Tag Archives: God

Mid Week Thoughts

 

 

 

Some random mid week thoughts – and a photo!


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This is a normal view we have almost every day.  Sometimes it’s earlier in the day.  Sometimes it’s closer to sunset.  But the cool thing is, we get this view almost every day!  Our lives are blessed.  We take long walks along these shores multiple days a week. Sometimes we pick up sea shells. Sometimes we just walk. Last week we came upon two sea turtles – one dead and one alive. You never know what the gulf will give us!

We’ve spent a number of hours lately promoting a venture – All Tide Up.  If you have a second, check out our web site.  If you see something you like – go ahead and order it!  We’ll get it to you as quick as we can.

I become more convinced each week that nothing in life is a coincidence.  There are divine opportunities all around us if we will only be willing to look!  I’m pretty excited that God has provided some unique paths that have crossed and what potential there will be there.  Reminded that it’s not about me – it really is about others!

My friend Alex Rocha is raising funds to purchase a permanent location for his youth work in Cartagena, Colombia.  I’ll share more about that in a post to come – might be a divine opportunity for someone other than just me!

 

 


Changing Seasons

We recently hosted our best friends for almost a week here at Mexico Beach.  A number of weeks ago one of them visited for a few days and we were able to share our life now with her.  It’s not perfect but it’s the season of life we’re currently experiencing and enjoying!  Most of our evenings are filled with scenes like this:

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Living in a beach town that has year round residents of about 1,000 has it’s benefits!  Of course the population swells beginning in March and will last until September but that’s ok.

For the past 27 months we’ve traveled every weekend or at least a portion of it to Tallahassee, Florida.  First we commuted from Inverness until September 2012.  Then for 7 months we made the commute from Mexico Beach.  That season of our life was spiritually encouraging and fulfilling.  But I’ve got to admit it was physically draining and not to mention the miles in the car and the time in the car.  We calculated at one point that we spent literally a month (yes, one month) of our lives just commuting!

Cyndi and I both feel we were doing exactly what God wanted us to do during that season.  We experienced lots of cool things, met some unbelievable people, led some great discussions, had some life changing conversations and like to think we were used by God in other’s lives as well.

That season has faded away and now we are taking a break.  A time to refresh physically, emotionally and spiritually.  This may be the first time in a very long time we are embracing a season in life like this.  Without going into all the minute details, we know God has blessed us and placed us exactly where He wants us to be once again.  We know He’s going to use us again in some incredible ways!  We’ve learned that it’s not about being a Christian but instead it’s really about being a follower of Christ and that impacts the way we approach life!

In this season, there’s going to be lots of opportunities to see things like this:

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And who knows?  Maybe our venture into All Tide Up will continue to take off and will open other opportunities for us.  In the meantime, there will continue to be days like this:

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Some Random Midweek Thoughts

Although we were in Mexico Beach the past weekend, no photographs were taken!  That may be a first for this family!  Mostly rain during the day but there were some interesting lightning shows at night that would have been great to capture!

Espresso – our current morning drink because we don’t have a regular coffee maker right now.  We first drank espresso in Key West 30 years ago.  Most mornings we’d wake up and walk to the corner laundry which also included a small bodega and get some espresso and warm, buttered cuban bread – breakfast of champions!

City Church celebrates a five-year anniversary this week!  I really didn’t know how young it really was when we became friends with Dean Inserra.  Thankful that our daughter Meghan introduced us to this ministry!  Who would have known that we would devote more than a year and a half to sharing the gospel in Tallahassee with these friends?

Love that we have met some really good friends while spending time in Tallahassee.  Josh and Brandi Hignight are two of those!  Couldn’t have completed Ethan’s move into a different house over the course of eight days without them!  But more than that help, they genuinely understand us and are friends.

All Tide Up is up and running.  Still needs some additions and fine tuning but proud of my kids for making it happen!  Check out there site as you get a chance!

Proud of our friend Ryan Hachenberger also.  His writings at Florida Fowler are good.  Check out what he has to say about some life goals and life!

My wife, Cyndi, is unbelievable!  She has almost packed up our entire house in just a few weeks.  We will have been married 30 years the end of August.  We’ve lived in Inverness for almost 20 years and in this house for 15 years.  You can accumulate a lot of memories and a lot of things over 30 years.  Reducing it to moving boxes can be difficult but she has accomplished that!  Trying to determine where to move it is difficult also.  Sometimes the decisions you make can’t just be made with your heart.

