Sunday, May 31, 2015

Warrior Mentality

We kicked off our 3rd annual "Man Month" with guest speaker David Rocker joining us once again. David is a passionate Christian man who inspires others through his preaching, but even more so through his lifestyle. We started a series entitled, "Warrior: Learning to Fight For What Matters" with his message from Joshua today. David shared many great things (the entire message can be found on our website); here are a few highlights from this morning.

  • You can't change your past: don't let it dictate your future. 
  • Don't give your past more authority than it deserves.
  • If you're going through something tough at least you're moving. Keep going and don't give up. 
  • We (men) are wired for boldness and aggression and need to use it in the right way for the Kingdom. 
  • What is God declaring to be yours? You won't get it unless you're willing to fight for it!
  • Sometimes it only takes a couple of men to stand for what is right and make a difference. 
  • Joshua was a general and a servant. He knew how to have authority and be under authority. 
  • To be an effective warrior we need to be secure in who we are. 
  • Warriors see the solution at the end not just the problem at the beginning. 
  • You are too close to your breakthrough to quit!
  • At some point the end will come. God has promised a due season.
  • How can we be successful if we don't study our playbook? Don't assume your talent will be enough to bring success. 
  • Stop talking about it and start being about it.

Saturday, May 30, 2015


There is a part of me that doesn't want to be predictable. I want to be able to change my rhythm even though I have routines and certain habits that will lead those around me to know certain things about me. I like being able to surprise people based on the circumstances of a particular situation. I hope it's a sign of personal growth even though I will readily admit part of it is attributed to my stubborn nature that will make changes when I feel I am too predictable.

In spite of this, there are certain areas where I want to be positively consistent. I want there to be things about me which can be projected based on the core of who I am.

  • Integrity of my character
  • Love for family
  • Love of God
  • Dependability 
  • Wisdom
  • Steadfastness of spirit
  • Model of generosity
  • Lifestyle of grace & mercy

I don't mind changing things up now and then, but there are certain parts of my life in which I want to maintain a more predictable focus. I believe we need to determine what those solid pieces of our foundation will be and work to make them a consistent part of who we are.

Friday, May 29, 2015


From an outside perspective, today might not have seemed uniquely special to anyone else. In fact, the events of the day were rather ordinary. The key to my contentment was found in who I shared my day with--my wife.

Even mundane activities like grocery shopping, eating lunch, and playing with our dogs is better when I share it with her. A day that starts with coffee and conversation on our back porch and ends sitting quietly together (with a couple of dogs joining us) is a good day. This is a reflection of our deep love and shared comfortability which has been forged through years together. It reinforces my belief that ordinary moments shared with the right person are better than extraordinary moments alone. I'm just fortunate these moments are best with her.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Our Voice

We all have something to say. I don't mean we all have a list of rants that need to be aired, although we might feel that is true too. Instead I believe there is something of deep importance and value our lives have been preparing us to share. We are each uniquely positioned to have an impact and to speak out of the overflow of our experiences and gifts. Before we speak, however, we need to ask a few questions:

  • Are we humble enough to add our voice to those around us without diminishing their importance?
  • When do we choose to speak? Is is when the circumstances are right or simply when we feel we need to be heard above others?
  • How do we say it? What tone and attitude do we use when we share it?
  • Are we speaking for the benefit of others or for self-validation? 

It's not enough to recognize that we need to speak, but that we learn to do so at the right time for the greatest possible benefit. Our individual stories have power and value. Don't neglect to share your own, but add to the grand tale that is being written through each of us.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Making a Difference

It's always encouraging to be around people who want to make a difference. They realize the potential of what is in front of them and are willing to step into the gap to help. It's an admirable and contagious attitude that is necessary if true change is going to take place in a community. We need to find what we want to support, determine how we can engage, and get to work. If we would each focus our energies we would discover a lasting purpose and be part of making the difference we long to see.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Obstacle Course

No journey in life will be entirely free of obstacles. Regardless of how strong our resolve might be, there will be moments of difficulty to challenge our progress. In the face of these trials we are essentially left with two options: find a way to overcome the challenge in front of us or give up.

