Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rough Day

Little Wonders by Rob Thomas

let it go, let it roll right off your shoulder don't you know the hardest part is over let it in, let your clarity define you in the end we will only just remember how it feels

our lives are made in these small hours these little wonders, these twists & turns of fate time falls away, but these small hours, these small hours still remain

let it slide, let your troubles fall behind you let it shine until you feel it all around you and i don't mind if it's me you need to turn to we'll get by, it's the heart that really matters in the end

our lives are made in these small hours these little wonders, these twists & turns of fate time falls away, but these small hours, these small hours still remain

all of my regret will wash away some how but i can not forget the way i feel right now

in these small hours these little wonders these twists & turns of fate these twists & turns of fate time falls away but these small hours these small hours, still remain, still remain these little wonders these twists & turns of fate time falls away but these small hours these little wonders still remain

Monday, March 16, 2009

Holiness & Love

In the modern world it seems so difficult to walk with absolute certainty in the narrow way of ecclesiastical decision and yet remain in the broad open spaces of the universal love of Christ, of the patience, mercy, and philanthropy of God for the weak and ungodly. Yet somehow or other we must combine the two, or else we shall follow the paths of men. -D. Bonhoeffer-

I went to visit an old friend last night at a bar in Tempe. As I sat there with a couple of my friends talking with him, I could not help but notice all of the other people there. So many different types of people. Some of them were calmly sitting & enjoying conversation. Others were already on the brink of having to crawl home from having too much to drink. It was in that moment I recognized what Bonhoeffer was talking about. I am called to live a life of holiness. "Be holy as I am holy" commands Peter quoting from Leviticus. I am called to a radical life of discipleship where my only drive is to live a life worthy of the calling of Christ. Yet in that pursuit of holiness I am simultaneously called to love people with every ounce of my ability. In fact the two are so intertwined that in order to do one I must do the other. Unfortunately, I think too often I try to approach life by aiming for just one of those, and end up accomplishing neither. Yet the call does not change or ease up just because I have difficulty in fulfilling it. I admire Christ so much for the having the ability to sit at Matthew's house, drink water at the well with the loose woman, and all of the other situations in which he was both pursuing His path of holiness while dispensing love and grace. He was able to live about reproach while never being accused of not loving 'sinners'. Would people say the same thing about me?

Friday, March 13, 2009

What is peace?

Make every effort to live in peace with all men…if it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone…let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace…God has called us to live in peace...live in peace with each other…be peaceable…he must seek peace and pursue it.

What is peace? Is peace simply a lack of conflict? Is it striving for harmony and friendship? Is it suppression of anger…refusal to lash out…mutual understanding? I really do not think I have any “enemies” in life but I certainly have people who piss me off. For one reason or another I cannot seem to like them, get along with them, or want anything to do with them. The problem is despite my negative feelings – they aren’t disappearing from my life at a rapid rate. That’s where the issue of peace comes up. Am I conforming to the standard of peace that the apostle Paul calls for in the New Testament? Can you completely not stand a person and still qualify as living at peace with that person? Obviously this blends in with love as well…but I am trying to figure it out. I know I have the tendency to simply justify myself based upon my own standard, so with this I want to know what the right standard is. Is it peaceful and loving to not like someone as long as I don’t go out of my way to cut them down, say disparaging comments about them or be mean to them? What do you do when you just cannot stand people – what is the standard in those situations? Is it right to avoid/ignore people whom you know will eventually tick you off by what they say or do? What if you can't avoid them? Or what if you know you need to get along with them but try as you might you keep hitting roadblocks with that process? I have to admit that I don't have a lot of answers with this issue but I have been contemplating it a lot lately...

Big Nipples

Okay first off. My son Trenton has a strange vocabulary. He knows some words that I most certainly know he should not know. We have taught him that there are "bad words" and he does a good job at not using those. He even calls me out on using them. For instance, the other day I told Danielle that something was crappy and Trenton made me sit in the time-out chair for a minute because he knows that is a bad word. However, there are also other words that Trenton knows that are not bad - just make anyone feel kinda awkward if a 3 year old says them.

