strong" heartbeat (as her doc says). We hadn't seen a heartbeat in April or October, so it was a massive praise when we saw that little heart pulsating on the monitor for the first time just a few weeks ago. 

I am reminded yet again that conception and life are gifts from God. When we got pregnant with Summer, it followed a significant amount of time during which we were "leaving it up to God," if you will. Same with Luke. 

And then, when we found out Nicol was expecting last March, we thought it was a special blessing from God (and every pregnancy is), but still... it was like He hadn't forgotten us, like He was reminding us that He was with us in the devastating pain of Luke's death. And then we miscarried. 

And then, September rolled around and we didn't know what to think or how to feel... we were, honestly, afraid and reluctant to get our hopes up, to engage too deeply with the idea of a new baby because we knew there were no guarantees. But as every parent knows, it's impossible NOT to engage with anticipation the new life being formed within. And then we miscarried.

And then, when the news of another pregnancy came about 8 weeks ago, quite predictably, we were thrilled and we were scared and we were ecstatic and we were hesitant to let our hearts engage the idea of a new addition to our family. And so far, everything is fine.

I remember the afternoon we went to the hospital for Luke's delivery... c-section, actually. The shift nurse, as she checked Nicol in, shared with us that her 5 year old daughter had recently been diagnosed with cancer. "How on earth do you deal with that?" I thought. I realized that all along I had taken for granted the good health of our own daughter. 

I also remember praying just before Nicol went to the OR that day (and this was in light of Todd and Angie and everything they were going thru with Audrey)... I remember praying, "God, we don't take this baby's health for granted." Yes, yes I did. And ten weeks later we lost Luke. Indeed, I did take our son's well-being for granted. Didn't dream his life would be so short. But how could I have? What parent would?

Why all the background information? Because, while I am much more aware today of the fact that there are no guarantees with this baby, I have to admit that there's still a piece of me that takes God's kindness and grace for granted. Perhaps the greatest difference is that, lately, I am far more likely to stop in my tracks and say, "Thank you, Jesus. You are amazing and beautiful." when we receive a good report from the doctor, or when He drops these blessings in our lap, or just because I am reminded how good and faithful He has been and how desperate I am for Him in my life.

So guess what? I'm going to ask you once again for your prayers and I thank you in advance for them! We need them more than you can imagine...

One more thing... here's a recent pic of our little princess. Talk about a blessing. 

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Update : Coming SOON!

I promise... :)

ChristmasCare : 2009

Celebrate Christ's birth this year by giving a gift to someone you might not otherwise give to... a co-worker, boss, neighbor, complete stranger, personal physician, bank teller, firefighter, police officer, public official, school teacher or administrator, homeless man or woman, family in need, etc., etc., etc. We did this as a family last year - the first Christmas since losing Luke - and it helped make a very difficult season a little more joyful. Give it a try.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

This Can't Be Ignored...

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me
because He has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
--Jesus, Luke 4:18-19

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Stone at Shechem

(From Joshua 24)

God's faithful kindness...
He kept every promise He made to Abraham.
He delivered His people from slavery in Egypt.
He rescued them.
He destroyed their enemies.
He went out ahead of them.
He gave them victory.
He prepared a land for them.
He gave them that land.

Joshua's charge...
Obey, serve and worship God
Have spiritual integrity
Be loyal to God
Leave the gods that your ancestors worshiped

The peoples' response...
We will not worship those gods!
We will NEVER abandon the LORD!
How could we? Look at everything He's done for us!

Joshua's warning...
You WILL forget and you WILL turn away from the LORD, despite ALL He has done for you.

The peoples' declaration...
No way, we WILL serve and obey God!

The Stone at Shechem...
Is a reminder of Israel's allegiances sworn to God; it is a witness against them if turn from God and serve other gods.

= = = = = = =
Some things never change... God is faithful and we struggle.

Great intentions tend to get lost in the shuffle of life... We are committed to God yet we inevitably deny Him in one way or another.

We too need a Stone at Shechem...

O to Grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
(Come Thou Fount)

Ken Davis & The Law of the Pendulum

Just read a review of Lord, Save Us from Your Followers. I saw a screening of the movie a couple weeks ago. The review addresses one of the thoughts I had after seeing the movie... the idea of churches in America sort of going back and forth in terms of trends, emphasis, etc. The word "pendulum" came to mind.

