Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Week

This past week has been full of so many great things. Even with all the busyness of life, the time I have spent with my wife and our kids has been priceless.

Robin has this knack for taking things that most would consider average and mundane and making them into a great experience and a lasting memory. Even going grocery shopping with her is a great time for me.

May is a busy month for us. With our anniversary and my birthday and Memorial day falling so close together, we tend to make it a week long party. This week, beyond the Memorial Day cookout/ Birthday Party, one of my most cherished moments was the opportunity for Robin and I to go to lunch at Jalisco's and then to snuggle in bed for a half-hour during the afternoon, and do absolutely nothing! No phone calls and no errands to run or places to go.

Connecting with my Dad was an added joy, as his schedule now allows frequent visits. It was great to have our family and my father seated around a table at ROADHOUSE enjoying some great steaks while watching Franklin Gutierrez hit a grand slam for the Tribe. Jalisco's and Roadhouse in the same day - no wonder I'm fat.

The ministry that God has called me to, often has me helping couples overcome the barriers that keep them from loving life together the way God has intended. Even with all of our faults, failures and problems Robin's and my life together is exciting and full of love. I often find myself questioning the thoughts behind the problems that other couples have. Sometimes, I really don't get it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

20 Years

Anniversary Hugs
Today, Robin and I have been married for 20 years. Wow, time flies when you're having fun. It is amazing when I think about all we've been through and the joy that fills our lives. I've learned more from her than any other person in my life. She is everything I ever wanted and many things that I didn't even know that I wanted. I'm really lovin' this husband and father thing.

Robin, You're the best! I love you!

Happy Anniversary!

Monday, May 19, 2008


I was sitting at the BMV today, waiting for my drivers license renewal and this lady comes in and asks the clerk to "have a title done". The clerk says that the BMV does not do titles, but that they would be happy to send out the paperwork to a title agency. The lady, stares at the clerk for a moment and asks, a little louder, to "have a title done". The clerk, again, informs the lady that the BMV does not "do titles". The lady stood there a while longer, as if the BMV would miraculously begin to "do titles". "You don't do titles?" "No Ma'am, we don't." This was followed by nearly three minutes of silent staring. Arrrgghh! I could see my newly printed license on the counter.

At this point, I said a prayer of thanksgiving to God that this was happening in Salem and not in a town in the southeast suburbs of Columbus. If it were, the lady might have got it with a sock full of nickels by a friend of mine who has little tolerance for this type of thing. :)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Waiting for the News

Our son Brandon is waiting to find out if he got into a performing group that he auditioned for last week. Supposedly, we will find out at a banquet, held this coming Thursday night. He really wants this and, as a freshman, it would make quite a mark should he be accepted.

The waiting is driving him bonkers and, in turn, has Robin and I anticipating a phone call from the director, informing us that he has made it through. As important as this is to him, I want him to know how proud I am of him and how much I love him. However, far more important is knowing that my son serves God and will make heaven to spend eternity with Him.

Even if he doesn't make it into the group this year, as long as he continues to serve the Lord and is pleasing to Him, he's won.

Love ya Brandon!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Perceptions - I'm short!

not tall
I've been at the Ohio District Council for the past two days. Last night, as I was leaving the auditorium, this, much taller, larger and unfamiliar guy says my name and reaches to shake my hand. Apparently my loss of any recollection as to his identity was manifested on my face. Frankly, I was startled. I'm used to just breezing through these things in obscurity. Finally, Gary Fowler struck a pose that depicted the pose posted on this guy's blog so I could identify who this guy was. AH! It was Andy Warren.

It's one thing to be physically shorter than most of the guys who I'm acquainted with around the district. But these events have a way of making one feel smaller, intellectually, socially and even spiritually. It's a very different feeling when you are surrounded by giants of the faith all the while they are towering over me physically. There is one guy, who is physically shorter than I am, but spiritually, he dwarfs me too.

But God is faithful. As I was leaving the service tonight, someone pulled me aside and spoke life into my spirit and confirmed my calling. I love it when that happens, especially when its someone you never met. I left that encounter with a new perception of someone - myself.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Oh Stink

The place was nice. I walked through the front door and noticed the ornate trim work on the walls. The decor matched the name on the sign and the aromas emanating from the kitchen were enticing. But a meal was not my priority at that moment. I needed that one room which can be found in all public establishments. Yep, I'm talking about the men's room.

It didn't take me long to navigate the aisles and find my destination. I pushed open the door and... UGGHHH - it hit me like a shovel in the face. Behind the fancy oak door was a room reminiscent of the 60's. The room had green mason walls with bulky white caulk, chipped linoleum floor and a smell that reminded me of my Aunt's outhouse in her cow pasture.

As I stood there and pondered the incongruities of the environments that opposed each other on both sides of the men's room door, I thought about how often I have been like that. I may have appeared to be polished on the outside but deep inside, there was a foul-smelling and dingy room which was my heart.

God has done amazing things in my life and He has brought me a long way from the man that I used to be, but, I never want to stop moving away from that man. A whiff of that stench was a reminder that everyday is a choice and a chance to become more of what God wants me to be and less of what He doesn't.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I Think My Boys Are Getting It!

Last night, my oldest boys and I, responded to an invitation to go to a surprise "last overnight chemo party" for my son Brandon's best friend. We went to the hospital and surprised his friend - the look on his face when we walked in was priceless.

I was especially excited that the boys were willing to give-up their youth group night to go and minister through laughs, activities and friendship with a guy who has been through so much and is doing great! They are beginning to develop that Kingdom mindset that places others over one's own self.

It was great, pool balls were hit so hard, that they flew off of the table, we looked for a mop head to put on his portable IV stand (we thought better of it and didn't actually do it) and we named it Dolly. Every time it beeped, someone would say, "Shut-up Dolly".

My boys also learned lessons of being thankful for their health. We saw some sad sights, but also saw triumph over adversity. Did the boys miss youth group? Yes. However, I think what they took away from the visit and how our visit touched the life of a great friend, was every bit as good.

Yep, I think, they're getting it!