Monday, January 31, 2011

Where Did the Month Go?

In less than an hour it will be Feb 1st. It seems like yesterday that I was with all the family at Hilton Head. I just can’t believe it. I look back and it seems like a flash. The problem is that I haven’t been able to see the kids at all this month, and I won’t be able to see them next month. I have to work out March. One year olds change a lot in a couple of months. So do four year olds and 11 and 13 year olds too. Me, I don’t change that fast; maybe a few pounds heavier or a few pounds lighter. Mo, I have to schedule a time to see them in March if possible, early April if necessary.

But for now, I’m here; at least for the next two weeks. Thank goodness tomorrow is my last day at work for a few days. Seven days in a row is too much. I do feel better tonight; eight hours of sleep usually helps. Tonight it will probably be around six. I’ve got to get on my dream list. I plan on doing that on Wed and Thursday morning. I’m definitely more interested in getting it done since Danny Silk was here. I definitely want to get my list down on paper. I was joking and called this my “Bucket List”. In some ways I guess that it is. It is a list of things that I want to do here on earth before I leave. Well, whatever.

So, what is the difference between Vision and Mission? I was listening to a CD from Kris Vallatton while driving today. He basically said that a mission comes as a result of a vision. I believe He is right. But it’s easier to write a mission statement than articulate a vision. A mission comes because you see in your spirit things that need to be done, but if you really look deep inside you begin to see more. You see your passion come alive and you can envision how things can change as you bring the Kingdom into your area of influence. This has really set me thinking. I will have to listen to the message again tomorrow as I drive to work. I have been looking at a mission, but what is the vision behind the mission? That is the key.

It’s hard to gather people and rally them around a mission, but if you can share a vision, you can ignite passion and stir up the gifts in people who want to be a part of something big. So part of my assignment for myself is to articulate a vision for the rest of my life in ministry. As I can articulate that, then the mission statement will flow. Then it will be interesting to see if anyone else can grasp hold of the vision. It will be interesting to see what the vision looks like. I haven’t really thought about it like that, but it makes sense. Hopefully it will help define some of my other questions. I just know that if I answer the key question, all the rest will fall into place.

Well it’s late and work is waiting, then school. So I guess it’s time for bed. Maybe I can think about my vision as I go to sleep. No chance, I’ll be asleep right after my head hits the pillow. Well there is tomorrow, after all it is a new month.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Precious Moments

So here I am sitting by the fire once again. I am going to bed early tonight. Two early days with no naps have taken their toll, and I am a little tired. I still have two days left to work before I get a day off, so I definitely need to get some rest. But today was a good day. I was up by 3:30 for work, then I went to Atlanta Bethel, lunch with a friend and then outreach at L5P. So, I really didn’t have time for a nap. But I don’t mind, time is probably our most precious possession, so it should be treasured and used wisely. But our second most precious possession is our health. What good are all the riches in the world if your health is bad, and your time limited?

Of course, all of our time is limited. We will all die someday, but with good health we can make the most and best use of our time. I was watching a movie the other day and some was talking about sleep. The phrase “You can sleep when you are dead” came out. I laughed at first, because I believe that when we die we will be doing anything but sleeping. But at the same time, I sometimes seem to live by that philosophy. I think that is because I don’t want to miss out on anything important. I had rather get less sleep in order to do the things that I feel called to do. “Who knows where the time goes?” That is so true. Even though I know time is so valuable, I still wind up wasting way too much of it. As I look back on my life, that phrase seems so true. “Who knows where the time goes?” Well, Papa knows, and He can redeem lost time. We should not despair over lost opportunities, instead, we need to just pour ourselves into His presence and allow Him to fill our minds and spirits with His purpose.

But there are certain moments in time that forever shift events in our lives. When these happen we have to change. No one really likes change. Some of us can adapt easier to it than others. One of my strengths is adaptability, so I have a little easier time adapting. These moments that shift events in our lives can either be good, or they can be painful. Julia’s death was one of those moments. My life will forever be marked by that moment. Another more pleasant moment was the day I received Christ. There are many moments, and if you lay your life out you can mark them as if marking a map. So, when one of these moments occurs you must change in order to grow and adapt to your new situation.

Some of these moments take longer to adapt to than others, and some people adapt more quickly. Just because you adapt more quickly it doesn’t make you better or worse, it just shows how you can adapt. I am still adapting to Julia’s death. Last year was given to totally trying to receive healing and acknowledge her loss. Now, it’s different. It’s as if Papa was telling me that I have to take certain steps to press forward into what He is calling me to. It’s like a man running to get on a train. If the train is going by him and he tries to jump on from a standing start, he will not make it. But if he runs and matches his speed to the speed of the train, he can time his jump to get on the train. Right now, Papa is telling me to start running. The train isn’t here yet. I can hear it coming but I can’t see it. I’m just getting a head start, ready to jump as hard as I can when the time is right.

Each of these defining moments in our life is precious. It might be very painful. Of course Papa didn’t cause it, but He will use it to refine and define you if you will allow the process. I’ve allowed Him to do that this past year. I want to always allow Him to mold and refine me. Only that way will I really be ready to press into the next thing He has. The good news is that all things, all things work for good to those who love him. So, if you are struggling, if you are going through a painful event, know these two things if you don’t know anything else. First, God is good, and doesn’t abuse His kids. Second, He will use every defining moment, every precious moment, to refine you and move you more into His purpose and your destiny if you are willing to let Him. My prayer for myself and for you is that we will always let Him.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Foretaste of Spring

It was such a beautiful afternoon. I worked this morning. I actually swapped a B period for an A period because I knew that the weather was going to be great. It didn’t disappoint. Sunny and 64 degrees, not that is great for January. I do think it’s the best weather we have had since before Christmas. I know that it is the best since I got back from Hilton Head. It is good to live in Atlanta. If we were farther north, we would still be having cold weather. I was working with a couple of pilots from the New York area and they were telling me horror stories about all the snow. Of course I could be in Ft Lauderdale with my daughter, I know the weather is good there, but it’s too hot in the summer. No, I think I will take Atlanta. But hopefully all the snow is over with. It sure would be nice to have an early spring.

I was reading Proverbs this morning. There is so much wisdom in that book. It is so rich that it almost drips. Then I hear from Lisa where some idiot in Trader Joes was using Proverbs to justify almost abusing his child. A father, full of anger, is using the Bible to justify his anger. The world needs so much to see and understand the goodness of God. How can that child ever learn to really know the truth about his Heavenly Father? There has to be a way to release His love. A platform where people can learn and understand who God really is, and know the truth about His character. Maybe it’s just one person at a time, but there has to be a more efficient way.

I did order Andy Stanley’s book “Visioneering”. Amazon says that I should get it on Monday. So, when I came home from school Monday night it should be here. That’s great, because I really want to read it as soon as possible. I was talking with Jennifer tonight and she thought that I would have bought it today. I have found that for most books, I can order them on Amazon and get them quicker than if I tried to make time to go to the bookstore. It’s amazing how shopping has changed because of the Internet. Anyway, it will be here soon. It’s really hard to find the time to read an extra book during school, but I hope to make some progress on it.

There are two conflicting thoughts going on in my mind tonight. First, after my run today, I realize just how out of shape that I’ve gotten. It seems like much of my motivation has disappeared this year. I attribute most of that to the grief and feeling of lifelessness that sometimes tries to overtake me. I have to take authority over that, and press into more exercise and running. I know that this is the answer, but I just need to make it a priority. The second is how free and peaceful I felt this afternoon when I was riding my Harley. Just having the wind and sun in my face, and hearing the bike as it pushed down the road. That was an experience to remember. It really does bring a kind of freedom. I’ve always enjoyed my Miata with the top down, but this takes it all to another new level.

Tomorrow is a long day. First I have an A period at work, so I have to get up around 3AM. Then I’m going over to Bethel Atlanta for church. It’s sl close I can make it right after work. Then I have lunch with a friend and on to outreach at Little Five Points. So I probably won’t be home until after 6PM. It’s definitely going to be a long day, but it will be a good day. So, I guess it’s tome to get ready for bed and call it a night.

Friday, January 28, 2011


If you could write the next chapter of your life, how would you start? Where would you begin? Last night I said that I felt that I was entering a new chapter. I am entering into that new chapter, but Papa says that I have to write it. I have an opportunity that few people are ever given. I have had a wonderful life. I had over 38 years with a wonderful woman; a great family with two wonderful daughters and four awesome granddaughters.

But here is a new chapter. When you change chapters, you usually change the subject. It can parallel the past or be something totally different. How will it play out? What will be the focus? What things and ideas do I focus on? What kind of personal relationships do I develop? Do I go after a partner, someone with a similar vision to walk with and share my life with, or do I stay single and totally focus on the mission? For that matter, what is the mission? As you can see, I am full of questions. I have to answer these because I have been given a great gift. I really felt Papa tell me that what ever I went after, He would give me what I wanted. So that makes every decision, every move that much more important. I cannot take anything for granted, and I am really seeking His heart before I move in any direction.

I haven’t read Andy Stanley’s book on Visioneering, but I think that I am about to. In the forward it says this: “Vision is a preferred future, a destination. Vision always stands in contrast to the world as it is, vision demands change. But a vision always requires someone to champion the cause. That someone is you.” Wow, that says a lot. In a coupe of sentences, he summarized what I was thinking about tonight. Vision does demand change. My situation demands change. I really need vision. I am learning more about myself, but I need to learn more about His vision for me. I can create a vision, and I know that much of my heart is His heart, but I want the best. I really want His vision for my life. I want to burn out, full of the Holy Spirit, ablaze with His glory when my time ends.