Several years ago I heard Ken Davis tell this very funny, yet poignant story about the Law of the Pendulum. Below is an excerpt from his book - How to Speak to Youth ... and Keep Them Awake at the Same Time - and tells that story in his own words.

In college I was asked to prepare a lesson to teach my speech class. We were to be graded on our creativity and ability to drive home a point in a memorable way. The title of my talk was, “The Law of the Pendulum.” I spent 20 minutes carefully teaching the physical principle that governs a swinging pendulum. The law of the pendulum is: A pendulum can never return to a point higher than the point from which it was released. Because of friction and gravity, when the pendulum returns, it will fall short of its original release point. Each time it swings it makes less and less of an arc, until finally it is at rest. This point of rest is called the state of equilibrium, where all forces acting on the pendulum are equal.

I attached a 3-foot string to a child’s toy top and secured it to the top of the blackboard with a thumbtack. I pulled the top to one side and made a mark on the blackboard where I let it go. Each time it swung back I made a new mark. It took less than a minute for the top to complete its swinging and come to rest. When I finished the demonstration, the markings on the blackboard proved my thesis.

I then asked how many people in the room BELIEVED the law of the pendulum was true. All of my classmates raised their hands, so did the teacher. He started to walk to the front of the room thinking the class was over. In reality it had just begun. Hanging from the steel ceiling beams in the middle of the room was a large, crude but functional pendulum (250 pounds of metal weights tied to four strands of 500-pound test parachute cord.).

I invited the instructor to climb up on a table and sit in a chair with the back of his head against a cement wall. Then I brought the 250 pounds of metal up to his nose. Holding the huge pendulum just a fraction of an inch from his face, I once again explained the law of the pendulum he had applauded only moments before, “If the law of the pendulum is true, then when I release this mass of metal, it will swing across the room and return short of the release point. Your nose will be in no danger.”

After that final restatement of this law, I looked him in the eye and asked, “Sir, do you believe this law is true?”

There was a long pause. Huge beads of sweat formed on his upper lip and then weakly he nodded and whispered, “Yes.”

I released the pendulum. It made a swishing sound as it arced across the room. At the far end of its swing, it paused momentarily and started back. I never saw a man move so fast in my life. He literally dived from the table. Deftly stepping around the still-swinging pendulum, I asked the class, “Does he believe in the law of the pendulum?”

The students unanimously answered, “NO!”

Davis' point is this: don't listen to what people say about their faith, watch what they do. My thought, as related to Lord, Save Us from Your Followers and trends in the Church, is that the Church shouldn't mimic the pendulum, i.e., it's primary emphases shouldn't swing from one side to another in reaction to cultural trends and generational preferences. Rather, just as the pendulum is in perfect equilibrium while in its static state (resting still in the middle), the Church will find perfect biblical balance while while resting on the perfectly balanced truth of Christ... grace AND truth. We tend to go back and forth. Grace. No, no, no. Truth. No, no, no. Grace. No, no, no...

John 1:14 says, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The perfectly balanced message of the Church? Grace and Truth. One without the other is an incomplete, inaccurate picture of Christ. One without the other leads us and others astray. One without the other can never truly transform a life.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Just to Take Him at His Word

For about a week now, an old hymn has been on repeat mode in my mind. If you've spent any time in church world, you know it well--'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus. It's the first verse that really grabbed me, though. Especially this line: Just to take Him [Jesus] at His Word.

I wonder how different life might look if were I to just take Jesus at His word. I'm not talking about a red-letter approach to the Word, as though Matthew, Mark, Luke and John had the cornered the market of Jesus' words. I'm talking about the whole Book, cover to cover. I'm talking about Christ the Word... who was in the beginning, was with God, was God. (John 1:1) I'm talking about the promise that Christ upholds all things by the word of His power. (Heb 1:3) And I'm talking about Peter's response to Jesus in John 6 following the departure of many disciples: Lord, we're not going anywhere. Besides, where else can we go? You have the words of eternal life. (John 6:68)

Jesus is the Word. He's in control, always has been. He's the Rock that compels us to take the next step when the journey is unbearable. Moses wrote over and over and over again that God was with Joseph, even in some awful circumstances. He was with Joshua wherever Joshua went, and He told him to be strong, courageous, unafraid, encouraged. He told Thomas to touch His hands and side. Thomas' response? My Lord and my God! The Word was proven true yet again. And then there's Peter... again. Get out of the boat a come to me, Jesus said. Everything was fine until Peter was overcome by fear and began to sink, but even in Peter's failure Jesus was right there to offer a helping hand.