Which leads me to my story. Last night I was making dinner for the boys and me as Danielle was out. I was mixing my time between the kitchen and outside with the grill, and was doing it without my shirt on. [side-note: not sure why, but I hate wearing shirts. I am pretty sure I would go shirtless all the time if allowed - which I have asked at work and was denied.] Anyway, at one point Trenton comes up to me and begans staring at me. I ask him whats up, and he replies, "Dad you have big nipples." "Really?" I ask. "Yes. You have big nipples. I have small nipples," came the reply. With that he went back to his favorite activity of terrorizing his brother.

So not sure where that came from. But apparently I have big nipples.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I struggle with prayer. For whatever reason I just cannot seem to find any sort of consistency with it. I recently joined an accountability group - and yet find myself still not praying as much as I should. I want to say that I am just lazy and undisciplined...which I am, but I sadly think it might be something more. I am starting to wonder if I doubt the importance of prayer or at the very least the effectiveness of prayer. I say because as I have posted, I have started exercising and eating better. For the past 3 weeks I have had no problem going to the gym 5 days a week. Even when I don't want to - I easily force myself to do it. With eating, I have just gone cold turkey on things like candy, pop, and other crappy foods that I use to eat at will. I see the importance of my health and why I need to eat better and exercise. As a result, I do not let my lazy nature get in the way. So back to prayer - if I saw it as important and critical as exercise, it seems likely that I would be able to do it...even if at times I had to "force" myself to follow through on it. I feel terrible because it seems that working at a church should automatically make me good at prayer. I can pray in the moment, and when people ask me to pray for something I usually do right then and there (to help me prevent forgetting). Yet what I long for is a daily time devoted to prayer. Can I simply find at least 15 minutes a day to block out distractions and pray? Sadly, I have struggled to do this. I pray a little here and a little there, but fail to get that daily devoted time. So it comes back to this...do I believe that prayer is critical? If so it seems that this would develop. If I feel that prayer is useless then it will continue to be that elusive discipline that cannot be conquered because I simply don't have the courage, heart, and passion to pursue it.

Friday, March 6, 2009

My bestfriend

So lately Trenton has been on a "Meet the Robinsons" kick. It is his latest favorite movie. Well I watched it with him this morning and towards the end of the movie, the character Wilbur says to the character Lewis, "I never thought my dad would be my best friend." You would have to see the movie to understand the significance. But right after Wilbur says it, he gives Lewis a hug. At that moment Trenton came running over to me and wrapped his arms around me in a great big hug. He said, "I love you dad" and told me I was his "favorite friend." I immediately starting tearing up. It meant the world to me. I honestly do not think I could get a greater gift then those simple words. I love him to death and cannot believe the blessing he is in my life. So here's to you Trenton D. You are my bestfriend and I am looking forward to the many adventures life has in store for us. Love you bud.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Health Update

"With self-discipline most anything is possible."
-Teddy Roosevelt-

Trying to be healthy is not easy. Last night I went to the grocery store and realized 2 things. One: most unhealthy foods are SUPER tasty. Two: most healthy foods are SUPER expensive. I am trying to eliminate saturated fats and sugar from my diet. So gone are Pizza Rolls, Fish Sticks, Corn dogs, ice cream, chips, pop, sugary cereals, cookies, and a variety of other tasty items. I actually looked at ingredients and food labels yesterday. It is amazing how much junk I have consumed on a regular basis. So we shopped smart and got some better things to eat. Now the question is can I hold myself to eating right - even when tempted by things like fast food.

On top of a better diet, I have been concentrating on exercising more. Last week was the best week I have had in a long time. I went to the gym 5 days. This week I have already gone 3 times. I actually really enjoy going - but it requires me to be far more disciplined with my time. I have been running & swimming and realize that I love both just as much as the other. I'm not necessarily working towards a goal - other then just being healthy.

So I am off to a good start - but we'll see where it goes. My track record with eating healthy and staying disciplined with my exercise isn't exactly the world's greatest. Hopefully this time will be different.