Wednesday, April 25, 2018

New Life

Growing up, I loved springtime.  Not only was it a welcome the end to the dead of winter.  It was also the season of new life.  The trees and flowers blossomed, and the fields and gardens began to offer a new promise of hope.  Today, living in Las Vegas, spring does not have the same meaning.  Out here, spring marks the beginning of brutally hot season that scorches anything I plant in the ground.  There are certainly some plants that can survive, but I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to them… as they blossom, my house is filled with uncontrolled sneezing!   

I never had much success gardening. (Even when I wasn’t living in Las Vegas, I managed to kill just about every plant I came across!)  However, I did have a grandmother who could grow just about anything.  I remember being inspired when I saw this woman in her garden.  She would be surrounded by bugs, dirt, heat and humidity, and she loved it!  She found a joy in the soil that transformed the world around her.

My grandmother passed away a couple weeks ago, and I have spent a lot of time recently reflecting on her life.  She was a woman who had a gift for growing flowers, but more than that she had the gift of love.  Just as she was inexplicably able to make a flower bloom, she also offered a love that miraculously grew beyond all boundaries.  I will always remember her hugs, laughter, and the sweaters that she was forever knitting and giving away.  Those small gestures had an everlasting impact.

I hope you all can believe that your love has the ability to move mountains.  You do not need to be strong or powerful to change the world.  (You certainly don’t have to be very tall.  I think I passed my grandma’s height when I was in the fourth grade…J) Anyone can share love!  Today, I hope we can all take a little time to cultivate the love we have.  I pray we would also believe in and nurture the love that God has given to each us!



Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Power of Love

The day after Easter my wife had an ultrasound done.  We found out we were going to have another baby boy.  We are very excited, and we have spent the last few days pondering what the next year is going to look like.  I love looking ahead and opening myself to new possibilities.  However, the future is also intimidating.  It’s crazy to think about starting over with a newborn!!  I am pretty sure I have forgotten everything about infants, and I have much less time than I did when our first child was born.  However, in the Bible we hear a promise that Love is able to carry us through any obstacle.  We are called to believe in a Love that does not die or fall apart under pressure.  We are called to believe that this Love can impact all of our lives.  When I took a moment to think about this, I knew that it was true.  I have seen so many people in my life giving unbelievable amounts of love… and I knew they were ready to give more.   Personally, I wanted to be connected to that kind of power, and I wanted to share that kind of love.  This is one of the main reasons I became a pastor.  (It is also the only reason I have been able to raise my own 3 year old child!)

Today I hope you can see, touch, hear, and believe in a Love that is all around you.  I hope you can believe in a Love that will carry you over every obstacle, even if you know that you are not capable of this on your own.  God is Love, and Love never ends!



Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Life's Roller Coaster!

A lot has taken place since the last time I had a chance to update my blog!  In the church, we’ve experienced a roller coaster of emotions following Jesus through the season of Lent.  Christ’s journey was marked with suffering and death as he traveled to the cross.  However, we also had a chance to experience the joy of the resurrection.  In some ways, our lives are constantly moving up and down between blessings and brokenness as well.  

I had a glimpse of this a few weeks ago when my son experienced his first concussion. (That was definitely a low moment!!) He was running around and fell a few feet right onto his head.  This sent us to the emergency room for the third or fourth time in his life. (It’s hard to keep it all straight after a while…)  We arrived around 8pm and spent the next 6 hours trying to convince our 2 year old that we were trying to help him.  He wanted nothing to do with the doctors, and I remember trying to hold him in the CT scanner telling him it would be alright. (He remained unconvinced!)  In the end, I could only tell him to trust me and that he was loved, whether or not he wanted to hear this.  It was a difficult night, but everything turned out to be fine.  In no time, our child was running around, climbing on the furniture, and eating birthday cake to celebrate turning 3 years old!  It’s difficult to know that I can’t stop the bad times from coming, they always will.  However, I can show love at all times…

I believe God is present in every moment of our lives, the good and the bad.  God is telling us that we are loved whether or not we are willing to listen.  Today I hope we can take time to cherish God’s Love and Grace regardless of where we are in life’s roller coaster.  Love has the power to conquer all things, including the grave!

Christ is Risen!