So today…is a good day…why??
Well 19 years ago today I saw a vision of loveliness come down an aisle. Yep today my girlfriend made the nutty decision to say “I Do” in front of a few folks…am I glad she did?? Good question…
News flash!! Marriage is tough! OK maybe not red hot news flash…but it is hard…once all the fluff and excitement of the wedding and honeymoon is over you wake up and go… “Hi…who are you again??” I know that sounds stupid…but if you are married hopefully you get my meaning..
Leading up to the ceremony we get all the advice we can take….and most we didn’t ask for in the first place about what it takes to have a good marriage…but afterwards…the two newlyweds and shown the door of the church and everyone seems to say…. “Well….see ya later…let’s us know when the kid is born…”
Then you go through the growing pains of figuring out the good parts and the bad parts of the person you couldn’t live without. And many times all those people who had advice for you going in…have not much help during the actual marriage…why?? Cause they are struggling in their own marriage…now I don’t say that to say that everyone is struggling…I say that as a reminder that marriage is tough…even for the Uncle & Aunt Know-it-all…
My bride and I’s marriage has been what I think has been a typical marriage…good times…great times..and rough times…we are that typical opposites attract couple…which we both have a love/hate feeling about…she is very good with money and organization…and I am real good at spending money and crashing well laid out plans…she has often referred to me as the bull in a china closet…it is a term I can’t deny…
Through all of the muck and double rainbows…the biggest thing in common we have is our love for God…who..without His intervening in a few things…would have made us one of those lovely stats about married and divorced…I know that sounds simple…but when the mucky parts of marriage get dark and closed in…we both turn to Him..even during my valley time of late…she has been moving along in her walk…waiting for me to get back on track…and when I am going good and she is off I keep faithful as well waiting for her…together we rely on Him to help us understand each other…sometimes we hear Him and things go well…and sometimes we only hear ourselves…which is when we get ourselves in trouble..
I realize more today that He planned all this and for our life together to be what it is and where we are…have I enjoyed all of His plan? Nope…mainly because I am starting to see how much my selfishness and pride has gotten in the way of being a better husband…A LOT!!! I have done things and said things that I wish I could have back…and I still have some days of being a complete jerk…but she has a huge amount of forgiveness for my faults…and for that I am big time thankful…
So after 19 years…am I glad that she came down that aisle and said “I Do”?? Still a valid question…with all the ups and downs…kids…dogs…houses…cars….looks of disappointment…looks of joy…there is no question in my mind….
WOW where did the time go???
I know it has been way too long….life has been getting in the way of my writing here. Not that I think you have been waiting since April for my next writing..I hope you haven’t…cause you might be skin and bones by now…probably more bones than skin…
Well…let’s see…scale check…280 lbs this morning…not bad…but I have hit the wall..I just don’t have the want to to keep going right now..still good weight loss but it should be way more than that…but I will keep at it…just not as motivated…seems to be a consistent thing in my life…I heard this week from the pulpit that I am an otter personality…one that starts a lot of things…but doesn’t usually finish them…uh..like uh…blogs…and weight loss…and Bible study…and oh…wait…there is a few blog topics in there…..so OK maybe I do have a few things I could write about.. HEHE
Anyway…I will say that the past few months have been interesting to say the least…I think the best way to phrase it is I have been in a bit of a valley..and I can’t say what it is that is leading me there…other than my quiet time has been inconsistent to almost nil…and that, if I can be honest with myself, is where the majority of the problem really lies…I know that if I spend the time to seek God He is there…the great thing is that He is there even when I don’t seek Him.
I tell you this not as a way to publicly humiliate myself about not being a good Christian…but I say it to give my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ a bit of hope..to be a day in day devoted turned on for Christ Christian is tough.
I know this may shock some of you who are not believers but…ready?? I still sin ( cue gasp)…and sin will still be a part of my life no matter how much I read from Scriptures or how much time I spend in prayer…what I think we can lose sight of as Christians is how we should react when we don’t want to be Christian…
Yep…I said it..
There are times lately when life and those around me have made life hell that I have fleeting moments of chucking the Christian walk and just give into those sinful natures…
Well as I got back into my quiet time again this morning I remembered the apostle Paul struggled with sin…and I am not that far out to think I am better than him…
Struggles come and go…what we do with the valleys in our life can be a great time to look back and say…yep I stunk at this Christian walk for a bit but God was there waiting for me…and when I turned my eyes back to Him and placed my trust in Him…then that valley seemed not as big as it did yesterday…
What about you?? What have you done to get yourself out of the valley? Leave a comment and let me know.
Also if I can be praying for you…let me know as well…time to get groovin’
Top of the morning to everyone…glad you made it through he weekend.
I do want to start this blog off on a bit of a sad point. A friend of mine today is rejoicing, but we his friends and family are grieving. My friend Brent died yesterday suddenly at the age of 40. Brent was a co-worker of mine in the sports freelance world and was a good, hard, and dedicated worker. His smile was infectious and he always had a positive thing to say. I know he is rejoicing today because he is in the arms of Christ. Thanks Brent for your friendship and I can’t wait till we see each other again…
Now to the title subject…I posted on Facebook and Twitter last night that I was going to work at memorizing the entire book of Philippians before Easter. I decided to do this in a spur of the moment thing after reading another blogger’s decision to do it after he read another fellow blogger’s challenge. I had a buddy ask me “on purpose?” and another friend ask “why?”. Why indeed?
