Small steps in faith

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Silence and Solitude

Last night at 3rd Place we talked about spiritual disciplines There are those disciplines we abstain from to put our focus more on God ie, fasting,silence,solitude,frugality,etc and those that we engage in ie, study,prayer,fellowhip,etc to strengthen and develop our faith
The first ones that Mike talked about are the ones I feel I need to work on right now..silence and solitude Do you ever feel like you've talked too much and not listened enough? That's where I am right now
Silence can be uncomfortable but that's when we hear God if we're anxious,depressed,questioning,'s when we listen the silence and's how we get in touch with our heart and grow in our faith

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Good place to eat - good movies to watch

We celebrated Kristen's birthday last night with my sister and brother-in-law at a great restaurant in the Oregon District It's an authentic Italian restarurant called Franco's It's at the corner of 5th and Wayne..not the nicest area and when you're looking for the restaurant it sits right next to a Chinese Buffet so you might miss it but it's definitely worth the trip if you love Italian food

I've seen 2 movies this weekend at the theater "Walk the Line" and "Rent" I'm not a big Johnny Cash fan but his life was definitely interesting and the acting was great
I actually preferred "Rent" I love musicals and the storyline was good It's about the lives and loves of 8 friends in New York City It does deal with AIDS,drugs,and the gay lifestyle if those things make you uncomfortable.. nothing too graphic though The movie actually touched my heart ..I think because of my experience with AIDS/HIV patients as a nurse. "Seasons of Love" is one of my favorite songs

I finally watched "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" Big disappointment I like Johnny Depp but not in that movie He was just creepy The original version is so much better

I plan to spend tonight getting caught up on my laundry and quiet time...too many "activities" the last few days :)

Friday, November 25, 2005

Happy 19th Birthday Kristen

Happy 19th Birthday Kristen!! Posted by Picasa

I can't believe that it's been 19 years !! Kristen was born at 9:49 pm and weighed 9lb 5 1/4 oz and was 21 in long She was the most beautiful baby and she still is :)
I love you're the best daughter in the whole world !!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Relationships can be messy and hard

I read this article this morning and this was a God thing for sure :) I have felt frustrated with a situation that is hurting one of my closest friends Relationships need to be worked at ..even at church

The Road to Community by Ray Hollenbach

I have a friend who works as a house painter. He is the kind of guy who is not afraid of confrontation, especially when he thinks that shocking someone might be the best way to bring a reality check. One day, at the job site, he met another guy who claimed to be a follower of Jesus.

My friend: “...Really? Where do you go to church?”
New Guy: “Everywhere. I want to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying, so I go to lots of different churches—I don’t want to be tied down.”
My friend: “You know, you ought to go to one church and stay there long enough until you get offended by the people in the church. I think that’s what God wants for you.”
New Guy: “You think God wants me to be offended?”
My friend: “Oh yeah, there’s no question about that, but I think He really wants you to be offended by people that you go to church with regularly.”

Surprisingly, the two actually became friends, though, at the time, the new guy thought that my friend was nuts. But, in all his apparent nuttiness, my friend was trying to illustrate an important point: We can’t really claim to be the kind of person who loves God unless we learn to love others. We hear it all the time: God loves everybody. Well, that may be fine for God, but for most of us love is fine in the abstract but nearly impossible in the everyday world.

God's kind of love is nearly impossible because we don’t have very many people that we can claim as close friends, and the surface friendships that we often do develop are not conducive to much more than a vague liking. Truly, the pace of our lives does not provide many places where we can really even get close to others. There are even fewer settings where we can learn how to love them.

Learn how to love? Isn’t love supposed to just happen? In romance, in friendships, in finding a community that feels “safe,” most of us expect that love should be organic, natural and self-generating. We would like to think that if we walked into "Central Perk" as a complete stranger, we could walk out with a whole new set of friends. But "Central Perk" closed down when Friends went off the air, and we’re not in Manhattan anymore. Love is a great ideal, until we have to work it out with other people. Then we begin to wonder if love is worth all the grief. It’s time-consuming, expensive, and worst of all, it’s not all-about-not-me.

But love is the primary way that we imitate God:

Ephesians 5:1-2 Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.(TNIV)

The word “therefore” indicates that Paul was reaching a conclusion, not starting something new, and the stuff before Ephesians 5:1-2 provides a not-so-easy road map to living a life of love that imitates Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul was calling for followers of Jesus to live a “life of love,” which sounds great until you actually try to do it. Jesus lived a life of love, and it got him killed. You want to try to be like Jesus?

Not-so-easy Step One:

Give up your life as an individual: (Eph 4:17-19)

These verses describe a life lived for the self. If ever there was a futile way of life, it is a life lived for ourselves alone. Living for ourselves hardens our hearts and brings us into darkness. If our goal is a new kind of community, then living for ourselves really is futile. Many people long for community but live for themselves. When we are separated from God the only things we become sensitive to are our own desires.

