Monday, December 8, 2008

Birthday Dreams and The Best of Things

I remember, as I watch my children, how I used to wish and pine for the best birthday present ever. That thing I just had to have. You know; the latest G. I. Joe or the "cool shoes" or that book I just had to read(yeah I was a weird kid). And the party. The theme was VERY important! As I get older I am just really happy to be here and be so blessed with family and friends that truly ROCK. I say this because I recently had the privilege of adding another notch on my belt of ages.

I awoke to a breakfast of fresh made chocolate cake and hand made cards from Megan and the kids. Each one had decorated a birthday card just for me! No words can describe the joy those cards brought me. Megan's card was a true group effort and one of the most imaginative things I've ever received. It had no fancy drawings or frills, just heartfelt birthday wishes, sweet words of love, and every time I opened it...all the kids broke into a well rehearsed rendition of "You are My Sunshine"! I closed and opened it several times to make sure it worked; they never missed a beat. That morning was The Best of Things!

So... to all of you who have walked with me these many years and days, helping me arrive at this moment safe, sound, and better by association.
Thank you!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Lots of Things...

Well, much has happened since my last post. Silas has passed the 5 month mark, Halloween came and went with incredible creativity on the part of my wonderful wife and kids, and I also have a new job!

Funny how long it takes a man to settle down and find a career sometimes. I've always worked, but pretty much just because I like to eat and so does my family. Anyway God has blessed me with a career in an industry that I find exciting, challenging, and... well, just what I did not know I was looking for. I am now a "Roofing Professional" as the maintenance, service and, repair manager at my new company. I'm very grateful and absolutely love it.

Brianna brought home two excellent report cards, Cody and Meyson are doing very well Homeschooling, Carson is smarter than all of us, and Memphis has us all learning ASL. Silas is growing and learning everyday. She sits up, she laughs, she watches everything, and goes wild in her jumparoo. I could spend hours and thousands of words detailing how proud I am of each one of our kids. I will spare you that, however, and direct you to the infinitely more entertaining Blog of my Wife.

ASL: American Sign Language. We are learning. Not fast enough, but learning. It is fun, being able to speak to one another across crowded rooms, in noisy or quiet places, even sharing jokes at times. We take a class, as a family, once weekly at the local deaf services center. Some are more excited to learn than others but all in all, I believe we are doing well. Some of you no doubt are wondering; why? Well...

Memphis has been diagnosed with Verbal Apraxia. Basically something gets lost in translation between what he wants to say and the cute noises he actually makes. Suppose you wanted to make a fist and ended up with the "Hook 'em Horns" sign instead(heaven forbid). This is the frusration Memphis deals with when trying to communicate verbally with anyone. Enter the ASL experiment. It works! His frustration, and ours, has been greatly decreased. We look at it as a blessing and opportunity. A new language opens up all kinds of new things. I do not think the kids understand what a gift this will be to them later in life.

One last note. Our beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders are ranked #2 in the nation for the first time ever! It has been alot of fun for Megan and myself to cheer them on.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Still Here

I know it has been awhile since I have posted anything and I really have no excuses. I am currently working on a few entries and will hopefully get back into full swing soon. If anyone is reading, please be patient. Thank you!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

It's a girl!!!

Well dear friends and readers, our newest addition has finally arrived!

Silas Nicole was born yesterday around 3:00 pm. She has curly blond hair, blue eyes for now and is a healthy eater. Silas weighed 7lb and 15oz and was 20.5 inches long! We are proud parents and very grateful for her good health. Megan is recovering well and hopefully we can go home on Wednesday. Silas is very lucky to have some of the greatest siblings ever and I am sure she will be smothered with an abundance of love.

On another note: HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our Brianna. She is a wonderful big sister already and now has another little sister to spoil.

