Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Courageously Questioning

Running Free!
A few days ago, Kira, the baby, and I were out on a walk. (This was literally just a walk around the park – not a class five scramble on Mt Charleston… J) Anyway, we saw this group of kids out playing.  They ranged in age from about 2 years to 5 years, and they were having a blast!  We saw them crawling under the playground equipment, running around the trees, and chasing bugs on the grass!  It was so cool to see that much enthusiasm for life, and it made me wonder when I last felt that kind of excitement…  Sure, I get out and run a fair amount, but that’s different. These kids were running for the sheer joy of life… Pretty neat!

I think we were created to be passionate and filled anew with God’s Holy Spirit every day.  However, it doesn’t take long for most of us to think we’ve seen it all.  What more is there really to do?  In time, it can become pretty easy for us lose to lose that childlike enthusiasm for life…

Jesus' words to Nicodemus in John 3
This week, our scripture passage comes from John 3:1-17.  I love these verses for a lot of reasons, but it is the Pharisee, named Nicodemus, who really stands out today.  Pharisees were religious leaders who lived at the top of their society.  Most of them didn’t believe they had anything more to learn, especially from lower classes of people.  However, Nicodemus was different.  He took a risk, and he started to question his beliefs.  Could this carpenter from Nazareth know something I don’t?  This small question challenged his world view, and eventually, it allowed him to be reborn in a fresh new way...  Today, it still takes courage to question who we are, and it takes courage to let go of the past.  However, Jesus promises the Holy Spirit will be blowing on our hearts… Today I pray we can let go of our assumptions and run free with God’s Spirit!



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Living with the Spirit

I really don’t know what I would have done without my wife over these past few months.  Everything has been so crazy recently, and she has accomplished so much.  However, this was her first official week back at work.  (Just when I thought we were getting the hang of this parenting thing, it’s all about to change!)  Now, by the end of the day, I’m tired, burnt out, and exhausted, and that’s usually when the baby starts crying… J

I know I am incredibly blessed.  However, after too many stressful days in a row, I can easily forget about those blessings.  I’m just trying to get through the day.  In the midst of all of this, I was drawn to the words from the Apostle Paul:

“Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you. This is a gift from God…For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.”
-1 Corinthians 6:19-20

God's Spirit is alive in us!
The life we live is sacred!  God’s Holy Spirit is living inside of us.  We are called to live each day glorifying God in all that we do.  When I’m overwhelmed or in a bad mood, I am choosing not to cherish the gifts of the Holy Spirit within me.  This week we are celebrating the Holy Spirit.  God is at work in each one of us.  It does not matter what is going on in our lives. God is with us, and God values us.  May we each find new life with the Holy Spirit this week!


We can choose to see joy or obstacles.  God calls us to believe in
His Spirit

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Juniper Peak

When I first moved to Vegas, I remember being astounded by the beauty of Red Rock Canyon.  Since then, Kira and I have made every effort to get out to there as often as possible.  We love scrambling up to the top of different pinnacles, and we love crawling through wild sandstone caves.  It is an incredible place!

Family Portrait!
After having our baby, it has been a little harder to get out hiking. (Definitely not impossible, but it takes a whole lot more work! J)   We decided Mother’s Day weekend was the perfect opportunity to dust of the boots and hit the rocks. We wound up climbing Juniper Peak, which is one of the prominent sandstone formations.  Under normal circumstances it should have taken us about 4 hours to complete this trek.  However, with our 2 month old baby, it took us close to 9 hours.  It’s kind of tricky to keep the baby safe, fed, and away from the blazing sun for that long.  I also realized how hard it is to fit through narrow passages when you have a 14 pound baby strapped to your chest… (I can’t imagine being pregnant and constantly having to worry about this… unbelievable!) At the end of the day, Kira and I got pretty sore, sun burnt, and skinned up, but the baby was safe and protected.  We loved it!  It was so much fun to be out enjoying creation!

Our scripture today is from John chapter 17.  Jesus is praying that His disciples would be protected by the Father.  He prays they would know they are loved, and he prays that His followers would find life.  That is my prayer for all of us this week.  May we know we are loved, and may we all find new ways to come alive!



Enjoying the ride...
Red Rock!  Juniper is the red capped peak on the far right. 

It's an amazing canyon, but our baby's cries were amplified to a pretty incredible level when they echoed off those amazing stone walls... :) 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

New Adventures...

It’s hard for me to believe, but my child is turning two months old!  This is not usually considered a huge milestone. (Although, I would be fine with another excuse to bust out the cake and ice cream! J) However, I have been looking forward to this date, because at 2 months, I am allowed strap the baby in the running stroller, and I can take him out running!  This may not be a big deal for some, but I have been counting down the days!

Too warm? Too cold? Too bouncy?
Who knows! But he made it
on our 6 mile expedition!
When I finally took him out for our stroller’s maiden voyage, I realized it was not going to be as easy as I expected… I had to turn around a couple times to get him a warmer outfit, a clean diaper, and later more sun protection.  I also kept bashing my legs into the stroller. (All of that must have been pretty annoying since he just wanted to sleep!) However, I found the hardest part was just trying to stay in tune with the baby.  Why did he start crying?  Had he fallen out of the straps?  Had I been bouncing him around too much?  I felt bad putting him through all this chaos, but if I stayed in tune with him, we made it work.  I stopped a few times when he was fussing, and I was able to get him to smile – and that makes it worth it to me.  He may not be thrilled with his running stroller yet, but crazily enough, he still trusts me… or at least he’s willing to laugh at my goofy face!

Still not sure what he thinks of
the stroller...

In our Gospel lesson this week, Jesus compares God to a vine grower.  God is carefully tending to each one of us… we are His branches.  Christ tells us to abide in his love, and He will be with us.  Personally, I love this image, God is encouraging us to grow and find new life.  I pray we could all see this in the world we live in.