Thursday, December 07, 2006

Why Am I Here?

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, my dog Beaumont figured out why he was born. Every year we take the dogs to Texas and hunt quail and pheasant. In the past it's been Rooger who has always done the hunting. Beaumont has loved going with us, but he really had no clue as to what he was doing. When Rooger gets to hunt, he's all business. It's amazing to watch him find birds. I'd like to take credit for it, I'd like to say that I trained him so well, and worked with him so much, that he has become a good bird dog. The truth is that Rooger was born with it. Rooger has always liked to run around and explore...but there's a switch that flips when we go out and I have a shotgun...something is is more than just goofing around...there are things to find and kill. Beamont on the other hand has always loved running around and goofing off. There has never been a difference in his attitude when we get to Texas, or when I have a gun. He just figured we were at a differnt place to goof around and pee on stuff. He's never been afraid of the gun...the sound doesn't bother him, it's never interrupted his play time. He would fetch the occasional bird after it had been shot, or be running so out of control that he'd accidentally bust the covey. He never scented the covey, he just happened to run through where they were holding. The switch flipped for Beaumont on this trip. I don't know how it happened. I again can take no credit for it...Beaumont was just born with the ability...he had just never used it. On this trip, Beaumont scented a bird. Rooger is pretty far-ranging, as are most pointers. He'll get a long way away from you looking for birds. Once he finds them though, he won't budge, he'll lock down on point and wait for you to get to him so you can flush the covey and shoot the birds. I've even seen Rooger go around to the far side of the covey if they run from him and push them back toward me. How Rooger knows how close he can be to the birds without causing them to fly is beyond me...he just knows it...and will hold those birds on the ground until I'm there. Anyway, Rooger wasn't having any luck where he was, but he was still searching. Beaumont was near me as he usually is. He's a setter which tend to stay near the hunter...and in this case that's where the birds happened to be. Baumont and I were working out way toward a likley looking set of shrubs when Beumont slammed on his brakes, head down, tail high in his first rock-solid point. His eyes were wide open, intenly staring into a clump of grass a few feet in front of him. I was several yards away, told Beaumont to "Woah". He waited for me to come up beside him and then I said, "OK!". Beaumont pounced rather cat-like on the clump of grass in front quail as it flew away, I raised my gun, got ahead of the bird and fired. I'm not a very consisten shot, but this time I has made a good one...the bird fell hard to the ground right in front of Beaumont as he ran after it. He picked the bird up, and proudly walked back to me and dropped it. It was awesome to see Beaumont do what he was born to do. Beaumont has figured out why he was born...he now knew that he was on this earth to find birds. From that moment, Beaumont would not let us leave unless he was going. If we were in the house, he was by the truck, waiting to go out and find more birds. When we would leave, he wouldn't even wait for me to lower the tailgate to the deisel dodge pickup, he would leap into the back when he saw me coming. As we would drive down the farm roads to our hunting spots he would bark with excitement, begging us to stop so he could get out and do what he was made to do. It was so amazing to see him figure out why he is here.
I could go on to talk about what it means for a person to discover the reason why they were born, but I think I'll let my friend, Ryan tell you about that.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


One of the things that I have always struggled with is prayer. I don’t really consider myself to be a good pray-er. It has always been something that I’ve wanted to do better.

I was thinking about how I could become better at praying, and as I was thinking, it occurred to me that maybe I’ve been viewing prayer all wrong. I’m all for setting aside time to pray…but sometimes I get caught into thinking that prayer is an end in itself. When I set aside time to pray just to be able to mark it off my list of things to do for the day, I’ve completely missed the point. I wonder if God gets tired of people talking to hear themselves talk.

I’ve got to stop trying to set the terms for when I am available to talk to the Creator of the Universe. When I really think about it, what I really need is just to be obedient. There are times when the Holy Spirit moves, and I know Jesus is calling me to pray. Times when I wake in the middle of the night and cannot stop thinking about my family…my daughter and wife. Times when I’m just driving around town, and most people would say I’m alone. Maybe I need to realize that I am never alone, the Lord of Heaven and Earth is closer than I could ever imagine. I need to realize that the point of prayer is not for me to just talk, or to finish a to-do list, but for me to be engaged by God in a conversation. There are times when God invites me to join him…to listen and to talk to Him. And rather than rolling over and going back to sleep, or turning on the radio to hear the scores of the games last night, maybe I need to spend some time with the One who created me.

Monday, October 16, 2006

i am the rain king

It's overcast, chilly, and rainy today...the perfect day to set my itunes to my counting crows playlist, and enjoy a good cup of coffee. I actually enjoy days like these...they're good for reflection.

