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Archive for September, 2008

Yesterday, I was watching my friend Jerad hold his newborn baby girl. There was this really, really cool moment when I caught him just watching her. She wasn’t talking, smiling, crying, or doing anything to demand his attention. In fact… she was asleep! She was just… there! And he couldn’t take his eyes off of her. He was simply watching her… and smiling.

This is what our prayer time should look like. We don’t have to jump, yell, be repetitive, or be in the correct posture to get God’s attention. Like a father who is smitten with his newborn baby, all we have to do is show up. And when we show up, I believe God is there. He is watching… and He is smiling.

But too often when we approach God we get caught up with feelings of guilt and shame. We feel like we don’t measure up and we’re consumed with reminders of where we’ve fallen short. Because of those emotions and self-accusations, we sometimes try to overcompensate with unwarranted methods in our prayers.

Honestly, looking back at times of prayer in my life, I think I may have missed it. I was trying to prove myself in my prayers or was ‘doing’ a prayer out of obligation. When in reality, I think God just wanted to take me into His arms and shield me from the cares of this world. As hard as it is to imagine, He was content to just BE with me! And even when I didn’t know how to ask for it, He wanted to give me exactly what I needed… His embrace!

โ€œThe world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant.

Theyโ€™re full of formulas and programs and advice,

peddling techniques for getting what you want from God.

Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”

Matthew 5:7-8, The Message

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Growing up, Gomer Pyle was one of my favorite TV characters. Maybe it was the fact that he was a Marine like my dad. Maybe it was seeing someone with a familiar accent on television. Probably though, it was Gomer’s ‘aw-shucks’ approach to life that allowed him to roll with the unexpected events of life!

Well the last few weeks of my life have been FILLED with surprises. Some good… some not so good.

Of all of these surprises though, none were more welcomed than this: The Wanna Bees (my fantasy football team) are 4 and 0! We’re the only undefeated team in our league and we’ve already matched our wins total from last season!! Seriously, I simply can’t believe it!

This has certainly been a welcomed, unexpected turn of events!! And if Gomer were here… I think I know what he would say to the other owners in my league!! (check the title of this post folks ๐Ÿ™‚ )

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They’re back… again…

and we’re so happy… again. This is the ONLY sitcom we watch at our house and overall we thoroughly enjoy it. However, we hope they return to Season 2 form, which in my opinion is one of the greatest seasons for sitcoms ever. Favorite episodes include:

  • The Christmas Party (“She loves me an OVEN MIT’S worth!”)
  • The Injury (“I like to wake up to the smell of bacon! IS THAT SO WRONG!?!”)
  • The Fire (“I’d take a Harry Potter book AND BURN IT!!)

But tonight isn’t about the past, it’s about the future! Looking forward to laughing hard tonight and enjoying the rest of the season! Hopefully! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Erwin McManus is one of my favorite authors, and I just started his most recent book, Wide Awake, over the weekend. It’s one of those books that has hit me in the right place at the right time. It’s all about dreaming with your eyes open and discovering the future that is waiting within you.

Erwin writes that sometimes the limitations we’re willing to accept establish the boundaries of our existence. He challenges us that our dreams, by their very nature, should stretch us.

If your dreams are supposed to be bigger than your life,

then your life will always be limited by the size of your dreams.

How BIG are YOUR dreams? What limitations are currently on YOUR life by your SMALL dreams?

If you could give your life to ONE THING, what would it be? And if you’re not currently pursuing that ONE THING I gotta’ ask… WHY NOT?

Go after it! Dream BIG and Trust GOD!! Life’s too short not to!

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We have a 7 and 4 year old at home, and they’re both becoming more computer savvy everyday. For this reason, Evie and I started looking for an internet filtering device recently, and last week we stumbled upon Glubble.

Glubble is a Firefox add-on that allows you to customize the internet experience for each person in your family. It is especially geared for folks who have elementary and younger aged children at home. We’ve only had it a week, but so far we’re really pleased.

It was easy to set up and has lots of kid friendly internet sites already preloaded. Additionally, when Blake or Anna Brooke click on a site that is not on their already approved list, we get a notice and have the choice to approve or deny their request. This way we’re assured that they will not accidentally find their way into inappropriate material.

So far we’re happy we’ve found it! If you’ve got little ones in your home, it’s worth your time to check it out here!

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For my birthday, my sweet sister-in-law and her family gave me a personalized, autographed copy of Tony Dungy’s new children’s book You Can Do It! Quite honestly, it is my favorite gift this year. Thanks SO much Iris, Gaetan and Rachel!

Tonight, I read the book with my kids for the first time. It is a great little story about Tony’s younger brother Linden and the dreams their parents encouraged them to pursue. I enjoyed reading the story with my kids because like Tony’s parents, I hope to inspire my kids to do what the book says: Trust God and Dream BIG! As I read the story though, it inspired me.

This cute children’s story prompted me to remember a favorite quote from one of my former pastors, “Ask Largely!” I was also reminded that God can do ANYTHING! Even things beyond my wildest dreams! These are encouraging words, because lately, I’ve had some pretty wild dreams!

If you have BIG dreams, know this: your dreams can NEVER be bigger than God. So be inspired and follow the ancient wisdom found in the opening scripture of this new book:

Commit to the Lord whatever you do,

and your plans will succeed.

– Proverbs 16:3

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If you’re a fan of Alison Krauss, Nickel Creek, The Greencards, or The Duhks then go to iTunes right now and download this album – Declaration. Act of Congress, a solid bluegrass band out of Birmingham have put together a great album. I’m a fan of all kinds of music, but mostly I’m a fan of music that is done well, and these guys, and gal, do not disappoint. Excellent musicianship, delicate harmonies, and at times poetic faith.

Additionally, Chris, the guitar playing beast on ‘The Bear’, was once my wing-man! ๐Ÿ™‚ Check ’em out!

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