October 5, 2011

Long Car Rides

Today has been a long day. It began this morning by crawling in a minivan with four of my friends and my wife at 5:30am. Once we stopped for a little Tim Horton's coffee and breakfast, we were on the road for Atlanta. I certainly was not looking forward to the trip. Each trip that I have made from Lansing to Atlanta and back has turned into a longer than desired excursion. What should be 12 hour trips turned into 16 plus hours because of traffic jams, food stops, weak bladders, and what not.

Today's trip was better than normal. We had some required stops like Skyline Chili around Cincinnati. We had multiple bathroom breaks because I had too much liquid today. And, we had to stop for gas. Even with those stops, the drive came in at a "best" for time at just over 12 hours. The silly thing is there is some excitement and accomplishment in making it in that time. When, in reality, we still spent 12 LONG hours in a van driving down the road.

The trip didn't feel long until the last hour or two. By that time, my wife and our friend Sarah had become stir crazy in the back, back seat of the van. They were laughing histarically at almost nothing, which was a sight in itself. Everyone else was simply cramped from sitting too long.

As I sit now in the hotel courtyard enjoying the cool Atlanta weather and the stars in the sky, I've been thinking about our journey. We left from one place to come to another to be challenged by the Catalyst Conference. To get here, we endured over 800 miles of pavement. Life is like that sometimes. We want to get to a different place with life, which means we have to move in some way from point A to point B. While the drive today was long, it was doable. It could have been done quicker by plane, but that would have cost even more.

When we want to make changes in our lives, it costs us something. To get skinny (or at least skinnier than we are) we must eat less junk and move our bodies more. To get smarter, we must read, study, and learn and stop doing mundaine things like playing on Facebook and Twitter. To change, we must realize that where we are at is not where we need to be, and we must move ourselves to a new place. And, doing that takes effort and discipline, while overcoming our feeling of entitlement to where we were.

Where are you? Where do you want to be? What do you want to become? For me, where I am is not where I want to be. I've had goals for change for quite some time. I've always wanted to be skinnier and smarter. But, I have never fully given up my love for food and time wasting and grown any discipline.

May this journey be the beginning of a new me. May you join me in journey.

September 15, 2011

Dangerous Church

When I was growing up, I wasn't allowed to run with scissors or poke metal objects into electrical outlets.  That would have been too dangerous.  We didn't have BB guns because guns were dangerous.  I lost my bike privileges for awhile because I had crashed a couple of times in one week.  I was being to dangerous.  Being dangerous was something that was not encouraged because being dangerous meant the risk of injury.  My parents wanted me to live past my growing up years without maiming myself.  Thus, to me, the idea of being dangerous was always bad.  Needless to say, when I received John Bishop's book, Dangerous Church, from Zondervan for free to review and blog about, I was intrigued.

Bishop's book, interestingly enough, is about challenging the church to be dangerous in order to give it life for the sake of the Gospel.  Rather than encouraging the church to be safe by sitting still and going through the motions, he calls his readers, the church, to ask hard questions about their motivations in ministry, their vision for the lost, and their actions to those whom Jesus would call, "the least of these".  These are all great questions that we need to be asking ourselves as we live out our faith.

For me, the highlight of this book was the chapter entitled, "When We See Jesus and Want Hand Sanitizer", where Bishop tells of his experience at a leper colony in India.  He shares about what he feels inside when he comes face to face with a leper who has no nose.  Its a compelling story - one that challenges us to think about how we are being Jesus to everyone around us.

I encourage you to take some time and interact with Dangerous Church.  I'd love to hear what you think.

August 29, 2011

Cell Phones

I remember the day when my brother got his first cell phone. It was an in the car cell phone, all wrapped up in a leather bag/case. It had a wire the ran from the bag to a cool looking antenna that was on the back of his SUV. It was such a cool gadget . . . and so much smaller than the big brick looking cell phones that other people had.

I remember the first cell phone I had. I thought I was so cool. It was small compared to my brother's bag phone, though I still had to pull the antenna up for better reception. It was too big to fit in my pocket, so it had a lovely leather sleeve that fit over it with a belt holder. I could make and receive calls. To check the voicemail, you had to call another number. It did nothing else. Well, I probably could have sent a text at that point, but it would have cost lots of money. I was so high tech.

I currently have an iphone. It is miniscule compared to my brother's bag phone. It has no needs for external antennas or a constant power source other than to charge the battery every other day. And it fits nicely in my pocket. Furthermore, I can do so much more than just make phone calls. I can surf the web, video chat with my friends in other parts of the world, play any assortment of games made specifically for it, control my desktop computer in my office from anywhere I have phone signal, and use it as a compass if I were ever lost in the middle of nowhere--all without roaming charges! What a difference two decades of technological advances can make.

Though, with advances come with a price. Before the age of cell phones, the only way people could reach you was with a land line. If you weren't there, they might be lucky enough to leave you a message on your answering machine, if you even had one. Otherwise, they were forced to call you back at a later time, write a letter, or travel to you to speak to you face to face. Now, I can't get away from anyone. In all honesty, my phone is closer to me than almost everything else. It is always within arm's reach. Which means, anyone and everyone I am connected to is really only an arm's length away, in addition to all the information and stuff I choose to encounter through my phone. I can't get away from anything, unless I put my phone in time out.

More than that, before the age of cell phones, the only way I could really annoy someone with the phone was to repeatedly call them so they had to get up to answer the phone that was in another other room or physically trip (or choke) them with the coiled 30 foot handset cord. Now, I have a plethora of annoyance possibilities from talking loudly in line at the supermarket or texting in the middle of a movie to forgetting to shut off my ringer during church.

I wonder how Jesus would have used a cell phone, had he had that technology available to him. I'm sure he would use it in all the positive ways--sending emails of encouragement and communicating to others about the Kingdom of God. Would he have a twitter feed that stated, "just fed 5000!" or "healed a blind guy today!" Probably not. He certainly would have remembered to silence his phone at the temple and the synagogue.

I want to be honest here. I'll be the first one to admit that I need to gage the amount of noise that I let technology create in my life. I probably do need to put my phone (and for that matter, the internet) in a time out and make some silent space to be still and listen without interuption. It will probably be good for me . . . and the world won't fall apart while I'm gone.

How about you?

August 24, 2011

What Should We Do?

I read a post today by the bassist of Third Day, a Christian band that I have liked for a long time. I think his comments are on target. I encourage you to read his thoughts.