I see change coming quickly; too quickly for some of my friends to understand. What I don’t want to do is what I did in the past, just leave people in my wake as I totally changed course. But even as I write this, I know some are going to wonder what is going on. Here is the truth: I don’t know yet! I have no plans to change anything, I just know in my spirit that change is coming and is inevitable. I’m sitting here by the fire. I love this house, I really do. We made this house to be as comfortable as we could afford, but Julia said something prophetic when we moved in. She called this house our home base. She said that it would be a place to come back to and feel comfortable in, but we would be gone, traveling out most of the time. That was true when she was alive, but it is even truer now.

Just in February, I will be gone over half the month. That’s not even visiting my kids. So, in March I need to visit them. No, as I write my vision, I know that I will be traveling; it’s nice to have a comfortable home base. I do know this; my ministry is shifting. It has to because I’m no longer yoked with Julia and together we had a ministry. Now, I must find my own. I must hear Papa and follow my heart as He leads me. Yes, I really do need to get that book, too bad it isn’t in Kindle ebooks.

Well, it’s late, and I have an early morning tomorrow. It’s going to be a beautiful day. I want to run when I get home and then maybe take the Harley out for a spin. 63 degrees, I can’t wait.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A New Chapter

I’m sitting here by the fire in my rocking chair tonight listening once again to Judy Collins. She is singing “I’ve looked at life from both sides now, and I really don’t know life at all”. As I sit here realizing that this time two years ago, I would have never imagined being here in this house by myself. I think there are more sides of life to look at than just two. Life is like the face of a finely cut diamond. It’s multifaceted. Just when you think you have it figured out you catch your reflection in another facet. I’ll probably get spiritual in a minute, but just look at your life without analyzing spiritual significance.

If you are like me, there are just so many categories. There is your life at work; your life at home with your family; your life with your friends; your life the way you wish it could be in your dreams. You are multifaceted if you are doing well, fractured if you are having multiple problems. Each area impacts each other area. No matter how you try, you can’t keep them separated. There is too much overlap. So you wind up blending some of them together and that is where the problems start; especially if you try to have different values with different areas.

That’s why you need a true north, something to guide you. Some people have core values to try and guide them, but they can get blurred moving between facets. Personally, I couldn’t do it now without my belief and worship of God. It’s Jesus, Papa and Holy Spirit that guide me through every situation. It doesn’t matter how many facets there are to my life. If I focus on them and not on my life, then I am true and steady no matter what I am doing. I can’t imagine someone trying to go through a storm or even a great time without knowing God in a personal and intimate relationship. It matters not if you are religious. In fact it’s better if you are not religious. What matters is that you have a love relationship with the bridegroom. After all, we are the “bride of Christ.” We are supposed to be intimate.

So tonight as I reflect back on the past ears, I really do look at “both sides now.” You might think that I would be just dying to want to go back; to go back to a happier time with Julia. Sure, I miss her and I still love her, but, and I can’t believe I’m even writing this, I’m not wanting to go back. Not now. I am committed to move forward. I know that God is good. He has good, no great, things in store for me. To want to go back would be to discount His goodness. To want to go back would be turning away from destiny. No, this truly is a new season, and there is only one way to move, and it’s not backward.

Too many people get so caught up in what they have lost, they can’t see what they have. I have to move forward. I know that this is what Julia wants for me, and she is cheering me on. I loved our life together, I loved everything we did and the time we had. But now I love the adventure of what Papa has in store for me as I begin to unwrap the presents He has for me as I move into His future and His destiny. This is big; as I’m writing this I can even feel a shift taking place. Yes, I’ve acknowledged the loss before and the need to move on in my destiny, but I don’t think I have ever acknowledged that I must completely move forward and as much as I love her, that season of my life is over. A new chapter in the book of my life is just beginning.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Jumping out of Planes

Most pilots that I know think that it is stupid to ever want to jump out of a perfectly good plane. Planes are great. They all have their function. Some are built to carry passengers; others are built as fighters to shoot down other planes. Then there are planes that are made to bomb and others to carry cargo. Every plane has it’s own purpose. You can’t make a passenger plane a fighter. Don’t even try; it would just get shot down very quickly. I love planes. I have flown or instructed in them for over 40 years. But they are just an extension of my will.

Jumping out of a plane is a whole other story. I’ve done that once, but I really want to do it more. It is high up on my dream list. Skydiving. I think that would be a great thrill. The difference between flying a plane and jumping out of one is like night and day. There is really no comparison. I wasn’t even skydiving. I was on a static line learning how to sky dive. Sure, it was a steerable chute, and I was able to guide it to a landing. I believe it was in the mid seventies and I was taking my first actual jump in my skydiving lessons. I can still remember crawling out onto the strut if the wing and holding on as the air rushed around me. I can remember being petrified about letting go and then the rush and ecstasy of the fall and then the lurch when the chute opened. I remember looking at the mountains on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other side. It was magnificent. I can remember guiding my chute through the wind currents to make sure I landed in the proper place. It is as if it were yesterday. But it is yesterday in a sense. I’ve been in ministry for years but over the years that ministry has become like flying the plane. It get the job done, and it does what it is supposed to do, but it’s not exciting or really adventurous.

John Crowder in hid book talked of Papa releasing Kamikaze ministers. These people were falling out of the sky, diving into areas where captives were being held. I see these warriors like skydivers, not falling randomly, but being driven and aiming at specific targets. Each one was totally free to take the mission, and once launched was free to make sure that they reached the destination. If you look up in the sky you will see the sky full of them. In world war two, the Japanese used them to strike fear into the navy and take resources away from other areas. Kamikaze in Japanese means Divine Wind. God is redeeming that name and is going to use it to release warriors full on the Holy Spirit to go after targets all over the earth.

So this brings me to last night’s dream. It started and I was in a plane. It was a plane full of people. It looked like a commercial jet, very big with lots of people. All of a sudden I had jumped out of it. I was falling; enjoying the wind in my face when I realized that I didn’t have a parachute. At first I was very scared, but then I heard the words, “Just Fly”, so I did. I found that I didn’t need the parachute. The chute was manmade, and I was doing something totally in the Spirit. As I got close to the ground I realized that I was going b=very fast, but it didn’t matter. It was if I knew exactly what move to make to make my body do things that I didn’t know I could do. The next thing I knew, I was landing perfectly on the ground, perfectly in a three point stance, right on the target. It was an awesome and amazing feeling. The ecstasy of flying in the Spirit.

But then I looked up, and all the people on the lane had jumped out. They were all over the sky and not understanding how to fly. I began to help them all hit the target. I was teaching them how to move and fly. I was instructing them with hands on lessons. I was doing what I have been called to do. They say in the spiritual as in the natural. It’s no mistake that I am a “flight instructor” in the natural. I see now that Papa is calling me to be a “flight instructor” in the spiritual as well. I am going to teach multitudes how to soar in the Spirit. It’s an important job because the Planes will not be able to get everyone where they are supposed to go. It’s going to take the “Divine Wind” or the Holy Spirit to scatter all the warriors where He is calling us to go. It’s exciting, and I am ready to start.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Covenant Relationships

If things were so bad that you were being shot at, who besides your family would be willing to take a bullet for you. Even better, who of your friends would you be willing to take a bullet for. That was the focus on Danny Silks talk on Covenant relationships tonight. I wish that I had the time to really go deep into the talk, but I have to get up at 3AM so this is probably going to be a pretty short post. But now back to the talk. Danny said that covenant relationships were never tested until there was a trial. We can say things to people and even write out contracts, but until something bad happens, the covenant is not tested.

For example a will isn’t worth the paper it is written on until you die, then it becomes binding. In covenant we have to be willing to die to ourselves. If you have been married for any length of time then you know that you have to die to yourself daily. Only by dying can you actually multiply. We need to see people live out covenant relationships to help us understand what they really are. Danny talked about his marriage, and how surrounding himself with people who were really in covenant he and Sherri learned how to live in covenant. He talked about how most marriages really weren’t in a covenant relationship. That makes sense, because most people really don’t understand covenant. I’m not sure that Julia and I understood it until much later in our marriage.

But walking in covenant is much more than just marriage. In reality we in the church should be walking in covenant with each other. Are we? I’m not sure. I do know that is the goal, but when we get upset and leave, that’s definitely not covenant. One question that came to mind for me was this. If you are in a covenant relationship in a church, what does that look like? Does that mean you can never leave, or does it mean that if you do leave it is not because of arguments, but because of destiny and calling. I think that is what it really means. That would limit church – hopping, but wouldn’t be legalistic and keep people from following their dreams and their destiny.

I know that I have been in a covenant relationship at RiverStone for a long time. It is good to have strong roots. Like the Redwoods, our roots should intertwine and intermingle. It’s amazing when I check my roots. In many ways they intertwine all over the city. Of course they are stronger in Marietta, but they stretch east and northeast and now south to Peachtree City. God is good, and He has allowed me to make covenant relationships in many places. It’s my job to walk in peace and love and maintaining relationships to the best degree possible.

It was so good to have Danny and Sherri here this week. They are such a blessing to the body. I learned a lot, in my mind and in my spirit.

A Culture of Honor

I had another night with Danny and Sherri Silk tonight. Danny has to be one of my favorite teachers. He has such a way of keeping heavy subjects light, and intertwining wisdom with humor. I found myself laughing a lot tonight, yet aw were talking about a very touchy subject in many churches. The overall topic was on a Culture of Honor, but he started out talking about how the church in general oppresses women. I totally agreed with everything he said, although many would have disagreement with his teaching. Sherri has just been promoted to family life pastor at Bethel Redding. That makes her the first woman in that high of a position on the staff. I’m excited for her and I pray that this is just the first step in women taking an equal place with men in leadership.

