Sunday, May 3, 2009

Thinking about weeds

After a long winter break, my yard has begun it's annual rebellion and forced me to break out the lawnmower. I have a decent size yard, but as the temperature rises on me and my push-mower it seems to get bigger every time. During the countless trips up and down my yard, I've had a reoccurring thought this spring: Dandelions.

I'm not a yardwork perfectionist, but I am a big fan of a freshly cut and neat yard. The yard I inherited when I purchased this house I am confident was well taken care of. Even so, here and there - along the edges mostly - dandelions raise their heads in defiance. The kids love them. I mean, what kid doesn't love to grab a handful of ripe white dandelions and blow as hard as they can to see those seeds scatter in the wind? The problem is, and the kids have no way of knowing, that they are only making the problem worse as those seeds dig in their roots wherever it is that they land only to start the cycle over again.

The funny thing is that it took absolutely no effort on my part to get those weeds to grow in my yard. In fact, the only thing that was required of me was to do nothing. On the contrary, I look at all of the desireable things we are wanting to grow in the garden. They require planning and a lot of work from start to finish. Not only do you have to focus on those good things, but you also have to pay attention to the weeds and pests and everything else that would keep these desireable 'fruit' from developing.

I can't help but see the parallels with our struggles with sin. It doesn't take a whole lot of effort to get wrapped back up in sin - even those that we thought we had defeated long ago. It may only require us to relax for a moment and not actively fight the 'weeds' from creeping back in. At the same time, I'm always frustrated that it takes so much effort (it seems) for me to stay dedicated to the worthwhile things: quiet times, prayer, etc.

Makes me think of Paul 'fighting the good fight' and 'finishing the race.' (2 Timothy 4:6) After all, no matter how perfect we think we have our yard at any given moment, the yards all around are full of dandelions just waiting to drift back over and take up root again.


Saturday, January 31, 2009

Your rich life now?

So I got a letter in the mail this week that I dismissed as silly at first, but can't stop thinking about now. I threw it away so I can't remember all of the details, but here was the general idea:

The letter was supposedly from some (ex?)preacher that had prayed over every word in the letter and was led for some reason to send it to me (and everyone else on his mailing list.) It contained instructions on how to send off for my FREE golden cross trinket - which had also been prayed over extensively. Once I had this cross and was wearing it, keeping it in my pocket, etc., I was pretty much guaranteed to be blessed spiritually, physically, and most of all financially. What a deal!

This letter was quite long - also included a separate sealed section containing prophecies just for me regarding my upcoming success that I wasn't to open until I had received my cross - and full of testimonies of others that had received theirs and were singing it's praises. All from their newly acquired mansions, I'm sure. It soon found its way to the trash - but of course not before I tried to convice Kel that I was going to send off for one first. :)

It was completely based on Matthew 18:19, which says: "Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven." Hmm. Well, I guess we have God right where we want him, huh? Congratulations! Looks like we just secured our genie in a bottle.

You don't have to look far to know that the prosperity gospel is alive and well. And, to their credit, Jesus did say that he came to give us life and give it abundantly. But, how about some perspective? This God who gave up his own son for us, to spare us from his wrath, for no other reason except that he loved us in spite of our hatred toward him... is now turning to us and saying "whatever you ask I'll do." And our first thought is "show me the money!" Could there be a bigger slap in the face? Could there be a more clear way to look at the astounding gift of grace and dismiss it as not enough? It can't be an accident that God made that promise. However, I've got to think that just maybe before we take him up on it we might want to consider his selflessness towards us and make our request in the same way.

Rant over. Oh well, maybe we'll get our billion dollar sweepstakes notification in the mail next week and I'll take it all back . . . ;)


Friday, January 30, 2009

Well, that should about do it . . .

... to eliminate any expectation that I would stick with this consistently. Oh well - been busy. And, without any kind of real connection to the Internet at home for a while too. That has been wierd. How did we function without being so connected before?

It's funny how it touches so many things we do. It's kind of like when you lose electricity at your house - sound familiar lately? "Oh, I can't turn the light on. Oh well, I'll just watch some tv... wait. Hmm. Oh, yeah... how silly. I'll just start the dishwasher..." And even though you are reminded at every turn that the power is out, you still hit every light switch as you walk into every dark room...

Even though we apparently moved just past the end of civilization - where not even the Internet has found it's way to yet - I'm reminded every day that it's good to be home. Hopefully, I'll remember to write some of it down.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Didn't remember that verse

So I'm laughing while listening to Ben sing "Old McDonald had a business, EIEIO . . ."

