All Wibley Wobley Timey Wimey

***Geek Alert Ahead~Dr. Who References in this post. If you have never seen Dr. Who…I’m sorry you have missed a lot of good TV.***

Doctor-Who-Rose

This last day of 2012 I find myself looking back on the past year. Some good things… some bad… happy times… sad times. Turning 30 and joining the Orthodox Church has meant this has been a big year for reflection on the past. There has been a good bit of growing up this year and that will continue onto the next year and year after year. This has been a year to shed the past…to shed the regrets…to shed the pain…to shed the lies of Satan. It has been a year of embracing…embracing myself and who I am …embracing my Beloved…embracing my kids…embracing God…embracing His will.

This next year looks like it may be a big one with some big changes…good changes. Whatever God wills this next year I know it will be good. I choose to move forward…to not let the weeping angels zap me back into the past. To keep the faith and hope in the future…to not let the Dalek’s exterminate who I am. No matter where God takes us on this wibley wobley timey wimey adventure I know all will be well and good. It won’t be easy at times…it will be an adventure after all…but in the end all things will work out for the glory of God.

I am grateful to God that I have such a wonderful companion to go on this adventure with. My compassionate and loving Beloved encourages me and makes me want to be a better man. I am thankful for the grace of God…for without that there would be not real future. I am grateful for my kids who encourage me to do better for their sakes. I am grateful for the past because it has made me who I am today. Here is to the future…whatever it may hold. May God bless it and us as we move forward…and may God bless you and your families this new year. May our futures be bright and full of grace. Allons-y

Park

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ICXC

Growth

Since my last post I have been in some deep thinking. Examining my life to this current point and looking back at my decisions with the 20/20 vision of hindsight is interesting and disturbing all at the same time. As an only child who was sheltered I was definitely a child in the ways of the world. In many ways I was not taught how to make a good decision or how to take the leadership role (which is kinda ironic since my father owns his own business and is a politician).

There were moments in high school that I should have noticed the gap there. Like when I was on an exchange trip to Germany and began drinking heavily and smoking. I had no idea how “hold my own” and take charge of myself. I was “trained” to be a follower. My father required obedience and my mother always did what he wanted and never stood up to him for fear of rocking the boat. And I can recall a few times we both should have stood up for ourselves. This is not to say that my father or mother are bad people but it is the way it is.

This issue of not knowing myself or following my own path continued into college and my marriage to the woman of my dreams. I am still not sure how someone so caring, so intelligent, so lovely, so beautiful, so wonderful would fall in love with me. It still amazes me to this day and I thank God for her daily. She has been an absolute blessing to me more than words could ever express.

I am recognizing these shortcomings in my behavior now. I am noticing where I have been selfish. I am realizing where my indecision has caused unnecessary pain and strife. I recognize where I have not followed Christ’s example and loved with my whole heart. I see now, ever so clearly, how my actions or inaction have caused others pain. Some wounds are deeper than others but I never meant to do them. and I thank God for His forgiveness and the forgiveness of others.

I am realizing all of this as we are entering into the Orthodox Church. I have attended churches my whole life but never felt at home. Never felt comfortable with the theology…Always felt like something was missing. Coming into Orthodoxy has shown me what I was missing and has really pressed on me the importance of what Christ has done for me and how it is important to follow Him closely. It has taught me life is a journey and what matters most in life is my relationship with God and my family.

This journey of “growing up” has been a scary experience. It honestly is scary to realize that I have not been who I should have and that I need to move on and change. The uncertainty is what is scary and yet exciting. Putting my trust in God and His guidance is all I can do. I need to change, I will change. With the Lord’s help I will walk closer to God, I will love my Beloved the way she deserves, I will be the father my children deserve, I will make wise decisions, and I will grow into the man God wants me to be.

Here are some verses that have been on my mind:

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:11

I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine. ~ Song of Solomon 2:16

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; ~Ephesians 5:25

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh ~Genesis 2:24

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; ~ Proverbs 3:5

He that walks with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. ~ Proverbs 13:20

In Memoriam

This day is always especially difficult one for me. Amid the daily grind of work and home there is a pain…a missing piece… that is apparent. It is always there… there is never a time… nor will there ever be… that something… someone… is missing… that my family is missing a member. Today is the day when, in 2008, we lost a member of our family that we never knew.

