Wednesday, August 31, 2016


I love the mornings!  I vaguely remember a time when I used to try and sleep in whenever I could, but those days are long gone… I need to be awake to take care of the baby, get a run in, and just enjoy the beautiful Las Vegas weather.  (Ok, so it’s still 80 degrees most mornings, but this feels amazing after a summer in Vegas!)  The mornings are my time to reset.  It’s easy to appreciate the beauty of the world as the sun starts to shine on the mountains.  I love it.  It’s also a wonderful time to connect with other people.  I usually run down to the Pittman wash trail, and I see a number of the same people out there every day.  After a while, I have gotten to know some of those people.  We smile, say hello, and sometimes we have gotten into really neat conversations.  I didn’t know any of these people before, but it’s wonderful to enjoy the beauty of creation with them…

We are starting a new sermon series this week, and we are taking a look at what it means to be Called.  It doesn’t matter who you are or what you are going through, we are all called and claimed by Christ.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve been given a label by the world… You are valuable.  Personally, I love taking time in the morning to center myself and find place in the world.  I hope this week you would all find a time to truly believe you are all beloved children of God.



Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Noticing the Flowers...

Ever since my wife and I came back from our hiking trip, our son has been obsessed with finding flowers and pointing them out.  I think this is pretty cool.  I love seeing him appreciate all kinds of beauty in the world.  However, I have to admit that I only taught him about flowers to get him out of my hair while I was setting up camp.  Each night Kira and I had a ton of chores to do, and honestly, one year old babies can kind of get in the way.  Our child’s favorite hobby was throwing handfuls of dirt into our tent, cooking pot, or his own mouth… Although we all wound up eating our fair share of dirt, we needed a distraction to slow him down a little bit. 

To a One Year Old this is an incredibly beautiful patch of
wildflowers!  Can you see the beauty?
I think Kira and I were both kind of astounded by how interested he was in searching for flowers!  He couldn’t wait to find the next one.  He frequently noticed flowers that we didn’t, and he took note of flowers that had already died.  It didn’t matter what shape they were in; he was just excited to notice the beauty in creation! 

I think there are so many aspects of life that we all fail to take notice of.  We can spend our lives searching the internet for something worthy of our attention.  I think Christ teaches us that there is something incredible in our world.  Let’s take time to appreciate God’s love, grace, and peace.  Let’s appreciate the gifts we have, and let’s share them with the enthusiasm of a child!



A few other wildflowers that I'm glad we could all appreciate!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Journey...

Part of my weekly routine involves visiting people in hospitals.  It is a pretty important part of my week, and although nobody really wants to be in a hospital, it’s a time I actually look forward to as a chance to connect with others.    

However, in spite of the fact that I am regularly in and out of the hospitals, I can still manage to get pretty lost trying to see a patient…  Now, I’m not always terrible with directions.  I can figure out how to scramble out of some pretty wild mountain ranges, but my intuition seems to be completely off when it comes to hospital layout.  I am forever finding myself in the wrong building, tower, or floor.  Earlier this week, I was trying to visit a member, and I thought I knew my way around this hospital… I didn’t!  I had to return to the info desk three times for directions! (Now this wasn’t all my fault.  Different people had told me go different directions, and I was beginning to think nobody knew their way around the place.) I finally arrived, but I was kind of annoyed with the whole process!  As I was heading back to church, I started thinking about all the time I had wasted and everything else I should have been accomplishing.  However, I also started thinking about this week’s scripture passage.  Throughout the Bible, Jesus is always on his way to help people.  He is always being called to heal, teach, or comfort those in need.  However, in spite of always needing to be somewhere, Jesus will always take time to notice the needs of those around him.  If I were a disciple, I probably would have been pretty annoyed with Jesus.  He was forever getting distracted.  I always want to be somewhere, and Jesus was never too busy to stop and notice the needs of those around him.

I wonder how my day would change if I started to appreciate life as a journey?  What if we all started to notice the people around us?  Maybe we are called to experience the journey as much as we are the destination.  That is my prayer this week.  May we take the time to notice the people around us, and may we start to share God’s Love in every moment we are given.



Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Ruby Crest Trail

A week ago, my family took a vacation to the Ruby Mountains in Northern Nevada.  It was an amazing trip.  With all the waterfalls, lakes, and wildflowers, we constantly had to remind ourselves that we were still in Nevada!  The highlight of the trip was conquering our first backpacking trip with the baby.  Kira and I had gone backpacking before, but it changes the game entirely when you bring a baby along with you.

The trip I had in mind was the Ruby Crest Trail.  It is approximately 43 miles and you traverse the ridgeline of the Mountains.  I had wanted to complete this hike for a while, but at first we thought it would be impossible with a baby.  You have to filter your own water, make your own campsites, and carry everything on your backs.  That’s hard enough when you don’t have to deal with a kid.  However, we practiced camping and hiking around Las Vegas, and we decided we could make it work.  We had to bring quite a few more supplies. (Including the “kitchen sink” to wash diapers in.) At times, we wondered if we were totally crazy.  There was a moment when Kira and I were really trying to get to sleep, but the kid just wanted to run and scream around our small tent…  What were we thinking? 

However, it was so much fun to watch our child light up when he saw the lakes and rivers.  He delighted in the wildflowers, and he wanted to explore everything.  One reason we decided to go through so much effort on this trip was to forget all the labels the outside world had given us.  By necessity, we couldn’t be on our phones, and we couldn’t listen to outside voices.  We simply had to appreciate each other and stand in wonder at creation.  It is my prayer that we would each take a moment to let go of what the world says and listen to God.  I hope we can all hear the one voice that tells us that we are all Children of God!



Dinner Time!

Spending a lot of time washing Diapers

Can you see the Mountain Goats?

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