Thursday, November 25, 2010

Spinal Tap!

There was a video that was shown in our church service last week called "The Thanksgiving Chair."  The video showed a man going through a day in his life.  The day started with breakfast.  As the man was eating with his children, he looked at them and smiled.  Then the camera showed a wooden chair out to the side of the man.  He got up out of his chair and moved to the wooden chair where he sat and thought for a few moments of the things he had to be thankful for.  As the day went along, the man went through several different situations to which he placed himself into the Thanksgiving Chair.  In some of the situations, it was easy to place himself in the chair- other situations were more difficult.  It was powerful to watch the man giving thanks to God for the things in his life through good times and hard.  Today is Thanksgiving and I find myself in a place where I need to sit in my own Thanksgiving Chair.  As we celebrated Thanksgiving today, I couldn't help but to notice that our family was incomplete.  I was back in our bedroom, looking through the pictures on my phone and came across Kaydence laying on the couch.  I was taken back to this time last year, when the monitors were going off and Kaydence was laying on the end couch cushion.  As I closed my eyes, I could feel her little hand wrapped around my finger.  I also could feel my hand resting on her leg as she slept there soundly.  I thank God for the time we had with her and the memories we are left with.  I also thank God for giving us a knowledge that this is not the end.  I was meeting with a man last week about a health plan and he told me about losing his wife.  He had been in a state of depression for a long time and thought often about suicide.  The thing that turned his depression around was when he realized that he would never see his wife again.  When he excepted that in his mind, he was able to move on and proceed with his life.  I told him about Kaydence and how our family is just the opposite.  We were able to move on with our life because we realized that this life is not the end.  I am thankful for the hope that we have in a better life.  I am thankful for the hope of a life that is whole and complete.  I am thankful for the Love of Jesus, that He would care about me...Bryan!  Not me as a human race, but me...Bryan.  We serve a personal God, who cares enough for each of us individually to have a relationship with us.  I am thankful for Hilary and Micah- how they love me and care for me.  I can hold the both of them in my arms each night and I am very thankful for that.  There are many more things on my list of Grace upon Grace, but I will move forward to news of my health.  Most of the results of the spinal tap are in and they are negative, with the exception of an infection that showed up in my white blood cells...which is nothing to worry about.  We are still waiting for the longer tests to come back, such as TB, but my doctor doesn't think they will have any content that will help in figuring out what this legion is from.  The plan from here is another MRI scheduled for May.  They are going to take another look at the legion to see if it has grown any.  If the legion has grown, they will take a biopsy of it and if it hasn't grown...I have no clue what she will want to do with me.  I will give a "Praise the Lord" shout out for the current results and at the same time ask for your prayers on this legion- whatever it may be.  Thank You for your continued support!  You guys are awesome and we love you very much!    

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Medical and Other stuff Update!

It has been a little while since I have given you an update last.  For that...I apologize.  As far as my physical stuff...I have felt pretty good for a few months now.  I have been transferred to a Vanderbilt Neurology doctor because my local Neurologist decided he was finished with me.  The nerve testing came back normal, so he just decided to wait for more signs...this was not okay with my family doctor so she pursued a transfer to Vanderbilt and I was okay with that.  The new Neurologist at Vanderbilt completed a second MRI and found the legion had grown at a minimal rate (1.31cm-1.4cm) in 3 months.  There was some retesting in the office for MS- since that seems to be where the doctors continue to lean- and a different result came back this time.  When the bottom of my right foot was scratched, my big toe went upward instead of downward- like usual...this has some medical name to it, but I can't remember what it is called.  The last time I spoke with my Neurologist, she told me that she can't rule out a brain tumor, so we are going to be doing a spinal tap on November 1st to look at the cancer cells and some other things within the fluid.  This will definitely be the first time I have had something like this done, so I will need your prayers and support as this test is completed.  I will not know anything for a few weeks after that, but I will give an update as soon as I hear something.  As far as some other things in the family, Micah has been potty training for a little over a month now and doing very well at it I must say.  The key was Reeses Peanut butter cups...that boy loves those things and will do anything to get them- even go potty "down the hole" as he calls it.  Hilary has taken over at our church as the Nursery Director and is loving her new duties.  She has such a passion for little kids and what they can contribute to the Kingdom of God.  Please pray with us that she can make a difference in the lives of those little kids.  Two weeks ago, I finally went on my "Wilderness Journey" with the guys and it was incredible.  This was a journey I had been praying about for a long was worth the effort.  There were 6 of us all together and we each were to present a message to the rest of the guys at some point during the weekend.  God made all the messages come together as a part of a larger message and only He can do that!  The men were able to draw closer to each other during this time...and more importantly...closer to God.  We camped on an island in the middle of Percy Priest lake, which was an awesome thing I have never done before.  I have to give God the Praise and Glory for this weekend being such a success.  It is incredible to be a part of something bigger than yourself and to be used in any kind of way for the Kingdom of Heaven is nothing like what this world can offer you.  As a part of my normal Spiritual backdrop to these journals, I will let you in on a personal journal I completed last night within my bible reading.  It is one of those times when you write what you think and don't stop until you are done.

"He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets."  Acts 3:21

Close your eyes...tune in to your senses..tune in to your spirit.  Take some time to breath a quiet prayer as we continue further.

Can you see it?  There is a pathway in front of you made of dirt.  Off in the distance you can see many tall mountains...and they are breath taking.  The weather around you is comfortable- there is no need for you to wear anything to protect yourself from the elements.  As you walk further, you notice that there is a peace surrounding you...such a calm- yet powerful peace you have never experienced before.  There is light all around, but no sun in the sky.  This light is unlike anything you have ever seen before- it helps you to see things in a new way. you hear that?  Up ahead is a bear...about 10 feet away from you.  This is very strange.  Why aren't you scared of this bear?  All the times before when you came close, your heart would race- but it is as if you just know it is all okay.  What a strange and exciting place to be.  There is a Man walking with you...He is the One putting off the light that is shining on everything.  You feel as if you need nothing- the Man provides everything you need.  You have always needed so much in previous days, but all your needs are met...all at one time.  You want to stay here forever! 

Have you ever taken the time to think about the reality of the promise of God?  Have you?  I mean...really...the reality of the promises of God.  We often think about God restoring everything as if it is some kind of fairytale.  Do you think of the promise of eternity for believers as if it were a fairytale?  You should take some time to set and use this God given ability called your imagination.  The more you dream about the life He has planned for you, the more excited you will be about holding on to your faith during the hard times you have to face in life.  The more you dream...the more you long for your dream to become your new reality.  "This is it," you will think as you find yourself in eternity.  The battle is over, the time has come, and you are never going are Home forever!  Set and take some time to think about that reality setting in.  There is, of course, another reality.  This reality is as equally true as the first one...but not as pleasant.  Close your eyes and go with me.

Your knees are trembling- even to the point you can't stand anymore.  You have just fallen to your knees in weakness.  He is there in front of you- looking into your soul through your eyes.  You know he sees everything about you so you tremble further because you know that you didn't live for Him.  You may have gone to church and hung with the crowd, but you know that you rejected Him.  Your life was more important than His.  You knew that you had lived for yourself, instead of living for Him.  Many upon many of chances were blown and they are all- at this moment- in the front of your mind.  He is getting ready to speak...what will he say?  "I never knew you.  Away from me, you evildoers!"  Did He say that to me?  Am I a part of this group?  Yes, I am a part of this group.  I had a choice to make and I chose me!  Why did I think what I was doing was not a big deal?  Why did I trample the Son of God under my feet for my own pleasure?  It just got dark...real dark!  I can feel the darkness around me and it is a very lonely feeling.  I am not alone though...there are others here with me, and they hate me.  I can't see a thing, but I can feel them looking at me. It is getting really hard to breath and it smells horrible...the stench of rotting is all around me.  I am never going to leave this place.  Why didn't I choose differently?  What was so good that I chose it over Jesus?  There is no hope at all!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Staying Strong!

