Counting the Cost and Pressing On

Blog Faith Story

Counting the Cost and Pressing On

Do you understand the Cost of Following Your Dreams?

garths on tour cost of following your dreamsI remember the first time Dave Garth told me that someday he would ride his bike around the world. I thought he was crazy. And I doubted that it would ever happen (sorry Dave). I remember the subsequent courting stage of his relationship with his future bride. Whether she would be willing to take the journey with him was paramount in the process. … Continue reading

Emotional Economy: 6 Insights into Emotional Stewardship

Business Faith Journal

Emotional Economy: 6 Insights into Emotional Stewardship

What’s the deal with emotional economy?

Life is a series of transactions.

Debits and credits determine balances. Assets and liabilities determine net worth. Revenue and expenses determine profit. Give and take determine the richness of relationships. You put gas in the car and you drive. If you fail to replenish the supply of gas, you find yourself thumbing a ride like a gypsy without a cause.

Economies determine consequence and reward.

With that said, there are different types of economies. God’s economy is an exchange of Grace. Marriage economy is an exchange of love. Employment economy is an exchange of money for time and skill. Parenting economy is an investment in a legacy future for the next generation. Each of those economies works differently. Continue reading

Reality and the Daily Grind

Faith Journal Story

Reality and the Daily Grind

This excerpt is from the book on my Alaskan Adventures from 1996-2014. (Click here to find it)

After dancing on the glacier, we made our obligatory souvenir shop stops in downtown Anchorage.  Who would travel to a place so far away without a drink at the fountain of the local market?  They are the same in almost every city around the world.  Depending on the level of civilization, they may differ in quality and source. The third world countries offer higher quality hand-made items while the first world countries carry cheap assembly line look-alikes. But the variety and types bear no striking difference.  … Continue reading

Lime Green Balloon

Faith Parenting Story

Lime Green Balloon

Parenting with GodToday was a day full of fun with my two oldest!

Grace is 7 and Gabe is 4. Daniel is 2, but today he was sick, so he stayed home with mom.

That left Grace, Gabe and me to spend the day together.

The plan? A birthday party and a church event.

The birthday party was a blast! Monkey Park is a favorite kids destination and party venue in our town.

When we arrived, we made our way to Pavilion #1 where the party was underway. Turns out there were two parties in Pavilion #1. The mom from Party B had reserved the pavilion and arrived after Party A was already set up. Party B’s party leader graciously allowed Party A to use the left side of the pavilion while they partied it up on the right side.

Turns out Party B had the coolest balloons. Lime green with party hats and streamers drawn in white and a big “Happy Birthday” printed in a really cool font. Not only were they cool party balloons, but they were cool party balloons filled with helium!

GABE LOVED THEM…… Continue reading

Sweet Forgiveness…

Faith Story

Sweet Forgiveness…

Adapted from the story found in 2 Samuel 11-12.

For David had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord and had not failed to keep any of the Lord’s commands all the days of his life—except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.      –  (1 Kings 15:5)

I slowly dipped the pen into the ink as I was considering the words that would become my alibi.

A drop of ink fell to the ground as if it were a drip of blood from my broken heart.

Uriah, one of  my own mighty men of valor, whose life has been on the line for the best in me was about to die for the worst in me.

My eyes fell from the parchment to the floor upon which he slept.  I tried to get him to go home.  I tried to make it easy for both of us.  I tried.

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Overcoming Justification: Beating Our Bent Toward the First Rebellion

Blog Business Faith Journal Parenting

Overcoming Justification: Beating Our Bent Toward the First Rebellion

Justify: [juhs-tuh-fahy] verb. to show a satisfactory reason or excuse for something done.

Justification.

Mr. J swaggered into my place of business about 3 years ago with the confidence of a quarterback that just won his 2nd straight superbowl.  Fearless. Firm. Assured.  He boldly announced that he could make use of my services as if he were doing me a huge favor.  Over the next few days, Mr. J and I spent quite a bit of time together.  As I began to converse with him and his story began to unfold, I found out that it was a bit more complicated than it first appeared.  I also found out that his role in my life was about more than business, it was to teach me some life lessons that have been stirring around in me ever since that first encounter in the little consignment shop.

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Adventure Faith Gratitude

“It Vas God’s Vay”

Our faith community meets in our furniture store.

There’s some advantages and disadvantages to that, but my favorite advantage is that it is undercover.

We have a loose schedule of events and a skeleton time frame that hardly ever gets heeded, but it’s us.

Sometimes things go as scheduled and sometimes they don’t.  Tonight they didn’t!

Julie M. was in charge of bringing our meal.  As she walked in, Dave and Bethany soon followed… well, Bethany soon followed.  Dave was nowhere to be found.  Julie B. came in and said that there were some people in a van outside and that Dave was helping them.  A few minutes later Dave walked in with a van load of people.  He began to introduce them to everyone else in the room and proceeded to show them where the food was.  It kept going through my head involuntarily… “I hope we have enough food.  Maybe I should put some of mine back.”

Well, we had enough food.

Turns out God had plans for our time together of which we knew nothing.

There were 4 young people and a mother and father.  The father had a stroke some time ago and couldn’t speak, so he wrote most of what he tried to say.  The mother spoke relatively plain English and was obviously the dominant figure in the family.

We fed them and got to know them.   I then wrestled with the decision to go on with our worship time or to sit and wait for their ride to arrive.  I did a little of both and eventually we ended up in the meeting room singing songs with the two youngest sons, the mother and the father. The man was in and out and the mother was obviously determined to stay for the entire meeting.

Earlier, while we were still eating, I had been curious what they were thinking.  Then the mother said something like “I knew it vas God’s Vay”.  Throughout the remainder of dinner, worship time and into our corporate prayer time, it became obvious that God, through the person of the Holy Spirit, was working on her heart.

She kept using the phrase, “It’s God’s Vay, I knew it vas God’s Vay”.  She was right… it WAS God’s way!

She told us that earlier in the afternoon the family was struggling.  There were arguments and misunderstandings.  She couldn’t take it any longer, so she asked everyone to load up in the van and just get out of the house.  On their way to Bed, Bath and Beyond the police stopped them and gave them a speeding ticket.  After they left the store, as they were turning at the red light in front of our store, their loaded mini-van broke down.  They were standing just outside the store in frustration and confusion when Dave found them.

It was a beautiful moment when she said, “I knew it!  Our problems no longer matter… the ticket… the van… it no longer matters… it vas God’s vay!”  She proceeded to tell us how she had been longing for a Christian group to meet with.  She’d been hoping someone would invite her to a Christian church.  She said she had lots of Muslim and Hindu friends, but no Christians.

We prayed for her husband and asked God to heal his physical struggles.

Next week we are having our worship gathering at their house.  She is going to cook authentic Indian food for all of us!

May our program and schedule never be so important that we would dare turn down her offer.  God help us!

Isn’t the church a beautiful bride… even undercover.

“A church which pitches its tents without constantly looking out for new horizons, which does not continually strike camp, is being untrue to its calilng.  …[We must] play down our longing for certainty, accept what is risky, and live by improvisation and experiment.”   -Hans Kung in The Church as teh People of God

“After a time of decay comes the turning point.  The powerful light that has been banished returns.  There is movement, but it is not brought about by force… The movement is natural, arising spontaneously.  The old is discarded and the new is introduced.  Both measures accord with the time; therefore no harm results.”       -Ancient Chinese Saying

(both quotes come from the introduction to The Forgotten Ways by Alan Hirsch)

…and the LORD added to their number daily those who were being saved.”   -Acts 2:47b