I’m not trying to say that we have to, ought to or even should trust Jesus. I'm just throwing out the idea that He can be trusted. Big difference. Neither am I saying that fear and doubt aren't or shouldn't be part of our journey. They are and will continue to be. The question is what will we do with them. Joseph, Joshua, Thomas and Peter remind me that, regardless of circumstance, Jesus can be taken at His word. And man do I need the reminder.

I’m also definitely not insinuating that if we will just take Jesus at His word everything is going to be fine and dandy. That would be a ridiculous insult. Life is simply too messy for that. And if you're anything like me, there's probably enough life in your rearview mirror to know that as simple as the Gospel is there are no simplistic formulas for dealing with the complexities of this broken world. So take Jesus at His word? Yes. But there's no guarantee that the storms will cease to rage. Only the promise that Christ will be with you. He can be taken at His word. He is faithful to it even when we are not.

Back to Louisa Stead. It came as no surprise to me that she had a story. In 1875, life changed forever when she watched her husband drown off Long Island. He was rescuing a young boy who himself was drowning. Still, from that devastating event, she was able to give us this conceptually simple, practically complex, experientially validated and eternally satisfying truth - we can take Jesus at His word.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bill Rieser: God, Love and Basketball

Great story of Redemption...

Bill Rieser: God, Love and Basketball - Video by CBN - MySpace Video

Shared via

Swine Flu Hysteria?

My sister forwarded this article about the swine flu vaccine to me today, and I've inserted it here to replace the original NaturalNews article I posted the other day. Not knowing which web info to trust and which not to, I'm confident about this one b/c comes on recommendation from a friend of ours, Eva Shea (D.O.) an outstanding doc and all around cool person.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A First

Today is the first of many...

We just dropped Summer off for her first day of pre-school. She was so excited. Us too.


One day all too soon she will probably feel the blush of embarrassment if, like this morning, we walk her into her classroom, hang out for a while, chat with her teachers and other parents, take a few pictures, shoot some video and... gawk. One day all too soon someone will capture her heart and our little girl will leave home for the very last time as our little girl.

One day all too soon I have become a sniffling Dad who just dropped his little girl off at pre-school and somehow already has her walking down the aisle, about to recite her wedding vows.

I admit it, it's sort of silly, and yet it's real. Can't help these thoughts and emotions that have come upon me this a.m.

What a gift this child is - every child. Those with us, those who for any reason leave us much too soon, those who are yet to be known. A reward, says the Psalmist. And all this from the LORD.

But there's more...

As much as today is a God thing, that being Summer's first steps in her educational experience, so too it will be a thing of God the day she leaves our nest. The blessing that we now enjoy as Summer is in our "quiver," as the Psalmist puts it, is a blessing intended only for a season. "Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth." One's youth. The gift and reward and blessing that this little girl is to us by the grace and kindness of God is but for a few, fleeting moments. Sure, Summer will always be our daughter, but if I understand Solomon's song of ascent from Psalm 127, today she is our little girl, tomorrow she will be a woman in someone else's care.

So enjoy her we will. Rejoice over her we will. Treasure her and this time we will. Raise her up well, by God's grace, we will. And like everything else in life - by God's grace - we will one day release her, just like a warrior releases his arrows, to go out in the favor of the LORD and fulfill His plans for her life.

Of wisdom, blessing, mercy and grace, LORD, we need much.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Breakthrough

Had a major breakthrough in a relationship the other day. Scratch that, it was a massive breakthrough... massive because the struggle had been ongoing for a long, long time. In all honesty, I had on more than one occasion concluded that the situation was hopeless and that it was pointless for the two sides to even try to get things right. It was not good, not good at all... and it was extremely painful for everyone involved.

