Wednesday, February 27, 2008

speaking this weekend

How ironic it is. I was driving to work yesterday and had the thought right out of the blue, "It's been a long time since I've spoken on a weekend at church". It think it's been a year or more. I went on to think that it may be several more years until I do again since I'm in a season of using weekends to enable Sara's ministry by spending most of my time with the boys at home. I am very fine with all that and they were just thoughts, not regrets or even wishful thinking.

Fast forward 3 hours and I'm in our kids ministry staff meeting and Pastor Gerry pokes his head in and asks me to speak this weekend because a prior plan had fallen through. Sara's out of town this weekend and my parents can take my boys, so it just happens to work this weekend. How ironic it is. Please pray with me this week. I want to do a good job teaching God's Word to His people.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I need some wisdom

There is a situation my leadership team and I need to deal with today and I'm not sure what to do yet. We'll be meeting this morning to pray and discuss the situation. I'm so thankful that God has placed me in a position to help mold and shape young lives and young leaders into Godly men and women. That's a heavy responsibility however. Please pray with me today that we can sufficiently challenge this person without breaking their spirit in the process. There is such a fine line in those situations.

The deeper I go into leadership, the more clouded the waters appear to be. Oh how easy it was to "lead" when all I had to do was criticize others from afar :) Seriously, it's very tough work and I would not trade it for all the world. I am so honored that God has entrusted me with a hand in shaping the next generation (and I'm sure the greatest generation to date) of leaders for this world.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Mostly unrelated thoughts at 5:41am

I'm healthy and so is the rest of the family! Thank you for your prayers. I love the morning time alone . . . cat asleep at my feet, the ticking of the clock, a good cup of coffee, reading my bible, journaling, reading books. Right now it's "How to be a hero to your kids", "End Times Simplified" and "Core Values" (George Wood). I love the mornings.

I love my kids with a new love too. I can relax with them more now and they are just fun to be with. My little Ethan is in a big boy bed now. He looks so tiny in it, but I feel like I could just look at him all night. Liam has wanted a clock so badly lately, although he cannot tell time. Steve DeVine gave him an old wind up alarm clock last night and when I got up this morning at 5am I walk into the hall to see Liam standing in there. He says, "Daddy, I was so excited about my clock that I did some pee-pee in my pants". I'm laughing with joy as I type this. My sons are priceless. I can hardly even get my mind around the fact that we're having another baby; not because it will be too much to handle, but the scope of blessing is so great. And Sara . . . what can I even say about a woman so wonderful, so godly, such a great mother, such a great friend. No words are enough.

I have some stuff going badly in my life now - minor stuff - but I just don't care. I'm too blessed and too satisfied to dwell on that.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I need some health . . .

I'm more than a week into this cold and sleep is coming with great difficulty. I'd appreciate your prayers today. Enough with the constant coughing already! Thanks.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Some thoughts from Proverbs

I'm reading through Proverbs right now in my personal bible reading. I feel like I could just do that the rest of my life. It's so rich with wisdom I can hardly get through a chapter a day. I copied some thoughts from my personal journal I keep. I'd love to hear your comments. I sure don't have it all figured out.

February 7, 2008
Prov 16:1 - We can gather our thoughts, but the LORD gives the right answer.
  • I need to hear this. I recoil too much at the the cliché of “I'll pray about it” to the point where I don't pray about things enough.
Prov 16:4 - The LORD has made everything for his own purposes, even the wicked for punishment.
  • Help Lord! I just don't get it. Where does our free will as humans play into this?
Prov 16:21 - The wise are known for their understanding, and instruction is appreciated if it's well presented.
  • This is so right and illustrates the burden I have as a leader; to operate with wisdom and understanding as I train and correct young leaders.
Prov 16:31 - Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living a godly life.
  • Yea, my “crown” is coming in nicely!
Prov 16:33 - We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall.
  • I've heard it said that this scripture could possibly be some evidence that God condones gambling. I don't know if that's true or not. I do think, however, that Christians get way too hung up on specific issues. Gambling, drinking, watching “R” rated movies, whatever your particular issue . . . these seem to be personal choices that ought to be made with many different factors influencing us. To say “I don't gamble because I'm a Christian” is as mindless as “I always vote Republican because I'm a Christian”. God wants our brains engaged in our decisions. Why else would He have given us free will and the ability to think and reason?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

It's been a while . . .

I have a whole new respect for those guys and girls who blog daily. What the heck do you write about? Anyway, it' has been a while and I've wanted to write several times since my last entry but duty (usually in the form of 3 little wonderful boys) calls.

I thank you so much for your prayers (those who pray for me) while I was in Ocean City. I had a real breakthrough in the way I look at my kids. I was suffering so much from SUTAD (that's stick up the a_ _ disease) and I'm sure my family was suffering with me.

I'm just much more comfortable embracing the idea that this is my life right now and that's a blessing in itself. I was missing some (much) of the joy of my boys because I had a constant tension in me that wanted them to grow up some so that their needs and the overall relationship was not so tense.

I asked for prayer on that from the group I was with in O.C. and one person's words to me just stuck. He said, "J, rarely have I met a person as introspective as you, but when it comes to your kids, just lighten up and enjoy them." Something clicked and I praise God so much for that! I'm beginning to realize why there is no manual on parenting. Much like your own relationship with God, it needs to be figured out on a daily basis. If there were a manual set up ahead of time we (I) would certainly rob our precious little children of getting to know our hearts and souls. I love my boys with the deepest part of me, and even through my struggles as a dad and a man, I think they are getting to know that deepest part of me . . . even if that's not always pretty.

Our family is struggling a bit with health. Mostly coughs and fevers that are robbing sleep. The last few nights it's been Liam up several times per night . . . which means Sara and/or I are up several times per night. Sara and I are both effected with the cough a bit, but I think we're both on the downside of the mountain. Things are good with our newest family member (in the womb). It should only be about a month before we can see if we're having a daughter or another son. We're praying for a daughter, but another son would be a great blessing too.

God sure is good. He sure has grace beyond measure. How could anyone presume to live their life outside of this grace. I would certainly never make it.