Front seat to the highest bidder…

30 05 2008

I got in my daughter’s car early one morning to move it. This is a common occurence and although annoying, it is necesary with an “on the go” family with five drivers. As I got in, I noticed this cup with a hand written note – “Front seat to the highest bidder.” This was my son’s writing and he shares the two cars with his sisters. (Another story sometime). I was amazed but there was money in it. In fact, we were talking about it and he said there was about $17 in there, lots of them being quarters.

It got me thinking a couple thoughts:

Gas is expensive enough where cost is determining our destinations.
What an imaginative way to ask people to help out!
How bad do I want to sit in the front seat literally and figuratively?
What gas station wants to have someone pay in quarters?
When creativity meets a need correctly, how the sting of the issue lessens.
A statement can be said in many ways.

It is amazing what gets us thinking if we open ourselves to get outside the box~


Looking at the ground go by at 27.8 mph…

24 05 2008

Each week, I have the wonderful opportunity to go riding with some special friends on a 42 mile ride. Honestly, it is quite intimidating because they are good and have no problem maintaining high speeds. I am comfortable at 21 mph. We were at mile 17 today and one guys says, “We are going to push it for the next four miles. If you cannot keep up, don’t worry. We’ll see you at the turn around spot.” Within a minute we were inching our way up the speedometer till we hit 27.8 mph. A couple of thoughts crossed my mind:

Wow! I have never gone so fast on my bike before.
Was that a catepillar I just ran over?
My legs are really hurting but I can stay with them.
Don’t fall because I would slide for a long ways.
Wow! This is really fast!
Hang on. Hang on. Hang on!

No major epiphany but let me finalize it with this one thought…

Reminds me of similar thoughts I think when God is taking me into a time of change or growth.

(Poor catepillars!)

We Live from our Heart

15 05 2008

“We live from our heart.” Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart

Yep, another D.W. book. I have to admit, I have never connected with a devotional book like this guy. He really challenges the depths of my relationship with Christ. There are times he is deep and I like the confrontation to what I believe. There are times he is straight forward and most who know me would tell you that it works for me. Finally, it is has been about the heart. Prov. 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart. Out of it flows the wellspring of life.”

Why does such a fundamental scripture grip me today? I celebrated my twentieth wedding anniversary yesterday. We went to a very nice restaurant, reserved a private booth and was ready mark the very special occasion. It was great! Not because we had magical evening. Instead we talked about a few memories, our kids, life’s challenges and even tried to come up with a catchy title for Kristin’s upcoming talk on parenting. As we got up to leave, it really struck me. What I love about being to married to Kristin is she is my best friend and we have decided to journey our lives together. It is very natural for us to talk about feelings, life’s challenges and victories, even when we don’t have answers or cool solutions. She has grown more beautiful to me each day because I get to see another layer of her heart as we journey together.

Reminds me of my walk with Christ. There have been some magical moments but the thing I value the most is the fact the journey. And that He continues to reveal more of His heart to me. Neither relationship comes easy but a journey worth taking.

Where is the “experience?”

14 05 2008

I had to meet a young man yesterday at 9am. He suggested Panera Bread and I started to get excited. Now, I have been there many times but I was going to get there at 6:30am and read, write and spend some me time. I was pumped to “experience” the magic of an early morning time with coffee brewing and a whole bunch of wifi flying around. The sights, the sounds, as many have told me…the experience.

Let me start by saying the sights, the sounds…I never realized that so many businessmen wear blue dress shirts to work. I never realized that making coffee is a loud process. I never realized that people can unfold a paper but turning pages is like hand to hand combat. I never realized that the same people come each day and still feel the need to yell a person’s name out so they see them. I never knew that window washers really are fun to watch and yes, they leave streaks too. I never really watched someone hunched over a computer, while drinking coffee and eating a bagel all at the same time. (Impressive and scary at the same time) I didn’t know they had gone to the beeper/vibrator system. (Another version of impressive and scary – that thing can really vibrate!)

The experience left me empty. I actually did have a great devotion and did some strategic planning. But it wasn’t the Norman Rockwell experience where the high was over the top. Can’t say it was the restaurant’s fault. Maybe the fault could be found in my expectations. Anytime you deal with people, there is always the factor that it could go different than expected. Free will does that for you. It is what makes God laugh and cry, don’t you think?

Vacation at home

13 05 2008

This week starts something I have never done in all my adult years. I have decided to take a couple of days off and stay home. A new experience but we are off to a great start. Worked out this morning, ran and then off to the beach. It was a chamber of commerce day – tons of sun, great breeze and a cooler full of Fresca. Got home in time to send everyone to their appointed places – two to band practice and two went to the movies. So, here I sit watching the surging Tampa Bay Rays.

I know what you are thinking…boring. You are totally correct. It was nice to enjoy some down time, talk with the family and gets some sun. I am always amazed that God shows up in the most unsuspected times. I enjoyed watching the waves today with no music on, no book in hand, accomplishing nothing. In accomplishing nothing, I actually accomplished something. No need to decompress – I am on vacation baby!

Two Ladies and a triathlon

11 05 2008

Today, I had the utter priviledge of cheering my wife and one of my daughters in a triathlon. It was my wife’s second year of participating in the Danskin Triathlon at Disney World and Blue’s first. It was the first time I had the opportunity to watch them and honestly, I was more nervous than they were. Even when I did my Olympic triathlon, I was calmer than when Blue went out in the first wave. I had to walk away from the starting line because I just didn’t want her to go out and get overwhelmed. If you have never swum in a dark lake with a bunch of splashing arms and legs, it is tough.

They both did amazing. BLue came out with a great look of determination. Kris came out blinking – her contacts were bothering her. That was the last I saw of them until the finish line. There was about twenty ladies who we knew in the race – a bunch in honor of our good friend, Lynn, who passed away from cancer a year and a half ago. Every time we saw a person in the group, we yelled, cheered and jumped to let them know we were there for them. It was really fun to go nuts for them and to see them smile after working so hard for the finish line.

It was a little different for my wife and daughter. I am so proud of them. I yelled and cheered but I found myself wanting to hold them afterwards. They worked so hard to prepare and then to see them cross the line, it was moving. So many ladies competed but my two girls are my champions. They competed, honored a dear friend and crossed the line victorious. Great mother’s day!

Finding “Soul Rest” on a Roller Coaster

8 05 2008

“Humility, which involves losing self sufficiency is a secret of soul rest because it does not presume to secure outcomes.”Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart in Daily Practice

Mr. Willard and I are getting quite chummy these days. When Kristin said, “You need to read this devotion,” I wasn’t thrilled. The first few days were tough – he is deep. I am simple -“Love God, Love People.” My whole life mission in four words. Those who know me best, know efficiency and content are both very important to me. However, this devotion has been kicking some PC booty.

The title of this day was “Abandoned Outcomes.” (there is that Abandoned word again for those who read a few days earlier.) This one is a life keeper. I actually read this one two days ago and still can’t get my arms around it. Oh, I get the literal meaning but it is like trying to hug a redwood right now. I see it but implementing it into my Type A personality driven day is just….difficult.

I love the soul rest. I have really sought God about believing he does “work for the good to those who love the Lord.” I know, I believe it but I struggle at times living it because to live it…I must lose control. Which means I must humble myself…see the ugly picture. The funny thing is that I am loving the journey because it is big and scary. And like the roller coaster rides I love so much, I know that I am not jumping any tracks and the loopty loops have a purpose.

Who knew you could find soul rest on a roller coaster?