November 01, 2013

Thunder Road Wheelchair 5k

About a month ago I was joking around with Garren. I am running the Thunder Road Marathon on November 16 in Charlotte. I was teasing him about doing it with me. Then I mentioned in passing "You know, there is a 5k the same day."

A couple of days later, Garren came to me and said, "So Dad, am I going to do that 5k?"

I started looking for a racing wheelchair, and found the costs starting at $2000. There's no way we can spend that kind of money for something we want to just try out.

So I sent an email to his physical therapists, who connected me with an adaptive sports program in Charlotte. They were so helpful, and have loaned us a racing wheelchair! Garren has been getting out and training on the roads in our neighborhood. He is determined to do this, and we are so excited for him.

If you want to come out and support Garren, here are the details:

God has continued to do a work in Garren. It is amazing to see such progress. We cannot wait for November 16!

October 03, 2013

Are You Passionate?

Psalm 22
"My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.
Every night you hear my voice, but I find no relief."

This is the psalm that Jesus quoted while on the cross.
It begins with anguish, and ends with rejoicing. It depicts the loneliness and hurt and pain that Jesus was facing. He was abandoned, left alone to die for the sins of the world. But the end reflects the future hope that we have through the work of Jesus: eternal worshiping and rejoicing throughout the whole earth.

This psalm doesn't simply reveal what Jesus was thinking or even feeling. It reveals His passion

"His passion was to do the will of His Father, no matter how much it hurt, for the greater glory that would come."

What about you? What is your passion? We hear that word a lot these days. It's one of those buzzwords that seems to lose meaning the more we use it. 

The dictionary defines passion as a "strong and barely controllable emotion." Do you have a "strong and barely controllable emotion" to do the will of your Father? No matter how much it hurts? For the greater glory that will come?

"I will praise you in the great assembly…
All who seek the Lord will praise Him.
Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.
The whole earth will acknowledge the Lord and return to Him.
All the families of the nations will bow down before Him."

Lord, thank you for being with me, even when it hurts. Thank you for allowing me to suffer for your glory. Help me to faithfully rejoice in the midst of the valley of the shadow of death. Help me to keep my eyes focused on you in the midst of the storm.

September 25, 2013

The truth I was reminded of from a hamster... (Guest Blogger: Nancy Janes)

While we were in Haiti we had an escape. Not there but back here in the US. Kelsey’s hamster Smoreo is nowhere to be found. They looked and looked but couldn't find her. Today I have searched the house with no success. I had the sad thought that should I find Smoreo the chances of her being still alive are not good. It’s been several days now with no food and no water. The other danger is Tigger, our cat. Who knows if he’s had an extra kitty treat. I started thinking….Smoreo got out of her cage. She now had her freedom. Or did she? In her cage she had everything she needed…food, water, a place to run around, a noisy wheel for exercise, almost daily hamster treats, bedding to get cozy in and Kelsey who watched over and loved her. Now in Smoreo’s “freedom” she is without. Maybe she can run more but she no longer has the necessities of food and water and no one to come love on her.  

This made me think about the prodigal son in the Bible and us as people. The son in the story had all he needed at his father’s house just as we have all we need in God’s arms. But within both there are boundaries. Just like Smoreo’s cage. But boundaries to protect us, not to hinder us or hold us back. The prodigal son didn't and sometimes we don't see it that way and feel we are too confined with God. There is no fun! That we need our freedom and independence. So we run.  

The son took his inheritance from his father and ran. We turn our back on God and the truths we know and run. Just like Smoreo I’m sure did once he was out of the cage. It feels great at first. We can stretch our legs, do what we want and not listen to the boundaries of life. But this excitement will begin to die. I would think that after some time Smoreo became hungry and thirsty but there was no Kelsey to fill the bowl or give a treat. With the prodigal son once his inheritance was gone the good times stopped. He was free but he was hungry and lonely.  

In our Christian life if we turn our backs on God so we can be ‘free’ but we still know the truth and real freedom in Christ and after some time that begins to haunt us. At this point there is a choice to make. Continue in ‘freedom’ or repent and go back to true freedom. The prodigal son did that. He went back to his father, asked for forgiveness and his father welcomed him with open arms. God too waits with open arms to welcome any of us back who have turned from him. Yes, this means boundaries again but as have discovered it means love and forgiveness and freedom in those needed boundaries.  Unconditional love.

Unfortunately I don't think this will be the case for Smoreo. I don't think we will have him return to say sorry for getting out of his cage. Unfortunately I think we will find Smoreo at the end of his life. Don't be like Smoreo. Don't wait until its too late. Don’t live your life running away and not having the life that God so wants to give you. Turn back and ask for forgiveness. You can never do anything that God can't forgive. He loves you and your present and your past. He waits for you.