Small steps in faith

Monday, January 30, 2006

Sunday night "Fuel"

I am one of the youth sponsors for our youth program I lead a small group on Wed night for Senior high girls which is one of the things I look forward to at the beginning of my week Since I don't have Kristen here it helps keep me connected
At times I will go to their Sunday night group which is held at the garage

Right now they are doing a series called Sweet Relationships and the one last night dealt with teens and their parents ..not an easy one
Pat Hague and Jeff did a skit showing what a teen feels like in his bedroom after being yelled at by his dad
It was powerful
I know alot of kids identified with that and on the other side as a parent it impacted me as well
Alot of times kids try to live up to the "perfect image" that their parents have of them What I thought was good though was when he told them to remember that their parents aren't perfect either and sometimes its hard for them as well to live up to that "perfect image" they have
We all make mistakes we're human...the key is communication.
Relationships are hard..espcially with the ones you love the most..your parents and your kids

Thursday, January 26, 2006

What kind of car are you?

This is fun to do
Check this out

I'm a Porsche Boxster!

You're stylish, nimble, and good-looking. When it comes to having fun, there are few who can surpass you. And yet, you suffer from a lingering inferiority complex. Maybe it's because you have an older relative who is always in thelimelight?

Happy 19th birthday Tyler and Dylan

Happy Birthday Tyler and Dylan Posted by Picasa

A year and a half ago I met a set of twins,Tyler and Dylan Yosick
I was helping my friend Tina on Sun am with the Sr high class at Southwest
When I first met them I had a hard time telling them apart because they look so much alike..but they definitely are 2 different people with very different personalities :
Tyler wants to go into some kind of ministry possibly youth ministry and is madly in love with my daughter Kristen :)
Dylan wants to be a missionary He's not totally committed to any girl although he has been seeing alot of a girl at Lee where he goes to school
The one thing they do have in common is their passion for God
I am very blessed to know both of them
Happy 19th Birthday Tyler and Dylan !!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Comforting words

The last couple of weeks have been insanely busy at work job partner was called to Grand Jury Duty for the next 2 months so I'm working extra plus the census in our hospital is extremely high so I feel like I'm on one of those wheels that hamsters have in their cage This morning I was reading an article about a "stay at home mom" and I realized she and I had the same feelings just different places of work (honestly she probably has more stress than I do..I've been where she is) She had this verse from Isaiah in her article and when I read it I just felt a comfort and relief so if you're on the same wheel I am maybe this will help you too

Even to your old age and gray hairs,
I am he, I am He who will sustain you
I have made, and I will carry you;
I have made you and I will carry you.
(Isaiah 46:4, TNIV)

Have a good one :)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Do Christian Tshirts really share your faith follow up

I wrote a post with a link to an article by Dan Kimball on a man who wore an offensive t shirt Here is his follow up article and his conversation with the man and his thoughts

"End of the Spear"

If you ever wonder if a whole culture of people can change from bad to good..or if missionaries and their families make a difference..go see this movie
It's based on a true story of the Waodani tribe in Ecuador and 5 missionaries who were killed by them in the 1950's Nate Saint(one of the men who was killed) has a son Steve who went back and developed a friendship with one of the tribesmen,Mincayani, who killed his father
The impact that the wives of the missionaries had on the tribe is definitely God.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

"Finding God on Brokeback Mountain"

There's a very controversial movie out right now called "Brokeback Mountain" The movie deals with 2 men who live with the secret of homosexuality but the movie is so much more than the "gay cowboy movie" it's being labeled as. I haven't seen the movie yet but plan to I think many of the people who are condemning the movie haven't seen the movie I think the movie makes many men "uncomfortable" My friend and I were just talking about this last night How most men have to have the "obligatory" seat between them
I read the following article on the Relevant website which does an excellent job in talking about seeing God making himself known and keeping your eyes,ears and mind open for Him and what he has to teach us even in a controversial movie instead of focusing on the "sin" and condemning and judging

Finding God on Brokeback Mountain

Andrew Seely

Editor’s Note: The inclusion of this article on bespeaks not an endorsement of Brokeback Mountain, but rather a desire to fulfill the “Progressive Culture” section’s mission to encourage productive Christian discourse about significant events and movements in popular culture. Brokeback Mountain, at this point the Academy Award frontrunner and winner of four Golden Globes, certainly warrants a discussion.

