Showing posts from 2013

Tobacco Juice's limits

So I learned today, very clearly, that things are real that I don't understand.

Now many of you are saying "No Duh".  But for me it is a bit of a revelation.  For instance, my wife and I have argued forever about migraines.  She would tell me they were super bad headaches that make light hurt your eyes and make you nauseous and can cause you to throw up and want to crawl into a cave and enter hibernation for the next five days.  My response?  All headaches are the same, some folks just have lower pain tolerance.

I didn't win the greatest husband award for that comment and I know they are real, but it gives some insight into how I handle situations.  I have a southern highschool football mentality when it comes to life..

"suck it up son"
"walk it off"
"you hurt or are you injured"
"just put some tobacco juice on it"

These four comments in my (stupid)opinion have solved the majority of my problems...but not really.

Today I spent …

Prayer Weekend

So here is the truth.  Being a missionary is HARD!

Many days my family longs to be back in our hometown where we have so many long time friends and 30 years of memories.  What is so amazing is when God gives some rest.  Sometimes through encouragement or calls or opportunities.

This last weekend it came as a contemplative prayer retreat with some awesome guys.  Five of the guys were from our Crash team and some guys we are planting here with in Eugene joined us.  What did we do?  Prayed and got quiet and listened.

(Zach, missionary and amazing friend)
We started with the Shabbat meal on Friday night welcoming in the Sabbath.  John Rice was our host and facilitator for the weekend.

Then we rested, ate, prayed, and filled out minds with scripture.

Here is what I walked away with.  I need to listen to God more.  There is this struggle in my heart to experience the fullness of life.  Many times I think this comes through proving my worth or doing some amazing ministry project.  It comes…

Day 3034

Audrey and I have been married for 3034 days yesterday.  It's been a great adventure.  Thought I would catalog days from time to time.  Here are the highlights.

I got up a little later than planned and took up some of the shower time that December needed to get ready for school.  Somehow I feel that it is inevitable for to be shoved out to the little bathroom by the garage.  The girls have began their takeover.  I then had to leave in a rush and left Audrey in a decent position, if you don't count December out of shower with shampoo stuck in her hair, Journey screaming, and Harlow eating anything and everything off the floor. 

I got to work at the Eugene Mission which is an amazing place to work.  I get to be a missionary to hundreds everyday.  It started raining as I pulled in, but decided to take the guys for a morning run in the run.  We have 18 men who are participating in what we call the Life Change Program.  This means they are committed to stay here for a year and go …

Leadership is a Learning Game

Honestly, I struggle to lead.

I worry I will let people down or mess things up somehow.

But really to lead all we need is humility and submission to God.

My flesh wants to run from the leadership opportunities that present themselves, but who am I to run from where God places me.

I want to live in God's will and do his work and step up anytime he gives me the chance.

To lead is to serve.

We will fail as leaders, but we will learn, and we will grow.

Our failures only make us more broken and humble, which allows us to listen better.

In leadership, God's voice is the one that matters.

Our voice will falter and quake, but God's is strong, calm, and persistent.

Wounded by Jesus

We always here how Jesus healed us and he has many of us in many ways.  The most critical our sin debt that existed.  But I think this sometimes makes us smug.  Yep smug.

We sit in churches feeling good about all God has done for us and we go to our jobs and we make our money and we buy our toys and we hang with our social groups and we go on our token mission trips and we say prayers (sometimes) and we continue in the worlds system with a bit of a better moral compass and a fuzzy feeling that God love us so much.

I just want to be honest.  The more I live down here, the more I feel wounded by Jesus.  Not in a bad way per say.  It just feels bad sometimes.  But I think it's right.  The more we follow Jesus the less comfortable the world and it's ways are to us.

When Jacob wrestles with God he walks away with a limp.  He walks away wounded.  His experience changed him so much that he would never walk in the same way in this life.  And when he did walk, it would hurt.


