Judah is 4 Years Old

I can’t believe how much my life has changed in 4 years.  My son was born early and abruptly and changed everything.  I quickly learned that life doesn’t go according to plan, and it’s usually better than that it doesn’t.  Judah makes me smile every day, and even when he doesn’t listen I have a hard time being upset.  I’m a total push-over, which is a trait that I inherited from my father :o).  I can’t believe how quickly the past 4 years have flown by.  We have a daughter as well now, and our family is a complete set.

The day Judah was born, I was afraid.  The circumstances around the emergency c-section brought up fear that I could lose both Kathy and Judah.  And while I was driving to the Hospital God reminded me that Judah is first a child of God.  I get the privilege of raising him.  Parenting is a stewardship.  I pray that I raise Judah well.

I’m enjoying every moment that I can with my son while he is young, and I am looking forward to watching him become the man that God wants him to be.

Judah, you are a blessing to me and your mother.  We love you madly.  If you ever read this post I want you to know that we really do want the best for you.  Your name means Praises Honoring God.  My prayer is that I can model that life for you, and that you will always live to be a worshiper of God.  Whatever you end up doing with your life, I will always be your biggest fan.

Love,

Daddy.

Value of Community

Last night in our community group we talked briefly about how groups can be a front door for people to get connected to the local church.  The biggest affliction in our society, the thing that touches everybody at some point, is lonlieness.  Lonliness is what leads people to make destructive decisions, it’s what leads to sexual addiction, it can lead to over eating, depression, etc.  Loneliness is a force that will destroy you, and if you are alone no one will know about it.

I believe that there is a spiritual enemy that is working to get people to turn away from God and people.  This enemy has been incredibly successful in the U.S. because we are a nation of individualistic minded people.  We adore self-made men and women, we run from having to ask anyone for help, we really believe that we can succeed on our own.  And if we can’t then we continue to buy into the lie that if we just try harder we, by oursleves, can make it happen.

We don’t know our neighbors, we don’t have community gathering spots, we isolate ourselves through entertainment.  Loneliness runs rampant in our culture.

The only cure for loneliness that I have found is community.  To know that you don’t have to do life alone is such a liberating realization.  I don’t have to raise my kids alone.  I don’t have to figure out how to be a great husband alone.  I don’t have to follow Jesus alone.  I can build relationships and community with people who can help me, encourage me and challenge me.

In the book of Genesis God created everything, said it was good.  The only thing that he said was not good was man being alone.  It’s not good.  We need each other.

I love my community group.  Kathy and I have been in three groups in a year and a half because our groups kept growing.  Community is contagious.  It fills a void in our lives.

Who are you doing life with?

Driving (rambling thoughts)

I drove for a long time late last night.  I like driving.  It’s very relaxing to go on a long drive by yourself.  The downside is that you have to make the long drive home by yourself too.  The plus side is that you are going home.

There are few things as cool as driving through the hills and coming around a corner to see the lights of a city just on the horizon.  Even if you are driving the only car on the road, the city lights remind you that you are not alone.

When I was the guitar player in a 90’s, seattle area Christian pop-rock band we did a lot of driving.  I never felt bored.  I always like the road trips.  I’d bring my books.  We’d make fun of each other.  We would have some really meaningful conversations.  It was great.

We would also listen to each other’s mix CD’s and tapes.  That was a great way to get into new music.  Dustin, I love U2 and Poor Old Lu because of driving around in your Jeep.  Bryan, I love Sting because you forced me to listen to it in your Baywatch truck.  Darren, I still can’t get into Dream theater, but hey your tried.

I had a lot of fond driving memories last night.

I would love to take the family on a long drive.

My favorite vacation so far has been Kathy and I driving from San Francisco to L.A. along highway 1.  We had no where to be, we were not rushed, we took our time and enjoyed the process.

When I was a kid we didn’t have TV’s in the car so we had to read, play games, sleep or talk to each other.  I usually read.

Nashville

I follow many folks in nashville through blogs and twitter.  If you are unaware of what’s going on there they had a massive flood.  They are calling it a 1000 year flood.  Many people have lost their homes.  Many have died.  It’s a tragic event.

here’s a video

Vodpod videos no longer available.

This event does have a silver lining however.  Crosspoint Church has been able to respond quickly and effectively.  Their army of volunteers has been able to do for free what contracts are charge thousands of dollars for.  So way to be Crosspoint.  Keep up to date by following Pete Wilson’s blog.  And be sure to pray and donate if you get the chance.

Radical by David Platt

Would you be willing to give your whole life to the pursuit of following Christ?  It’s easy to say yes to this at church or at summer camp, or even over a cup of coffee with a fellow Christian.  The only way to know if you actually would is to follow Jesus wherever he leads.  This kind of living is a radical departure from the american dream, and for Christians it’s exactly what Jesus has called us to do.

In his book Radical, David Platt challenges readers to consider their life and their faith and to ask themselves if they are truly willing to follow Jesus all the way.  To let go of American comforts and security, and to follow after the security in knowing that we are doing God’s will.

As I was reading this book I was challenged and felt uncomfortable.  Let’s face it, I like the American dream.  I’m a pastor and its still hard for me to be willing to say that I’m going to give up everything and follow Christ.  But the truth is I must be willing to give up everything when called to do so.  I’m a pastor and this is something that I need to be reminded about.

Throughout the text Platt doesn’t just say, you should do this, you should do that, he gives examples of how he went and has given much of his time, energy and resources to spreading the gospel.  It’s much more than just a good idea to Platt it’s his lifestyle.  Platt also shares examples from his church of people who have gone, taking great risk for the gospel in exchange for the reward of knowing that they are following after Jesus.

This book has been a great reminder to me that I need to re-prioritize things in my life.  I need to be true to my calling, and I’m pursuing that, but there are many things that I can do with out.  This has also challenged me as a pastor to look at the church I serve in and start to ask, what can we do to help people go and serve.  What can we do without as a church for the sake of the mission of the gospel?

Platt conludes the book with the challenge to give a year of your life to the Radical Experiment.  This is what I know about experiments like this.  If you commit to focus a year of your life to go to another context, to sacrifice your own resources, to pray and to read, you will definitely see the value of world missions and you will want to be a part of advancing the gospel to the ends of the earth.

Read Radical, and tell me you are not challenged.

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Disclaimer: I did receive a free copy of this book from Multnomah publishers.  Disclaimer on the disclaimer: I actually liked it, if I didn’t I would have written that in the review.

Working with Kids

I know how blessed I am to have a job, and how blessed I am to have an awesome family.

1 Wife + 1 Son +1 Daughter = Very Happy Jason

Something that I am learning and learning how to balance is working with kids, while my wife if working as well.  Today, Kathy is scheduled to work 7am-7pm (rough shift for sure, please pray for her).  So I am home with the kids for the morning, we have a babysitter for a bit, and then I will be home again in the afternoon.

One of the great things about my job is that I can do my work from anywhere.  I can work in my home, I can work at a coffee shop, I can even work while standing in line at the bank thanks to my iPhone.

The hardest place to work is at home.  Because my kids are there.  They are adorable, and fun and require my attention all the time.  I feel bad working at home because they don’t really understand that I’m working.  It’s not really fair to them.  As they get older this should get easier.

But right now, Judah wants to sit on my lap. so . . .