Africa has been on my heart a lot recently. It makes me feel like a contradiction. I am a contradiction. On one hand, I feel so strongly that I need to do something to help. On the other hand, I cannot stop being who I am, feeling like I am entitled to eat what I want, do what I want and so on and so on and so on. I know I need to do something, yet fail to do anything. My heart wants to be thousands of miles away with the people of Africa, yet my eyes can't see two feet in front of me to get my mind to move.

I wonder if the boy who gave Jesus the five loaves and two fish to feed the 5000 went through the internal struggle I am going through. He probably didn't have all the entitlement pressures we have built into our beings here in America--not that that gets us off the hook. Even if I could work through my personal dichotomy and actually do something, I fear I would end up being like the disciples as they responded to Jesus' challenge for them to feed all the people. "We can't do that! We don't have the resources. We don't have the money. They are so far away. You are crazy!!!"

Lord, help me to see the five loaves and two fish. I will try my hardest to not eat them for myself. Rather, I will do something with them for Your creation. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear!

August 21, 2011

Could Anything Else Go Wrong?

Today during worship, we had a few hiccups.  It all started with me missing one of the verses of the song, Great Is the Lord Almighty.  Actually, I started singing verse two instead of verse 1.  Obviously, I could have went back and sang verse one after we sang verse two.  But, it wouldn't have been right, singing about Jericho before singing about God bringing Israel through the Red Sea.  So, I stopped the song about half way through verse two and started over.  I should have known that wouldn't be all that would happen.

A few songs later was special music.  During rehearsal we had done the song, The Beauty of the Cross, flawlessly three times.  It was perfect.  However, when we started it during our offering time, something wasn't right.  Either I was in the wrong key or someone else was off.  That, in turn threw off our soloist.  I don't think we recovered well, even though we pushed through.

Then, on the next song, I broke a guitar string.  Granted, I'm known for breaking guitar strings every once in awhile.  This time, it was frustrating, though, since the strings on my guitar are only two days old.

Needless to say, I was ready to step off the stage for Frank to preach.  When I sat down beside my wife, Stephanie, I leaned over and said, "did everything sound as bad as it felt like it went this morning?"  Her response was, "It was shaky.  You should have said something like, 'even though things have not went as we wanted, God still finds worth in our praise.'"

God wants us to worship Him with everything we are.  He wants us to do the best we can all the time.  But, I think He knows that we aren't always going to be perfect.  Because we are His children, I think He understands that at times, we are going to be off key or that a string is going to break.  I think it gives Him joy just like a play put on by elementary age kids would bring joy to those that are there watching.  Its a different kind of joy.  A joy that's not based on super-human ability.  Rather, a joy that is full of love, hope, and humility.

August 17, 2011

The Cost of Convenience

I read an article the other day on how the government pays for empty seats on planes so that out of the way places can still have air service.  Millions of dollars go to the airline companies every year so people in remote West Virginia or wherever don't have to drive an hour and a half to the airport to fly somewhere.  Seems a bit backward to me.  But, we do live in a culture where we buy bottled water for the same price as a soda.  Even worse, we'll drop $1.50 or more for a 20 ounce soda when you could spend 50 cents more and get an entire two liter. 

I think the thing that gets me most about the article is entitled attitude that everyone has.  Like the guy who says this:
"It's very convenient to have this place," Williams said. He said his family sometimes drives to Pittsburgh, to pick him up, but "that's a stress on them, and it's difficult to get up to Pittsburgh on time with all the road construction. So it would be terrible to have this go away."
Really?  It would be terrible?  We should spend $45 billion a year to keep some airports open just so some guy's family doesn't have to drive to Pittsburgh?  I think $45 billion a year could pay for the taxi service needed to get the few passengers from one place to another to catch their plane.  Or maybe the government should rent out Garmins for those who are directionally challenged.

The thing that frustrates me most, and really cuts deep in my own soul, is that we sit here thinking we are entitled to these things like cokes in whatever size we want and so on and so on while people in Africa have to make decisions on which child or children to leave behind to starve to death while the rest of the family goes in search of food.

Lord, forgive us.  Help us to see the things we need to do and move us into action!

August 9, 2011


Not much to write today.  I'm really focused on the tasks in my NOW list.  That is a great thing!

What are you all reading in Scripture?  If you struggle to stay consistent with your Bible reading, you should go over to YouVersion.  I really struggled for consistency.  Having it online has been a huge help.  You can set your browser to default to their page.  The thing that helps me most is I don't have the excuse of saying, "I don't have my Bible with me right now."  Its always there, on the internet--the same place where time wasters are like Facebook. 

YouVersion has all kinds of different translations to read, a search function, the ability to put two translations side by side, and best of all, multiple reading plans.  A great start for a reading plan would the plan for reading through the gospels.  As you read, you could be on the lookout for all the times Jesus talks about the kingdom of God/kingdom of Heaven.  It will change your perspective of who we are and how we are to live.

Happy Bible reading!

August 8, 2011

New Eyes

My friend David Joe recently had some major eye surgery.  Before his surgeries, his eyesight was bad enough that he took away his own driving privileges.  Post surgery, he has been amazed at the things he has been missing, even though his vision has not fully adjusted.  The problem is his brain.  The doctor fixed his vision so that his eyes themselves see perfectly now.  But his brain has been trained over the last few decades or more to see things with not so perfect eyes.  It is receiving perfect signal now, but doesn't know what to do with it.  It has to reprogram itself.

The human body totally amazes me--that it can reprogram itself; that it can heal itself.  Even more, most of the time it will do this all on its own as long as we stay out of the way.  We may need a doc or a mom to do some repair and put things in order, but the rest of the process is automatic.

Now, that is not to say that we don't get in the way of the healing that our bodies can do.  We can be unwilling to change our diets to heal our fatness and all the bad things that come along with that.  We can be unwilling to admit that there are issues with things, like our sight, and allow broken things to perpetuate into even worse problems.

I think that is the problem with our spiritual lives.  If we were to be faithful and chase after God, living our lives for him in the way that he has called us live, everything else will heal itself.  Now, I understand that as we talk about our spiritual lives and the things we do, there is more than just ourselves involved.  Our living and spiritual lives also involve those around us, from our spouses, family, friends, co-workers and so on and so on.  I think that is why it is so hard when God steps in and makes all the perfect repairs.  Our living needs to reprogram itself.  And that is challenged by us and those around us. 