I'm so proud of you Bri'!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Night at the Ballet

On Saturday, Cody performed in her ballet school's annual recital and, of course, we went as a family to watch and support her. She was terrific! Her class' performance was brief as she is only in level 1; we are very proud anyway.
I had the great pleasure of being seated between my two girls, Brianna and Carson.
It turned out to be a night of pure beauty for all of us. Megan, glowing with both pride and pregnancy, was holding Cody's bouquet as we all watched the different levels perform. After one of the company's more intense dances, Bri' turned to me and said "that was awesome". I had to agree.
I have never considered myself a fan of ballet, yet...I feel I may have been won over by the beauty of it all. It is not that the dancers themselves were beautiful, which most of them are, I believe it is the fluidity and the delicate balance between the music and the movements on stage. I have to admit some of the dances almost moved me to tears. Why is that? You might say I am just a big baby, and my wife will probably agree. Really, I was spellbound and amazed by what this incredible body God gave us is capable of.

I am not a dancer. I am sure some have even considered calling the doctor when they have seen me try. I do appreciate dancing though. These days everyone is enthralled with "Dancing With the Stars"; and yes, I have even taken a few ballroom dancing lessons and enjoyed it very much. Ballet is now one of my favorite forms of dance, from a spectators point of view.
The dancers tell an intricate story with no words to muddle things up. Most of the perfomances were choreographed by the dancers themselves and one was dedicated, appropriately so as it was Mothers' Day eve, to the choreographer's Mom. It was called "Reach For Me" and I definately felt the story of a mother reaching out to her child.

The greatest perfomance of the night for me though, was during one of the more advanced "company" pieces, when Carson let herself be swept away by the music and proceeded with her very own ballet in the seat. At first I was torn between telling Carson to stop and watch what was on stage or watching her. To my own benefit, I chose the latter. Seated next to me Carson, eyes closed, perfomed wth her head and arms some of the "moves" seen on stage that night.
It was beautiful.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

We're home

Well we are all moved in now and as you can imagine, everyone is draggin' thier tired behind them! I'm so proud of Megan; she is working so hard and has about 77 irons in the fire. The most impressive one being that she is now only DAYS away from giving birth. I get worn out trying to keep up with her still.
Everything has been moved in, the other house has been cleaned *thanks Tammy*, and the mess here is diminishing rapidly. I think all the kids like thier rooms and the space is great. Junah even seems to know that THIS IS HOME!

Friday, May 2, 2008

It's Official!

Well folks...we finally, thank God, have a HOME. David, our realtor, delivered the keys to us on Wednesday evening! Megan put the story on her blog in wonderful prose. Click on story to get the full details of how blessed we have been.
One thing I noticed in all of this is how easy it is to cry out to and for God when we struggle. It's also easy to be grateful in the midst of great blessing. The thing that is sometimes hard is to cry out to and for God when you feel satisfied and things are going your way. request is this: join with us in praise and thanksgiving for the incredible way that our lives have been blessed yet also; pray with us for God's will in the blessing.
I know that we will enjoy our new home very much along with all the good that has come this past year, but I also believe and have heard somewhere that "we are blessed in order to be a blessing".
Thank you all who have prayed and been there with us in this journey. I don't know what other surprises and challenges lie ahead but with the amazing friends and families God has placed in our path I'm sure it's gonna be one heck of a ride.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Clouds in his eyes


"What Carson?"

"I can see the blue sky!!!"

".....That's great hon'!"

"I'm looking at the clouds!"
"Really?....They're pretty aren't they."

"Yeah.....They are in Memphis' eyes!"
This is an example of the conversations Carson initiates as we drive, walk, eat, or do any thing. Meyson says she is "random". I think he may be right.

Then again.....maybe there are clouds in his eyes. And stars and dreams and.....mischief.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Boy Becoming a Man

I'm not ready!
Tonight was just a regular Saturday night. We finished up a very successful garage sale, had dinner, watched a movie together as a family, and.....I taught my 14 year old son how to shave. Meyson wasn't ready either. I'm not sure who was more nervous.

He's a good looking kid, *OK, a handsome young man* but he had started to look like he always had dirt on his upper lip and just below his ears. So.....tonight we took the plunge and it turned out pretty well. No need for band aids or torn up pieces of toilet paper! Our nervousness was enhanced greatly by the rapt audience of 2 very curious little sisters. Both Brianna and Carson just had to watch this drama unfold.