Maybe it’s because I have two daughters and four granddaughters. Or maybe it was because I was married to a very strong woman in Julia, but over the years my opinion of a woman’s role in the church has shifted. Why should the church be one of the main oppressors of women? I’m not a theologian, but I feel like I do hear God. Of course there are scriptures telling women to stay silent, covered and all that. But there are also scriptures telling slaves to obey their master and to submit to slavery. There are also scriptures saying their is neither Jew nor Greek, MALE nor FEMALE. So take you pick. Jesus attacked sin and disease, Paul went after racism (Jew vs Gentile) isn’t it time we give freedom and honor to women?

Tonight’s talk was much more than just about women however. Danny talked at great length about our propensity to try to live out the New Testament using Old Testament priorities. Obey the rules or get punished. Protect the rules. Break the rules, and we break you. Order and conformity are the core values. You break the rules; you lose. (old testament). How many times have I done that? How many times did I teach my children that? The truth is there is no punisher in the New Testament.

Once again he talked about the woman caught in adultery. The Law was clear: stone her. The Pharisees knew that Jesus had the same law that they did, so they told him to sentence her. He told the man without sin to cast the first stone. They all left. The woman looked at Jesus and he asked her where were her accusers. She said that they had all gone. Then He said that He wouldn’t punish her, for her to go and sin no more. Jesus was the only one who could legally punisher. He was without sin, but He chose not to. In the New Testament it’s not about breaking the rules and being punished. It’s all about love and relationship.

There is no punishment in love. Punishment does not restore relationship. It’s not part of the New Testament. But it is a culture that we live in. It is the practice of dishonor. Love and fear are mortal enemies. Perfect love cast out fear. Fear of punishment works, but it is not Kingdom. The Kingdom of God brings freedom. It’s how we walk out that freedom in relationship with him. Fear and love cannot exist together. We have taught the world well. In a USA Today poll, only 25% thought that God was benevolent (good). Where did they learn this? Sadly, from the church. But it’s our job to confront and change this.

As you can see, there is a lot to think about and digest tonight. Tomorrow we get more. It is a rich time, and I am so blessed to be in a school like this.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Daring to Dream

"Only free people are powerful and only powerful people can dream. Hopelessness spreads toxic poison. It’s contagious. When dreams come true it is a tree of life." Danny Silk at Bethel Atlanta today " God has a dream and He wrapped your life around it." Lou Engle. Are you free? Are you powerful? Are you willing to believe in the dreams God has given you?

That was a taste of this morning’s message by Danny Silk. It was on dreaming and it hit me right between the eyes, especially after last night’s blog. Last night I talked about seasons and choices. What I didn’t talk about was dreams. As I began to think about what I wrote last night, I began wondering if maybe, just maybe I was afraid to really dream. I’ve had an assignment from my life coach at school for over a month. It’s on dreaming. I’ve given myself excuse after excuse for not doing it. I was really convicted today. Danny was talking about having to know our dreams before we can lay out a path to achieve them. Probably one of the reasons that I am struggling with decisions is that I haven’t taken the time to do these assignments. I’m of tomorrow and I hope to get a good start on them. To reach your dreams you have to go after goals along the way. If I can truly define my dreams, then I can set goals. Then the choices that I make will fall in line with what I need to do to see my dreams fulfilled.

I am free, and I am powerful. I know that, but sometimes it’s easier, or so it seems, to just stick your head in the sand and not press into things you know that you need to press into. Over the years I have determined that one of my main problems is that I have been a procrastinator. I don’t like to do things in a timely manner. I work better under pressure, and sometimes it seems that until I get the pressure of time, I tend not to complete the task. I’ve gotten much better over the years, but sometimes this tendency flows back into my habit patterns. You can only be powerful if you act. You are only free if you keep yourself from imposing your own chains. I really think that most of us are like the grown elephant, still chained to the tether that held him as a baby. We don’t realize the strength that we have. We don’t realize that we can just give a little tug and we can be free of that “chain” that keeps us tethered.

Sometimes it takes someone like a friend or a spouse to show us the truth. Sometimes we just learn it sovereignty from Holy Spirit. I think that is what Danny and Sheri Silk do so well. They make you laugh as they show you the lies that are keeping you from freedom. I am so blessed by their ministry and am so looking forward to hearing them for the next two nights. It’s going to be fun. But I am also looking forward to starting the work on my dreams tomorrow. I now realize the importance, and see the lie that has held me in suspense these past few weeks. I am going to have to make choices. And choices tend to upset people. In my heart I still have a tendency to avoid confrontation. Choices always bring some kind of confrontation. God is good, and I know that His grace will go before me as I make choices that align me with His destiny. After all, it’s His dream, and He has just wrapped my life around it to carry it out for Him. It’s going to be an interesting year as everything unfolds in His timing.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

To Everything There is a Season

I’m sitting by the fire tonight in my rocking chair listening to Judy Collins. Unless you listened to the late 60’s and early 70’s you might not even know who Judy Collins is. She is one of my favorite singers. She sung a lot of anti-war ballads and some of the most beautiful songs. I downloaded “The very best of Judy Collins” from iTunes. It has 16 of her most popular songs. It’s my new favorite album. Listening to her sing is much like listening to worship music. Most of the songs have deep multiple meanings and you can really almost worship to them. The first song is “To everything there is a season”. Then it ends with Amazing Grace. It’s probably my most favorite rendition of all time. All this to say that for the past few nights the phrase to everything there is a season has been ringing in my spirit.

I know that I am in a new season. While last year was one of intentionally focusing on Julia and honoring her life and our love, this year is different. 2011 is a year of transition, and I am in the middle of it. That’s fine; I really don’t mind transition. Sure it can be a little scary and messy but I don’t mind change. But the problem is that I can’t see what the change looks like. There are so many variables, and the choice is going to be mine. I have already heard from Papa that whatever I choose is OK. It’s like I can’t really lose, and that’s what scares me. I so much want His best for my life right now. But he is being pretty silent on some of these areas. So I am really being cautious. I don’t want to rush past where He is hiding waiting for me to discover Him.

Here is the deal. I am torn between many good things. On a personal level, part of me wants companionship. How does that look? Is that being with friends, or dating? Another part wants me to stay away from any of that stuff. Part of me wants to give my life to one area of ministry. Another part is saying no; go do this. Like I said, Papa said that I could do whatever I choose. I think He is showing me how much He trusts me. But because I so value that trust, I’m right now doing nothing, just trying to press into Him and His love more. I have time. I don’t have to rush. For someone who has always been like Peter, plunging headlong into things, this is hard. But I think that this is what He really wants. He wants me to seek after Him and not worry about all this stuff. It will take care of itself. I know that if I find Him, I will find the right transition for 2011.

So I have to make the choice daily to hold back. Me, who never held back in my adult life. I have to hold back from seeking answers. Instead I have to press into the one who really is the answer. When I look at it this way, it’s an easy choice. But in the heat of the day, and the heat of the moment, it’s not so easy. My prayer is that I will have the grace to see His plan as I slow down to press into His live and grace. So, this is the season of waiting and listening. It’s a season of rest and learning to hear Him at a much deeper level. Just last night He was beginning to show me how he releases his anointing in me and how I can feel its ebb and flow. That is a great revelation and maybe I’ll write on it someday, but for now, I just want to sit here and finish listening to Judy Collins and press into His love and acceptance of me.

Friday, January 21, 2011

If Not Now, When?

We met at RiverStone for the final time this week. It has been a good time of fasting and pressing into Papa’s heart. Tonight’s focus was on Revival. It was a great night. There was a tremendous testimony about how the Holy Spirit met and totally rocked our new church plant’s pastor and friend who is helping him plant the church. The testimony was basically how we use words like integrity and truth to sometimes hide our fear of one of the gifts that Holy Spirit wants to give us. It was right on target and so in season. I just listened in amazement in all that God did with them.

That testimony set up a prayer time where most everyone went forward and received prayer to receive more of the Holy Spirit and all of His gifts. It was a great time of prayer and just watching God move on people as they just were seeking more of Him. Then we worshiped some more and corporately prayed for revival and the end time harvest of souls. Tom did a great job of telling what revival was. It’s not a series of meetings at the church, but it is a move of God where we go out and the area is changed. It’s a time when we are used to heal the sick and pray for the lost. It’s a time when the gifts of the Holy Spirit are used in the marketplace and bring conviction. It’s a time when the presence of God is released in the community. It’s a time when the Kingdom of God does come down and it impacts the whole community. That’s what we are after. That is what I am giving the rest of my life to see.

As we were ending worship and were about to end the meeting Holy Spirit brought to my mind three questions. I felt impressed to go to Pastor Mark, who was leading the meeting, and tell him that these three questions were the ones that we were supposed to leave and meditate on. He had me give them and them close the meeting. I have heard the questions before, but I know that these were straight from the Father for us tonight. If not now, when? If not here, where? If not us, who? These are still echoing in my heart right now.

Revival is coming. No, revival is here, but most of the church is not looking. More people have been saved in the last 10 years than in the entire history of the world. We are seeing more miracles, healings and other evidences of the Kingdom of God than ever before. We are even finally seeing a lot of it in the US. More is on the way. So revival is coming, the question really is this: Are we going to get in on it. Are we willing to pay the price, and it is costly, to enter in. All it takes is one generation who is complete sold out and willing to pass it on to the next generation. When that happens, Jesus will be back riding on a white horse.