This is why it is so important for the church to be the Kingdom of God.  If we are being what God has called us to be, then we are creating a place where people can come to heal from life in the world and learn about life in the Kingdom.

August 4, 2011

At The Last Minute

Why does it seem that our world always runs in a constant stream of deadlines and procrastination? The recent debt debacle in our nation is only one of many examples in our world. We push and fight and push and fight and end up leaving ourselves no time to make great decisions and solve the problems. Shockingly, I am not any better. Why is it that we cannot get organized, motivated, or (the most dreaded word of them all) disciplined?

If you take a close look, you can see the products of un-organization and un-motivation all around us. Sure, some people have discipline, like Seth Godin. The rest of us want it, but somehow can't move ourselves to deal with our credit card debt, our super sized waistlines, our poor relationships, multiple task lists at work, our home projects, the things we really want to spend our time on, and so on, and so on, and so on. We are such a mess.

Fortunately, I can only speak for myself.  That's probably a good thing, especially since I have my own problems with procrastination.  I certainly don't need to be pointing fingers.  I have lots I need to get done.  I have lots of wants, desires, and aspirations.  Yet, it seems like every day, the things I want to get done are still there when it is time to head home.  Each day starts with hope and ends with the thought of maybe tomorrow.  Its like our productivity is stuck in Groundhog Day.  The problem is, not changing the routine will only get us back to yesterday.

I think my solution is this.  I need to get past the overwhelmed feeling I have sometimes at all that I need to get done and simply be disciplined.  Well, that and make a plan of attack.  I read a post on Lifehacker today that encouraged the reader to, "reduce everything you want to do to an action you can do right now."  What I read between the lines there is this: take all you want to do, write it down, and make it doable.  Break it down into tiny "baby steps", to quote another Bill Murray movie, and then do it.

Why does it seem so simple, yet its so difficult?  Oh wait, because we strive to be lazy and wait to the last minute to get things done.  I'm tired of the pressure.  I'm tired of the doing average things--that is what it feels like I do.  I'm ready to change and become disciplined and motivated.  Lord help me!

August 3, 2011

The Humility of Manasseh

This morning I spent some time in the story of Manasseh, one of the kings of Judah.  The story can be found in 2 Chronicles 33.  Manasseh is the son of the great king Hezekiah.  You should go and read about them...

The story of Manasseh caught my attention today because of the polar opposites in it.  As the story begins, Manasseh is a dirt ball king.  He sacrifices to other gods, builds new places of worship to them, and sacrifices is children.  He even builds altars for them in the temple of the Lord and places a graven image the he made himself in the temple.  Once the writer is done listing all the bad things that Manasseh has done and encouraged his people to do, the writer says this: 
But Manasseh led Judah and the people of Jerusalem astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites.

The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention.
All of these things are bad news, especially if you are the king.  Living bad means one thing--God is going to beat you down.  And that's what happens.  The king of Assyria comes to town, makes Manasseh his prisoner.  He binds him and puts a ring in his nose--not a pretty nose ring that one would wear as jewelry, a big, nasty nose ring like a cow or bull would get.  Then he drags him off to Babylon.

Here's where the story takes an unexpected turn.  The text says that Manasseh humbled himself greatly before is God.  And God heard his cry, and acted.  As you read the rest of the story, you will see how God returns Manasseh to Jerusalem, allows him to rebuild parts of the city and, most importantly, that Manasseh leads his people to only worship the Lord.

If there is one thing I've really picked up from reading through Chronicles the last few weeks, it would be the roles that humility and pride play in our existence in the Kingdom of God.  All through Chronicles, the writer shares how this king was humble and how that king was prideful.  And, it never fails, when pride rules, God's presence and engagement disappears.  Yet, when humility reigns, God is directly involved for the good of those being humble.

From the story of Manasseh, I think that repentance can be connected to humility.  Manasseh called on the God of his ancestors to come and save him, even though his attention before that moment was fully focused on other gods like Baal and Molech.  God showed mercy, forgave, restored, and enjoyed once again the worship of his people.

How am I being humble and repentant with my life?  How are you being humble and repentant?  And once we've answered that question, how are we being mercy to those who have wronged us?

These are the things we are to be as we live out the Kingdom.

August 2, 2011

Wash Your Bad Luck Away

I read this article this morning on Thai monks who are offering funerals for people who need to get the bad luck out of their lives. For a mere $6, the monk will put you in a coffin, pray over you for your bad luck to go away, put a sheet over you, and then pull it back for you to start your new life with good luck. Sounds familiar, eh?

As I sat here and read this article, I couldn't help but think about how much these actions parallel our view of baptism. We enter the water with the expectation of something more and something new. We are buried in the water just as Jesus was buried in the grave, and then we are raised to new life (see Romans 6).

My brain, being my brain, had two questions that popped up then. What is different from coffin/sheet baptism to a new life filled with good luck and our baptism to new life? And, even more intriguing, how would outsiders to Christianity compare the two? The second question, in my opinion, influences the first question.

If we were to ask people who had no idea of the church and our practices compare the two, would they see any difference? Would they see the weight of becoming a Christian explained into the conversations leading up to the baptism event? Would they see the changed life that is supposed to be there on our part and on the Holy Spirit's part after the baptism? My fear is that they wouldn't see a difference. I fear they would see the same schtick, "come, do this ritual, and everything will get better!"

If outsiders won't see it as different, do we?  I think the answer is yes, we would understand that it is different.  But, then that leads to another question, "How do our actions surrounding baptism--the journey into it, the change of life that is to follow as we live differently afterwards--show that we see something different?  Do our words and challenge for people of the world to join us and live out the Kingdom of God really give them the full perspective of that life?  Jesus was very bold in saying you have to die to yourself to follow him, so much so that he even told one guy to skip his father's funeral (see Luke 9).  Which, to try and read between the lines there, maybe the guy asking to become a follower is the first born.  Maybe its his duty to bring closure to his father's life and take on his inheritance.   Jesus' call is to leave everything about his family behind at that moment.  That's intense. 

What is our call to people as the church?  Are we as bold as Jesus?  Do we call them to higher things?  Do we tell them they need to give up lust?  Do we tell them they need to be tenacious with love and forgiveness?  Do we tell them that they will have to change and live for others, which will probably force them to change their views about their stuff?  Even more challenging is this: do our lives show that we have given up these things?  Do we live the way Jesus has called us to be so those deciding to join us in living out the Kingdom of God see and experience what that actually is?

