Thursday, May 21, 2009

Navigating God's Will

I recently went canoeing down the Buffalo River in Northern Arkansas. It was fantastically crazy! The river was at flood stage for a lot of the time we were there. Because it was at flood stage, the water was moving incredibly fast. It's so easy to underestimate the power of water until your home is destroyed in a flood, you've gotten stuck in a canoe trap against the tree and the fast current, or you've seen the Grand Canyon.

My buddy and I had been canoeing before, but not like this! I don't think we ever tipped over, but several times we got stuck and water poured into our canoe, making us have to jump out and hope for the best. It was wildly exhilarating, but also very scary.

My buddy and I got to talking about God's will and what does the river teach us about God's will??? Here are some things that we discussed while on a flood stage river in an overloaded canoe as a bunch of amatures...

1) Sometimes following God's will is incredibly scary and unpredictable.
2) As the river had its way with us, we realized that the river is moving downstream (duh...). It had a place to where it was moving. It would get us there one way or another. It may take us paddling and steering to make the journey easier instead of getting hit by trees and stuck in strainers....So does following God mean that He has a plan for us and He'll get us there. We may jump in with our own plans and it may or may not help us out, but the river (God) still got us where it (He) wants us to be.

3) You meet some interesting people along the way. On the river, we met some firefighters from New Orleans who had their beers strapped around their necks, had wrapped several canoes the day before, but still got back on the river and had a blast. We meet a paddlers club of retired older folks who paddle all over the US - Grand Canyon, Mississippi River, Rio Grande, etc. They welcomed us in the first night as we were really soaked. They let us hang out by their fire, served us awesome food, and margaritas (Cinco de Mayo!)
4) I am very insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
5) Beautiful scenery
6) Enjoy the ride. Following God's will doesn't always mean it will be safe and comfortable. When my buddy and I got in panic mode after we lost the boat the first day and had to do the whitewater float (feel downstream so you don't bang your head on a rock that you can't see....) it was kind of scary, but really cool once we got everything back safely.

Your thoughts about following God's will???

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I like yucky weather!!

Today it has been raining/sleeting/icing/snowing all day. I love it. I think that our lives are often lived at 100 mph and we never really have a chance to slow down...or at least we don't make ourselves slow down. I think maybe yucky weather is God's way of slapping us in the face and tell us to sit down, shut up and chill pun intended. Maybe it's because we won't do that ourselves. I'm gonna take time today to read a good book, clean the showers (been meaning to do that for a while), play with my kids, and wander outside tonight and take a walk and be reminded that I'm not all that I think I am.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thoughts on the Inauguration today

Here are some thoughts I had today while watching the Inauguration:
- I think it is incredible that we can have a peaceful transition of power. There are so many nations that rule by's awesome that we can peacefully hand over the steering wheel to another driver.
- I bet it was really cold out on the Mall!
- The invocation by Rick Warren was very moving to me. !!Gasp!! He even "invoked" the name of Jesus!??!! Well, what do you expect from a Christian minister?
- Very proud that our country is moving beyond racism. While it is still prevalent, we've at least moved forward in electing an African American. I hope that this gives courage and vision for minorities worldwide.
- What was Bush thinking? I kind of feel bad for him. He did have some tough things he had to focus on - 9/11; the war; Katrina, etc. Especially 9/11 and Katrina - both things that don't "normally" happen around here. He was really kind of shooting in the dark in how to handle some aspects of each of those situations. Now he leaves with a low approval rating and only history will really tell his legacy.
- If I were Barak or Michelle I would be so worn out from all the formalities, parties, hand shaking, smiling, standing in the cold, etc. He needs a day or two to just sleep and chill out!
- I really like the hope that B.O. offers. I hope there is truth to it.
- While I didn't vote for B.O., I find myself getting excited as well about new hope and maybe a new direction for the USA. We'll see what the B.O. administration leaves us in 4 years.

All in all, I'm really thankful to God to live in the nation. I know it's got it's problems, but to see this happen today - with all the ritual and nods to our rich history - has really made me incredibly thankful to live in the USA. I pray for some good years ahead.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Chase

Last night I hung out with some gentlemen at a local pizza place. They were high school boys so the discussion - naturally - was very intellectually stimulating. The topics went from music, to school, to farting, to sex, and then to girls. One guy was going on and on about how every relationship he has been in lasts for a very short time. He said it's like they really like him for a while, but then once they've "got him", they quickly lost interest. Now, this guy is a great guy. He would be a good "significant other". Yet, for some reason, that doesn't seem to matter.

I believe this is a fact of nature with most girls. They love the chase. They love the mystery, the challenge, the rebellion, the intrigue of trying to get some poor, unsuspecting guy to like her. Then, when she finally breaks the guy and he yells out "Uncle!" or better yet "WHAT ARE YOU DOING THIS FRIDAY NIGHT?" , she has him in her clutches to do with him whatever she wants.

She then messes with him, flirts with him, and maybe even does a little more than that, hanging on to him like a kite on a string. But, invariably, she begins to quickly lose has become boring now that she has him. The chase isn't fun anymore. She lets go of the kite string and rushes to her next victim. Meanwhile, the kite slowly falls down to the earth. The routine starts all over again.

Am I right? Now, I realize that not every girl is like this. In fact, I am happily married. Yet, there are times that I can sense this even in my own wife. Not that she would drop me like a kite without a string, but when I play "hard to get", it's like it heightens her senses and she goes back on the chase. By me not showing interest sometimes, it makes her more attracted to me.

Love certainly is a strange thing.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

My symptoms

About 2 years ago, I moved back to my hometown. Didn't really see that one coming. While I'm glad to be near family, there are some things I've noticed about how I've changed since I've come back. Here is a list of comparisons of why I'm different than the average person here in small town Muskogee, OK USA...
- I'm not really into NASCAR
- I'm not short and stocky with a goatee.
- Not really into classic rock.
- I don't litter (at least not on purpose).
- I am a disciple of Jesus, so that automatically makes things different.
- I don't play golf or basketball, nor do I have a fantasy football team...
- I don't drive an insanely large truck.
- I read.
- I have tried sushi.
- I have three kids and we're pregnant with our 4th.
- It is not my life's goal to have my kids be in the Olympics.
- I'm not really into the rat race...I want things to be simple.
- I don't hunt...but I do fish...sometimes.
- I listen to NPR sometimes.