While I do believe God is sovereign and He has a plan, there are times when we just don’t know what to do next!  Curious to see how the next season of our life goes and excited to see where it will be!


Divine Opportunities

For a few years, we spent every Monday afternoon with a group of compassionate people feeding and loving on some friends and neighbors who were less fortunate than we were.  We provided a hot meal, companionship and sometimes a ride to homeless and hungry people in the small town of Hernando in Citrus County.

When we began commuting each week to Tallahassee to serve at City Church on Sundays and lead a community group on Monday evenings, one of our biggest disappointments was not being able to serve those people on Monday afternoons.

Saturday, my wife Cyndi, my daughter Meghan and I stopped for a hamburger on the east side of Tallahassee.  We were hot and dirty from moving Ethan into a house for school that starts in a few weeks.  I had stuffed some cash in my pocket earlier and as we finished eating, I took it out to fold it neatly and put it back in my pocket.  As I did there was a man standing at the counter watching me.  The man was neatly dressed – old, dirty clothes but neatly dressed.  He took his 78 cent hamburger to his table, spread the wrapper out and slowly ate his dinner.

As Cyndi and I looked at each other, we knew that God once again had provided us a divine opportunity.  I walked over to the man and asked him if I could buy him a beverage for his meal.  His eyes lit up and he very graciously told me that would be fine.  I purchased the man a beverage and some more food and placed it in front of him.  He thanked me and smiled and said something to th effect of how nice we were to think of him and hoped that God would bless me.

This man didn’t know that he was my blessing.  I never believe in coincidences.  I believe God has ordained our paths each day.  Some days we refuse to open our eyes and see what He has for us that day.  Other days we are more willing to listen to what He has to say and to see what He has in store for us.

I haven’t had a full-time job in 20 months.  But I have enough to provide something for someone who has nothing.  Because of Jesus.

That interaction caused me to think a lot more about how we view our stuff.  On Sunday, Stuart Owens said in his sermon something to the effect of whether we have $10 or $10 million in our bank account and if we obsess over it, it’s still greed.

I pray that God will always allow me to give back to him and to those He places in my path.


Friday Musings

In many ways this blog is more journal than anything else.  That’s not bad, of course, just a realization on my part.

Presidential politics are annoying to me.  Regardless of whom you support, the entire process gets out of hand.  People are so intent on telling you the negative things about the opponent, you rarely hear the good things about the one you support.  I’ve had the opportunity participate in two public opinion polls in the past five days – which makes me wonder if people who don’t own land lines get to participate in the polls as well – and, in my opinion, it seems the questions are phrased in ways to  get you to answer in a certain way.  I answered truthfully.  Although I wanted to answer just to confuse the results.

I’ve got some great friends.  We experienced a glitch in selling our house this week, and upon hearing the news a friend commented to my wife something to the effect of: “I really hope something good happens for you guys, it’s been awhile.”  Charles is a good guy.  He doesn’t completely understand why we do what we do, but he’s my friend and he supports our decisions!  A few years ago Charles refused to speak to a newspaper reporter asking questions about a story on me because he knew the reporter would twist his words in a negative way.  When I left a job at FBC Inverness, Charles came to the church service that day, sat with Cyndi and me, and then took us to breakfast afterwards.  Charles is the kind of  guy you would be lucky to have as your friend.

Great conversations this week with my wife Cyndi.  Many about the sovereignty of God and believing that He knows what’s best for us and that He has a plan for us.  She has some great wisdom and insight.  I’m lucky she loves me!  One of our conversations revolved around the fact that if God was in control yesterday then He is in control today and He will be in control tomorrow.  If things were going our way and He was in control, then He is still in control if things don’t seem to go our way!  This is easy to say when things are good – can be more difficult to acknowledge when things are not as good!

Cyndi’s cousin spent last night with us as she was nearby for work.  I don’t think I have encountered someone who loves their job as much as she does in a long time!  It was refreshing to hear her retell events that have taken place, about her coworkers and her general enjoyment about how her job impacts youth.  She works in the juvenile justice system and does have an impact on the future.

