Thursday, December 20, 2012

Merry Christmas Baby!

Well, it is certainly getting closer to Christmas so I don't know how much more I will be writing in the coming days, so I thought I would go ahead and write one for my lovely wife today.

If you have been reading long, you have probably picked up on the fact that I am not that great with words.  In fact most of the time I am worse when it comes to verbal words than I am with written word.  I think one of my biggest downfalls is how I use my words with my wife.  I'm not perfect, but I really try not to say anything negative to or about her, on the other hand though, I am terrible at complimenting her.  It's much easier to write it out that it is to vocalize it.  I'm not sure why, but it just is.

If you know my wife, you know how amazing she is.  I couldn't ask for a better wife.  She longs to make our family more like God's family.  She wants each of us to have the best relationship with God we could possibly have.  If you listen to our boys very long, you will know how much God plays a part in their lives and that He is not just someone we talk about on Sundays.

Now, while that is important, she doesn't stop there.  In trying to do what is best for our family, she was willing to take on the task of homeschooling our kids.  I can only imagine what that is like.  While I do help, occasionally (not very often), I can only imagine the responsibility it actually takes to make it happen.  While I believe I got a decent education from the school I attended growing up, but I know my kids will learn so much more from their Mom and the curriculum she chose to go with than I ever did.  I can already tell it in how much Noah knows and how much what he is learning really impacts his life. 

I've never had a GREAT paying job, but God has always provided me with a job that let us pay our bills.  While sometimes it has been hard, the sacrifices we have made have always turned out to be worth it.  While I don't know that I would call it a sacrifice, one of the things we have had to give up was most convenience foods.  When I say convenience, I mean fast food, and other quick and easy stuff.  In doing so Marcey has taken it upon herself to create new and wonderful meals.  Many times she has taken it even beyond the basics to learning how to make everything from scratch.  I know it takes a lot of time and work, but the end results in both our health, finances, and taste is outstanding.

Speaking of health, I can only imagine how much different I would eat if I weren't married to her.  I know I may sound like a kid when I say this, but she makes sure I get my fruits and vegetables. While I don't mind eating either of those (in fact I quite enjoy many of them) she does what she can to make sure that I am eating healthy.  Ok, so her reasoning behind it is kinda selfish, but still I am so thankful.  She recently told me I need to eat healthy, because she wants me to be healthy when I am older and not die and leave her alone for years.  Like I said, kinda selfish, but I'm glad. I want to spend many years with her as well.

Which brings me to my next point.  We have had our fair share of problems.  One of the things I love about her most, is that she was willing to work through them with me.  With such a high divorce rate these days and divorce being so accepted as the answer for any and all problems, it would have been easy to decide to end it a long time ago. Not that either of us wanted to, it just would have been easy. It takes a lot of work to work through problems rather than run or give up. I am so thankful she was willing to be tough and work through them.  It has brought us so much closer today.

We were talking the other day, and this will be our 10th Christmas we have spent together.  Now, I am not yet 30 so that makes it more than 1/3 of my life.  To me that sounds crazy. My brother is not even 20, so more than half of his life my wife has been present.  Putting things like this into view makes life seem so short.

In essence, today I wanted to just tell my wife, Merry Christmas, and thank her for all that she does.  She has helped make my life what it is today and helped me see more of who God wants me to be.  She has been God's voice when I refused to hear what He was saying any other way.  She has been my supporter even when I was wrong.  She has comforted me when I was hurting and needed a friend.  She has looked after me, when I was ignorant to needing to care for myself in a different way.  She has been there for me, shared in fun with me, and gone along for the ride when I was doing something she didn't necessarily want to do.  I love and appreciate all that she is.

God has certainly used her in my life.  I am so thankful for her and the fact that God has allowed me to have this time with her.

I love you, Marcey!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Divorce might be wondering why I am doing a divorce blog post so close to Christmas.  Well... I think divorce is a serious issue in our country.   I started thinking about it today while watching this video.  Check it out and let me know what you think?   I think their idea could work.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Three Trees...thoughts

If you haven't yet read through my last post, take some time to read it.  It is a great Christmas story and I would love to find this book for my kids.

First, I want to share that I heard the story on the Wally show.  Wally was sharing how he can't read the story without crying.  I don't know that I have ever read a story and cried, but as I listen to him read the story, I could feel the emotion and got a glimpse at something I may not have internalized before.

After he read the story, he mentioned how often we think we want/desire one thing and yet God has bigger plans for us.  I couldn't agree more.

As I listened and thought about my life, I see how things in my past, have really got me down from time to time.  I see times when I too, have thought I had good intentions and desires and yet, because God sees the bigger picture He hasn't always given them to me the way I think He should.  The more I think about it, the more I begin to wonder how much control I truly believe God has.  I know I say that God is in control,  but do I ever really walk through life really believing that. I would tend to say that I lean more to believing God has control of the moment, rather than the future as well.  I guess it's hard for me to grasp the fact that He already knows my future and has a plan for me and has dreams for me.  I think working at realizing He does know the future would help me understand so much more in my life.

The other interesting part to this story, and something I think about every once-in-a-while, is understanding the fact that God had a plan for each of those trees.  We can't ignore the fact that God is creator and created the three trees to be used for those specific reasons.  While, the story is fictional, it makes  a great point.  Going along with scripture, if we can believe that God was able to use these trees to accomplish His purposes, how much more could He use us?  I think understanding that can change our life.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Three Trees

I heard this story on the radio this morning. While I do believe I have heard it before.  I wanted to share it today.  At this point, I plan on discussing it more tomorrow.

