Monday, November 23

To blog or not to Blog?

Well meow I gotta say my family's life is beyond insane right meow and I was actually thinking about just stopping the Facebook, Twitter and Blog deal all together meow. AAAnd believe it or not meow my wife is the one who suggested I not stop, at least not meow. She said it is a great outlet for me to unleash my geniusesness on the world! Ok she may have not said it just like that meow but you get the point, she thinks I"M DA BEST! (ok again maybe that's a stretch but she thinks I'm pretty cool meow.) I do have to admit it is nice to get online and type up what's on my heart every meow and then, even if no one reads it (i got those numbers from all the comments that are being left, and yes that is another jab at you for rarely leaving any.) ANYHOW, meow I hope to post a little bit more frequently but with as crazy as things are perhaps I should take a bit of a break, at least for meow. Sooo . . . I think I will try and take a break for the month of December. That way I will be well Blog rested before our move to Vegas! And YES we are still going to Vegas meow. We are still raising support (because no one on staff will be taking a salary from the church we are raising our own support from family and friends who believe in us) we are 65% raised meow. Anyways, I digress.

By the way, if you are perplexed about all the "meows" watch Super Troopers. (That IS NOT an official endorsement and certainly not of the unrated version. but it is VERY funny meow!) (btw that was 14! waaay more than the "officer" got in his bet. I AM the best!)

Monday, November 9

My Pop

This morning at 4am my Pop passed from this world to the next. He was 67 years old. The thing is I know that he is no longer suffering. It was a rough time seeing him during his transition but through it I learned some things that I thought I would share.

First, the words of John Mark McMillian's song "Dress Up" came to mind where he sings:

Dress us up in your righteousness
Bring us in with a ring and a kiss

It reminds me of my Pop. You see when I think of my Pop I think of the rings he would wear. I know it's weird but that's one of the things I remember about him the most from growing up. He always has this gold ring with some diamonds shaped like a star or flower or something and he would wear it all the time. I thought that right now Jesus is doing what this song talks about. Jesus is attributing his righteousness to my Pop and taking my Pop into heaven with a ring and a kiss. In the old days kings would have signet rings that identified them and their family as royalty. Today my Pop received a ring that is better than any ring he could have found here on earth and he got it from Jesus himself. Today my Pop is royalty.

Now, I do not know if this is absolutely true (I haven't been there, YET!) but the truth of it remains the same. When we decide to follow Jesus he makes us one of his own. Which brings me to the second thing my Pop has taught me.

My Pop was not a man who was found in church his whole life. He was never a deacon or anything of the sort. He tried church for a little while once and because of the hypocrisy my Pop didn't care to go back. (which by the way is one of the many reasons I have a passion to do church for people who do not like church) However, a few years back my Pop decided to get past all that religion stuff and just focus on Jesus. My Pop decided to follow Jesus. My Pop's journey with Jesus made me think of the story Jesus told in Matthew 20:1-16 where a rich guy hires people throughout the day and at the end of the day everyone gets paid the same. Sounds not fair right? Unless you are the guy who was hired last, right? But really even the guy hired first got what was promised, right? So it is actually a story about a really generous rich guy who wanted to take care of everyone equally. It is actually a story about how God wants to do the same with all of us. While it was later in my Pop's life that he decided to follow Jesus he still gets the same treatment in heaven that anyone who followed Jesus their whole life would get. My Pop today no longer hurts from cancer and he now is royalty and through the process my Pop has solidified some truths about God for me. We miss you Pop but we are happy you're not hurting anymore.

Friday, November 6

i have a question that

i have a question that requires comments from u. when i say the world's worst city is ___. what comes to mind for u? and why?

Wednesday, November 4

some anniversaries suck!

Well, a year ago today was when Krystal and I found out we lost our baby she was carrying for 17 weeks. It was easily the most painful event of our lives. We live with the pain everyday. You can never really understand that kind of pain until you experience it, at least I couldn't. Often I find myself hurting and I don't even remember why at first because the pain seems a part of me sometimes. Even though the pain of losing a child is always there, everyday it does get a little bit easier somehow. I know it sounds like I'm saying the polar opposites at the same time and I guess I am but whatever. Today has brought back a flood of emotion all over again. It's weird this morning I was totally cool. I was texting my sister and being funny. Then as I was dating a paper for class I realized the date. That's when it felt like a ton of bricks hit me. I lost it. And now the pain is still there but I feel at peace again. The only way to describe it for me is God. I know it sounds trite but it's true. I was reminded too how blessed we are with Brodie and Tristan now. And even though the pain is always going to be there, it does get less sharp over time. I certainly can appreciate my sons more because of that loss and I certainly empathize with others hurts easier having hurt so much myself. The biggest thing I learned from that experience (which my sister reminded me of today) is that God does hurt when we hurt and cries when we cry. I'm thankful that my God is so personal. I know Krystal and I would have not been able to get through it without him.