So the questions remain. If not now, When? I say it’s now. We are raising a generation of revivalist who are willing to pay any price to see it. They can be of any age; they are still in this generation. I can almost taste it. This is the time we were born to live in. It truly is a time such as this. If not here, where? It will happen somewhere, why not here. Papa is looking for a people and a area that will host His presence. Please let it be here. Finally, if not us, who? It will happen, I pray that I can be a part of it. I pray that our people will not miss what He wants to do with us. The Kingdom of God is costly. The next step in the Kingdom cost you everything you have gained to date, It cost you your life. I want to be willing. I want to be used. Father, tonight my cry is that you would make me even more willing. Surround me with your love so that I cam be overcome with your love and drawn deep into your presence. A man deeply in love will do anything for his lover. Make me that man. I want to see revival in this generation. Let it be now, here, us.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I know that I have probably written about this before, but it is on my mind tonight. So please bear with me as I explore this again. What is faith? There are probably many definitions, but I want to stick with this tonight. I believe that when it boils down to the simplest form, faith is believing something when everything and everybody else is telling you it’s wrong. For example in flying you have to learn to trust in your instruments. When you are learning to fly, you first learn to fly by the “seat of your pants”. By that I mean you learn to fly in clear weather and looking outside. You learn to land and takeoff, even do some acrobatics while just looking outside. This is very good as long as it’s clear and there are no clouds. But if you put in a layer of clouds, or take away the sun and make it night, then you have problems.

As a pilot you get used to looking out at the horizon in a clear day. When you see a cloudbank, especially in the twilight or reduced visibility sometimes it will confuse you and you think you are turning when you are not. Then you correct for the turn that you are not making and pretty soon you wind up totally messed up. If you don’t recover you will crash. That’s what vertigo does to you. Many pilots have lost their lives because of vertigo. So how do we fly and not crash? We learn how to fly on instruments. Before you are cleared to fly in clouds or at night you have to learn how to fly on instruments. The way you do that is to fly in a simulator or in an airplane with “blinders” on. Blinders keep you from looking outside. So by continuing to practice flying on the instruments a couple of things happen. First, you learn what the instruments do and how they work. The more you practice, the better you can fly on them. Secondly, but perhaps just as important, you learn to trust your instruments. By practicing with them so much, you realize that they are telling you the truth. You build faith in the instruments.

As you continue to practice you get to actually fly in weather with the instruments and you realize that they really do what you have been told they would do. You fly more and more, finally you are either in charge of the airplane or flying solo. You might be new, or maybe you have been flying for a long time. Sooner or later it happens to everybody. You are flying along and you are looking outside. Everything feels normal. You think you are flying straight and level, you are straight and level according to what you see on the horizon and how you feel in the “seat of your pants” but then you look down at your instruments and they show that you are in a turn and descending. Everything in you body screams at you , don’t believe them, you are flying straight and level. This is the moment of truth. What are you going to do? Do you believe your senses or do you trust the instruments? In reality you have vertigo and you will crash if you don’t trust your instruments. You have to have faith.

This is my definition of faith. I choose to believe that which I know to be true even when everything in my senses is screaming not to believe. No, I haven’t seen Jesus face to face, but I have seen the results of His ministry. I have practiced believing in Him in the clear weather when things are easy. So when things are hard and my spirit is in vertigo, I have to have faith in Jesus. He is like my instruments. Hw doesn’t lie and can be trusted to steer me out of the storm, if I just trust him and believe.

I just don’t see how any pilot cannot be a believer. We all have learned to operate in a high level of faith in our instruments. All we have to do is transfer that ability to have faith over to the most loving and powerful One. He will never fail. He can be trusted. He is good and in a good mood. I gladly serve Him and I have the utmost faith that he will lead me out of all storms. Shoot, look at what He has led me through in the past year. So, if you are in vertigo, trust your instruments. Turn to the one who really is your true North, your guiding light. Allow Him to guide you safely into port. He is able, and He wants to be with you.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pressing In

I’m sitting here by the fireplace tonight. It’s good not to have to get up so early in the morning. But I still have to go to work tomorrow afternoon. I didn’t really get a lot done today. I got home from work around 11:30. But I have been moving slow all day. I guess it’s a combination of the fast and not much sleep. I did get out for a ride on my Harley. It was a short ride, about 30 minutes. It’s too cold to do anything longer, at least for me.

I’m reading a book for school called the Ecstasies of Loving God. It’s by John Crowder and it’s well written. It’s all about the mystical side of God; trances and other manifestations. He goes into a lot of church history over the years, especially dealing with the mystics of the past. It’s very interesting and enlightening to really know what went on in the past. If you know what has happened, then you have a grid when things happen that you haven’t seen before. It really makes me just want to fall deeper in love with God and learn to spend time with Him at a deeper level.

Then Last night a dear friend gave me a CD from Graham Cooke on prophetic soaking in His presence and pressing in to love Him more. I think that Holy Spirit is calling me deeper into the presence of God. I just want to know Him and really understand His love. Even as I say this, I know that the only thing stopping me from reaching this goal is myself. I just have to schedule time. I think this is the season, so I have to press into His love so much more. So I guess this is a season of pressing in for more of His love.

So what does destiny look like? We were talking about living in the now. Sure, you need to plan and go after your destiny, but what does that really look like and can you get so focused on it that you forget to enjoy today. I felt last night at school that Papa told me that I was living out my destiny right now, and it would only grow if I kept my focus on the now, with my gaze on the future. Notice that there was no looking back at the past. So I am pressing in. Pressing in on at least two levels. First, I’m pressing into a more intimate place and time with Papa. I want to feel His love. I really would like to experience more of the mystical ecstasies of His love. I am reaching a point where I just want to be with Him to be with Him, and experience His love. Second, I am pressing into the now. I want to enjoy His presence and love now, not later in the future when I reach my destiny. My destiny is tied up with what I do now, and it’s funny, but this too is tied up in seeking after Him and His love at all cost. This is not a new revelation, but it is stronger than I think it has ever been.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What Do We Carry?

Here’s a question for you. What is it that you carry as a believer that non-believers don’t carry? Probably that is not a question that most Christians ask themselves. But it is a question that we all need to ask ourselves if we are going to really make a difference here on earth. Most of the “Christians” in America would probably stop with the statement that “I’m saved and going to Heaven”. That’s a good first step, and it is the entryway into the Kingdom. But the Bible teaches us that there is so much more. We as believers are called to carry the Presence of God everywhere we go. I heard Bill Johnson say that we should think of God’s presence as if it were a dove on our shoulder. If there were a dove on our shoulder then every move we made would be made so that the dove wouldn’t fly off. So it is with His presence. It should so change us that we would always be reminded of who we are and why we are here.

Jesus commanded us to pray “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” Have you ever thought of the power of those words. Jesus didn’t tell us to ask the Father to release His Kingdom. We are not to beg or plead to the God of Heaven to release His Kingdom. No, we were told to command “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done”. Think of the authority that Father God has given us. We were told that this is how we should pray. We declare, not plead. The Father is looking for a people that will begin to subdue the earth and replenish it. That was the command to Adam and Eve. As far as I can tell, that order hasn’t been rescinded yet.

Yet we in the church are walking like we don’t have any power or authority here on earth. Most of us are just waiting for the rapture to be taken away out of this evil place. Someday we will realize that Jesus isn’t coming back until the gospel of the Kingdom is preached to every people group. I love what Jack Taylor said to us a couple of weeks ago. He said that the gospel of the Kingdom hasn’t even been preached to most of the people in the US, let alone all the world. He’s right for too many years the church has focused on herself and getting people to come into the building rather than taking the message of the Kingdom of God out to the streets.

Yes, Salvation is the first step, yet salvation is only part of the gospel of the Kingdom. When our people realize that they carry the presence of God with them, and that where they go, they can release His presence and bring the Kingdom of God and it’s reality into any situation, then and only then will the church begin to be effective and begin to make a difference. Can you imagine a world where the Kingdom of God with its power and values were released in our stores, schools, businesses and through out the streets of our community. As it permeated through our nation and then the world, we would begin to see the solutions and v=creativity for even more solutions released. John Lennon’s song Imagine truly would come true, but not by any new age guru, but by the power and presence of the Kingdom, ready to usher in the true and risen King.

That’s a great picture to go to bed with. It’s late and I have another early morning. Tomorrow we all need to think about carrying His presence and commanding His Kingdom to come on earth in our situations.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Five Days of Fasting

I don’t know about you, but I do not like fasting. There is a reason in the Bible why there are more feasts mentioned than fasts. I can fast, and I have fasted before. That’s not the issue. As Bud said tonight they should call it slow, because when you fast, the time seems to go by so slowly. RiverStone has called a five day fast. That’s not long. One time I went on a 40 day fast, but it was a Daniel fast. I’ve been on 21 day fasts and 7 day fasts. A 5 day fast should be easy, and it probably will be, once I get through the second day.

They say that fasting is supposed to put you in touch with God, but in reality, it normally puts me more in touch with my hunger. So, why are we fasting? I have to keep reminding that we are fasting to press into the nature of the Father. We are meeting corporately to pray at night. I don’t think we are fasting to try to change God’s mind about anything, because that would be the wrong reason. I think we are fasting to change our minds and the way that we do things. Now I can get excited about that.

I’m fasting solid foods. I’m juicing, eating soups and smoothies. I’m also drinking coffee. I’m not fasting coffee. Today I had V8 juice; Lattes and tomato soup. It will probably be the same tomorrow unless I find time to make a smoothie. I am really pressing into Papa for more of His heart for His people. No, that’s not about the church. His people are all people. It’s hard fasting when you live alone. Shoot, it’s hard cooking when you live alone too. In some ways it’s easier fasting because you don’t have to cook, but you have no accountability either. I guess that I have done pretty good since I have been home all day. Of course, it is just the first day. We will see how tomorrow goes.