Please do not boil this movie down to homosexuality. Please do not pass judgment without even seeing it. See the fact that there are great performances. See the gift of storytelling. View the beauty of God’s creation. Relate to people who have lives that are complicated. Remember that God’s love is far greater than any of us deserve.

If we give Brokeback Mountain a chance, before automatically condemning it, I think we will be surprised by its well-rounded exploration of what it means to be a human in relationship with other humans.

Some have found it easy to quickly dismiss the movie, crying foul over anti-family values and homosexual agendas. And many will simply not see it at all, regardless of the press it’s received, both good and bad. At this point it has won four Golden Globe awards—a fact that, to me at least, says the film is at least worth taking a look at.

I did see the movie. I come from a perspective of believing that God shows up in the most extraordinary places, and I believe he’s shown up in this movie. I will say, however, that the film did make me feel uncomfortable at times, as it does deal with controversial subjects. It is a period piece that deals with extremely contemporary issues.

Brokeback Mountain tells the story of two ranchhands—Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Ennis (Heath Ledger)—that have a secret homosexual affair over the course of several decades. While popularly touted as “the gay cowboy” movie, it would help to quickly get over the “gay” thing. The plot revolves around homosexual encounters, but it is far more than just that. The film is filled with emotion, discouragement, pain, security, hope, loss and love—all of which echo human experience and God’s heart. The strength of the movie is the depth of character it mines—and the acting supports this in tremendous ways. The raw, carnal, male emotion displayed in the film is something not easily drawn out of most men and even more infrequently portrayed in a major motion picture. While at times these men are confused and bewildered by their emotions, Brokeback shows a true depiction of how males do and do not deal with emotion.

The cinematography alone left me feeling the breath and scope of God’s creation. The vast rolling hills and stunning jagged mountains were enlivened on the big screen. Truly, Brokeback lives up to the title of “art house” film, as it is, quite simply, art. I’m not insinuating that we should automatically take joy in watching it. We are free to disagree with some of the lifestyle choices depicted, but I do not think we are allowed to dismiss the whole thing as Godless. In the old saying that we should view the world with a Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other, I think that the newspaper should be expanded to a number of different sources—such as TV, the internet and cinema to name a few. We need to make sure we are looking for God’s shadow even in the hardest of places.

While God doesn’t make a blatant appearance in Brokeback, except for a church-going reference and a wedding in a church, I do see God’s heart as a heart for people who struggle. All humanity struggles on some level, and God is in clear solidarity with human suffering. These men and their wives spend the entire movie trying to figure out what it means to exist with other people and trying to figure out who they are as individuals in the midst of difficult relationships. Here is where I think God shows up the most clearly. God understands broken relationships. Part of me identifies with this movie on a very deep level. It helps me express my dependence on God. It helps me to realize that the “Christian” world is just as broken as everyone else. It helps me share my hope in Christ.

It is not easy to always find how God is breaking through in a situation. It takes work and time to listen for how God is going to speak. Like Elijah on the mountain, it may not have a “Christian” label smacked on the front, or an endorsement from Focus on the Family, but God desires to make himself known to us. We have to be open to how he is going to do that.

Monday, January 16, 2006

How are you really?

After Roger's sermon yesterday, I thought this article was very appropriate and very true I am blessed to have "Jonathans" in my life who ask the second question and care what the answer is

January 16, 2006

How Are You, Really?
by John Fischer

“How are you?”


“No, how are you, really?”

A good friend will ask the second question, just as a good friend will give an answer the first time that makes the second question unnecessary.

Real friendship is all about truth-telling, and our answer to the question “How are you?” says a lot about the depth of a relationship. For many of our more casual relationships, “Fine” will do just fine. We have neither the time nor the trust established for telling more. Quite honestly, people are usually not expecting to hear more from us than this.

But all of us need someone to whom we can answer, “Not well,” when in fact that is the case. Sometimes I've tested friends with “Do you really want to know?” In other words: Do you want the truth or shall we placate each other right now?

