I’M COMING HOME

I just have to find my way!!!

Marinate

Do you ever feel like you missed out on something even though you were apart of that something? I do.

Vacationing for example, when Kristin and I get the chance to go somewhere exciting we plan it out. The anticipation kills me. I usually don’t get much sleep the night before. I think about how exciting it will be when we get there. When we get there I think about how exciting the next day is going to be and imediately start anticipating the next day thinking about how much fun it is going to be. I do this until we go home. We usually have an ok time but how much more would we enjoy it if I would slow down and be in the moment taking full advantage of that moment alone.

God has been speaking to me loud and clear lately on this particular subject. “Brady, slow down and absorb what I have for you. Enjoy it! You are in to big of a hurry to get to the next step!”  I’m sure there is an appropriate proverb for this but being a man, this question puts things into perspective for me. What good is it to put a steak in marinade if you are going to pull it out imediately? Marinate for a while!

 

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May 29, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I Love You

In the past month, death has shown itself often. Natural disasters, old age, and tragic events seem to be around every corner claiming many lives. I think about what families are faced with. I find myself getting emotional. What if that was someone close to me? Do the people around me know how much I love them? Do I tell them? More importantly, do I show them?

To often I let fear guide my words and my actions. Fear keeps me from telling someone how important they are to me. I fear making them uncomfortable. Who am I kidding? I fear making myself uncomfortable. I feel an unexplained comfort in telling some of you how I feel. I just want to take a minute to do so.

Kristin – You are truly a blessing from God. You are a great wife and a wonderful mother. I am sorry for telling you I love you more often than I show you.

Abby – I know you are not old enough to read this but someday you will be. You are a beautiful girl. I love holding you when I come home from work. I love how you show me you love me. I learn from you.

Dad – You are an amazing father. You have shown me how to never give up. You took me to church even when I wanted to sleep in. You showed me how to provide for my family.

Brittany – You are an awesome sister. It means alot to me when you call. I love the way you show your heart even when you are not trying to because that is who you are. I love that you are passionate about  making a difference in this world.

Brandy – Even though you beat me up when we were little, I love you! I am glad you are my sister. You are a great mother and wife. I can see God working in your life. I know you have carried other peoples burdens lately, you deserve a break. Oh wait, you just got back from Florida.

Mom – I have no doubt you would drop everything when I need you. Every time we talk, you are interested in what I have to say. You are a selfless woman. It never seems to be a bad time to call. You glow with happiness and that makes me happy. You mean so much to me. I love you!

Steve – I worried for so long. I wanted my mother to find someone that would make her feel special. I begged God that He would send someone her way to show her happiness. Every since she met you, she has had a glow about her. She has a happiness I never saw before. Thank you! I learned what kind of person you are when you dropped what you were doing and drove 3 hours just to fix our air conditioner when you had a very busy schedule. Thank you!

Martha – We have always had a unique relationship. I am grateful for all you have done through the years. I don’t think I will ever get tired of chocolate gravy. Thank you for teaching me to extend grace to those who hurt me. Thanks for allowing God to use you in my life. I will never forget!

Karen – Thank you for showing Kristin how to be a great mother. Thank you for all that you do. You have an amazing spirit.

Larry – Thank you for teaching Kristin Godly values. Sometimes, those values are what keep us grounded. Thank you for your willingness to help in any way you can.

Derek – God made us cross paths. As hard headed as I was, you stuck with me. You didn’t give up on me. Most youth ministers would have. Thank you for talking me into going to Harding. I wouldn’t be married to my wife if you hadn’t. Your a great man!

Dusty – I have longed for the next step in my relationship with God for a while now. I have been a sheep without a shepard. Thank you for allowing God to work through you. You provide the ultimate example in walking with God. Thank you for taking the time with me.

Amanda –  I have been an admirer from afar. Your heart is something special. I’ve only known you for a short time, but you have made a difference in my life already. You have endured much.  You are a strong woman. I look forward to a great friendship with you.

I love all of you. I do appreciate you. Even though I have just told you. I am going to try and show you in the future.

May 27, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Hard Work

I love the game of golf. I am constantly looking for ways to make my game better. I’ve tried new clubs and  have even bought new golf shoes knowing it would help. I have tried different types of balls that have long and straight printed on them knowing they would make me hit long and straight. I have bought into the myth that you can skip all the pain and expense of practice to play better. Some of you know were I am going with this.