Why do we choose to conquer or run away? Is this something that is too difficult or do we just not want to do the hard work of figuring it out? Struggling through the process of finding a solution brings a satisfaction avoidance cannot bring. We'll never see a new pathway without persevering.

Monday, May 25, 2015

In Memory

I am proud of my many relatives that served faithfully in our armed forces and I am grateful they all returned home safely from their tours of duty. Not all families are as fortunate however and will forever be marked by the ultimate sacrifice of their loved ones. I cannot fully express my gratitude nor can I completely comprehend the depth of their sorrow. The freedoms I live in each day are a result of these faithful men and women and their willingness to battle to the death for their country. May we choose to live in a way that honors them and the freedoms they fought so valiantly to protect. Today is a day to set aside differing agendas, oppositional political views, and controversial statements. It is a day to rest in the comforts we have and to express our loyal gratitude to the families left behind. As painful as this day may be for some, I want to say thank you on behalf of my family for your willingness to give your life for all of us.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Winning Long Term

It's tough being a Mets fan recently. My team followed up an impressive start with an increasingly lackluster stretch that has knocked us out of first place. On paper things still look decent as we sit in second place with a winning record, but the performance has been dismally disappointing lately. There isn't really any aspect of the team's performance that is good right now and it's difficult to watch as a fan. It's almost as if they have forgotten to continue the positive habits that led to early victories. My Mets certainly can't hope to find long-term success by continuing this pattern of play.

We've got to be consistent in doing the right things if we want our personal lives to go well too. If we want to be successful, we can't rely on only being good for short stretches of time. It's the same way we can't have a healthy marriage by being attentive to our spouse's needs only on our anniversary. We can't effectively parent when we only respond to poor behavior. We won't maintain good health by exercising and eating right sporadically. We won't build a solid relationship with Christ when we only turn to Him in difficult circumstances and ignore Him the rest of the time.

There is no way we can always be at the top of our game, but we also can't rely on brief periods of positive focus and hope it carries over to the rest of our lives. We've got to put in the effort to maintain positive behaviors and decision making to build a streak that lasts.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Making Adjustments

I wrote yesterday of my recent knee discomfort while running. In spite of that irritation, I decided to run a 5K this morning which I had already paid for. My leg was a bit stiff in warm-up, but I was able to head out on a good pace until just after the second mile when something "popped" in my knee bringing me to an immediate halt. I managed to get going again and finish the race, but have been limping around all afternoon between bouts of ice. I'm obviously not going to be running any time soon, but will have to give this time to rest.

I'm not going to give up on exercising, but will have to find some other way to continue my lifestyle while healing. It's a setback for sure (hopefully not a major one), but one that will take some adjustment in my routine. I really only have two choices: give up this new path I have enjoyed the last eight months or adapt and overcome these circumstances. It will be a challenge for sure, but no different than the one each of us face when we run (sometimes literally) into adversity.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Missing Element

It's been an interesting week. I feel as if my focus has been pulled in several different directions and while I have been busy, I haven't accomplished very much. I've actually found myself being a bit grumpy throughout the week and have had to apologize to people.

I couldn't quite put my finger on the source of my unrest until this morning. I tweaked my knee last week and haven't been able to run with the regularity I am used to. It wasn't until I (joyfully) hit the streets this morning that I realized how much I had missed running. In just a few months it has become a vital part of who I am and what I do. It relieves stress while pushing me to stay focused on healthy living. Running improves my outlook and makes me feel better about myself. This is my natural method of mood regulation, health building, and sharpening of focus.

Running may not work for everyone (I obviously advocate some form of exercise), but we each need to discover what revitalizes us. It just may be the missing element in our daily routine that keeps us balanced while giving us an outlet for the energy created in the hectic pace of life.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Looking Forward

I always enjoy officiating weddings and being part of this momentous event for a couple. It's an honor to stand with them before God while they share in the bonds of covenant. My favorite moment of the day happens at the beginning of the ceremony when the bride enters. By now, I have already seen her and know how beautiful she is and I get to stand next to the groom when he sees her for the very first time. There is a great moment of anticipation as the doors open and she steps into the view of her soon-to-be-husband. It is powerfully special and breathtaking all at once. It's a moment he has been waiting for and will propel them into something new and wonderful.

