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!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

When God wants to meet with you- do it!

We never use that spot anymore- the place on the couch where Kaydence always was. She was always on the end cushion- right by the window in the living room. I don't know what the entire reasoning is, but I do know that it is an unconscious thing- why we don't set there. Maybe it is hard, knowing that she used to be there all of the we can't bring ourselves to set there. Three nights ago- when I was setting right here at the dinner table- I was getting ready to go to bed and God gripped me by the heart and told me that He wanted to spend some time with me in prayer. Have you ever had one of those experiences before...the kind where God reaches out and knocks you over the head- so to speak? It was obvious to me that He wanted for me to talk to Him right then and there, so I went over to the couch and bowed down on the cushion- the one where Kaydence used to be. I didn't know what He wanted out of me, so I started my prayer with, " know exactly what I need and why I am here right now. I have no earthly clue what I am doing here so I need your help." There was a dark spirit in our house at the time that was trying to tear down our family and I needed to stop everything I was doing and pray. God told me to get up from the couch after praying for a little while and rebuke Satan...tell him that he was not welcome in our house. You see...Satan gave it his best shot when Kaydence came our way. He thought that the outcome would be much different than it ended up being. God used Kaydence to do His will and we stayed close by as He was changing the world right in front of our eyes- which made us even closer to Him. This trap was designed to tear our family apart and break our trust in God, but it actually ended up making our family stronger and bringing us closer to God than we have ever been before. When I was praying out in the living room, it got really cold where I was at. I knew I was not alone out there and needed to keep praying until God told me to stop. After about 45 minutes in prayer, I went to bed with my ice cold body and feet- which I naturally rubbed up against Hilary to let her know what had just happened. There is a war going on right now between the forces of Good and Evil...we are involved in this war- even if we think we are not. I have been on the Kaydence cushion now the past 3 nights before I go to bed, and it has drawn me closer to God. That cushion is a special place for me to go and pray as Kaydence carried the presence of God everywhere she was. Thank you Kaydence for what you brought to us!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

What is inside of you?

"There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you."
"Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis

I was reading today- as I do on a fairly often basis- and I came into contact today with what I have posted above. It only makes sense that you naturally act on behalf of what you have inside of you. A few chapters back, C.S. Lewis spoke about the Center being: "I would much rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow-creatures, and with itself." I have lately thought often about what C.S. Lewis is talking about above with the "central part of you", and found that I am much farther from God morally than I thought I was. Do you do the things that you do because of something inside of you crying out to do them, or do you do them because you think- even very faintly- that there may be something in it for you in some way...maybe God points? For a man, you may look out your window and see a jogger running down the sidewalk and look in your mirror, once you pass by, only to find out that the nice legs belonged to another man. You may not have seen anything or thought anything, but why were you looking at the jogger in the first place? That is the Central part of you C.S. Lewis is talking about. The choice to look out your window is a moral choice that is either making you more into a heavenly creature, or a hellish one. Who is this person inside of me Mr. Lewis speaks of as the "central part of you?" Sometimes, it is a good thing to take a long look into the mirror to find out who you matter how ugly you find yourself to be in the end. At the end, when God strips you down to just the central part of you, the part of you that makes the internal decisions, will you recognize yourself? I believe you have to find out just how ugly you are on the inside to recognize how much you need the work of Jesus on the Cross. We truly are not worthy of being in the presence of God in His Heaven...but the work of Christ on the Cross made it possible for us, because He is worthy and He has given us His Righteousness as a clothing. What an incredible thing He did for all of us!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Top 10

I have been inspired by my little boy Micah in these almost 3 years he has been with us. There are some things he does that I just find to be hilarious. After he had done something previously, I thought to myself, "he would never do this as a teenager"- which brings me to the list I am about to present to you. Everything you see on the list was completed by none other than our little boy Micah!


