Monday, October 10, 2011

A Christian, a Muslim and a Jew walk into OfficeMax

Just the other day I was working with my co worker who is a muslim. He is a very devout muslim, to the point of taking his breaks at the given times to do his rituals. We were in the office because someone else was given the supervisor job and he had wanted it. He was very upset and wanted to talk to me about it. I was trying to figure out a way to tell him that sometimes we have to be patient. Sometimes, we don't get what we want. Sometimes we have to just continue to do our best and work on what we know we fall short with. In the midst of this I looked at him and said, "you say to me all the time, "if God wills", what if God wills that at this moment of time, you are not to be promoted." He told me that he respected me for that but had to go home to take a mental day.
I left the office, short a person on a truck night, and was wondering what else could go wrong. On the contrary, it went right! I saw an old friend of mine sitting on the furniture pad, writing. He is Jewish. I pulled up a chair and took a minute to talk with him. His name is Gershon, I hope I spelled that right, he is very devout and is a poet. I have his poetry sitting in the dining room now. He is one of the most sincere men I have ever met. As I was sitting there, he asked me if I knew the meaning of Adam. I gave the common christian answer, he didn't.

He said that Adam is like FBI or CIA in hebrew. Since they don't count the vowels, it goes like this, ADM. The A is for Adam, the D is for David and the M is for Messiah. I couldn't believe what I was hearing! it was absolutely awesome! in the New testament, Jesus is considered the second Adam and He fulfills all three letters. A - He is the second Adam, D - He is from the lineage of David, M - He is the messiah. Not to mention the awesomeness of the whole trinity concept here! 3 in 1, how beautiful!!!!

This is not Joke!

Monday, September 12, 2011

an essay

When do I graduate?

Ever since we were kids, there has been a method to our madness. We started with preschool. A prep time. A time to get us ready for the real learning. We learned how to be socialable with other kids and how to eat healthy and take a nap. We abandoned all of these concepts as soon as we reached High School but that is not my point of this writing.

We then reach first Grade. We start our building blocks on which the rest of our education rested. We continued through elementary school and then to High School. When we reach the tender age of 18, we find ourselves in the position of graduating. Oh, to graduate. Our school tells us that we now have the foundation we need to continue on and do whatever we can dream of. We now have our High school diploma and we don't have to go back!

Each of us then have the choice to continue their education through college and so on. However, eventually we graduate. You might be asking what I am trying to get too. Ok, here it is.

As believers in Christ, we understand that there is no limit to what we can learn about God. We understand that our relationship with Him is an ever growing, ever deepening relationship and will continue to be thus through eternity. With that understood, however, there seems to be a graduating point in the scripture for individuals from the basics (milk) to the not so basic (meat). The growing up knowledge from when we first become believers (infant) to a person who lives and acts knowing their responsibility to Jesus and are working in the very gifting that they were blessed with (adult).

Hebrews 5:11-14 says this:

11 There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. 12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word.[c] You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. 13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. 14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

There then seems to a maturity level that all of us who claim to be christians must come to. When is this spot? How is it graded? Who is the one that decides if we are there or not?

One thing that is quite evident in this passage concerning these questions is the ability of the person to decide what is right and wrong. In fact it seems to be the deciding statement as to who is mature and who is not. Those who are still needing milk or those who have gone on to eat the meat. In the beginning Paul also refers to the fact that we should only be taking milk for so long. That we shouldn't continue to be on the milk but there is an age of a believer that they should be teaching others. He says of those he is writing to in this passage that the reason why they can't understand the more difficult things is because they are spiritually dull and don't seem to listen.


What does it mean to be spiritually dull?

I think that the answer is something we can find ourselves. I believe we all at one point of time have felt that we are spiritually dull. It goes something like this. A restlessness that won't leave. A feeling of inadequecy. A feeling in our hearts that we are not doing enough. A desire to want to learn more or dig into scripture more. Being sick of the status quo. Wanting to do more for him.

Sound familiar.

We continue to go to church on wed. and sunday nights. We continue to listen to the same teachers and same sermons. We have it told us that we need this. We need to be reminded of the basics over and over again, but when is the point that we graduate and began to teach others? When do we graduate? Isn't our job to go from the milk to the meat? Are we not suppose to go from being infants to adults? Do we need to continue to here the same messages over and over again because we are spiritually dull and hard of listening? Are we keeping ourselves in the spot or are those who claim to be our overlookers? When do we start to teach? Not because we want fame and fortune but because it says we are suppose to in scripture.

I believe that the current structure of things depends on us not graduating.

In science we learn that the body is a flowing fountain of cells. The old ones move out why the new ones are created. Isn't this the way that the body of Christ should be. The old ones moving out to teach and newer ones taking their spot. But we have the idea that big is good. We continue to hold on to the old ones for number purposes and not releasing them. I am not talking about new preachers taking older for the old ones. I am talking about each and every Christian growing to a maturity level that they are able to distinguish what is good and what is bad. We are all suppose to become teachers with our lives. Be good, patient and kind. Show people how powerful truth is by being honest with your life and others.

When do I graduate? Good question to ask for any christian.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

long time - - - no blog

As I was reading my wife's blog this morning, I realized how long it has been since I blogged. Sometimes my mind is on so many other things that I don't even think about writing or reading but just making it through that day. Sounds sad "making it through the day". Shouldn't life be more then that. I have been sick and tired, literally. My work has been exhausting. It seems, no matter how hard I work, that there are still things that are wrong. I have been the complaining board for everyone and their mother to post on at work and I am getting tired of being poked. Eve is the ultimate goal of the day. If I could just make it through the 10 to 11 hours of work to get home to her, I know I will be fine. Lately, we were watching a 5 week old for a friend and I enjoyed watching Eve be a mother. I will admit that I enjoyed being a father as well. I couldn't help but start to think about things that I love about my wife. Here are a few.......

