August 22, 2008

Family and Animals

Grandma and Grandpa posing on a reptile with Michael and Zoe

Walking into the Zoo

Tauni and Zoe coming down the slide together

Grandpa showing Grandma the gorilla picking his nose

Shy little Zoe

It was the last of the family nights at the Zoo for the summer. The kids have not had the opportunity to be with Grandma and Grandpa much this summer because of the traveling and speaking in different places.

August 19, 2008

Are you ready for some football?

From Are you ready...

It was a great weekend of practice football in our house. Michael and I went with Dad, Dusty, Eric and Landon to watch the Cleveland Brown's practice on Saturday. We stopped at White Castle on the way up, and Applebee's on the way back. You can see the tattoo that Michael is showing off on his stomach, that Grandpa gave him. It is of a dawg..., if you know what I am saying.

Tauni, Zoe, Michael and I went to the Ohio State Buckeye's open practice Monday night. It is our third year, and we love going. It is a chance for us to see the Buckeyes in person, without the $100 price tag per ticket. Dusty and Caitlin met us down there. It was a great evening.

August 14, 2008

Picture Thursday

Michael wanted to be a photographer.

The first 2 are from a pet store in the area.

The next 3 are from family days at the Columbus Zoo.

August 9, 2008


I am sitting at my brother Sean's and Julie's house in Canton, OH, on a Saturday night. My mind is beginning to reflect on a week of craziness.

It was Wednesday afternoon, I was helping a friend of mine put some siding on a house that he was working on. Sean calls and asks if I would like to come and speak on this upcoming Sunday morning. I was free this week so I was excited to be able to share God's word with some teens and young adults on a Sunday morning, but a little disappointed to not be going to my home church. I have missed being there very much. We began to talk about what was going on and he informed me that they have been going through the sermon on the mount, and that this week was the passage on worrying.

I immediately went into asking if I had to stay on topic or if I could veer off and let them continue the next week on the topic. Sean said they really wanted to stick with it. I told him that I really didn't want to talk about worrying, or the lack of, because I was in the midst of it at the time. He said, "I bet you are hating God right now then, huh?" I told him that it wasn't as much as hate, but that I wasn't really liking Him right now. What he didn't know was that my wife had called just an hour or two prior to tell me that the transmission in our van needed to be replaced. The cost is an outrageous number, and I had to tell her to pick it up and that we could not get it fixed right now, or maybe never.

Worrying was something I was doing, and didn't want to really hear God's thoughts on the matter at the time.

It is not hard for me to write this because I think it happens to me often. There are certain times about particular things that I just don't want to hear what God has to say. This was one of them.

It is too bad that I am the only one that fits into this category. I know that everyone else always wants to hear what God wants to say!!!!

God tells us in Matt. 6:25-34 to not worry because God cares for us much more than he does the flowers and the birds, that He will take care of us. Who can extend their life by even a minute worrying about it? He says to not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.

Phil. 4:4-19 , Paul talks about how to deal with worry, don't. It seems as though it has to do with a couple of things.

First, to turn worry into a prayer of thankfulness and petition. Do not wine and think about what could happen if it doesn't go the way that you want, or could go this way or that, or that it won't happen at all. You see, if we begin to change the way we think, and what we think about, than our attitude towards what actually happens is changed. We don't have a specific ending or outcome, but we accept what God does. We need to be thankful for what we do have, and to petition, or let God know what we need or our concern, without being a whine fest and having preconceived ideas on how it should come out.

Second, we need to think on the things of God. Truth, thankfulness, right, pure, lovely, think on these things. If we are worrying, than we are thinking about something that might not even happen, and putting the outcome in our hands, and not actually giving it to God.

And third, be content with whereever you are at. No matter where, you have to be OK with where you are. If you are upset with it, then you will not be fine with what God is doing. No matter if you have nothing, or something, or a whole lot.

This has helped me tremendously this week. You see, I can look over this past year, and know that God takes care of my family and I. He told me that He would. That was His promise. I need to remember His promises, what he has done, and know that He will stand by them.

