Monday, March 31, 2008

Groovin Hard

Check out my buddy, Chad Rager.
He's the guy on the drums. He makes it look so easy.

This is at a concert that the Chad Rager Groove did at our church.

The guy doing the introduction is my "big brother" Rick.
My friend Ernest is the one holding the video camera and you can see my step-daughter, Tina running around with her camera.
She took all of the photos for the event.


Friday, March 21, 2008

The Sound of Wind……

On Monday night of this week, while visiting family and friends in California, my son’s car was stolen while he and his little sister were at the movies. He filed reports with the police and checked in with them every day. He had contacted his insurance company to begin the claim process.

He was pretty bummed. I told him that the car can be replaced and that I am just thankful that he and his sister are okay. “But Dad, a car like that one is really rare!”

He’s right, cars like his don’t come along often (the year, make and model, in excellent condition). It was really nice.

I had been praying like crazy for my son. I know a lot of you have been praying too.

Thank you.

He had finally accepted the fact that he’ll never see his car again and we made arrangements to fly him home next week.

Yesterday afternoon my son called me.

“I am so happy!”



“You did? How? What happened?”

“The police found it just down the street from where it was stolen. In an apartment complex parking lot. The stereo, my iPod and all my tools are gone, but the car is still in great shape and runs great! I’m driving it right now!”

Apparently, the thieves left behind a lot of WD-40 covered hand prints and finger prints and the police found a used syringe in the center console. There is hope they may actually find those guys. The thieves had taken the time to remove the stereo and the brackets and the wiring harness, so the dashboard is not damaged.

My son has his car back.

And God is good and God answers prayer.

Please read that last statement again. As I was thinking about writing this, it occurred to me what that last statement says and what it means.

Would I still say that, giving God the Glory and praising His name if the car had never been recovered?

I was really trying hard to do just that before my son called me. I was trusting that God knew what He was doing and that

“…all things work together for the good…..according to His purpose…”, and I was doing my best to encourage my son to keep moving forward and trust God. But did I really mean it deep down inside? (Would you?)

I have been thanking God and praising Him ever since my son called me yesterday.


Would I still feel this way if things had gone the other way?
I would like to think so, but I also know it wouldn’t be with as near as much enthusiasm and joy.

God knows my heart and I know there is no way I could ever fool Him or put one over on Him.

I am rejoicing for my son. Even though he will be listening to the sound of wind for 2100 miles early next week as he drives his car home.

Maybe he’ll hear the Holy Spirit speaking to him through the wind?

He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind.
(2 Samuel 22:11)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Crystal’s Questions....1 & 2

Hi. I am the Alpha Dude at Northview Christian Life Church in Carmel, Indiana.
While the adults are attending the Alpha Course, I have the privilege of presented the kid-version of the adult message to their children. It is a great honor and I have come to love and respect those kids. Besides getting to dress up in a Hawaiian shirt and act goofy and talk with a surfer-dude voice, I get to see how smart some of those kids really are. They may seem like little kids to most people, and I suppose they are, but they also have some very grown up questions and concerns.

I met one of the Dads recently, and he told me about his daughter, who is, right now, one of the kids I get to teach and entertain on Monday nights. Her name is Crystal.
Her Dad said that Crystal has been asking a lot of questions lately and has even taken the time to write them all down. After speaking with him for a while, I asked him if it would be alright for me to get a copy of that list of questions, with Crystal’s permission, of course.

The very next week, he gave me list. Crystal herself even asked me later if got a copy of her list and asked me what I thought. She was rather excited that I would be interested in her questions. I told her I thought she asked very good questions and that I would do my best to answer them. By the way, Crystal is twelve years old.

From Crystal’s list, in the order she wrote them:

1. How do we know God exists?
2. Why can’t we see God?

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)
Okay, so let’s not spend our time quoting scripture. That would be too easy. And in most cases, defending biblical things requires referring to scripture, because God’s Word is truth, and you just can’t argue with the truth. But what if someone refuses to believe what is written in the Bible, or doesn’t yet know what is in there? How do you make your case if you can’t refer to the Bible? Well, let’s give it a try, since after all, we are answering the questions of a 12 year old girl.