Once upon a mountain top, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they wanted to become when they grew up. The first little tree looked up at the stars and said: " I want to hold treasure. I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones. I'll be the most beautiful treasure chest in the world!" The second little tree looked out at the small stream trickling by on it's way to the ocean. " I want to be traveling mighty waters and carrying powerful kings. I'll be the strongest ship in the world! The third little tree looked down into the valley below where busy men and women worked in a busy town. I don't want to leave the mountain top at all. I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me they'll raise their eyes to heaven and think of God. I will be the tallest tree in the world.

Years, passed. The rain came, the sun shone and the little trees grew tall. One day three wood cutters climbed the mountain. The first wood cutter looked at the first tree and said, "This tree is beautiful. It is perfect for me." With a swoop of his shining ax, the first tree fell. "Now I shall make a beautiful chest, I shall hold wonderful treasure!" the first tree said.

The second wood cutter looked at the second tree and said, "This tree is strong. It's perfect for me." With a swoop of his shining ax, the second tree fell. "Now I shall sail mighty waters!" thought the second tree. " I shall be a strong ship for mighty kings!"

The third tree felt her heart sink when the last wood cutter looked her way. She stood straight and tall and pointed bravely to heaven. But the wood cutter never even looked up. "Any kind of tree will do for me." He muttered. With a swoop of his shining ax, the third tree fell.

The first tree rejoiced when the wood cutter brought her to a carpenter's shop. But the carpenter fashioned the tree into a feed box for animals. The once beautiful tree was not covered with gold, or treasure. She was coated with saw dust and filled with hay for hungry farm animals. The second tree smiled when the wood cutter took her to a shipyard, but no mighty sailing ship was made that day. Instead the once strong tree was hammered and awed into a simple fishing boat. She was too small and too weak to sail to an ocean, or even a river, instead she was taken to a little lake. The third tree was confused when the wood cutter cut her into strong beams and left her in a lumberyard. "What happened?" The once tall tree wondered. " All I ever wanted was to stay on the mountain top and point to God..."

Many days and nights passed. The three trees nearly forgot their dreams. But one night, golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feed box. "I wish I could make a cradle for him." Her husband whispered. The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight shone on the smooth and sturdy wood. " This manger is beautiful." She said. And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world.

One evening a tired traveler and his friends crowded into the old fishing boat. The traveler fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out into the lake. Soon a thundering and a thrashing storm arose. The little tree shuddered. She new she did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through the wind and the rain. The tired man awoke. He stood up, stretched out his hand, and said, "Peace." The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun. And suddenly the second tree knew he was carrying the king of heaven and earth.

One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beams were yanked from the forgotten wood pile. She flinched as she was carried through an angry jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man's hand to her. She felt ugly and harsh and cruel. But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy beneath her, the third tree knew that God's love had changed everything. It had made the third tree strong. And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God. That was better than being the tallest tree in the world.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Pharisaical No. 2

So, I have been thinking the past little bit about different ideas and things we do, just because it is either what we have been taught or what we have always believed.  I started thinking about it really when my wife and I were talking about Christmas and how so many things we do around Christmas time actually have a way of being adaptations of "secular" traditions/beliefs that someone along the way has used as a teaching moment and opportunity to share Christ. 

If you haven't had the opportunity to check out "Buck Denver asks, Why do we call it Christmas?" I would highly recommend it and I believe everyone has something to learn from it.  Appears to be a movie for kids, but adults will love it too.

Anyway, back to the point, I think many of us, myself included, should take this time each year to evaluate what it is in our life that we have been "doing" that really no longer serves as value to our relationship with Christ and the only reason we do it, is because it's what we have always done.  Then, decide if we need to add meaning back into it and find a way to give it real meaning to our relationship, or move on from it and look for an opportunity to relate to Christ in another way. 

I call this Pharisaical because the Pharisees had a bad habit of worshiping the rituals rather than worshiping the one true God.  They made everyone about doing what was right and avoiding what was wrong that they missed the opportunity to really worship God and understand that it is a matter of the heart rather than a matter of duty.

I wonder how many things in our lives have gotten in the way of our relationship, because it is part of our religion and we have missed the opportunity to see what more God has to offer us. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

In the way

I was reading in Luke chapter 12 today when I came upon a story that I remember laughing about, oh-so-many years ago when I heard it read out of "The Message." 

And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’  But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’  So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” -Luke 12:16-21 NASB

As I read through the story, I began to see a bit of myself in that story.  Not in the sense where it is necessarily talking about covetousness, but rather in the fact that in all that was going on, he lost sight of God and his connection with Him.

For me, it is easy for me to get preoccupied with what all is going on in life and little by little rely more on my own strength than on my relationship with God.  Every once-in-a-while I get to a place where I notice I am not spending as much time with God as I want or as I used to.  It's not like I just say one day that I don't want to anymore, it's that I let things gradually slip in the way of our relationship.  My focus gets skewed and I am certain I miss out on things God is trying to teach me. 

When I think about the story I wonder if he had a decent relationship with God prior to the year of abundance.  Maybe the year was a year God blessed him so that he could join in blessing others with God by what God had given him. Maybe he was close but as things started doing well, he forgot to spend time with God.  He decided he had worked hard enough and wanted to a take a few years off and just have some fun. While taking time off and having fun are not bad in themselves, it's obvious that God didn't approve of him keeping all of it to himself and not giving back to God.

Maybe it's time start evaluating life and seeing places where I may have began to lose focus of what God is wanting to do in my life.  Where have I forgotten to put Him first?

****Wondering what we found so funny about that passage?  In "The Message" it says
"Fool! Tonight you die!"   Just never thought I would hear that come out of the Bible.....then again The Message really isn't a Bible.

Monday, December 3, 2012


So, I saw this today and thought you might enjoy it.  Being as I have kids watching these videos reminds me so much of my kids and how interesting they make our lives sometimes.