Of course one of the side benefits of a fast is a little weight loss. I certainly can use that. Too bad I can’t lose it all in five days. Well, I guess I will have to keep my discipline after the fast. That’s another reason to fast is that it helps put the flesh under the Spirit. We definitely need to do that. So all in all I guess that this fast is a good thing and it is happening at the right time. I don’t think that I could have done it this time last year, but I can do it now. I guess the Vita Mix might get a workout. I wonder if you can juice a steak and baked potato? Just kidding.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Reflections From Homestead

I’m sitting here at Starbucks on Camp Creek Parkway near the Airport. I have to be at work at 6PM. This is not my favorite time to work. I hate D periods, but I had to swap so that I could be at Homestead FL this weekend for the Sozo training. If you have read my previous posts, you know that that was a good time. But I just thought a time of quick reflection on all that went on would help me put things in proper perspective.

I really enjoyed staying and connecting with Russell and Kerry. They are truly pioneers and forerunners in the faith. The Homestead area has a gift from God in them. If revival happens in this area it will be because of their faithfulness. We meet a strong remnant of believers who are going after it in the Spirit, and see Sozo as a useful tool to transform the community. Even the church leadership seemed to be impressed by the ministry, and I pray that the breakthroughs that they had in the Spirit will continue and not be stifled by other events. I know that what we did this weekend was very needed, and helpful. My prayers are that it will be a catalyst to push them into revival.

I was sitting here asking Papa about Homestead and what was needed. What I got for an answer was this. “Look at the Land. That is the way the spiritual land is that needs to be taken. Now the land in Homestead consists of about six inches of topsoil on top of a solid coral reef. That coral reef goes a number of feet down and then you hit solid bedrock. It’s hard for anything to grow that isn’t planted deep by digging through the coral reef then planting and filling with topsoil After that it hast to be irrigated constantly and fertilized because there are no nutrients in the soil. When Russell went to plant his avocado grove he had to rent a power Auger. Pick and shovel wasn’t enough to dig out the holes necessary. Digging by hand just leads to frustration and fatigue. Once he got the grove planted he had to start irrigating and fertilizing the plants, otherwise they would have died.

So, why should I wonder that all the churches in Homestead are almost dead or dying? Every church down there has been using man’s methods, not Gods. They haven’t used power tools to dig the holes deep. They have been digging by hand, and they are tired and worn out. That’s why all the pastors and leaders are tired. Then when and if they do get the church planted, it begins to slowly die because it is not getting the water and fertilizer in the Spirit that it needs.

Homestead in the natural can look like a garden. That is if you do the things necessary to make it grow. But if you don’t, it could turn into a dessert. So, we know that God wants to move in Homestead. He wants the Kingdom expanded everywhere. That’s a no brainer. What is needed are the power tools of the Holy Spirit. First the spirit of a child, coming in just shear awe, wanting to see what all we did. Then we need His power. We can’t settle for less, no imitations. We have to cry out for more of Him, not to build with pride, but to We need the power tools of God; prophetic, healing, miracles, everything.

Next we need the fertilization of the word, but not the false gospel, but the gospel of the Kingdom. As the Kingdom is preached and began to be understood, the fertilizer of the word of God will begin to take effect on everything that has been planted. For the most part, the gospel of salvation and the message of the church has been released in Homestead. That is not enough. It’s all about the Kingdom. Some regions can look like they are thriving without the Kingdom message; not Homestead.

Lastly it needs to be watered in the Spirit. The rain and the river of the Holy Spirit are necessary to see Homestead thrive. But the Spirit can’t be controlled, and most pastors are afraid to release control, especially when times are hard economically. So, Homestead, what are you going to do?

One church alone can’t make a difference. This is a call to all of the remnant in all the churches in the area. It is a call to you who have cried out for years, waiting. If you rise up together in unity, the waiting can be over, Homestead can be taken for God. One man, one church can’t do it, but in unity, the remnant that God has place together can make a difference. So, what do you need to do? I can’t tell you that. Ask the Holy Spirit, think out of the box. He is destroying boxes this year.

You in many different churches need to come together and get past your differences and jealousies. It’s time to raise up “the church” in Homestead; the church that can pull the Kingdom of God down into the earth. It’s there, but it’s scattered. Arise and unite; it can be done, don’t get discouraged. Be encouraged. God is releasing power tools. He is providing the fertilizer and the water. He is just waiting for the manpower to get it done.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


The more sozos I do, the more I realize the importance of celebrating birthdays. So many people in this world just feel that they are not worth anything. One way that they can be made to feel more worthy is to give them a birthday celebration. It’s really an easy thing to do. I think that sometimes parents get overwhelmed with life and blow off their children’s birthday. Now most children will say “that’s OK”. But it is not OK. It’s like saying you are not important to me. Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean you have to go out and spend a fortune on a big party and gifts; quite the contrary. Sometimes the best birthday is doing something for the child that you know that they really want, but you really hate. That shows a deep commitment of love.

I have two birthdays to celebrate this week. Julia Anne turned one on Jan 12th. What a blessing she has been this year, and what a blessing she will be. She was born only hours after Julia’s celebration service. She was born in our house with all the family present. We will always remember the joy of her coming. That will counteract the loss and over the years to come the joy will increase while the pain of the loss will, hopefully, lessen. Julia Anne has Julia’s guardian angle protecting her and that is a joy in itself. So she turned one this week. I sent her a Baby Huggums for her present. At one she will not remember much, but Anna Roan will tell her about it. Lisa took Julia and Anna to the zoo. I know that they had a good time. Meleah turned 11 today, Jan 15th. She wanted to go ice-skating with a friend. I know how much Jennifer and Sean didn’t want to go ice-skating. But they went ice-skating and then took Meleah out to dinner and then back home to watch her favorite movie. I sent her a card and her present in the mail, and I talked to her today. I hope she got the card. Everything was delayed because of the snow. But I know that my granddaughters felt honored on their birthday. I am so proud of my daughters. It is important. We have one more birthday in the family this month. Adair will be 13 on the 23rd of January. It’s hard to believe that she will be that old. But I know that her birthday too will be celebrated like it should.

So, what’s so important about celebrating life? Well, if you don’t celebrate life, you are really embracing death. One of the main issues I deal with in sozos has to do with identity. All to often the person has low self worth, or even self-hatred. As we begin to explore, many times it’s because one or both of their parents didn’t value them. They didn’t think that they were worth the time it spent to do things with them. Many times it started by ignoring, or just paying lip service to birthdays. I really believe that birthdays are more important to celebrate than any other holiday except Christmas. I don’t really see how you could celebrate Christ’s birthday and not celebrate the birthday of a family member. I wish that I had always thought that. I haven’t. I am sure that there were some of the girl’s birthdays that I just gave lip service to in the past. But I was protected by the fact that Julia always honored birthdays. It was just another way I was protected by Holy Spirit.

Well, I leave for Atlanta in the morning. It was a great day. I did another three sozos. They were all great. I can’t remember when I have had six good sozos in a row. It was really a good time. Tonight’s meeting was good too. Everyone did a good job speaking. It’s been great being down here, but I have to go back to work. I have eleven more workdays in the next fifteen days.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Getting Free

It was a good day. The few times that I got outside to walk around it was sunny and 70 degrees. Much different than what we left in Atlanta. Most of the day we spent doing Sozos. I did three today. All three of them were with leadership in the ministries of the church. I am always amazed how the church wounds it’s leaders. I know that people try to have good hearts, but Jesus didn’t call us sheep for no reason. He told Peter to feed my sheep. You want to know a secret. Sheep bite, and their bite can be deadly if not healed and brought into the light. So today I found myself dealing with old wounds, especially from former preacher’s kids. Why is it that pastor’s kids get so wounded. It seems that so many churches demand so much of their pastors that often the pastors wind up selling their souls and their families out for “ministry” Is God pleased with this? I really doubt it. I am thankful that more and more pastors are finally realizing that they need to protect their families and keep them safe from the excess demands of the congregation.

I don’t know of a single pastors kid, or PK, that wanted to be a PK. Most of them grow up resenting it at some level. But the problem goes much deeper than just PKs. We weren’t paid by the church; yet we wound up hurting our kids at the expense of “ministry”. At the time we were sure we were following what we were supposed to be doing, but as I look back now, I let my desire to minister take a higher place that valuing the protection of my daughters. Over the years, Julia and I both asked forgiveness for some of the things we did as parents. We did the best we knew how, but it wasn’t necessarily right. As I sozo people, especially PKs, I tell them about myself as a dad, and some of the mistakes I made. I believe that I was a good dad, but no one is perfect, and I know that I did things to hurt my children. Not on purpose, but hurtful just the same. So then I deal with whatever wounds and lied that were planted when they were children. This is one of the ways that we begin to get free. We have to realize that Father God doesn’t make mistakes. He doesn’t do things to hurt us, and we can’t blame Him for things that our dad’s did. We have to renounce the lies that we believed about Him and seek the truth from Him. When He shows us truth, we have to embrace it and then look at Him through “new lenses”. Only by doing this can we get free. Of course this is only a part of what we do in a sozo, but it is a big part.

Today I saw three people walking in much greater freedom after we finished than when we started. The feeling that you get from seeing people walk in freedom because you were used to connect them to the Godhead is unbelievably addictive. I can’t wait until tomorrow. I get to sozo three more people. Of course, everyone doesn’t get totally free in a sozo. I wish that they did. Sometimes they aren’t ready to do what is necessary. Forgiveness is such a big part in walking in freedom, yet so many people are willing or ready to release forgiveness. But today was a good day. Each of the three people that I sozoed was ready to change, and they all left walking in much greater freedom. That’s when you walk out on cloud nine just praising God and rejoicing in the setting free of some more captives.

