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 (www.letthefreedomcontinue.blogspot.com) 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.