Unfortunately, I think we get into placating each other a lot as Christians, which is unfortunate because of all people, we can be the most honest because of Christ's forgiveness and God's love which remains a constant in our lives. Still, we have gotten the idea that good Christians are always happy and on top of things, and we try and perpetuate this myth. The tragedy is that we are probably all hurting in some way, but no one knows. All it takes is one person to jump out and risk the truth to discover they were among friends and fellow-sufferers all along.

Do you find yourself saying “Fine” a lot when inside you are aching to tell the real truth? Well step out and try a “Do you really want to know?” on someone you think can handle it. You might just find out that help and empathy are closer than you thought. If being a part of the family of God is worth anything, it should be worth a few “How are you, really?”s, don't you think?

John Fischer is the Senior Writer for Purpose Driven Life Daily Devotionals. He resides in Southern California with his wife, Marti and son, Chandler. They also have two adult children, Christopher and Anne. John is a published author and popular speaker.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Faith,Truth,Doubt..not always black and white

At times I struggle I have confusion I have doubts "Am I doing the right thing?"
This past week I've asked myself that question alot There are people in my life as well as people who I don't even know that have made me ask that question We look for black and white and we get grey or in my case a mishmash of color

“ To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32

My friend Mike has a daily verse on his blog It's funny how sometimes God knows just the right verse to give me for the day and this was it today "If you hold to my teaching" His teachings all involved love and love is not black and white. I'm going to have times of doubt..that's how I grow closer to truth and "truth sets you free"

"The biblical notion of faith allows for a more fluid,messier engagement with the full human spectrum of emotions and experiences. Faith is not only when we confidently proclaim Jesus as Lord; it can also be when we can barely manage a prayer"
Winn Collier "Faith,Doubts, and a Good Vocabulary" Relevant Magazine Jan/Feb 2006

Friday, January 13, 2006

Bits and pieces of the week

This has been a long week I can honestly say TGIF even though it's the 13th :)

My week started out with saying good-bye to Kristen and Tyler..I won't see them for 2 months :(

Work was stressful..our hospital census is at the max which means my consults were 2 times normal and the patients I saw were challenging I had 2 patients in 2 days who were there because they were suicidal..sometimes it's being a listener as well as an educator
There were good parts to my week as well
3rd place - a place to "fill back up" It always gives me a "comfort" feeling like eating chicken and mashed potatoes :)to be there
Sr high girls group- We listened to "I saw the light" by David Crowder and had a good laugh at the thought of singing it at church and watching Emily dance to it as well as a good discussion on inner/outer beauty
I went shopping yesterday with Darrell and Zach Zach was finished with his exams and Darrell is off on Thursdays..we ate at PFChangs Chinese food is my least favorite and Zach's too but we gave in to Darrell because he really really wanted to eat there It didn't really change my opinion on Chinese Food..personally I like the egg rolls at China Cottage better :)
We went to Cincinnati Mills mall That is the cleanest and quietest mall I've ever been in There is a store called Steve and Barrys that has college stuff t-shirts,hats,etc for 7.98 If you're a UC fan that's the place to go They had a UD sweat jacket that I got and a Michigan sweatshirt for Zach
We found earphones at Borders for 50% off...nice ones This is definitely the time to buy

Darrell loves cooking stores We went to the Kenwood Mall and William and Sonoma had a really nice toaster on sale for 50% off so we got it plus some other small things ,collander,salt/pepper shakers, cleaning spray we like also for 50% off

The big reason we went to the Kenwood mall was to go to the Apple Store to look at computers..ours is ready to kick the bucket soon..we have like no memory left and it seriously takes like 10 min for me to log on
Darrell has always wanted an Apple computer but someone has always managed to talk him out of it but I think this time it's what he will buy The new Imacs come out at the beginnning of next week .. the laptops don't come in until Feb I thought we should go for cheaper with the mac mini but Darrell did the pricing for monitor,and extra memory and it's better to go with the Imac he says and Mike(the Apple computer expert :) agreed with him so I think that's what we'll end up with..I just don't know when :)

I watched a really good movie on video called "Crash" There are several storylines all based on the topic of racism and the storylines "crash" into each other

So there's a small look at my long week..I'm looking forward to my weekend :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Feeling blah

