Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Race

My little girl is a horse fanatic, so much so that she even speaks their language.  She is a professional whinny-er.  Horses, she says, do not say "nay." So, while we were on vacation we thought she'd really like it if we took her to the horse races.  She made sure to bring her cowgirl hat.  We tried to tell her it's not exactly a rodeo.  A little different crowd at these kinds of things, but she didn't care.
In her mind...


Everyone, especially little girls, should be allowed to pet the horses, and it's silly that it's not just a given.
All horses win. There are no losers. They run so fast and beautiful that they all should be rewarded.
Even the trainer and official horses should get prizes for how good of a job they do, and how pretty they are.
Black and white Pintos automatically are rated #1.
The jockeys should really learn to ride better, because when they sit up like that they're just gonna fall off easier.
All betting is friendly.
They should all get treats.
No horse should be spanked, and finally, all horses should be allowed to get their picture taken, with all their other horse friends, in the Winner's Circle.

In the real world, it's hard to remember every day that we are in a race.  Each step is one step closer to a finish line, but since we don't know where or when we'll cross that line, it's easy to become distracted.  Some of us drift, some of us stop running all together, and while some are dynamite exploding out of the gate, how many really strive with the endurance for a photo finish?
Even against the odds we saw a horse come up from behind the pack, a little fella that didn't look like he'd be a sure winner, but my oh my, did he ever finish well!  He gained ground with every leap.  His footing was sure, and by the time he crossed the line, he was 3 or 4 lengths ahead of all the horses who'd been picked to win.
I want to be one who can run the race with that kind of focus.  Every leap a sure one, every muscle focused on the next big push, not wavering to the left or right, but charged as if it's Reveilee, awakened and set like flint to finish, and finish well.



At the end of his life, before he was martyred, Paul penned some amazing words in 2 Timothy:
'I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.' 
It reminds me of my little girl's attitude about winning.  It's not a space reserved for one.  So long as we can keep the faith and cross the line, then no matter who has crossed over first,  we win.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Valley Fair

We took the family and Andi to Valley Fair yesterday.  The kids had never been, and we thought it would be fun for Andi before he has his surgery.   I strapped a small camera to my wrist.  The rest is for them to remember.  Normally I'd bring in some music, and make more edits, but for this memory I'd rather they hear all the sounds of the fair, just the way they were.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Go Make Disciples

Our very dear friends are right now jetting across the country at 30,000 feet, on their way to Haiti for the summer.  They've accepted the call to be the missionaries for Mission Haiti, a local organization that runs an orphanage and several schools in the southern village of Ti Rivier.
It's hard, very hard to see them go, but comforting to know that the Babbs are in the hands of God.
Their kids and ours are close, so much that we can mark the days of the seasons just in sleepovers and birthday parties.
I was with Heather on my first mission trip to New Orleans just after Katrina, and Torrey and I have been brothers through some rough and rocky travails.  God has used our families to teach one another amazing life lessons, and we have crossed paths over and over again in His plan. We both now have a strong desire for the people of Haiti.  God's plan is that we are not yet to serve together, but we're excited and hopeful for that day, knowing that if we are united in ministry, it will be because of His Will.

But for now, it's bitter sweet.  No campfires to share, no swimming, no bbq's, no fellowship.   Just the time in devotion to remember them and pray for their work there.  Kari and I both admit, we feel like our kids feel when we say goodbye. There's no proper way to keep the emotions from surfacing.  We want to hold on and not let go.  Almost like a good, strong temper tantrum and foot stomping is in order.
Our ride home from the airport after our goodbye's was filled with ear-splitting silence.  Not a peep.  Just reflection.  In the end, we know that this is not our home and we are not our own.  Our hope is in the Lord.

And the BBQ's in Heaven are gonna be stellar!  



























Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.
Titus 3:14

I thank my God every time I remember you.  In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.....And this is my prayer: That your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ -- to the glory and praise of God.
Philippians 1:3-11