She is caring beyond belief (like the Petra song!)
She is patient and a good listener
She is loving and kind (the way Jesus is)
She thinks of others
Eve is my best friend
She is strong and courageous
She hates evil and embraces good
Eve is insightful and knows what you are saying, even when you don't have the words

I could go on and on and on but this blog would end up to long. If you are someone who is reading this post who knows my wife, feel free to enter in some qualities that you see in her as well. I love you Eve

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A place I have gone wrong.....but now I am going to do right

Romans 12:14-16"...Laugh with your happy friends when they're happy; share tears when they're down. Get along with each other; don't be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don't be the great somebody."
When I was interning at my first church, I remember very vividly how my down days would go. The pastor's wife there, whatever good intention she had, would see that I was down and tell me I had to not let my emotions rule me but I was to rule my emotions. She would then advise me to put on church music and worship my way out of it. She had a very caring spirit but here is where I believe this scripture comes into play and where she was wrong.
What is it saying when we say we need to worship our way out of sadness? Logic would tells us then that sadness is bad. Is sadness bad? NO. It is an emotion that God gave us. In fact, in this specific scripture, God tells us to be sad with those who are sad. We are not to force our way out, OR TELL OTHERS TO DO IT, but we are to get down with them. I am reminded while I type about scenes in the old testament where someone's family member has died. They would rip their beard and tear their robe and fall down to the dust. They would literally pour the dirt over their heads in anguish. Think about the symbolism here. To them they believed the creation story, where we came from dust. Obviously rolling around in it would remind us that that is where we came and that is where we will go. To help us understand that death happens, doesn't totally cure our mourning but it does take the sting out a little. Also, the beard was a sign of pride, the longer the beard, the better the man. To actually pluck out your beard, I can't imagine, is to say you are nothing. God gives and God takes away. It is a sign of saying that you are not in control.
I seem to be ranting. What I mean is this. When you see a person falling to their knees and ripping out their beard and throwing dirt on their face. Don't pull them up and slap them and tell them to get it together. Get down on the ground, rip out your beard and start throwing dust on your own head. Show them that you understand or that you want to understand, that is a true friend.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Am I willing to jump.......?

I have studied many times
The marble which was chiseled for me-
A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.
In truth it pictures not my destination
But my life.
For love was offered me, and I shrank from its disillusionment;
Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid
Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.
Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life
And now I know that we must lift the sail
And catch the winds of destiny
Wherever they drive the boat.
To put meaning in one's life may end in madness,
But life without meaning is the torture
Of restlessness and vague desire-
It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.
(Edgar Lee Masters)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chapter 1

verse 5
"Through him and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith."

"Obedience the comes from faith" This phrase is very interesting and is setting up the whole letter of Romans for what it is. A message that says our faith comes not of works but grace. Paul is saying in this simple line that the school teacher is not needed anymore. The law is not needed anymore. Obedience can and must come through someone's faith. They can try to follow rules and regulations all they want but it will lead to nothing but condemnation and guilt. Because that is what the law was made for. It was made to show us how guilty we are but Grace happened to show us how (despite of all sins) accepted we are.

The other day I was helping our print center at work print a banner that said "Revival Fire or Ruin" I looked at the associate I was helping and said "They would probably get more people to stop at their booth if they said 'Grace greater then all my sin' The law is very dangerous in the hands of the breakers. It will, more often then not, be used to build a fake cast system. This system is not based on truth at all but hidden lies. The people at the top of the cast system are just as bad as those they say are at the bottom but they are better at hiding it. Their motives in some way might seem good to them but the result is not freedom.

The idea of 'Obedience by Faith' says that when we accept Christ by faith and realize what He has done for us, then we are filled with a desire, passion and love for others. What were those two commandments again......? Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself. By doing this you fulfill all other commandments.

A study in Romans

Before I start this study in Romans. I want to invite feedback, comments and thoughts. There is no corner on the Bible but God Himself.

You will have to look hard for a Bible that does not contain chapters and verses. However, the first Bible did not. The New Testament is compiled by letters and these letters were written to believers. That is very important to remember. They were not written to non-believing heads of state, just believers. I want to study more in depth Chapter 1 but before I do, I want to clarify. Remembering that there is no chapters or verses, we need to not take this chapter out of context. The beginning clarifies that Paul is writing to Christians, please keep this in mind. Because of verses and chapters, we (Christians) like to compartmentalize verses. Each verse in each chapter is meant to compliment the other. It is much like notes in music. By themselves, they make just a sound but put together they make MUSIC!

The history of the use of Chapter one is to define non-believers. Those who are of the world. Preachers use this on Sunday morning to show what people of the world look like. Unfortunately, they also use it to enforce their view to their congregations on homosexuality. In many situations it ends up degrading a person in such a lifestyle and making it seem as if they are leprous. This is one of the main reasons why I talk about chapters and verses not being there. Many of these preachers do not continue preaching on Chapter 2. All you have to do is read the first two verses and you will see what I mean.

