Moved to Tears

Northeast bound on OH-585 at 7:00am, winding along the countryside I soaked in the lyrics of Oceans. Contrary to the tree-lined highway of my morning commute, I was momentarily overwhelmed with the limitless call on my like to trust God. While standing where the ocean meets the shore, and staring into the horizon, there is no end in sight to the massive body of water that cleanses yet overwhelms it’s captor by its sheer force.
As I sped along, the byway, I was suddenly awestruck by the beauty of God’s love for me – a love much more powerful than and tidal wave. More secure than any ocean shore Lighthouse, beaconing the sailors to take shelter for the night. More refreshing than the cool crashing waves along the rocky beaches of Bar Harbor, Maine. How else could I respond than to cry out “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders?” No other response seems suitable.


Racing: Then & Now

What an emotional day. I trained for this day for months! I never dreamed that I would race in a half marathon! I’m so thankful for the encouragement of many friends and family who challenged me to do this. After what seemed like a lifetime of bronchitis, I never thought to take up running until I realized that the children of Cambodia and Thailand face even greater challenges – they are in desperate need of a Savior, and a safe home. Racing with visions of the children that I see on the streets of Battambang and Wiang Pa Pao, I press on with the promise that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!
I soaked in so much beauty this morning, from the picturesque route to the contagious enthusiasm of the spectators that cheered us on throughout the whole route. Crossing the Ohio River into Beautiful Kentucky with its rolling hills; local musicians playing popular covers to encourage the athletes. A park-side gazebo overlooking a shimmering lake welcomed me into the uphill trek through the conservatory. I chuckled at the sight of two young ladies at mile 10 holding signs reading, “Run no more guys. We’re right here and we’re single.” Common sense must have escaped them, otherwise they would’ve been standing at the finish line with those signs where the gentlemen might have picked up these dream girls.

The signs reminded me of how easy it is to get off course with life. Sometimes we get tunnel vision of the plans that we have for our own lives – our dream job, dream home, ideal spouse, hopes for our children. Sometimes we remove God from the equation, and we find ourselves behaving like those desperate girls settling for anyone who will give us attention. Or maybe, we’re that guy who sees an available girl and thinks “hmm a massage would be really nice right now…”

In life’s race, it’s crucial to keep a mindset of endurance. Hebrews 12:1-2 says it best “Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.”

As I prepare for another Bucket List goal – running a full marathon, I look back on the lessons I at Flying Pig two years ago. Diet is crucial; hydration critical. Focus on the finish line, however, is secondary to finishing the race that Christ has set for me.

SWF ISO A Hero That Only God Can Be

A young woman, loving life yet feels like something is missing, cries out to God one night.
“God, why does it seem like everyone around me is getting married and having babies? Don’t think me ungrateful, but I feel like I’m missing out! Is there something I’m missing, not doing, or doing too much? What am I not understanding?”
“Love me. ”
“God, I DO love you, but I feel like you’re punishing me! Please, just giving me an inkling of what it is I need to do to her my family!”
“Love me. Know that I love you.”
“I’m trying to know that you love me, but my vision is so near-sighted. Help me to see. Help me to see the situation from your perspective. Help me to understand that you’re not short-changing me on good opportunities.”
“Sweetheart, I love you more than any man ever could. I gave my only son to die for your sin so that you could spend eternity with me in Heaven, where none of your earthly cares will ever again matter. Come to me sweet daughter! Let me be your Heavenly Bridegroom, where the best is yet to come.
You say you want to know how to get a guy? To whom much is given, much is required. To be given much, you must be faithful with what you have. Me. Invest in my plans and my calling on your life. Be the bride of Christ that I have called you to be. Be the virtuous woman for me that I have called you to be for virtue will not come immediately with a ring. Be the woman that will attract the man I have for you.”
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭31‬:‭10-12‬ NIV)

Living with Nooks, Crannies, & Granny

Living in a studio apartment has had its ups and downs. Everyday, I’m learning the importance of living a simple and clean life. I am learning to properly store belonging in the storage space that I do have, and try not to freak out over the space that I do not have. I am learning that stuff really does not matter; that this place is not my home.
The greatest lesson that I’m learning is living with an 84 year-old woman. Jessie is the homeowner of the basement that I’m occupying. The delightful snowbird is equally stubborn and joyful. This used to be an oxy-moron to me. How can somebody be blunt and happy all at the same time? Bluntness has always had a way of offending me. I have realized though that Jessie has no reason to care what people think. She doesn’t use her honest remarks as a way to be cutting; she’s simply being honest.
Jessie’s Florida tan and smile wrinkles melt my heart every time I see her! She loves life and loves people even more. She tells so many stories about her family, and her late husband that I feel like I know them.
Jessie has worked hard her while life taking care of her family and friends. Even after surviving a stroke two years ago? She is quite mobile – mowing her own lawn, spraying the house for summer bugs (not letting me help), and cleaning. She loves to harass me about all the “stuff” I have packed in my tiny place! She says “one day you’ll give this all to your family and not collect so much!” “IT’S NOT THAT MUCH,” I say. And she laughs.
As I begin my journey striving to be the woman of Proverbs 31, I look not only to Christ as my source of strength and delight, but also toward my neighbor Jessie, who has been practicing this unique lifestyle for 84 years.