one more surgery to go…

bknation_breast-cancer-tree-2This week, my wife will have her final surgery after a year of surgeries for breast cancer and breast reconstruction.  It has been a long journey with 5 total surgeries (2 surgeries were done in the same day).  Through it all I have been blessed to see how God has taken care of Erin and helped her through each surgery.  I’ve also been so amazed at how Erin has handled every surgery with strength, courage, and hope.  She has been through more than I can imagine, yet through it all she still praises God and has been such a Godly example to me, our children, and everyone she comes in contact with.  We both are praying that she will never have to go through cancer again and now can finally get back to normal.  Please pray with us that this surgery goes well and that she will remain cancer free!

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a rollercoaster of a day…

Today, started out really well.  I had the opportunity to go share with a church about our ministry with FCA and ask them to partner with us.  I felt like I clearly communicated the vision of FCA and our passion for working with coaches and athletes and we seemed to have a good response.  I love sharing about the ministry God has called us to and am thankful for the opportunity to once again do so.

overwhelmedThe ride home from speaking though was where things started on a rollercoaster of an afternoon.  When I was halfway home, my wife called me to let me know that the battery in her van was totally dead.  Earlier in the week I had to buy a new battery for my car and so automatically I saw dollar signs and was cringing at the prospect of paying for another battery.

I arrived at home and managed to jump start her van to take it to the auto parts store.  As I was pulling out of the driveway I noticed water rushing from around our water meter and down the street.  Once again a sense of dread filled me as I pictured the water meter just spinning out of control and getting a bill that we would never be able to afford.  I called the water department and let them know of the issue and on the verge of wanting to cry I drove to the auto parts store.

On the way to the store I began to pray that God would take care of these issues and that we wouldn’t be financially overwhelmed.  I did a lot of pleading and just let God know that I was trusting in Him to help us out no matter the outcome.  While God doesn’t always answer prayers in the way we want, today I was overwhelmed by his immediate answers to prayer and the way he met our needs.

First of all, when I got to the auto parts store we were able to find out that the battery that went bad was under warranty.  They replaced it for free!  When I arrived at home the guy from the city water department came and was able to determine the water leak is on the city’s side of the line and so I won’t be responsible for any of the water or repairs!

I am so thankful for the way God worked all this out today, but most importantly just that once again I have seen Him work.  God is good and I am so thankful for all he has done, is doing and will do!

Starting off 2018…

Time to start another year…and no better way to do it than starting a renewed commitment to blogging only 3 weeks into the new year!  That being said, one of my many resolutions for this year is to be better about blogging and writing down thoughts.  Whether it’s just to get them out of my head or to share actual depth of thought.

This year I have also renewed my commitment to fitness.  My family kicked off the new year by getting a Y membership and I have been faithful so far to go work out.  I know it’s a marathon, but I am determined to reach 2019 thinner than I did 2018.

I also want to do a better job of reading this year.  Reading for my personal enjoyment, continuing to learn, and also to grow in my walk with Christ.  This honestly may be the toughest resolution I have.  Finding time to get reading done is tough and so I want to really make sure that I am setting aside time to do it.

Alright, I have put out some resolutions on here….now it’s time to stick to them!

riding the struggle bus…

strugglebus1A little over a week ago I turned the big 37 and I have to admit since that time I am really riding the struggle bus.  Don’t get me wrong, nothing bad has happened and I have truly had some enjoyable times with my family during this busy Christmas season.  That being said, it’s in those times when we should be joyful and thankful for all that God is doing around us, that Satan so often wants to get us down.  Everything from loneliness, to fears about finances and our ministry support, to worrying about my kids, just keep coming out of nowhere to leave me just sort of down.

This morning as I took my daughter to school we were listening to “Don’t Bring Me Down” by ELO and she asked me what Don’t Bring Me Down means.  I explained to her that often when we are feeling really good people try to make us feel bad or hurt our feelings and take away that joy.  So the song is saying, don’t do that.  She understood and then went back to singing at the top of her lungs.  Sadly I couldn’t explain to her who “Bruce” was in the song.  The song though sorta hits where I am at currently, there are lots of things to be thankful for like the Christmas Season, my family, some great ministry opportunities, doors that I constantly see God opening.  Yet I really feel like there is this cloud that is hanging over me trying to bring me down and leave me in a funk.

It’s in this time that I am really trying to pray more and just ask God that I not be robbed of joy and that I will give fears and worries to Him.  I hate the struggle bus…

Changing my Christmas ways…

For the longest time I have been a pre-Thanksgiving Christmas Scrooge. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas and love all the things that go with Christmas. From remembering and celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, to the food and parties, to getting to see old family and friends, the music, and everything else. However, I have always been strict about not starting any of my decorating and celebrating until after Thanksgiving. Black Friday has always been a joyous day for me as I crank up the Christmas tunes and start to get excited. Anything before that seemed to rushed and forced, and even more to the materialistic side of the season.

