Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Toroweap - Camping at the Canyon!

As a pastor, I don’t have normal weekends.  However, I typically get Sunday afternoon through Monday evening off.  It can be hard to fit an epic adventure into that short amount of time, and that certainly hasn’t gotten any easier since we’ve added a baby to the equation.  However, too many weekends at home had us ready to get out of town. 

It took all week for us to prepare to take the baby camping for one night.   It’s amazing how much the kid needs.  I think he applies more ointment in a day than I’ve used in my entire life, but I suppose he has to keep his skin looking young and fresh... :) Anyway, we checked and double checked that we had enough for him.  Then Kira and I quickly threw a few things together for ourselves on Sunday morning, and we took off after church.  We drove to Toroweap, on the western end of the Grand Canyon.  If you haven’t been there before, it’s pretty exciting.  You have to drive over 50 miles on dirt roads, and there are moments of 4-weeling up mountainsides and through some muddy sections of standing water.  Good Stuff!

We finally arrived to watch the sun go down over the canyon.  It was amazing!  We took in some wonderful hikes, and we ate some great food.  Somehow, we were also able to spend over 9 hours in the car with a wild little baby, and we kept him from rolling off any cliffs!  In the end, it was wonderful to let go of life’s daily distractions and focus on what matters most.  I’m thankful for all our modern day luxuries, but I am also so grateful to be able to spend time with people I love in an awe inspiring place. 

This week we are celebrating All Saints Day at Community.  We are taking time to remember all those who have died.  We are also remembering the love those people shared with us.  This week, I hope you remember the people who have shown you love, and I hope you take time to enjoy this world with the people who matter most to you!



A pretty awe inspiring place...

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Last Sunday afternoon, I started to feel a little off.  I didn’t want to believe I was getting sick, but I was.  There was a time, before I married Kira, when I would eat all kinds of rancid things hiding in the back of my refrigerator.  Not surprisingly, that made me pretty ill from time to time.  However, when Kira started bringing home foods that had not hit their expiration date, most of those problems went away.  So I’m not sure what hit me earlier this week, but it sure knocked me out for about 24 hours.  At first, I thought if I could ignore the problem, it would go away.  I tried hopping on my bike and going for a quick ten mile ride… Surprisingly, this didn’t help.  Instead, I needed was to admit that I needed help from others.  That was what really got me though.

There are times I can convince myself I can conquer any problem on my own.  However, there are other moments when reality sets in.  I realize I need help.  This week we are looking at the Lord’s Prayer.  This prayer plugs us into a power beyond ourselves.  It brings hope, grace, and peace, and these are things I know I need every day.  I hope we can all let go of our own selfishness and pride and realize it is okay to ask for help.



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Trying to keep up!

Agile, mobile, and hostile!  Just try and keep up with this guy!
I love being a dad.  There are so many new experiences that have brought me so much joy these last few months.  However, I am also learning about humility...  I am realizing just how much I really need help and support.  Recently, the baby started crawling.  I will turn my back on him for a second only to find him eating a plastic bag, chewing on a power cord, or banging his head into a cupboard.  Try as I might, I can’t keep up with him!  It’s scary to think how little control I really have… What will happen when he starts growing up?  What happens when I can no longer force him to make all the right choices?  It makes me realize how fragile life really is.  I can try to convince myself of my own power.  However, if I am honest, I know I need a power beyond myself.  I need God.  I need other people.  Without the grace of others, I am nothing.  We all receive gifts every day.  Whether we wake up to find the sun on our face, or a smile from a friend, these undeserved gifts give each one of us life in a real way.

In the Bible, there was a man, named Jabez.  Jabez realized he needed God’s grace.  His prayer for help has survived, and it has provided guidance to countless people over the years.  Today, I hope whatever we are going through, we would know it’s okay to seek help and grace.



Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Answering Prayers...

There are people in this world who pray several times day.  Other people may go their whole lives without uttering a single word to God.  Personally, I believe prayer can be incredibly powerful, but I also believe it can be incredibly mysterious.  There are times when I will cry out to God, and hear only silence.  In that sense, prayer can be exhausting.  It’s hard to pray at someone’s bedside as they slowly slip away.  In the end, it can make me wonder what the purpose of prayer really is. 

This week, we are going to be looking at a Bible story about a man named Gideon.  Gideon had faith in God, and he believed in prayer.  However, Gideon lacked faith in himself.  He prayed that God would solve all his problems, and God was indeed with Gideon every day of his life.  However, God wanted Gideon to answer his own prayer.  God was calling Gideon into action, and that was a response that Gideon wasn’t ready for. 

Sometimes, we are willing to pray.  We can ask God to solve our problems, but there are times when God seems unwilling to answer.  Perhaps these are moments when we are called to listen.  Perhaps God is calling us in some way.  We may doubt in our abilities, but there may be some hidden way we can offer hope.  God is calling each one of us…  Do you believe you can answer?