So today, we set captives free and released prisoners from their chains. I love it. I am jus always amazed that such a big God loves me so much that He would use me and let me help Him set His people free. It’s great to be a son of the King and have Him trust me in working in the Kingdom. Tomorrow is going to be fun. We not only get to sozo three times, but then we lead a meeting to encourage others to be set free.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Enjoying the Sun

No, I’m not in 30 degree Atlanta. Tonight I am in 65 degree Homestead FL. I’m staying with some of my dear friends Russell and Kerry as we prepare for a day of Sozo’s tomorrow and Saturday. We are here by the invitation of Oasis Church to sozo their leadership and others and them to talk about the Sozo ministry and basically give them more of on idea of what it can be like in their church. We had a meeting with their team tonight, basically to introduce ourselves and field questions. On Sat night we will have a general meeting with more people from the church and other churches. We are scheduled for three sozo’s tomorrow and three on Saturday, so we should be pretty busy. I am so close to Jennifer’s place, but I will probably be too busy to get to see her. So, I really won’t get an opportunity to enjoy the sun, but at least it is warm and not icy cold. A low of 55 is much better than a low of 11.

Here is a question we were talking about tonight among ourselves. How is it that so many leaders’ say they want revival, but when it comes time to step out and do something different to stir it up, they pull back? I’ve seen it time and time again. The Vineyard Movement is a classic example. John Wimber said that the next move of God will cost you everything you have to date; It will cost you your life. And yet, even the Vineyard in the late 90’s got so caught up in what people were saying about them and how they needed to protect their reputation that they asked the church where a new move of God started and was being nurtured to leave the Vineyard. When Toronto Airport Vineyard left, the Vineyard as a movement began to wane. But they are not alone, it has happened before, and it will happen again. Leaders get so comfortable that they are afraid to rock the boat. They don’t want to upset what is going on now. So the good continues, and we miss the best.

This is played out weekly in church after church, especially in the US. Churches say that they honor the Holy Spirit but when He starts to move in a way that they are not familiar, the cut Him off. I’ve seen it in churches past. I know that if you search your memory, you have seen it too. So what can we as leaders do to protect ourselves from falling into this trap? First, we have to believe that God is good. No matter how weird the manifestation looks, He wouldn’t do anything to cause us to move farther away from Him. Second, and this is harder, we have to develop a culture of risk and freedom. Before we can operate in a culture of freedom, we must, as leaders, be willing to risk losing it all. We must be willing to risk someone walking away because of what Holy Spirit does. We must be willing to risk even being wrong and missing it when the noise starts back again.

So, even as I go do sozos tomorrow I want to be willing to risk as do what He says no matter what the cost. Am I willing? Yes, I am. Will I? I think do, but I will have to make sure. So, tomorrow we go advancing the Kingdom in Homestead, one thing I want. That is to walk in risk so others will be able to walk in freedom.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


So many times we take for granted what it means to have friends. In today’s world, we so often wind up so focused on our work and family that we really don’t have time or take the time to develop and keep friends. How many friends do you have? I mean really good friends, friends that you know would do anything to help in your time of need. I bet most of us would not count many. Sure we have many acquaintances. People we hang out with and people we occasionally go out with. But true friends are rare. So if you have say 4 – 6 you can consider yourself a wealthy person.

Most of the time as we were raising our girls, we didn’t have time for friends. We had then, and had the opportunity to maintain them, but they weren’t a priority. That was a bad mistake, and later in life we realized that. So over the last 10 years we made it a priority to strengthen and maintain friendships. So during the last ten years or so our friends, true friends have increased. I am truly blessed; I have probably double that number. Of course, like everything there are degrees of closeness. But I know of 10 or 12 people, maybe more, that would do anything I asked if there were a great need.

Of course Julia was my closest friend, someone who I could share anything with. Now that she is gone, I realize how blessed I am. I still have so many friends, and I am making more. Being single I realize even more the importance of keeping friends close. You have to have someone to hang out with, someone to laugh and cry with. It is not good to be alone all the time. I guess one of the things I need to start praying over my children is that they will meet some true friends. I know that they are both I strange cities and it is hard to break through for both of them.

Tonight I went over to Bud and Cathy’s to celebrate Bud’s birthday with some other friends. I was with John and Biddie and then Doug and Sharleen and Christina were there too. It was just a fun time; a time of celebration and joy. We had hamburgers, nothing elaborate. But as we were sharing stories I realized that we were doing just what Papa wanted. We were living life and sharing our hearts. That’s how friends are made and maintained. Of course I know John, Biddie, Bud and Cathy very well. They are for of my best friends. But it is fun getting to know Doug, Sharleen and Christina better. Each one of them is very interesting and fun to be around. It was just a good night away from work and school.

Tomorrow morning I fly to Homestead FL. I will be with more friends, friends from here in the Atlanta area and my good friends Russell and Kerry from Homestead. We will be doing sozos all day Friday and Saturday. There will be some evening meetings as well. It will be a busy time, but there will be time to build and strengthen friendships. I think that’s what the Kingdom is all about. We are all to be in relationship. How can you be in relationship without developing friends? So, I encourage you; take the time, even if you have to sacrifice something else. Don’t take your friends for granted. Nurture your relationships and make new ones. If you do this, you will truly be a wealthy person.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Long Drive Home

I’ve come to the conclusion that Snow is beautiful. You might wonder why it took me this long in my life to reach this conclusion. Well, it didn’t. I have really known that since I was a little boy. But I guess these last three days, being stuck down at the Delta training center working and then staying at a hotel, the snow didn’t look beautiful. It just looked like an obstacle to keep me from being at home next to my fire sitting in my rocker. But tonight I am sitting by the fire listening to Jesus Culture writing. Now, when I look outside, the snow is beautiful.

Isn’t that the way life is? To one person, snow is just an obstacle and they can’t see the beauty, but to a young boy of girl, when they look at the same snow they see adventure, beauty, freedom (no school) and fun. No wonder Jesus told us that unless we came as children we couldn’t enter the Kingdom of God. We miss so much of life when we just look at things as obstacles keeping us from our destination. Too often I find myself so intent on reaching my destination that I don’t see the pleasure and excitement in the little things that happen along the way. They become obstacles instead of objects that Papa put before me to show me His beauty and His greatness. We in the church are way to serious. One of my friends from school reminded me just the other day “Seriousness is NOT a fruit of the Spirit.” I have to be reminded of that periodically. Otherwise I am afraid that I would miss so much.

This afternoon I made the long drive through the snow back up to my house from the training center. It is 48 miles, and I did very well. I think that I made it in an hour and a half. All weekend I have been dreading the drive in the snow and ice. Normally I wouldn’t have minded as much, but I was in the Miata. My Envoy is in the shop. Now I love the Miata, especially on a spring day. But it is not built to drive in snow and ice. It is too light, has rear wheel drive and is too low to the ground. But I knew when I went down on Sunday that I would have to drive it home. I really thought that the conditions on the road would be much better than they are. As the week progressed I got more concerned about driving it. I had taken every precaution that I could. I have 100 lbs of sand in the trunk to give some added weight to the rear end and I drove slowly.

The drive home couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. It’s the goodness of God. I was able to swap to an earlier period and so I left for home at 2 this afternoon. It was still bad, but there was more slush and most roads had at least one lane pretty clear. Many times as I drove, I was scraping the ice between the ruts. Much more snow and I probably wouldn’t have made it. But I drove the way that I run marathons, slow and steady. I didn’t get much over 40MPH the whole trip, and I was focused on the road. But I know that because of my focus on the road and overcoming this “obstacle” I missed some beautiful scenery. Every now and then, I did get to look around. But most of the time I was too focused.

I don’t want life to go by like that. I want to enjoy the journey. The snow is beautiful. Yes, I have to get task accomplished, but I am making an effort this year, to look around and see the beauty; all the beauty that Papa, Jesus and Holy Spirit have created on this earth. What good is it to accomplish anything if we miss the beauty and glory that God wants us to see. Life is in the journey, not the destination.

Yes, sometimes the journey is hard. Sometimes it is hard for a long season. We all have seasons where it is hard, but in those seasons if we press into His goodness, we get to understand His love and goodness in a much deeper level. And when we come out on the other side, we are closer to Him and know His love so much deeper than we ever realized we could. So tonight if you are in one of those seasons like I have been in, embrace His love. Sleep tonight knowing that He does love you and He didn’t cause any bad thing to happen. Yes the snow is beautiful. There is beauty all around us, even when all we see are the obstacles. We just have to allow ourselves to take the time to look. When we see His glory, it will bring us a refreshing that allows us to continue. The snow is beautiful, and I am glad to be home.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 365 - It's Been a Year

As I said earlier this week, this year has been the “best of times and the worst of times”. It’s hard to believe that in less than two days now, Julia Anne will have her first birthday. That is one of the best things that happened, and it happened in such a timely fashion that it had to be a sign from the Lord. So, here we are, a year later. Tomorrow is the anniversary of Julia’s celebration service. It was a year ago today that I felt that Papa told me to write this blog. He said it would help me heal faster, and I really believe that it has. He also said that it would help others in their healing. I have had a few testimonies that it has done that, and I think it has done much more that I don’t know about. I really wrote this also to be a legacy for my granddaughters. My prayer is that when they read this in the coming years they will know about Julia and me. I pray that they will feel the love we had for each other and for God, and will determine to go after even more.

I want to thank each of you who have either read a few of these posts or have read them all. You have bee such a support to me through your prayers and your love. I have faithfully written every night for the past 365 nights. It is only by the grace of God that I have been able to do this. But just to write is not enough. I have tried to share my heart and bare my soul as I have lived, lived and yes grieved this past year. Many nights I would start writing feeling almost overcome with grief, only to finish writing smiling and laughing. God surly is good. I hope that you have experienced at least a little of His goodness as you have read these posts.