Things started out pretty funny as I thought the best avenue would be to shave in unison with Meyson mimicking my actions. We started of course, with the shaving cream, which Meyson claimed was suffocating him "Dad, I can't breathe; what if it goes up my nose? Will it poison me?" as he smeared it from eyes to chin. Once we got that under control things proceeded much smoother. *no pun intended* The mechanics of the thing aren't as easy to explain, however when you've been doing it by rote for such a long time though.

Meyson was worried about cutting himself; even if he never said it, I could tell, as he scraped the razor every way except across his skin. He took to it like a man and the biggest shock of all was after he cleaned up and...I...saw my son.....a grown man-child. My baby, my firstborn son is definitely on this journey now, heading pell-mell into manhood. Pray for me please.

I want to slow the ride to a crawl and give him a piggy-back ride, but I know the best I can do is point the way. I'm just some sort of wilderness guide now. In a strange way I'm looking forward to it as I write this. The possibilities in a young life, some good/some bad.....

Pray for us

Monday, April 7, 2008

"Take heart!"

May I be perfectly honest? I am a fearful man. Not fraidy-cat scared but intensely fearful nonetheless. I will ride a mountain bike straight down a hill or fly huge traction kites capable of carrying me up to heights of thirty feet or more. As a teenager, skateboards and big ramps drew my attention. Careening near out of control down a snowy slope or climbing perfectly unsafe rock formations seem to cover my inner fear for a while. But I am still fearful. Knee knocking, trembling, stammering, and ready to bolt afraid.

What, you ask, has me so doggone terrified? Everything! The answer, quite simply is…well okay, it doesn’t seem to be so simple. Let’s see…failure, that’s an easy one; discovery, someone’s gonna find me out sooner or later; success, but I thought we all wanted that. This list could go on and on. What will people think? What will I feel? What if I say or do the wrong thing? What if I make the wrong choice? What? What? What if…? Bad thought pattern here folks.

Choice. Let’s take a look at this word for a moment. Isn’t choice the very thing separating us as men and women from everything else on the planet? What choice does a rock have on its location or anything for that matter? A rock is a rock is a… well you get the picture. And animals (though they are very cute, intelligent, and even social) live by instinct and not by choice. Every minute of every day we get to choose our actions, reactions, even our thought patterns. Sure we have to deal with circumstance; and the thoughts, whims, and actions of others. We still have the incredible opportunity to choose our own thoughts and actions. Did I say opportunity? Sometimes I feel the more appropriate phrase would be “burden of choice” not “opportunity for choice.” And here we are; back to the source of everything that gives me the big olheeby-jeebies. Fear.

Fear has debilitated me and kept me in a fog for too long. I decided to confront it and see what my faith, my beliefs, and the promise of the Word of God Have to say about fear.

I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. (PSALM 34:4)

Now you’re talkin’! I can just sit back and be delivered of all my fears. But wait, I’m still feeling a bit uneasy here. Maybe I haven’t searched enough. The verse does say: “I sought the Lord.” Let’s see what else the Bible has to say about fear.

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence…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. (1 JOHN 4:16-18)

Oh man, to be made perfect in love! Sounds intriguing doesn’t it? I am starting to understand that if I want this fear to go away, something more may be required of me. Faith? Please don’t let me lose you here as I know we have all heard cliché after cliché and quick fix after slogan after mantra after…all that. What I am suggesting is simpler and deeper than I first imagined possible. Everything seems to point back to that little word: choice. Let us look at an example, from Paul's life, of faith and choice in action.

The book of ACTS, chapter 16:16-40, tells of the apostle Paul and Silas and an encounter with a slave girl. “The slave girl had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune telling.” The girl followed Paul and his fellows around shouting at and about them. After many days Paul became troubled and cast the spirit out of the girl in the name of Jesus Christ. You can well imagine the anger of the girl’s owners at the loss of such a nice income. They started a fuss, hauled Paul and Silas to the town square, riled up the crowd and the city officials who ordered them “stripped and beaten.”