10. Laughing at your dad's jokes

09. Getting your boyhood caught in the shower drain and needing your Mom's help to get it out

08. Drinking from a cup that is weeks old, which was hidden in a secret place and still has juice left in it

07. Eating M&M's that you found on the floor at Wal-Mart

06. Trying to catch the urine stream- with your hand- going into the toilet

05. Saying to your Dad, "Do it again" after he has held you down and passed gas on your head

04. Sticking your hands in the toilet to play with the water

03. Taking a cup and catching the water that is running off your Dad in the shower so you can play with it

02. Sleeping with your Mom and Dad because you want to

And the #1 one thing a little boy would do that you definitely wouldn't catch a teenager doing is...

01. Taking a family shower (Move over Mom, your hogging the water) (Can I get your back?) Now that's wrong!!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

One last time is never enough!

Back when Hilary and I were dating- before we were married- our relationship was long distance. As a matter of fact, we never lived in the same city the entire time we dated- which was 2 years. I would often times drive to Springfield, MO on the weekends while I lived in Kansas City and we would spend the entire weekend together. When I moved to Nashville, TN- which was approximately 8 months before we got married- I was only able to see her once a month. At the end of the weekend, before I was to travel back to where I lived, I would hug her and give her a kiss good-bye before I would hit the road...then I would give her another hug and another kiss. After being on the road for only 5 minutes, I would be missing her and just want to hold her in my arms again and kiss her just one more time...but it would never be enough to satisfy me. I would long to be in her arms again and I would anxiously await for the time to come when I could hold her again for another weekend. It always happened at the end of our time together that we would say we loved each other one last time and give each other one last hug and kiss before we had to say good-bye again until the next time we saw each other. It was very difficult for me to drive away each time I had to say good-bye because it was never enough for me to hold her one last time...give her one last kiss...and tell her I loved her one last time. Back when Kaydence was first born and we were told that we were going to lose her down the road...probably shortly...we started to try to prepare for this moment when we would have to say good-bye to her. We would have to hold her one last time...hug her one last time...kiss her one last time...and tell her we loved her one last time. It wasn't enough though. We find ourselves going throughout the day wishing we could hold her again and tell her how much we love her and how happy she makes us feel. We wish we could kiss her again and spend more time with her...just one last time. Hilary and I got married and I didn't have to tell her good-bye anymore...I get to kiss her every night and tell her how much I love her. I get to hold her in my arms every day. I have found myself holding on to Hilary and Micah a little tighter than I used to hold them because I don't know when I won't have that opportunity anymore. There is coming a day when we will not be separated anymore from those we love. A day when we will be free to love them and not fear losing them. I am holding that day close to my heart and it is helping me to get by these days we are in now. There are better days to come for those who have their name written in the book of life. My name is in yours?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Pay Attention!

I had an appointment with the man last month at his house here in town. When I walked into his house, the first thought that ran through my mind was where to put my computer bag down. There was mold running up the corners of all his walls and going into the ceiling. The smell was dried sweat mixed with a whole bunch of things- of which I don't even want to know what they were. The man himself had patchy greasy hair and as you look down the rest of his body, you can tell that it has been a long while since he has taken a shower...probably part of where the smell came from. He was wearing socks that were warn to the point he might as well had not been wearing any at all, and did I mention that he conveniently forgot to wear pants to our meeting. He was just wearing a t-shirt, which he felt in his mind served the purpose he was going for. If he dressed up for our meeting, I fear what he would look like if he had not remembered about our appointment that day. He was wearing a robe over his t-shirt, but it was open and served no real purpose in covering anything at all. When it came time to set down for the appointment to go over the presentation, I found the best spot around me where I saw the least amount of funk on the floor. As I was setting in the chair the man provided me, I was seriously wondering what in the world I was setting in at the moment...and if there might be any shots that could prevent me from catching whatever it was setting in that chair. I feared by the end of the appointment that the man might want to shake my hand, and by what I saw on his hands and underneath his fingernails, I didn't want to risk it- so I had plans to make sure and have something in both hands so that if need be I can maybe bow at him or something other than shaking his hand. When I was meeting with the guy- having all these thoughts- God reached out and spoke to me in a way I didn't expect Him to. He used simple words with me- "Would you wear this man's clothes if I asked you to?" Then He went further asking me, "Would you wear something as personal as this man's underwear if I asked you to?" EWWWW, was my response, but the point was very clear in my mind. Sometimes, you can forget just what Christ did for you on the cross and you need a good reminder. I saw myself as clean and this man was very unclean. I couldn't imagine what it would be like to choose to put this man's clothes on myself...but that is exactly what Christ did for us when He was clean and we were dirty. He put on the most personal of sins and wore them on the cross for us...and He didn't complain...He did it because He loved us and wanted us to be clean. He associated Himself with unclean so that we could be associated with clean! If you pay attention out there, God just might have a lesson for you!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Laughing is good!