It has been a while since I have written you on this blog.  It isn't because I haven't wanted to write you anything...I just didn't have any good information to give you.  Where I left you off last time, I was having some tests done and waiting for the results to come back.  The auto-immune tests came back negative and most of my MRI came back negative...yes I did say most.  I knew I wasn't right in the head.  There was a spot found in the part of my brain they call the Cerebellum, which unfortunately still doesn't explain anything about my sense of humor...where that comes from is still unknown.  On a serious note though...that part of the brain deals with speech, language, coordination and other motor skills, so I am needing to watch those closely to see if they get worse along the way.  The Neurologist still isn't taking MS off the table as a possible diagnosis.  There are about 5% of the cases that show no MRI abnormalities in the skeletal portion (which mine was normal there).  We are doing a nerve test next Tuesday where they will be sending electrical shocks up and down the nerves...oh...and did I mention that they were going to be sticking a pin in my foot muscle.  I am not allowed to have any kind of numbing medicine, so I will feel the full effects of the testing.  I will call this my training for persecution- if that comes down the road.  To similate a real life scenario, I will scream at the doctor a few times, "You can have my body, but you'll never have my soul."  If not anything, I will- at the least- try to make the most of the situation.  They are doing the testing to see something about the central nervous system or another nervous system.  One of them is consistant with MS if an abnormal test comes back.  I will be doing this test next Tuesday at 1:00pm(central time) if you want to pray for me.  There has been a scripture I have had on my mind a lot lately...I got it from reading one of my pevious journals on the caringbridge site.  I have memorized the scripture...let it sink in and move me.  I guess you call that writing it on your heart.

"Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are acheiving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."  2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Sometimes, when you become a Christian you think the rest of your life is going to be smooth and good.  Unfortunately, some pastors preach this message.  When the first sign of hardship comes your way, you think you aren't doing things right...or your faith isn't where it should be.  I believe all throughout scripture the bible talks about suffering for the cause of Christ.  Picking up your cross and following Christ.  Everyone's cross has different things on it, but it is all for the Glory and Honor of Christ that we stick by our is all for the Glory and Honor of Christ that we cling to Him when we face trials and struggles in this life.  When we became followers of Christ, a War was declared on us as believers.  The more satan has to worry about, the more he is going to push toward you and try to take you off the path you are following...the path of Christ.  I have held this verse close to my heart to remind me to fix my eyes on what is unseen instead of what is seen.  Not that I have obtained this, as Paul states, but I am trying.  For all you out there looking for something to pray for:  I am going on a men's trip in September that is going to be very interesting.  There are six of us going to the wilderness to reconnect our hearts with the heart of God.  Each of us is going to be bringing a very important message from the bible to the rest of the guys at some point of time throughout the weekend.  I have a crazy feeling that something incredible is going to happen during this trip and none of us are going to be the same.  I would appreciate your bathing of prayers on each of the six of us guys going on the trip.  Pray that we would be able to see the seriousness of the times we are living in today.  Pray that we will have a clear vision for what we are supposed to present to the others.  Pray that we would be sensitive to the calling of the Spirit as He guides us in preparing for this time.  Pray that we will receive this word in good soil and become fruitful with the information we are given.  Thank you guys for all that you do.  Our family appreciates you very much.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Living in the Limbo!

Life can be pretty hard at times.  We go through moments that are meant to make us stronger by building our faith in God...and our faith is built- but it isn't pretty while it is happening.  There was a lesson God was teaching us through the entire life of Kaydence...and we're still learning it today.  I was reading through some of the older journals on the caringbridge site this evening and saw that very lesson played out in many of the journals.  The lesson was all about "Living in the Limbo."  Limbo is a state when you don't know what is going to are between a few things and kind of bent over backwards in an uncomfortable manner.  While bent over backwards actually playing limbo, you have the thoughts running through your mind, "Will I hit the pole?" "Will I make it through to the other side?" "Will I fall down?"  Each of these might represent a direction your life could go at any moment.  When we were in the life of Kaydence, the quesitons were more, "Will she live with this condition for a long time?" "Will she have a miraculous recovery and improve greatly with therapy?" "Will she die soon?"  Her life could have gone in any direction at any moment of was all in the hands of God.  It is hard to live in the Limbo moments of your life, but it is in those moments that you tend to trust in God the most.  Our life has finally gone back to a rather normal state...or has it.  A few weeks back I went to the doctors office because I was experiencing some issues that I thought were minor, but ended up being a little more serious than I thought.  My arms and legs have been going numb over the past 11 or so months at various moments.  Sometimes, my arm would go dead- I would have to take my other arm and move the dead arm to get it to have some feeling back in it again.  I don't like going to see the doctor...not because I don't like doctors, but because I would rather just try to get over the whatever on my own and rough it.  I went to see the doctor because the issue got much worse over the past month and a half.  My family doctor wanted me to see a Neurologist because of this particular issue.  She said that since Kaydence had some neurological issues they were never were able to diagnose, or find out where they came from, I needed to be checked out.  As I answered the doctors questions, the symptoms were consistant with the onset of MS, or maybe Parkinson's.  What an interesting appointment I had with my doctor.  I thought it was just some minor issue I was having and here she is naming medical conditions that I would have never associated my life with.  Well...I went to the Neurologist yesterday.  He performed many different MS tests in his office (he must have had the same suspicion as my family doctor).  I failed each and every one of the tests he gave me so his thoughts are along the line of an autoimmune disease such as Lupus, which he named.  I had my blood drawn yesterday and they scheduled an MRI for Wed to see if there were any changes in my brain, or anything on my brain causing the issues.  Over the past few weeks, I have gone to work and come home only to plop on the couch and stay there until bed.  Micah wants his Daddy back and Hilary wants her husband back.  God has been speaking with me lately about this lesson of "Living in the Limbo" and He brought me some scriptures that have been put together, although I have never heard them back to back.  One of them is in the old testiment in Deuteronomy and the other is in Mathew.  Our family has done some different things lately with scripture memorization, so I am going to type them for you from memory...hopefully it goes well.  The first scripture comes out of Mathew: "Jesus said, let the little children come to me; and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."  We always hear about having a childlike faith.  What does that look like?  Back in my childhood, our family struggled through some pretty hard financial times.  I didn't worry about it because I was a child.  Daddy and Mommy have it taken care of.  All that I had to worry about was which toy I wanted to take outside to play with and when dinner was going to be served.  We think too much in our adult life sometimes.  Why should we look at things with this childlike faith and how do we get there?  This is where the second scripture comes in: "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you.  He will never leave you nor forsake you; do not be afraid, do no be discouraged."  The punctuation may not be correct, but you get the point of the scripture and besides...the words are memorized.  He is already there ahead of you!  If you were going to move to a different town, you would want someone to guide you who had already been through the town and already knows what is there.  You would want someone who knows the way around and can lead you as well.  There is only One person qualified to lead you through whatever it is in your life you are going through...only One who is already ahead of you who has already had time to plan.  Why trust anyone else?  I know that my lesson of "Living in the Limbo" is not anywhere near being over and probably will never go away as many uncertain times are yet to come, but I know a person who has already been in tomorrow and had time to make some wonderful plans...I have chosen to follow Him there!  Thank you guys for all your continued support for our family!  We love you all!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Watching Micah!

I was up on the deck as Micah was playing in the back yard.  He was running from one place to another- all the time laughing and having a good time.  He has his friends, we call them, in the back lawn that live under some rocks.  We are not sure what they are, but they look kind of like beavers.  There is a family of them that live back there- under the rocks.  Micah likes to go over to the rock and look in to see if he can see any of them.  There may be a bird at that moment that lands in the yard, which catches his attention..."Daddy, look!"  I really enjoyed watching Micah playing in the back yard.  As I looked down at him from the deck, I had such a pride in my heart.  He has been through some pretty hard things and had some real hurt...for being as young as he is.  He has kept his head up the whole time and been such an awesome boy...what a heart he has.  The love I have for Micah is kind of just have to be in my head to understand it fully.  Really, the love any parent has for their child is an undescribable love you just have to experience for yourself.  As I was standing on my back deck watching Micah, there was something going on at the same time...I was oblivious to it at first, but saw it in the end when it was shown to me.  You see...I was watching Micah, but I was also being watched by my Daddy.  Micah has his days...the ones that make you think, "who is that boy?"  When I think about Micah, I don't think about those days though...I think about who he truly is on the inside- the one we see most of the time.  I realized while on that back deck that my Daddy see's me the same way I see Micah.  Sometimes, I start thinking about all the times I have done stupid things, or said stupid things that don't bring Glory to my Daddy and I get hard on myself about the life I live.  It isn't who I am though...I was made for a different purpose.  When I look at Micah, I see some amazing things that he probably doesn't see.  When my Daddy looks at me, he see's the person he created...a person who was created for a specific purpose...a person who has a very important name!  As I watched Micah in pride, my Daddy told me He was proud of me too.  "Stop being so hard on yourself and realize who you child!"

