change of plans…

caffe_latteThis morning I was supposed to be at a meeting, but it ended up be rescheduled to tomorrow.  With such late notice about this change of plans I wasn’t able to get any meetings at my school or with potential supporters.  However, with this change of plans I was able to schedule one much needed meeting.  After dropping the kids off at school, I swung back around to my house and picked up my wife for a morning coffee date.

As I have mentioned on here, my wife is currently battling breast cancer.  And while the outlook the doctors have given her is really good, we have been so busy making plans related to surgeries and waiting for appointments and dates from doctors that we have been running around like crazy.  Add to that keeping up with all that’s going on with our kiddos it’s been one hectic mess.  So, to have the opportunity to go out this morning with no rush and no plans and just enjoy come good coffee, conversation, and even a little peach and quiet has been great.

I don’t really know what the next few months are going to hold for our family with surgeries, recovery, and still needing to get our support account full funded, but I do know how blessed I am to have my beautiful wife.  Even though she is scared and nervous her faith has been a blessing to me and those around us.  She is still plugging away being an awesome Mom to our kiddos too.  I pray that in the months ahead we will have many more changes of plans where we get to have quiet time together and maybe some good coffee too!

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it’s not about me…

worshiphandsIt scares me to write this post, as I realize I might sort of sound like the angry old curmudgeon yelling for the teens to get off my lawn, but it’s something that has been on my mind for a few days.  Last week when I was attending the missions conference at Moody, I was truly blessed by the messages, plays, songs of praise and worship,  and various other forms of worship.  Part of the experience that really blessed me was just be surrounded by so many who were passionately praising God with all their hearts.

In the midst of one of the times of worship there was a kid a few rows ahead of us that caught my attention, and unfortunately held it for quite sometime.  My wife says I have a problem where when I get perturbed at someone, I tend to stare a hole through them and hope they see me so they will realize how ridiculous they are.  I found myself doing this with this kid as he was purposefully dancing like he was at a night club rather than in a worship service.  He wasn’t just raising his hands in praise, but was full on cabbage patching, doing the sprinkler, and even the dreaded “Dougie” during slow praise and worship songs.  The intention was pretty clear as he was trying to get his buddies and all those around him to watch him.  This boy wanted attention and I found myself distracted and slowly getting upset.

This boy was an extreme example of what so many of us do in times of worship.  We forget about who we are worshipping and why we are worshipping them.  The purpose of our hearts gets mixed into how we feel in the moment and/or what reaction we get from those around us.  I am not a proponent of any one time of music being plaid in a service, just look at my iPod and you will see everything from country, to rock, to pop and my taste in worship music is just as varied.  I am not opposed to people who are more animated in their worship.  I personally don’t raise my hands that often, but don’t have a problem with those who do.  If you are a worship leader don’t think I am not into worship because I’m not clapping, I am sad to admit it, but I just have no rhythm.

My point of all this is, we always need to stay focused on Christ in our worship.  Make sure that He is the real reason we are praising no matter how we do it.  If we are not we are distracted and more than likely a distraction to others.  We need to encourage our brothers and sisters to openly praise God and not distract them from worship.  But, what do we do if  we find ourselves in a service and their is a college kid doing the “Dougie” in front of us?  I defer to the example of my mother.  As we were leaving the service, my mother saw the young dancer and went up to talk to him.  Part of me was petrified that she was going to give into the “Spirit of Smack” that I had.  My mother went up to the young man and said hi and then asked him what his name was.  She then caught him off guard by letting him know for the rest of the school year she would be praying for him.  Mom didn’t tell the kid how out of line he was, or chew him out at all, she just committed herself to praying for him.  He didn’t know why, and might have been left a bit puzzled, but now their is a very Godly lady from Kentucky praying for him.  So, when you find yourself either being a distraction in worship or growing upset at someone who is a distraction, pray!  When it’s you pray that you will stay focused on Jesus.  When it’s the other person, pray that your heart would be right.  Pray for that person, we don’t know what’s going on in their life that might be affecting their actions, so pray for them.  Not that they will just realize the error of their ways, but pray for their heart and relationship with Christ.  And let’s be pray warriors and remember it’s not about us…

nonsense baby german conversations…

IMG_2197Yesterday, I shared with you all about my daughter Maeven and so today I thought I would share a little about my baby boy Judah.  Judah is definitely his momma’s boy.  No one rates higher in his eyes, me included, than his momma.  That being said, we do have some pretty sweet moments together.  And most of the time its when he is talking baby gibberish.  The thing is that when Judah talks gibberish, in his little voice it sounds like some weird form of German with a few English words thrown in here and there.  Most frequently this little baby germanic conversation comes out when he is pretending to talk on the phone.   He grabs whatever he thinks  is his phone at that time and answers, “HI!” and then goes on in some nonsensical talk.  Most often these conversations happen when we are traveling in the van.  I will hear him speaking only to look back and find him leaning against his hand in the carseat having a mini conversation.  At that point I usually say “Judah!” really loud and he’ll giggle and answer back with “DahDah!”  This goes back and forth for awhile before he starts back to his baby german and tells me some big tale.  While Judah may be momma’s boy, he definitely loves his long conversations with “DahDah!”