All that being said, I am now almost 37 years old and realizing it’s time to change my ways. And I have two very good reasons for this change of heart. My sweet little girl and crazy little boy. They love Christmas and their excitement is contagious. I love that they love the Christmas for the right reasons too. Don’t get me wrong, they love presents and all the fun stuff they get to do, but they know we are celebrating the birth of Jesus and love hearing about his arrival as we set up the Nativity and go to church. We even broke down and put up the Christmas tree early this year as they couldn’t wait any longer and tonight I sat down and watched the live action “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” with them. My son especially loves Christmas and would decorate the whole house without our help if we would let him. His favorite thing for me to do is take him to Lowes so that he can look at all the decorations, especially all the inflatables!

I love my kids excitement and joy for the Christmas season. It is truly infectious and has rubbed off and turned an old Scrooge like me into a Santa hat wearing Christmas dad……….in November!

speaking in public…

microphoneI have always been what most people would consider an outgoing guy.  I can go in and talk to people and joke and have fun.  The truth is though that while I can do those things, it’s not really me.  Going into a group of people and having to mingle petrifies me with anxiety and then take it another step further an have to speak to everyone and I get even more anxious.  The biggest anxiety of all though is when I am charged with sharing a devotion or preaching a sermon.  The pressure of making sure that not only am I communicating well, but also handling the truth of God’s Word properly very much overwhelms me.

Yet, I am in full time ministry where I have to do all those things that cause my anxiety.  From 2005-middle of 2016 I was in a ministry where I may only have to speak in front of a group a handful of times a year.  That all changed last year when I went full time with FCA.  Since that time I have had to share in churches, civic organizations, schools, and lots of other places.  In just a little over a year I have had more opportunities to speak than I have had in the 11 years prior.

All this is to say, I am so thankful that I have a God who encourages me and gives me strength to over come, or at least ignore the anxieties that attack me about speaking.  Where once I had a sense of dread when someone asked me to speak, now I am open to it and sometime find myself excited for the opportunity.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still scared and worried, but too many times has God showed himself faithful for me to be held back by those feelings.

This Sunday, I will be speaking at a church that I have never spoken at before. I am blessed to have the opportunity to not only share about our ministry with FCA but to also share a message from God’s Word.  The nerves and fears will come, but I have a great God who will give me strength and allow me to do all things through Him!

a new study Bible…

CSBMy wife says that I have a problem.  That problem is that I love collecting and reading different Bibles.  She has threatened to hurt me if I buy any more.  While not prone to violence, I think I may believe her!  Just kidding.

Anyway, earlier this year I made the switch to the Christian Standard Bible for my main personal Bible.  I really like the fact that it is a great mixture of accuracy and easy to read.  Falling right in the middle of most of the very literal and easy to read versions.  I even got my daughter the CSB kids version because it’s easy to read to her and I know the truth of the Word is not compromised in anyway.  I highly recommend the CSB to anyone looking for a great modern translation.

A few weeks ago, I saw that CSB has released their new study Bible.  It’s a beautifully done Bible that has very detailed notes and study helps.  Not only that, but the color pictures, maps, and design are awesome.  After looking at the Bible I knew that I needed one, but didn’t want to risk my life.

I happened to be on Facebook and one of those ads where they offer you a deal on something you were googling popped up for the CSB Study Bible.  It was to click here to get a free CSB Bible.  I clicked on the link to a Lifeway page and saw that the deal was for people who work in churches, mainly pastors, to get a copy of a regular CSB reference Bible.  However, there was a link to contact Lifeway if I had any questions.  I figured what could it hurt to send a note to Lifeway so I clicked the message link.  There I informed Lifeway that I am in Full Time ministry with FCA and was wondering if I could get a free promotional copy of the CSB Study Bible.  I figured the worst they could tell me is no, so what did I have to lose?  Lifeway responded pretty quickly and informed me that they didn’t normally give away promotional copies of the Study Bible, but would be happy to send me one!

Within a week I had my free hardback copy of the the CSB Study Bible!  And I have to tell you that I love it.  The pages are thick, glossy, and high quality.  The amount of work and detail in the notes is awesome and I know that this is going to aid me both in personal study and preparation for Bible studies and speaking opportunities that I may have in the future.  The only negative with this Bible that I may have is just that it is large and heavy.  So while great for personal home and office study, I wouldn’t want to pack it to church and other places very often.  Hopefully they will come out with a more personal size version in the future.  That being said, I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting a great study Bible.  And a big thanks to Lifeway for the gift of this amazing study tool for sharing God’s Word!