"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God."  John 1:12-13

I think of the Harry Potter movies.  Harry's parents were some pretty incredible people and because he is their son, he ends up finding out that he has all this amazing power...even above the other children who are at this school he is going to.  We are born of some pretty incredible power...the power of God Himself.  God..may You help us to realize what it means to be born into your family.  Help us to realize what kind of name we have!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Micah asked me tonight if he could have some scripures in his room.  "I want scripures in my room Daddy," he says.  He just wants to look at them...I am not quite sure how Hilary and I feel about that. will sink in eventually.  You will laugh later...if you already haven't at this point.  Our nightly routine now starts with walking around the house to read all the scriptures that have been printed out and hung up.  This whole thing started when I was talking to Hilary on her way home from St. Louis last weekend.  One of our family members had an experience where he woke up in the middle of the night in the midst of a terrible evil that was surrounding him.  There was darkness and a pressure on his chest, so he started to quote scripture and pray...eventually the evil presence left him.  I started to think as Hilary was telling me this story, "do I have anything I could quote in a case like this one?"  "Have I been preparing for a battle with the evil forces that surround us?"  No...I would have to say that I haven't been preparing and I don't have anything I could quote that might fit a case like this one.  I imagine that a person would be in an incredible amount of fear at a moment like that one, so I printed off about 15 or so scriptures that deal with fear and have started to memorize them one by one.  The story of our family member is not a single story though...this happens all over the place with many different people.  It is never a bad idea to memorize scripture as it can help you through some pretty dark moments in your life.  Our family clung to scripture along the way with what was happening with Kaydence each day...each twist and turn that her little life brought us.  The idea of hanging the scriptues around the house was not my idea, so I can't take brother Terry has done this around his house.  He has done this for a little while now and it works wonders.  I have had an interesting time lately in my relationship with God.  He has led me to some interesting places by a statement he brought to my attention:  "If you want to make a radical have to do something radical!"  This statement has led me to do some things that don't make any sense to some people, but they do make sense to me.  I have plans of laying that out a little more in a later journal.  If they are living like the world...the things you do shouldn't make any sense to them!

Monday, May 3, 2010

2 for one tonight!

I thought I would write a few journals tonight since it has been a little while from the previous one.  There hasn't been any crazy things that have changed or happened since the last time I wrote a journal online, but I thought I would try to stay in touch with anyone who reads this thing.  I have been reading a book called "A Grief Observed" by C.S. Lewis and so the few different thoughts I have for you to read come from this book.

May 3rd, 2010
"We were even told, 'Blessed are they that mourn,' and I accepted it.  I've got nothing that I hadn't bargained for.  Of course it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not in imagination.  Yes; but should it, for a sane man, make quite such a difference as this?  No.  And it wouldn't for a man whose faith had been real faith and whose concern for other people's sorrows had been real concern.  The case is too plain.  If my house has collapsed at one blow, that is because it was a house of cards.  The faith which 'took these things into account' was not faith but imagination.  The taking them into account was not real sympathy.  If I had really cared, as I thought I did, about the sorrows of the world, I should not have been so overwhelmed when my own sorrow came.  It has been an imaginary faith playing with innocuous counters labelled 'Illness,' 'Pain,' 'Death,' and 'Loneliness.'  I thought I trusted the rope until it mattered to me whether it would bear me.  Now it matters, and I find I didn't.  Bridge players tell me that there must be some money on the game 'or else people won't take it seriously.'  Apparently it's like that.  Your bid- for God or no God, for a good God or the Cosmic Sadist, for eternal life or nonentity- will not be serious if nothing much is staked on it.  And you will never discover how serious it was until the stakes are raised horribly high, until you find that you are playing not for counters or for sixpences but for every penny you have in the world.  Nothing less will shake a man- or at any rate a man like me- out of his merely verbal thinking and his merely notional beliefs.  He has to be knocked silly before he comes to his senses.  Only torture will bring out the truth.  Only under torture does he discover it himself."

There were many things about this particular reading that struck me.  One of the things that stuck out from above was the talk about the bridge players only playing with money because they want to take it seriously and having something on the line is the only way most people will be serious about anything.  I wonder how many of us walk throughout this life like the bridge players who don't lay any money down.  There is nothing to lose...nothing also to gain...just playing it safe.  If I win...then I win; and if I lose...I lose.  This game really doesn't matter...I am just having some fun here...I'm still warming up.  The thing about the game of life- really- is this...EVERYTHING is on the line!  This game does matter!

May 1st, 2010
"On any view whatever, to say, 'H. is dead,' is to say, 'All is gone.'  It is a part of the past.  And the past is the past and that is what time means, and time itself is one more name for death, and Heaven itself is a state where 'the former things have passed away.'"  "A Grief Observed" C.S. Lewis

Becoming a Christ- follower allows us to be transformed into new creatures.  At this point, we constantly transform each day- by growing in faith and Christ- likeness- into new creatures.  With each new transformation, that part of you dies and Christ is allowed to live in that part of you.  When death occures, I believe another total transformation takes place and brings you to a place of total perfection.  You are finally what you were intended to be.  But, in order to be what you were intended to be, the part of you that isn't you has to die.  I believe this is why death has to happen...there is something that is a part of you needing to change- in order to make you who you were meant to be- but it can't occur while you're still here.  If only we could see Kaydence the way she was meant to be- maybe we wouldn't miss her as much...or maybe we still would.  Thanks again for all your prayers and support out there.  The strength of God working through His church is simply amazing!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I have went back and read some of the journals about Kaydence, back when she was still here with us.  One of the things that I have heard about the journal that drew people into reading it was that it was "real" more than anything else.  If I had some thought on my mind, I wrote about it that night on the jounal and it was a way for me to get my inner feelings out.  It was also a way for you guys to know what was going on in our lives and how to pray for to support us.  I thought I would set down here tonight and do what I have done in the past...write with no particular goal or thought and see what comes out.  When we burried Kaydence; in my mind, and at that moment, the journey was over.  Many times- when Kaydence was still here with us- I watched her suffer greatly and actually thought that it might be easier if she did pass away.  You see, as a father...your job is to protect your family at all cost.  When Kaydence came into this world, I couldn't do that job and it made me feel two different ways: 1. Like a failure (even though there was nothing I could do to prevent it). 2. Helpless!  No matter how hard I tried, there was no way I could stop the chain of events from happening and that was hard for me as a father.  This is why I thought that it might be easier if she was to pass away, because I wouldn't have to worry about her anymore...I didn't have to watch her suffer anymore.  The journey did not stop when she died just took a turn into a different direction.  I am going to tell you a few things that are probably going to be hard for me to explain- and you will probably try to use your own experiences to try to understand- which is okay.  I have been told by those who have lost people close to them that I need to just let it run it's course, so that is what I am doing.  People always wondered what was going on in our head as the parents of Kaydence, and now people want to know what is going on in our head- now that she is gone.  Back when Kaydence was still here with us, I could sense the Spirit of God surrounding us constantly.  As a matter of fact, I used to go on walks at night and when Hilary asked where I was going my response to her was: "He is wanting me to go on a walk with Him."  You can't get much closer to the Holy Spirit than that!  One thing that has been hard for me over these past few months is that I can't sense Him around me near as much as I did before.  I know that He is there, but I don't feel Him there as much as I did when Kaydence was with us.  There are days when I feel like I am barely holding on...days when I don't feel like there is anything in this world keeping me here.  I am not talking about anything on a suicidal path by any means...the only thing(people) in this world worth hanging on to will, I hope, be with me in Heaven.  I can't tell you how many times I have looked into the sky and asked God to take me too!  There are also many days when I enjoy being here in this world.  Those times are the ones I am around the people I love...connecting with them on a deeper level.  This is- what I believe- I will enjoy most about Heaven...connecting with people and God.  I have appreciated your prayers and support along the way.  Thank you for keeping on, even when you didn't hear from me through any journals.  What you all do is incredibly healing for our family, so I just wanted to take this moment to tell you how much we appreciate you all.  Keep us close in your hearts and in your prayers.  I know it never gets easier, but it does get more barable!  Pray specifically that we may once again feel the joy in our hearts that we once had.  Thanks again!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Kaydence is having a better Easter than any of us here!