But you know what? The worst is behind us. And as much as I believed that things would never change - in fairness, I am sure the other side felt the same way - I now believe that the best lies ahead. What a difference a week makes. What a difference an open, honest, honorable, two-way conversation makes.

Some thoughts about this breakthrough...
  • more likely than not, if you are reading this, you currently have or at some point have had some sort of intense, ongoing relational struggle that is at times gut-wrenchingly difficult
  • more likely than not, this struggle involves someone close to you, perhaps a relative, spouse, good friend, etc.; if it wasn't someone close, things probably would never have gotten so strained
  • there is something about the raw expression of one's feelings that allows us to pass from stormy waters to the peaceful waters we all want in our relationships;
  • speaking the truth in love does not equal a wishy-washy dance routine around the issues at hand; hey, there is an intensity to these situations because the relationships are meaningful, and there is an intensity to our emotions because the wounds are sometimes deep
  • that said, let it out; speak honorably, but speak nonetheless; you'll never feel so miserable as when you skate right on by what needs to be addressed; and when issues aren't addressed there is zero hope for resolution
  • forgiveness... I've heard it said that anyone who knows Jesus' forgiveness in their own life can't not forgive others and while I understand and believe that in my theological I also understand that it's nothing short of miraculous when forgiveness is extended from one to another because it is absolutely contrary to our nature to do so
  • also on forgiveness... I am reminded of a quote from Khaled Hosseini's Kite Runner. I have to thank our friend Al for this one. He passed it along to me a couple years ago. The context in the book is when the main character looks at a picture of his father, and realized there is no longer a sting to it. He says, “I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.” Something rings right about that statement. All I know is a week ago I would have never anticipated the relational breakthrough that was about to take place. Perhaps all the pain packed it's bags and was graced away by the great Forgiver.
That's about all I've got... for now anyway. Besides, we have to go to a parent open house for Summer's pre-school. I can hardly believe that, but I'm definitely looking forward to it. Our little girl is growing up too fast.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I Really Like This...

Got a tip yesterday from my mentor, who got it from my uncle, about a book titled Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, by Peter Scazzero, pastor of New Life Fellowship in New York City. Haven't read the book yet (obviously) but I am planning to order it. I did check out Scazzero's website and found a video that tells the story of what he and his wife have been through together in life and ministry. I found it incredibly encouraging. You can watch it here. Once on the website, look for "SUB NAVIGATION" and "Pete and Geri's Testimony."

Sunday, July 26, 2009

So you get to the airport (Saturday afternoon), drop your wife and daughter off at check-in, unload everything from the van (you think), except for your stuff which you'll bring with you, drive over to economy parking, grab the shuttle back to check in, check in, go thru security, get on the first leg of your trip (which left almost one hour later than scheduled), make your connection for the second leg of your trip (which was delayed so that you and a few others could board), arrive at your final destination, meet your hosts, get all your bags... except, wait, all hte bags aren't there b/c you left one of the bags in the van b/c you thought your wife was going to get it and she thought you were (do all you marrieds communicate so well?). Whose bag, you say? My wife's, of course. Who has to sing this morning and tonight (Sunday)? My wife, of course. What to do? Rely on gracious hosts to provide clothes for this morning and send her off shopping this afternoon to get an outfit.

Oh the joy... :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Convicting Comment & A Cool Story

This is a neat story by James MacDonald, pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows, and founder of Walk in the Word. I was especially struck by a statement he made at about the 3:30 mark of the video... "I was struggling in my faith. I got to a very dangerous place of demanding that God do a certain thing and calling it faith." That's convicting...

It Happened to Me-6 from Harvest Bible Chapel on Vimeo.

"Get Me Out of My Seat!"

Summer and I just got back from a Starbucks run... she wanted a biscotti... it's quite hilarious to hear a 3-year-old ask for a biscotti!

On the back home, she spilled a bit of her ice water in her lap. She can't stand it when her pants are wet, so she was squawking about it and sort of pitching a fit, telling me in no uncertain terms that she wanted out of her car seat. I told her she had to stay buckled in because we were driving, that we would be home soon, and that she needed to just be patient. All that was of course to no avail. So then I told her she could ask Jesus to help her be patient, to which she replied, "No, I want God to get me out of my seat!"

