Sunday, January 25, 2009

Butterfly Season

It is butterfly season....at least for me it is. We just kicked off our year by speaking in our church today, where we made missions an emphasis! Have I told you how wonderful our church is? They are an incredible group of people who are committed to getting us to CIT (Center for Intercultural Training) www.cit-online.org in North Carolina by January 2010 (Lord willing of course)! We have some speaking engagements on our calendar and are looking forward to speaking with pastors as we fill up our calendar. The reason I entitled this blog Butterfly season is because with the upcoming speaking engagements I will be spending my Sunday mornings with them, enjoying their presence but accepting their departure! I enjoy knowing that they are fluttering in my stomach (figuratively) reminding me that I don't have it all together and that I need to depend on the working of the Holy Spirit as I speak. With that I have some prayer requests that I would like to share. Please pray for our spiritual life as we will be missing some Sunday morning messages as we speak in churches. Pray for us as this can be a very busy time as I also have other commitments with school and church. Thank you for your prayers and your encouragement, I know you are out there!!! I want to leave you with a quote from a very well seasoned pastor friend of mine: "I would be afraid of someone who was not nervous before they stepped up to a pulpit!" With that I remind myself to enjoy those fluttery friends and why they are there!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

New Addition...Olivia Grace

my baby sister finally gave birth on Friday to a 7 lb 1 oz, 19 1/4 inch baby girl, Olivia Grace! things like this absolutely amaze me, i knew i loved that little girl even before we knew who she was going to be and now that she is here i am reminded of both times i welcomed into this world our two beautiful children. i love that little girl (and her parents of course) so much it seems impossible to have or be able to produce that much love, especially for someone i have only seen pictures of...to not have held her in my arms and kiss her chubby cheeks. i love my sister and her husband and now that love is getting multiplied not divided! (i know cheesy math joke) thank you Lord for my family and what they mean to me! even though we are separated by prairies, mountains and desert my love is transcending all of that. thank you Lord for the new life that you bring to this world to bring Yourself glory! thank you Lord for the healthy birth of me niece and for the health of my sister and brother-in-law. Amen and Amen!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Baseball season begins!!

Baseball season has begun for me, this is a 25-30 game blitz. Our games don't start until mid-February and in the mean time our playing field is being refurbished thanks to Cal Ripken Jr. He restores old baseball fields where baseball legends have played. Lucky for us Babe Ruth played at our Legion Field and subsequently it is getting a face lift. I look forward to coaching on this field as I have for the past two seasons. Our motto this year after losing 9 seniors, 7 of whom started is "We aren't rebuilding, we're reloading!" I am really looking forward to this baseball season as we try and win our third straight district title. I guess you could say I am as "giddy" as a Florida Gaytor football fan who is looking for another crystal ball, by the way LSU led the way winning their two first! But nonetheless baseball is my sport, always has been. I can remember seeing the 84' Detroit Tigers win with Kirk Gibson hitting a three run homer, I can remember Kirby Puckett stepping up to the plate (literally) and doing what he said he was going to do with the Minnesota Twins in 87' and 91'! I love baseball, Field of Dreams: memorized; The Rookie: watched every season; Catcher and the Rye: is not about baseball! As I look toward this season, I anticipate it being my last with the HCA Warriors. Sarah and I anticipate (with the help of our church, supporters and future supporters) to be in North Carolina in one year, January 2010 for our intercultural training. This is way more important than baseball as important to my well-being as it is! We look forward to this with fear and trembling but with an equal amount of excitement and elation. Pray for us this year as we get back into the swing of visiting churches after the holidays. Fittingly our first engagement this year is with our home church, Iowa First Baptist. Sure I look forward to this baseball season but more importantly I look forward to seeing what God is going to be doing to get us closer to Guatemala.

Peace of Christ to You.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Sitting and being still

I have returned from my annual New Years Eve/Day hunt with my father-in-law. We spent four days in northeast Louisiana hunting white tail deer to which we only saw two from our stands (one each). I am writing about this experience because for three days i had the opportunity to sit, be still and think....yeah right for an ADD adult. Let me set the mood for you all that have not hunted deer. We wake up at about 430 am get dressed, eat breakfast in the truck (two honey buns each-I think the sugary breakfast has something to do with walking and climbing), get out and begin walking into the woods in pitch black well we have flashlights but i think you get the point. This is a very interesting feeling, hearing animals moving around and running off, wondering if it is a deer, hog or bear. Then once arriving at a predetermined tree picked by previous deer slayings and "sign"-(poop, tracks, etc). At this point the deer stand is attached to the tree and then the climb begins, which is basically a crunch done vertically with 30 extra pounds, and clothes to keep warm once in the tree, a gun, etc. Once high in the tree, still very dark outside i find myself settling down and trying to relax and cool off, yes even in 20 degree weather you can work up a sweat doing all that walking and climbing. After a restless nap of constantly waking up hoping you aren't falling out of the tree, you begin to see dawn and what was once a dark void of light is now a slowly brightening array of trees, palmettos (at least where we hunt) and fallen trees. Nature begins to slowly wake up and begin its ritual survival and search for food. It is in this moment that i find myself needing to be most still, most quiet but very alert. But this is also the time where i find myself looking in the direction of every sound, it gets annoying when you hear something moving in the leaves only to find out it is a very large fox squirrel.

Isn't life like that, when you are in the quiet place for solitude and you are earnestly seeking God in the quiet, sounds that you would never hear in the normal pace of life suddenly sound extremely loud and unfortunately gain your attention. I fought this for three days in that stand, of course isn't that what i have set out to do is to see nature, had i set out with only my bible, a notebook and the deer stand i probably would not have been distracted by the very nature that i sought. So what am i trying to say....i think when we seek to spend time with God it is as a result of having that time presented to us as a second portion of the agenda, i wasn't seeking God as my first agenda, i used the time of solitude while waiting for that deer to appear and in the meantime i might as well do some praying and thinking. I wonder what would happen if i only brought my Bible, notebook and an earnest and sincere desire to spend time with God? I guess i will have to let you know next season! Just kidding!!