After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. (ACTS 16:23-24)

Right about then is where fearful ol’ me loses sight of all choices. Beaten, jailed, and shackled. Nope, that just has me upset, hurt, angry, helpless, and without choices. Actually, I find this the way I feel most of the time as I react and shuck and jive just to get though another day without major fall-out! Earlier I mentioned mountain bike riding. Careening downhill, reacting subtly to terrain and obstacles, flying; if you will, by the seat of my pants is great fun even to my fearful self. Amazingly the real goal in activities like this is “don’t rock the boat.” Major changes or shifts when you are barely under control can and do cause catastrophic results. I have suffered torn ligaments, broken bones, scrapes and bruises in these adrenaline charged pursuits. Why then, do the everyday circumstances of life leave me breathless and weak in the knees? Perhaps this “seat of your pants” mentality works well in the fast paced, react and respond atmosphere of downhill cycling and traction kiting. I, however, find myself reacting and responding to circumstance and life much the same way. When I do this; choice gets relegated to “the path of least resistance” and ceases to be choice at all.

Let us take a look at Paul and Silas’ reaction or rather choice of action during this unfortunate set of events.

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. (ACTS 16:25)

You’re kidding me right? I had to read this again. “Praying and singing…” I would have been less surprised if the text said they were railing at the injustice of it all or crying out in defiance ‘what about the girl we liberated’ or even better; blaming something else. Paul and Silas chose to give thanks and praise and surely to seek Gods help. Why? What would give these men such poise, such peace? They chose at this dark hour to stand on the promises of their faith in Jesus Christ. Promises stated by Jesus as he spoke to the disciples at the last supper.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (JOHN 16:33)

“Take heart!” How encouraging just those two words. “Take heart!” They certainly set my blood to pumping faster with something like anticipation or maybe even hope. “Take heart!” There are other promises of strength, renewal, and peace all through the gospel message. These words all represent some of the things I seem to lack in my indecision and fear. Guess who suffers the most when I live life reactively, like putting out so many fires. Is it me? No, it is my children and the very people I seek to shield and guide and support. Those I love the most, those who provide me with support and love are the very ones affected by this dangerous react and respond way of life. “Take heart!” Here is a promise that God himself will restore us.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast. (2 PETER 5:10)

Many times in our lives we have been told to “just pray about it” or “we’ll pray for you.” And don’t get me wrong here. We should pray. Continually pray. Often, however, I catch my daily prayers resembling the “flare prayers” I throw out when the bike or kite pushes a little too far out of control. “Oh God help…..” The prayers of Paul and Silas were filled with praise and yes, faith. I once heard that it is not enough to merely seek Gods help but that we should seek and merit Gods divine intervention. This story finally gave me a clue as to what that statement means. Faith is an act of courage. It is an act of trust. The Word puts it like this.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (HEBREWS 11:1)

The ending of the story about Paul and Silas in prison is amazing and we will get to that part later. Right now, however, I’d like to look at the parable of the ten talents and how that also shows the ineffectiveness of a fear filled existence. Jesus tells us in MATTHEW 25:14-30 about a wealthy man beginning a long journey. Before leaving he entrusts his property to his servants. To one servant he gave five talents, another he gave two, and to another he gives only one. A talent being equal to more than one thousand dollars, he gave them “each according to his abilities.” The first and second servants immediately went to work and doubled what they had been given. The last guy, however, took his “thousand bucks” and buried it in the back yard. He took no risk, made no choices, and played it totally safe. He thought.
Upon returning home after the trip, the “boss” wants to know how his investments fared. Of course he is pleased to know that the first two have been very profitable, but upon finding out that the last investment had been buried and “kept safe” he becomes incredulous. “What? Not even a lesson learned through loss? Not even interest earned from the bank? Could you be any more ineffective?” The servant was afraid of losing anything so he sat and fretted and did nothing with what he had been given. His actions brought no blessings, no lessons about good or bad investments, no…..nothing. The other two might have lost everything given them, yet they still would have had a story, a new perspective. Life! For in the end the fearful one loses even that because he refuses to reach out and trust anything except his own fear.

How different the attitude of Paul and Silas in prison. They had been abused and beaten and still; fear of man or circumstance or consequence had no bearing on their actions. Their hope in and fear of the Lord was greater than anything else.