There is new song out by George Strait called “I saw God today”. It is a beautiful song that reminds me of the time when my children were born. To watch them form from nothing, to the day they breathed their first breath. As they made their first sounds, Yah Hey – Vah Hey, the very name of God (Yaweh). The breath of life. Looking at those little babies as they entered this world, a miracle from Heaven, created in the image of God, and in the likeness of their parents. How could God not exist?

I’ve climbed a few mountains in my time. One was over 14,000 feet above mean sea level. It was a beautiful clear day. From the top of that mountain I could see the curvature of the earth. I could see the valleys below, teaming with life. Rivers and streams, trees, plants, flowers, birds and all the forest type critters roaming about. Where did they all come from? Surely, someone, or something, had to have made them. I stared in awe as I watched the clouds drift by in the clear blue sky while I felt the cool breeze on my face.

Other occasions have found me staring up at the clear night sky admiring all the stars and constellations. Certainly someone put them there and set them all into motion.

And what about me? Where did I come from and what purpose do I serve in being here? And why here and not someplace else? I figure it is all a part of some divine plan. But whose plan? Clearly, none of those things could have happened by chance.

I have seen some pretty amazing things in my life.
I have seen an angry, wicked man who lived a violent and dangerous life, exposing his wife and children to the world of drugs and crime and evil, turn away from it and now follows Jesus. If you’d met him before, you would never know it was the same man. But it is him. Something renewed him. Something changed his heart. God is the only one who had the power to reach that man.

I’ve seen lives changed. I’ve seen miracles happen. Many of them in my own life.

I am trying hard not to resort to the Bible to answer Crystal’s questions. It would be so easy to quote a specific verse and then provide examples as to why it is true. But there are non-biblical historical writings that talk about a man named Jesus who walked this earth and the timeline matches what is written in the Bible. Those writings talk about a man named Jesus, who was born in Bethlehem, who performed many miracles that could not be explained and who was crucified by the Romans for claiming to be God.

Every account that I read of people who set out to prove the Bible wrong, trying to prove that God does not exist, has resulted in those very people coming into a saving relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ.

Now, some people will still argue that there is no proof that God exists. And their arguments are based on personal opinion, not facts. Of all the people who took the time to do the research and do their homework and really try to build a case against the existence of God, has come to realize that God does exist and that He is just who He said He is.
(If you have not yet read the book “Evidence that Demands a Verdict”, by Josh McDowell, I highly recommend it).

I remember a TV show from a while back called Joan of Arcadia. Joan was a young girl who met God face to face. God appeared to her as different people at different times. Near the beginning of the show, Joan was talking to God, who had appeared to her as a young man. She wanted proof that he was God, so she asked him to perform a miracle. The young man pointed to a big Oak tree and said, “How about this?”
Joan replied, “That’s just a tree!”So God said, “Let’s see YOU make one!”
Does God exist?
Just look around you. How can you look at a flower, or a tree, or the sunset, or the stars in the sky or the love in someone’s eyes, and think that God doesn’t exist? Still need proof? Look in the mirror.

You were made in the image of Almighty God. You are perfect in His eyes. He created you for a purpose. He created you for His pleasure. He loves you enough to send His Son here to pay the price for your sins and for mine.

In the book of Psalms, it is written: “Be still, and KNOW that I am God”.

Just know.

Every time I get to hang out with those Alpha Sprout kids at the church, or look into the eyes of my own children, I can honestly say, “I saw God today”.

Have you seen God today?

Next time: more of Crystal’s Questions

3. How much longer until the rapture?
4. How do we know for a fact that there will be a rapture?
5. Why do non-believers have to stay living while believers die at the rapture?

