Category Archives: My Thoughts

The Five Year Itch

Five years ago. That’s the last time I posted something. I wouldn’t be shocked if you got an email notification that I had posted a new blog and you thought to yourself, “why?” I mean, I have been as inconsistent on this as CB Bucknor was in last night’s Nationals and Braves game. But, I’m gonna try again.

To be completely honest, my wife has set the bar for writing. She has been writing consistently now, and in reading what she has to say, I’m encouraged to get back on. For me, writing has always been a sense of release. Ever since I first started counseling back in college, I have been writing off and on again for eight years. Mostly journaling. But it has given me a chance to work through my thoughts and feelings and take an introspective look at my life. Somewhere in the past five years, I put that thinking into other things. Namely running.

Yes, if you have been around me consistently, it’s kind of the only thing I have been talking about. I have become addicted to running.  In fact, addiction is light term for it. I have decided to push myself. My goal was to get myself in good shape by the time I turned 30 (which finally happened last month) and part of that goal was encouraged by training for my first marathon. I ran the Los Angeles Marathon on March 19, exactly one week after I turned 30, and enjoyed every minute of the 4:09 it took me to run it. So much so, that during the run, I decided immediately that I would run another. And probably other anothers after that.

There is something freeing about running. In fact, I have seen my writing take a back seat in the time that I really began pushing myself to run more. I can think through my thoughts for the 30 – 90 minutes I spend running. Never mind the fact that I am also doing something fairly healthy (for cardio, not necessarily my knees), I have loved getting out either on my own, pushing my kids or running with my bride. Right before the marathon, I did my fourth half marathon and found myself with a new P.R. And then almost immediately after the marathon, I ran my first Ultra Ragnar with a team of six amazing people who continue to push me to be a better runner. The Ragnar consisted of almost 200 miles split between six people, running from Huntington Beach to San Diego. Talk about CRAZY!

Needless to say, running has become my fourth passion, behind my Jesus, my family, and my ministry. It’s something that allows me to gather my thoughts, push myself past the limits I thought I had and become a better, healthier person. I run because it feels good. I run because my daughter once told me, when I was about to go out on a run, “Daddy, when I get older, I want to run like you and mommy.”

If the only good thing that comes from running is my kids stay active, and I am around to be active in their life, then it will all have been worth it. But for now, I am also going to write. And I hope you enjoy what I have to say.

“Baby” Steps

Well, Addalyn is now mobile! At 7 months old, she is saying a few words (DaDa was the first one!) and now she is moving around. A couple weeks ago, she began pulling herself up in her crib. Little did we know that would be the beginning of what I am sure is the end!

It is crazy to think that just seven months ago, we were bringing her home from the hospital. She was so tiny and couldn’t even support herself. Now, she is beginning to see the world in a new light. She is working on touching everything she can get her hands on. She is realizing that Max (our dog) is there for her to terrorize; and he accepts that fate.

Addalyn can’t stand staying still for even a moment. She begins to get antsy whenever she is confined to our arms. She loves anything that we have. It might be an iPhone one second, but the moment we take interest in something else, her attention wanes on that first device.

I am learning a lot about being a parent, specifically a Father. The first time we took Addalyn to get her shots, my heart literally broke when she started crying. Of course, as parents, you know that this temporary pain is going to help your child. But when she started crying, I almost couldn’t take it. As soon as the nurse was done, I gobbled her up in my arms and let her take solace in my chest.

I’m beginning to understand more and more the love God has for His children. I would absolutely give my life for my daughter. I want to see her succeed and have all the best plans for her. But there will come a point when she will make her own decisions. Some of those decisions have already begun. Her insistence on grabbing at anything and everything has led to more than a couple bumps and bruises. I am trying to balance protecting her and letting her learn on her own, but being there to comfort her.

We have had a hectic past few months. From moving back to California, to moving into our own place and settling in at our respective jobs, it has been a transition that has taken some time. Addalyn is beginning to get comfortable in her environment and has adjusted well to mom and dad working full time jobs. My prayer is that she grows into a beautiful woman after God’s heart. In the meantime, I get to watch her taking baby steps.

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Abandoned.

Eloi, eloi, lama sabachthani.

These were the words uttered by the Christ while He breathed His last breath on the cross. It’s amazing to hear those words coming from the Savior of the World. Surely He had to have known that this would be required of Him. To give His last breath in death on a lowly cross was the ultimate reality that He would have suredly known. Jesus spent His entire time on Earth in ministry seeking and saving the Lost. The Gospel message, the Good News, would be brought to all Jews and eventually Gentiles, because of His life. It was the ultimate sacrifice. And yet, He cried out to the Father, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me!” He had been abandoned by God the Father. Left to die a painful and inglorious death. This was supposed to be the shining moment in Christ’s ministry. This was supposed to be the time when all peoples knew Jesus was who He said He was. Instead, He was abandoned by God.

I had to let these words sink in to my heart this past week. My wife and I made the trek and stepped out on faith a year and a half ago to travel out to Arizona for ministry. Sometimes it’s easy to forget about the journey when the roadblock is in your way. Immediately you think about how to get past it. You think about backtracking and taking a different route. That’s natural. I was driving down the street the other day, putting out signs for our church, when Ray Rd. was blocked off near Recker Rd. This wasn’t unusual. There is a lot of roadwork in the city of Gilbert. But instead of remembering why I took the path I did (which was to put out signs) I immediately thought about how I was going to get around the construction. So, I planned out my new route. I was going to go south on Recker Rd. and then go west on Williams Field so that way I could get back home. But this caused me to completely neglect the reason I hit the construction in the first place. I became so wrapped up in creating a new route that I forgot to finish the task at hand. I saw the obstacle and lost sight of the goal. The journey became less important because of the roadblock ahead.

This past week has been the toughest week of my life. I literally didn’t sleep most of last week and at times, I questioned why my wife and I were brought out here. I have been told many times that leaders are not molded in the “clean” times. I believe there is a reason scripture refers to human kind as clay and God as the potter. We are messy. It’s in the dirty times when God raises up those to take the mantle of ministry. Ministry has never been about the perfect. Jesus came to save those who are lost. It isn’t the healthy that need a doctor. Instead, it’s the sick.

Throughout this past week, I referenced many times the fact that I thought I was “abandoned.” Jesus’ words on the cross ring in my heart. Through faith, my wife and I made a decision to travel out here. Amidst all this chaos, I had the feeling we were abandoned. I have come to understand these words even more because of our current situation. In the moment of abandonment, God reveals Himself ever more clearly. While we are on the journey, we must keep our eyes on the goal ahead. If we can ever be convinced to backtrack and take a different path, we might lose sight on the work God is doing in our lives. It is through the messy times in our lives when God molds those who stick around, into leaders of the Gospel this world has never seen before.

It’s interesting to take a look at this moment in scripture. Jesus, on the cross, breathing His last breaths. All the while, when Jesus was crying out to God in Matthew 27:46, I believe God was crying back, “I am still here! You were made for this moment.” The journey is what makes us into the ministers God needs in this world. The question is, will we backtrack or will we figure out how to get past the roadblock without losing sight of the goal?