April 17, 2014

Love after US

I had to use this from a devo that I follow from Jim Denison. It’s powerful and I don’t think I could put it any more eloquently than he did.

God has always taken the initiative to restore us to himself.  He sought Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  He sought Noah, calling him to build the ark that would save the human race.  He sought Abram in a land we call Iraq today.  He sought Jacob on that night they wrestled together, and Moses at the burning bush, and David after the king had sinned horrifically.

Then he sought us in the most miraculous, unexpected way of all—he became one of us.  He folded the glory and power which created the universe down into a fetus who grew into a baby who breathed our air, walked our dirt, faced our temptations, felt our pain, died on our cross and rose from our grave.  We could not climb up to him, so he climbed down to us.

He sought fishermen beside the Sea of Galilee, tax collectors in their booths and trees, lepers in their abandoned loneliness, and demoniacs in their cemetery hideouts.  He was the housekeeper who sought the lost coin, the shepherd who sought the lost sheep, the father who sought the lost son.  He sought Peter after his denials, and Saul of Tarsus as he persecuted the church, and John on his prison island of Patmos.

And then the day came when he made you.  Not because our planet needed another person, but because he wanted an intimate, personal relationship with you.  He led me to write these words so he could use them to seek you today.  So he could wash your feet and cleanse your sins and commune intimately with you.

May this Easter be a blessing to you and your family as you ponder on just how much God truly loves you and me and the ultimate price he paid on our behalf because of that love.

April 9, 2014

Love one another

Jesus told us as his second commandment to love one another as we love ourselves. With that, I wanted to share my wisdom of growth in my Christian walk and faith in this post.

There are many ailments that plague our society today. Many of these ailments are pointed out in the scriptures. Morality(or the lack thereof) is the biggest of them in my opinion of what ails our society today. As a Christian living in todays society we are thrust into the spotlight and are put in positions to defend our faith against these ‘ailments’ of society. It has taken me a long time to get to this point in my walk with Christ. My answer to these ailments is several fold. First and foremost, is that we must address everything in love. Second, is that if we hope to change one’s mind, we must be willing to understand and give respect. If we don’t, then we will never reach a lost world that desperately needs Jesus.

I know that these ‘Morality’ issues are hard to address and deal with and that we don’t like to address these issues most of the time. What I am trying to say is this, “Love everyone, no matter what and let God make the change in the person” Our job is to Love as Jesus did, not to judge. Our job is to water the soil, it is God who makes the growth. Our job is to plant the seed, it is God who fertilizes and makes the change, not us.

If Christians can give a listening ear and show respect and love then people will listen to us. If we don’t show that type of behavior to people then they will never listen to us. Show Respect to earn respect. We were given 2 ears and 1 mouth. That’s because we should listen twice as much as we speak, especially when we are trying to get the Good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ out to a dying world.

Blessings!

March 26, 2014

Wanda

I’m titling this post Wanda, who is Heather’s grandma. She died on March 12, 2014. She lived to be 92. That being said, yes she lived a long life, but this was unexpected. She had a strong will to live and live to at least 100! I thought for sure, as well as everyone else, that she was going to make it to 100. She had a series of strokes that led to her death. Very unfortunate and untimely. She lived by herself at home and was very active in the community-working in the public library and doing helpful and fun things with friends and groups she belonged to. I admire her for living as long as she did and for the many accomplishments she made throughout her life. A great legacy she leaves behind, one to be admired. One to look up to.

I believe one of her great accomplishments was having 5 children and getting them ALL to go to College after high school, on little money they did have. All 5 children are doing very well for themselves and so are the many grandchildren and great grandchildren. All because of a strong home life and work ethic that was engraved in their children.

Heather, my wife, being one of the grandchildren is accomplished so far in her own right. She accredits it to her mom and grandma/grandpa for where she is today. Her strong work ethic, being a great mother to our daughter Sophie, a second to none wife and her faith that she so dearly cares about.

Many fun and wonderful times was I able to experience with Wanda, as well as hear about and learn about in such a short time, gives me pause and makes me smile.

May we all find ourselves living a life to be admired as much as this Matriarch did.

God Bless you Wanda!

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February 4, 2014

George Washington and the Fig

I was reading about the Fig and the Fig tree and the Fig leafs and the important association thereof in Biblical history & American History. After the research, what I found was really cool. This is an excerpt from George Washington and his letter to the Hebrew people in a Synagogue in Rhode Island in 1790:

In 1790, the synagogue’s warden, Moses Seixas, wrote to George Washington, expressing his support for Washington’s administration and good wishes for him. Washington sent a letter in response, which read in part:
…the Government of the United States…gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance…May the children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid. May the father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in his own due time and way everlastingly happy.”
—Letter of George Washington to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island

The term “under his own vine and fig tree” refer to peace and prosperity.

The biblical quote “each man under his own vine and fig tree” (1 Kings 4:25) has been used to denote peace and prosperity. It was commonly quoted to refer to the life that would be led by settlers in the American West.

Also important was the equality of all Americans, regardless of their faith, to which Washington was poignant.

January 7, 2014

Word of God

Awesome tweet that I felt needed to be posted here too:

BS8UFyiIcAAcuo6

December 16, 2013

The Call

So, Heather and I just finished up serving 2 weekends ago at ‘The Call’. It is a weekend long, student focused & spirit filled, event. I worked with my 12th Grade Boys and Heather hosted our 12th Grade Girls at our home. The weekend was great. I really enjoyed my time with them.

