Saturday, October 30, 2010

What a Difference a Month Makes

Today I am flying home from Fayetteville having just delivered Leah and the boys and a dog named Nova.  This was the second leg of a round trip odyssey between Fayetteville and St. Louis interrupted by a month's long visit by Leah to family while Jon was away in Louisiana on a training mission.  The first leg of the trip was incredibly eventful, as David, who is two struggled at times with the requirements of sitting strapped in a car seat for 8 hours two days in a row.

This trip was much calmer.  In the span of one month David has learned how to entertain himself with various toys and talking in 'Davidese' to Leah and I.  I really should improve my linguistics!  Erik has awakened to the world around him and plays with the toys dangling above him from his car seat.  When awake he coos and loves to giggle at his mom.

AND, Leah and I talked the whole trip.  TALKED, really talked.  She had a very difficult situation occur while she as home and it became an avenue for us to connect in ways we had not at this point.  In fact, while she was home she opened up to Pam and I and Pam's sister and brother-in-law who came for a visit.

The growth of two little boys and a daughter-in-law with her father-in-law's relationship are a reminder that change happens.  In fact, everything changes.  The only things that do not change are dead. For you perfectionists I know that dead things decay - not the kind of change I want to be a part of!

Faith changes.  It grows in understanding, dedication, risk, angst - you name it Faith is meant to change.  If you grew up in the religious traditions that I grew up with, the focus was almost exclusively upon the initial aspect of faith.  The problem with that is, yes, every journey begins with the first step, but no journey of any value has only one step.

In recent months my faith has been stretched, pushed, pummeled, blessed and changed.  I'm am not sure what is around the next bend but the twists and turns over the years cause me to have a deep trust that the rest of this journey is in the hands of someone else, someone who cares in ways I cannot begin to fathom.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Poets and Theologians Society

We are beginning an informal group for guys to eat some good food and chat about life, God, family, God, work, God, getting old, and God.  A friend came up with the tongue in cheek name, Poets and Theologians Society.  I lobbied for adding Dead Heads in the title so that I would feel more at home, but so far the name has not gained any support.

Our focus will be learning from each other and perhaps from some really wise believers who've gone before us and a few who are still on this side of the dirt.

When the idea was presented one fellow pilgrim mentioned that he wanted to be a part of the group because, "I have some serious questions bout this whole faith thing."  He went on to add, "Sometimes I really struggle with doubts and feelings of inadequacy."

As I said to him, so I say to you, 'Following Christ is not about having all the answers, in fact, it may be about having a whole new set of questions.  For those of us who have longed to have honest dialogue about stuff bigger than ourselves, I am looking forward to this opportunity to break bread together and open our hearts to one another.  Somehow I think this is what Jesus wanted for his disciples.

We are meeting on Friday evening, October 22nd, 6 PM at Casa De Vino which is in the same building complex as our offices.  They have a moderately priced appetizer oriented menu and specialize in pizzas.
We will be meeting outside in there garden area (there will be heaters) that way some of you who have talked about your burnt offerings can do so without choking the rest of us!

Come join us for an informal, relaxing opportunity to get to know one another and learn what God may have in store as well.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Road Trip and a Reminder of Dependence

I just returned from a whirlwind trip to NC to bring our daughter-in-law and two grandsons home to St. Louis for the month while our son is in LA for training.  I flew out late Monday night and Leah, the boys, a Pomeranian named Nova  and I drove back over the past two days.

Pam and I are blessed with a great daughter-in-law and two really cool grandsons.  The youngest, Erik, sat quietly in his car seat, slept, ate, pooped and repeated the process over the two day trip with little complaint over the 900 plus miles.

Our two year old grandson David was a different story.  When he was asleep he was a perfect angel.  When he was awake, well at the very least he was energetic.  Imagine being strapped in a chair for two straight days in a car when the world is happening all around you. Maybe you can understand him a bit better when you see things from his perspective.

The thing I learned from David was how frustrating it must be to almost able to communicate your thoughts but yet don't know what to call all the stuff you want to see, touch, taste, and know about.  He is very communicative but is still learning what things are and how to form the words correctly.  Thus, he goes through this kind of process:  he calls his mom, points at something shaking his head full of blond hair wildly and then looks at Leah like she is the most uniformed person he has ever known when she doesn't understand his request.

How frustrating it must be to know what you want and not be able to get the 'big' people around you to get it!  Ever feel like that?  Ever feel like that in relationship to God.  Ever been in a situation so overwhelming that even prayer became paralyzing?  Your heart knows what you need and longs to ask it, share it experience it, but your mind simply doesn't know how to communicate in words what is in your heart.

It is in those moments that God has enables to communicate with him through the 'indwelling' nature of the Holy Spirit.  Since the Holy Spirit lives in us as God's presence in our lives while we are here on earth, the Holy Spirit communicates to God those things we can't find words to describe.  So, in those moments when you feel like stomping your foot, pointing wildly and screaming like a, well a two year old, just stop a moment and reflect on the fact that the Holy Spirit knows what you're trying to say and he is communicating on your behalf.
Ahh, how deep the Father's love for us!