I had to step back myself and ask why for me?
John Piper has some great statements why to memorize scripture. In fact his statements are a part of the book you build to help you through the next 16 weeks. Like I said those are great…but still why?
Honestly I have struggled with being in the word for a good part of my life with Christ. I have spent more time out of it than in it. However in the past few years I have spent a bit more time in it and have seen my understanding not only of my life, but more importantly my life as a servant of Christ. Do I still screw up and stumble in my walk? Every day! Am I surrounded by His Grace? Every day! How do I know that? By spending time in His word. So there is one reason for me is to spend more time in His word.
Another reason for me is that I feel like I have needed to take the step of Bible memorization. I have tried in the past and done OK…but not great. I feel like the only scripture I have memorized is John 11:35 “Jesus wept.” I know it is better than that but still I need to step it up. I always have admired the story of basketball player David Robinson. It has been said he spent a lot of time memorizing scripture so that when he signed an autograph he could add a verse address that came to his mind in hopes that the person could be inspired to read it. Don’t know if it is true but makes a good story and a good idea.
Today starts a new time at Christ Chapel where I not only work but where I have attended for the past 15 years. We started the 3rd year of reading through the scriptures. The first year we read the New Testament…last year the 1st half of the Old Testament..today we started the 2nd half. So wouldn’t you know it today while reading the day 1’s reading of Psalms 111 I found another reason.
Psalms 111:10 ESV “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!”
Now this brings up a interesting point…fear of the LORD. Do you fear the LORD? My guess is most of you say…uh no. I totally understand. This time last year I said the same the thing. I didn’t think you still needed to be in fear of the LORD. But then I went through a depression and the way out of it was understanding that I feared man way more than I feared God. In fact I have spent my whole life with the fear of what others thought of me and how I was stacking up in comparison to others. I realized that the mask I had put on my whole life of not caring what others thought of me was cracked and falling apart, and what I really should focus on is fearing what God thought of me.
Of course when I did start focusing on this fear I also realized that no matter how I messed up, no matter what I have done in the past He still loves me. So the fear that I now have is not being on the path that He wants me on…and the only way to know where He wants me is from reading His word and understanding it.
So to sum up this rather lengthy post…of why? Because I know that in my study of His word and by memorizing His word I will come to understand more and more why He loves me, why His Son died for me, and how and where I can best serve Him. Hope that helps…
His praise endures forever!
Time to get groovin’
So anyway…as I wrote yesterday this has been an interesting year. I have written about some of the struggles…but now that I got that out of my system….what about the new year???? What am I going to really focus on in the new year???
Well I have to be honest…I hate the new year stuff….resolutions are such a beat down….we all attempt to make ourselves better and do this or that….but seriously…how many of your resolutions this year are the same ones you had last year?? I know I have a couple…I need to lose weight…(DUH!)…I am going to continue in growing closer to God…(that could also be a DUH unless you don’t believe in God…but I do…so DUH!)…I think we all want to be a better spouse and a better parent…I mean think about it if your resolution was to be a bad parent…and really try to tick off your spouse…you may need more than resolutions in your life…(see the one about closer to God…just sayin’)
So now that I got the obvious ones out of the way what does that leave?? I honestly don’t know….I do want to do all those things…so…if I just focus on those might that be easier than having a 10-15 list of things to improve..but I have a suggetion…for myself…(and you can listen in…)
Work on the one about God…cause I think…if I work on my relationship with the Creator and not the creation….then the rest of my resolutions would fall into place. In fact I dare say that if I continue to be a better follower of His word and His direction I might even get some resolutions that I hadn’t counted on…so what could be some growing closer resolutions??
I do know that I plan on being more committed to prayer…and more importantly committed to praying for others…how often do you tell friends I will pray for you?? I do a lot…but when the time comes…how often do you go back and follow through…sometimes I have struggled with what/how to pray for others…I suggest taking a look at Paul’s letter to the Colossians. Paul is great with bringing down to my level of focus. In Colossians 1:9-14 he ives us a step-by-step guide how to pray for others. It is awesome…give it a shot.
Oh boy…is this a tough one…why? Simple I work at a church…yea I know it sounds strange that a person who on staff at a church and he struggles with Worship. Well I am a behind the scenes guy…and when the folks are here to Worship…what am I doing?? Working to make it a good experience for them. I will give you an example…my kids were recently baptized and I sat with my wife in the Sanctuary and we watched them get dunked then we were joined by the kids during the Worship time once they dried off and we listened to a great message. Now that may sound normal to you but my wife and I realized that it was the first time we Worshiped as a family in 4 years. Nice Spiritual leading by me…ugh…but I can’t worry about the past I can only work better at the future…so I will step out of the control room and Worship more with my family this year.
3. Quiet time
This one up until about late October would not have been on the official list. I have been very good at working my way through the Bible for the past 2 years as CCBC is going through the Bible in 3 years. Well for some reason I got out of the habit…and now I struggle just doing the study I need to to prepare for the small group I am leading. So I will re-aim and get back at having my Bible…and my coffee and start the day by listen and reading His word!
Ok so there are 3 good resolutions to have…at least those are mine…like I said earlier if we all make a resolution to focus more on the Creator this year than on creation….I know that the other resolutions that we all think are important will seem unimportant or take care of themselves in a year….
How about you? What are you resoluting this year? Let me know….
Well time to get groovin’