The focus was on ‘Spiritual Gifts’ and learning what ours are and how to use them. We had a great speaker on Fri/Sat night. He gave great insight to familiar scriptures we have heard many times. The first one was on Job, when he wrestled with God. His point was that God, made himself weak in order to make Job strong. Job finally proved himself to NOT be a coward as well and held on until God blessed him. His analogies were spot on as well. His example for this was when you allow yourself to be pinned by a younger, weaker sibling and you allow them to pin you down. It’s not that you can’t throw them off, you just became weak so they could be strong. That’s what God does for us all the time. Powerful.

The second story was about Jonah. We all know this story. The biggest point that hit me was when he stated how Jonah ran and ran and ran from God until he realized God wouldn’t relent, then reluctantly Jonah answered. It took Jonah only 8…8 words to speak to Tarshish, for them to repent and turn to God. That was pretty amazing. The other point was, you never know what God has been doing and working in others lives so that when you have an opportunity to talk to them about Jesus, they are ready for you to share the good news with them. Powerful stuff!!!

I pray that the students learned a lot from the weekend, like I did, and grow significantly from an epic weekend.

December 10, 2013

Poker

Okay, confession. I love to play the game of Poker. Specifically, No Limit Texas Hold’em Poker. I have been playing this game for years now, at home with friends, at friends’ homes and in Las Vegas when I have gone there. Mainly, the home games have been Tournaments and the games in Vegas have been cash games.

So, the point of this blog post is to really get into the reason why I would want to play in the WSOP in 2014. I find writing helps me think “Out Loud” so to speak. This is my way of writing this to do just that.

The questions that I need to ask myself are: If I was to win the WSOP in 2014, what would I do then? What is my goal in life after that fact? What if I don’t win, but come in the Top 10(which btw is still some life changing money) would I pursue a career in Poker? Would I quit my job? Would I like to win it for the Fame? For the accolades? For the money?

To answer that, I want to dig into my history a little bit. Most recently at a home game of 33 people, I won the whole Tournament. It was a $20 buy-in with unlimited re-buys for the first hour and then a last add-on a of $20 at the break. I ended up investing $60 into this Tournament and won $600. That’s a 10 fold return on my money. It was fun, and I enjoyed playing the game as well as winning it(of course!). This is not the only home game I have won either, and I have won many other home games as well. I find that if I put my mind into it and play smart that I usually do real well in Tournaments, but I have to be focused in order to do so. The competition and beating the other player has always been something that I find as a sport very fulfilling-probably because it’s a testosterone manly emotion of beating said player.

This lent me to think, that I could somehow be a real threat in a much bigger game, like, you guessed it, the WSOP. There are many Tournaments to play during the month-long WSOP in Las Vegas every year. More importantly, there are different dollar amounts to play in. Culminating in the Big Daddy of them all, the $10,000 buy-in Tournament, which is my favorite No Limit Hold’em.

I think that if I was to try my hand at it, that I would go with a much smaller denomination Tournament at the WSOP and see how I fared and go from there.

I have played Tournaments in several casinos around the country and have cashed(Top 10) a few times. So, I know that I have the skills and abilities to do well, it’s just a matter of preparing myself physically and financially to commit to a Tournament like the WSOP in Las Vegas.

The game of Poker for me is very intriguing. I believe that it takes skill and ability to win at this game. There is an element of luck/chance in the game itself, but long-term, the players that are best at it are the ones that have the skills and talent to win. I enjoy playing the game and would love to make it as a career, but that’s more of a dream than a reality in my life now.

So, I’m not sure still what I would do if I was to win the whole thing. I think I would take a stab at it as a career and see where that takes me. I’m not so worried about the money as much as I would be at making it a fun career/life pursuit. Money is a bonus rather than a focus for me and always has been in my life and career pursuits. As long as I was happy at whatever I was doing, I always felt that things would take care of themselves. Ultimately, I think winning the whole thing would be my goal and complete thrill of my life.

To conclude, I want to play in the WSOP this next year and see how I do and really put an end or a beginning to what I feel is a bucket-list item, to play in the WSOP.

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December 2, 2013

Hawaii

Heather and I took a trip to Hawaii after our Birthday Celebration. We went to the island of Kauai. It was so beautiful. We didn’t spend enough time there as we wanted. I’m sure 2 full weeks wouldn’t have been enough. We scuba dived in the southern part of the island, took a helicopter ride over the entire island and went to a Luau. It was a blast and a memory that won’t soon be forgotten!!

hawaii

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December 2, 2013

30/40 Birthday

Image

Heather and I recently celebrated our 30/40 Birthday’s with family and friends and had a great time.  We celebrated it at our new home, had Fajita’s spread along with all the fixings and plenty to be thankful for.

 

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November 5, 2013

All Religions?

Great Story on Christianity:

An elderly professor of world religions surprised his colleagues by declaring his commitment to Christ. He explained: “It was as if I had fallen into a deep, abandoned well. Muhammad came by and told me it was the will of Allah that I be in this well, then he left. The Buddha came by and told me if I would cease desire I would cease to suffer in the well, then he left. A Hindu teacher came by and told me if I was faithful in the well I would escape through reincarnation, then he left. Confucius came by and told me if I’d not tripped I would not be in the well, then he left. Jesus came by, saw me, and got into the well with me. That is why I am a Christian.”

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