Monday, August 30, 2004

Bet The Farm

Well, I bet the farm. What a gamble it would be too, leaving your family, friends and financial stability for what could be disastrous. It would be a gamble if I didn’t trust God. I step out in faith, trusting my Creator and his hand on my life.

I think back to all the major turning points in my life. I remember when I was five sitting in the den with my dad and asking Jesus Christ to help turn me from my sin, save me from my deserved punishment and to be the king of my life. What a joyful time it was celebrating with my mom and dad that day, and what an eternal impact it made on my soul.

I remember when my parents started the gut wrenching process of filling for divorce. How sad and angry I was at God and my parents. How helpless I felt. I wished so hard that God would make them stop fighting and make them work things out. I think it is when I became aware of God’s choice to let us walk towards Him or away from Him.

I remember riding bikes with my friends in high school, feeling so empty. Wondering where everything went wrong and hearing Pascal’s analogy roll through my head. He said, ‘We’re all designed with a God-shaped void in our hearts’. I realized that I had put people and possessions in God’s place (Lord of my life). I repented and asked God to help me never do it again.

I remember breaking down during worship when God convicted me of not giving Him every area of my life in February during my junior year at college. He was asking me to step up in leadership at a college ministry and I tried to run from it, but then I realized I had to trust Him with all areas of my life.

And now the next chapter begins. It is a bit scary, similar to when you are about to start a race and you here the words, “Runners to your marks. Set.” All the adrenaline in you rushes through your veins, your heart pumps hard, and you go from relaxed to intensely focused. The hush of the crowd, the whipping of the wind, and the anticipation so thick you could cut it with a knife lets you know, this is for real, the race is about to begin.

I didn’t come here to take a vacation. I didn’t come here to run from my problems. I came because I want to win the race God has set before me. This is where I start another phase of the training. We all have races, each person God has created uniquely in His image. He has poured over each of us preparing us with a special purpose in mind. Each of us has a special place in his heart. To run the race he has set before you is such a sweet flavor to experience. I wish everyone would come and join the race.

So now I prepare for the next phase of my race, which I believe will be in the city. Loving on people; sharing the good news that Jesus has made the way for us to have a personal relationship with the Father; equipping the saints for their races. Helping them see the race that is before them.

Bet the farm. God always comes through.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Sept. 2nd

Things are really busy... I'm packing, helping people move things, saying goodbye to my friends and closing up everything I can here. So... check back at the beginning of September, I should be able to start posting regularly...

Monday, August 09, 2004

Sunburn and Armrests

Hey loyal readers. I know it has been a while, but a Dumples has gotta pack and get ready for school. I have very few hours of weekend left here; weddings are going to suck the life out of most of my weekends until I leave. Not a bad thing, I'm happy to see my friends tie the knot, but it does take time...

This past weekend we went canoeing. Being the pasty white engineer that I am, I thought putting sunscreen on my neck would be all that it took to keep me from burning. In hindsight I see that yes, indeed pasty white guys do burn. I managed to burn the inside of my thighs. Yeah, I look like I inherited white pasty calves which are strangely attached to red (and greatly painful) thighs. On the bright side of things, my Cadillac of a canoe tipped 8 times and I managed to get my co-rower to bail and go solo and to pick up the most annoying canoe partner there could be in his place. Instead of paddling or getting other canoes wet, he felt the need to tip our canoe (why we flipped so much) and splash me instead. You know those guys, the ones that find everything they do to everyone else absolutely hilarious. All the while, my white pasty legs slowing overcooking like an old hotdog sitting at a gas station. I try not to whine about how much they hurt, but it's been a few days now and sleeping is less than pleasant still. If you know an engineer buy them sunscreen, I promise they need it.

So let me share with you the most exciting thing of my day, I got my passenger side armrest for my CR-V! I've been waiting a week and a half for it to ship from sunny California out to our home sweet home, Ohio. I didn't change when I got home from work except to take off my tie and dress shirt. Then I raced to put my new armrest in the car. Like putting together a Level 3 model for the first time, I carefully read the directions twice and made the permanent cuts on my seat. I put the new one on and sat back in shear amazement. Amazed that I actually did it right the first time and amazed that I'm actually really excited about the new armrest... and the remote control! Ok, so I've been holding out on you, I got some remotes to my car too. I figured since I am going to seminary, it would be nice to have both sides of the car open up when people approach it. Ok, I mean I would like to be able to take a girl out with a little class. Nothing says high class like an armrest.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

this holiday life

one of the new emerging bands, that I hope makes it big, this holiday life. Rock it out guys.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

a moment of stupid

I knocked over my paper shredder a week or so ago and the confetti went all over the floor. This morning I decided I would clean it up. I grabbed the vacuum and started cleaning my floor.

When I got to the pile of shredded papers I paused. Two thoughts rushed through my mind:

1). It is a large pile of paper, you probably shouldn’t try to vacuum it up. It could break the vacuum.

2). Don’t be a girl, vacuum it up. Men don’t pick up what they can get up with a shop vac!

I chose option two, and started vacuuming the pile up. The vacuum worked for a while and then started making a high pitched whine. I emptied the bag and started again. About then I thought to myself, “Hmmm… The vacuum doesn’t have much pull… Oh well” I kept vacuuming. The whine of the vacuum and the lack of its effectiveness finally got me to stop. I examined the vacuum and found that I had blocked the hoses up with paper. Lots of blockage…

Yeah… a moment of stupid. I tried to shake the paper out of the hoses, to no avail. So I detached the hose from the vacuum (thankfully vacuums have come a long way in 10 years) and filled the hose with water. Instead of blowing the paper out of the other end of the tube, it turned the paper into a massive pile of impassible sludge. Boo-yaaa! What was my reaction? I decided I should shake the hose as hard as I could using its own momentum against itself. That backfired, and the sludge compounded all the more. It defies physics, I know. I think they should consider making skyscrapers out of wet paper…

I then decided to take one of my coat hangers and turn it into a stick and shove it up the hose and try to break the clog. Instead of breaking it, the sludge adapted, evolved if you will, and simply let it pass through. Improbable but indeed possible, cause it happened!

I ended up making the coat hanger into a hook and started pulling the sludge out. That actually worked, if it didn’t, I think I may have either busted out the Drain-O or have done something even stupider.

Moral of the story: If you momentarily pause for some reason, at least ponder why you would think such a thing.