I fear two things.  One, we don't really know and understand what the Kingdom of God is to look like so that we can live it out.  Or, two, we understand what it is and choose not to live it.  Neither is good.

I'm not pointing fingers at anyone here.  I need to check my life just as much as the next person.  The point is, we need to do it so that we are true to what we've committed to, and so the world can see that there is a difference between new life (see Romans 6 again) and getting your bad luck swept away.

August 1, 2011

A New Month

Where did July go?  For that matter, where did June go?  Next thing you know it will be Christmas.  I don't remember time going this fast when I was younger.

With a new month brings new possibilities and new changes.  You may notice a change right now here on this blog.  Well, two changes, actually.  First, I have blogged now three days in a row.  That is an accomplishment for me.  Per my post a few days ago, I am doing to do everything I can to blog on a daily basis.  We will see how that goes.

The other change is a small change that is powered by my high C personality.  Do you see it?  I am sure that my wife already noticed.  The change comes because when I blog from my ipad, does not allow me to mess with certain settings, like the font.  Thus, after I post, I have to at a later point, go in and change the font of the post to what everything else.  Uniformity in the life of a C personality reigns supreme!

I'm tired of having to go and change the posts.  So, the new font you are reading now (unless you are reading on an RSS reader, at which point, everything is out of my control) is the standard default font, instead of Verdana in the normal size.  I know, you could care less.  Remember, change is hard for us C people.

To show you the depths of my insanity, I must admit that I contemplated this change a few days ago.  But, I couldn't make the change in the middle of the month.  If someone was going to look at July 2011 in the future, the fonts wouldn't have matched on the page.  So, I waited for a new month for the switch.

Its a good thing I didn't think of changing until today.  Then I would have had to wait until September for the switch . . . not that it would have taken long to get to September as fast as time is.

July 31, 2011

Attached At The Hip

As you read last night, I'm in a serious mode of reflection, self evaluation, and hopefully change. I'm going to blog more. I'm going to read more. I'm going to study my bible more and try to teach more. All for the point of engaging myself in this thing called life more than I have been recently.

However, I am not able to do that right now. Currently, I am sitting at our dining room table. My daughter is sitting as close as she can to me on the chair beside me. She's wrapped around my arm being silly and watching me type. Not necessarily because she wants my attention right now. No, she's here wanting me to stop what I am doing so she can have my ipad to play on. Now she's looking up at me with her cute puppy dog eyes saying, "Please, may I play with your ipad?"

It is a battle of wills. I will win this battle. Yes I will.

Interestingly, she is reading along as I type. She had the nerve to tell me that something I said in the first paragraph was incorrect, or at least it seemed incorrect to her. She's just like her mother.

Now she is growling at me and told me I have lots of "white" hairs in my sideburn. Does she not know that I could send her to her room to play with her non-electronic toys until it is bedtime? Luckily, her mother is editing pictures and videos from the previous 3 years of Lowman life. Every time a movie plays, she's off to watch the current selection. Don't worry, she'll be back. Here she comes now.

As I sit here and write, I wondner how much this back and for tussle models our relationship with the Father. We sit close and engage him and he thoroughly enjoys it. He wants us to be patient and wait for Him, to engage with him. Yet, we get caught up in other things as we wait. We end up focusing on all that is not perfect and question Him about it. Or, we are so focused the shopping list of things we have brought to Him that we miss the deeper things he wants us to see, feel, and explore.

As I sit her trying to ignore her batting eyes and mischevious giggles, I wonder how God puts up with us sometimes? How has he not given up on us when we don't get it . . . when we don't stop to listen, engage, and think. Lucky for us he loves us beyond measure and that his patience and tenacity for us is incomprehensible.

May I have immeasurable love, patience, and tenacity for this little girl. May I be able to model for her what is important to life and what is not.

99 Percent

I really would like to say I have an excuse for not blogging.  I don't.  Well.  That's not exactly true.  I've been busy the last month or so.  I spent two weeks at Michiana Christian Service Camp helping lead the two Sr. High Discipleship weeks there.  I also spent some time in Ohio seeing my family.  I also installed a new garage door opener in the sweltering heat.

Nonetheless, I've had things to write.  I simply haven't written them.  I hope that is going to change. . . 

I use the Flipboard app on my ipad.  It puts news, RSS feeds, Facebook, Twitter, and other mindless stuff in one place for me to read every other day or so.  One of the websites that I have found in the process of exploring this app is The 99 Percent.  It is a great site - you should check it out.

There was a recent article was called On showing up, changing your life, and limited goals.  One suggestion that was made to writers was to write every day.  Even it if is only 100 or 200 words, write.  Keep the mind and the creativity flowing.  When I read that section of the article, I thought of this place and how infrequently I post.  I thought about all the grand ideas of things I have allowed to pop into my head, roll around for awhile, and then shelved in the "someday" section of my cerebral Wunderlist.  I thought of all the things I could and should be doing, thinking, saying, writing, blogging, reading, and on and on and on and on . . . but for whatever reason I am not.

Things need to change. . .

June 6, 2011

Hope in the Darkness

Over the last month or so, I have been like every other web junkie when a tragedy happens.  I've spent too much time taking in all the images and the videos that people have posted.  I marvel at the power the earth, whether it be in the form of a tornado or an earthquake and tsunami.  Yet, while marveling, my soul hurts for those affected.

South had a group of people go to Tuscaloosa a few weeks ago to help with the disaster relief.  Last week we got to hear about their experience first hand and see the images and videos they shot.  They put together a video with some personal testimonies about their experiences.  One of the comments that stuck out to me was by Justin Beauchamp, one of our members.  He said, "How could a loving God let a tornado like that take place?"  He then goes on to talk about how even in the darkness of the disaster, God is shining through and using what happened for good as people are cared for and get to know that God and His people love them.

I've been trying to wrap my head around all that has happened over the last few months in the world.  While I don't think God specifically caused any of the natural disasters to happen, the statement, "how could a loving God allow something like this to happen" is a tough thing to grasp.  Why would he let things like this happen?

This all makes me think of Job.  Job was a man who lost everything. He had every right to question God and ask, "What is going on here!?"  In Job 1, God allows the tempter to beat up on Job. He loses his oxen, donkeys, and camels to thieves and his servants are killed. His sheep are burned up by fire from the sky.
Then, a strong wind blows down the house that his sons and daughters are in and they all die.