While wedding days are sacred and special, I think we need more times of anticipation in our lives. We need to have something to look forward to that quickens our pulse and stretches our abilities. There should be an event on our horizon, a question to be answered, or a new way of thinking that creates energy and propels us forward. This helps us from becoming stale and generates challenges that heighten our anticipation for growth.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Afraid to Change

When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, "Do you want to get well?" John 5:6

The man Jesus is talking with has been an invalid for 38 years and asking a question about his desire to get well might seem a little ridiculous. After all, who wouldn't want to be healed from a lifelong illness? You would think the man would be (figuratively) jumping at the opportunity so that he could (literally) jump into a different way of life. Apparently, Jesus felt the need to check this man's motives before doing anything.

How would we answer this question if Jesus asked us? Maybe we think it would be easier to just keep complaining about the state of our life or to make excuses for our current circumstances. Believing this won't change anything in a positive way. 

If we want to make things better we actually have to do something about it. This man didn't heal himself, but he had to be willing to let Jesus heal him. Are we willing to let God into our lives enough to bring the healing we keep saying we need?  Or do we just want to have something to complain about without making any effort towards lasting change?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

New Thinking

The most dangerous weapon in the world isn't a gun or some other explosive device, but our minds. All unrest and inequality starts here and then flows out into our attitudes, speech, and actions. When the thoughts our mind generates are positive, we have tremendous power to change things for good. We have the fuel to correct wrongs, care deeply for others, and start movements that change our society. When those thoughts are negative, we perpetuate stereotypes, inflict grievous harm, and diminish anyone who might be different from us.  

If we want to see things change for the better, we need to transform our way of thinking. This will revolutionize our society and bring new hope. Is it possible on our own? A true new beginning in thought is best found through Christ. It is a process that He must fuel combined with our faithful pursuit of Him. This is the hope we have for transformation that is authentic and lasting.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Start Today

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
Chinese Proverb

There are many things I wish I had done earlier (or not at all) in my life. I can't change those decisions no matter how much I might wish to do so. What is within my power is the ability to resolve to live differently in this moment.

What changes can be made in each of our lives today? What new patterns can we begin? What new road can we start to travel down that will lead to a better destination?

We can continue to bemoan our previously poor planting skills or decide we will do what we can to create a future that is better than our current circumstances.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

I See You

I believe one of the most basic human longings is to be seen and heard. Sometimes our path of life manages to pull the desire out of us, but it is still at the heart of who we are. We crave being acknowledged--not for the things that we have done, but simply to know we have value. We want to know we matter to someone and we are cared for. We want to know our presence means something. When this is conditioned out of us (whether emotionally, physically, or spiritually) we become less than who we are supposed to be. When people walk by without noticing, we are marginalized.

This validation can't just be something we seek, but must be what we offer to others as well. To be truly human we need to open our eyes to the people around us and acknowledge their existence. Learn to make eye contact with our fellow sojourners in life and let them know they are seen. Refuse to walk blindly by people who are marginalized by others. Be brave enough to halt our schedules and let our presence say, "I see you. I want to hear you." We might discover we have more in common with people than we realize. These brief moments will bring value to those we see and even make our own lives just a little bit better.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Don't Push It

I have tweaked my knee somehow this week causing me to take a break from my running routine. I'm not happy about it at all and feel the incredible urge to hit the streets and run in spite of this mild injury. I don't want to lose any momentum I have gained or go backwards in my overall health either. Fortunately, my better sense has won over my desire to run and I am (im)patiently giving it a few extra days to recover. I could try to push through the discomfort, but I recognize that this is not just minor soreness to overcome. My stubbornness could cause more long-term damage than the short-term, good feeling of running would bring.

Acknowledging the need to rest is good wisdom for other areas of my life as well. Recognizing warning signs and learning to ease back in intensity will help in all of my relationships as well as my own personal growth. Sometimes it's better to slow down than to stubbornly push forward even if my motivation is mostly pure.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Regular Review

Goal setting isn't always easy. We first have to recognize our need to grow and then figure out the steps to make it happen. I like the idea of setting goals because it helps me see the potential for what I could become. I enjoy the challenge of growth and even the work it takes to reach that point. Even then, it's merely a great idea until we put it in writing and routinely measure our progress.