Sometime I’m going to express my complete thoughts about all the discussions on health care.  Right now I’m frustrated with the application process we are going through in applying for health insurance.  We haven’t had health insurance in almost two years – because I can’t afford it!  We recently spent almost two hours with an agent completing an application for Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance.  Two weeks later we received a list of additional questions based on claims we had made almost ten years earlier with BCBS.  While I know it’s important in the underwriting process, I also know BCBS has access to all of that information.  I really dislike the process and I really dislike the interaction with health insurance when it’s time to make a claim.  I’m glad our friend Annette got to participate in the universal coverage provided by the United Kingdom when she battled cancer a few years back – at least she didn’t have to battle an insurance company as well.

Thankful for the people in our lives who continue to lift us up in prayer and encourage us!  It’s rare to have people in your lives like that.  If you have some, cultivate their friendships.  If you don’t, then be a friend to someone and encourage them!


The Beginning of A Move

About a week ago we signed a sales contract for our house.  We have intended to sell our home and move for about 20 months.  Our home has been our safe haven during the current season of our life.  When I quit my job and we began the 200 mile commute to Tallahassee each week, our home was a refuge for us – a place of our very own that served as a spot that protected us from everything and anything negative in our lives.

While we said we wanted to sell our home, we did little to make that happen.  While we said we trusted God to provide for us, we held on to stuff that we thought we had control over.  Even when we listed our home almost a year ago, I’m not sure we fully surrendered the process to God.  When our listing expired about six weeks ago, we decided to list it ourselves and see what would happen.  What happened was God brought a family to us that was looking for just this house!  God’s timing is usually never our timing but it is perfect!

As Cyndi has begun the process of packing our stuff, we’ve realized how much we have accumulated over time.  We’ve been married almost 30 years and in this house for 15.  You can keep a lot of stuff in 30 years!  We have begun selling some of our furniture and belongings that we just don’t want to move. And for the most part we are ok with letting go of our possessions!  There are a lot of memories attached to things and that makes it harder and longer to pack or let go!

I’m thankful for what God has provided for us in our lives together.  He has and continues to be our strength – as corny as that may sound.  Without our faith, I would have given up a long time ago!  I’m thankful for the unknown blessings He is going to provide for us – unknown because we really don’t know what the next step is!

Kind of crazy to sell your home without knowing where you are going to live isn’t it?  We don’t think so.  We think this is our physical demonstration of our faith.  He has never let us down and we don’t expect this to be the season where that happens!  I’ve referred to this scripture before and it’s very relevant today:

Jeremiah 29:11

New International Version (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper  you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I’ve got to believe!


Timing and Other Thoughts

We have been a transitional phase of our lives for about 19 months.  Wanting to leave the area but tethered to a home here like thousands of Floridians.  The housing market is great if you’re looking to buy a home.  Not as great if you are looking to sell a home!  We listed our home with a friend who is a realtor – nice gesture but no action!  When the listing expired we decided to try to sell it ourselves.  While we were a little discouraged, we were convinced there was/is a family out there that will be perfect for our home – God just hadn’t shown it to them yet!  Long story short, it appears we will have a contract to sell our house in a few days!  God’s timing is certainly not my timing but I have got to be convinced it is so much better!  Of course, now the other part of the mystery equation is what I will do as gainful employment and where!  We have devoted a large part of our lives during this phase to serving at City Church Tallahassee and want to continue to be where God wants us to be.  City Church has been able to provide me some part-time income and will soon begin providing us health insurance – both we are very grateful for!  I still need to find something to supplement that and I’m convinced that God will either show me where in Tallahassee or provide for me where He wants us to be!

While my housing comments seem to be about good timing, I received a text yesterday from a friend that wasn’t good at all.  My friend shared with me he was now counted in the ranks of the unemployed.  Terminated with no cause given.  The day before a holiday.  That just sucks.  No nice way to describe it.  But I’ve got to believe that God has something better planned for my friend.  And I hope he will believe that soon.  Our timing is never God’s timing, even though we like to think we have some control over things.

Today is the 4th of July – Independence Day in the United States of America.  I’m grateful for the people who decided to do what they did to make this nation.  I don’t worship them or this nation.  There are some great things about being an American.  There are some great things about other countries as well.  If we’re not careful we can make our patriotism an idol in our lives.  I’m more excited about the freedom I have in Christ!

Galatians 5:1

New International Version (NIV)

Freedom in Christ

5 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm,  then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.