What was Job's response?  
At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”
Put in Job's situation or the situation of any of the people who lost loved ones in the disasters that have recently happened, I hope and pray that I would be able to have the same attitude.  I think Job has something to teach us.  I think he would ask us the question:  Is it our job to really comprehend what is going on around us and why it is happening?  Or, is it our job to be faithful and trust that God is in control even in the darkness?  Maybe its a combination of the two, with more emphasis being on the being faithful no matter what.

May 24, 2011

Guilty Conscience

Yesterday during dinner, my daughter looked at my wife and said, "I need to go to the bathroom."  This isn't anything out of the norm.  I continued to eat while they headed off to the restroom.

Normally, the bathroom trip doesn't take that long.  Since Hannah had said something to the effect of, "I don't like the taste of my food," before she left the table, I figured that she needed to take care of some business and make some room, if you know what I mean.  This would make sense for the long delay in the restroom.  However, when my daughter returned, you could tell she had been crying.  Steph didn't look all that thrilled either.  I kept to my burger and fries in hopes of steering clear of what had transpired in the bathroom until later.  That was not the case.

It turns out that earlier in the day, Hannah had did something at school she shouldn't have done.  She didn't get in trouble for it, but was asked about it by one of the teachers.  She didn't lie about it.  She readily admitted she was in the wrong, and the teacher told her not to do it again.  She certainly could have let it go and hid it away in the not so happy, yet private place where you store things you don't want anyone to know.  Steph and I wouldn't have known anything.  But, my daughter has a guilty conscience.

When she does something she knows she should not have done, it will eat at her and control her.  You will be able to see it in her face and in her body language.  She won't have an appetite (which is surprising because she is my daughter) or have any real desire to play or do anything.  She simply looks like she knows the world is about to end.

And then she will give in and confess everything.

One time, she was jumping on our ottoman in the family room.  She knew she shouldn't do it and she never got caught.  A day or two later when she was putting on her pajamas for bed, she burst into tears.  It took awhile for my wife and I to figure out what was going on.  She had been wearing those pjs when she jumped on the ottoman a few days before.  Putting them on again reminded her of doing something she shouldn't have been doing and she had to spill the beans.

As I've thought through the events of last night's dinner time, I come up upon a hard question.  Where and when did we lose this gift of a guilty conscience?  I'm sure we all had it when we were little.  At what point does it go away?  Where did we learn to to create the not so happy, private place where we store our ugly history?  Why are we so afraid?

I pray that Hannah Grace never loses her guilty conscience.  I don't want her to walk around with baggage and hidden secrets weighing her down and holding her back.  I want her to know that she can share everything with her mom and I, no matter how horrible.  I want her to know that she will be loved unconditionally and that we are a safe place . . . a place to not be afraid.

I pray that we unlearn our ability to hide from our past, to love one another, and to let forgiveness reign.

April 8, 2011

Cars, Trains, More Trains, and Lots of Walking

Ok, so the title isn't as catchy as the old movie, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. It felt like we were stuck in that movie a little today. This morning my girls and I left the house promptly at 7:30am. We met up with one of the guys who attends South, so he could take us to the Amtrak station so we could catch our train to Chicago--the place we are vacationing for the next few days. That trip went smoothly, as did the train ride to Union Station in Chicago. We were even ahead of schedule! Unfortunately, that's where things began to get a little squinky.

When we got off the train in Union Station, our first task was to find the CTA Multi Day Ticket Kiosk. We needed some passes to use the rail and bus system here in Chicago because little seven year old legs and luggage (and toys) for three people is too much to walk around town for four days. Putting my male dignity aside, I asked someone where it was because, though I looked it up the night before, I had forgotten where the kiosk was in the station--the big, big station. The Amtrak lady was nice enough to tell me where it was--up the ramp and to the right at the Metra Ticket area. No problem! We proceeded up the ramp to the Metra Ticket area to purchase some ride passes. That is where the trouble began.

First off, there was a line. I'm ok with lines. We were only two deep at the kiosk, with two or three more people behind us. Not a problem. Both people in front of me successfully executed purchases of multi day passes. The odds were in my favor. I stepped up to the machine, selected what I wanted, and proceeded to pay for my passes. Unfortunately, the screen read "Bank card declined, try again." So, knowing that this was some sort of a glitch because the card I was using is in great standing, I tried again. "Bank card declined, try again." Giving up on that card, because obviously, there was a glitch in the system, I tried another card. "Bank card declined, please try again." I gave up for the moment and went over to the Metra Ticket station to see if they sold the tickets I needed. I was sternly told, "No." Time for plan B.

As I'm crisis managing the situation in my head, I have a flashback to when I was in Chicago three or four years earlier. I remember seeing kiosks at the entrance of the various rail stations we used back then. Problem solved, we'll walk to the Clinton Blue Line station, purchase our tickets there and be on our way to the hotel . . . so that we can check into our hotel and proceed to a LATE lunch. I stress late there because my girls get a little cranky when we get off schedule with meals. Knowing we are on vacation and we want this to be a happy trip, food is extremely important!

So, picture this. me in my bigness toting a pull behind suitcase in one hand, backpack on my shoulder, and Hannah's hand in my other. Right behind us, because there isn't space to walk three wide, Steph is behind us, dragging another suitcase, with an extra bag on top of it, her purse, and the toy bag (because you can't go on a five hour train ride without toys for a seven year old). Its not a long walk to the Clinton Blue Line terminal. Its mostly downhill. However, this line is a subway line. There are steps down into the belly of the beast. Lots of steps. . . that we had to navigate with two rolling suitcases, a backpack, a hand bag, a toy bag, AND a seven year old who is bouncing off the walls because she can't believe that we finally made it to Chicago!

One hundred steps later, we arrive at the ticket gate. I look to my right and see all the kiosks that my brain had remembered from the previous trip. All of them were single fare kiosks. No problem, my brain says as it begins slogging through the new crisis. I step up to the window where two CTA employees are talking and ask to buy some multi day passes. All our problems will be solved at this moment, we'll go farther down into the belly of the beast, get on our train and head off to the hotel, so we can check in and then get food. I've already mentioned these things. . . they are extremely important tasks that we need to get done. These are the thoughts in my head as I'm talking to the nice lady. unfortunately, you can't buy a multi day pass at ANY of the specific rail stations, only at Union Station or the CTA offices. Then the lady said this, "if you would have went out the other side of Union Station, you could have went into the CVS and purchased your passes there." All I could think at that moment was, "That's nice to know NOW!"

