Monday, October 4, 2010

Got To Put It In Gear!

I pulled up to the drive-thru just like many mornings before.  I ordered my large coffee, turbo, shot of vanilla, double double, stirred not shaken.  I was instructed to pull up to the window which I dutifully did.  I placed my car in park, chatted to the attendant, and then placed my coffee in the cup holder.  Saying good bye to the attendant I then proceeded to press my foot to the accelerator - nothing happened!  Well the engine revved, but the car went nowhere!

Evidently if you want your car to move you must put it in gear.  Who knew?

So being the resourceful driver that I am, I placed my car in gear, smiled at the attendant who was laughing, and once again pressed my foot to the accelerator.  My car lurched in reverse.  Evidently if you want your car to move, and have it moved forward, you must place  it in "drive" - who knew?  Now the attendant is laughing hysterically as I put my car in drive, wish her for the third time a good morning, and drive away.

Here's the thing . . . too many of us our like this in our Christian walk.  We want to go through our day but when we put our foot down all we do is race our engines and go no where.  Too many times we try to move in our own strength, but only with great futility!  Then there are those of us who realize that in order for us to move we need something else - something that will drive us forward.  We try things and find ourselves propelled in the wrong direction.  It is only when we place our lives in prayer - prayer that can drive us forward that we can realize our true potential.

In 2 Corinthians 1: 10 and 11, Paul is thanking the Corinthian Christians for their help in propel him and the Kingdom forward.  Take a look . . . prayer that came in the midst of desperate times, that helped them trust in God.

Take time today to put your life in forward gear - pray!  Pray early, pray often, and give God the glory as you motor down life's highway.

Tomorrow I will remember to put it gear while at DD.  You put it in gear too!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lesson From The Wood Pile

Most Sunday evenings, after all is done at the church, I come home to a task that I find quite restful and satisfying - I load the wood rack in our back room full of wood we will use in the coming week to heat our home. There is something very special about wood heat that very little else compares to.

To load the rack, I have my handy dandy wheel barrow and a good set of gloves. I take the empty wheel barrow and walk to the large wood pile about 50 yards from our back door. After setting the barrow down, I threw back the vinyl cover protecting the wood from the elements, and i begin to load pieces of the pile into the barrow.

Traditionally it will take about 4 or 5 trip with the barrow to fill the rack completely. The first load, was a pretty weak load! I mean, that i didn't stake it well and actually wasn't able to load many pieces onto it. The pieces were irregular and din't fit well together. They had odd shapes and I really don't care for wood that is odd - give me good old uniform everyday of the week! The next loads went better. I discovered ways to load the irregular pieces together in order to load more wood on the barrow. The second load was huge, the third and the fourth.

Now my thought was this - no matter if the load was light or heavy, well loaded and well fitted, or poorly loaded and irregularly fitted - all of the loads got to there destination. Sometimes we travel pretty. And sometimes we travel ugly, or multiple points in between. the point is that we achieve our destination. Sometimes as a Pastor I really struggle with people who don't fit well into my barrow.

How do you handle the irregular? Do you see the irregular as an opportunity to grow and learn, to discover the new and creative?

My prayer for you this week is that you will learn to love and appreciate all that God provides for you - regular and even irregular. . . .

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Gift

Everyone loves to receive gifts - I'm no exception. Recently my wonderful and incredible in-laws gifted me with a book. I had just finished reading a book, "Simple Church" by Thom Rainer & Eric Geiger, and was looking for my next book, so their timing was impeccable.

The book I am currently reading is "In Search of Timothy" by Tony Cooke. Many times it takes me a bit to get engaged with a book, to take a rapt interest in what the author is conveying, but not this book. I have been engaged from the first sentences.

I have always believed that everything rises and falls on good leadership, especially in the church. The principle is a good one, and yet today the principle has been challenged. The new principle is good leaders need good followers!

Leadership is not the whole enchilada! Follower-ship is a part of the equation as well. Leaders inspire and motivate followers, and followers encourage good leaders. Both are needed!

What kind of leader are you? What kind of follower are you? How can you help your followers? How can you help your leaders? Together we can do it!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Flashlight Lessons

Tonight after my Bible class, which is affectionately called "Bible for Dummies", I had the opportunity to walk my fosterson home. He had been in the toddler room playing with a friend whose mother was attending my class. Knowing that it would be dark when it was time to walk home, he had come equipped with a flashlight.

As we started walking together he turned his light on and began to light his way. Within seconds he began to shine his light on all his surrounds, fascinated at home his light lit up surrounding objects.

Just about this time, a car was traveling down our road, and sensing that there could be a problem, I explained that we needed to be careful about where we shine our light so we don't blind others and cause them to lose their sense of direction. Not understanding, I asked him if I could borrow his light for a second. I turned the light off and then a few seconds later quickly turned it on, shinning it in his direction. His immediate reaction was to close his eyes -- blinded by the light.

