Growing Up Too Quick

April 20, 2008 2 comments

This week we were blessed to have family come in from TN and Ohio to celebrate the girls’ birthdays. We had a full house all week, but it was well worth it to be around our loved ones.
Emily turned 1 on the 18th and Mikayla turned 4 on the 19th.

My girls need to stop growing! It just seems like yesterday that we brought them home, and they just keep getting bigger.

Mikayla officially moved into a booster seat in the car. She got her first pair of rollerskates and fishing pole. She is ready to take on the sidewalk and any fish that comes into her path. This means she is officially a big girl, but she will always be my baby.

Emily has five teeth now and is walking all over the place. She is as stubborn as she can be and I wouldn’t change it for the world. She devoured her cupcake on her birthday. She destroyed it like it was her enemy. It is so neat to see her experience new things and have her many “firsts.”

I want to just freeze them in time because they change so much. I know that is wishful thinking, but it doesn’t change my dream. I want them to be good girls when they grow up. I want them to love the Lord. I want them to dream big and live a happy life. I know that they will face disappointments and be let down, but what an adventure they have in store for them!

Categories: Family

Sing it Sister!

April 14, 2008 1 comment

Oh to have the faith of a little child!

Categories: God

Idol Gives Lip Service

April 10, 2008 1 comment

Dana and I were watching American Idol for the first time this season last night. I am always interested in the songs and performers that come on for their annual ‘Idol Gives Back’ show. I think it is great what they do for the poor and needy.
The closing song last night was ‘Shout to the Lord.” This is my all time favorite song! I was excited when it was announced because they have never purposely performed any Christian songs as a group. Well my joy faded quickly. The lyrics were changed from ‘my Jesus my Savior’ to simply ‘my shepherd.’ To the non-Christian viewer this change was probably not noticed at all, but as a believer I thought it was distasteful. I know that Jesus and Christianity are not cool or politically correct to talk about, but don’t use a song speaking specifically about Jesus and change the lyrics to make the song ‘inspirational.’ Jesus has always been and will always be inspirational!

I know that I should probably just be glad that the song was on there at all, but something about the whole thing was just wrong in my book. What do you think?
Categories: american idol

Labor of Love

On March 23rd Dana celebrated her 31st birthday.  I wanted to do something special for her and decided on making her a cake.  It was Dana’s job to pick out the type of cake she wanted and the icing flavor.  She wanted a double-layer, red velvet, cake with cream cheese icing. 
There was a time in my life where I boasted about my cooking skills.  I would compete in contests and usually win.  I was even bold enough to cook for girls when I dated them so that they knew I was a winner.  Well I am saddened to say that my cooking skills have faded away over the past ten years of marriage because I don’t do any of the cooking.  (I know I know I should probably cook more but you are missing the point.)
I baked the cake in two round pans, but noticed that the bottom of each was a little bit “overdone.”  I was not going to let this stop me.  I used to watch a show called Ace of Cakes  where they would cut the bottom or top off of a cake for decorative purposes.  Well I attempted to do the same thing to salvage Project Birthday Cake.  Well this did not go so well.  I ended up using the icing as a type of cake putty to stick the two cakes together.  I wanted to show my creative side, but the cake ended up looking like an igloo.  Dana still enjoyed it and that is all that counts.
Oh the things we do when we are in love.
Categories: Family

Watch Out!!!

One more to go Tigers!
Categories: sports

Putting On a Show

April 3, 2008 3 comments

Lord I gather together each Sunday with other believers and spend time in worship of you. Although I come with the best of intentions there are times when I am overwhelmingly fake. I can speak of my week as if it was the best in the world.  I don’t share my problems, pains, or worries.  I am afraid to do this because others would realize that I am messed up just like them. It is easier to put on the face of “having it together” than to be authentic and admit my faults.

For this reason I ask your forgiveness

I am tempted to share my shortcomings with others, but not sure how to do it because of the fear of rejection.  The role of minister is extremely public and many have unrealistic expectations of me.  It seems many want me to live up to standards that they lack themselves. If I have a bad day then I am being “defensive.”  If I disagree with someone then I am being “stubborn.”  If I want to try something new then that makes me “liberal.”  I feel that I do not have the freedom to speak my heart and that is really killing me.
Lord I pray that from this day forward I will not be concerned about what others think of me. Help me to be only concerned about how you view me and my actions because really that is all that matters in the long run.  Help me to be authentic in all my relationships regardless of the cost or discomfort it may bring me.  I know that this is the only path that will bring me the freedom that I truly desire.  
I also pray for the wisdom to make the right decisions and discern where you are leading me spiritually.  I know that if I follow you then I will never go wrong.
Thank you so much for the wife you have sent me.  She is my greatest encourager and friend.  I thank you also for my children who remind me of the love you have for me and my need for patience.  I thank you also for the friends and family who you have put into my life.  They have been there as I have fallen, encouraged me to get up, and hold me accountable in my responsibility of following you.
It is in the blessed name of Jesus that I send this prayer to you.
Categories: God, prayer

The Prayer of Jesus in John 17:1-5

March 21, 2008 1 comment

This week I read an article called ‘The High Priestly Prayer of Jesus’ that is found in John 17:1-5. The author, Bob Deffinbaugh , Th.M., took a somewhat exegetical look at this passage with the purpose of identifying eight observations about this prayer that were significant to him. The article was interesting due to some new concepts that the author presented. I would like to respond to a few points that he made.

One of the first points that Deffinbaugh makes is that prayer should be conversation. He showed how Jesus’ prayer to the Father was a normal part of His conversation and not a separate, disconnected thought. Many prayers that I have heard or given in the past have been extremely formal because of the desire to show reverence to God. The odd thing about it is that I do not speak to my earthly father in the same way that I speak to my Heavenly Father. This is a difficult transition to make but has proved to be beneficial. Bringing together this disconnect will be important in helping people develop a closer relationship and intimacy to God.

Deffinbaugh recognized ” prayer is closely related to teaching and preaching.” We see pictures of Jesus throughout the gospels active in teaching and preaching, but always finding time for prayer. He kept His focus on the most important thing in the world and this is being in contact with His Father. How many endeavors do churches approach without first communicating with God? There can be a tendency at times to come up with plans and then expect God to bless the plans. Jesus left the model of seeking the wisdom of the Father first before attempting to minister. This allows for God power to be shown and His will to be completed. If the link between prayer and ministry is broken then the success of that ministry is left up to chance.

He also leaves a powerful reminder “there is no one style of prayer, and not even one consistent posture for prayer. What is consistent is our Lord’s submission to the will of His Father, and His constant desire to bring glory to the Father.” How easy that is to forget. The job of the Christian is to communicate with God in prayer, follow what he has heard, and do everything to God’s glory. If this process is followed we will never be in the dark about what it is that God wants us to do. We will know if we listen.

Jesus truly is our High Priest. He has set an example through this and other prayers of what initmacy with God looks like. He wants us to know the Father like He knows Him. He wants us to trust Him even if it means death. He wants us to depend on Him even though our common sense tells us otherwise. He wants us to share in ministry, but only after communicating with the Father. He wants us to experience prayer as a conversation with a loving God who is listening and active. This practice will produce a legion of believers who will be equiqqed to not only convert others to Christ, but also make other disciples as the Great Commission calls for.

Categories: Jesus, John 17, prayer