The idea Paul is trying to get across is that we are all sinners. Not to condemn but to help people understand that we are not alone. We are in this together and together we are strong. More on this later.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A poem

You might not think my story is familiar
but please read more
I grew up as a slave
A slave with no cage
my master went by the name "man pleaser"
he promised me love
he promised me acceptance
he promised me a home
a place of comfort
where I would be taken care of
but he lied
I was abused
I was stripped of my innocence
I was taken advantage of
I was told, this is what you do to survive

When I started to see
they told me I was blind
when I started to know
they told me I was stupid
when I started to hear
they told me I was deaf
when I started
they told me not to finish

Walking has become easier
one row of chain at a time
first, the truth
second, the guilt
third, the hurt
one at a time
then i started to run
running became easier
with no burden on my shoulder
there were others running beside me
grabbing my hands
at first I didn't understand what they were saying
so I started to listen closer
in soft whispers and then in loud voices
they said "spread your wings"
I looked and couldn't believe it
where did these wings come from
they told me I had them all the long
I was born with them
They said I was born to fly

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Paul Bunyan and Jesse's yellow foot

Deep in the heart of Wisconsin there is a place called Paul Bunyan's pancake house. It's a monster of a building, just like the man. A log cabin that seems like it stretches forever. Inside of the building is a picnic table that runs the whole length. It is here where you sit. It is here where you eat. It is here where you eat like a logger from the bygone days. It was also here that my brother's foot turned yellow.

We had pulled up to Paul Bunyan's with logger appetites. We were so hungry. We were very accustomed to eating pancakes. When I was a kid, my dad would make pancakes for us in the morning. He would top off your plate with 3 of them and when you weren't looking, he would add three more. I never could tell how many pancakes I ate when he cooked, I just simply lost count. My brother and I were so hungry when we got there that we didn't hear dad tell us to watch the yellow lines. That's not logger talk, if your wondering. They were painting the yellow lines in the parking lot.

When you walked into the building, there was wood everywhere. Wood walls, wood counters, wood ceilings and wood floors. Beautiful coated wood floors. You could see your face in them. We were greeted by the hostess at the end of the gift shop and we soon found ourselves seated at the long picnic table, eating to our hearts content.

Afterwards, we started roaming through the gift shop, looking to bring some key chain or postcard back from our trip and we came across 4 waiters and waitresses scraping the floor. My dad laughed and said "oops, someone stepped on the yellow line" It was after about 5 minutes that my brother came over to me and whispered into my ear "we need to get out of here and we need to go now" I looked at him like he was crazy, then he lifted his shoe. We slowly walked over to my dad and told him we had to leave. He didn't buy a postcard.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

An hour and a half to brew one pot of coffee!

An hour and a half to brew one pot of coffee! You might think that this to long to wait for a cup of coffee. Let me explain.........

Our coffee maker broke down a week ago. Yes, a week ago!!!!!! However, since the money is slim, we had to wait. Well, today, we decided to buy one. I did some research on line and found what I thought to be the cheapest but not too cheap coffee maker. The plan was simple. I was to drop Eve off at Aldi where she was to pick up the essential vegetables and I was to go to Kmart to get the coffee maker.

I got to the coffee maker aisle and started to look at all the different coffee machines and found an even better buy! This was a Black and Decker coffee machine that had a pot that felt good to hold. You know what I speak of. There are those pots that are so cheap that you feel it. I was also in Luck because the maker was only 19.99! ON SALE! How could I go wrong............
they had none in stock.

I proceeded to try to find an associate, and proceeded, and proceeded until at last I found one. I was hoping to capture his pot of gold but I digress. I asked him if on the shelf was the only stock they had for the coffee pots. He said he thought so. I told him I was looking for the Black and Decker that was on sale. He told me he would be back and a couple minutes later came with a telxon gun. I was wondering what he was going to do with it since Kmart labels don't have scan bars. He proceeded to FAKE SCAN the label. FAKE SCAN!!!!!! I didn't mention to him that I have worked 13 years in retail and use one of these guns every day. He said "it's not reading" I said "the numbers are printed on the label" He then proceeded to take his cell phone out and take a picture. He told me he would have to check the main computer. 5 minutes later he came back to tell me that they had 5 in stock. "Where are they?" I said, "I will have to talk to a manager" was the reply. While waiting for him to find a manager, which I know from experience takes awile, I walked further down the aisle and low and behold, right in front of my eyes, was a top of the line Hamilton Beach coffee maker on CLEARANCE for only 4 dollars more!

An hour and a half later, I am enjoying the best tasting cup of coffee in a long time.
The lesson............we think we know what we want, we go to get it, we face trials and tribulations, we become discouraged, we search for an answer, find something we didn't even expect, it is actually better then what we planned and in the end we come out smelling like fresh brewed French Roast.
God Bless

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

because I am not enough

I read somewhere that today will bring trials
That I would face temptation
I heard that I would find troubles
come face to face with tribulation
I saw that I would need patience
and the strength that God gives
because mine was not enough

I read somewhere that today will bring joy
That at some moment I would smile
I heard laughter would fill MY heart
and stay for awhile
I saw that I could hope, that I could dream,
that I could love
because He is enough

I read somewhere that I have the victory
That it is I who will win
I heard the trumpet sound the entrance
and my march was to begin
I saw all those that shared my trials
and gave me strength to overcome
because mine was not enough

I read somewhere that I will rest
my breathing will become light
I heard that I will be avenged
and all will be made right
I saw the seat that brings judgement
but also righteousness flowed from its throne
because mine was not enough

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Break Down

My lawn mower broke down in the middle of mowing yesterday. I tried to fix it but it was getting dark and harder to see. I had to give up. I then proceeded to think about how I have two mowers that are both broke down, a car in the driveway that's broke down and if you could believe it or not, I broke down. It was like I blew a gasget. I started swearing at the lawn mower. Swearing! I barely ever swear. I made sure to slam the door on my way in and then started to complain to my wife about everything that is going wrong with the vehicle and the lawn mowers. I was surely in the pit all night. I called a friend later last night to get his address and started to talk to him about what I was frustrated with.