I've discovered that I have greater success when I frequently revisit my goals. While it doesn't necessarily have to be a daily review, it is important to meditate regularly on those aspirations. I may not see the level of progress I hoped for, but it helps to remind me of what is important and how I should be striving to push forward. This can be as simple as keeping a handwritten journal or (my favorite) using an app for review like Evernote

If we aren't consistently reviewing the course we desire to travel, we will end up stalling out in our journey and falling short of who we hope to be.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Step Back

I was talking with a friend of mine today who has just recently returned from a trip out west. He told me that he had shared with his wife that he wasn't making any major decisions today since he was so tired. While we laughed about his statement, there is a lot of wisdom in those few choice words. 

Too often we make poor decisions or act rashly when we are physically, emotionally, or spiritually exhausted. It causes us to do things that we might not do if we were thinking clearly and operating with more strength. Our moments of vulnerability can be dangerous places when we don't recognize how susceptible we are to poor decision making. It's a sign of maturity and great self-awareness to be able to accurately evaluate ourselves and step back to be refueled before moving forward again.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Be Real

Yogi Berra, the Hall of Fame Yankees catcher, turned 90 years old yesterday. He is famous for his "Yogi-isms", his affable nature, and his incredible playing career. He is the owner of 10 World Series rings and was also named Most Valuable Player three different times in his career. Yogi is regarded as one of the best catchers to ever play the game and also had a solid managerial career. He is an individual that is loved by many people and is still respected today.

I have always been an admirer of Yogi and appreciate his contribution to the game, but that isn't the best part of who he is. I heard a sports journalist share yesterday that Yogi Berra is an American treasure because he is exactly who he appears to be. There is no pretense, falsehood, or self aggrandizement in his nature. He is genuinely kind, gentle, humorous, and personable.

I don't share this to overestimate him, but to point out how attractive the quality of authenticity is. I think that we struggle with that concept in our own lives, but also in seeing it in other people. We tend to believe that "he can't be for real" because we aren't used to seeing authenticity in others. It's attractive because we actually desire it and seek it even if we aren't used to it.

Being real is what we should aspire to in our own lives.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Long Lasting

I wrote recently about relationships in life and how some of them are seasonal. The short-term nature of these are still important parts of the people we have become and our life history. I think it's also valuable to have some relationships that are long term. These are the people that have stuck with us over the years and have continued to maintain more than a casual, passing friendship. 

In these relationships there has been a mutual investment and shared life. These are people that know us at our best and love us through our worst. We have cried together, invested sweat equity with each other, laughed at (and with) each other, and developed a bond that surpasses distance. There is a depth of connection that has covered trials, victories, and failures in each of our lives. It is a strength of relationship forged through powerful life experiences and a willingness to continue to invest in each other.

My family and I recently spent time with one of those friends on the mission field in Arizona. Our friend and his family have been part of our lives since he and his sister were both children. Our time together reminded me of the years of memories and the strong connection we still share today. Our love for him was quickly extended to his fiancee as well. It was an honor to serve with them both and to receive confirmation of the power of this long-lasting friendship.

I am a blessed man to have had such good friends over the years--both for short seasons and also those that endure. Both have tremendous value and impact on who I am today.

Monday, May 11, 2015

It's Her Birthday

Today is my wife's birthday and she loves to make a big deal about it. That statement probably sounds as if I resent her celebration, but I actually love how she gets excited about each year. It's not a matter of getting presents because we don't go overboard with those (not like I use to do anyway). For us each year represents another gift of life from God and another year to be together. I don't receive that gift without appreciating it deeply.

My wife is extremely intelligent, wonderfully creative, deeply passionate, and wildly imperfect. I love each of those qualities and the mix of them in her personality. She challenges my thinking, spurs me to greater things, and sacrifices daily for our family. She is the one that I am honored to spend my life with and I can't imagine it any other way.

I could write for pages (not that anyone but the two of us would want to read it) about her, but today I will simply share her blog and her gifted writing to complete the picture of who she is. Happy birthday, my love. You make us all better by simply being who you are.