So, where am I today? Am I totally healed? No, I am not, but I am well on my way. How can someone be totally healed after suffering such a loss? But I am whole, and I am enjoying life. Many people in my position don’t get that for years and years, if ever. I am coming into my destiny with God. I have made the shift. I love Julia, but I love life, and life has much more to offer in the coming years. I have come to realize that in many ways, age is a state of mind, and in many ways I am much younger that people 10 – 15 years junior to me. Sure I know that eventually I will die. I don’t fear death; in fact I welcome it. But only on my terms; when it is the timing of my Father. Until then, I am living my life to the fullest. So, today I live with great joy and an almost reckless abandon. Of course I am careful, and not reckless in the extreme, but I am not letting anything stand in the way of me pressing into all that Papa has for me.

Tonight I went back and read some of my early entries from last January. I have received so much healing. I didn’t realize it until I started looking back. I don’t know what I am going to do with all this. I’ve written 464 pages, almost 300,000 words. Many have told me to make it into a book. I’ll pray and see what Papa wants me to do. I am thinking right now that there might be three or four good themes that I can explore. First I need the time to do it. I’ll have to really seek the Lord on all this. All I ever wanted to do was remember what life with Julia was like. I think I have done a good job. I will have these memories of her written down, and her legacy will continue. Anything else will just happen.

So, what now? I don’t know. Maybe I will connect with someone in the Spirit and be drawn into a relationship of some kind, maybe not. I’m not looking for anything, but I’m not afraid either. I’ll just have to go with Papa and take life as it comes. I do know this. After writing each night for 365 nights, it’s going to e hard to stop. So I am going to continue to blog. I won’t promise that I will write every night, but I wll probably write on most of them. I feel that He is showing me too much about life and He wants me to write about what He shows me. So, tomorrow night I hope to be back in my rocking chair writing my new blog. The title will be “Reflections on Life.” I know that Papa wants me to keep sharing His love and his heart through my writings. He is so good. I know, I have written about His goodness now for 365 days. I pray that I am able to write about it for many, many more. Thank you all for following and reading this past year. I love you all!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 364 - Snow, Snow, and More Snow

I wish that I was sitting in my rocking chair, sitting by my warm fire admiring the snow falling down around me. That is how I dreamed of ending this year of blogging. But I didn’t count on this major snowstorm, or of having to work in the middle of it. So here I am in a hotel room, down by the airport. I’m just wondering how long I will be here. I have reservations paid by Delta through tomorrow night. I might have to extend, but that will be at my own expense. I really have too much to do this week to be stuck in a hotel room. I’m supposed to fly to Homestead FL on Thursday for a Sozo training that we are doing down there. Hopefully Delta will b back up and running by then. But for now I am stuck. I’m working tomorrow and Tuesday. I pray that the hotel van is running tomorrow, otherwise I will have to walk to work. It should be an adventure, but it just feels like a pain. I thought last year was bad. It seemed like had snow every weekend, but this already seems much worse.

Last night was so good. I know that Julia enjoyed watching us all toast her life and tell stories. We laughed a lot, and some cried a little. I was just amazed at watching all our friends, especially her close friends share. I recorded all the stories on my iPhone, and I have played part of it back and it is great. I have already figured out how to make a CD. Mac’s are great! So I will make some and give them to the girls. I’ll keep some for the grandkids as they grow up. I think I will put some in a copy of my will, so that when I die, at the age of 120, they will have a copy. Speaking of dying, something happened to me in the Spirit last night. It is hard to describe, and I am still sorting it out, but I think it had to do with it being the anniversary of Julia’s death.

I really think it had to do with the letter that I wrote. It was like a door closed as I finished that letter. Sometimes before another door is opened, you have to be willing to close a door behind you, face forward and start walking. Then, almost magically, another door will open. I have been thinking about writing that letter for a long time, but didn’t. The timing wasn’t right and I wasn’t ready to finally say goodbye. I guess in many ways this blog has really been one big goodbye. I know that I will probably say more about it tomorrow night, but as I look back to this time last year, I am overwhelmed by the goodness and faithfulness of God. His love for me and my family is so great. How does anyone survive, let alone thrive, in a situation that we found ourselves in without His love and grace. But personally I have received so much healing over these last months. I am amazed to feel like I feel right now. Julia’s love will always be with me, but now I have to go after More. What is the More except More of God and His love. How will His love manifest in my life? I don’t know, but I know it will.

I was asking Papa about some things last night after everyone left. They were random and had nothing to do with money. They were things about my future an my life. Everything I asked Him, He said yes too. But as He said yes, I realized that some of the things I was asking were in conflict with each other. So how does that work, I asked. He told me that I could go after whatever was in my heart and He would give it too me. But it was as He said that that I realized I didn’t want it if it wasn’t in His heart too. There are many things in my heart right now that I could go after. If I pursued them I know that I could have them. But I don’t want anything that is not in His heart for me. Just because it is in my heart, doesn’t mean it’s in His heart. I have to know for sure, and that will take more time in seeking Him and resting in His presence. I know that I will get the More, I just have to make sure that I go after the right thing.

So, here I am sitting in a room, watching the snow come down. Sure I miss Julia, but I am healed to a much greater extent than I ever thought possible. I pray that my girls will receive even more healing as the days and weeks progress. I can look to the future with an expectant heart, knowing first hand of the great goodness of my Father. His love for me is so great, how could I not love Him, or you.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Day 363 - Love Letter

My Dearest Julia,

I was just listening to Roberta Flack sing “First Time Ever I saw your Face”. I remember us loving that song in Hawaii. We listened to it and listened to others sing it as we went to Reubens, eating Popcorn and sipping on glasses of wine. But more than that, I can remember the “first time ever I saw your face”. It was so beautiful. But your blue eyes were what got me. They were so deep. I knew that there was a lot more to you than just a pretty face.

Well dear, the years have taken their toll; this year in particular. As I sit here waiting for friends to come and celebrate your life with me tonight I just wanted to write you one last time. One last time to tell you how much you meant to me. It’s been hard having you gone this year. There are so many things that you did, that we did together. Yes, I am healing, and for the most part I am doing very well. I know that after tonight things will move on even faster. Who knows what life will bring. But for now, just for these few minutes I want to say goodbye. I never got to say goodbye. You didn’t either. I know there is so much we would have said to each other; so much you wanted to say to the girls and your granddaughters.

As you know, because I know you have been watching, we navigated through the holidays pretty well. Going to Hilton Head for Christmas was an idea from Papa to help us begin to heal as a family. But we all missed you so much, especially Christmas Day when we were handing out presents. We missed you take charge of handing out gifts, and taking pictures. I tried, but didn’t get near enough. I don’t think I have ever done as many dishes. I truly understand you so much more than I did. I wish that I could have been more helpful when you were around.

But as I look to the future today, I just think of your love. I know that we both said that if ever anything happened to the other one that the one left should move on, and live life and learn to love again. Of course I always thought that would be you who was left. I joked and said if you left first I would get a dog. Well, I still don’t have one, and it is not on my agenda. Seriously, how do you move past the love of your life? Times are different, I am different. When I met you, it was love at first sight. I don’t think that will ever happen again. What we had was so special. Yes, I know that it doesn’t have to be the same. Yes I know that I do have the capacity to love and that I might find someone, and it probably will be different. Yes, I know that I have a deep capacity to love. OK, whose letter is this? I am supposed to be writing you, not you answering me back.

I know that you knew how much I loved you; I just wish I had told you more. I loved your passion. I loved your passion for me, and your passion for your kids. But more than anything I loved you passion for God. You held it firm, even when I wavered. Back after my retirement when I was just tired and wanted a change, you kept your passion strong and reawakened mine. I thank you for that. I know that sometimes I did the same for you, and I think it was Holy Spirit who made sure that both of us were never down at the same time. I also loved your heart for intercession. You taught me so much. I know that you know now, but I wish I had shared how much I learned from you. Your quiet strength when I might be bouncing off the walls about something. You truly were my anchor.

I miss you terribly at night. I even miss you punching me when you said I snored. I thought by now it wouldn’t be as much, but being alone is really different. I am allowing myself this one last letter to express my love for you. The blog is almost over, and I so much want our granddaughters to really understand what you meant to me. So I am really writing this for them, but still for me. I can remember talking last year as we drove back from Webb. We were talking about the things we wanted to do together. We were talking about Sozo and things at RiverStone. We were talking about going out to Redding in the spring for a visit. But we were really focused on how you were going to Mobile and I was going to come down in a few days. I remember that you bought about 200 dollars worth of material to sew for the new baby. Julia will never have those clothes, but she has so much more. She has some of Anna’s and Meleah’s and Adair’s. But most of all she has a legacy from her Nana. A legacy of love, joy and peace.

You gave each of them, Adair, Meleah and Anna so much love, joy and peace. They will forever remember you, and Julia will know you through them, and perhaps through this blog. I know that there is a hole in our family that cannot be replaced. But God is healing, and He will continue to heal.

So my love, as I wind up this letter and this year I just want to thank you for giving me so much of yourself. You taught me and I taught you how to truly love. It’s about time to get ready to celebrate your life. I have most of our friends coming over to share stories and a few drinks. It will be fun, and I will try to record the stories for the granddaughters. I know that in years to come they will love to hear them. This is the last letter that I will ever write to you my love. You know my heart, and you know that I must look forward. I know that you will be there pressing me on, urging me to run the race whatever it takes me. So I will end with this Sweetheart: I love you with all my heart.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Day 362 - Life Moves So Quickly

Life passes fast, too fast. It seems like yesterday that Julia and I were walking on the beaches in Hawaii, newly married, and determined to make a go of our marriage. Then I can see Jennifer running, barely walking as a baby along the beach in Hawaii. Then there was Lisa being born in Montgomery and me walking into my first flying job and getting hired with Delta. Then the girls marriages, then Adair’s and Meleah birth. Then Anna Roan being born in Hawaii, and Julia and I traveling over to be there at the birth. Life does pass so fast and in all those memories the one constant was God’s love. That’s the only constant that we have, the only thing that really remains. My love for Julia and her love for me is really a reflection of His love for us.