Today, we thought we would go to the grave to see "sissy" because it was Easter and all.  We have not enjoyed taking Micah there lately, not because it is sad for him or sad for us that he is there, but because he keeps on stealing the toys off the other kids graves.  We will turn around to find him setting there playing with a fire truck.  "Where did you get that Micah?"  I always hope we put them back on the right grave.  Hilary and I were talking about Easter and how great it must be for Kaydence today.  We can only dream of the resurrected body of Jesus, but she is there with Him now...looking into His eyes and hugging Him.  We have had a rough few weeks here lately with her death.  It only took about 3 months, but we fell apart...myself included in that.  I don't know what happened...or what triggered the emotion, but it just seemed to come out of nowhere.  I let my boss have it real good last week, so we had a sit down talk in the office on Friday.  I told her I was sorry and she told me not to...I know that she knows what is going on because she lost her husband at a very young age and she went through many of the same things as I am going through now.  What a help she was on Friday...talking to me about stuff.  There was one particular thing she mentioned that I understood very well and I guess you just have to go through something like this to understand to its fullest.  Once the dust settles and the body is burried, pretty much everyone goes back to their normal life they had before everything happened (I'm not saying people aren't effected in some ways, but their life does go back to normal- almost as if nothing happened, because it didn't happen to them).  They will leave as a family and come back as a family to the same life, but we leave changed forever...never to be the same again.  Our pastor was talking about the event of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  It was one of those events that changed the course of history forever...never to be the same again.  He also talked about how tragic it is that there are people walking around today as if it never happened.  We now have a chance to mend our broken relationship with God and are offered forgiveness for our sins...and a place to live for eternity with Him.  Such an amazing thing to have happened and there are people walking around out there as if nothing ever happened.  When I spoke with Hilary after the service, we both grasped the same point.  Just like seeing people go back to their normal lives after the death of Kaydence...people went back to their normal lives after the death of Jesus on the cross.  And still today...people walk around as if it didn't happen.  They are still living their own lives...doing whatever pleases them.  On this day, I pray that the death and resurrection of Jesus is not just some event that happened in history to you.  I pray that it changes everything you do to the core.  May every part of your life be effected by the blood and power of Jesus.  Happy Easter!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Push Through It!

I was playing the drums the other night at the church.  Our worship team drummer has always wanted to learn how to play piano and I have always wanted to learn the drums, so we decided to trade talents and teach each other how to play.  The lessons are very informal, but they are working.  The more I play the drums the more respect I have for those who are good at have to get 3 and sometimes 4 of your limbs doing something different at the same time.  You never quite understand your nature until you come to a point where you have to go against it...and that is incredibly hard to do.  You are going against something that is ingrained in you from birth- you're telling your body to go against everything it knows.  The reason I am going through such detail about this is so that you can understand what I was up against the other night.  I have been working hard on a beat that is much more complex than your normal beat...two weeks now I have been struggling to get it down.  Time and time again I came up short and the beat would fall apart.  So this brings you pretty much up to speed on where I was as I was setting there with "Joe the drummer."  I was close, but still not there and I heard the voice of Joe behind me: "Push Through It" "Push Through It Bryan" "Push Through It Man."  With the voice of Joe behind me, I kept on and kept on through the beat.  Each time I started to stop and evaluate what was going on, the voice of Joe would be there telling me the same thing, "Push Through It."  Now was not the time to stop...I needed to keep going until I made it.  Finally, the beat came to me and I did it...and did it...and did it- over and over again until it became a part of me and felt good.  Now I will stop the story and go earlier in that was in the morning.  The day started off with a conference call that was everything but positive.  I am usually a pretty positive guy, but I felt like I couldn't shake it off this time- so I went to the bible for an uplifting word.  After reading a passage in Psalms, I prayed for a little while and asked God to go with me through my day.  I prayed for some inspiration maybe through a conversation or something.  After I left that drum session, the words "Push Through It" kept repeating in my head.  I thought about how many times I had lifted my voice to God saying, "This life is hard" and "God, I am weak."  The strong words were in the background, "Push Through it Bryan."  Life hurts sometimes, but the bible says that those who endure it will be rewarded.  We must be real and we must be honest, but we must also never forget that God is there to help us to "Push Through It."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What does it mean to "believe" in someone?

"It will not save me to know that Christ is a Saviour; but it will save me to trust him to be my Saviour.  I shall not be delivered from the wrath to come, by believing that his atonement is sufficient; but I shall be saved by making that atonement my trust, my refuge, and my all.  The pith, the essence of faith lies in this a casting oneself on the promise.  It is not the life-buoy on board the ship that saves the man when he is drowning, nor is it his belief that it is an excellent and successful invention.  No!  he must have it around his loins, or his hand upon it, or else he will sink."  Charles Spurgeon
I have daily inspirational words that I read on my phone written by Charles Spurgeon and what is written above was the one for today.  I have been thinking something along this line for a long time now, but never found the right words to explain it until today.  I had to read the words over and over again to grasp what they were saying...pretty heavy stuff.  I thought about a particular verse today that we all know very well:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."  John 3:16-18

If you think about someone you "believe" in, what do you notice about your relationship with that person?  What does it mean to "believe" in someone?  What does that look like in every day life?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

It has been a while!

Journals can be very interesting- when they are done on a regular basis.  I know that I have not written on this site for a few weeks now, but I have still written in my personal journal.  When you set down and write- without a plan of what you will write about- you will often be taken on a journey through your own mind.  There are many things you can learn through journaling and it also gives God an opportunity to speak with you.  There was a particular journal that reached out to me and I thought I would put it below- so you can see what is going on in my life as of recently:

"Use your words Micah"...a common saying in our house.  Micah will get to a point where he will whine because he is wanting something and can't get to it.  Most of the time, we can't understand what he wants as he is doing this, so we will tell him, "use your words."  God gave us the capability to explain things using words so that others can understand an event, a story or a maybe even a feeling.  There are other things in this life that can not be explained with the words that have been given to us.  We try and try and try, but often times we end up just having to say, "you had to have been there" or "it's really hard to explain."  There are times when you just have to be inside a person to be able to grasp what is going on.  People are interesting...we all come together with different backgrounds...different childhoods...different experiences; and all of these lead us to different perspectives about everything.  Two people can go through an identical experience and be effected by it in two different ways because of everything previous that led them to that specific point in history.  I believe this is one of the reasons why God tells us not to judge people- it is imposssible for any of us to know what is going on inside anyone unless they tell us...and at that...we may still not be able to grasp it.  The words, "I understand what your going through" can only go as deep as the event itself.  How each person is effected by the event can only be understood by Jesus.  He is the only One who has walked along the way with you on all the previous experiences that has led you to that point.  One of the reasons Jesus is the most important person in my life is because no one else in this world knows me better than He does.  No one else understands me like He does...and in the way He does.  I have certainly been effected by the life and death of Kaydence in a way that only Jesus can understand.  I have had a wrestless spirit lately and the thing about it is this:  I go to work Monday through Friday and my job is to sell insurance products to people in need.  I go out and sell insurance to people to make a living and there are people living and dying without ever knowing what "True Life" is all about.  I believe that only God can give you this kind of conviction.  The mere thought of millions of people dying without knowing Jesus as their personal Saviour scares me into action.  In my mind, there is nothing more important in this life than knowing Jesus Christ.  And to walk through this life without Him should be terrifying.  I can honestly say that I am terrified for those who don't know Jesus on a personal level.  I have had a strong sense that I need to say "Yes" to Jesus.  The question, I belive, is:  Will you share your story with the world?"

After I realized what the last part of this journal stated, I understood a little better what was going on and things have become much more clear over the past few weeks.  I have taken some time to Rest in Him.  The thing I am needing to do is share our story about Kaydence with the world.  The way in which we need to do it is still unclear, but I have been let in on a piece of the bigger plan.  Immediately after this journal was completed I felt peaceful inside and have remained the same ever since.  It is as if God put the unsettling there so that I would spend some extra time with Him...and it worked.  I have been appreciative of all the prayers over the past few weeks and I ask that you continue them.  The biggest thing that I feel like I need right now is rest.  I have been exhausted over the past several days and believe it to be a sleep apnea/stress issue.  Hilary woke me up in the middle of the night to tell me that I was not breathing...I will be seeing a sleep specialist in April, but I still have March to make it through.  Thanks again for your prayers and support on our family.  One last note to Marcia...Thank You for your comment to me.  I needed to spend some time with God so that He could speak to it is time to "Rest in Him" until I get further instructions.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I am waiting Lord...keep me close!

