"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Monday, January 31, 2011

(another one from a little while back)

I fear getting back into the Word, prayer time, study time, etc….why? Because I fear what my Father may show me and ask of me. I look for anything and everything to take up my time…some good, some not. There is a battle taking place between my two selves. One wanting to go back and be with my Father, to serve Him, to worship Him. The other is grabbing my other self and saying, “Don’t you remember what happened last time? The pain and hurt you felt, what you put your wife and children through...” And it screams at me “Don’t you remember?!” And I do and I walk away and sit with myself. I remind myself of what happened and how I got there. How I followed God, did whatever He asked of me. And look where it has gotten me. I gave up everything and now….. Well, we are just getting by. Life is back where we started and for what? Went through hell on earth to get back here? That doesn’t make any sense.
Oh I know what some would/will say. I can think of several verses to “encourage” me. But really that just falls flat. I guess apathy breeds apathy. I go around, watch and talk to people. This world is going to hell and people don’t give a damn. I believe we are fast approaching the end and it is going to get A LOT worse before we get there and yet everyone is just walking around in a fog, pretending everything is fine and going to get better. Got news for ya…it’s not. We have seen the best days and they are history. There is one day that I do look forward to, one day in the future when everything gets better.
This is one of my favorite songs from Misty Edwards, who helps lead worship at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri:

I can hear the rhythm of the lion of the tribe of Judah
He’s doing a new thing, so we’re singing a new song
He’s not a baby in a manger anymore
He’s not a broken man on the cross
He didn’t stay in the grave
And He’s not staying in heaven forever
He’s alive, He’s alive, He’s alive,
People get ready! Jesus is coming!
People walking round with their fingers in their ears saying
“La--‐du--‐du--‐du--‐du, I don’t want to hear the sound of the coming King”
Once again I’m going to shake everything that can be shaken
Once again I’m going to break everything that can be broken
Album: ‘onething’

There is a book by Ted Dekker, “Slumber of Christianity” that Kelly is reading. Talks about this-we’re all so content to get our riches here on earth and live for the now instead of with an eye on heaven and how much better it is going to be. How this is such a small taste of glory. But you know, we (Kelly and I) have a little bit of a hard time relating I guess. I can’t wait for Eternity. I am not jumping up and down thinking about it all the time, but yes-I would rather be there than here, right now! This earth is incomparable to Heaven. We are to enjoy it here, but remember it’s not the end, it’s barely the beginning of the taste and sights and smells and LOVE and GLORY we will one day behold.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Texting with a friend awhile back. I said something about blogging and he suggested I write something about the lonely times God takes us through. Well, not a month or so before, I had. I hadn’t posted it yet. It’s personal and hard and makes me question. But it’s part of the journey God has placed us on. And really, it doesn’t even barely hit the surface of some of the lonely times we go through…

I have not written much for a while. Guess I just have not had anything to say or care to say I suppose. Been struggling as of late and the thing is I am not sure why. There is this restlessness in my soul and it feels at times like a war is raging. And I wonder, why? I know I have not been feeling the best as of late and I am not sleeping well. My thoughts and dreams often haunt me. I am a child of the KING and yet I feel so dirty, some homeless guy sleeping in the gutter. Why? Maybe it is because I feel useless to my King, that I have nothing to offer. Maybe it is just the winter depression setting in. I have always struggled in the winter with depression. That is one thing I loved about Africa, the sun light. Pretty much year round the sun came up and went down the same time every day. I know part is the fact a very good friend of mine is moving away and it bothers me. I know how things go. You say in touch at first then life gets busy and the times you talk get less and less and before you know it it’s been a 6 months, a year, maybe more. It is just the way it goes. I know that and I don’t like it; it sucks. But such is life and you move on.
Another thing that has been bothering me is we know someone who is going back to Africa. Someone I thought never would and yet he is doing all his planning and seems to be all optimistic. It is as though he has forgotten most of what happened over there. Maybe that is a good thing, I don’t know. I got to wonder though. And we have missionary friends over there asking us when we are coming back. And the answer is: I don’t know if we ever will. Life has become about hoping I get enough work to pay the bills. And when I don’t have any paying work it is looking for busy work just to keep me occupied. I long for an awakening within my heart and soul. Something to set a fire within me. I am tired of feeling tired.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

yup, we're around :-)

We've been doing some writing. Some of it is pretty personnel, confessionry even. So it's hard to know what and when and if to post some of it.

Unfortunately, that last post about apathy is really where we are right now. Not where we want to be, but kinda sucked in and stuck. Wanting more, but...

As always, we appreciate all your prayers!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

In conversations with several different people lately, a common theme seems to keep reoccurring. It is apathy they feel regarding the Sunday morning event. There is no excitement, passion or desire. There is this “ho hum” feeling of walking through life. I know exactly how they feel because I feel it. It is not that these people are passive in their faith or church. They invest themselves and they are feeling empty…nothing is being put back in. The more I thought about it, the more I realized you can invest everything of yourself and never get anything in return in a large church setting (no, not always the case I am ready to admit). But in the small group setting you often get back what you put in. The problem is a lot of people do not have time for small group fellowship. I’m not trying to be critical, it is just a fact. Lives are busy. Families are pulled in multiple directions, something has to give. And often it is what is most needed that is sacrificed. I don’t’ know if it is our own selfish/sinful nature that allows this or satan pushing us in that direction. Either way, the outcome is the same. We make time for the Sunday morning event even though we walk away feeling nothing. So what is the answer? I have my ideas, but what are yours? What should we expect?

