Faith, expectation, the New Year, & other musings…

This Sunday at Hillside we are wrapping up our “Jesus REVOLUTION” series – it’s also our last Sunday gathering of 2014. The normally hectic pace of life has significantly increased in this Christmas season, & in some ways, I feel like I’ve had to be more & more intentional about stopping, reflecting, & evaluating life, its happenings, my priorities, & what I give my time to. Specifically, over the last couple of weeks, I have been trying to take time to reflect on the questions:

  • What could/would it look like if Jesus did a revolution in my life?
  • What am I expecting/hoping for Jesus to do in me?
  • What am I wiling to put on the table?

Don’t get me wrong. I love my life. The time spent with my family & friends. Watching my kids turn into great adults who love Jesus & are making strides forward in their own lives. The work I am privileged to do. The life & growth in Christ I’m seeing within our church family. And still…


I wonder what areas Jesus wants to cut away so that I can grow, develop, deepen. What thought patterns & meditations of my heart He wants to transform. What ways I interact with & respond to others. How I can better take care of myself (body, mind, & spirit.)

I guess what I am expecting is that He is doing something NEW in me. That He is in the process of awakening parts of my life, my soul, that have been dormant or stagnant. That He is going to be refining me – So can will continue to be growing more & more like Him.

So the answer to the last question, “What am I willing to put on the table?” is ME. It feels a little scary – which means that my prayer heading into 2015 & beyond is: “Increase my faith, Lord. Because “…we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.” Hebrews 10:39

Blessings, grace, peace, & FAITH to you

Blowing in the wind on a New Year’s Eve eve & other musings…

I spent the morning putting together a shopping list for our church family’s New Year Pancake Sunday extravaganza… the preparation of the list was much more thrilling than the actual shopping that fulfilled the list (unless you count the crossing off of items from the list which just might be one of the funnest things ever to do. Give me a list to cross stuff off of & entertain me for days. Truly. But I digress.)

Navigated the aisles of Costco, bemoaning the fact that the Powers That Be within said Costco must have made it their holiday wish to stymie my already malformed ability to shop effectively by daily moving items from one place to another within the warehouse. I vaguely remember an explanation i was given by a Costco employee as to WHY they happen to move stuff around so frequently, but I have chosen to forget said explanation because it pales in contrast to the obvious wrongs of Changing the Location of Items I would like to purchase.

Never fear. Pancake Sunday is happening, & all relevant items for the celebration of the day are in hand. So to speak.

The wind is blowing. Howling even. As a native Nevadan, I am used to the wind. Wind happens. But today, I stood outside my house in the street for about 10 minutes & let the wind gust around me, sending tumbleweeds, sticker bushes, & small items of trash from the House that Shall Remain Unidentified (hit the trash can with your stuff man!) The warmish yet bleak ‘winter wind’ reminded me that a new year is coming, & with it, a ‘new’ sameness. It’s a little bit awkward, because ts not like 2012 just arrives & all of the sudden everything is new – its just the flip of a page on the calendar… there is work, school, friends, relationships, & all sorts of the same types of interactions that 2011 had… but, 2012 brings the idea of something new, a mindset where people are, even for the briefest of times, open to the promise of possibility of a different, developing, new way.

I’m believing that God has & is setting in motion new things for me & mine in 2012, & am looking for the areas that I am to shift from how I have been & have lived in 2011 (& before) into the new patterns of life, new “good seeds of God’s plan” to plant in my life so that I can see the harvest, the developing fruit of what God would want to see in, through, & around me.


/ˈrɛzəˌlut/ Spelled[rez-uh-loot]

  1. firmly resolved or determined; set in purpose or opinion.
  2. characterized by firmness and determination, as the temper, spirit, actions, etc.

The New Year is knocking on my cold, cold (have I mentioned it is absolutely frigid?,) front door. Which leaves me taking stock of me & mine, & of life… pondering, musing, thinking & re-thinking through, almost ad nauseum, as I am oft want to do.

New things are here. Sigh.

I start a Masters program through Life Pacific College with a week-long intensive starting 1/10. For the last month, I’ve been trying to read through the ‘pre-intensive pre-requisite’ books. I’ve found 4 of the 5 to be great, more than I could have hoped for.

Thought provoking. Challenging my status quo. Antagonizing, even, in the best sense of the word.

I’ve got pages & pages notes that I’m transcribing from scoey-scratch & notepads to the Mac so I can easily search & access them when it comes time for The Writing.

And then there’s the One book. The 5th of the 5. I got 1 chapter in & laid aside my notepad. Put down my pen. Muttered a ‘you have GOT to be kidding me,’ or 3. Put it away to save for a time when I need: a) a cure for insomnia, or b) something to tick me off so I can get through a 90 minute kettlebell marathon workout.

For reals.

Thinking through the next weeks where my crafted routine will undergo massive change. Part of it is flexing time so that I can take care of the school requirements (reading & writing, no rithmatick :) , but a bigger part of it is wanting to grow, develop, learn, & be becoming as a husband, father, & pastor – which means heading into new areas with new things to do.

I want to be ‘resolute’ – set on becoming the man God made me to be, knowing that I can’t plan for every eventuality, but I can prepare to take whatever waves come my way… & to do all that I can to be ready in-season & out of season. To set my will upon God’s purposes, with a face like flint, not easily discouraged, cowed, or frustrated.

