Monday, June 30, 2008

North Carolina Surfing Fun

Brandon and i surfed rain or shine when we got the chance. The waves aren't as big as the west coast but the water temperature is definitely warmer!
Here were some of my favorite shots & sequences.

You've got to have fun falling too!

North Carolina Family Vacation

Updates, updates, updates...
So i just got back from a two week trip to North Carolina. I had little time and little internet access, so i have a lot of pictures and details to share over the next week.

The first week consisted of the whole family visiting my mom's parents on the farm and staying at a beach house for the rest of the week.

The Farm in Thomasville North Carolina

my dad caught a 5 foot black snake that we played with.

we played badminton, croquet, bocce ball, and much much more!
This is my mom, her parents Chester and Gwen, and their great grandchild Jaylon
Here is Brenton surprising us with the cannonball as we swam in the pond. (Look at the faces! Those are really our reactions! We couldn't have been more expressive even if we tried)

Here is the Beach House in Holden Beach North Carolina that old friends from Greensboro were kind enough to share.

Brandon , Brenton, and I coming back from the beach while it was drizzlingWe slept in most days. We ate a lot. It was mostly sunny and we played in the beach and the water. It was a very relaxing and good time to enjoy the family.

I got to read and enjoy. Since coming back from New Zealand to raise support, this was the most free time that i set aside to just rest and be. I worked ahead so i didn't have any homework from doing my Master's online at Liberty. There will be a lot to follow in the following posts about how God has taught me and poured into me over these past two weeks. There is such value in having strategic times of rest. God definitely knew what He was talking about when he created the Sabbath.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Is it Worth it?

I decided to go for a long enjoyment run on Sunday. It was 85 and humid out, so i was sweating like crazy. I passed like 5 different couples sitting out on their porch. One man leaned back in his chair with an apologetic look as i passed.
"Do i even have to ask, 'Is it worth it?'"
as he shrugged his shoulders.
Usually i think before my replies, but an automatic exclamation came out this time:

Yes it is worth it!
It makes me so much happier at the end of the day!" I replied.

I don't know why but it felt so right! I am convinced that that guy gave running a second thought because of my enthusiasm. I don't blame the guy for thinking I was in pain.

I have this problem i would like to call Sweating syndrome (Hyperhidrosis). It is an actual condition and i do not think i actually have it but i wonder sometimes (see the picture below).
I always sweat when i am active and there are other times i sweat just sitting or standing somewhere.
When i get pessimistic about sweating a lot
People like to encourage me with the line, "it means you're healthy if you sweat a lot."
It may hold some medical validity, but let's be honest, i sweat a lot when i am in shape, and i would definitely sweat a lot if i was out of shape. It really doesn't mean i am healthy. It just means i sweat a lot. But thanks for all those who tried!

I just wish i had that same enthusiasm and instant response to my walk with the Lord and so many aspects of my life.

More recently i rediscovered my purpose in running. Running is a timeout from my day that is focused on me being able to push myself as hard as i want to. I enjoy the physical activity, the challenge, the results, it gives me more energy in my day, i feel more accomplished at the end of the day, and it helps me understand God better through it's analogy and comparison to life. Sunday's purpose was an enjoyment run.

I think it is time to rediscover my purpose in other areas and to go for enjoyment runs in other areas so that when the time comes that someone looks at my life and asks, "Is it worth it?" that i am just as enthused and excited to say,

"Yes! Yes it is!"

while enjoying and having the purpose or goal in mind!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Breaking Chairs!

When did bending or breaking a chair leg go from being careless as a kid to being an overweight adult?!?!
I remember a pool party where a father leaned back in his chair, the leg gave out, and he hit his head on the wall. Once he was pronounced okay, i laughed with everyone else who found the situation humurous, but the father still seemed shaken up. I now realize it was pride more than pain.

When you were young and light, breaking a chair was funny and everyone laughed including you as long as no one was seriously hurt because it was usually the cause of you being stupid.

Then one day somewhere down the line, I sat in a chair and broke it and it wasn't funny anymore. It was sad. I still laughed, but inside you think, "ohh... when did i become overweight?!"

It went from humurous to sad! I say this in a comical way because i believe others understand me. If they don't... well then that proves all the more that i am probably over normal weight! haha!

Let's just pause and take a moment of silence for our days of faster metabolism.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

How should the disciples have responded to the storm while being on the boat?

What does faith look like?

God has definitely been developing my faith through the support raising process. He is helping me learn to trust in his timing and resources. It is not easy to believe that money is not an issue to God in theory, but it is much harder to believe in practice! It requires an assurance of calling and you pursing God's desires.
I am reading wk 7 in the Experiencing God Workbook by Henry Blackaby and i am being completely humbled by what it means to have faith. The quote for day 4 was:
"What you do reveals what you believe about God, regardless of what you say."
Ouch, i have tried to trust God in the support raising process, but then contemplated and tried so many of my manmade ploys with little avail, much like Sarah not trusting God to provide her a son and suggesting Hagar.

One passage that brought up a good question was this:
How could the disciples have responded appropriately to the storm while being on the boat?

The disciples actually do go to Jesus and ask for help.
Usually that is our helpful answer to people in spiritual need... but in this case Jesus desired more faith out of his friends.

23Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!" 26He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.27The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!" Matt 8:23-27

I can see the disciples lack of faith, but it is hard for me to picture a more appropriate response with the storm all around them! Here are some possible responses

Option 1: "The Overconfident"
The disciples are men's men laughing and mocking the face of the storm while standing at the front of the ship drenched and confident. They take no caution to the storm, knowing they are okay because Jesus is on board and he has called them to be their disciples, so they are practically invincible and unafraid of death.

Option 2: "The Considerate Stoic"
The disciples come down with concern and politely, wake Jesus and ask him if it is okay to come fix the storm because it is causing a lot of trouble and grief to the other passengers

Option 3: "The Scared & Desperate"
Exactly what the disciples did.

Blackaby says, "Jesus rebuked them, not for their human tendency to fear but for their failure to recognize His presence, protection, and power."

Blackaby gives other examples of faith when the centurion(Matt 8:5-13), the bleeding woman(Matt 9:20-22), & the two blind men(Matt 9:27-31) all had faith in Jesus' authority and power to heal.

The most appropriate response in the midst of a storm that i found is some adaptation of

Option 4: "The Confident Request"
The disciples wake up Jesus in an urgent tone and say, "Lord, can you calm the storm for us? We are scared, but we know and have seen that you have the power of God to save us."
and then responding to Jesus' answer accordingly. All the time knowing that if this was Jesus' and there time to go, that they were okay with that, but believing that God had other plans.

Instead of asking later, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!"
It was a sight issue. They were focusing on the deceiving reality of the physical and temporal and not believing in the ultimate reality of the spiritual and eternal purposes of God (1 Cor. 4:16-18).

Friday, June 06, 2008

Birthdays, friends, and facebook are great!

I would like to say facebook messages on your birthday don't count because they are expected or a give in, but i can't say that... they're great. There is something so fun about getting a lot of posts and messages from friends pampering you with attention one day out of the year! (for those of you who do not have facebook, it automatically reminds your friends when your birthday is coming)

I also had some HILARIOUS voicemails so i recorded them into a quick video so you could share the joy and smiles i received listening to my great friends and family. Click the video below to hear!

I also did a little shopping with my mom and i am especially excited about the presents i received.
I got some mp3 speakers that i bought with birthday money

and i got some new shorts from pac sun that can match anything. always a plus

I Also randomly ran into saw some friends in south bend including John Hoefer, Hannah, & Brooke Hulse. That is always fun!