I just want to know the bible well. I want God to be able use me for this or that right now. I want to skip the learning process and the growing process and be as effective in evangelism as ………..!  I read in some book or heard in a sermon once, “Standing in a garage doesn’t make you a mechanic any more than standing in church makes you a christian.” You mean I have to actually go through the motions? I have to build a realationship with God? That is so much work you might say.

When truly seeking a relationship with God, that means committing to practice. I know, it would be so much easier if we could hit the easy button. If I went out to the golf course today and played like Tiger Woods all because I hit an easy button, I really wouldn’t feel satisfied. The victory was given to me, not earned. It’s in the practice that I grow and learn who God really is and what He wants for my life. It’s in this process we find our relationship with Him. The truth is, if you want Joy in Christ in your life, you have to put in the time and discipline. There is no other way.

We also have to be careful not to be over confident as we grow. In the process of learning to play golf I experienced what it is to be humbled. I went to play a round of golf with my father-in-law and a friend of ours. I was feeling pretty good because I had worked so hard on my swing and had gotten alot better. We had already played a couple of holes and I was doing really well. As we came to the next tee box I was up to hit first because I finished the previous hole in less hit’s than they did. Feeling confident, I stepped up to the tee box. I thought, this is a fairly wide fairway and I am hitting straight so I am going to show off a little and hit it as hard and long as I can. So I hit it and it was beautiful. It couldn’t have gone straighter or longer. I stepped back from the tee box proud as could be. Soon, that moment of confidence was overturned when my friend said, “that was a great shot but the green is in the opposite direction.” I had hit the ball the wrong way sure I was hitting it the right way and felt so confident about it. I pray for all of us that we seek and desire a life spent with God. I pray that we have the strength to do the work involved in a relationship with Him. I pray that we have success in the process of learning with Him. I pray that we will not become over confident. Know that He will put us in our place if we do.

May 23, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Laziness

My alarm clock sounded at 6:00 this morning. I found myself begging for more time. I was arguing with myself trying to make excuses as to why I deserved more sleep. I could take a quick shower, or skip breakfast, then I would be a stinkin hungry boy at work. Then came this thought, I can skip my alone time with God this morning. I have been doing so good, don’t I deserve a little extra sleep. Maybe, I could just lay here in bed and accomplish my alone time. Laziness prevailed!!! As soon as I made the decision to stay in bed for quiet time I fell back asleep.

15 minutes later I woke up again. I felt horrible. I wanted to stand up in my bed and scream,”away from me satan”. Something so powerful and meaningful as time spent with God and I just dismissed it to gain a little more sleep. I’m surprised He didn’t make me have nightmares in that 15 min. He should have. I Pray that He will use snakes in my dreams if I ever do that again.

I was able to get around a little quicker than normal this morning and still got a chance to spend some time with God before I left for work. But the damage had already been done. I had already made the choice and I chose laziness. I am thankful we have a forgiving Father. I hope and I pray that in the future I will have the strength to overcome my laziness in discipline and recognize this was an attempt from satan to stand in the way of me and my Fathers relationship.  Proverbs 26:14 “As a door turns on its hinges, so does the lazy man on his bed.”

 

 

May 20, 2008 Posted by | Just a Thought | 1 Comment

JUST DON’T ANSWER

Cell phones!!! They can be great. You can call people in other states and not be charged long distant fees. You can text a simple message or even send a picture to a loved one.

I just want to remind you it’s ok if you don’t answer every time it rings. Most people on the calling end would much prefer to get a nice greeting when they call someone. Unless you are somehow gifted in the art of all knowing, callers don’t know if it is a good time to call or not. I would assume if it is not, the receiver just won’t answer.

Do people answer just to let you know you are calling at a bad time?  And you can hear it in their voice,”yessss,” or “hellooooo”  I am in the middle of……..?  So why did you answer. Also, they do have off buttons so the ring won’t even bother you.

Just remember that the person that loves you or cares about you enough to call you may just want to hear your voice or may want to see how you are doing? I think it is a good practice to talk to people like it’s the last time you will ever speak to them. You never know it may be. So just don’t answer the phone until you can answer it with a proper greeting.

May 19, 2008 Posted by | Soap Box | Leave a comment

FARMER

A couple of years ago I read a book that contained a story in it about a farmer. I can’t remember what book it was but this particular story has stuck with me.

