07 August 2012


So there was this one time in Estes Park...there was a gal walking around with a 'Free Hugs' patch on her backpack. Another random cat walked up to her and said, 'For real?' and she was like, "Yeah!" and they hugged it out right there. So cool.

Occured to me this morning that I don't believe I hugged my kids yesterday. Monday is Explosion day in our house, after work we split and run both directions taking kids all over the place. In the midst, I don't think I hugged my babies until a quick squeeze as we shepherded them off to bed. Fail. So today, I commit to hugging them. More. Often. To squeeze the juice out of them every chance I get.

And then, waiting for me, was this...click the link. There is a little language, but it is SO totally worth it.


I think I would hug back. Would you?

02 August 2012

I have learned over the years that much of ministry is not really about ministry, but more about seeing the need and meeting it. Working at camp taught me this - you jump in, do what needs doing, regardless of whether or not it is your job to clean the toilets or play guitar or wipe tables or end up with a cabin of squirrely Jr High boys when you thought you were supposed to be the pool guy and drive a big blue truck thru the woods all day. Another story for another time.

Today was no different. Shortly after I got in the office, the phone range. It was Pat. Pat is 91. And moving. Wondering if I could get some youth group kids to come help her move some stuff. These requests always make me giggle a little inside. Another story for another time. Needless to say, after making some arrangements, I ran to Pat's house to carry up a few chairs and end tables for her garage sale so her young friends (65+) wouldn't have to. She was super appreciative, I was thankful for the break from bulletins, and away we went.

Craziest thing...I commented to her daughter that when I walked into Pat's house, I was immediately taken back to my grandparent's house. Like I was 10 again. The decor, the smell, the counter top clutter, all of it. Blew my mind. I miss my grandparents...one thing I remember was this crazy wooden plaque deal that Grandpa had made. I would sit in his chair and look at this thing for hours, trying to figure out what it said. One day I asked...and Grandpa smiled and told me to look harder...to look thru the shapes...and there it was.


Her friend Florence showed up at church later on for a meeting, and gave me a little wooden plaque that had this same negative relief writing on it. This afternoon I am looking at this wooden plaque, thinking of Grandpa and Grandma, and how they put the name of Jesus in front of us all the time. Sometimes you had to look to see it, but it was always there. That is something I strive to do, too...allow the name of Jesus to be seen in the puzzle that is my life. Sometimes you have to look a little harder to see it, but I hope He is always there if you want to see it.

30 July 2012


Kari and I took a bus load of kids to Riverside yesterday. These kids are a cross-sample of our Wed night tutoring program and one young guy from our 1 pm service here at the church. They were crazy excited to go - some had gone last year, but majority had not. The last one to pick up was our guy Moiwa. He is the little brother of a girl in our 7-8 program, and his family is a faithful part of the 1 pm Mizo service. He is 9, little, and usually pretty full of energy. We came back to the Z after picking up the rest of the kids to get him, as he was part of the wedding that was happening yesterday as well. Long story short, we got him ready, he said good  bye to mom and dad, and away we went.

Moiwa sat behind Kari in the van, silent. He hugged his bag close, and looked like he was on the verge of tears the whole ride up. While checking in, he stood beside me or Kari, touching us the whole time. She put her arm around him, he locked in and leaned on her. He grabbed my hand walking out of the dining hall, with both of his. Sweaty little hands gripping mine. We both were on the verge of tears now, preparing ourselves to move these kiddos into their cabins, especially heartsick at the thought of leaving Moiwa. Fast forward, the kids are in and settled, and he started to open up. A few more smiles, a little more energy...we hung around until they went to dinner with their cabins. From the side, we saw Moiwa walk out with his group - already chatting with another kid, hot on the heels of Chad Cook (Zion kid!) who will take great care of him this week. Deep breath, and away we come to our own children.

What got me was in Moiwa, I saw Brady. 9, skinny, lots of energy, and yet tender on the inside. I know the fear that he feels at the outset of something new; I cannot fathom what must have been going thru Moiwa's head as we brought him to a place he has never been, full of new faces, and left. My daddy instincts kicked in pretty hard - it was tough to leave him and the other 11 who are there this week. At the same, what an amazing thing for him to go, without his buddies, to spend the week learning about and leaning into Jesus. To be surrounded by 200+ other kids who want the same. To be loved on by a kid that grew up at his church, too, and to see vibrant faith in the lives of the adults who have given their summer and their lives to serve Christ by serving others at the camp. I am excited to see what comes, and praying for this week to be huge for the kids.

Especially for Moiwa.

27 July 2012

Coming home...

Thinking this may be where I land again. Love to write, needing to find the inspiration. Maybe having a revamped spot...the Tumblr will be for photos and stuff. See link on the right. 

Time to step out of the boat...

13 December 2010

I have migrated.  Using something new...


shorter form blog, updates, etc.  Feel free to follow along there!

So long for now...

01 December 2010

Rediscovered "My Utmost for His Highest" during the move; the online version became my morning devotional as all my books were in assorted boxes stacked about the old house.  Yesterday's reading was particularly...teeth-rattling?  The jist was that when we try to be overly 'humble' -- as in, "Oh, I cannot POSSIBLY do that because I'm not that good/worthy/mature...", we are in essence insulting the God who made us and wired us up to serve Him with excellence based on the gifts we have been given.  Humility is good; but sometimes as believers we want play the humble card in efforts to appear humble, rather than knowing we are capable of greatness and acknowledging that that ability is a God given gift to be used for His sake and glory.  I am guilty of this on occasion; truth be told, sometimes it is necessary to accept the fact that God has made me good at what I do and to be proud of who God is in my life, who He has made me to be, and to be thrilled to serve the Almighty with excellence.  

By the Grace of God I Am What I Am

28 November 2010

And so it begins...

I love the Christmas season, starting with Thanksgiving.  The food, family, the turn of the mood as we celebrate Thanksgiving and set our eyes on Christmas.  The season of Advent in the church is a good one; nothing like hearing Advent tunes sung by a choir.  I love the joy of the programs, the kids, the church decked out in lights and trimmings.  There is something a little magical and a lot miraculous about this season!  Here is a little prayer to start off the season right...

Advent prayer

The theme for the month of December at Zion is "Great Expectations".  What are you expecting this year?