Sunday, July 22, 2012

two parks for the price of one

Kim asked the other day to take the boys to Michigan's Adventure this coming Tuesday.

Sounds fun, right? Not to thoughts quickly went to it being my day and I wasn't happy she was trying to screw with the schedule. That was all the surface emotion though. Here is the deeper thoughts and reasons as I later confessed to a friend.

"Sounding like fun is part of the reason I want to say no to her. I know it is a lie that leads me to think this but I already struggle with her being the fun parent. Pure selfishness wants me to tell her to take them on her own day."

Did you see it in there? I am afraid the boys will love her more than me. I am afraid they will choose her or defer to her when given the chance. I am afraid of not having enough influence in their lives because they have a choice.

My friend's reply could have been more empathetic, but the sharp bluntness is what I needed. "Trust God and put your children first."

I was willing to let my fears lead to actions that would have kept the boys from a special day with their mother. A special day that in all reality they need to have with her. Keeping them away certainly would not have been putting they boys first.

As for the fears themselves, yes those things are all real possibilities. That is where the exhortation to trust God is so important. God works in ways I do not understand. The mystery of his plans is part of what should lead us to worship Him. God often interrupts our plans and takes us down a path so much different that what we had hoped for. I remember saying last fall that the God's glory would most greatly be shown if Kim and I were reconciled. I was looking at an act though and not a lifestyle. The hunger I have to know God and the sensitivity I am gaining to the prompting of the Holy Spirit are creating a lifestyle that will be much further reaching that just one piece of a story.

Looking back, I should have no reason to doubt or to live crippled by my fears. I have not gone without food or lodging, have experienced great personal growth and healing (though there is more to come), have been surrounded by great friends and renewed relationships with my family. I even believe there is a beautiful woman that God has for me to partner with and that we will propel each other into greater holiness. Looking back, I have many reasons to trust, many reasons to lay down my fears. Many

My friend's words also reminded me of Proverbs 3...let me know what you think of it.

My son, do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.

Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof,
for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. (Proverbs 3:1-12 ESV)

Monday, July 16, 2012


The past four days are like a whirlwind to me. My life has been filled with friends and family that I have been blessed with. There have been happy moments and sad moments.

I have seen the pain on friends faces as they told me of how they are hurting in their marriage. A realization of how he failed his wife and hurt her. Words from another that he is tired of trying and not getting any results. Another yet as they shared the hottest topic in their marriage.

These conversations heavy my heart. These conversations echo inside of me the brokenness of world, the brokenness that touched me as a 12 year old child and again as a 32 year old man. These conversations echo inside of me the need for God's redemption in our lives.

I enjoyed the privilege of attending Nick and Abbey Wagenmaker's wedding this weekend.  As I prepared myself for this wedding, as I listened to the wedding, and as I talked with my friends in attendance, there was something else that echoed in my heart...the truth that we were created to know and be known intimately.

This truth is perhaps one of the most difficult things to honor about ourselves though because we get hurt along the way (either by things that shouldn't have happened to us or by the absence of things that should have) and we want to protect ourselves from that same hurt.

Today, my journey is about overcoming my defenses and learning to relate in a deeper way. That is really just a fancy way of me saying I am learning to trust God and people with the parts of me that can be hurt the most. Progress has been made, but there is much more to be done.

Let me finish with this thought:

The world and the evil one are continually trying to pull every marriage apart. They are trying to take the one you have committed to before and with God and separate it into two. They use busyness of life, our past hurts, and current stresses to isolate us from the intimate we were created for.

Please live with that knowledge and please plan accordingly with your life, whatever and however that means for you. For me, as a divorced man who hopes to remarry, it means to continue dealing with my issues so that whenever it may be the right time to be in a committed relationship that I can offer myself as completely as possible to her.

Monday, July 09, 2012


I have been thinking a lot about my heart lately. Not physical health wise like my cholesterol or anything and not just feelings and emotions, but my heart that encompasses all I do and think and am.

Is my heart alive or is it dead? What are the signs of a living heart? Have I given my Creator all my heart? What does a person who has given all their heart to God look like? Do I know any of these people and if so how many? What was so special about King David that he was called a man after Gods own heart. Do I do these things? Can the same be said about me?

None of these questions are easy questions and some of these answers are not what I would hope.

This is where I believe that looking at Jesus' life here on earth is important and necessary. If I want to know what God desires from me as a human looking at his life as a human is probably the best way to get answers.

So, I am starting at this point, by asking what were the most important things in Jesus life. Here is my simplified list:

1 - to spend time alone with God to realign his thoughts and purpose with Gods
2 - to use the gifts he had been given by God through the Holy Spirit to do Gods work here on earth so that God's name gets would be praised.

Now the work that Jesus did was very specific, and his gifts were his gifts. Scripture tells me my work is specific as well and that I have certain gifts. I just always do what I should.

The other thing of note is that Jesus is often filled with compassion, mercy, grace, kindness. I make mention of this because I believe it is because of his time realigning himself and his vision to Gods.

These thoughts are raw and incomplete at this moment as far as my specific life application, but perhaps that is because this should be a constant question on my heart...