She's a pistol alright.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Update & A Summer Funny

The house... no offer(s)... another showing last Thursday... the couple liked it but that's all we know... grrrrrrr... anyone else find that rejoicing and giving thanks in situations like this is not easy and that waiting is REALLY hard work? We have much to be thankful for nonetheless.

Summer... Nicol has been doing the Dr. Colbert detox diet for the past couple of weeks... and she feels great. She lost 6 pounds in the first 10 days or so. She has much greater discipline than me when it comes to stuff like that... she can't have sugar, dairy, red meat, caffeine, etc. and is limited to whole grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables, organic chicken... not bad actually, but I would struggle to give up coffee and heck, it's summer, so who wants to stay away from ice cream? (Actually, one of my favorite "can haves" on the diet is Ezekiel bread. Anyone had it? It's VERY good. As you can see, I sort of pick and choose on this stuff. I'll eat the Ezekiel bread AND have my chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream from Ben and Jerry's thank you very much. My philosophy is that it's all about balance.) Anyway, the other day Summer heard Nicol say that she had lost 6 pounds, and what was her response? "That's okay Mommy, I can help you find them."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

House Update : Wednesday

No news is, in this case at least, NOT good news. Not sure what's going on with the potential buyer, but we don' have a contract. We do have another showing on Thursday... and we're thankful for that.

On another note...

I am usually challenged by Oswald Chambers and that is the case with part of his writing for today: "Quit praying about yourself and be spent for others as the bondslave of Jesus. That is the meaning of being made broken bread and poured out wine in reality."

Wow... I wonder about the percentage of my prayer life that is spent talking to God about me, me, me.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

House Update : Sunday

Got a message from our realtor (Becca) this afternoon. She said the open house went well. A few new faces and some familiar ones too. The good news is that the couple who went to the bank last week to get the loan process rolling apparently got things sorted out. They told Becca that they want our house and that they will have a contract for us tomorrow (Monday). We will see. We remain cautiously optimistic and hope that this will get done in the next few days.

Thanks for keeping up with all this and especially for your prayers.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Another House Update

No word from the couple who went to the bank for loan approval. :(

Another showing today. Another one scheduled for tomorrow. And an open house on Sunday.

We're going to be away this weekend and I'm not sure if I'll be able to get another update out until we return on Sunday. (Maybe this is a good reason to starting tweeting.) Will let you know as soon as possible.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

McNair/Kazemi Tragedy

Assuming that many readers here are women, I thought perhaps that your husbands or significant others may be interested in this post at Christian Dads.

Would love to hear their thoughts on this... maybe you could share this with them.

House Update

We've had 3 showings since Friday, which is great considering it's the first activity we've had in about 6 weeks. The couple who saw it on Friday liked it but probably aren't interested enough to make an offer. Then, two couples saw it on Sunday... the first was scheduled, the second "just happened" to be in the neighborhood. Long story short, the couple who were not scheduled to see it liked it enough to go to the bank yesterday to get the loan approval process rolling. As of early this afternoon they had not heard back from the bank... I'm told these things take longer now than they did even 6 months ago.

We are expecting to know something tomorrow. An open house is scheduled for this Sunday, but we are so hoping there won't be a need to have it.

We are cautiously optimistic tonight.

Keep praying if you think of it!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Please pray for these folks...

A Revelation

It struck me this morning that it's been awhile since I last posted. So when I checked the date of my last post, it wasn't really all that surprising to see that my most recent log-in was almost one month ago. Sorry to be so out of the loop and out of touch, but it's actually been a much-needed respite... not that writing is really all that taxing... the past year, however, has obviously been an indescribable emotional drain... and one more thing on the to-do list has been more than I have cared to think about lately.

All that said, here's a little update for you and a revelation I had the other day...

--We are doing okay, whatever that means. It's still up and down. It sometimes feels like we should be further down this road than we are. And then we remember the words of several individuals/couples who are further along in this journey than we are, folks who have told us that it took them 3 or 4 years just to sort of turn a corner, for life to begin to feel a little bit normal again. We also remember that we are and from here on out always will walk with a limp, so today may be pretty good, tomorrow may be pretty good too, the next day may be yuck-ville, the next day may be even worse, the day after that may be fantastic... and I am once again reminded that our journey is all too difficult to describe to those who have not experienced the same pain and virtually impossible to predict.