The fear of the Lord leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble. (PROVERBS 19:23)

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone, my hope comes from him.
(PSALM 62:5)

So do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my…hand (ISAIAH 41:10)

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me. (PSALM 23:4)

The Lord is my light and salvation- whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid? (PSALM 27:1)

Monday, March 31, 2008


Here are our first pictures of the newest member of our family. These 3-D sonograms are amazing.

Looks just like me, I think!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I am so proud of my family! Each and every one. I'll start with my wife. Megan is a wonderful photographer as you'll see on her blog where she has posted our latest family pictures. She took all of them herself and...well, I'm just proud. Last week she made the best Eggs Benedict I've ever tasted, even making the hollandaise sauce from scratch. I am indeed a lucky man! Megan does all of this and puts up with me while being 29 weeks pregnant.
Thank you Lord for my wife!

Meyson, the 14 year old, is the oldest. He has a great heart and is probably the best big brother anyone could wish for. Watching his patience and actual joy, in playing with the smaller ones is...well; a great joy. Meyson is becoming a fantastic artist, has a quick (sometimes too quick) wit, and is a classic rock connoisseur. To my great pleasure, he also enjoys reggae.

Brianna is the singer. She left this week to perform with the National OAKE Children's Choir. Brianna was very excited, as she has never before flown in an airplane or stayed in a 5 star hotel. She has worked very hard for this and even earned a substantial scholarship to do it. Brianna, also is an A student.

Cody is the ballerina. She performed in our city's performance of The Nutcracker last Christmas and already has a part next year. She is very attentive to her younger siblings and wants to serve anyone who is sick (especially Mom) breakfast in bed, or at least bring them a snack. Cody may just have the most infectious laugh on the planet.

Carson. Carson is the smartest, sweetest, most exasperating, beautiful 3 year old in the world. She speaks with adult words and phrases and may understand their context better than I do. Her smile and fluttering eyelashes have totally wrapped daddy around her finger. Carson is another musical connoisseur, recognizing many songs within the first 3 notes. She also rapidly notices different versions of the same song, and of course...has preferences.

Memphis, my little boy. He is amazing. Precocious and wild. His eyes and playfulness light up the darkest of my days, inspire many smiles and much incredulous head shaking. He is obsessed with Buzz Lightyear and his "blankie". Memphis loves being outside and wrestling and jumping off of things. He loves to climb things and be thrown in the air. He is Memphis...'nuff said!

We have one more on the way. I'm proud of this one too, even if we have opted not to know if it is a boy or girl until birth. The baby is growing strong, kicking (sorry Megan), and causing great excitement in our home.

I could go on and on and each one of these, deserve their own blog and much much more but for now, I'll just say; I am blessed. And grateful.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

To Learn and Know

Dear friends and loved ones, I am writing this in order to learn myself so please bear with me. Dr. Stephen Covey said in his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People” that ‘To learn and not DO; is not to learn, to know and not DO; is not to know’. That seems right on to me and very indicative of my life thus far. So, having shared this I only invite ya’ll to bear with me trying to learn and perhaps even come to KNOW something.

Before you begin reading I ask that you close your eyes and imagine back to your early years, you know the formative ones, when you first noticed your own interests. When you were 13, 14, 15, or even older, what grabbed your imagination or even now what do you feel drawn to? What fired your passions (please guys we are talking about wholesome and non-destructive here), what did you daydream about doing or being? Is that still a part of who you are today or did you stick it up on a shelf for being too silly, too much work, or too slow at yielding the results we wanted?

Okay, we’re done with the daydream part. let’s see where we can go from here!

When David, son of Jesse, was a young shepherd boy what do you imagine occupied his daydreams? I can see him dreaming of being a warrior like his older brothers, a commander of men, or even a great and mighty king. Around that time in his life something awesome happened.
“So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him (king) in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power...” (1 SAMUEL 16:13)
Samuel, the prophet, THE man of God of the time, told a 14 or 15 year old David he was going to be king over all of Israel. Wow! Can you imagine the excitement, the temptation, the magnitude of such an anointing on one so young? How easy would it have been to lord that over one’s brothers. To demand respect and considerations from those around would probably have been most of our first order of business. David did not get that opportunity. The bible tells us David went back out to tend his father’s sheep, not even his (the anointed and future king) sheep.