This farmer a had several hundred acres to tend to. One day while in the pasture working away he felt tired and weary. He said I just can’t do this anymore. I mean, all these pastures require so much work. All of the cows are so much work, and the fences seem to always need mending. He thought, I am going to sell this place and rid myself of all this hard work.

The farmer called the newspaper and asked them to come up with an add to put in the classifides for him. He asked that before they ran it in the paper, he wanted them to call him so he could make sure it sounded good enough.

The next day a woman called him from the paper and said it is done and this is what will be in the paper. “Beautiful ranch with rolling pastures and cows that graze in the wonderful hay meadows. It is fully fenced and cross fenced already. Each pond is stocked with fish for those days you just want to relax. It has a garden made for kings that grow some of the best tomatoes. If you are looking for a little piece of heaven here it is.”

After she had finished reading it to him he was silent for a second. Then he said, don’t run that add. I have been looking for a place like that my whole life.

Isn’t that a great story? It has really helped me over the past couple of years. Lately, our preacher “Dusty” has made me think of this story in his sermons. This last Sunday he said, “If you embrace the presence of Christ, you will find peace in what life has dealt us.” I have found that to be so true in my life. I don’t have a farm, but I do have a job, family, and friends. I believe we could all find negative in just about any situation. The JOY we can have in embracing the presence of Christ is the obvious choice.

May we see the beauty and all that is good in our life today and ask God to give us strength when we start to weaken.

 

May 19, 2008 Posted by | Just a Thought | Leave a comment

Inside or Outside

Ok, I have been reading other peoples blogs for a while now and have really wanted to start one for myself but I have felt a little intimidated and scared because I am not the best when it comes to grammar and spelling and I tend to write run on sentences like this one I am writing now. Oh, Well

To be completely honest, I am fearful of how others percieve me and more often than not I let that get in the way of my commitment to God. I mean, why is it so scary to let your guard down? If I could only let all my reservations go, then God would be able to use me in the way He intended to.

I used to travel all over the southern states with my job. Sometimes I would be gone for a week or two so there where many nights that my wife Kristin would be at home alone. On more than one occasion, she called me and said she heard things inside or outside our house. We lived in the country and Kristin had always lived in town so she wasn’t used to all the noises associated with country living. I think for the most part she probally heard squirrels on the roof but regardless it was frightening for her.

I had just come home from along trip and Kristin had made me a wonderful dinner consisting of hashbrown casserole and poppy seed chicken. It was certainly a great welcome home meal. However, (this is the real me letting my guard down here) late that night after we had gone to bed I couldn’t sleep thinking about all that I needed to catch up on. It was well into the early hours of the morning when I felt the urge to free myself of the gas that built up within me from dinner. I layed there thinking, I am so comfortable and don’t want to get out of bed. So after 5 seconds or so of decision making I decided to let it go right where I was. I knew for sure she wouldn’t hear it as I felt it would be a silent one. And surely she couldn’t smell it if there was a smell. I mean, can you smell when you are sleeping? 

Silent it was not! Kristin raised up in the bed and reached over to make sure I was there. In a state of panic she asked, was that inside or outside. Trying to hold back the laughter I said I’m pretty sure that was inside.  This was pretty humorous but later I found myself asking, why did she always ask if the noise was inside or outside? Was it because if it were inside someone or something had made it’s way into our dwelling and that left all kinds of possibilities for what could happen next. Could it be that as long as it was on the outside she felt safe because she would have time to make a plan, to call someone, or get the gun?

Silly, it seemed to me. Then I thought I do do the same thing only with people. I feel safe as long as they don’t have access to whats inside imediately. As long as I have time to make a plan on whether or not I want to let someone in and how I will do that then I will be at no risk. I am trying to take baby steps and asking God to work on me in this area of my life. So this is a starting point. I want to put myself outside so that whatever creature it is making noise may see that I have a light. Jesus gave it to me. And I hope that they will find it appealing so they may see that He is my protector, my savior, and my joy and will want to be apart of that.

I have learned in this process already that it is when I let my guard down and show people who I really am, I also learn who I am and what I would like to change about myself. In that change I start becoming the person who God wants me to be. Afterall, isn’t it about Him anyway?

One of the scriptures I am working on right now is Mathew 5:16 In the same way let your light shine before men so that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. How appropriate?

May 17, 2008 Posted by | Just a Thought | 4 Comments