Monday, June 18, 2007

Catching Up

Blogging is one of those things for me that comes in waves.

Sometimes it's like I'm driven and I blog and blog and blog. At other times, it is more like I have to drag myself to say something...sometimes to say anything.

There have been many changes in my life over this year. Through this process I have experienced many emotional swings. I knew God was in these changes, but it has been a pretty wild ride. Of course, with God it usually least when it comes to faith and trusting Him.

Let me summarize the year for you.

Moved out of a large church ministry in November 06 somewhat surprisedly. I know now (as I really new then) that it was God but it was still a big change and not one that I had planned in advance necessarily. Details aren't important here as much as is the fact that God had a plan.

Decided to go into Real Estate to make a living so the kids could finish high school in Owasso. Got my license in 3 weeks and began January 2nd. Remember what happened right after that? Major ice storm! God was good though. He brought me business right off the bat and now I've had 8 closings. Pretty good for a first year agent!

Diane and I agreed that, along with Real Estate, I'd help small churches by filling in for them at times. So we went off and began visiting some significant sized churches in and around Tulsa. That was fun. Seeing believers of different faiths worship the same God was really cool. Then about six weeks ago a small church in Collinsville called me up and asked me to fill in for them. I knew at the time (or should I say "sensed") that God was probably going to plop us down with this congregation. And He did.

Now I'm the preacher there. It's a part time gig, but it's been fun to be the guy who sets the vision and leads the service, etc. I meet with the elders (of which I am one - that's a weird change!) each Monday for lunch at the church. We are discussing the vision for the church and are already making plans for how the church is going to grow. I've not always been in a situation where I had an opinion that mattered and now I am. It's nice.

I firmly believe God has a plan for this little church to reach people with His love. And for some reason or other He must think I'm the guy (at least for now) to lead them towards fulfilling His plan. The more I think about that the more I realize the seriousness and gravity of it. It makes me tremble. It also makes me stand back in amazement. God would actually use a common guy to help fulfill His purpose here on the earth? Wow. How cool is that?

So my life right now varies between thinking about selling houses and working with customers and what I'm going to preach on Sunday. Finding illustrations for what I'm speaking about - well that's the easy part!

So watch for a little church in Collinsville to be making some big waves pretty soon.


Sunday, June 3, 2007

Memorial Day 2007

Diane and I loaded up the kids and went to the graveyard on Memorial Day this year. We don't usually make them go, but my mom and dad were in town this year and I wanted my kids to hear some history of some of the family who've gone on ahead - and I wanted them to hear it from their grandparents.

Part of my reasoning behind this is because I know a day is coming when my kids will visit that graveyard to visit the graves of their grandparents and probably my own and their mother. I wanted to create a memory for them for when that day comes.

Another reason I wanted to take the kids along was because of this particular gravestone. Notice it says that buried below it is the limb of this lady. My mom and dad remember the lady, but could not remember if the limb was an arm or a leg. I thought that was funny.

Notice in the next picture that the lady died just five years later. While standing over her gravestone we discussed whether or not she ever visited the gravesite of her missing limb. Someone pointed out that they might have buried the limb because of the idea that to be resurrected one had to have all their parts available. Interesting thought, especially in light of cremation and the practice of spreading ashes today.

One other interesting thing about this graveyard visit is that all of the people who are buried there are buried facing east (head to the west/feet to the east) so that when resurrection happens they'll rise facing the Lord.

This last pic is of me, the boys and my dad standing by my grandparent's grave. It's my desire to buried close to my grandparents. That's weird to think about. It's even stranger to stand by the place where you intend to be buried and to think to yourself, "I'm going to buried here someday." Then you kind of get into the dying part and that's even weirder so you don't think about that much. At least I don't. It does make me consider the reality of heaven and hell and God and angels and all that I believe though. For me if all that stuff (and resurrection) isn't real then life is pretty hopeless. I think a guy named Paul said something like that once.

Anyway, it was a good visit and a good experience. I hope my kids will remember this day as a good day in their lives.

I know it was in mine.