Jeremiah 15

Some of my favorite scripture is in Jeremiah.  I just relate with much of the emotions that Jeremiah exudes.  The unbelief that God would use someone as young as him and as ill equipped as him.  The struggle with going to hard places.  And the worry of safety.

My favorite in all of Jeremiah is in chapter 15.  In one of his many times of doubt and struggle he verbalizes his issues to God so well.

"Lord you know I am suffering for your sake.  Punish my persecutors! Don't let them kill me!  Be merciful to me and give them what they deserve!   Your words are what sustain me.  They bring me great joy and are my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God Almighty. I never joined the people in their merry feast.  I sat alone because your hand was on me.  I burst with indignation at their sins.  Why then does my suffering continue?  Why is my wound so incurable?  Your help seems as uncertain as  a seasonable brook.  It is like a spring that has gone dry."
The Q right…

Actually Crashing

So I've been riding my bike a lot lately.  This is mainly thanks to a group of my friends and family who got me a bike for my 33rd birthday.  It is an awesome Specialized hybrid bike.  I ride it all I can.  I love it.  It sleeps beside me.  Okay, not really. 

At the end of a stressful week last week I decided to take an evening ride.  I had actually decided to ride as far North as possible (until it got to dark) and then call someone to come pick me up.  So I'm heading North on a busy road and I decide to swing up onto the sidewalk to avoid a storm drain.  Next thing I know I'm bleeding from my right arm and knee.  In reflection here are the thoughts and lessons learned from this experience.

1.  Alec Woodward is awesome.  He came over and fixed my bike.  Not the best part.  He has anything I would need to clean out the wounds and bandaged up.  He had a whole truck full of fix Quinton's bike wreck supplies.  The detail gifting that God has given him is crazy.  I'm a…

Climbing Trees

I remember as a kid how much fun it was to climb trees.  And I think the fun of was that a tree could become anything.  Many days me and my brother, Wade, would turn trees in the pasture into pirate ships, castles, or forts.  It was great.  I think in life God is still giving us trees to climb.  Our new trees are opportunities. 

We see these amazing opportunities to share the Gospel with the world around us.  The opportunities present themselves in so many different ways.  Neighbors in need, friends who are struggling, starving people groups, unclean water, students without breakfast, growing poverty, absent fathers, struggling couples, the homeless, the marginalized, the lonely, and the lost.  The trees are everywhere, yet for some reason we choose not to climb them.  So I ask myself, "why don't I climb actual trees anymore?"

Two reasons.
First, I don't feel like I have the right tools to climb.  My body type is not a good match for scaling trees not to I have the k…

Poured Out Like Water

Recently I went hiking with my good friend Jeff Tennant.  We decided to take the day and head up to Black Butte in central Oregon.  It was an amazing trip, but it ended up being a little longer and a little tougher than I had read.  Aka, I'm out of shape and getting older.  A little ways into the trail I had to stop and take a break.  Leaning against the tree, out of breath, the thought came to mind, "What if this trip took all of me?"

I started back hiking, but the whole time I began thinking about where my life has taken me.  The places I've been and things I've been a part of seem unbelievable.  My mind went back to the first trip I took to New Orleans during Mardi Gras.  A youth minister friend of mine had invited me to go, but the night before I was going to leave I had a dream that someone stabbed my on the streets and I died.  The next day I was really emotional.  But I went.  I wasn't stabbed and obviously I didn't die.  God changed me in that dec…

People I Miss 2

Here is second edition of folks that were so impactful in my life that I don't get to see much.