Next we hear of David as a young man still tending his father’s sheep. We know he is older, probably 19 or 20, as he is referred to as “…a brave man and a warrior.”
(1 SAMUEL 16:18)
The current king, Saul, summoned David to serve him as a harpist and help ease the pain caused by a vexing spirit from the Lord. To serve more? By playing the harp? You’re kidding, right! This is the anointed future king we’re discussing. What a pain, more tedious service, shepherding, playing music to ease headaches; go take a nap Saul, David can take it from here! Oops!

See how easy it is to get impatient with God’s plan. This plan isn’t even for me. Shoot, it already happened and I’m frustrated with the pace. How much of God’s plan for my life have I missed or delayed due to my own impatience?

God used David to slay a giant (1 SAMUEL 17:50) with skills developed by tending sheep! God used David’s harp playing skills, born of many hours of practice I’m sure. Meanwhile the deceiver, Satan was continually trying to thwart, discourage, distract, and otherwise making a complete nuisance of himself. David, God’s anointed one had to overcome the lion and the bear. (1 SAMUEL 17:34-37) He fought and defeated “…in the name of the Lord Almighty…” Goliath. Even Saul, king of Israel tried to kill David as he was playing his harp. (1 SAMUEL 18:10-11) Saul chased David into caves, deserts, and all over Israel. (1 SAMUEL19-26) Personally, based on my own history, I believe I would have given up on my dreams and God’s plans after so much tedium and difficulty.

Not David! David stayed strong and grew stronger, both in the Lord and as a man. How grateful I am that David was a “…man after God’s own heart…” (1 SAMUEL 13:14) that I, or hopefully WE, can learn something about perseverance. Faithfulness to God’s anointing on our own lives and an awareness of that anointing should be our goal. I have fallen short of that aim time and time again, yet God is so patient and loving and forgiving of my rebellion, my impatience, my failings, that it breaks my heart and fills it to overflowing with hope. You see, we’re not finished yet. God isn’t finished yet.

Does that excite you? Does that make your passion flare? It does mine!

Now back to our earlier exercise in remembering the passions of our youth. In David’s time before Christ, God gave the Israelites prophets. Men of God such as Moses, Joshua, and Samuel; were directed by God to lead the people in His will. These men were given the power of anointing to actually tell God’s chosen how and where and when to do certain things. Sometimes I wish for someone like that. You know someone to say in audible words “Brad, just do such and such…” JOHN 14:26 tells us God sent “a counselor, the Holy Spirit…” to teach and guide us.

I haven’t been listening. Things are too difficult, too slow too tedious. I’m so easily distracted, dissuaded, and discouraged too much of the time. That is exactly where the enemy wants us! When we are young and even as we grow God inflames our passions, and gets our hearts a-goin’. We get scared, tired, grow complacent. We just get by. Not wanting to risk anything, many times we risk nothing. Are you excited about your faith! Are you uncomfortable yet? I’m getting there and I am listening to the counselor!

I don’ know where God will lead me next. Of course I’m hoping for the palace with all of its comforts, but maybe God just wants me to tend someone’s sheep or play a harp or practice slinging rocks. Maybe he wants me to run to the desert or even show mercy on my enemies when they are helpless in a cave (1 SAMUEL 26:9). I don’t know where or what exactly lays before me this year, but I am excited. You never know when God will open the door to use that which fires your imagination and ignites your passion. Listen and seek His will, His anointing. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make you paths straight” (PROVERBS 3:5-6)

David’s paths were straight though they were long and varied and took time. Be patient and listen, be diligent with those things that drew you as a youth or even now. Put your passion in God’s capable hands and see where the adventure leads!

Friday, March 7, 2008

"...But then face to face."

"Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then shall we see face to face. Now I know in part; then shall I know fully, even as I am fully known. ( 1 CORINTHIANS 13:12)

My Grandma,
Doris Kennington, passed on to be with the Lord; Wednesday, 3-5-2008. She will be greatly missed by our family and all who knew her. Even as I am saddened by her passing, it has been a great blessing to reflect on Grandma's life. Her outlook, attitude, and actions were all rooted in an immovable faith in God's promise and love.