Monday, January 10, 2011

This is one of the (many) dangers of having older sisters. "He wanted to wear it!" they said. Well, of course he did when you told him to!

This is daddy showing Myron what the boys do! I don't think we need to worry about GI Myron wearing a dress!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

There is something that has really stood out to me as of late and it has to do with what I see when people put out prayer requests and what I seem to hear come from a lot of people. Let’s just say someone is sick or in the hospital, etc. And they ask for prayer from others in the (Christian) body. It goes out but rarely are people asked to pray for healing. It is always prayer for the doctors, to give them wisdom in how to treat someone, give the person comfort as they deal with what they have. But not (very often) for healing. Don’t we think God can do that? Do we think God needs us to do something for him? Do we think God has changed over time and He doesn’t heal people like that anymore? Or is it our own fear to ask for what seems to be the impossible? Or are we afraid we’ll be disappointed if we ask for the big stuff? I just think it is really sad that we have made God so small. Do we not even have the faith of a mustard seed? Do you not want to see God move mountains or does that scare you too much? It bothers me that we seem to want to limit God, that we are to afraid to ask for the possible from Him.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I realize not everyone goes back through previous posts looking for comments. But there have been a few comments and some further thoughts from both Brian and I on the previous post. You can scroll down to the previous post or click here.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Observation one: wives want their husbands to be the leader/head of the home/family.
Observation two: No, they really don’t.

Let me explain what I have seen and what I have experienced in my own marriage. Let’s see if you see yourself or your spouse in anything I say.

Scenario #1: Wife says she wants her husband to be the head of the family/the spiritual leader. Well, that is what she says to her girlfriends in the church as they sit around and complain about their husband’s spiritual inefficiencies. But if you watch, they are not about to allow their husbands to lead. Why? He may not do what she wants and if he challenges her she will not hesitate to emasculate him (def: weaken somebody or something; to deprive somebody or something of effectiveness, spirit, or force). So he stands behind her and when asked a question he waits for her to respond. There is a good chance that sex is used as a tool to control him. It has to be used early on but once he is thoroughly emasculated it does not need to be used any more.
Scenario #2: Again, the wife wants her husband to lead. She uses sex in a different way, she does not give any. This almost always back fires. It causes the husband to withdraw from the relationship. They live together but separate lives. If he would admit it, he questions at times whether she loves him, if he just exists to work and pay the bills. He begins to seek enjoyment in other ways because he is not finding it at home. Here many men (not all) turn to porn to find sexual satisfaction, they retreat into a life of fantasy to escape.

How do I know these things? It is because I have lived both of these scenarios to some degree. And in both of these scenarios neither spouse will ever truly be happy. Why? Because it is not the way God created marriage to be. I know there are a lot of wives out there that will say “but my husband is….” God does not say “well, since your husband is like …. You get a pass on what I have commanded”. It does not work like that.
What changed for us? My wife. I wanted to (lead) but it always felt like I was fighting an uphill battle and it just became easier to not fight. It was not until my wife decided that she needed to change to allow me to change that anything happened. And it took time; it was not an overnight conversion. It was a process. At first I was not sure if it was genuine and I was not willing to risk it. It was scary and at times still can be, to be the leader/head but once I realized that my wife was there right by my side supporting me, being that Help Meet that God created for me, it became a lot easier. Knowing she was there not to criticize me or degrade me for making a mistake but truly supporting me, even when she disagreed with my decision. That was the confidence building I needed-what all men need.

My question to you wives out there: Do you really want what God has designed for your marriage or are you content with what you have?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

change you--or change me?

Ever notice (especially when it comes to kids’ behaviors-okay-our spouse’s too!), how it is always the other person who needs to change-and not you?

When the kids are acting up, they need to shape up; I don’t need to spend more time with them.
When your friends don’t call to see how you are doing, they are the insensitive ones; you don’t need to try harder or pick up the phone yourself.
When you husband makes you crazy, he’s the selfish ogre; you’re the perfect wife who does everything for him.

Just a few of the many, many examples. They are pretty general, maybe a little overdramatic-but the point I want to make: we are not responsible for their actions-only ours. We can’t be constantly blaming everyone but ourselves for well, everything. I remember listening to a speaker whose husband finally told her, “I am not responsible for your happiness.” Seems a little harsh, but it is true. We are responsible for ourselves. We cannot expect someone else to make us happy when we are not, especially when we are unwilling to see that. No person on this earth can EVER truly make you happy and fulfill every one of your needs.

It does only a very little good (from my own experiences) to pray to change the other person. The one who needs to change more often than not, is ME. And the truth is, no amount of willpower on this earth will change me. Willpower just doesn’t cut it-I know it, but I still keep trying it seems! True change can only come through God’s Holy Spirit working in me. Convicting, reproving, correcting. It’s still my responsibility to do the doing. And it’s hard. It very often goes against our human nature. There are a lot more times I’d just as soon smack someone upside the head then show them love, mercy, grace, forgiveness. But that is what I am called to. That is what I do truly want, deep down; though my actions often don’t show it.

The really cool thing is that as I pray and let the Lord change ME, it has a ripple effect. When I show love to my kids, friends, husband, spend more time with them, act unselfishly with my time, do things for them…they notice. Then may not say anything (especially the kids), but their behaviors seem to change as well. And then it allows the Holy Spirit to work in their hearts as well. But you know what, even if they make no changes, it doesn’t matter. You are not their Holy Spirit-only God’s Holy Spirit can work in them. You are only responsible to listen to what He is telling YOU.