As I sit here and type, Libby is hanging out with me. She's playing with various thingsin my office that don't actually make very good baby toys, and I'll probably get in trouble for letting her play with them...but she's having a good time. I love my little girl. She's amazing. I can't believe how good of a baby she is. It has a heck of a lot more to do with how good of a mom she has than how good of a da dshe has. Erin is amazing too. It's so nice to have married up.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

salvelinus fontinalis

here's a little brook trout i caught in colorado a week and a half ago. this wason my second day of fishing. the first day i went i caught a bunch of 14" was really pretty boring. the second day i found a little stream that was about 12 feet wide and caught this beautiful fish. they were in their spawning colors and everything. really technical fishing, and a lot smaller fish...but more solitude, and more fun in my opinion.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Blessed 55

When Erin and I got married, my parents gave us a Select Comfort bed. My sleep number is 55. On Saturday night, I was singing the praises of my parents as I laid down in my own bed after an amazing, but tiring and long summer. We left for the summer on June 15, and arrived back home for good on August 5. There was a brief stay of 3 days at home between my second Colorado conference and my first California conference. We loaded up the final semi of all the conference gear on Friday night and into Saturday morning. 2 people needed to catch a flight out of Portland at 6:00am, so two of my team members, Ben and Dane, took them to the airport at 2:00am. It's about a 2 hour trip one way to the airport, so the guys made it back just in time for the rest of us to load up and head to Portland ourselves. Ben and Dane were beat, but I am grateful for their willingness to stay up all night.

The summer was incredible. Lives were changed...hopefully for good. I'm stinking tired, and looking forward to crashing really hard once the interns leave today. Thanks again to mom and dad for the awesome bed!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

It's all downhill from here

I just crossed the halfway threshhold of my summer. Last night we ended our third of six conferences. Things went pretty well here at Chapman U. It was a solid week overall. Jonathan Mast and Dusty Frizzel did great jobs speaking for us, and Matt Bayless did a swell job leading worship. Recreation options are the tough ting here on the campus...we don't have a gym or a pool...we don't really even have a decent size field to throw a frisbee or kick a soccer ball. There is a small lawn outside the auditorium where we tried setting up a volleyball net. The only problem is that is is one of those volleyball/badminton combos you get from Wal-Mart that is good for neither. So we may scrap the volleyball this next week and go for some soccer or ultimate. I understand why there is not really a place to play outside here. There are houses for sale near the school that would probably sell for 60-80k at home. The owners are asking between 600-800k here. So if I had a football field here in Orange County, I'd sell it and be independantly wealthy.

Libby Jo got to go to the Pacific Ocean yesterday...that was pretty cool. She didn't really care for the water too much. I can't blame was pretty cold. She did have fun hanging out on the beach and looking cute. We did our tricks to impress all the people there at Huntington Beach. Th rest of the crew went to Laguna Beach today. Erin, Libby and I stayed here at the school and took a big fat nap which was wonderful. We're going to try and get together with everyone for dinner tonight.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

So-So Cal

I am in sunny southern California. It's definitely's stinking hot here. Don't get me's really pretty nice weather...but when you hear all the time about how nice it is, and how awesome the weather is out kind of expect a little more than you should.

I have finally been to an In-N-Out burger too. It's good...but a little like the weather...not exactly as good as advertised. It's probably a lot like the Krispy Kreme blitz of a few years ago. KK's are good doughnuts, but if you hype 'em too much, people will be disappointed...after all...they're just doughnuts.

I preached this monday night for the first time this summer. I feel like it went fairly well. I'm having a hard time communicating what God's glory is to people...specifically high school students. I can't describe his majesty and greatnesss in a way that is as affective as I want it to be. My friend Steev said it's like trying to explain to someone the Pantone palette and only being able to use the wrod "blue" in reference to color. That seems about right.

The good news is that my message at least got some students thinking. I told students on Monday night that they weren't the most important thing to God...that his Glory is what he values most. I had a group of girls come up to me on Tuesday morning at breakfast and say, "So, is God just full of himself or what?" I almost said, " the point of overflowing." I explained to the girls what idolatry is...putting something in God's place...and then said that God keeps the same priorities. He values what is most valuable...Himself. To do otherwise would make him an idolater. It isn't that God loves people less, I think people just misunderstand how important God's reknown, name, glory, etc. are to him. We want a give and take relationship with God...we'll be God-centered if he's man-centered. That's not the way it works...which really is the best thing for us in the long run.