Still in damage control mode, I repeated what the lady said to me back to her to make sure I understood her correctly. I think my words were something like, "so your telling me I need to go all the way back to Union Station to get what I need?" All I could think as those words spilled out of my mouth was, "I'm going to have to drag my girls, all this luggage, and the toy bag back up the stairs, back the three blocks we walked to the CVS for tickets. They are going to have to go with me because I simply can't just leave them here. I wouldn't be a good husband/father to bring my girls all the way to this point and then leave them in the bowels of the beast while strange people walk by them continually while I search for ticket mecca." I guess the thoughts in my head caused my facial expressions and body language to show the lady that I was in a spot of need. She became an angel and let us onto the train without paying. I would have hugged her, but I was already a bit sweaty from the slogging we had already done.

Quickly through the turnstiles, we headed farther into the beast. In keeping with the recent problems we had been having, we quickly noticed that the down escalator was broken. We forged forward down another 1000 steps to the platform to wait on our train.

At this point, I must confess that previos to this trip to Chicago, I had only been one other time--at the end of January, when it was -50 degrees outside. I guess there aren't as many people visiting Chicago then, nor to people go out when it is cold. I know these things. My brain, on the other hand, did not process the change in seasons. When the train arrived, it was packed. We tried to be discreet when entering the train, but seriously, how descreet do you think a 300 pound, 6 foot 4 inch man who is dragging suitcases, a small child, a wife, and a toy bag behind him be--especially when the train is full. You get the picture. Lucky for us, the people of Chicago must be used to commotion and oddities because they continued on in life with little acknowledgment of our grand entrance.

To get to our hotel, we must go from the Blue Line into downtown and transfer to the Red Line and go north. Not a problem in my mind. We've already defeated the kiosk problem by getting a free ride and we've walked down a million steps already. We should only have to walk down a long hallway to make the transfer. Right? That's what my brain remembered. Not so much. To get from the Blue line to the Red line there are another million stairs and a long hallway to walk through. At this point, I looked at Steph to see how she was doing. She smiled back at me. That is code for, "I'm doing ok, but this isn't what I expected or remembered."

We made our transfer with much success, averting slight disaster by realizing that we were going to get on the South bound Red Line train BEFORE we actually got on it. This time the train wasn't as full, so it was a bit more comfortable. And, we were seasoned pros by this time! We were at our exit in no time and proceeded to climb out of the belly of the beast. No escalators again, only millions of stairs to go up . . . with suitcases, a seven year old, a starving wife, and a bag of toys.

I forgot to mention one thing. While we are enduring this trip from Union Station to our hotel, my daughter is continually asking, "where's our hotel? Is that our hotel? Is that the Grand Canyon?" She can be a bit persistent. All seven year olds can. It brought me great joy to say, "there is our hotel!"

That is not where the story ends, though. We go up to the sixth floor to check in. We are there too early. Our room is not ready. We'll need to drag our stuff--all of our stuff, including the toy bag, back down the elevator and check it with the bell hops AND then return in an hour or two to settle into our room. At this point, I know two things. One, my girls are a bit frazzled at this point from the helter skelter CTA fiasco. Two, they are hungry. They are angry hungry. I must feed them. I quickly pull out my ipad to find a pizza place or something to avert total first vacation day meltdown. I can't get on the internet. I try and try. I'm good at these things. I know how to get online. Seriously, I KNOW HOW TO DO THIS! Oh, wait. I need my room number to login to the FREE wireless network. Wait. I don't have a room number yet.

At this point, the abort sirens are going off in my head. This was supposed to be easy. Get off the train, multi pass kiosk, one million stairs, hotel check in, food for the family. I swallow my man pride again and step up to the front desk to get my room number so I can get online so I can figure out where we are going to eat, so I can then take all our stuff downstairs to the bell hops. AGain, my body language and distress on my face must have communicated a need for divine intervention, because the nice lady promptly said, "I just had a room finished up, we'll check you in so you can get to your room." THANK YOU JESUS!

I would have hugged and kissed that lady, too, but by this point in the game, I'm beyond glistening with sweat. She wouldn't have appreciated my appreciation. I wouldn't blame her.

We learned something today. Some people are still nice! They are willing to do everything they can to help you out, especially when you find yourself in a tight spot. Thank you CTA lady and front counter lady for saving us from total disaster!

And, next time we will splurge for the cab . . . though I don't know if that would turn out any better!

April 3, 2011

Full Tilt

The last few weeks have been insanely busy in my life.  This week was no exception.  Following worship last Sunday, Frank and I piled into a van with another one of our people here at South and headed to Atlanta, Georgia for the Drive Conference.  It was a great time away to see how others do church.  The drive home was not so memorable. Well, it is memorable, but only because it was highly painful.  We left at 1:00pm and got home at 4:00am.  We spent about two or three of those precious trip hours in traffic jams.  

The following day was spent taking care of everything I hadn't done the previous three days while away at Drive.  That included planning some worship and doing a audio video cast for the next day's Dave Ramsey Simulcast.  

Friday was the simulcast.  It was good.  The event went off without a hitch and it was good material.  But, I must admit.  By this time in the week, I was toast.  I hope I didn't show it too much.

Yesterday was another interesting day.  While away in Atlanta, our administrative assistant called and said another church needed to use our facility.  That's not a problem, we like to help out when we can.  We especially like to help Art Foster, a guy who used to go here who planted a church downtown.  He's a great guy.  So, I found myself again at the office yesterday running sound and stuff for the funeral.  
Being in ministry, you go or participate in a lot of funerals.  Some are joy filled.  Some are sad.  Some are downright miserable because of the tragedy that is staring you in the face.  Yet, in all the funerals I've been at, I've never attended an African American funeral.  Yesterday was my first, and it was an experience.  I don't have time to write about it now.  I'm still processing.  There were moments of beauty in it...and at times, complete pandemonium.  It was a beautiful thing.

Finally, today was no exception to the full tilt life I've had recently.  This morning was worship, followed by a party at the church for one of the kids of my bass player.  It was a good time of fellowship.  Then, I actually got to take a nap!  After which, I was off to church for a coffee house and a concert by Brian Carter.  It again, was a great time.  But, I'm pooped.