God is good, no matter if we are a two car family, or a car and a bike. That was the result on Friday, as I took off on a bike as the fam took the car.

God Rules.

August 4, 2008

Where is God going?

Have you ever wondered about where God is leading you?  You have prayed and prayed, and still wondered?

I have been in a quandary here lately.  As I have written before, and maybe not enough, since I think and pray about it alot, is where God is calling me to now.  I have been following God the only way I know how, with everything that I have, and I wonder if he is telling me to turn in a new direction.  I am returning to the thoughts on being a Youth Pastor.  I have continued to think about it.  I have since talked with the Pastor, and he was "hesitant" to get together with me a week and a half ago because of the "brute honesty" that I had shared with him.  I do not regret that conversation at all.  I expressed fears and joys of ministry and working in a church verses volunteering, me traveling to different churches to being in the same place.  His hesitancy was based on our conversation, which I think is great.  He was listening and taking in what I was saying.  

My problem now is, I have grown in ways that I did not even know myself in the last couple of years.  There are things that I have overcome, and others as I look into my past, was never the issue.  I have been able to look at past "failures" and realize they weren't.  There were many circumstances, and what I thought I lacked, I might not.

I am in no way saying that things were rosy in the past, that I did not make mistakes.  I have made mistakes, but they may have been a little different than what I thought they were at the time.

I still have no complete thought on where God is calling me, but some of God's word has been a part of my life since my ministry began (just a few years ago, ha ha) that hit at the heart of who I am, and what I am called to be.  Where is sending me is exactly where God is going.  I just want to follow him where ever that is.

Numbers 9:15-23
On the day the tabernacle, the Tent of the Testimony, was set up, the cloud covered it. From evening till morning the cloud above the tabernacle looked like fire.  That is how it continued to be; the cloud covered it, and at night it looked like fire.  Whenever the cloud lifted from above the Tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped.  At the LORD’s command the Israelites set out, and at his command they encamped. As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they remained in camp.  When the cloud remained over the tabernacle a long time, the Israelites obeyed the LORD’s order and did not set out.  Sometimes the cloud was over the tabernacle only a few days; at the LORD’s command they would encamp, and then at his command they would set out.  Sometimes the cloud stayed only from evening till morning, and when it lifted in the morning, they set out. Whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out.  Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out.  At the LORD’s command they encamped, and at the LORD’s command they set out. They obeyed the LORD’s order, in accordance with his command through Moses. 

I am praying for myself that I can see the "Cloud of God" and where it is at.  I ask that you continue to pray in the same way for my family and I.  

If you are wondering about the same things, you can either leave a comment and let me know how I can pray for you, or you can leave a comment to encourage and up lift me.  I would much appreciate that.

Until next time,

August 1, 2008

Teaching Surfing

While you are paddling out, have your body on the board, laying down, and paddle out. When you feel the wave begin to push you, paddle 3 more times. Then push off with your arms right at your sides like this.

Pop up off the board and be in a crouch position. It looks something like this.

Never pop up and stand straight up. If you do, you will definitely drink some water.

This is me speaking at CSBY in North Carolina. I was teaching them to surf on a skinny table. I checked while I was up front, and it seemed sturdy. So I decided, why not?

I have no idea why I would ever teach anyone how to surf. I suppose I can, as long as they don't make me go to the ocean to show them in person what it is suppose to look like in person. Because I drank most of the ocean while I was in San Diego, learning myself.

I have found that it is pretty easy to learn to surf mentally. I understand the moves, movements, and the mechanics of it. I can teach someone else "how" to do it. But I would not be able to actually do it myself.

I think it is easy for us to get caught up in the same thing with our faith. As I travel around and speak, I can tell people anything I want, or God wants, and yet it is so much harder for me to live and do some of it.

Where is it that you tell other people how to do things, and yet you either do not, or cannot do the same thing? Should you be doing what you are teaching or telling?