Here's the funny thing. All night, when I wanted to have my own pity party, about all the things that were going wrong. It was like the Lord kept reminding me of my wife. How could I really have it that bad when I have Eve. Like the stubborn Judy man that I am, I continued to force the pity upon myself even though I didn't have a leg to stand on but I did ruin what could have been a great night with my wife. I could have enjoyed conversation being guilt free from how long the lawn was because the mower was broken. I had an excuse to spend more time with Eve and I squandered it in unearned self pity.

Just goes to show ya.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Colossians 1

We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less.

There are thousands of pastors and priests. Evangelists and missionaries. Monks and nuns. Professors and teachers. All of them to some degree having had some schooling. They attended some college or internship to learn how to do their positions. They might even have had to pay thousands of dollars to get their degree. The question I am proposing is “For What”?

The gospel is simple. To simple for some. There are those who struggle and might even not accept it because it sounds to simple. This is why scripture says that it is a stumbling block to the well learned. The gospel was so simple that Jesus entrusted it with fisherman and tax collectors and prostitutes. No pharisee was part of the 12. No king or priest. Just the unlearned. Those who had been rejected. Those who were not considered as the wise.

It is quit certain if you look throughout history that it doesn't take 4 years of college to be one who understands the mystery of God. That mystery being Christ! It is no kept secret. God makes it available to those who are closest to His heart. The poor!

Diplomas are for walls. Education is for respect. College is for profession. Profession is for stability. The idea of college for those who would like to be in ministry is to bring validity to them being paid for what they do. Why would you pay thousands of dollars to go to a college where you learn to minister to people for free and never be able to pay it back? Is Christianity a profession? Here, I believe, we have gone awfully wrong. Hurting people, the poor, the stranger, the widow, and the orphan don't need educated answers. They need LOVE! No matter what kind of answer you give me, you could never convince me that you could learn Love at a college. No matter what kind of college it is. Shall I quote 1 Corinthians 13 here or refrain? It is time that we start dealing with this issue as the church. It is time that we stop paying people to do the work for us. That is what we are doing, aren't we?

We will go on living our lives the way we want to and feel good about it, as long as we pay our tithe, which in turn pays the pastor so he can go and visit the sick in the hospital and prepare a message for Sunday and read and pray for the rest of us because we just don't have the time. What a great arrangement. We pay money so that we don't have to be spiritual all the time! Shall we flip the coin over? The pastor continues to preach every sunday messages that challenge the congregation to become more spiritual. To read their bible more and to pray more. He sees that they are not doing it as much as they should so he continues to validate in his mind the importance of them paying him. They need someone to watch over them. They are children and he the nanny. This silent agreement happens twice a week all across America. They are satisfied with the status quo. The people expecting the minister to be spiritual because they pay him and the minister expecting the people to be ignorant because they pay him. This, I don't believe is right and it is time for God's people, His body, to grow up.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


To invite someone into your home is to invite them into your life.
This picture is a picture of my grandparents. I think the world of my Grandpa and Grandma. My Grandpa passed away a couple of years back and my Grandma still lives in the Winona area. If hospitality had a name it would be Charlie and Eleanor Judy. My Grandpa use to tell me stories of when they lived in South Dakota. If there was anyone in need, they knew they could go to their home and they would help as best they could. The Native American culture in that area was devastated by alcohol. There were many times that my Grandpa would find them passed out in the ditch. He would pick them up and take them home. My Grandma would make sure that they had something to eat and that they had a place to stay if they had to. There were many stories of when they would just show up at Grandma and Grandpa's door for food and shelter.

I remember when I visited my Grandpa one of the last times in the hospital. I was concerned with his salvation. At the time I was caught up in works and naively thought that if someone didn't go to church, then they weren't saved. I remember asking my Grandpa if he believed in Jesus and had accepted what He did for him. He looked at me and said, "The Good Lord has been with me for a long time, Adam"

My wife and I just finished a stretch of time where we had many people staying at our home. We shared meals together. We shared laughter, anger and sadness. I think about Jesus and the ministry He had for others. In fact, even now, I recall very few times where Jesus was ministering to people in the temple and many times where He was at the table. Jesus lived a life of meeting the needs of those around Him. Food and Friendship.

How have we confused this with services and sermons? My Grandpa had a relationship with Jesus. Not by his extensive knowledge in scripture or his faithfulness to a denomination but his willingness to not turn away the hungry, naked or homeless. He cared for the stranger. He in no way was perfect but understood the needs of those around him and desired to meet that need. I thought that I had it down what it was like to have a relationship with Jesus but I am finding myself starting all over again. It's much sweeter this time!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Grace, Grace and more Grace

Lately I have been very exhausted from work. Parched really. Last night I had a little refreshment from the Lord. I had decided to give the guys I was closing with that night a break right after I closed the doors. I started to talk to one of them about God's grace. How I was thankful that I don't have to jump through hoops anymore to get acceptance from Him. I never did really. It was me who had put these unbearable burdens on my shoulders. He was like a friend constantly asking me if he could take them off. I for some reason thought that they were some kind of covering. I thought that if he was to take away my works that he wouldn't love me anymore. I was afraid that he would see my weaknesses. Why didn't I understand that He already did? I didn't understand what scripture meant when it says that in our weakness we are strong. Why are we so afraid of being weak? Our culture has made things that are the key to relationships, weak things. Sensitivity, emotions, caring, honesty and truth. No wonder so many marriages struggle. Men think that they have to be strong not weak. So they show no sensitivity or emotions. They decide not to have a conversation about things that they struggled with when they were young. Men don't cry. Men don't cry! On the contrary, what which our culture considers weak, is the very thing that makes a marriage or a person strong. My wife knows me! My God knows me! and they both Love me! It is the sharing of my weakness that makes me strong. I served on staff at churches for 12 years and didn't understand the most basic principle of Christianity. GRACE You and I don't need to do anything to get Jesus to love us. He already does and He sees our weakness as our strengths, not a burden. We are to rejoice in this Grace and in our weakness!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A husband's thoughts