I know that my heart is beating, but there are times when I feel as if I am not an empty shell.  We were picking out the grave stone for Kaydence this morning through the funeral home( it is a pink heart with her name in the middle and on the back...her verse(John 9:1-3) and under the verse..."Sissy") and the man who helped us shared a little of his personal story.  He had a little boy who passed away and he talked about going through some of the same things we are going through now.  He talked about how he felt afterward and ended up striking a cord with me.  "It's kind of like you are numb" was what he said, and I knew exactly what he was talking about.  There are times when I wish there was some kind of feeling inside of me, but it ends up feeling more numb instead.  Here lately, I have been feeling something inside of me at moments; and is incredibly hard to explain...but I'll try.  Over the last few weeks, I have been experiencing what my father calls a wrestling of my spirit.  I have been going the direction I have always gone with everything, but there are moments when my spirit wants to go a different direction.  This brings a whole new meaning to being led by the Spirit of Jesus.  In those moments...the feeling I have inside of me is so strong that it makes me want to run away from where I am.  The last place I felt this was in my office- yesterday- during a training that my boss was doing with the team about telemarketing.  I felt such a strong wrestling within my spirit that I couldn't even focus while I was in there.  I have a strong feeling that God is trying to get a hold of me about something He is wanting me to do, but I don't know what it is.  I have been praying a lot over the past few weeks about what is going on inside of me and waiting on the answer from the Lord.  I would like to ask for your prayers on me as I continue in this particular journey.  I know that God has something very exciting around the corner for our family, but this waiting game is pretty hard.  I have a sense that I need to say "Yes" to Jesus...but I don't know what I need to say "Yes" about.  My guess is that He is wanting me to spend some time with Him for now and I will find out- when it is time- what it is He is wanting me to do.  When you have the Spirit of Jesus inside of you and are going a different direction than what He is wanting to go, the feeling is unexplainable...I can't be expressed in words.  Please keep me in your prayers tonight if you think about it.  May God be with you all...thanks for all that you do.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What does your mirror look like?

"The word of the Lord came to me: "Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people.  They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people." Ezekiel 12:1-2

We are all given the right equipment to follow after the Lord.  We have eyes to see and we have ears to hear, but we go our own way and are rebellious.  It takes a certain kind of heart to be able to listen to the voice of God.  It is like a mirror, says C.S. Lewis.  The sun has no favorites when it comes to shines on everything that is on its path.  The sun cannot reflect itself off a dirty mirror as it will be a distorted image.  The only mirror that can reflect the sun in the way it really is would be a clean mirror.  We often find ourselves as a dirty mirror, wondering why God isn't communicating with us.  What we really need to do is look at the attitude of our hearts to see if there is any rebellion that may be hardening us.  God knew the people in the passage above were hard, but God still wanted them to turn to Him.  One thing I noticed in the rest of Chapter 12 is a the repeating of a certain thought:

"They will know that I am the Lord,"
"Then they will know that I am the Lord"
"Then you will know that I am the Lord."

God is constantly doing things to help you to see Him better.  We are taken through moments in our life that you might call, "mirror cleaning" moments.  These moments are there to help us to be able to reflect the Life of God more clearly.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I have been spending quite a bit of time lately on the couch...well...sleeping that is.  Micah has been in our bed the past few nights because he hasn't been feeling all that well.  When he becomes unconcience, he can not control his limbs and for some reason they come flying my way.  I made a vow the last time he slept with us and I got about 45 minutes of sleep never to let that happen again.  He was in our bed two nights ago and let his arm go right into my face- he reminded me of the vow I made and I was on my way to the couch.  I think he is feeling much better tonight.  As I walked in from band practice, he seemed to be his old self- wanting to play ball and wrestle with his Daddy.  I have been experiencing a wrestlessness in my spirit lately and am in the midst of trying to figure out what is going on with it.  I will often find myself during the day wanting to spend time with Jesus instead of working, which makes things very hard.  You should never have to feel guilty because of spending time with Jesus, but when you cheat your work to do can understand where the wrestless spirit is coming from.  Please pray for me as I try to figure out what it is God is trying to tell me, and that I may be sensitive enough to the Spirit to listen.  I know that, sometimes, in the face of trials you find a much deeper aspect about yourself that never seemed to exist before...almost like an awakening.  I ask that you also keep the rest of our family in your prayers as we continue to grieve.  Thank you for all your support and love along the way.  We love you guys!   

Monday, February 15, 2010

A long time coming...and a lot of hard work!

"The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender."  Proverbs 22:7

This is a verse that Dave Ramsey uses to get a point across during his 91 days of Financial Peace University.  Anyone who knows me also knows how much I absolutely appreciate everything this program has done for our family over the past 4 years.  There have been several times we have looked at situations we were in and thought to ourselves: "What in the world would we have done if we had not learned how to manage our money the way God intended for us to?"  I am here today- 4 years after we began our journey into financial health- to say that WE'RE DEBT FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!  People get to scream that to the mountaintops when they call into the Dave Ramsey show...we don't feel the need to shout it to the mountaintops, but we thought it was something worth celebrating.  We still have our mortgage to pay off, but that will be in the works to finish early.  They call this "Consumer debt" free.  I never fully understood why people were able to call into the show and yell that they were debt free if they still had a mortgage, but I'll go along with it.  Anyway, we have been working the system pretty hard over the past 4 years and have looked at all the numbers.  We have payed off a grand total of $39,500.  Some things- like the medical bills- we paid off in full once we received the bill; and others...we had to finance, but paid off early along the way.  We are very thankful for Dave's ministry to the financially hurting and are proud to call ouselves one of his success stories.  The verse at the top is very true to the core.  "...the borrower is slave to the lender."  There were so many things that we couldn't do because of our bondage to the finance company.  We were able to pay all of our bills- by the grace of God- but we weren't able to do anything further.  During these past 4 years, we have also been able to do some things that are pretty incredible for other people.  I will not give you any details as you may have been one of them that we did something for and I don't want anyone to figure it out...we like to be private in our giving as much as we can.  I have had this crazy idea that I have not yet been able to accomplish to this day, but hope at some point, I can be a huge blessing to someone.  There is an auto mechanic around the corner from my house that we have used when we needed to get our cars fixed in one way other another.  The idea I had was to take $1,000 cash to the manager and see if there was anyone that was struggling to get their car fixed because of finances and I wanted to go ahead and take care of it for them so they wouldn't have to finance anything to fix their car.  I wouldn't want to meet the person, I would just want to help them out- knowing that God will give them a huge blessing because of it.  I also had other ideas of paying for someone's groceries in front of me at the store, or maybe even something as small as paying for someone's gasoline at the pump...just to give them a good day.  I think that if you really want to be radical in sharing Jesus with the world, you have to do things that people don't see very often- if at all...and maybe even don't understand.  The thing can't do things like this when you are in bondage with your finance company.  Every month you are making payments is a month you can't do something else with that money...something that could change someone's life for the better.  I remember Hilary and I laughing when the class began at things that Dave was saying in the videos.  You're going to take the money we have now and show us how to make it go further...Yeah Okay...I'll believe it when I see it!  We were eating our words when we started having more money at the end of the month.  Maybe there's more to this stuff than what we thought.  If you haven't ever been though an FPU class...maybe it's time you went.  We are a testimony to what it can do- if you're serious about it.  I hope you all have had a wonderful day today.  On a different note, we have an appointment this Thursday morning to pick out a head stone for Kaydence.  I don't know exactly what it is going to look like, but I do know that it will be some shade of pink.  I miss her today pretty bad.  I don't necessarily wish she was here with us as much as I wish we were there with her.  That day will come...and what a day it will be.  Thanks for all your prayers and support...still! 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Is this what you have to offer me?