Not-so-easy Step Two:

Put on a new, Godly self: (Eph 4:20-22)

The Gospel that Paul presented in Ephesus was about more than personal forgiveness. He taught about the sacrificial Jesus who declared a new commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you.” Paul presented Jesus as the one who did not follow his own desire but demonstrated love. When we consider others we are acting like our heavenly father. This choice is intentional: We have a part to play. We can choose to put off our individualistic ways and put on ways of thinking and acting that include others.

Not-so-easy Step Three:

Express your “new self” in terms of your ability to relate to others.

We put off falsehood and speak truth because we are members of one body.

He does say, “don’t get angry,” but rather we should work through our anger together. It’s hard work! Stealing (presuming upon the generosity of others) needs to be replaced not by working with the goal of “getting mine,” but having something to share with others.

Not-so-easy Step Four:

Create a welcome community for the Holy Spirit

Godly community is marked by wholesome communication. And communication doesn’t become wholesome magically: It happens only if we choose so. Our concern should be for building up others and benefiting others. In fact, this is the proper context for the phrase “grieve the Holy Spirit,” it’s about treating God’s people as people who deserve our best intentions. When God’s kids play nice together, the Holy Spirit shows up.

That’s why my friend suggested an environment full of opportunities to be offended. How else can we learn to forgive? There's a perfect place to be offended, it’s called “the church,” and it’s filled with people that will drive us crazy. But, if we can hang out in one place long enough, we will have the chance to become “imitators of God.”

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Seeking God's face

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land"

God wants us to talk to Him..but it needs to be from a sincere,humbleness not a rushed 5 minute conversation with distractions If you give him your sincere heart and attention..he will listen..he will forgive.. he will heal the wound that needs to be healed time

Monday, November 21, 2005

Oprah's Favorite Things

I'm not a daytime tv watcher and very rarely watch Oprah except once a year and today is the day Kristen and I love to watch the show where she gives her audience all of her favorite things Most of the things are way too expensive but she does usually have something on there that I like and try One year it was Origins white tea body lotion, one year it was pumpking face mask from Bath and Body Works Anyway we always watch,tape it and write everything down I love to watch the reactions of people when they realize that they are getting all of these presents and I love to watch it with Kristen ...her comments always make it fun and memorable :)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

My weekend

It's been a busy but nice weekend I got the best surprise on Friday night Darrell and I were shopping at Drug Mart and I got a call from Kristen that she had a surprise for me Instead of coming home on Mon night she came home Sat afternoon with Tyler We spent the afternoon catching up on things and then went to Christmas in Springboro and Starbucks with Tyler and his parents Christmas in Springboro is the big festival for Springboro It was way too cold though We went into the music tent to warm up and listened to a group play It turns out the guy who was singing was a guy Darrell had talked to about a year ago who gives voice lessons
We always like the food :) kettle korn, funnel cakes, fries,etc all the bad things for you
I love Starbucks at this time of year..decorated for Christmas :)
I went to Southwest Church (my home church) this morning ..they are my family and I love them and I love worshipping there
Everyone was glad to see Kristen and Tyler this morning
We had leftover City Barbecue(that food is the best)for lunch
Kristen and I went back to Christmas is Springboro this afternoon to hear the choir and look around We sat with Mindy and Adia and Tara Adia(she's 5 months old) was dressed as a colts cheerleader She's adorable but so serious She was watching everyone so intently There was a little boy with balloons on his head which fascinated her :)
This evening I've just been vegging.. wrapped in a blanket watching TV.. Colts vs Bengals and 60 minutes They had a piece on New Orleans which was touching and interview with Bono
I'm off the next 2 days which is nice Time to spend with Kristen..3rd place..watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory I watched Batman Begins Fri night That's a great movie and Darrell and I also saw Jarhead....also a good movie but it's graphic in certain scenes
So that's my weekend..I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving and Kristen's birthday this week..

Friday, November 18, 2005


We've all been hurt in some way..sometimes it's an unintentional thing..sometimes not

"We must forgive those who hurt us.
Until you forgive, you remain their prisoner. Paul warns us that unforgiveness and bitterness can wreck our lives and the lives of others ( Eph 4:31; Heb. 12:15)
We have to let it all go. Forgiveness is a choice It is not a feeling--don't try and feel forgiving. It is an act of the will. Don't wait to forgive until you feel like forgiving You will never get there Feelings take time to heal after the choice to forgive is made We have to allow God to bring the hurt up for if your forgiveness doesn't visit the emotional core of your life, it will be incomplete.
we acknowledge that it hurt, that it mattered, and we choose to extend forgiveness to those who hurt us..This is not saying "It didn't really matter"; it is not saying "I probably deserved part of it anyway: Forgiveness says "It was wrong It mattered It hurt me deeply And I release you I give you to God"
It might help to remember that those who hurt you are probably deeply wounded themselves."