Grandma's positive outlook on life and upbeat attitude had profound effect on everyone around her. She had kind and encouraging words ready at any time and was generous with her time, food, and many other things. Grandma was an excellent cook and always had room for more at her table. She was featured in our local paper as "Cook of the Week" in 1979. In that article, one can catch a glimpse of Grandma's positive attitude as she was quoted:"...keep your sense of humor...people will be more interested in the bright side...never be ashamed to say you are sorry." This was an article on cooking and she encouraged other cooks to "keep trying and tackle anything." At this point I might mention, Grandma was an avid Dallas Cowboys and Texas Tech Red Raider fan.

I was talking with my dear friend, Dr. Chris Sutton, who served as Grandma's pastor for over 13 years, and he told me of a conversation they had that gives insight to her faith and upbeat attitude. After church one day she told him that Christians who are worried and complaining about their tough time in life and are down in the dumps all the time "are living beneath their privilege as children of the Kingdom." He went on to say that, "Doris was a perfect example of that statement as I never saw her 'down' even though I knew she had difficulties, as we all do." Chris told me he would never forget what she said that day. Just one phrase, from who knows when, but it stuck! What an effect great faith and a great attitude has.

Dr. Sutton, in consoling me, mentioned the verse above. (1 CORINTHIANS 13:12) Grandma's faith has paid off as now she is "face to face" with her Lord and no longer does she "see through a glass darkly". The glass, or mirror; is not just clear now, it's gone!

The Bible, Grandma's most cherished book, describes faith as "...being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see". (HEBREWS 11:1) Grandma was "certain" of God's promise of eternal life through the salvation of His son Jesus. Now, in our grief as a family at the loss of such a remarkable matriarch, we also celebrate her life and legacy of faith. We can find joy that she is now home with the Father.

In 1935, Blanche Currier, a friend of Grandma's from Southwestern Bible School in Enid, Oklahoma, wrote this to Doris (Grandma) in her 'autograph book'.

When the golden sun is setting

and this earth no more you trod

May your name in gold be written

in the autograph of God

Doris M. Kennington (age 16)

Blanche, your beautiful thoughts have come to pass and God has brought home a true angel of a person; who walked this earth with us for a while...and left blessings where she trod.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Openly Thankful

Recently my daughter, Brianna, had a small two week science project to do for school. Though she is a straight-A student we did not learn of it until the night before it was due. Being in such dire need, she didn't hesitate to ask me for help. Megan provided construction paper, poster board, and artistic direction. Meyson and myself contibuted furiously drawn illustrations of seahorses while Brianna completed and compiled research data. As we put it all together, Meyson added hand drawn bubbles (Megan's excellent idea) to the background.

The project came out pretty well with everyone's efforts and Brianna got a passing grade. I asked Bri' if she thought the end result would have been better with more time and effort. She agreed that it would have.

When she gave her presentation, Brianna openly told her class about the work we did. She showed open and frank appreciation for our efforts on her behalf. She wasn't ashamed to say... "my Daddy did that for me!" or "my brother helped me with this!". As a father, I thought this pretty cool. Perhaps our efforts as parents, to teach the kids to be gracious is paying off.

A day or two later I was visiting with my friend, Johnny. We were discussing our individual Bible studies and he brought up Philippians 4:6

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God"

It seemed kind of familiar and the more I thought about it, the louder God's message spoke. How many times do we exaust ourselves with our own efforts before we seek His help, direction, or favor? I do it ALL the time. How often are we anxious or worried? I am more often than not. The Word says to ask with thanksgiving and have faith "do not be anxious..." Faith is pretty simply put in the bible and the best way I can see it, is in Brianna's actions here. Sure, she put off the project untill the last minute but never did she doubt that Dad would help her. Really, for the two weeks prior I would have been available for much more if she'd only said "Hey Dad, I need some help".

Brianna had no way of knowing how much help she would recieve that night from how many different sources. My relationship with God is sometimes like that. We just get so busy trying to do stuff or putting things off that we forget to ask our heavenly Father to step in. How much better would it be if we openly relied on Him and were thankful, even before the need. Just as I am my childrens' Dad; God promises to be ours...
"I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty" (2 Corinthians 6:18)

When Bri' needed help (even after bad planning and procrastination) her Dad and her brother and family stepped in. That happens to me. God has placed christian brothers and sisters all around in my life. Sometimes they come through with a timely word, a hug, or even a truck. Sometimes they pray with and for us and other times just knowing they are there is enough. I don't say often enough or openly enough that God helped me and is always there for me.