"A thousand times I've failed
Still your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
I'm caught in your grace
Your light will shine when all else fails
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame
Your will above all else
My purpose remains
The art of losing myself
In bringing you praise
Your light will shine when all else fails
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame
In my heart and my soul
Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out
Lord let justice and praise
Become my embrace
To love you from the inside out"

Some of you will see the words above and automatically go to a worship song that is very well known around the world...and you would be right.  I was listening to the radio several months back and during an interview with a local radio personality, the writer of this song explained where the song came from and the story touched my life as I listened to it.  This man had been through some rough times in his life with drugs and things that were pretty far from God.  He turned his life over to Jesus in the back of an Ambulance on the way to the hospital.  He was later in a room- writing a new song that he was going to bring to his record company to put on a CD and release to radio.  He had opened his bible to the book of Palms and had written this catchy tune from some words he found in was a very marketable song that could have easily been released quickly to public radio.  He had packed up his stuff and was on his way out the door when God stopped him dead in his tracks.  Is this what you have to offer me?  I saved your life...and this is what you have to bring to me.  You came from a dark moment in your life where you were on drugs and very far from me and I saved you from all that...and this is what you bring to me?  The song writer sat back down and pulled his guitar out- the song above is what ended up coming out.  You can't fool God!  He knows when you are giving Him your best...and He knows when you are not!  There was a time when I was a social drinker- about four and a half years ago.  I mean...after all...nowhere in the bible does it say that you can't drink alchohol- I rationalized to myself each time I did it.  The friends who really know us now would probably be very surprized by this piece of knowledge, but it's true.  I was in training with Humana in Phoenix, Arizona and was talking to a person there who was a non-christian and he saw me with the drink in my hand.  What he said stunned me and made me think about what I was doing...who I was really following.  He said, "I know you say that you are a follower of Christ, but how are you any different than I am?"  It was at this moment that God stopped me dead in my tracks and presented the same question to me that He presented to the song writer, "Is this what you have to offer me?  I have saved you from some pretty horrible things; and this is the life you bring to me?  This is the Thanks you give me?"  Nowhere in the bible does it talk about the social drinking of alchohol being wrong, I said to myself...over and over and over again.  The real question I was asking was this: How much can I live for myself and still make it into Heaven.  It may not be alchohol with you- or even the writing of a may be something else all together...but I am wondering if God is tugging at your heart...asking you the question about the life you are living: "Is this what you have to offer me?"

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

We need you now more than ever Jesus!

Sometimes, the deep part of your heart cries out and just wants to say, "What about me?"  We got the news today that Hilary's Grandmother passed away and it hit like a ton of bricks.  A call in the middle of the day...with really no warning at all that she was going to go at this moment.  I know that she was a believer, but that doesn't make it easy for those who are left behind.  As we have made it through the first month of Kaydence being gone, there have been many people who will find out about her death and then try to console us by talking about where Kaydence is now and how happy she is.  They talk about her walking and talking in person with Jesus...they talk about her not having to wear that silly trach anymore...they talk about her being able to sing and dance and walk and talk.  There is a part of me deep down...the selfish part...that wants to cry out sometimes, "What about me?"  I know she is happy and I know she doesn't have to suffer anymore and I know she gets to walk and talk with Jesus in person...but she isn't here with us...and we are left in this world gone wrong.  There has never been a point in my entire life that I have longed for Heaven more than in this time we are in right now.  I long to be in the safe arms of the One who died for me.  I long to be in a place that is "Right" in every sense of the word...a place of no loss...a place of no sadness.  There are times when I catch a glimpse of what it must be like to be in Heaven...these are the times, I believe, when I am doing the perfect will of God.  This of coarse is not all of the actually is probably not even most of the time, but there is a glimpse.  In a perfect moment of Obedience, when you know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have done something God wanted you to do, you see this little glimpse.  You aren't sad, and you don't feel like you have sacrificed anything.  You just feel...right!  When the Apostle Paul says, To live is Christ and to die is gain, I have to say that I understand just what he is saying a little more today than yesterday.  To live, means to do the will of God and if you end up dying within that will gain in your death.  Paul knew that he could lose his life at any moment for sharing the gospel, but it didn't matter to him at all.  If he shares and he lives, he has done the will of God and lived to share it again to more people.  If he dies because of his relationship with Jesus...he will find himself in the safe arms of Jesus....never to leave.  We are leaving for Iowa on Friday morning and will return to Tennessee on Tuesday, so we would appreciate your prayers on us as we go.  Thanks for all your prayers along the way and beyond.  We love you guys!  If you would...pray for us specifically on Monday- what would have been Kaydence's first birthday- I know it probably won't be an easy day for us.

Monday, February 1, 2010

I hope that never happens again!

I was in a house with a lady and there was a group of people there with us.  Her husband had a pretty big issue that really needed some prayer and so they chose me to do the honor.  We had been talking for a while, so I guess they knew what kind of person I was and that is why they wanted me to be the one who prayed for him.  They felt like my prayers might have a better chance at getting answered, since I was closer to God than they were.  I felt like I could do what they wanted me to do..after all...I do enjoy praying and I believe that prayers are answered every day.  Our family watched as many upon many prayers were answered with Kaydence along the way, so I know the impossible can happen through God's hands.  I wandered what the problem might be that a man would need prayer, so I was intrigued at what I might see when they brought him out to me.  When the man came out into the livingroom- where we were all setting there- I saw something I have never seen in all my life and probably will never see again...I hope!  The man was tall and had a set of old blue overalls on.  I could tell that he was a farmer back in the day- he just had that look about him.  The issue that he had was that he had no face.  I never did find out what had happened to him, but he was just skin to cover anything.  What I saw had taken my breath away, but I knew that the man needed some prayer, so I decided to go at it with the most confidence I could come up with.  The man's wife wanted us to stand in a circle as we prayed for her husband, so I was the lucky one who ended up holding his hand.  I didn't know what to pray, so I just started and let the words come to me as they came.  After just a few seconds into my prayer the man held up his hands in the air- which took mine with him and the next thing I knew...he took his right hand and started picking a wedgie out of my bottom.  As if that wasn't enough...he took that same hand and started rubbing my left bottom cheek.  Wake Up...Wake Up...Wake Up Bryan- I told myself.  When I came into conciousness, it was actually Hilary's knee that was rubbing against my left bottom cheek and I started laughing.  It was the middle of the night last night and after I told Hilary about the dream, we both sat there laughing pretty hard at what happened.  I still have one question that has been burning in my mind.  I understand what caused me to think the man was rubbing my bottom( Hilary's knee), but what about the wedgie?  Hilary has some explaining to do?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Is their blood on our hands?

"At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me.  Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.  When I say to a wicked man, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood.  But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.  Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die.  Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sin.  The righteous things he did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for his blood.  But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself.  The hand of the Lord was upon me there, and he said to me, "Get up and go out to the plain, and there I will speak to you."  So I got up and went out to the plain.  And the glory of the Lord was standing there, like the glory I had seen by the Kebar River, and I fell face-down.  Then the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet.  He spoke to me and said: "Go, shut yourself inside your house.  And you, son of man, they will tie with ropes; you will be bound so that you can not go out among the people.  I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be silent and unable to rebuke them, though they are a rebellious house.  But when I speak to you, I will open your mouth and you shall say to them, 'This is what the Soveign Lord says.'  Whoever will listen let him listen, and whoever will refuse let him refuse; for they are a rebellious house."

This verse has been on my mind now for the past few days.  After I finished going through the book of Revelation- trying to understand it the best I could as I don't have a lot of knowledge on prophesy- I needed another book to study.  I was listening to Joel Rosenberg on u-tube talk about the end times and the signs that are already here on earth now in front of us.  He was referring to some scripture in the book of Ezekiel, so I started reading from the beginning of the book and found it to be interesting already.  The passage before the one quoted above speaks about this particular crowd of people Ezekiel is being sent to and how rebellious they are.  God states that they will not listen to what He says and so they also will not listen to what Ezekiel says to them either.  Why, then, is God sending Ezekiel to speak to them- knowing they won't listen?  And why would Ezekiel go- knowing they won't listen to him when he speaks to them?  It seems to me like a waste of time to go somewhere you are not welcome...a place where no one will listen to you because of having a hard heart.  With this earthly mind of mine, it is hard for me to wrap my thoughts around God's is His and not mine.  One perspective that I did not look at from reading this passage the first few times was the perspective of Ezekiel and what he might get out of going to speak to these hard hearted people. God may have wanted to show Ezekiel just how far the people were from Him.  And in doing so, He may have wanted to give Ezekiel His heart for the lost.  At first, I thought that the words of God to Ezekiel was kind of harsh as He was speaking about Ezekiel being held accountable for the blood of those who are not warned as they die in their sins.  I mean...what incredible pressure and responsibility God put on Ezekiel to give the people the Word they desperately needed to hear.  Is this passage speaking to any of you in the same way it spoke to me?  Do you know of someone out there who desperately needs to hear the Word of God before they die- away from Him?  Do you feel the burning in your heart for someone that you know...maybe the fear of what might happen to them if they were to die today?  How much do you think God holds us responsible today for those who do not know Him?  The same as Ezekiel?  Is their blood on our shoulder, or did that just apply to Ezekiel?  Maybe God has a work to do in the life of that person you think may, or may not be hard in the heart.  Maybe, He has a work to do in you and needs your obedience in order to do what needs to be done.  Sometimes, God sends you to places that don't make sense in order to do a work in you rather than what you think you might be there for.  May Your Spirit fall on all of us today Jesus.  May you show us people who desperately need a touch from You today and beyond.  May we be Obedient to You as You tug on our hearts.  We Love You with ALL of our Hearts.  Send us out to be Your Disciples in the nations.  Amen!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Is it Faith...or just a belief in an idea?