The Lord your God is with you. He will quiet you with His love. (Zephaniah 1:17)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sorry to wake you….but…

A couple of months ago, my son finally found the car of his dreams.
Sadly, he didn’t have enough money to buy this car, even though he could get it for way less than it was worth. It was difficult to start and keep running. My son swore he knew how to fix it.
So I gave him the money and he bought this car. It is a 1990 Acura RS.

Once he got it home, it cost him a $20 part and ten minutes of his time, and that car was running like a song. He got a really great deal. I can’t remember when I’ve seen him so happy and excited.

For an 18 year old car, it is in really good shape. Sure it needs a few minor things, but they are things he can do over time and he intended to make this car like brand new.

Last week, my 19 year old son drove this car to California (about 2100 miles) to see his little sister. She’s on spring break and he wanted to surprise her, which he did. Sure, flying out there may have been less expensive, but this is something he felt he needed to do.

At around one o’clock this morning, my phone rang.

When I answered, I heard, “Dad, I’m really sorry to wake you….but….my car has been stolen”.

I found his paperwork and gave him the license plate number and vehicle ID number, which he relayed to the police officer standing next to him.

He had taken his little sister to the movies, and when they came out, the car was just gone.

I cannot imagine how anyone could do such a thing.

My heart aches for him. I haven’t slept since that call.

Please pray for my son and the safe return of his car.


Monday, March 17, 2008

in Correct……

Part of what I do for my job is to travel to various places in our state and inspect and evaluate roads to determine what types of treatments to apply to a particular type of pavement.

One day last week, a co-worker and I traveled to the south east portion of our state to check on a stretch of highway for an upcoming project. On the way back, we took an alternate route so we could evaluate the pavement for a future project. I was driving.

As we passed through a particular small town, I mentioned to my co-worker, “We’re in Correct”.
He said, “No, I checked the map. I’m sure this is the right road we’re on”.

“Oh, I know we’re on the right road, but we’re still in Correct”.

“What makes you think so?”

If you’ll look on the Indiana State map, near the south eastern corner of the state, you will find a small town named Correct, located in Ripley County (believe it or not), Indiana.

Like most people, I do not like to admit when I’m wrong, and thankfully, it doesn’t happen often.

But one day last week, I was indeed, in Correct.


Sunday, March 09, 2008

TwoDaLoo….my darlin’?

You know how sometimes someone will post the words to a song and then as you read the words, the tune gets stuck in your head? Yeah, well now it’s my turn.

Do you remember that old song about Daisy?

Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer true.
I’m half crazy, all for the love of you.
We won’t have a stylish marriage,
I can’t afford a carriage,
But you’ll look sweet,

upon the seat,
Of a toilet built for two…….

Toilet? Did he just say “toilet”?

Yeah. A toilet built for two.

You see, I am a handyman of sorts (I like to build things and do home improvement projects) and I get stuff in the mail about new products or techniques or tools. This latest one had a new product called the TwoDaLoo.
It’s sort of a love seat that you can do your business in.

The article I read says that Lowes is going to introduce the TwoDaLoo in its stores real soon. They actually think this thing will sell.

It’s a dual toilet where you would face each other and be able to take a dump together.
They say it has a 7 inch high “privacy wall” built into it.
As you can see, that isn’t a privacy wall, that is more of a splash guard. No guarantee that you won’t get any on you, but at least you may not get any on someone else! That, and all you need to do is look straight down and you get the whole picture. More than you probably wanted to ever see about your loved one.
(or whoever else you choose to share this "experience" with)

Now, I do understand that the Bible says that when you get married that the two shall become as one, but I’m not so sure that includes being as one while doing number two.
The article did say that they did some research to find out that a good percentage of married people have no problem doing their business while their spouse is nearby. Although my wife and I like to do a lot of things together, tandem dumping has never been considered as one of those things.

Just to make sure, I showed this picture to my wife and asked her what she thought.
“Not in this house!”

I suppose some things are just meant to be private.
(I suddenly have the urge to go light a match)