Read Dana's blog here.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Mother's Day Tribute

To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you

To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you

To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear 
the badge of food stains – we appreciate you

To those who experienced loss this year through miscarriage, failed adoptions, 
or running away—we mourn with you

To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. 
We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.

To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you

To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you

To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you

To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you

To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own 
mother – we acknowledge your experience

To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing 
of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst

To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you

And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and 
surprising –we anticipate with you

This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. 
Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. 
We remember you.*

Happy Mother's Day to three beautifully inspirational women in my life: my wife, my mom, and my mother-in-law. Thank you for your deep, compassionate love and unwavering dedication to your family.

*This is not my original work, but was beautifully crafted by Amy Young at Messy Middle. It is a wonderful tribute to mothers and the less than perfect picture of real life found in the middle of God's grace. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Hey 15

Our youngest girl turns 15 years old today. Our Olivia is unique, wonderful, and challenging all at once. She is a beautiful redhead who exudes a passion as fiery as her hair. In fact, her passion is a defining characteristic of her personality. She is quick to let you know what she likes and doesn't like and isn't shy about expressing her opinion. Her intelligence and sharp wit serve her well even as she continues to figure out how to use these gifts in the best way. My wife compared her to the wild beauty of the ocean and I can't imagine a more accurate representation of her. She is fierce, unpredictable, deep, swiftly moving, and mesmerizing.  I love her deeply as she challenges me as a parent and Christ-follower and I pray daily for the great work that God will unleash in and through her life.

Happy birthday, Queen Wee. Thank you for being exactly who you are.

Friday, May 8, 2015


Recent years have taught me many things about relationships. These have not always been pleasant lessons, but the fruit of growth is (usually) worth the difficulty in the middle of learning. I've had to discover better ways to communicate, how to be an encouraging, positive source of energy, and worked to transform my reactions to a more thoughtful, compassionate style. Needless to say, I still have a lot to learn.

One of the most difficult lessons I've learned isn't really about my people skills at all, however. I'm gaining an understanding that some relationships are only for certain seasons of life. Not all of our friends, the people we work with, or other close relations will remain in our lives forever. While this might be a tough truth to swallow at first, it's essential to accept for our own stability. This truth doesn't diminish our current relationships, but actually allows us to enjoy them for as long as we have them. I hope this encourages me to deeply appreciate relationships for as long as they last and to see how they were valuable parts of life even if only for a season.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Simple Things

Life is complicated more often than it is simple. We have levels of responsibility, layers of relationships, problems to handle, and dreams to fulfill. There are day-to-day things that must be addressed and future plans to develop. Sometimes the weight of it all can be overwhelming and the right path difficult to see clearly. 

When those complications start to seem too big, I've discovered that I need to refocus on what is simple to gain perspective. A family meal with laughter, multiple stories, and talking over each other is a guaranteed remedy. A conversation with my wife, sitting with my dog, or a good cup of coffee helps me take refuge in the simplistic things that bring peace in the chaos. We've all got to find those moments, wherever they might be, to help bring necessary balance to our lives. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Good and Tired

I am very tired this week and I know our mission team from last week shares in that feeling. It's always an adjustment to return to life at home after a week of life on a mission trip. The time zone difference (three hours from Arizona to Georgia) is always difficult to overcome on top of the exhaustion from the trip itself. The impact of the mission field is still heavy on all of our minds and hearts as we unpack our experiences as well. It's a good sense of tired from what we have accomplished and also a spiritual weariness from having exerted so much energy in striving to have a positive impact. There is a certain speed to things on mission trips that keeps you moving beyond the point of exhaustion and fuels you for more than you think you are capable of.

Coming home brings all of this to a halt and you suddenly realize exactly how tired you are. Nerves that were constantly on alert have depleted energy stores and leave you feeling like butter spread over too much bread.* You yearn for the togetherness of the team and the focused energy of your mission and yet relish the comforts of home and the chance to let down your guard. Being home requires a recalibration of body and soul as we return to a more familiar pace of life. The immediate goal is rest and recovery and then to make sure the lessons from the trip are firmly implanted as we move forward.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Getting Ready

When I started running in mid-January it was with the intention of running my first official 5K race in April. I knew I was training for that and had steps laid out along the way. When I finished the race I knew I wasn't going to stop running, but also wanted to have something else to train for. My wife & I decided to sign up for a much longer run in the fall and I will spend the next several months getting ready for it. Knowing what my objective is will help me shape my preparation to be as successful as possible.