This is the verse today on Biblegateway;

“Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ's love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They're really doing themselves a favor—since they're already "one" in marriage.” Ephesians 5:25-26 MSG

I remember talking to a dear friend of mine. It was a cold night in a cab of a truck. We were both plowing/shoveling snow to make some extra money. We had a 2 liter of Mountain Dew between us so that we could stay awake and he was talking about moving. You see, him and his wife, were going to be having a baby and his wife wanted to move closer to her family which was all the way on the west coast. His family lived here, in the midwest.

He had asked me what I would do in this situation and I mentioned that if I was him, I would move. He looked surprised. I said that this woman is going to be by your side for the rest of your life. You are not just sharing a bed with her but you are sharing yourself. What you do for her, you are doing for yourself.

I remember after I was just married that my friends would say that I was "whipped". They were mad because we didn't get to hang out anymore. I didn't want to disappoint my friends but now I had this beautiful person, that just vowed her life to me, wanting to be by my side. I chose my wife! And it was the best decision I have ever made. Jason, Tim, Mike, Billy and all those other guys couldn't hold a candle to my wife. I am thankful for the brotherhood (which carries on in its own way) that God had for that time but I am most thankful for God giving me someone as wonderful and beautiful as my wife. I know that sometimes I fall short of this scripture. I also know that I am not perfect. But I do know that my marriage is a perfect marriage, not because we do nothing wrong, but because it was meant to be.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Love and Fear

1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

I was thinking about this verse yesterday. Do I do the things I do in LOVE or in FEAR. Even the little things. What we say or decide to do throughout the day. When we walk by things that we can do but leave for another person, is that action in love or in fear. You might say, How would something like that be in fear? One example is that you might be afraid that you are going to do it wrong. Love pleads another case. Love would stop and do it. I know that sounds simple.

Another example of love and fear is in the words we say. This has become more and more evident since my wife and I started our honest crusade. I actually just coined that now but its true. When you decide to be honest, it becomes hard. Truth really is a narrow road. Are we honest with those in our family about the things they do that hurt us. They might not be doing it on purpose but it still doesn't change the fact that it is hurtful. Or do we fear their retaliation. Do we fear that they will not love us anymore. Many times we are weighing in our minds the cost of the truth or a lie, honesty to deception. That is what it means to lie, don't fool yourself. To lie is to deceive. You are deciding in your mind if you would rather tell the truth to the person you are talking to or you are deciding to deceive them. In the end, if we decide deception, we don't realize that our whole relationship is based on a lie. Even if it was little and that lie was rooted in Fear. That is why Jesus said "The Truth Shall Set You Free!" Free from false relationships, false religion, and false self. Free from the fear of what people think of you because you are honest. This is what makes Jesus Love for us so awesome. He loves us even though He knows the honest self. We come before Him as if we were still in Eden. Fully naked (nothing to hide behind) and Fully honest! He knew this even when He decided to die! Awesome!

Monday, June 13, 2011

How much time did you spend with God today?

Yesterday we had our family over to eat. It was a wonderful time because of so many things but there was one specific thing that caught my attention. So many times in the past we had all sat down and prayed before we started eating but for some reason I just sat down and started. This, however, did not go unnoticed! My nieces, who are 10, came into the room and saw their Dad and me eating from our plates and asked in a very adult tone, "Did you guys pray yet?" I simply replied "I have a prayer for this one, Bless this food upon our plates, and all the food Adam already ate!"

Everyone laughed and went on with their meal but I started to think. My nieces had no idea what they were doing but unknowingly they were acting out what we do all the time as believers. "Gotchya" HaHa, you thought you could get away, you didn't pray before your meal. As I thought about this through the day, I started to say to people, "No Guilt in this House" We have this set of rules in our heads that people have to follow to be Christians......
Go to Church
Read your Bible
Pray before your meal
Raise your hands in worship
Take Sunday off from work
Have a quiet time in the morning
Send your Kids to camp

Did I miss any?

What would happen if we didn't do these things. Would this stop us from being Christian. What if all we did was trust Christ and what He did on the cross and go on and live our lives telling others about it just by the way we lived. What if someone accepted Christ and never stepped into a church, never had a quiet time, never raise their hands in worship, never tithed (God forbid). What if? That's my question. It says that we are not saved by works, lest any of us should boast or be proud. Isn't that what we have done. We grade what makes a good Christian by the amount of laws they follow. I don't follow any of these. What does that make me? What does that make me?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Slow life Movement

My wife and I have been part of the slow life movement for about a year now. Over that period of time we have discovered a lot of gems. Here are some of them.......
1. Eating at home.
This is quit amazing if you think about it. You would think that you don't have time to eat at home. Let me take some time to make an argument for this. The average american eats out 3-4 times a week. 25% of americans eat fast food 200 times a year. The average cost per person to eat out at a restaurant is $12 and the average cost per person to eat out at fast food is 4-6 dollars. With that said, considering that you might not be a coupon cutter, the average cost per person to eat at home is a little under $2! That number is a little conservative considering some of the sites I looked at said under $1. Ok, so here we go............