So, why am I telling you about my busy life.  I don't want sympathy.  This is the life I live.  Sometimes its a bit more than I would like, but it is what it is.  I am writing to say, that though I'm wiped, I am filled.  God has given me many different things to think about, chew on, and ingest this week.  Yeah, some of that was intentional because of the conference we attended and the simulcast we hosted on Friday.  But some of it was out of sheer grace, being put in a certain place and a certain time.  And, that is a good feeling when you notice it and soak it in.

Today in my morning life group, we were talking about the simple statement that the Holy Spirit has emotion and prays for us.  The idea that God is engaged in our lives moment by moment is something that I think we too often overlook.  Our self sufficiency unfortunately overpowers it.  As we talked, we kicked around things we could do or ways we could shake out of our routine and selfishness to listen for God around us and move in His way, not ours.  Living life at full tilt lately has helped me know that God is in control.  That He needs to be in control.  Its a scary and humbling thought, but it carries much power and hope.

Lord, may I learn to continually live life under your spirit's direction.  Open my eyes and ears so I can see you and move in Your Way.

March 18, 2011

New Toys, New Looks

Well.  This year has been a year of new things for me.  I had some ipad envy when Apple introduced them a year or so ago, but resisted the urge to run out and get one simply because I didn't know how functional it would be for me.  I didn't really dig into it much because I knew I would really, really want one and I would have trouble holding back.  To my surprise, I received an ipad as an anniversary gift from the people of South Lansing Christian Church in January.  Its an awesome piece of hardware that is both functional for my ministry and very fun to play with.

The other new toy I got this year was a 24 inch imac computer.  When my friend, Mark, bought it a few years ago, I had a bit of computer envy.  It is simply big and beautiful.  Lucky for me, he wanted to revert back to a windows system.  He made me a great deal on it, and so now it has a new home on the corner of my desk in my office.  It is beautiful!

With the ipad and the new/used imac, though, I got a new perspective of the look of pages on the internet.  Back in the day the standard was a standard aspect ratio--800 by 600 or 1024 by 768--just like my current 27 inch tube tv.  Now everything is in a widescreen or HD format.  Since my ipad is intuitive and wants everything to look perfect, it resizes and shifts everything to where it needs to be. My imac, on the other hand, shows everything like it is, especially when the web browser is set to full screen.  That made my last blog layout look horrible since it only filled half the screen and was justified to the left.  That called for a new look.

As with my last rework of this blog, this one was just as painless.  I searched for a little bit, downloaded a few templates, and did some experimentation.  What you see is the result.  Thank you nerdy people who build templates for nerdy/yet incapable people like me.

Now if my imac and my ipad could help me to be more cool . . . I know, I'm already cool enough! 

March 14, 2011

Stuff and Things

Its been awhile since I've blogged. I've had some stuff on my mind and wanted to write a few things down, but haven't had the chance or taken the time to do that. I'm trying to do some of that tonight, though I don't know how profitable it will be for me or for you. We will see what spills out of my brain.

My mind tonight is torn between joy and thanksgiving and utter sorrow. I'll start with the joy and thanksgiving first. This past Sunday, the church that I work for celebrated the 10 year anniversary of our Childrens minister, Betty Allen. To thank her, they are sending her on a two week vacation. She and her hubby will first spend a week at a time share in the hills of one of the Carolinas. Then, they will head to the coast and take a cruise to somewhere beautiful and warm. Not too shabby, eh? I received similar blessings a few months earlier when I celebrated my 10 year anniversary. Its a joy to work at a place that loves on you like that. It makes you work harder and love them more. Its a beautiful thing.

This past weekend I got to participate in Statewide, a yearly teen conference put together by some of the area ministers. I've been involved for 10 years. Its always great to watch the yearly planning come to fruition in a great weekend. This year's convention was even better than expected in my opinion for several reasons. One reason is that my friend, Jason Miller, was the main speaker. I've known Jason since the mid 90s. Back then he was a preppy high school kid at Michiana Christian Service Camp. He's grown into an amazing worship leader and teacher. Its been cool to watch him grow up and have at least a small influence on his life. God has done some amazing things in his life and will continue to do so!

The second reason the weekend was stellar is a man named Merl Judy. Merl is a retired guy who lives in Buchanan, Michigan. He has served alongside the people responsible for planning and facilitating Statewide. For the last 11 years he has handled all the registration details of our conference--interfacing with the hotel each year to make sure we have all the rooms we need, dealing with all the paperwork that the churches send in to register, and so on and so on. He has been an amazing blessing to us. unfortunately, his health is getting in the way of him continuing on with us. This was his last year to work with us. Its awesome to work beside faithful people who love something with passion and tenacity. Merl is an example of servanthood!

Yet, in all of this good, there is such sorrow. In the midst of all my joy and thanksgiving, the current events of the world pull at my heart. As I sit here tonight in my dining room and revel in the life going on around me, people on the other side of the globe are awakening to their fourth day of hell as they cope and come to grips with the destruction and death that happened during the earthquake and tsunami on Friday. Before blogging, I came across another video of the water coming on shore and destroying a city. I sat here for six minutes and watched the power of the water and the destruction that happened. Just before that I looked at the various pictures posted on Boston Globe's Big Picture website. Its hard to fathom the amount of destruction and loss of life.

I feel so helpless right here, right now. I've been praying for Japan and those affected since I saw the first images on the tv Friday morning. We took a little time Saturday morning at Statewide to pray. But, embarrassingly, life has continued on. I've prayed when I thought about it and when I visit my Yahoo page, but it hasn't been a constant. When I see the images my heart hurts for those there. But, as I continue on, life goes on around me . . . it feels like it distracts me. It makes me feel like there is something more that I need to do. Feel is to easy and soft. It makes me know there is something more that I need to do. The question is, what do I need to do and how am I going to do it.

Lord, give me direction to what actions you want me do.

January 31, 2011

The Exodus

Today I spent some time in Exodus 14.  Its where I am at in my journey through the Bible this year.  (You could still get in on this.  Seriously, go to YouVersion and start right now!)  Exodus 14 is the account of Israel crossing the Red Sea and Egypt chasing after them.  The things that stood out to me today are total opposites.  

On one hand you have the Israelites, willing to beat down Moses for dragging them out in the wilderness to die.  It says they cried out to God and then yelled at Moses in verses 10-12.  Though they have seen so much with all the plagues and so on, they are still faithless.