How many times do we get thrilled about the light that Christ brings to our lives? How many times do we in obedience let "our little light shine" and point others to Jesus? How many times do we get so excited flashing our light, that inadvertently we blind someone who is trying to see?

Lord, help us to know your Light; shine your light into the darkness of our world, and yet have the sensitivity to shine it in order to light the path of others, without blinding them in their journey.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Weeklong Wedding Celebration

Bt and Stephanie

Keeping up with my blog is a task that I have obviously grown slack in . . . needing an excuse to begin writing again - the wedding is an excellent opportunity to start again.

On Saturday, August 15th, my eldest son, BT, is taking as his bride Stephanie Volgelzang.

We arrived here in Holland Michigan Sunday at approximately 11:18pm. We are here for the entire week to celebrate the marriage -- kinda like an old time biblical wedding that lasted for days. Yahoo! Let the celebration begin!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Last Day In Ireland

Today was our last day of our trip to Ireland! We had a grand time yesterday as BT flew into Dublin from Paris to spend 24 hours with us!

We toured Dublin on the Hop On - Hop Off, a tour bus that is good for 24 hours.

This morning we had an incredible breakfast together, and then we took BT to the Dublin airport. The next time I will see him will be in Michigan before the wedding.

After setting down BT we headed for the National Stud Farm! We finally found it after getting quite lost in Dublin. While there we also visited the Japanese Gardens located there in Tully, Co Kildare, Ireland.

The National Stud Farm is very similar to our own thoroughbred operations and yet there are some very distinct differences.

Tomorrow we fly out of Dublin at 11:00am and we should be in Buffalo, by 8:30pm!

See you back in the states!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Some More Ireland Pics

Arigna Mine - Dad causing a explosion in an Irish coal mine.

Bunratty Castle

The Great Hall at Bunratty Castle

The Cliffs at Moher

The 3 BT's in Ireland! Dublin to be specific! BT flew in to Dublin from Paris to spend the the day with us. All three generations on Irish soil!!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wednesday in Ireland

Not sure if I will get this posted before my battery fails . . . today we started late . . . long conversation with Mrs. Brown, our host.

Drove up the coast to the northern peninsula of Ireland today to Malin head, the northern most portion of Ireland - absolutely incredible

Ferry crossing at Port Foyle

Enroute we stopped at a Bishop's house. . . Gate . . . Masoleum

Bishop's Gate

Bishop's House early 1700's

Journeyed to 5 Fingers and Malin Head - the northern most part of Ireland . . .discovered the difference between Mc and Mac - we're a MacLowry variety. Drove to Grange Ireland where we stopped at Lang's Pub where we had fish and chips . . . Smithwicks is preferred . . . and tonight staying at Mt Edwards B and B in Grange where we met a wonderful couple from NH.

5 Fingers - near Malin Head

Malin Head - northern most part in Ireland!

Dad looking out to the North Sea . . .

Found a family lane near Sligo

Near the B and B in Grange Ireland

Well off to bed - tomorrow on to Galway!

BT - email me the exact times dude!

Tuesday in Ireland

Not a lot of time tonight, but do want to catch you all up on the trip. So much has been going on, and we have experienced so much . . . this will just be a snapshot to give you a flavor. . .

Leslie and Vicki

Spent some time with Leslie and Vicki Bryan - Trasnagh House B and B hosts - simply amazing people. Drove into Belfast to Richard Hare Kilts and purchased a family tartan ( ) wow!

From here we drove out the east coast of Ireland and visited Giants Causeway, not able to do the Rope bridge, drove down to Colleraine where we had dinner at Charley's Restaurant, and then later went to see the Northwest 200 International practice laps. Stayed at a B and B in Colleraine.

Irish east coast

Giants Causeway

Northwest 200 International

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Monday in Ireland

Sunday and Monday nights we spent at an incredible bed and breakfast - Trasnagh House - with hosts Leslie and Vicki Bryan.

Trasnagh House

Leslie and Vicki

Monday morning after breakfast we went to check out Greyabbey where are family hails from, and look around. We talked to a care taker there who was very helpful. We then went to Ballywalter and snooped around there and finally made contact with a Connor Dempster who put on on the right track. We later talked with a Mrs. Tom Lowry who shared a lot of information with us and is possibly a distant cousin.

She shared with us that Lowry's are Scotch Irish - meaning we are of scottish lowland descent and immigrated to Ireland during the Ulster Scot Plantation era. Our family had a farm on the Irish Sea at one point, but has since been washed out to sea via erosion.

Scrabo Tower

Later in the day we visted a windmill and Scrabo Tower with dinner at Ramos Pub. After a gorgeous sunset it was the end to a very productive and rewarding day.