Is it Faith...or just a belief in an idea?  A question that I had to ask myself a while back when Kaydence was first born.  I have come to the conclusion that what takes you from the idea of knowing Christ Jesus to actually knowing Him and walking with Him is the opportunity to trust Him in some sort of way.  And the larger kind of way you have to trust in Him, the deeper your Faith will go.  I am going to go ahead and say something that is kind of bold, but I believe it with all my heart.  Trials are absoltely necessary for your Faith and Belief in Christ.  If you never had to have Him pick you up and carry you, how would you know that He could?  If you never had to lean on your faith, how would you know you had it?  As I set here and reflect on this past year we have been through, I can't help but to think about everything that we have been through and how necessary it was for our growth.  Each day we would wake up and not know what was going to happen with Kaydence- whether she was going to live or die- we were taking our faith to a deeper level.  We couldn't wake up each day without first trusting in God to guide us through the day, give us strength to make it through the day and putting Kaydence in His hands.  When you have no choice but to put your trust in God, or try to handle something on your own, you will find that often times, you will find yourself in the hands of God before too long.  That's why I believe that trials are absolutely a necessary thing for Spiritual growth.  In memory of where this journal came from, I thought I would give you an update on Kaydence before I go.  Kaydence has had an incredible day today.  The kind of day she had can only be described with a heavenly language, so I am afraid that I will definitely come up short...but I'll try anyway.  Kaydence loved to smile as much as she could, so she did a lot of that today as she was in the arms of Jesus.  She spent so much time not able to say anything while she was here, so she spoke all day today about how loved she knew she was by the way people looked at her and spent time with her.  She has such a beautiful voice that she would have loved to show off to everyone around her while she was here, but she is sure using it now to give perfect praise to God.  She is growing spiritually every day as she is learning things we can only dream of.  She misses everyone that she knew while she was here, but she knows she will see them later, when the time is right.  She knows how sad we are for her to have left us, but she also knows first hand what is in store for those who are following Christ Jesus and she is excited to be able to show us around when we get there.  I miss you Kaydence and I want to give you a public thanks for turning my life upside down and showing me the things in life that are truly important.  There has been a big void in our lives since you have been gone...but it is being filled by Christ Jesus.  I am thankful that I have Him to fill that void!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Walking and talking with Jesus!

I have heard it said many times that if you want an answer to a burning question, the best thing you can do is fix your eyes on Jesus Christ.  I was out tonight walking, listening to music and talking to Jesus for a little while.  As I was doing so, a memory came to my mind from the past.  I told Hilary this story a little while back, but not anyone else because it was always close and personal to me.  As I was reflecting on this memory tonight, I felt like it was something I was supposed to share within tonight's writing, so I am being obedient.  I was in Kansas City at the time living off Holmes road if anyone has been there and knows where that is.  I was setting on the hood of my car in the parking lot of the Kansas City First Church of the Nazarene, where I went to church at the time.  There were often times when I would go off alone and think, which is something I like to do even now.  It was in one of those moments when I was alone in the parkinglot that I was looking up in the sky thinking about my personal walk with Jesus and how I saw my life...the way I was living out my life each day.  I got this deep sense in the pit of my soul that something real big was going to happen to me later on in my life.  I didn't know what it was going to be, but I knew that I was going to be used in some way to make a difference in people's lives.  I was never able to shake that feeling from my life from that point on.  Every now and then, I would go some distance without thinking about it and then it would come back into my thought process and almost take me off my feet.  It was over 5 years after Hilary and I were married that Kaydence came into our lives and turned it upside down, but in a good way.  This was what I had been waiting for and didn't know it until later when I kept hearing stories about the journal entries, or how people were watching us live our life of faith in front of them and how it was effecting their Spiritual journey in a good way.  The Spirit of God gave me a glimpse of what was to come later on in my life and it played out in reality later down the road.  Each time I feel a deep sense of something and I am given a special confidence to go along with it, I have to pay critical attention to it.  There are some very interesting things going on in this head of mine that have come about recently and maybe there will be future journals on them as they come a little closer and are more clear to me.  I believe our family has been called to a higher level Spiritually is getting exciting.  Please continue to wrap us in your love and prayers.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Everybody has a bad day from time to time!

Hilary and I got each other memorial gifts for our anniversary that just passed on Sunday.  As of January 24th, 2010 we have had 6 wonderful years together as husband and wife.  We have been through some interesting things in the years we have been married, but we have made it out alive and on the other side.  The memorial gifts were to remember Kaydence.  Hilary got a ring that has Kaydence's name and her birth stone on it and I got a leather wrist band with a metal piece in the middle.  The metal piece has "kaydence elizabeth" in the middle with four little raised metal pieces around the edge that say: "daddy's girl," "sissy," "John 9:1-3," and "little girl."  I am not one who usually wears wrist bands, but it is pretty cool looking.  I had one of those days today.  Just a little into my day, I really wanted to go back to bed and wake up again to redo it all.  I did make my normal Tuesday 7:00am conference call, but beyond that point, the rest of the day went down hill.  I was going to meet with another agent to go to a 10:00am appointment in the next town over...we had a complex relationship with this particular husband and wife, so we were going to each write up one of them on the same plan.  The conference call ended at 8:00am and that is the last I remember.  I looked down at my computer clock which showed 9:40am...I am real late at this moment for my 10:00am appointment.  Where that hour and 40 minutes went- I have no earthly clue.  On my way out the door, I was in a huge rush and my phone ended up flying away from me only to land on it's face.  It is an iphone, so the glass piece cracked extremely bad causing little pieces of glass to come crumbling off.  iphone's are not cheap, so I am going to be out a pretty big expense on this one.  I got all the way to my appointment only to realize that I had left my computer at the house, which is what I use to write people up on a plan.  In the almost 4 and a half years I have worked for my company, I have never left my computer at home.  I have been so incredibly distracted lately and hope that it gets better soon.  On my way home, I decided to stop by the gravesite of Kaydence for a short while.  As I was writing the post last night, I had tears in my eyes just thinking about how much joy she brought to my life while she was here with us.  I took a nice little walk last night after writing the post because I needed to spend some time walking with Jesus- this is somethng I did often when Kaydence was here with us and something I will probably continue to do now as well.  I find that taking a walk will calm me down and the time I spend talking with Jesus brings my focus back on Him where it needs to be.  I can picture Kaydence walking with Jesus in the streets of Heaven right now...I wish I was walking with them.  She gets to look at His face...she gets to hug Him...she gets to cry on His shoulder (tears of joy of coarse).  All the things I long for, but can't have until it is time for them to happen.  I was reading in my daily devotional by Charles Spurgeon that I got from the app store on my phone..."there's an app for that."  He was talking about the times of emptyness that you go through are preparing you for the fullness God is bringing you.  The low times are preparing you for the constant high times you are going to be brought into when the time is right.  I like what Mr. Spurgeon has to say gives me comfort!

Monday, January 25, 2010

We needed some time away!

I walked over to the sink and washed my hands after I got grease on them from the chicken wings we got from Little Ceasars.  As I was washing my hands, I noticed a very small thing, but yet a thing that does make a difference.  The water didn't smell!  Some of you reading this will chuckle a little as you very well know what I am talking about.  Our family went to Gatlinburg, TN this weekend from Friday until today for a little vacation from it all.  We went there with our baby group- the group we met while going through classes at the hospital here in town before Micah was born. The class taught us how to deal with babies.  I always tell people that we gained absolutely no knowledge from those classes, but we did gain some pretty incredible friends who went through the same things as we did at the same time.  These friends also stuck by our side through all the trials and triumphs of our family as we went through our journey with Kaydence.  The cabin we rented for the weekend was real nice, but we must have been on a different water source because it stunk.  At some points I would run the water and wander who it was that passed gas; and at other moments I would run the water because I needed to pass gas.  Things like that make some of the fondest memories though and I did enjoy the time away from the chaos of normal life.  The cabin had many features that didn't work when we got there- such as wireless internet...we didn't need to communicate with anyone anyway.  When we got back into town, I was moving our baggage over to our explorer and I paused for a short second.  I saw two green plastic pieces in the back so I picked them up and looked at them with Kaydence on my mind.  Each one of the new oxygen tanks would have a plastic green piece on the top to let us know that it was full.  We always had to pull it off before we switched her over to a new tank.  It is interesting how a simple little object will mean nothing to you while you are using it, then later it will stop you dead in your tracks to remind you of something you went through when you were using it.  I miss her tonight pretty bad.  I wish I could go over to the couch and tell her that I love her...and give her a kiss on her forehead like I always did when she was here.  I have never lost someone- until recently- that I spent time with day in and day out.  It feels like she is real far away from me tonight.  There were times when Kaydence was with us that I felt like our family was in a kind of a prison- because we couldn't do things like what we just did this weekend...I miss that life.  If you are out there still praying for our family, I ask that you keep us in your prayers tonight.  I appreciate everything you guys have done along the way...we don't deserve to have such loving people around us, but we love it.  