--Our house... it STILL hasn't sold. :-( We did have a showing today though (which went well, but the couple wants to think about it... famous last words!), and another couple will see it on Sunday (pray about that for us!). Don't know what else to say. We are waiting, hoping, praying, trusting... and trying not to be anxious and fretful (is that a word?). Any creative selling ideas???

--The revelation... the other day I was talking to Summer about sharing her toys with some her friends (she had had a hard time with that concept the day before!) and she quite emphatically said, "But I don't want to!" I went on to say all the predictable things... about how it's the right thing to do, that it's important to treat other people like we want to be treated, etc., etc. And then Jesus' words in John 15 streamed into my mind: "...apart from me you can do nothing." Yes, as a father I need to teach Summer the what's, when's, where's, why's and how's of life. But as important as those things are, it is equally (more?) important to remind her that Jesus will help us do the things He asks us to do if we will just ask Him for that help. I can give the rules and expectations, but if I don't point her to the only One who can help her, if I don't stop right then and there and say hey, let's ask Jesus to help with this, I will fail her as a dad. I know this isn't a new revelation to you all, and I know that most of you probably figured this out a long time ago, but it clicked for me the other day for the first time in relation to my role as a father... and it also reminded me of the desperate need I have to do the same thing in my own life with regard to the things that I respond to with an emphatic "But I don't want to!"

--One more thing... if you have the time, check out this Eugene Peterson article: "The Cure of Souls"... it's more than 25 years old and it's about pastoral ministry, but it's well worth the time for anyone to read... pastor or not. And it's themes are strongly related to what I've just written here re: my revelation.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Little Bit o' Summer

Summer FINALLY meets Miss Patty Cake!

How about pancakes and hashbrowns for breakfast on your 3rd birthday? 
That's what Summer wanted. (May 18)

Carnival 'copter ride.

There's no doubt... mommy enjoyed this more than daughter.

May 27, 2009

Chillin' at Chick-fil-A.

A little speed work on the track at Dick's Sporting Goods...

...and then a bike ride.
Combine these sports with how much she loves to swim 
and maybe triathlon is in her future.

Seriously, do you like my new glasses?

Honey, for real, they don't fit.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Nouwen Quote

Thinking about this...

"It is such a comfort to know that Jesus' wounds remain visable in his risen body. Our wounds are not taken away, but become sources of hope to others." -Henri Nouwen

John Piper on Twitter

"'All things were created through Christ and for Christ' (Colossians 1:16). The world does not know it, but that is why Twitter exists and that’s why I Tweet."

How cool is that! If you carry this logic far enough and apply it to other scenarios, it breaks down; but hey, in my mind it's an amazing and obviously God-honoring perspective on Twitter and Tweeting and all things social networking.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Must See...

A.W. Tozer : On "Possessing Nothing Yet Having Everything"

"The way to deeper knowledge of God is through the lonely valleys of soul poverty and abnegation of all things. The blessed ones who possess the Kingdom are they who have repudiated every external thing and have rooted from their hearts all sense of possessing. They are 'poor in spirit.' They have reached an inward state paralleling the outward circumstances of the common beggar in the streets of Jerusalem; that is what the word 'poor' as Christ used it actually means. These blessed poor are no longer slaves to the tyranny of things. They have broken the yoke of the oppressor; and this they have done not by fighting but by surrendering. Though free from all sense of possessing, they yet possess all things. `Theirs is the kingdom of heaven.'

"Let me exhort you to take this seriously. It is not to be understood as mere Bible teaching to be stored away in the mind along with an inert mass of other doctrines. It is a marker on the road to greener pastures, a path chiseled against the steep sides of the mount of God. We dare not try to by-pass it if we would follow on in this holy pursuit. We must ascend a step at a time. If we refuse one step we bring our progress to an end."


I have fairly strong affections toward things, a certain handful of things in particular; my keen ability to pretend otherwise is probably far more stifling to my soul than I am willing to admit. 

I don't want that to be true.