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Thursday, April 30, 2009

God even in the Dark

Many of you know of my uncle's situation and have continued to pray and ask about how he is doing. I invite you to continue in the journey with him. Here's a great video his church, Salem Alliance has posted:

http://www.salemalliance.org/home/stumbo.php

I have also been greatly encouraged by the words he is sharing regularly on his blog. God speaks through him during this season of recovery. Perhaps it will bring that same courage to you:

http://www.salemalliance.org/serendipity/

God is present, and He is good.

Journey on,
Nick

Monday, April 27, 2009

Don't Forget to Dream...

The other day, I was getting ready to come to work, making my morning latte. My 4-year old was awake, and as usual was very chipper and chatty. She bounced into the kitchen and spouted, "Dad, when I grow up, I'm going to be a baker or an art student. Which do you think I should be?" I couldn't help but chuckle inside because I knew she was dead serious. So I asked her back, "So, you'd either like to make cookies for a living or learn to draw really pretty pictures, right? Maybe you could do both." My daughter's response was typical Alyssa- "yeah, but I'm kinda scared because I've never taken an art class before." After that, she bounced away, end of conversation.

My 4-year old daughter dreams a lot. She has new ideas of what she will be and do on a regular, almost daily, basis. I will bet that as a kid, most all of us were the same. Shoot, even a few years ago I had more dreams. But somehow, in the grind of doing life, I dream less and I just go through my days. Now, don't get me wrong- I love my job and I love what I do. But I go back and read my journal or ideas I had from 5 years ago. I find bigger ideas and more God-sized plans than I'm working on now. Somehow I dream less and just live more.

While some might argue that this is a positive step of maturing and "getting your head out of the clouds", I can't help but feel today like I am poorer for this loss. And that the people I interact with get less of the real me.

I want to dream more. Dream about what God could do, and what I could do. Maybe you do, too. How do we do this? Some ideas from me...

We hang around other people who like to dream and ask crazy questions. We need people in our lives that say the words "what if..." more often.

We hang around God more, and ask Him to define who we are and what we do, rather than letting the routine of our life, or the world around us, define who we are.

And if we are real brave, we take steps towards actually living out the dreams. We take an art class. We bake cookies for a living. We invest time in non-sensical ventures just to see what happens. And if God should show up...just watch out.

What do you think? Are you still dreaming big dreams? How do you keep that alive?

My your journey be more thrilling adventure than predictable plod today,

Nick

PS- This past week, the number of followers to this blog doubled. Woo-hoo! Okay, it only went from one to two. "Following" a blog is a good way to get updates on when new posts hit. If you like reading this blog and interacting with me here, sign up. Join the community.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Credit Cards with Hooks

You never realize how attached you are to something until you try to quit.

So the other day I called to cancel one of my credit cards, per the advice of Dave Ramsey. When I finally got connected to a "retention specialist", I explained that I was using less credit and wanted to cancel. I literally repeated this line 6 more times over the course of our conversation, during which the representative basically offered to make me a Vice-President in the company if I would remain a loyal customer. Breaking this attachment was as difficult as removing the plastic box that most kid's toys come fused inside these days. Finally, I got my account closed. And as I hung up the phone, I felt something unexpected: Freedom. One less company that I owed. One less business relationship to maintain.

I have become more aware of my attachment lately...

I don't realize how attached I am to coffee until I try and go without. Yesterday I didn't have coffee until after lunch and the headache almost killed me.

I don't realize how attached I am to professional baseball until I try and ignore it, and the desire to look at box scores becomes constant. (Yes, I am that pathetic)

I don't realize how attached I am to my credit card company until I try to cancel.

This has made me think about our attachments to this world. What we let get our hooks into us really does pull us in that direction. As I think of Jesus, I am aware that his one attachment was to the Father. He only said what the Father told him to say. He only did what the Father told him to do. And He was FREE. More free than anyone ever has been.

I am thinking today about how nice this freedom would be. What would life look like if this was MY only attachment?

Journey free today-
Nick