Thursday, November 17, 2005


I've started reading a book called "Revolution" by George Barna George Barna is a man who takes in data, does research, and predicts future trends
His definition of revolution is "repudiating tepid systems and practices of the Christian faith and introducing a wholesale shift in how faith is understood, integrated,and influencing the world"
The first chapter deals with 2 men who have left the church One has taken the path of losing touch with God,the bible,community,and spiritual responsibilities He has trouble "fitting God into his busy life" His friend also has disconnected from the church but not the Church He is a Revolutionary Christian He lives out his faith even though there may not be a connection to "the church" He tells his friend who has trouble fitting God in "Your faith needs to be a priority, not an add-on That's what you never seem to get It's not about trying to shoehorn God into your packed schedule; it's about building your schedule around HIM That's a whole different perspective"

"Revolutionaries are devout followers of Jesus Christ who are serious about their faith, who are constantly worshipping and interacting with God and whose lives are centered on their belief in Christ. Some of them are aligned with a church but many of them are not The key to understanding Revolutionaries is not what church they attend, or even if the attend. Instead, it's that complete dedication to being thoroughly Christian by viewing every moment of life through a spiritual lens and making every decision in light of biblical principles. These are individuals who are determined to glorify God every day through every thought, work, and deed in their lives"

How many of us "shoehorn" God in to our busy lives I know I do at times and it's something I want to change I lead a small group for Sr high girls and this is one thing I want them to get It's not about "going to church or small group" It's about living out your faith and making an impact on those who need Christ in their lives

Monday, November 14, 2005

Robbie Seay band Posted by Picasa

David Crowder in Anderson,Indiana

David Crowder in concert at Anderson University Posted by Picasa

We went to Anderson,Indiana (hometown of Mike Box :) to see David Crowder,Shane and Shane and the Robbie Seay Band at Anderson University
We sat 1st row in the balcony in the center which were great seats except for the leg room for Zach :) Robbie Seay played for 30 min, Shane and Shane and David Crowder both played an hour each I would have liked to hear David Crowder longer He played most of the songs from his "Collision" album with a few of his other hits,O Praise Him, No one like you,Open Skies and Come Thou Fount..that was an awesome song because the whole place sang Amazing Grace acapella In this picture he's playing a "keytar" I called Kristen during "You are My Joy" so she could hear some of the concert :)

Kristen and Tyler are back at Lee They have alot of pictures,alot of stories about their experience They both said you have to experience it to realize the devastation and impact

I have started therapy and will be starting cervical traction this Thursday I just pray that it helps and keeps me from having surgery

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Update on Kristen and Tyler

Well they finally made it but not without some interruption from Satan When they got to Birmingham Alabama their bus broke down The bus driver had put diesel fuel instead of regular fuel into the bus Another bus came to pick them up and they made it to Biloxi, Mississippi after midnight Biloxi was directly hit by the hurricane so that is where they will be working They spent the night in a church and when I talked to Kristen this morning at 9:00 they were just getting ready to leave
Please keep them in prayer I know they will have a big impact on the people they reach out to

I just realized as I was writing this that neither one of my kids are in the same state I am Zach went to the Notre Dame/Navy game in Indiana with his friend Brendan
Zach is a huge Michigan fan and Notre Dame beat Michigan :) Knowing Zach he's probably wearing his Michigan jersey :)

Friday, November 11, 2005

Mission Trip to New Orleans/Mississippi

Kristen and Tyler leave this afternoon to the Mississippi/New Orleans area to help with victims of hurricane Katrina They will stay in Mississippi and go into the New Orleans area They come back late Sun night
Please keep them in prayer Pray for their safety but also that their hearts stay open and they allow God to work through them to touch lives that need to feel Christ's love
I felt a little ache in my heart as I watched my friend Aisa hold her newborn daughter Sometimes I wish for those days back but I know God has big plans for Kristen and I'm proud that she has grown up to be who she is ..random,fun,but with a strong faith and a passion to share that with others

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Powerful words

One of my friends had this on his blog and it made such an impact on me when I read it that I also decided to put it on my blog It's the eulogy for Kyle Lake who was killed Oct 30 He was electrocuted in a freak accident while in the baptistry at his church UBC in Waco,Texas This is the home church for David Crowder Kyle was also an author who wrote "Understanding God's Will" and "Understanding Prayer" He was only 33 yrs old The eulogy is the sermon he had written to give that Sunday he died