January is my least favorite month You have letdown from holidays,bills from holidays ,work stress,family stress,but mainly I think it's the grey skies that get to me alot of times
Sometimes I just need something to take my mind off of it (besides work) Last night I went to 3rd Place..we're starting a topic on doubts and Mike showed a highway video Some of the questions "What is life" "How are you connnected to God" " "What do you want on your tombstone" It's sad how many people out there are just going through the motions of life with no purpose,no connection to God Some of them didn't want to deal with the questions at all One man wanted "Is that all there is" on his tombstone Although I have doubts at times I have faith and that's what gets me through the tough times ,the down times,the grey skies ..and it helps to go to a group where you realize you're not the only one struggling with things and it will get better and there's others who care and are praying for you

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Do Christian Tshirts really share your faith?

I love t-shirts Ask my family If I go to a concert I always have to look at the tshirts I don't usually wear a "christian tshirt" though.. Most of them are pretty cheesy...the one that Dan Kimball shows in this post on his blog is a perfect example of one that I wouldn't wear
What would you do if you saw a person in the airport wearing a tshirt like this?

Friday, January 06, 2006

The DaVinci Code

I've been listening to the audio CD's of The DaVinci Code on my way to and from work I'm about 1/2 way through the book I love mysteries and this one is very intense The movie is coming out in May and they have the trailer out now Check it out

Thursday, January 05, 2006


I lead a small group on Wed nights for Sr high girls It's one of the highlights of my week I love to hear them talk about their thoughts,fears,dreams Last night our study was on romance I loved the following passage out of our book

"Every song you love, every memory you cherish, every moment that has moved you to holy tears has been given to you from the One who has been pursuing you from your first breath in order to win your heart. God's version of flowers, chocolates, and candelight dinners comes in the form of sunsets,falling stars, moonlight on lakes, and cricket symphonies, warm wind, swaying trees, lush garderns and fierce devotion "

God knows we all need romanced whether we are male,female,old or young so the next time you need to feel loved and romanced ,look at the stars, the flowers, the sunrises and sunsets and know you are very loved

If you want to watch "romance in action" watch the song "All I Ask of You" from the movie or play "Phantom of the Opera" :)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Advice from Brother Andrew

I read an article in Relevant Magazine's website which caught my attention Several months ago I had someone recommend to me a book called "Light Force" by Brother Andrew I remember finding it at Borders and being very interested in it but for whatever reason I didn't buy it ..probably lack of money at the time :) Anyway today I saw his name again as being interviewed by Matthew Paul Turner (whose books I love) I'm posting the latter part of the interview.. it really spoke to me
I have found that I have grown in my faith the exact way he talks's a process It's not a lightning bolt moment It's not because a church or a minister is "deeper" It's because I spend time in scripture and I take time to pray

MPT: Speaking of events Brother Andrew, can you put your finger on one event in the last five years, whether personal or in ministry, that has grown your faith?

BA: No. Because I believe faith is a process. You grow in it. You gain more knowledge when you dive into Scriptures. The more you pray, the more answers to your prayers you see. In the normal Christian life your faith grows as you go deeper in your walk with Jesus. I’ve had no “earthquake” experiences where suddenly my faith grew leaps and bounds. I don’t think that’s normal. I’m always suspicious of people who have those big experiences.

MPT: In just a few words, what’s your best advice for a young adult regarding life, faith and ministry?

BA: In your life, learn to walk with Jesus. In your faith, be real and never fake. And in your ministry, surround yourself with people who are better than you.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

"Polar bears"  Posted by Picasa

Polar Bear dip

Joe and Cindy Garland "Polar Bears" Posted by Picasa

Jan 1st marks a New Year...It also is a day for "Polar Bears"
This morning a group of us went to Caeser's Creek for our 1st Polar Bear Dip
Led by Joe Garland a group of brave souls went rushing into frigid water together
For what reason? Just because :) It created a was a "baptism" of togetherness that is done all over the United States on Jan 1st I wasn't one of the brave souls who went in the water but I videotaped the whole thing and took pictures
The ones who went in described it "like needles" when they hit the water So now we have an official "Caeser's Creek Polar Bear Club" I had to take this picture of Joe and Cindy in their matching robes and Cindy's matching ear muffs :)