our new addition…

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Maeven and her Lolo

Yesterday, our family welcomed the newest addition to our family into our home, Lolo.  Lolo is a very cute little black and white mini-schnauzer that looks very much like our beloved Nixie.   Maeven is already in love with her and claimed her “Wolo” as her very own.  While adding another puppy to the family seems crazy to some people we have really enjoyed raising schnoodle puppies the past couple of years.  It has given my wife, a project that she really enjoys that can raise some extra money for the family.  It’s also been a great thing for Erin and Maeven and Erin’s mom to enjoy doing together.   So hopefully will Lolo not only be another great family member, but also a good member of our little family business.  If nothing else, seeing Maeven play with and love on her “Wolo” is totally worth it!

mother’s day and a tired tinkerbell…

my tired Tinkerbell...

my tired Tinkerbell…

Our family had a very busy but fun Mother’s Day yesterday.   We enjoyed a great time speaking with our teens at church during Sunday School and worshiping in the main service.  From there we came home where Erin’s parents came over for a Mother’s Day cookout.  While we were getting dinner read, Maeven kept my in-laws entertained.  She put on her full Tinkerbell outfit, fairy wings, tutu, goggles, and a sun hat.   While we sat around the table talking after dinner we heard loud thumping.   It was Maeven jumping off the couch and saying “I fly, I fly!”  When Meme and PopPop got ready to leave we could see that she was fading.  I had to speak at a local church Sunday night to raise funds for FCA camp and before I left Maeven gave in and crashed big time on the couch.   I snuck out without waking her, but Erin said shortly after I left, Judah decided to keep poking his sister in the nose waking her into a 45 minute cry.  Finally, Erin got our tired Tinkerbell to sleep in her own bed.

We had a great time with Erin’s family and celebrating Erin and Cathy as great Mom’s.  I am truly thankful for the way Cathy raised Erin to be such a Godly wife and mom.  I am thankful everyday for the mother that Erin is and is becoming.  She truly loves our kids and views them as a blessing and ministry.  Maeven and Judah couldn’t have a better mother.   Tonight, we are celebrating mother’s day a day late with my mom, Dawn.  I am so thankful for all the love and prayer that my mom has poured into my life over the years and for the Godly example she has been to me!  I am truly blessed by these amazing Godly mothers!

a testimony of 35 years…

Grumpie and Grammie enjoying the grandkids…

On July 2nd my parents celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary.  They were in Michigan at the time and so we were unable to celebrate it with them.  So this afternoon we gathered together to enjoy some cake and ice cream and celebrate their anniversary.  It was great to spend time celebrating with them and watching them enjoy time with us, the grandkids, and extended family.   Maeven especially enjoyed being able to “go go go” with Grammie and Grumpie as well as all her great aunts and uncles.

I am very thankful for my parents and the testimony that their 35 years of marriage has been to me and so many others.   In a world where 50% of all marriages end in divorce, even “Christian” marriages, to see two people that God has brought together still going strong and loving each other is a huge testimony.   Growing up I know that they didn’t always agree with each other and their were times where they were definitely on different pages.  Yet even in those times they were still a great witness to all those around them of what a Godly couple should be.  They never argued in front of us kids and they never contradicted what the other one said to us as parents.  Above all, they let us know that God was at the center of their relationship and when always encouraged us that that should be true of our relationships.

As I look forward to my future with my wife and children, I am so thankful for the Godly example that my parents set for me to follow.  I have truly been blessed and wish my parents many many more years together knowing they will continue to be an example to all of a truly Godly marriage.

thankful for my mom…

Today Erin, our kids, and I took my mom out for lunch for her birthday which was on the 2nd.   And other than Maeven getting pretty loud and us having to shush her a little bit we had a great time.   I am very thankful for another birthday that God has given my Mom, and even more thankful that God gave me such a Godly mother.

When Erin and I visit with supporting churches or potential supporters one thing I always share with them is about how thankful I was to have parents that encouraged me to spend time in prayer and the Bible daily.  Parents that taught me the importance of having a growing relationship with Christ.   My Mom was the one who would check in with me about whether or not I was taking my devotional time and most times the one who would be able to figure out when I was struggling with something and encourage me to honor God no matter what.  That influence has played a huge part in my desire to disciple and work with the teens here, because I know so many of them don’t have the Godly parents that I was blessed with.

So to sum things up, I am so very glad and thankful for the mother God gave me and I hope she has many more Birthdays that we can enjoy with her!