Friday, May 22, 2009

Going Deeper

My desire to grow and cultivate a deeper and more intimate relationship with Christ is not something that I take lightly. Something of this magnitude does not happen overnight; nor is it easy. During my reading today, I came across a list of ten core values for spiritual formation.

Spiritual transformation... essential, not optional, for Christ-followers. a process, not an event. God's work, but requires my participation.
...involves those practices, experiences, and relationships that help me live intimately with Christ and walk as if He were in my place. not a compartmentalized pursuit. God is not interested in my spiritual life; he's interested in my life - all of it.
...can happen in every moment. It is not restricted to certain times or practices. not individualistic, but takes place in community and finds expression in serving others. not impeded by a person's background, temperament, life situation, or season of life. It is available right now to all who desire it.
...and the means of pursuing it, will vary from one individual to another. Fully devoted followers are handcrafted, not mass-produced. ultimately gauged by an increased capacity to love God and people. Superficial or external checklists cannot measure it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

No, Mr.President

About a week after the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade this past January, Pastor John Piper addressed newly inaugurated President Obama on abortion. These are incredible words.

I pray that, somehow, they reach the ears (and heart) of our President.

h/t 22 Words

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

After church today, Danielle and I went to the cemetery to visit my mom. It has been 18 years since I was able to spend Mother's Day with her.

It's scary because as time goes on, memories of my mom get a little fuzzier and a little more distant. Don't get me wrong, there are still vivid memories that I will forever hold dear to my heart, but the everyday things do escape me sometimes. And even though the days are much easier now than they were in the months and years immediately following the death of mom, there are still times when the loss and emptiness I feel are so overwhelming that I have to literally stop and ask myself if it really happened. I remember my school nurse from middle school who sat down with me one day shortly after I had returned back to school after the craziness of the funeral. She sat down with me in her office and told me that there would be times when I would think about mom and memories of her and the feeling of sadness would be so overwhelming that my breath would leave me like it does when a cold wave hits you when you're standing in the ocean or lake. 17 years after the death of mom, I still have those "waves" hit me, especially on days like today when memories and a gravestone are all you have to celebrate what is supposed to be a joyous day to celebrate the blessing of your mom.

Although my heart is understandably sad on this day, I do not look past the blessings of those who have filled the mother role in my life. I couldn't have a more wonderful mother-in-law. Barb is an incredible mother to my wife, and an incredible grandmother to her grandchildren. I'm not exaggerating when I say that love oozes from her. She is an incredible example to mothers everywhere, and an inspiration to both Danielle and I. I love you Barb, and I am so very thankful for you.

I am also thankful for my stepmom MaryJo. Although we are separated by many miles, the happiness she has brought to my dad's life in the time he has left (which is hopefully 1000 more years) is something that I thank God for on a daily basis. She makes him incredibly happy and they are now living the life that they both deserve. I wish we were closer, of course, but my dad is living his dream and that in an of itself is more than I could ever ask for. He deserves it and I am thankful that he has MaryJo in his life...and also in mine.

If you are blessed enough to still have your mom with you on this day, I hope that you took time today to love on her like there is no tomorrow. For me, there once was a day when there was no tomorrow...and I would give anything to have just one more day with the precious, beautiful, loving, and incredibly courageous woman that I was lucky enough to call Mom.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

If You Go to the Bank

Here are two things that you probably shouldn't say to a bank employee:

Bank employee: Thank you, Mr./Mrs./Miss _______, is there anything else I can assist you with today?
Customer: Nope, not unless you're giving away a million dollars!

Bank employee:
How would you like your cash?
Customer: I'll take green.

If you are somebody who says these things at the bank, please know that it is not funny. And although we, as bank employees, may laugh along with you when you say it, you can be sure that we are definitely not amused over something that we've heard 5,600,999,238 times before.

I'm just sayin'.