The opposite of this is God.  In this chapter God is at the front of the line for these people.  He's leading them out by himself!  When the going gets tough and the Egyptians begin pressing in from behind, the cloud - God Himself - moves in between Israel and the Egyptians.  He fights for them by confusing Pharoah's army and making their chariots not work.  
On the heels of Exodus 14 came Matthew 21, where Jesus goes in, clears the temple of those using it for exploit, and then healing the blind and the sick.

The challenge for me is wondering why we don't see God move in this way anymore?  Why doesn't he come to our defense as a cloud and beat down those who persecute us?  Why doesn't he hear our cries sometimes and come to our rescue?  Why don't we see the blind being healed now?  Because of this, one might say he's not as engaged as he was back then.  Some also might say that he's still engaged, but choosing not to do those "miraculous" things.

My personal thought is that the problem is us.  Do we really trust that God is there and willing to step in the middle for us?  Do we act like he is there?  Are we crying out for rescue?  Do we even think we need rescued?  Are we looking to rescue others or are we too focused on ourselves and being safe?  How are we being the Kingdom of God?  How are we advancing that Kingdom?  Are we doing it in ways where God HAS to show up because our faith is so big?  

If I am real and honest with myself, my answers to these questions are embarrassing.  I am no better than the Israelites who cry out against Moses in faithlessness.

Lord, help us to be real with ourselves.  Help us to ask the hard questions, to make changes, and to surrender our lives to you and your Kingdom.  Allow us to see and feel you move around us as we live out our faith. 

January 18, 2011

Another Birthday

When I was young, I always felt like time took forever to pass.  Days seemed like weeks, and weeks seemed like years.  Maybe its because there was so much anticipation for what was coming next - the new experience that was right around the corner.  One specific that I remember was the Friday/Saturday routine I had.  I would watch The Dukes of Hazzard and then go to bed, hoping I would fall asleep as quickly as I could and that the time I spent sleeping would seem like nothing so I could get up and watch cartoons the next morning.

Time moves too quickly now.  I want to slow it down and savor every day and every moment longer.  Not because I am afraid of what is to come, but because I want to enjoy those who God has put around me and revel in the friendships and love that I share with them.  But, for some reason, time continues to pass, day by day, moment by moment. 

As I type those words, I come face to face with the realization that I need to do better at spending time with people since I cannot slow down time.  

My daughter turns seven today.  A few short moments ago I was cradling her in my lap listening to her coo and squeak, mesmerized by everything about her and unable to focus on anything else. While I am still totally mesmerized today, there are times when I'll catch myself too focused on other things to pay attention to the never ending singing, playing, dancing, and so on that continually pours out of her being.  Those are the things I can't get back. . . the things I need to seek out more and savor as much as I can now, especially since she'll only be seven for one year.  And the way the years are flying by, the next thing I know, she'll all grown up.

Happy Birthday, Hannah Grace!  You are crazy and beautiful!  You are my treasure and my joy, just like your momma.  I love you with everything I am!

January 13, 2011

Checking Off the List

As I stated in my last post, I am planning to make this a year of change for me. One of those changes was to blog more, which I really have not done well at. I have thoughts and ideas of what I want to blog about. I actually have a list of things I want to write about. The challenge for me is making time. I guess the fact that I am blogging for a second time and it's only the 13th of the month is an improvement from last year. We'll see how it continues.

Blogging is not the only thing I am planning to change this year. There is a long list of changes that I'm hoping to implement in the coming weeks and months. Actually, I've accomplished quite a bit so far. For example, one change that I was looking to make was rearranging my office. I moved into my current office about four years ago. I've only rearranged once. Now, for some of you, that might be normal. Some of you might be saying, why rearrange at all? If it works, it works. Leave it alone. That doesn't work for me. I need to make changes every so often to shake things up. The challenge for me is this: I have a lot of stuff in my office. Plus, I really struggled to find a new layout for the stuff in my office. The bookshelves, couch, and workstations created a Rubic's Cube rearranging challenge. But, I prevailed...AND had room for a new coffee cart! Now, there are still a few boxes of stuff to deal with, but I've checked it off the list.

Another thing I have been attempting with the new year is read and learn more. Last year I really felt like my work and study stagnated. I wasn't doing horrible work, I simply wasn't pushing forward with anything I was doing. Shaking that off has been a focus of mine since October. I plan to read through the Bible this year in addition to studying specific sections more (maybe Isaiah?). I also plan to dig more into other literature and books. So far I'm doing well on reading my Bible. I'm a day ahead in my year plan (which I am doing on I'm also about half way through Tribes by Seth Godin. While its not a full check because we are only 13 days into the new year, its a check of being on target this far in because I'm normally off track already.

I am also trying to lose part of myself. My family history is riddled with heart attacks, high blood pressure, and other not so good things. Part of the reason there are so many issues is that we, as a family, like to eat. And we do. If you were to ever come to a family reunion or any gathering for that matter, you would see endless amounts of good, hearty food. Seriously, you haven't lived until you sit down to a full plate of cabbage rolls, Mom Lowman potato salad, and Aunt Jeanie's baked beans, followed by a slice of Aunt Garnet's velvet red cake or Aunt Ina's warm rice pudding. Now you know why I weigh over 300 pounds. My familiy taught me how to appreciate food. While I plan to continue to appreciate it, I am planning to appreciate it in smaller quantities so I can live long enough to not have the routine bypass surgery or heart attack that many in my family have had. More importantly, I want to see Hannah grow up. If I continue on the pace I am on, I'd be lucky to see her graduate. So, I've been cutting back. I'm making progress and somewhat enjoying it.

Now, I don't say all these things to be prideful. I say them to show that I'm at least 13 days into some good changes and getting them out there so you all, all five of you that read this, can maybe ask once in awhile about them to make sure I haven't digressed.

I also write about them to maybe challenge you. Where are you at in your life right now? Are there things you want to do, yet never really accomplish it? Maybe there's a habit you need to change or a new, better habit you need to start. I challenge you to do some self reflection, some prayer, and dive in. Join me in making 2011 a year of change for the good.

January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

It is a new year.  Hope you all enjoyed your celebrations tonight.  We had a quiet evening at home with friends.  Hannah Grace made it till the new year, ate a cheese curl, and then went to bed.  What a funny kid.

My soul longs for this new year ahead.  I'm looking forward to the changes that I look to make in my life.  I look forward to the ministry that God has in store for me.  I look forward to reveling in God's grace and love for yet another year.  

Goodbye 2010.  Bring on 2011.