The 25% of americans who eat at fast food (family size of 3) spend $3000 a year on fast food when if they ate at home they would have spent 1,800, which would have saved them 1,200 dollars!
The average family who eats out other then fast food spend an average of $5184 a year when if they ate at home spent 1800, which would have saved them $3384!
These numbers don't even include the gas prices for driving to these places, wear and tear on your vehicle or the health risks from eating all the greasy and fried foods.

Although these numbers don't justify one of the family members going from Full time to part time, they make a good argument for what we are spending our money on. The idea that going to a fast food restaurant is fast and cheap is totally bogus. Who gives us that idea anyways. I will tell you, the fast food joints! It's like believing a certain uncle is your favorite because he told you so. Eating at home allow time because you don't have to make so much money and besides, it is a great time to get to know the ones you love better!

2. Minimize......
If you look at my wife's blog ( you will see photo's of our house and some of the steps that we have taken to minimize. So what does minimizing have to do with the slow life movement. Clutter = Chaos! the Phrase "cleanliness is next to godliness" did not come from scripture but relates to a tried and true belief that when things are where they are suppose to be, there is peace. Besides it literally slows you down to have a clean house because when my mother (who works in the same town we live) calls and says she is coming over for a cup of coffee, instead of freaking out and busting a move for over an hour in a frantic mode, you can just say yes and maybe just do some light vacuming or a load of dishes before she gets there.

those are just some examples of the slow life movement. Hope you enjoyed and find ways of your own to slow your life down.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

You never out-trick a clown!

When I was a kid, my dad, took my brother and I to Wisconsin Dells. If you don't know what Wisconsin Dells is, let me explain. It is the Disney World of the Midwest. Driving through Wisconsin you will see billboards posted randomly with names like Noah's Ark, Mt. Olympus and Zues! No explanation, no directions, almost as if you should know what it is and how to get there! One of the attractions at Wisconsin Dells is the circus. We didn't go to the circus till the end of the week but when we first pulled into town we stopped at the gas station and I had one of the strangest encounters I had ever had. A random man came up to me and stuck his hand out to shake. I looked at him and didn't at first stick out my hand but my dad told me I should and that it was polite. After taking the stranger's hand he started to move it back and forth like a we were at each end of a saw. He proceeded to tell me it was a lumberman's handshake and showed me about 8 more. I showed my brother and we went wild with inventing our own. At the end of the week we were sitting at the circus and a clown came up to me. He stuck out his hand and when I took it, he started to do the Lumberman's handshake. I put two and two together. The man at the gas station and the clown in front of me were the same, except I had about 20 more then he did. He had forgotten all about me and soon realized that I had beat him at his own game. The sense of victory overwhelmed me and I held my head high, until.....................the clown had a pie to throw or.....................water to shoot out of a gun or.....................whip cream to spray. Thus the title of my blog.....................You never out-trick a clown!

I hope this made you laugh. Some people have told me I laugh to much but I don't think you could ever have enough of the feeling. It seems to me that God has designed the laugh with such power that we, for a moment of time, forget all thats bad.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Beautiful Saturday

So I finally was able to access my blogger account! That is not why I think that today is a beautiful Saturday, however, it adds to making the day a little sweeter. Like adding a extra spoon of sugar to your tea!

I cleaned out the garage today some more and hung up party lights for my nieces. We set up a table with chairs and brought out all the board games to the garage. I have been thinking a lot of when the scripture says that we are to be like one of these. Children I mean. I was always taught that it was because they were so innocent, that they accepted God so easily.

Their not so innocent.

Children are just a susceptible to the passions of adults. I watched as my two nieces went through emotions like anger, jealousy, loneliness but also being happy and laughing.

There was one thing that I noticed that separated me and them however, that maybe Jesus was talking about. If they needed a ride somewhere, I had to take them. When they were ready to eat lunch, it was Eve that made it for them. They were completely dependent on me. They had not grown to a certain age where they could do it on their own.

I think Jesus may have been saying that I need to be completely dependent on Him. It sounds simple and people might even say that it was useless writing that sentence. But here is a question. How many times do you ask God for something that is within your own power to get. We grow up. We work hard. We buy all our food from the freezer section at the grocery store and completely forget about God's bounty. God's bounty, what is that? That is the food that we eat. Yes, you did not create the cow. I did not create the chicken. These things that I think I worked for and I earned come completely from the hand of God and I find myself as a child before Him because I realize that it doesn't matter how hard I work, it is all a gift.

To become like a child maybe realizing that we still need someone to feed us and to care for us. We still need someone to put a band-aid on our cuts.
We still need someone to tell us "Everything is going to be Ok"
Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose"
We still need someone to tell us that we can do this, that we are strong enough.
Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me"

We still need someone.

Monday, May 23, 2011

work, work and more work!

So it has been some days since I have been able to sit down and blog. That means it has been some days since I have been able to sit and think about things that matter to me. I figured I would just write down some thoughts that I have been having about certain things.

One of the "things" that I have been thinking about is the perception of the believer. Not what they perceive of themselves but what others perceive around them. One of the reasons I have been thinking about this is the blogging that my wife and her friend Jenny have been doing. If you were to look back on all the blogs that they have typed, you would see, that they were brutally honest with themselves and you could trace not only the wrongs done to them but maybe areas where they have gone wrong themselves. That is what brings me to my present thoughts of perception.