1.  Matt Brooks
Other than my brother I've never argued with anyone more.  But it was the best example I've ever experienced of iron sharpening iron.  I miss dreaming as we threw frisbees into homemade baskets.  I wish we could compete on the bball court and compliment each other on the battle field again.
2.  Jason McCullars The only high school friend I was able to stay really close with.  I miss our closeness and our humor.  I miss hanging out the house and our family going on dates and trips together.  I wish we could eat tonight and laugh about the old days and know that the time we've known each other creates an environment where no mask is needed.
3.  Nick and Brandi I've never fallen into friendship so drastically as I did with you two.  I was a skeptic.  But through our time together I became a believer in your heart and passion.  I miss eating great desserts wh…

My Wife My Constant

Everything in life seems to always be in flux.  For us this has  been a tough year.  The addition of our third (unplanned or expected) child.  Big changes in the job.  New church growth taking place.  Stress abounds.  And in those  times I turn into super analytical man.  Questioning everything and figuring out nothing.

My wife brings peace in the storm.  Her heart is always so pure.  She loves God and our family and worries not about much else.  I love that she is reminding me of the value of sitting at the table as a family and taking our kids to the park.  I'm so grateful that she initiates conversation on parenting, vacation, and family adventures while my mind is trying to solve organizational issues and work crisis.  It reminds me to slow down and remember things that are important.

God can replace me in any of the capacities I hold on this Earth except as my wife's husband and my kids' father.  I want to rest in that and hold on to that.  It is a sweet place.  A l…

People I Miss

1.  Wade and Kerrie

Two of the most amazing people I've ever met.  Missionaries and pioneers in the richest sense of the word.  The live without fear and full of passion and many days I wish we could sit around and get on each others nerves and dream together.
2. Dad
Greatest role model and the constant voice in my head.  I miss talking about life and gaining wisdom.  I wish we could walk together in the pasture or do some work on a fence and just be. 
3. Mom
She is joy personified and I laugh when she laughs.  I miss eating and laughing over silliness and innocent mistakes.  I wish we could cook something together and talk about senseless worries and future adventures.  
I want to do this from time to time. Just remember some important people in my life that chasing after God has put some miles between us. These are people who shape me and whom I love.

Our Garden, Our Life

So if we are followers of Christ we know that we are to surrender our whole will and life to God and his direction and calling.  We've heard that in the church forever.  The problem is that many of us don't know what that looks like in our daily life.  We understand the big things, like move to this country, serve this community, or plant this church.  But the truth is our whole life is to be surrendered.  Every aspect to be used for the Gospel. 

In that vein of thought one of the ways some of our friends have figured out to do that is in gardening.  We are making a more concise effort to garden together and to garden for the Gospel.  Hence, The Woodward Community Garden.  We are planting for food to eat, but also to give away so we can share the love of God with those around us.  It's great fun and I can't wait to see how it all goes.  Plus, it teaches our kids that giving is important and sometimes you work so you can give.

Journey Cheesing.

Leftover Husk Skeletons

How long can I sit?

I could just sit I could just sit and wait for all your goodness
But what if our story is more.   Check out this video.

Here's the song.

Don't sell God short on what he can do with your life.   He is the author and he writes incredible stories. Let him write.
Our story is going awesome. The Crash is revving up amazingly. The Eugene Mission is morphing beautifully. The Beautiful Mess is growing sweetly. My family is loving more deeply.
Our prayer is to watch and be apart of some of the amazing stories God has for you. We love you and are praying.

I miss my brother

Yesterday my middle daughter starting throwing up.  This led me to take half a day off from work in an attempt to separate my oldest daughter from her so we didn't have another epidemic breakout like we had last year.  So I decided to take December out to see a movie.  We picked "Escape From Planet Earth".  It was fun, but it made me miss my brother.

Nutshell, two brothers fight, then one has to save the other, then they realize how important they are to each other.

I love the fact that for part of my ministry I got to walk through it with my brother.  Today I really miss that we are not side by side.  I know we are still serving our king and living our lives out for the Gospel, but I just miss being in close proximity.  One of my prayers is that one day God would allow us to work together again.

It makes me take a moment today and think about all the folks that I really love ministering with that are on different paths right now.  I hope God blesses them so much.  Th…