Sunday, May 24, 2009



I spent 24 hours with my youngest son Jakin this last week. We rented a Cow Cabin down in the floor of the Palo Duro Canyon. We hiked, climbed, played cards, played follow the leader, waded a half mile down a creek, rode horses, ate, saw spiders, hawks, cardinals, wild turkey's, jackrabbits, giant beetles, deer, and most importantly, each other. We had an all around super time.

I spent 24 hours with my oldest son Shade this last week. We rented a hotel room at the local Drury here in town. We swam, went to a movie, went geocaching (treasure hunting), played cards, hung out at the skate park with our BMX bikes, stayed up way too late, ate, swam some more, made a few friends at the hotel, and most importantly, were with each other. It was awesome.

I spent 24 hours with my daughter Callie this last week. We stayed in the Drury as well. We went shopping, bought something pink, laughed, swam, hugged, held hands, saw a movie, played tons of cards, swam some more, ate, packed together, went to church, and most importantly, enjoyed each other. I finished our "day" telling her that my heart was full of joy because of being with her for so long. It was.

Another incredible thing about my experience with each kid was that while I was enjoying concentrated time with each one, I found myself missing the other two profoundly, along with my wife.

And it wasn't just me. They each look forward to this annual "day with dad" each year, but while I was just starting with one son, he said, "Dad, I think I just want to go home and be with the family." And my other son, after a few hours together, wondered aloud, "I wonder what mom is doing with the other kids?" And then my daughter, as we were headed down to the pool lit up as she said, "Let's call mom and the boys to come join us!"


We all got back together today. It was a great reunion of fighting, bickering, playing, sharing, arguing, laughing, accusing, accepting, forgiving, complaining,

I do a day with each child every year during my 3 week sabbatical from my regular routine. Each year, while I love the time alone with God, the time away from the office, the rest from my regular duties, I find myself thinking about and missing all of the people that I live with in it.

I miss my family.

I've got one more week. Then it will be a great reunion

I love you all for the role you play in my life. Please know that I am always eager to find how to better play my role within it and with you.

May our Father make it so.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Descending to the Top


“The Lord descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses up to the top of the mountain.” – Exodus 19:20


I like high places. I’m scared of them. And I like them.

When I was a boy, if I saw a tree, I’d want to climb it. In college, I found a way up to the top of at least half the buildings on campus. If there is a rock, a cliff, or a mountain…yep, I want to get to the top.

And by the word “top", I mean “up”… as in, I want to get as high up as is possible for me. I don’t mean it in the sense that I have to be the best as compared to the people around me. While I’ve got some competitiveness in me, and I like to be good at stuff, I’ve not really needed to be the best. For this I’m grateful.

Spiritually, I can’t think of a time that I haven’t longed to be with God. I can’t think of a time when I wasn’t, in some way, climbing to the highest place in order to get some glimpse of Him.

I’ve come to accept this as a calling. A calling from God to meet Him. It has been the adventure of my life - Confusing, glorious, disturbing, and romantic. It’s unlike anything I can think of. It provides some of the oddest paradoxes:

  • It can have me in the deepest relationships possible with people and still lonely.
  • It sometimes has me running to people to meet God, and other times from people to meet God.
  • Successful spiritual encounters, as such, are fleeting. But so are failures and setbacks.
  • He can be far and close at the same time.

In all of my climbing, I have learned one profoundly useful truth:

The highest height that I can reach with all of my strength, will, determination, and might in order to meet God would still require a much longer journey of descent from God Himself if I would meet with Him.

There is something both frustrating and comforting in this. I’m glad to say that the frustrating part is fading away, and only the comfort will remain.

As I continue in the “mountain climbing” of a three-week sabbatical given to me by my loving church, I gladly exert all my heart, soul, mind and strength in an ascent for just the chance that He will descend and meet me at the top.

And for all of you, my fellow journeyers who are making the trip, who have belief enough to engage in the great Christian adventure, you inspire and fuel me in mine, and I look forward to our seasonal meetings along the way.

The team at the top