No one, from reading their posts, would have the perception that they had a perfect childhood. The past is layed out in front of you. You see what they had to go through. However, you also see the strength that they have gained from their trials and their ability to overcome, even though it was one step at a time, all of them.

This is what brings me to the perception of believers. I think that a vast majority of believers would not want their (true) lives posted on a blog. Not censored! If you would be honest with yourself, you might realize what I am talking about here. Perception of people is a huge contributor to what we do. Sometimes what we eat, wear our hair, our clothes, what music we listen to. It becons back to elementary school where we are taught about peer pressure.

My view is that the perception of the believer is taught wrong in a majority of our churches. We are taught that the Christian is to be good. That is true but it is taught in such a way that we eliminate all the bad things in our past and censor what we let people know so that we can "look good".

Looking good and being good are two different things. More on this later.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The middle child

Thank you Jenny for your post. I have been thinking this morning about what you said. I have just finished talking to Eve and decided to come out into the morning sunshine and slight breeze. I think it could be entirely possible that pretty much my whole life I have been reactionary. One who reacts to life. A person who waits for life to happen and then reacts to it. I don't know if I am saying it right. There have been some things (this is probably why they are so important to me) that I have been proactive with. I was proactive first with Jesus. I didn't wait for Him to happen to me, I took Him the first chance I had. My childhood was (in light of you and Eve) very good. I had not faced any major problems before I was 16 but something in my spirit said, jump, when he spoke to me. I was proactive with Eve (granted I was a little clueless at first) but when she confessed her love for me I couldn't help but get engaged as fast as I could and made it known to my pastor and his wife that it was going to happen no matter what they said. These are the two things that matter the most to me in the world.

To give an example of being reactive and what I mean by it. I was 12 when my parents divorced. I did nothing but tell myself that it was going to be ok and don't remember crying that much. I tried to show my dad I was tough and wise and my mom that I was sensitive. I waited for it to happen and planned how I was going to handle it afterwords. Not that I could have done much, it was deeper then a 12 year old can imagine but its what I did all the same. When I was on staff at the two churches we served at, I was always reactionary. I waited for them to say jump and then I would. I am afraid to be a failure. I am afraid to let those I love down. I am afraid that they will not think that I am wise and strong and sensitive. All things that I deem as noble qualities and ones that a man of God should have. This has in essence tamed my spirit. It has bridled this horse. Even now as I type. I feel I hesitate from typing because who would want to hear, who would want to read? The sex trafficking blog is easy because it is a noble purpose I can be sure of. I don't cause ripples in the water, I wait for the person to throw a rock and point them out, discuss why they did and what will be the results of the rock they threw.

I can see why you and Eve do this! It really helps you to understand yourself. Thank you both.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

#5 of 10

5. Get involved in local organizations fighting the sex trade. While money is a great help for non-profit organizations, hands and feet are better. Get together with your family and friends and work out a time budget. How much time are you willing and able to donate to your local organization. Unless you have worked with a non-profit before you might not understand how hard it is to fill a position with another volunteer if you were to cancel. Be realistic in the time frames you commit too and your local organization will be grateful. (see Mission 21's website for a comprehensive list of organizations)

The time thing is big! It can cause alot of stress for those who are putting together things to have someone commit and then back out. Really pray about how much time you can give and always be honest with those heading the project up, they will appreciate that much more then false promises.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

#4 of 10 (things to do to stop Sex Trafficking)

    4. Support new or better state and local anti-trafficking laws. Many states already have anti-trafficking laws, but some don't. Check to see if there are anti-trafficking laws in your state. Help strengthen state and local laws in your area by contacting your Governor, Senator or Representative. As a voter (or soon-to-be voter), you have the power to demand your representatives follow an abolitionist agenda. And remember, many voices asking for the same changes are powerful- consider a letter-writing campaign.

This is becoming more and more talked about in our government. We need to be involved in grass root of this. To just pass some laws does nothing but to be continually involved in the abolishment of sex trafficking does!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

#3 of 10 (things to do to Stop Sex Trafficking)

    3. Oppose the commercial sex industry, including prostitution, escort services, strip clubs, pornography and the "pimp n ho" culture. Sex trafficking victims can be found in all areas of the commercial sex industry, and demand for commercial sex makes the business lucrative for traffickers and motivates them to enslave more victims. Have bachelor and bachelorette parties at non-traditional (commercial sex-free) venues. Refuse to watch pornography and encourage friends to do the same. When fewer people buy commercial sex, traffickers have less incentive to force women and children to meet the demand.

Sex trafficking is a business. In order for a business to stay "in business", they need customers. In other words, if there are no customers then they won't have a business. Basic Capitalism 101. I wonder how many people involved in bachelor or bachelorette parties really understand what they are doing. Where did this tradition come from anyways? I would really like to know. It makes no logical sense what so ever. Tell me if this make sense. 2 people get engaged and because of that very fact it warrants them to have a party where they oogle someone of the opposite sex strip in celebration of soon making a vow to be faithful to one another for the rest of their lives. I am not judging you if thought this was ok before, but now you know the truth and I hope you won't do it again. Thanks

Matthew 5:27
You have heard the commandment that says "You must not commit adultery." But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Strong words - Strong message - Strong God!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

#2 out of 10 you can do to stop Sex Trafficking

    2. Host a fundraiser for a local anti-trafficking nonprofit. While donating individually to the causes you support is great, there are many ways to take a small amount of money and turn it into a much larger amount for bigger impact. Instead of making a direct donation, try buying supplies for a bake sale or car wash and donate the proceeds, or recruit your friends to match your donation amount. Don't be afraid to think outside the box.