Amid the celebration of a wedding… a joyous union… of our friends a child we never knew was leaving us. My beloved was pregnant and we did not know yet. The pregnancy was ectopic and there was no saving our little one. It took days before we knew the truth as to what was happening to my Beloved. I almost lost her as well… if not for a wonderful, caring OB with a steady hand in surgery this tragedy could have been worse.

That was 2008… 4 years and 2 perfectly healthy children later there is still a missing piece there. One that can never be filled.

 

Oh little one how I long to know you,
Oh little one how I long to hold you,
One day I will,
In heaven above,
Till then I know you are held and loved,
By Christ and those that have gone before,
I will be there one day to hold you and play,
Till then I will love those dear ones I have here,
And long for the day when we meet.

 

What is success

The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as our culture has defined it.
— David Orr

I am now 30, have been for a few months, and I suppose we all look back on our previous 30 years and reflect. I remember a prayer that my father prayed over me as I was growing up. I don’t remember it all but I do remember it asking that I would be “happy, healthy, and wealthy” and a “Millionaire by age 30”. My father was a man that worked hard and chased after his money. He made alot over the years but at a great personal sacrifice to his health and family.

I am 30 and am no millionaire…I barely scrape by month to month. I don’t drive a Lamborghini or a Porsche…I drive a 11 year old van with almost 200,000 miles on it. I don’t live in a huge elaborate mansion with brand new everything…I live in a RENTED house that is falling apart around me. I may not be wealthy in the money arena but I am in family. I have a wonderful wife and 6 beautiful children; who drive me bonkers some days but I love those kiddos just the same. I wouldn’t trade a one of them foe a Million or a Trillion dollars.

In retrospect on my last 30 years I wouldn’t change anything. Every moment, every decision (good and bad) has brought me to where I am today. I thank God for His grace and mercy in my life. Without it there would be nothing left of me. I will continue in this race as best as I can until God sees fit to call me home. I have made mistakes (as we all have) and will continue to do so but I pray that God will encompass me with His holy angels, that guided and guarded by them, I may attain to the unity of the faith and to the knowledge of His unapproachable glory till the ends of my age.

 

Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my soul and my body. Do thou thyself bless me, have mercy upon me, and grant me life eternal. Amen

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Hands and Feet

We, as followers of Christ, are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus and shine His light into the world (Matthew 5:16). I have often been on the giving end of this over the years but recently I was humbled and shown what it is like to receive.

Recently my wife had to be hospitalized due to breathing complications. This unfortunate event caused things in our family to become upturned. With no vacation days at work and needing the money I was forced to go to work to support my family. This left the daunting task of making sure my 5 children were taken care of. We had wonderful help from my parents who took them for a while and then my in-laws watched them over the Thanksgiving holiday.

When the holiday weekend was over my wife was still in the hospital and the need was still there. This is when my father-in-law stepped up to the plate and blessed us greatly. When my mother-in-law went back home due to prior obligations he decided to stay behind and help. He has been a wonderful help with the kids and ensuring that the house is kept clean and we have clean dishes to eat from. What a blessing.

Also during this time a friend posted on a local message board of the need for meals during this time. What happened next was simply amazing. People began bringing meals, even with this busy Christmas season, and kept bring meals. We have received so many meals that we have enough dinners to last us another couple weeks and they keep on coming. This has been a huge burden lifted off our shoulders.

What is so amazing is that most of these people bring the meals we have never even met before. They are just fellow believers that are shining Christ’s light into the world. I have been completely amazed at the giving of these people and the provisions that the Lord has provided us.

Lord, thank you for your provisions. Thank you for this season and your Son who saved us from our sins so that we may dwell with you. Thank you for this wonderful group of believers who are following your will. I ask that you bless them and show them how they are a blessing to all. Thank you for your many provisions and blessings O God.

Amen