I have an amazing family; my Father helped with that. I love my new job; my Father helped with that too! Maybe one day I'll put that story here. My wife is a direct gift to my family and me from our Father in heaven. Yeah, I did meet her in sunday school. The first time I'd been in over 15 years in fact. I've got incredible friends ( I occasionally call them "Bro") They have enriched my life and been great sources of wisdom, support, and encouragement; my Father did that for me! My family has been there when when I was a single dad and couldn't see from one day to the next how we'd make it; my Father helped with that!

Why have I been so anxious? Even when my faith has waned, God has been there.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Kids bite?

This neeverr eeverr happens at our house. Yeah right!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Fading Light

A light is fading in my world, and yours though you may not know it. My Grandma turns 90 years old in August. She is ill, however and may not stay with us that long.
As long as I can remember I've never known her to be sick. Sure, she has had both knees replaced and uses a walker, but sick I've rarely, if ever, seen. Grandma is one of the most consistant persons I've had the pleasure to know. My whole life I could count on my Grandma's reaction to me, or to anyone for that matter. Love. Acceptance of you for you. Compassion.

She is Mother to 8 children (one of whom is my Mom) and Grandmother to... oh heck, I can't count that high. There are many great grandkids (5 being my own children), and quite a few great-greats. A full and thriving family tree is her legacy. We are varied and scattered and have more in common than blood. Some are children or grandchildren by marriage and name only, some by proximity only. We ALL are truly loved by Grandma, and every one of us love her back.

I've been lucky to live nearby most of my days. Others have been fortunate to enjoy extended visits in thier own homes far away. I've just taken it for granted that Grandma would always be here. She won't be. And that is hard to accept. She's always encouraged. Always celebrated our successes and achievements. Always cried for our pain and suffered loss alongside. How very fortunate I have been!

My Grandma has always been there. Right in the very house in which she lived when I was born. I wish I had visited more. I wish I had basked in her affection more. I wish I had said I love you more. I wish...
Grandma has lived a life of light. A full life. When you spend time with her you want to be a little warmer to those around you. A little more... loving, a little less judgemental. She has lived a life of faith. Faith in God. Faith in the better natures of all she encounters. Grandma has spread alot of light with her laughter, her smile, her pies & cakes (she spent time growing up in a bakery), but mostly through her incredible faith. I'm not in any way saying Grandma had an easy life; those are stories for another time; I am, however saying that Grandma CHOSE to spread Light and Joy and Love wherever she went to whomever she touched.
I love you Grandma!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Packing bags

I've got to pack my kids' bags! No, they're not really going anywhere in particular yet...but soon, eventually they will face this journey of life on thier own. In a limited time (18 yrs or so) my wife and I are supposed to prepare them for the trip.
As I have traveled, I've learned how devestating any journey can be if you don't bring the right stuff...or the airline loses your luggage. With Meyson being fourteen I wonder if there is time enough to fit it all in. I didn't come up with this metaphor(or is it analogy?) on my own. I heard the parenting process put this way in a sermon somewhere and it stuck. Boy, did it ever stick! I guess it is because I've spent so much time traveling over the last two or so years.
As with any trip, I guess I should start with a list of appropriate items to take... right? So here goes:
The list(so far)
A Warm Coat
Good Decision Making Skills
Comfortable Shoes
Clean Underwear
Love of Life
Strong Self Worth
Organizational Skills
A Hat
The Knowledge that no Matter What; I love them.
"Meyson, Brianna, Cody, Carson, Memphis,..Baby on the way; Know this:
The Ability to Find JOY Everyday...
I don't know maybe I'm making too much of this...but, it is our job right? As parents, to help them prepare for their own journey, their own life? Don't get me wrong here. I know that they will stumble, fall, and sometimes, flat out fail. But I think the better their bags are packed, the less they'll have to search for who they are and what they want and what they need...