So thanks God. Thanks for my wife. Thanks for my sons, Brodie and Tristan. Thanks that you help us with the pain. And thanks that you will use it to help others who are hurting too. And thanks that you revealed a piece of your heart to me through it. Even though I will never really understand it all I will trust you.

Monday, November 2

I want to smell the worst in heaven?

Ok I had this thought . . . who will smell the worst in heaven? I hope it's me.

When I die I want to walk through the gates of heaven and everyone say "what smells?" Strange sounding goal I know but I'm not done. I want to walk into heaven smelling more like Hell than anyone else there. (I know some of you might be saying that I already will but for different reasons than what I am about to say.) Let me clarify this goal.

I want to be so immersed in the culture surrounding me and so involved in my relationships with people who are far from God that the "scent" will literally linger on me after death.

I know this stands in direct opposition than what most people who claim to be Christians would advocate but I don't care. I think I'm right here. The problem is most people who claim to be Christians (and I say claim because let's face it most probably aren't but that's a whole separate post for sure), most Christians say they are culturally relevant because they pick up an electric guitar on Sunday morning and play in a "band" on stage. But is this truly culturally relevant? Let's look at the life of the average Christian. . . they go to church with Christians, all their friends are Christians, they may have went to a Christian University, they listen to only Christian music, do I need to continue? They are ONLY influenced by Christians. Is this entirely bad? No, it's great for their own spiritual growth in Jesus but is that all our spiritual growth is supposed to be for, us? I don't think so. God grows us so we can help others.

I am not saying I have to snort a line of coke to know what that is like. That's not culturally relevant that's just wanting to get high. (and yes there are those who have done stuff like this in order to "get culturally relevant") I also know the whole "be in the world but not of it." I think I can be immersed in the culture and involved in relationships and not be "of it."

The problem with my goal is I know I am gonna get "dirty." I know most Christians will think I am "selling out" and will turn their backs on me. I'm ok with that though. I want to be the person whom people who hate God will claim as their friend. I want to be the person who positively impacts their community to show people love because I am so immersed in it that they accept me as one of their own.

How else will I be able to make a lasting difference in people's lives, not just where they spend eternity but their lives today, here, on earth. In reading the Bible it is very clear that Jesus came to earth to change the lives of people here on earth not just where they end up when they die.

Jesus was called a friend to sinners. I hope I will be called the same but not by other Christians but by those are called "sinners." To be honest I am "one of them" anyway and so are you.

So my life goal is simple. I want to smell the worst in heaven. . .

and I think it will make Jesus smile.

my oil spill

Ok so I didn't get to writing this yesterday but here is the epic story of how changing your own oil can be an adventure. I have been telling Krystal I would change the oil in her Explorer for over a month now. So yesterday I finally decided to do it. Of course it was an hour before she was supposed to be at a birthday dinner for her brother and sister. Well I thought an hour is plenty enough time to change the oil right? Well not so much. . . Everything went as planned until I started the engine up and oil literally was shooting out like a sprinkler from under the vehicle. All the oil I had put in this thing was everywhere. All I could think about was the poor images of ducks in oil spills I used to see on the Dawn dish washing detergent commercials. To make a long story short. I went got more oil, filter and some kitty litter kinda stuff for oil spills (being the responsible environmentalist that I am, ugh, actually just didn't want half my drive way to be a oil spot). I called, Guy (yes that is his real name) a friend who is a mechanic, and informed him of the fiasco and asked what was up. He said it was called "double gasket." The old oil filter gasket remained on the vehicle preventing the new filter from sealing properly and hence the oil shower I received. Weird? Yes. Did it happen to me? Of course. Anyhow, I finally got it all worked out and back operating. Then I looked at the mess. I literally had oil from one end of the drive way to the next, from the garage to the street. It was insane. I put the kitty litter stuff down and now just hoping it will make the bad times go away. UGH.

I know it's crazy but it's my life.

BTW Krystal was extremely gracious and did not tell me "I told you that you didn't have time to do it before I left." Although I am sure she was thinking it, (and was obviously right).