    This is no. 2 of 10. I want to stress to not be afraid to think outside of the Box. Sex Trafficking is only second to drugs as an organized crime. This is something that is not talked about and should be. Having fundraisers gets the word out and makes people talk. That's what we want!

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Poem

If I was a born again as an animal
It would be a Horse.
A Wild Horse
built to endure and
Overcome the odds.
and stubborn
about that which is good and wholesome.
meant to be
but FREE!
Graceful and Strong
A Horse I
Would BE!

I wrote this the night of my vision from the Lord. As I was sitting in the pew.
When I got home that very night, I read this......

Job 39:19
"Have you given the horse its strength
or clothed its neck with a flowing mane?
Did you give it the ability to leap like a locust?
Its majestic snorting is terrifying!
It paws the earth and rejoices in its strength
when it charges out to battle.
It laughs at fear and is unafraid.
It does not run from the sword.
The arrows rattle against it,
and the spear and javelin flash.
It paws the ground fiercely
and rushes forward into battle when
the ram's horn blows.
It snorts at the sound of the horn.
It senses the battle in the distance.
It quivers at the captain's commands and
the noise of battle."

Sex Trafficking!

So my wife and I have been involved with a group called Mission 21. Their goal (which has now become one of ours) is to stop the sex trade. I have put together a list of the Top 10 things you can do to stop the sex trade and I will post them one at a time, so as not to overwhelm you.

    1. Throw a Viewing Party. Educate yourself others about human trafficking by inviting your family and friends to watch a film on human trafficking and discuss the issue. A film, either a documentary or fictional story, is a great way to introduce people to the issue because it helps them connect visually and emotionally to the victims. A film will also provide some topics for discussion.

Awhile ago, Eve and I, watched "Amazing Grace" with our nieces and opened it up to discussion afterwords. It was wonderful and they were only 9. Obviously you want to keep it G rated with the younger crowd but anything you can do to help awareness. The average age of girls forced into the sex trade is 13!

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Isaac - (leans over and licks Logan's cheek)
Logan - Ewww! That's gross Isaac. You're going to make me sick.
Isaac - I just wanted to play with you
Logan - You can't just lick my cheek, you're going to make me sick and if I'm sick you can't play with me.

That was for my sister. She mentioned yesterday that she should blog about her kids.

Matthew 19:14
"But Jesus said, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children."

Isn't it funny how we think it belongs to adults.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


The scriptures tell us not to be anxious about anything.....

I know we know what that means. Why is it so hard to apply?

I am in a situation in my life right now where I don't know where I am going to live in the near future. What I am going to do. I have been feeling very anxious about this. However, this morning, I was thinking about how at any time in my life, no matter what is happening, I still don't know where I am going to live, work or do. There has never been a moment in my life where I knew the future. Each moment is as unstable as the next.

Naturally, with that kind of revelation, it should highten my anxiety, but it soothes me. It soothes me because I can see the hand of God in every situation.

Have we fooled ourselves to think that if we have a full time job, house, and a nice car that we have rid ourselves of anxiety. That we have rid ourselves of problems. Ironically, I feel better in my spiritual walk now then I did when I had these things. There is something to say about losing everything, about losing the unhealthy attachment to things.

........but in everything in prayers and petitions let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The simple things in life

Lets not complicate life...............Here are some simple things
Coffee with a friend
the sunshine
a good dog
2 good dogs
a conversation on the porch
a picnic
a campfire
picking weeds in the garden
walking on the train tracks
skipping rocks
a nature hike with your nieces
a Sherlock Holmes story

I tried to keep this list as accessible to anyone, however, I would like to add spending time with my wife:)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Meaning of a Vision

Some time ago my wife and I were worshiping with other believers and I was just standing still with my eyes closed. My desire was for the Lord to show me how to worship, I had been part of church for so long that I wanted to renew what it was like to be church. I had been part of worship for so long that I wanted to renew what it was like "to worship".

During this time of waiting on the Lord, I received this vision. My eyes were closed and I was concentrating on the Lord and I saw when I tipped my head down that my chest was the chest of a Horse. Sweat was moving down over the muscles as they were twitching. I was not standing, but running as fast as I can. I could feel the air flowing through my mane and every step with the earth was like I was part of it. The earth was moving by at a pace so fast I could only see the blur of the tall grass that I was running through.

I felt so free! I was just starting to enjoy that freedom when I suddenly came upon a big cliff. I stopped dead in my tracks. For a moment I hesitated. Then, almost not even knowing why I did it, it was almost like something drove me to turn around, ride back for a couple hundred yards and take another shot. THIS TIME I JUMPED! I could feel myself in the air for what seemed like eternity and then I felt a sharp thud. The sound of a hoof meeting dirt hit my ears and at the time I felt that I made it to the other side.

For weeks after I felt that this vision had to do with me. This morning when I woke up, I realized that I was pursuing something and compassion was that uncontrollable desire that turned me around and pushed me to jump.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Getting Ripe

When my wife and I had left organized religion, I have to admit that I was a very bitter person. My middle child came out among those that I knew and my desire to please everyone kept a smile on my face when their was only anger in my heart. I had become bitter and restless, not knowing what God had wanted of me, just what he didn't.

I just was thinking of how fruit ripens......what it tastes like in the early stages.....that it has to go through those stages......before it gets just right. I don't know if I am just right yet but I am happy to say that the bitterness is going away slowly but surely. I know in my heart that the day will come that I will be "Just Right" but I can take comfort that it wasn't wrong for me to be bitter and angry, it was NEEDED!