Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Reminder of New Life

OK, it's not a secret that I have been down for weeks because of the circumstances surrounding my professional life. At the beginning of November, for personal reasons and some personal issues that I had to deal with personally, I took an administrative leave from worship leadership at FBC, Fairfield. While I am and have been making steps to ensure the survival of my marriage and the spiritual health of my family, my job in the ministry has been on hold. And the church has moved on without me. I am now officially unemployed for God right now.

And that's ok. I believe that my first calling has to be to my wife and pre-born son. If I neglect my duties as husband and father, than my ministry won't be worth anything anyway. I've been struggling to find a new job for the last 19 days, filling out applications, calling and researching classifieds and want-ads, and generally doing everything I can to find something to pay my bills and cover our expenses, especially since Kristi's paycheck doesn't even cover our rent. Right now, that search is proving to be a challenge. I won't lie, it really sucks being me right now.

Or so I thought. Yesterday, I was reminded (by my son, no doubt) that things are really all right. He's healthy, seems to be very active, and is right on schedule. At 25 weeks, he weighs in at 1 lb. 10 oz... and Kristi's only gained 4 pounds this whole pregnancy. You know, I have a beautiful loving and forgiving wife who loves me very much. I have a son who's bouncing on my wife's bladder all the time. I really need to focus on those things right now. Now, yes, I need to keep job hunting, but as long as those things are still going well, life's really not so bad, is it?

Oh yeah, a few weeks back we celebrated in alot of American churches the Sanctity of Human Life. How can someone watch a sonogram, and not see life? He was even waving at us (although that may have been our imagination)! He's got a peronality, and though I hope he looks like his mommy, he's already got my attitude. He's my SON, my living, breathing, moving, peeing boy... and I already love him. He is not an unborn fetus, he is my baby. And he's growing in my baby.

So that's life. Life is abundant... ups and downs. Keep praying for us as we try to wait for God's timing and guidance. Right now we're considering a move to the Seguin/San Marcos area, the San Angelo area, or the Houston area (wherever I can find a job). We'll need a good church in whatever area we move to, and if they could use a singer on their worship team or keyboardist I would dig that. We'll need jobs, and friends. So pray for all those things for us. We'll take all we can get right now. Thanks and God bless you all!

In HIS Grip,

Saturday, January 31, 2009

I Want to Be Like You

I really like listening to old CDs lately. It's comforting to know that, on a much lesser scale, some songs are like scripture in that they can mean something completely different depending on where in life you are. As I listened to some old songs and CDs cleaning this afternoon, I came across this great song from FFH's first CD.

When I'm down, You are up for me.
When I frown, You have a smile for me.
And when I'm weak, You are strong for me,
You are there for me, You're always there for me.

When I fall, You will catch me.
When I call, You're quick to answer me.
And when I weep, You will weep with me,
You are there for me, You're always there for me.

(And I want to be like You) Take my cross and follow after You,
(I want to be like You) Speak the truth in everything I do.
(I want to be like You) Leave the many to go and find the few.
(I want to be like You) I want to be like You.

When I thirst, You will quench me.
When I hunger, You are the bread for me.
When I kneel, you already heard me,
You are there for me, You're always there for me.

When I cried, You were there, You heard my call.
When I fell, You were there, You saw it all.
On my knees, You came and rescued me,
And now in everything I say and do I want to be just like You.

I've realized something lately. I really want to be like Jesus. I'm tired of wrestling with what I want, what I think I need, what I feel. The fact is, I'm not any good at supplying for myself. I'm not any good at truly meeting others' needs or ministering to them, because the only thing in me that's any good is Jesus. And I don't let Him have control like I should. Why? Because I'm selfish, I'm ungodly, and most of all, I'm a sinner in desperate need of a Savior.

So why do I want to be more like Jesus? Because I've seen me, and I'm not impressed. In all of my life, I am the one who gets in the way of His guidance, who takes the wrong path, who defiantly stands in the way of my own blessing... because like Frank Sinatra, I did it "My Way." Know what? I'm tired of that. I've never done anything for myself that held a candle to the lighthouse beam of God's plan for my life. I've done nothing more than screw it up, and I'm likely to do it more. So, I want to be more like Jesus. I want to reach out instead of in. I want to lift up instead of tear down. I want to be a shield to the soldiers around me, rather than a sword to the saints on my side. I want to be holy, as He is holy.