I think it is important to realize that we are made in His image and likeness. Our love for each other is only a small likeness of His love. We are blessed to be able to share it, especially long term. I was so blessed to be able to share Julia’s love for over 38 years. I look back to a year ago tonight. I had just gotten to the ER, having driven through the snow down 41, wondering if we would even make it. I had no clue that she was as sick as she was. Little did I realize that when I kissed her it would be for the last time.

This year is much different. The snow is still coming, but it will be a couple of days late. I spent the afternoon surrounded by college students. We were in Athens at UGA. We were ministering at Wesleyan Foundation, doing prophetic ministry over their leadership. It was fun and exciting. It was definitely a good diversion for the day. Tonight we heard Steve Thompson preach. It was very good. A similar message to what he shared at Bethel, but it was new and radical to most of the kids. It was an interesting response at first, but ended very positively.

So I am in a much different place this year than last year. Steve said something that I have heard this past year, but I want to say it again, especially for Jennifer and Lisa. He said that a loss positions you for significant increase. I believe that. We are all positioned for significant increase. But to walk in that increase we have to release our grasp on the past and embrace the present and future. It is hard, but it is what we must do. Only as we are willing to release will we have the capacity to grab on to the new. Does that mean that we don’t cherish and remember the old. Of course not! But what it does mean is that we focus on what is happening now rather than looking for something to come out of the past. So what does that look like for me? I think it means that I do exactly what I did tonight. I chose to embrace life, while honoring and remembering the past. I have to place my focus on what He is doing in me and to those around me.

I have received much healing this past year. I wondered what I would be feeling and how I would react to this night especially. During worship tonight as I was just praising God and loving Him, I felt like I saw Julia. She was smiling. She was proud; proud of the whole family and me. It was as if she has been watching, and she wants us to know that we passed the test. I could sense that she was OK and she wanted us to press onto all that Papa has for us. That is what I am going to do. That is what we all need to do.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 361 - The River of No Return

I might be wrong on the date, but I think it was the summer of ’98. We had been on vacation to Colorado twice. The second time Sean and Jennifer had come along with us. Lisa and I had fell in love with the mountains and wanted to do more. Julia, being the trooper she was, said that we could expand our horizons. So, all winer I searched the internet. I was looking for a guided river trip. There were many out there, but the one that looked the best to me was a seven day joyrney down the Salmon River in Idaho.

So I plunged in and booked the trip for all three of us. It was going to be seven days on the river in a raft. We would be dealing with class 2,3 and 4 rapids. We would be sleeping in tents along the side of the river. I was totally amazed that Julia agreed to this. This one thing, I think, shows what a pioneer she is. For this adventure and to please her family, she would abandon her Marriott only camping theme. Needles to say, Lisa and I were very excited. So, Julia and I worked hard to get in the best shape we could be in. We knew it was going to be strenuous, but as we worked together it was so fun.

Lewis and Clark named the Salmon River “The River of no Return”. The named it this because once you started down, the cliffs were so tall and steep that you couldn’t turn back. We put in at Salmon Idaho. Seven days later we got out somewhere near the Washington State border. Our car was there waiting. I still say that this experience was one of the most memorable and in many ways spiritual of my life. Julia would agree, and she loved it. But I never could get her to agree to repeat it.

The banks of the river were white sand. Every night we had to put the tent up and take it down in the morning. We had a chemical toilet that we took to some remote location. Everything we took in, we had to take out. Everything. Nuff said about that. It really wasn’t roughing it. We had almost gourmet meals cooked every night. There was good wine and beer along with soft drinks. But all this had to be unloaded and loaded. Still it was fun. There were only five of us on our trip. We had two big rafts and two guides. The guides were both girls in their 20’s but they knew the river like the back of their hand. It was fun learning how to steer the raft and maneuver the rapids. But if you really wanted adventure, you rode the “ducky”.

The ducky was a rubber kayak that would hold two people. It would go in between the rafts so if you fell out, the trailing raft could round you up. Well, we had just started out and we were in pretty calm waters. The guides asked who wanted to go first in the ducky. They said this was going to be a pretty calm section, so Julia and Lisa volunteered. It was such a pretty scene. Bright blue skies, green mountains rising on both sides of the river and an almost calm river. We paddled down for almost an hour. It was beautiful and everyone was enjoying themselves. Then, there it was. The first rapid; it wasn’t very big. In fact it was just a 2 or 3 foot waterfall. No problem. All you had to do was go straight over it. I was in the first raft and it was nothing. Then I looked back at the ducky. It would have been easy, it really would have if they had been coming straight at it. But as fate would have it, some how they had gotten sideways. I can still clearly see Julia’s face as they went over that fall sideways and watched them totally flip over and out of the raft, into the cold waters of the Salmon River. I t was all I could do to keep from laughing, no howling. That is after they both came up swimming. We gathered them up, and I was glad that it was the river of no return because if we could have gone back, I am afraid Julia would have demanded it. Well, she got over it and could even laugh about it by the end of the trip.

She didn’t get in the ducky again. Lisa and I rode it together a number of times. My favorite time was the last day. We rode it down a class 4 rapids and survived. It was probably one of the most exhilarating things I have ever done. I was scared to death the whole time.

I don’t have time tonight to deal with all the spiritual things Holy Spirit taught me, except that the river is wild. You can’t tame it, but you can ride along with it. That’s why Holy Spirit is called to be a river in many places. Another night I will deal more whti the aspects of the river. It truly is a river of no return.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day 360 - Remembering Good Times

When I was a kid, especially the early teens, we would go camping a lot. I guess it started when I was 10 and we borrowed someone’s camper and spent a week on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Being a boy, I probably enjoyed it much more than my sisters, but since we were pretty poor, it was a good way to take a vacation with four kids. Anyway, I grew up camping, and when I was in college, some of my best friends and my Dad and Granddad would go camping up in Unicoi State Park. By then it just was an excuse for us to just get away in the woods, hang out and drink a lot of beer. Burt we enjoyed it and had a good time.

Naturally when I got married I figured that we would go camping on weekends and take trips. Well, Julia’s idea of camping was a night at the Marriott. She didn’t want to be out in the woods in a tent. She especially didn’t want to sleep on the ground or go without showering. Using a latrine was definitely way out of her comfort zone. So, we didn’t go camping in our early years. After we had two girls, the idea of taking a camping trip was put to rest forever. Jennifer and Lisa didn’t want to go anywhere but the beach. So, it seemed every year we would go to the beach, somewhere. We went to Mazatlan Mexico one year, but most of the beaches were in Florida, Georgia or South Carolina. It was fun, and I finally forgot the “call of the wild”.

But then one year after Jennifer was engaged, I thank she was in summer school and Lisa wanted to do something different. So we went to Vail Colorado for a week. We were staying in a Marriot vacation resort, but we were in the woods and we all loved it. We went hiking every day. The girls loved it and so did I. I ran every morning down by a mountain stream. One day we went rafting down the Colorado River. There were mostly class two and three rapids. It was scary and so enjoyable. None of us fell out of the raft, and we all loved it. We all knew that we would come back.

The next day we decided to go horseback riding. Lisa and I were excited, but Julia was apprehensive. We told her it would be OK and brushed it off, but I could tell that she was worried. Well, the horse could tell she was worried too. That’s not a good thing, The first problem is that she is so short and the horse was so wide that her legs instead of going around the sides of the horse just sort of stuch straight out. I don’t think I ever told her how funny she looked. I didn’t dare that day. I was afraid that she would have just gotten off the horse and left. Well, she probably should have. After almost being bitten by the horse ( she claims that she was, but I couldn’t find any marks) she had a hard time guiding the horse. The horse didn’t want to go where we were going, and he knew that she was scared, so he just did what he wanted. If she hadn’t been so upset it would have been funny. The horse started going down this sttp hill and she didn’t want it to go there. The people in charge were yelling instructions to her byt she still couldn’t make the horse do anything. I didn’t think that ride would ever be over. As we left, she looked at me with fire in her eyes and declared that she would never get on a horse again, And she never did. When Lisa and I wanted to ride the next year, she let us go, but there was no way to coax her to go with us.

But we had such a good time on that vacation. Another time, Jennifer had just graduated from High School and we took her to New York. I think it was Julia’s first time in New York too, I had been there many times with Delta, but never with the family. We went to a play, ate in little Italian resteraunts and walked and walked around. We saw Times Square, Rockerfeller Center and all the other sights. I even got her to go up to the top of the Empire State Building one night. Looking over at the city lights in NY City from the top of the Empire State building was a lot of fun. We both went back to NYC in 2004 when I ran the New York Marathon, That year we saw the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. We bout fell in love with New York and really enjoyed our time together there.

On our 25th wedding anniversary I surprised her. I had just gotten my first Miatia and I packed had her pack some clothes and we left with the top down for a drive in the mountains. But I didn’t tell her we were going to the Greystone Inn in North Carolina. It was a great sunny day, perfect for a drive in the mountains with a a sports car. We stayed the whole weekend in a little cabin by ourselves. We rode around the mountains, paddled a conoe on the lake and ate fabulous dinners in their dining room at night. It was a perfect weekend.

That’s all for tonight, but I there are some more to share tomorrow. It’s fun thingking about the good times. Now I think I will enjoy the fire a little longer.