Friday, March 30, 2012

Life's instruction manual...

Have you ever tried to put something together without using the manual. Guys are notorious for this. We look at the parts in the box and then at the picture on the box and assume we got it. Well, this happened to me about a week ago. A dear friend of ours came over to hang out with Tina while Katie and I went to a Daddy/Daughter dance (it was awesome by the way). When we got home our friend left only to return a few minutes later with a flat tire. "I got it", I said as I walked out to her car. About 30 minutes later as I was laying under her car I was feeling a little frustrated and had to ask her to help. She got the manual and it turned out that I was missing a crucial part. After I located this missing part the job was done in about 5 minutes.

This reminds me of life. So often in life we (myself included) go around saying "I got it" only to wind up feeling frustrated later. But it doesn't have to be that way. God gave us an instruction manual for life. It's called the Holy Bible. If we will admit that we need help and turn to His Word we will find that we will find the answers to life's questions and that even when life is frustrating we don't have to feel that way. So, if you are feeling frustrated today by life's challenges take some time to pick up the best instruction manual ever written, God's Holy Word. If you are not sure where to start, I would recommend starting in John (New Testament) as well as Psalms and/or Proverbs (Old Testament).

Related verse: "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness..."
2 Timothy 3:16

Update: It has been about 1 week since Tina had her Avastin treatment and she will have another week sometime late next week. She appears to be doing better at times although she is still struggling with extreme weakness on her left side, shakiness, some sensitivity to light and sound and difficulty sleeping through the night. But...we still keep looking to God and His word for our comfort and for direction and guidance for our lives.

- A messenger of God

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Follow my voice...

Have you ever got up in the middle of the night in search of water or the restroom and noticed how difficult it is to see without any light? You search and grasp for something to hold onto and for some sense of direction. Well, in our house one of our favorite family rituals is to read Katie a bedtime story and then rock her before she goes to sleep. As we finished reading her story tonight she walked over to grab her favorite blanket and pillow and then proceeded to turn out the light. And then...there was silence and no movement for a moment. Although I couldn't see her I could sense that she was trying to locate where I was. She stopped and called out "Daddy I can't see you." As any loving father would do I reassured her and said "Katie, I am right here. Follow my voice." A second later she was snuggled up warm and cozy in her daddy's arms.

Have you ever felt like you were walking blindly through life? Constantly grasping for some sense of direction, not sure of which way to turn, not knowing what lies ahead in your future...I have. Been there, done that, got the hat. doesn't have to be that way. God clearly tells us in the Bible that if we will listen to His voice that He will guide us and direct us. Check out what Jesus said in John 10:27 "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." That means, if we are in Christ that we can have direction in life and in the darkest of times when we feel scared, lonely and directionless if we listen closely to His voice it will lead us to His loving and comforting arms.

Update: Tina and I have had a pretty rough week. We got news this past Tuesday that the cancer that was removed one month ago with surgery has already returned. But...we serve a mighty and powerful God who reminds us daily that He is well able to take care of us. Additionally, Tina is also scheduled to start some treatments with Avastin tomorrow and we are confident and hopeful that she will be feeling better really soon. Please keep this in your prayers. Earlier this evening Tina was feeling exhausted from the day and was wearing her eyemask to help block out any light to avoid any sensory overload. Since she was unable to see, she was relying on me to help walk her around and at one point she stood still and seemed hesitant to take a step forward. It was in that moment that I leaned close to her and gently whispered in her ear..."Tina, I am right here. Follow my voice." :)

- A messenger of God

Friday, March 9, 2012

You know me...

I have been reminded lately about how a relationship with someone builds intimacy. A dictionary defined intimacy as "close familiarity or friendship; closeness; a private cozy atmosphere." Have you ever noticed that as you get to know someone better that it seems as if they can read your mind and vice versa. You finish each other's sentences, laugh about shared memories and seem to know what the other person needs without them even having to ask. The bible tells us that our Father God in Heaven longs to have an intimate relationship with us. A closeness. A friendship. Check out this verse...“No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15

So how do we form intimacy with someone? Simple. By spending time with them. The more time you spend with them, the closer you become. It's the same with God. If we want a closeness with God then we need to spend time with Him...reading His word, talking to Him, praising Him through song and with our life.

How can you grow closer to God today?

Update: Over the past several years as I have spent more and more time caring for and attending to Tina, our level of intimacy has grown very deep. Last night Tina had another really big seizure. As a kneeled by her during the seizure I knew exactly what she needed from me in that moment. Later that night as we were going to sleep she whispered some encouraging words in my ear to uplift me and remind me that we can get through this together. She knew what I needed as well :) We chuckled and we both said "Yep, this is just a little bump in the road."

As you read this blog join Tina and I as we continue to praise and worship our Father God through all the bumps in the road.

- A messenger of God

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Step by step...

Swaying back and forth, about to fall, having to hold onto furniture with every step but giving it every ounce of effort she can. i remember the first time our beautiful baby girl Katherine (we call her Katie) took her first steps. It really was amazing for me to watch. As her cute little chubby legs wobbled back and forth it appeared as if she was just about to fall forward at any given moment as she tried to place one foot in front of the other. As she became older she got stronger and one step turned into two steps and along the way she had her fair share of falls...but she kept getting back up. She never sat down, pouted and said "this is too hard" or "I am just going to give up because I keep falling down". Nope! She just kept on getting up and going forward. Katie is almost four and it is hard for us to keep both of her feet on the ground now as she swings, jumps, leaps and dances about. i am so proud of that little girl. She is my princess and as her daddy i love to cheer her on and say "Go Katie" or "Great twirl" and when she falls i reach down to pick her up and say "It's ok baby, Daddy's here" or "No big deal, let's get back up."

Did you know that our Heavenly Father treats His children the same way? He cheers us on "Go _________" and even though we are grown now, we still fall down at times (i tend to on a daily basis). But when we place our trust in God he is faithful to reach down when we fall and encourage us to get back up and remind us that "It's ok _________, Daddy's here."

Update: Swaying back and forth, about to fall, having to hold onto furniture with every step but giving it every ounce of effort she can. Tina is slowly but surely gaining her strength back on the left side of her body and i am so proud of how hard she is working and just like Katie whenever she falls she gets right back up and keeps pressing forward. Through this journey Tina is learning to trust God both physically and spiritually as she takes each step by step...

My prayer today is that you and i will learn to trust our Heavenly Father to lead us and guide us in this life with every step we take and like Katie and Tina we will keep pressing forward and get back up each and every time we fall.

Here are some scriptures to contemplate:

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
Philipians 3: 12-14

"The LORD helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads".
Psalm 145:14

- A messenger of God