I can't say it any better than this lyric from another great old song: "Heart's Cry," by Steven Curtis Chapman.

This is my heart's cry, much more than just a great desire,
It's like a fire in me.
I hear my heart cry each time I think about the cross where Jesus died:
That cross should have been mine,
But His love broke through time and heard my heart's cry.
He heard my heart's cry.

And now the part I'll struggle with until I attain that which I strive for:

Now every other hope and dream is lost inside of this one thing,
To know the One who died for me.
And live my life for Jesus Christ is my heart's cry!

What about you?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Follow Jesus

As I read the Scripture, I am struck by the number of times that God asked, no, commanded someone to follow Him. Picture Abram in Genesis 12, hearing God say ‘leave everything and go to the land I will show you.’ The call was simple, Abram’s response was pretty immediate, and he and Sarai had to completely restructure their lives around the call. And... let's not forget that Abraham wasn't told where to go, how long it would take to get there, or really the whole map. He was told, "Go to the end of the driveway and make a left," (Josh's paraphrase) "and I'll tell you where your next turn is."

Or, let's imagine Matthew sitting at his tax collecting booth, doing his work, and making money. Without any introduction or explanation, a stranger walks up to him and says, “Follow Me.” Jesus doesn’t tell Matthew His name, where He’s going, or what life will be like when they get there. He simply says, “Follow Me,” and Matthew simply gets up and follows. Now, what amazes me is this: Matthew doesn't ask, "Who are You?" or any of the questions that would enter a "thinking" person's head. He just gets up and leaves with Jesus.

I read about these people in Scripture, and I’m astounded. Now more than ever before, I wonder if I would have the same faith to stand up, pick up my cross, and follow without a question. And now more than ever, as Christ says, “Follow Me,” I am drawn to fall in step right behind Him. Difficult? Yes. Ultimately rewarding? I guarantee it. You see, I'm a control freak. I like to think I'm master of my own destiny sometimes. Yes, I know that's deluded, but allow me my delusions for a moment, will ya? I am the Chief of control freaks. So for me to follow Christ to the end of the driveway and make a left, my pregnant wife, my pre-born son, my dogs, and my stuff in tow, is a huge step... no, shoot-me-out-of-a-cannon leap of faith. I wonder at times if my faith is strong enough for such steps. You might as well shoot me to the moon... at least the way it feels sometimes.

We're preparing to make a move... Kristi and I are coming to the end of our time in Fairfield. That being said, it could be the summer (post-Caleb's birth) before we officially leave. It all depends on job and income issues. During our final weeks here, we will want to share as much time with our church family and friends as possible. While bringing closure to our ministry here will be difficult, we know we’re surrounded by love and prayers in this time of transition. And I'm pretty pumped to watch and see what God has in store for FBC, Fairfield through the coming of this new family to lead this church's worship ministry forward. May God bless us all as we look for where He is moving and fall right in line behind Him.

Christ has said "Follow Me." Will you fall in?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Well, now I'm here. Blog universe... a place I never thought I'd be. Or rather, that I'd ever have the time, energy or thought collection to be. If you're looking here for vast, theological discussions or discoveries, look somewhere else. I happen to know of at least two other blogs that I could send you to that would feed this need for discussion and revelation of huge issues. No, this blog will be mundane in comparison, and just the very random thoughts on a few things that I find remarkable. I am a child of God, a follower of Christ. I am a worshipper of Him, the only one worthy to be focused on. I am not a theologian, I am a regular guy who has messed up more than he should have, and found the grace in Christ to continue on. I am a husband of a wonderful and beautiful bride who keeps me in check with her honesty and love. I have served churches in Texas and Missouri as a worship leader/choir director, and had the fortune to minister to many people whom God has allowed me to meet. All in all, I'm not all that different from anyone. So as I journey through this existence on my way to something and somewhere better, I'll write my jumbled thoughts down for others to ponder or laugh with. Maybe we'll see God and fall in awe. Woudn't that be exciting?