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Are You Ready!

"Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill.  Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming.  It is close at hand- a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness.  Like dawn spreading across the mountains a large and mighty army comes, such as never was of old nor ever will be in ages to come.  Before them fire devours, behind them a flame blazes.  Before them the land is like the garden of Eden, behind them, a desert waste- nothing escapes them.  They have the appearance of horses; they gallup along like cavalry.  With a noise like that of chariots they leap over the mountaintops, like a crackling fire consuming stubble, like a mighty army drawn up for battle.  At the sight of them, nations are in anguish; every face turns pale.  They charge like warriors; they scale walls like soldiers.  They all march in line, not swerving from their course.  They do not jostle each other; each marches straight ahead.  They plunge through defenses without breaking ranks.  They rush upon the city; they run along the wall.  They climb into the houses; like theives they enter through the windows.  Before them the earth shakes, they sky trembles, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine.  The Lord thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty are those who obey his command.  The day of the Lord is great; it is dreadful.  Who can endure it?  "Even now," declares the Lord, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning."  Rend your heart and not your garments.  Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.  Who knows?  He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing- grain offerings and drink offerings for the Lord your God."  Joel 2:1-14

The last few days have been some incredible days for our family.  We have never been so on fire for God as we are at this moment...never so much in tune with the Spirit of God.  I was in the bathroom with Hilary yesterday morning fixing my hair and I simply paused and gazed into the abyss, I then looked out the window and did the same thing.  Hilary looked at me with these confused eyes, asking me what was wrong.  I told her, "nothing is wrong."  She told me that my face wasn't normal looking at the moment and gave me this look like I needed to tell her something.  As I took out my hearing aide, I looked at her in the eyes...wait...I just want to take a quick poll of how many people are thinking right at this moment, "I didn't know he had a hearing aide."  I don't have a hearing aide...I was just joking with you all.  So...anyway...I looked into her eyes and said, "He's Coming Soon!"  Yesterday morning, I had a deep, yet quiet, sense that He was coming soon.  I don't know what "soon" means, but there have been some interesting things happening around me lately.  I strongly believe that God is calling His people Home to Him.  I have had 4 people, and maybe more that I have not heard about yet, who has spoken about not being ready- if He was to come now.  Each one of these people have become passionate about getting to know Jesus on a much deeper level than they are on now.  I have to Praise the Lord when I hear that...He is calling His people Home to Him.  The scripture above is speaking of the army of God...lead by God.  When I read those words above, I have to stop and Praise God that He was patient with me until I came to Him and fell in Love with Him.  I look at people out there who I know are not living right, mostly because they openly state they don't believe...and I fear for them.  My eyes have been opened to the seriousness of the Choice to follow Christ or not.  Do you want to be against this army above?  I sure don't...I'm on His side!  People all over the world are being awakened in a way they have never been awakened before.  God is pouring out His Spirit everywhere, and people are coming to Him.  I was listening to Joel Rosenberg today and he was saying that there are record numbers of Jews recognizing Jesus as the Christ.  There are also a record number of Muslims recognizing Jesus as the Christ and coming to Him.  You don't hear about this, but on Christian television stations and various internet sites.  What an incredible outpouring of the Spirit is going on in the world right now.  Are you ready?  The stage is being set!

Monday, January 18, 2010

What have we seen?

We had Micah's Aunt Hollie come in last Friday and stay with us until this morning when she left early.  It is always nice having family in town.  I always get out of my normal routine when family is around, so I haven't written anything for a short little while.  I was watching 60 minutes last night after the game and was sickened by the things that I saw within the first part of the show- when they were reporting on what was going on in Haiti.  As I have spent times in thought about the different things being shown on the television, I think it gives a good picture description of what some scripture says in Revelation:

"And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, "Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great."  Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army.  But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf.  With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image.  The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulpher.  The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh."  Revelation 19:17-21

Some of the things we have seen this week have been pretty unbelievable... and disturbing...but it is there in front of our eyes.  We have seen on television a dump truck moving dead bodies to be burned in a pit.  We have seen dead people lined across the street (and the camera's aren't blurring it out of our view), we have seen blood draining down a street from who knows how many different people.  I saw a father holding his limp child- it made me automatically think of my children and what that would be like to have that happen in that short time...all the shock I would be in.  Some of the things we read about in the bible seem to be pretty unbelievable when you really set there and think about them.  If you look at some of the plagues that are written about in the book of Revelation, you will see some things that are hard to believe.  Another thought that came to my mind just today when watching some of this footage is how fast things can get real bad.  I believe we are living in a time when the rapture of the Christians and the return of Jesus could happen at any moment.  If you think about the rapture of all the Christians of this world leaving all at once to meet with Jesus in the sky.  What kind of chaos could that cause world wide?  And at less than a second!  I have had an incredibly hard time focusing on my work throughout the day.  I find my mind drifting off to the people of Haiti and how much dispair and hopelessness they are in at the moment...I find myself thinking about the return of Jesus and how serious this time we are in- right now- is.  The thought that keeps coming back to my mind when I hear about the death toll rising from his event is this:  How many of them knew Jesus before they died?  How many were living right?  My passion for the lost has grown so incredibly heavy lately, and I don't know what to do about it but keep on talking about my Faith wherever I am and praying and writing about it.  The feeling I have inside of me for the people who don't know Jesus personally is like a parent seeing their child in the middle of the street with a car racing towards them.  Something has to be done about it...they don't even know they are in danger until it is too late.  My prayer on those left behind in Haiti is for comfort and peace that passes all understanding.  I have no idea what it feels like to be them, but I know that they need healing in many ways.  My prayer also is for those who don't know Jesus on a personal level...I pray that they will turn to Him in this dark hour as our family turned to Him for help in our dark hour.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I was watching the news today about the earthquake in Haiti and as I was watching the footage on the screen, I was automatically taken back by what I was seeing with my eyes. It was like God was hitting me over the head, spelling it out for me with crayons- which I told Him He was going to have to do if He wanted me to understand stuff. I'm not all that smart and need lower than layman's terms to understand things. There was a scripture that was brought to my attention, so I immediately started looking through my bible to find where it was.

Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At the time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." Mathew 24:4-14

Did you catch it? There are many of these things going on at this very moment we are living in. Here in the United States, we have seen some pretty historic things happen, but there is one historic thing that is much greater than anything we have seen as of yet- and it is coming soon! We have seen a man walk on the moon...but God is coming soon to rule and set the world Right! We have seen World Wars...but God is coming soon to rule and set the world Right! We have seen a nation rise up against itself in a Civil War...but God is coming soon to rule and set the world Right! We have seen racial barriers broken between black and white...but God is coming soon to rule and set the world Right! We have seen the first African American President of the United States...but God is coming soon to rule and set the world Right! There are many things in this life that cry out for our attention, and they are important things, which is why we put our focus on them. At the same time, there are things in this life that demand our attention because they are that important. What I get out of the scripture above is this: There are signs that God gives us to tell us He is coming soon. Many people are waiting for more evidence, but I am afraid that once they get all the evidence they will be too late to get serious about their life. God taught our family how to stand firm during moments of tribulation through the time we had with Kaydence...and I am very grateful of that. As I was reading this scripture earlier today, it was so evident and powerful to me that the coming of Christ could very well happen in my life time. As more and more news reports come out of wars and people talking of wars, I think about the beginning of birth pains. As I watch reports of earthquakes all over the world- wiping out vast amounts of population, I think about the beginning of birth pains. If you are out there and are not following Christ, I have to ask you: What are you waiting for? How much more evidence do you need that the bible is telling the truth and Christ Jesus is REAL and ALIVE today? If you are a follower of Christ...are you serious about it? If you are not serious about your life and witness here on earth, what are you waiting for? People are lost...and will be lost for eternity if nothing is done to help them. God is calling His people Home- and Satan is taking the rest of them down the path of moral decay. Now is the time to determine which path you are on...please don't wait until it is too late!