To not be a complainer. Or whiner. Which makes me wonder, “Was I whining about Book 5? Or was it just commentary?” Hmm.

My brain whirs. Music helps.

Rich Mullins. A little Tears For Fears. David Crowder. Akiko Suwanai’s interpretation of some great Bach.

Suddenly, I realize It’s there.

You are a failure.

Where did that thought come from? From some dark recess, some pit of despair & fear, the place where the accusations & lies come from, recounting past & present stumblings, mocking me with memories of my shame, my lowest points. Words biting, some spoken in ignorance, others in spite, by people who have passed through my life’s 41 years.


Failure? No.

It’s taken practice, learning to take thoughts captive. At times, (like today,) its an all-out battle. But who & what I am, the purpose I live, cannot, WILL not be valuated by a liar, no matter how many old stories & current challenges are dredged up.

Cause I’ve been made to be someone who stands. And to remain standing. To look for opportunities to put into practice God’s commands. To hold tight to His Word, hiding it deep & secure in heart & mind. To intentionally & strategically look to encourage & pass on what I’ve learned to others. To never give up, never turn aside, never quit.

Failure? No. Cause I belong to Christ. Forgiven. Changing. Transforming. Growing. Loving. Encouraging. And I’m not gonna stop… I’m

/ˈrɛzəˌlut/ Spelled[rez-uh-loot]

  1. firmly resolved or determined; set in purpose or opinion.
  2. characterized by firmness and determination, as the temper, spirit, actions, etc.

inspiration & the planning of a post…

I read a friend’s post about New Years Resolutions – esp. the part about wanting to stop living as a “people pleaser.”

It inspired a thought, which has led to the planning of a post on people pleasing – this is not that post. THAT post will be coming soon. But for now, a few questions to ponder, & answer if you’d like.

-What would you say a “people pleaser” does that makes them a “people pleaser?”
-What situations do you find yourself most tempted to fall into “people pleasing?”
-What person/persons would you say that you’re most tempted to try to “please”?
-Who do you think ends up paying the greatest cost or experiencing the biggest loss as a result of the decision(s) to “people please?”
-What has been personally helpful to you in stopping the cycle of “people pleasing?”
-What has been personally most difficult for you in attempting to stop?


A Revolution of the Soul, end of 2007 reprise…

I’m learning to “BE.” As in “BE-ing” vs. “DO-ing,” doing meaning taking my sense of worth & value from accomplishments, a busy schedule, moving at a frenetic, production-mode pace.

I haven’t gotten it down, & don’t know that I’ll ever hit the mark 100%, all the time. But I’m finding it easier & more natural to “BE,” & I think it is my preferable state.

Over the last 18 months, I’ve been logging my journey (& our church family’s as well) into BE-ing through notes, a journal, a blog or 3, & a growing collection (library?) of audio/mp3/podcast files. I’m in the process (at month 4 as of today) of turning my/our journey, my notes, journal/blogs etc into a somewhat cohesive story. I’ve not done something of this scope before, though my HISTORY 300 (Historical Methods, Research, & Writing,) is coming in Oh So Handy.

Hooray. I’ll let you know how it goes.

A Top 5 List & some New Years Ramblings…

Haven’t blogged for a bit – heres my top 5 reasons why not:
5. Computer transition – the PC at home is lurking near death, with family & friends circling like vultures hoping to get to use the remaining computer. Condolences can be sent in care of a Mac near you…

4. Christmas holidays – attempting to spend the time with the family, engaged, vs. being physically present, but surfing in a land far, far away mentally.

3. Schhhhhedule – (must be said with a big English accent to get the full benefit…) above & beyond the regular life stuff: 4 day hoops tourney in deepest darkest Galena. Houseguests… a great friend. a big friend. a friend w/2 first names came to visit. Damage caused by the wind has led to attempted maintenance. Ugly.

2. Other interests – did you know that there are at least 32 College Football bowl games happening between December 20 & January 8? It’s true. Not speaking to the quality of said games, but am commenting on quantity. All football. All the time. And, its playoff time in the NFL. I even watched almost 1/2 of a game on Sunday! The wife has a new interest as well: Netflix has brought us House, season 1. TV that she likes. Hooray!

1. Taking a break – very nice.

On that note…

  • Still not a snow fan.
  • High school sports, esp. practice during the break shouldn’t start at 8 a.m.
  • Pain hurts. Shoulder feels a little better, but still with some shooters in the range of motion.
  • Sometimes I feel like a doorknob.
  • Christmas clean-up takes longer than Christmas set-up.
  • Staying up to ring in the New Year, all the way to Midnight, is still overrated.
  • The guy in the neighborhood with the firecrackers that he sets off every New Year – don’t do it, man. And if you’re going to set them off, do it at 12, not 2.
  • I miss being in school. Not Geology, but the classes I like. I’m going back for German &…
  • Pastor Jack is in heat. Again. Nuff with the doggy hormones.
  • When I drive along an especially cool section of street, I dream of running on it & of the routes I would take.
  • Jamba Juice is exponentially better than Keva Juice. All fruit smoothies, not too sweet, not too much juice, are very nice.
  • Stargate SG-1 is still being cancelled this Spring after 10 seasons. Come on. Don’t do this to me.
  • As of 6 January, I have a 10 year old. And she’s my youngest.
  • Family matters.