Twenty-four Years of Dancing

Yesterday, while our friends who call the land between my home and the Lower 48 celebrated St. Jean Baptiste day, my wife and I celebrated one score and four years of marriage.  Since 1995 Vonda Kay and I have . . . 
  • moved six times 
  • had three children (We still have them.  🙂) 
  • served in five churches 
  • experienced great joys 
  • survived difficult events 
  • prayed with our daughter and sons as they chose to follow Jesus
  • said "I'm sorry" many times 
  • said "I love you" even more times 
  • laughed 
  • cried
  • tried having pets three times (not counting the frogs)
  • tried out our thumbs to see if they were green 
  • driven the Alaska Highway three times (actually one time for Vonda Kay)
Recording artist Andrew Peterson wrote a song regarding marriage.  Within Peterson's "Dancing in the Minefields" are words that ring true.
Well "I do" are the two most famous last words
The beginning of the end
But to lose your life for another, I've heard
Is a good place to begin
'Cause the only way to find your life
Is to lay your own life down
And I believe it's an easy price
For the life that we have found

I love the life that we have found.  My Ordinary Life is all the richer, fuller, and more meaningful due to giving up "me" for "we."  I look forward to all the "until death do us part" years ahead.


Three Trips

My oldest niece is twenty-four years old.  She was the first of my parents' eleven grandchildren to go on her six-year-old trip with them.  For eighteen years and counting my parents have kept their promise to their nearly one dozen grandchildren to take them on a trip at ages 6, 13, and 18.  From the Golden Gate Bridge to the Big Apple and from the indoor waters of Sea World to the oceans of Florida, the grandkids have traveled with their Papa and BG.  Roller coaster rides over a decade old continue to serve as fodder for conversation.  Memories of great chocolate and rich ice cream lead to loved and retold stories.

Years ago, a good friend of mine encouraged me to "buy memories."  Not all memories cost money.  However, some of the best do.  Park passes, milkshakes, flight fares, and juicy burgers (or better yet, Chick-fil-A sandwiches) come at a cost.  A cost worth every penny.  My parents invest in the lives of their grandchildren.  (Thank you, Mom and Dad!)

As you seek to live the Ordinary Life, invest in those things and people who matter.
- Buy your grandchild an ice cream cone.
- Go to the zoo with your daughter.
- Buy a baseball to toss with your son.
- Purchase a "just because" gift for your spouse.

Buy Memories!


Ordinary Fathers

On June 16th families across America will celebrate dads.  What May is to moms, June is to dads. 

I am thankful to God for my dad.  My dad is a man of integrity, Christian faith, and love.  He sets a follow-worthy example. 

I am thankful for my father-in-law who loves his son and two daughters today as he has for all of their lives - in such a way that they know they are cherished. 

I am thankful to be a father.  For just over 18 years God has blessed me with the gift of fatherhood.  I strive to set a follow-worthy example.  I show and express love to my daughter and two sons so that they know they are cherished.

For fathers, living the Ordinary Life involves modeling faith and showing (and expressing) love.  Our children will certainly remember the fun adventures and spectacular moments.  Yet, in the long run, those adventures and moments are not the things that really matter most.  Fatherhood, done well, is a day-to-day endeavor. 
It sounds like . . .

"I love you."
"I am proud of you."
"Thank you."
"You can do it!"
"I love your mother."
"I'm sorry."
It looks like . . .
a man cheering in the stands.
a man grinning ear-to-ear as his daughter dances.
a man teaching his child how to ride a bike.
a man showing his son how to shave.
a man hugging his child when tears of rejection flow.
a man helping his wife as they wash dishes together.
a man demonstrating how to make the perfect S'more.

One of my favorite accounts in Scripture details the occasion of Jesus' baptism.  Luke records it as follows . . .

Luke 3:21-22 (NIV)
21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened
22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Notice the chapter number - 3.  Notice, at that point, Jesus had not yet taught, healed, or performed a miracle of any kind.  So early in the gospel story and before any record of Jesus' accomplishments, God the Father said to His son - "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

What a difference that surely made.
Jesus had the supreme follow-worthy example.
Jesus knew that He was cherished.

On June 16th celebrate dads.  As you do, know that you are loved and cherished.

1 John 3:1a (NIV)
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!


The Same

Last Friday marked the eleventh anniversary of my arrival in Anchorage and last Sunday was the eleventh anniversary of my start of serving as Pastor of Rabbit Creek Church.  It has been and will continue, Lord willing, to be a wonderful journey.  Alaska and Rabbit Creek Church are home to my family and me. 

Eleven years has changed several things in both areas.

  • My children are teenagers.
  • Our church shortened our name - 3 Cs were just one too many.
  • I ride a motorcycle.
  • Our church runs a coffee shop ministry.
  • A few more lines show on my face.
  • Long-time members have moved and new families now call Rabbit Creek home.

Eleven years has not changed other things.

  • My wife is beautiful.
  • My kids are treasures.
  • I write with a Pentel P205.
  • Our church is awesome.

And . . .

Hebrews 13:8 (NIV) - Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
In that truth I find great assurance.  Days come, days go; Jesus stays the same.  He doesn't change "the rules."  He loves me no less - or no more - because He loves to the full.  His promises are true.  His death is sufficient.  Nothing can separate me from His love.

And . . .

He gives me one 24-hour period after another to live my everyday, Ordinary Life for Him.
Thank You, Jesus!