I think it helps all of us to know what we are preparing for. We may not have every specific detail of what our future looks like, but we can move forward with a general idea that helps shape us. I have a vision of where God is leading my family and that helps to focus my preparation in the the right areas. I still need to be flexible as that intended vision shifts time lines and details, but the overall concept helps to steer me in the right direction. It's easier to hit your target if you know what you're aiming at.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Split In Two

I have just returned from my 12th year of leading mission trips to the Apache reservation in Arizona (18 total trips over those years) and still miss it. There is always a difficulty in readjusting to the regular pace of life. My heart is always so full after a week of unique experiences, bonding with teammates, seeing victories up close, and feeling heartache over cultural circumstances. It's not something that can be set behind you quickly or relegated to memory without some time to consider the full impact of the trip. Arizona and the wonderful people there are a part of my family and I always greatly anticipate the next time I get to return.

My passion for Arizona does not soften my passion for Milledgeville however. God gently reminds me of the call to be part of sharing the Gospel here in our community as well. In fact, many times in Arizona our team would recognize the parallels between what we saw out west and our own town back east. We were all in agreement that our mission with our Apache friends & missionaries was powerful, but that our greatest call was to infect our home with the same passionate enthusiasm. There is a sense of urgency to reach people as we recognize that our mission field is all around us.

I am firmly rooted here and excited about the challenges God has in front of us to reach our community. I don't think that it's a bad thing that part of my heart is also in small neighborhoods, after school programs, missions, and a beautifully dark reservation either. It helps keep me focused spiritually and physically.

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to be in two places at once.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Big Things, Small Package

Small objects may not seem like much to some people, but that is usually because they don't understand what they represent. The necklace pictured above probably is only slightly interesting or relevant to an outside observer. To the one that it has been given, however, it represents so much more. 

I received this last week on the reservation from a young lady we spent a couple of days with. She quietly gave it to me as a token of her appreciation for a few days with our team. It was handcrafted and symbolizes the hope she is seeking and the brief light we were able to shine in her life as she struggles with so much darkness. It reflects the happiness we shared with her during our visit--a happiness she said she hadn't felt in several months. It is a gift shyly and generously given out of the overflow of a heart that felt loved and valued by every one of our team. 

This is a present that I will not soon forget. Even though it is small, it is packed with more meaning than can accurately be described.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Returning Home

We casually pass through most weeks of our life and often don't meditate deeply on what happened. We have our routines and normal activities and continue to move along as the calendar flows from one month to the next. Every now and then we will experience something that makes a week stand out from the rest. These are the weeks that stick out in our memory and cause us to reflect on them more deeply after they have passed.

I have been fortunate to share that unique week for the last seven days with 16 special people. We have worked, played, laughed, and sung songs for hours together while serving in Arizona on the mission field. We lived quite peacefully in a bunkhouse and worked to encourage each other while maintaining flexibility. We come from different church backgrounds and life experiences and were forged together under the common goal of serving on the Apache reservation. The friendships forged here may taper in intensity as time passes, but they will always represent a week that bears remembering and carries more meaning as we reflect on it's power.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Beautiful Things

Arizona is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. The reservation is surrounded by God-carved canyons, sweeping plains, and thick groups of trees. I never get tired of the view and love to share it with new team members each year as we travel out. It's an almost overwhelming beauty with the brightness of the skies and the lushness of the landscape.

The rich wonder of the land is painfully paired with the depth of despair in so many of the people. It's almost impossible to reconcile the idea of God-crafted nature and human brokenness. Together they create a discordant symphony of desperate need. While being painful to observe, I can at least gain some comfort from God's promises to create wonderful things out of our dysfunction. The gorgeous world we can see is a reflection of God's power to bring restoration when it seems too far gone.