For those of you that know Ben-speak, you'll appreciate that.


Thursday, September 18, 2008


That's where I live these days. I'm back home, in far more ways than one, but not quite home yet. We're getting there -- this week we got both a contract to sell our house as well as a contract to buy one here. Things are moving and there's some sense of normalcy on the horizon. Well, there's the familiar craziness that seems normal to us at this point, anyway. :)

It seems like our lives have kind of been on hold the last several weeks. I know it's due to the circumstances -- I mean, what 30 year old guy doesn't dream of moving his wife and kids back in with Mom and Dad? They've been very gracious, though. It's not like my crew can move into a house unnoticed. Actually, they keep telling us they love it and really enjoy having the kids around. It's a good thing, because we're pretty sure we're going to leave one or two of them here when we move out.

I'm interested in how the kids see all of this. We never moved when I was growing up. My parents bought their farm not long after they were married and all through my childhood that's where I lived. When we move into our new house, it will be the fourth that Ally has lived in and she's not even six years old. (Third for Ben, second for Drew.) I'm sure it probably just seems normal to them, but I'm ready for us all to be home.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Back at the lake

First weekend back in Corbin and we managed to get back down to the lake with friends. It was nice. I love it there and I hope that we can do it often. It's fun watching the kids get to do things that are new to them, but I kind of took for granted being around when I was growing up. I had the same thought as we were sitting out in the back yard the other night watching the deer eat apples that had fallen from Dad's apple tree. (It has now become my quest to get some really good pictures of those deer, by the way. I'm sure there are goofy stories that will be slightly embarassing to me and are the kind that make Kel wonder why I get obsessed over not-so-important things to follow soon . . .)

I'd call our first week back a very good one. Mom and Dad have been very flexible and gracious as we have moved our family in and taken over half of their house. I'm sure it doesn't hurt that they now have full access to the grandkids. (what, you guys are here too?) Believe it or not, it was never my plan to turn 30 and then move back in with my parents.

I'm sure it wasn't my parents' plan either, but I'm thankful that they don't seem to mind.


Friday, August 8, 2008

Never say never

When will we learn to just stop talking? Here's some background you may or may not already know. When we first got married, and probably even before, I took every opportunity to try and explain to Kel how Corbin was actually the center of the universe. It's pretty apparent, if you stop and think about it. If it takes 6 degrees to get to Kevin Bacon, it should only take 4 to get back to Corbin. Since Kel was not from there and was not ready to accept this idea, she boldly stated on several occasions: "I will never live in Corbin."

That's all it took. We soon found ourselves moving into our first house -- in Corbin, of course. Also, predictably, she loved it. We had some great relationships with friends, a great church family and lots of opportunities to serve. Work was going very well, but there were some connections at work to Louisville. Again, some careless statements were made: "If we ever move, I'd love to go south. I wouldn't want to go any farther north, and definitely not Louisville . . ."

You'd think we would learn. Of course, we soon found ourselves hauling all of our stuff, and our now larger family with Ally, into another house -- in Louisville. We plugged into a great church and formed amazing new friendships. Along the way, we've added two more sons to our traveling circus of a family, and even though we really had no prior connections to Louisville before, we felt very settled. At this point, we were aware of the pattern. We even jokingly said a few times: "I'll never live in Hawaii . . ." But even at the same time, without a second thought, we would say to each other: "As much as we miss friends and family and all of the familiar things about Corbin, we know we'll never live there again. There's just no way. I mean, how could we?" And we absolutely believed it. 100%

For the record, I'm currently sitting parents' living room -- in Corbin of course. "Work" has brought us back again, and at this point it is still very surreal. We're back for the forseeable future, whatever that means. I guess until we foolishly and boldly make some statement as if we actually knew what the future held.

This is interesting though: Before we were pregnant with Drew, we were having a conversation with my cousin when she asked if we were open to having more children. The last time Kel and I had that conversation ourselves, the answer was a pretty firm "no." When she asked, however, without hesitation we both answered "yes" at the same time with no hesitation. We looked at each other, completely surprised, and began to realize that God had been quietly working on us and we were being prepared for Drew who came along not long after. I think the same thing has been happening to us lately. I can look back and see a desire for things that I always associated with "home." You don't have to look far, the last post on here speaks for itself and that was long before this opportunity was ever presented. Don't get me wrong, we were extremely happy where we were, and it has been/will be extremely tough to leave. Even a few weeks ago, I would have laughed at the thought.

But I cannot imagine having never met Drew even though his arrival was a great surprise. So I'm excited to see what God is preparing us for here -- again.