Why I Write, Part 2 (or, Knowing God Will Bless Our Work)

My son participated in a community-wide summer youth orchestra and concert.  During his practices I went to the gym after dropping him off.  One week when I entered the locker room to stow my gear, I noticed a man looking a bit lost.  There were other men nearby, but for some reason, he approached me and told me his lock didn’t fit on the lockers.

He’d been trying a locker with a bent padlock loop so I tested his lock on another locker…right next to my usual one.  It worked and he was pleased and thankful.
On my next visit to the gym, I noticed his lock on my favorite locker.  “Really?,” I thought.  “Of all the lockers in this room, he took mine?”  I saw him after my workout and we chatted a bit.  His name is Will.  I found out he usually exercises in a gym 15 miles south of mine, but his daughter was also in the same summer orchestra as my son.  (Still, I wondered why he chose my locker.)
The third time I saw him at the gym (using my locker), I handed him an announcement card for the su…

He Put the Ocean in the Shells

We’ve all listened.  We put our ears to a sea shell so we could hear the ocean.  Of course, what we really heard is the resonance of the noise in our immediate environment, but we can truthfully say God made the science of sound, and, yes, He put the ocean in the shells.  How did He put something so big into something we can hold in our hands?
This is more awesome to ponder with the imagination of a child.

”Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God
like a little child will never enter it.”
Mark 10:14-15

Let’s engage the wonder of a child when we read this post.  Pause a moment.  Put on your creative thinking caps, because we are going to take a journey to where we may have never been before or perhaps have forgotten.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1:1

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Why I Write, Part 1 (or, Knowing God's Specific Plan for Our Lives)

Just over a year ago I published my first blog post:  Even on Garbage Day, God Loves Us.  22 posts later, it’s still one of my favorites.  I didn’t know what to expect when I launched my blog.  Questions circled in my head.  The most important:  Does God want me to do this?
Let me first say thank you for reading.  You have truly been kind and faithful readers.  I appreciate you all, and I hope my blog has been as meaningful for you as it has been for me.  I plan to keep writing.  My commitment is to write until God tells me to stop.

…until God tells me to stop.  That’s a loaded phrase, maybe packed with assumptions.  God has different plans for each of us, but can we really know what He wants us to do…specifically?

What has God planned for us?  How can we know the path He designed for each of us?
Here’s what I discovered:
God is actively telling us His plan.  Knowing it is easier when we listen and watch.

Ears that hear and eyes that see – the LORD has made them both. Proverbs 20:12

God made …

It's a Big World. What's a Father to Do?

Gone are the days when I was regularly seen with an infant in my arms.  I remember before my firstborn turned 1, my church invited all the dads to the stage on Father’s Day.  We were asked to share what we like most about being a dad.I wasn’t very sappy back then, so when I got the mic, I declared, “What I like most…is not having to give birth!”
Before my son was born, many asked, “Are you ready to be a father?”  Ready to be a father?Everybody say it with me:“No!”

We’re probably never ready.  We can read parenting books, articles and new discoveries on child development; and we can memorize pertinent Bible verses.  But I say ‘never’ because fatherhood is much more than we might expect.Even with profound fatherly role models, I think we naturally overlook some things, even key things, as we gear up for fatherhood.
You see, at some point we realize:
A father may be Superman to his young kids,
but Superman exists only as long as his child’s imagination will embrace him.

I’m a father of t…

Run Faster. Run Farther. Breathe Deeper. (Animal Instinct Trilogy, Part 2)

I stepped out of my comfort zone one day and walked into a GRIT Cardio class at the gym.  Well, I wasn’t out of my comfort zone as much as I was out of my lazy zone, but that's another blog.  Either way, the cardio class was still pushing the envelope for me.  GRIT Cardio is a high intensity, teacher-based, half hour span of utter desperation.  After every 1- to 2-minute set of jumps, squats, planks, donkey kicks, and other humanly impossible actions, I wished I could claim my incessant panting as sufficient aerobic exercise for the day.
I realize there are certain humans who can manage this insanity while hardly breaking a sweat, but I'm not one of them.  These other humans somehow reached a point where executing the unnatural movements of GRIT Cardio was not as heavy a burden for them as it was for me.  It still takes effort, they still get a workout, but they can perform each set with better composure than I can, and their deep breathing is much more refined.

Maybe Shrek, a M…