If you will look at the new picture on this blog, you might see something that is very hard to explain. There was a game that my family was playing tonight called "Quelf" and it was fun. The game makes you do some pretty interesting things that you just might have to be there to understand. I try on a normal basis to laugh as much as I can, and even more so lately when our life has been everything but laughter. Hilary has been working on putting together a book of the journals off the Caringbridge site so that we can keep it and read it down the road. There is also word that you might be able to purchase a book if you wanted to. It will be a very nice hard back book with a beautiful picture of Kaydence on the front. The book title is "Kaydence Elizabeth" as told by Daddy. I am glad that Hilary has something to work on to keep her mind busy for a little while. She was the one who created and designed the Caringbridge site...I just got on each night and wrote the words. I think that Hilary has a gift of designing things and I am glad she is the one putting the book together. At church this morning, the pastor spoke about prayer and how it should be a simple thing to communicate with our Heavenly Father- the King of the Heavenly Kingdom. He spoke about times in your life when the only words you can say is, "You know" or "It hurts." I had one of those days on Wednesday while I was taking my morning shower. I had tears rolling down my face and as I looked up, the only words that came out of my mouth was, "IT HURTS!" I know that He already knew it, but I wanted to make sure that I told Him myself. Often times, I will be driving down the road talking to God as if He was right beside me in the car- I enjoy those times that I spend with Him and it is in those times that I feel like I have connected with Him on a personal level. It is a pretty incredible thing to connect with the Creator of the Universe...the King of Heaven...the Savior of the World. My phone reminds me on a daily basis of an old question I put on there a while back. "Can you see Him today? Are you looking outside yourself?" I would say a very big YES to the both of these questions because I feel like I have had no choice lately but to look outside of myself and see Him. May you see Him too!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Hello anyone who may be reading this blog. Some of you may have followed our family on the Caringbridge site and some may not. I have been asked by many people to continue to write my thoughts and feelings so that if you want to you can read them. Our family has been through a pretty hard ordeal with our little girl who had been born with some health issues and recently passed away. Kaydence Elizabeth lived almost 11 months and blessed us deeply with her presence. Along this journey, I have discovered a deep love for writing...and as a matter of fact...found it to be a very healing thing to do. I never know what is going to come out of a journal, I just know it will be from the heart. There have been several lessons we have learned along the way during our time with Kaydence, and our family still continues to learn them along a normal basis. I chose the name "Humbly Growing" because "Flippin' boogers at my baby" was already taken. When you think about a spiritual type of a name, there are truly many of them already taken. Hilary, my wife, thought that the name contradicted itself since I am humbly putting "Humbly Growing" as the name of the blog...but as I stated before, "Flippin' boogers at my baby" was already taken. For everyone who did follow the Caringbridge site, this will be like a continuance of the types of things I wrote about there. We have appreciated every single one of your prayers on our family along the way and hope that you continue to do so as we continue in our family journey. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you deeply.