Eulogy of Life

"Live and live well.
Breathe, breathe in and breathe deeply.
Be present, do not be past, and do not be future, be now.
On a crystal clear breezy 70 degree day, roll down the windows and feel the wind against your skin, feel the warmth of the sun.
If you run, allow those first few breaths on a cold autumn day to freeze your lungs and do not just be alarmed, be alive.
get knee deep in a novel and lose track of time.
If you bike then pedal hard, and if you crash then crash well.
Feel the satisfaction of a job well done, a paper well written, a project thoroughly completed, a play well performed.
If you must wipe the snot from your three year old's nose, dont be disgusted that the kleenex didnt catch it all, because soon he'll be wiping his own.
If you recently experienced loss, then grieve and grieve well.
At the table with friends and family, laugh and if youre eating and laughing at the same time, might as well laugh until you puke.
And if you eat, then smell. The aromas are not impediments to your day; steak on the grill, coffee beans freshly ground, cookies in the oven.
And taste, taste every ounce of flavor, taste every ounce of friendship, taste every ounce of life, because it is most definitely a gift."

-Kyle Lake

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Alone Time

I was talking to one of my best friends last night who is an introvert like I am
He had needed alone time "away from people" As I was walking this morning I started thinking about my own needs for alone time If I don't get that time I get down, I'm not fun to be around It helps me process ideas,feelings,dreams I walk with an ipod so that I have at least 30 min of "alone time" I listen to music and "zone out" Sometimes it's hard for extroverts to understand In my own family there are 2 introverts (zach and i) and 2 extroverts (darrell and kristen) They have no concept of alone fact i think they hate it When I go downstairs to be alone they get upset They thrive off contact with people I think there needs to be a balance and sometimes it's hard to find When I recently moved into our new office I moved from an office where I was by myself to an office with my 7 coworkers I had a hard time at first ..the extroverts didn't understand why I shut my door at times I think alone time is so important but I know for myself I have to be careful that I don't isolate myself too much Even Christ needed alone time away from his disciples and the crowds So if you're and introvert and you're reading this I think you'll understand where I'm coming from If you're an extrovert I hope this helps you understand that it's not that we're "unfriendly or antisocial" and it's nothing personal ..we just need to be alone sometimes

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Ann Rice A new book

I was never an Ann Rice fan I've never read any of her books but her new book absolutely intrigues me It's a fiction book written about what the life of Jesus would have been like starting at age 7 and it's written with the narrator being 7 yr old Jesus Ann Rice has gone back to her Catholic faith and has done alot of research in the scriptures as well as biblical history to write the story She states that from now on she will only be writing for the Lord The following article is a review of her book

Rice takes leap of faith from vampires to 'Christ'
By Susan Kelly, USA TODAY

Anne Rice goes way out on several limbs with her new, first-person narrative by the 7-year-old Jesus.

For starters, the best-selling author, famous for her darkly sensual tales of the undead known collectively as The Vampire Chronicles, tries to lead her huge fan base out of the darkness and into the light of her own spiritual awakening. (Rice returned to the Catholic Church in 1998 after a long absence, acknowledging that she now embraces conservative doctrines.)

Second, it may be difficult for readers to approach any novel about Jesus with an open mind because of their own religious beliefs, or the lack of them. (Related excerpt: Read a preview of Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt)

And finally, in the book and promotional materials, Rice sets daunting goals: to make Jesus real for people who have stopped seeing him as anything other than an icon, and, for non-believers, to bring to life the times that would later spawn a religious revolution.

Despite those challenges, Rice does what she set out to do. For Christians and others open to the belief that Jesus was literally the son of God, she takes an intriguing look at what life may have been like for that real boy and his family.

And she re-creates a violent world in which devout Jews struggle to survive and worship, their rituals a stark contrast to rampant lawlessness.

The story opens in Egypt, to which Joseph the carpenter and his wife, Mary, fled after the birth of their son. After the death of the despot King Herod, they return to Israel, arriving in the village of Nazareth after a narrow escape in riot-torn Jerusalem.

Jesus is a bright boy devoted to his young mother, who is becoming aware, with some alarm, of supernatural powers that set him apart. He is frustrated by mysteries that surround him and the sense that his family is protecting him from dangers that he can't see.

His is a protective family, determined to hide the Messiah from those who would harm him. It's particularly interesting to see them face skeptics who believe that Joseph was ensnared by a girl who became pregnant by another man.

The greatest flaw is that Rice treats her subject so respectfully that his narration is staid. The lush imagery of her earlier works, dripping in sexuality and cruelty, is greatly diminished because of the youth of her narrator. If there are sequels (and she has said there will be), her savior chronicles will be better served by the evocative language that's her signature.

What you must admire, however, is that Rice is not playing it safe. In ending her own exile from the faith in which she was raised, she is reinventing herself as an artist with the hope, but not the certainty, that readers will follow.