Monday, February 27, 2012

2 Years Later...grateful.

2 years ago tomorrow...just about 15 minutes before our church service and my chest started hurting...hurting A LOT! I told our leaders that the service was all theirs and asked Kelsey to take me to the hospital. Found out that I was having a 36 years of my my arteries was 100% clogged and BAM!!

2 years later, I have a lot to be thankful for...Grateful that I didn't wait to go to the hospital...grateful that I am in better physical health than I have been in years...grateful that I get to be here to love my wife...grow old with her and influence the lives of my children...PLUS...Sadie was born 1 year after my heart attack...what a beautiful gift she is!!!!Priceless.

I am grateful for a new perspective on life. Learning a lot about where we can influence lives the best...I don't want to waste the 2nd chance on life that I have been given...and that is NOT going to happen. My perspective shift has been from performance driven to influence driven...(Maybe that should be my first book!)...but really. I have lived most of my life concerned about what other people think and trying to be the still strive for the best out of me, but I look more for how I can best influence people toward Jesus...we can sure do a lot of stuff, but are we really making a difference in people's lives?!

Grateful is a great word for fact...I'm grateful that my mom texted me tonight...because if I'm to be honest...I completely forgot about tomorrow...forgot that it had been 2 years!!!! Too busy livin' I guess! :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Time for a Dog

We just couldn't wait! We simply can't!! We had our little Zeke put to sleep over Christmas Break and our house really hasn't been the same...Zeke was such a part of our part of the family...

So, it is now time...a week or 2 ago we put a deposit down on a puppy...and the litter was just born over the is our kids (and our!) big birthday and Christmas present for the year. We are sooooo excited to have a puppy for our kids to enjoy!!

Yes...we know the work that goes into a puppy, but we just can't stand the thought of not having a dog around! AND Zeke didn't like kids very much...nay...he REALLY didn't like kids! will be fun to have a pup around that the kids can enjoy and play with.

I'll get some pics up after we get some...CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sadie Lynn

A gift from God.
Precious Baby.
A gift from God.
Sadie Lynn is such a blessing from God. In February 2010, I was in a hospital wondering what my life was going to be like after having a heart attack. In February 2011, I was back in the hospital...only this time it was to welcome our new little one...Sadie Lynn...she has been such a blessing.
She is simply the midst of a tough year...Sadie has been a true shining light...there were times over the past 6 months especially where I would just go to her to see that innocent smile...the one that just makes every hard thing in life melt away... have no idea...not even a clue what you have meant to me and your family...the joy you have brought is simply priceless! I love you Sadie Lynn and I am soooo proud to be your father.

Friday, February 17, 2012


I will never forget that night...Uncle Bob and Aunt Judy were going to take me to buy a new BMX bike...I couldn't mind was racing with excitement and anticipation of my new bike. I simple COULD NOT WAIT!
I still remember going to the store...remember buying it (well...they bought it!)...remember riding that bike like crazy.
We toooo often lose that innocent anticipation and excitement...we can get so muddied up with hurt and pain that we don't really want to get excited...We become so times as we grow older we have hurts that happen--times of disappointment that such the joy and fun right out of us...
What do we become though if we live that way? It is truly a depressing way to live...we must be willing to risk being hurt or disappointed again.
What is a dream that you have? Or something that you are hoping for or dreaming for? If something were to cross your path...some exciting turn in your life...would you be to calloused from past pain that you wouldn't risk stepping out?
Hey...I just prayed for you...whoever you are and wherever you are at in your life! Prayed that you would be willing to get excited be willing to have that childlike anticipation for whatever turn God wants to take in your life!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Just Go.

The past couple of years have been interesting to say the least...several humbling things have come my way...things that have made me question to the depth of my being...who I I make does God really direct me.

Here is something else that I know...a good friend asked me a question back in September or early October...I told him that I didn't know how to know God's will anymore...that I was unsure about just about everything...he then questioned me (I hate it when people use my own tactics back on me!!!!)...asked me what I felt confident about...when it comes to God's direction...what did I still believe to be true...

My answer surprised me at the time...because although my dreams seemed to be shattered...I still felt know...the confidence in your gut when you just know that you know that something is right...I felt confident in the vision and direction that God had given me back with Hope Community see lives changed and to be involved in church planting...AND I still felt called live and influence lives right here in South Bend, IN.

It felt so weird to even say it...that I was confident in the didn't really make has left me wondering what God is up too...and I still wonder what all he is up too...My prayer over the past months is for God to keep me influencing people right where I am right now and to make our next steps very clear...

Sometimes God answers our prayers clearly...and sometimes...he simply wants us to Just Go. To simply step out and step up. To quit sitting around waiting for him to give us some BIG SIGN that this is the next step for our lives...and instead to JUMP RIGHT IN!

I feel that I am at that point right now...waiting...seeking...wondering though if God is simply saying..."just go." In the still small voice like he did to Elijah.

How about you? Do you have something that you have been wrestling with...something that you have been waiting for a "sign from God?" Is it simply time to just go forward and begin to do what it is that God wants from you?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Random Stuff

Random stuff as it pops in my head...

-Spent HOURS yesterday finishing my Teacher of the Year portfolio...been a cool process
-Spent a lot of time on it, but it sure doesn't look like it!
-Been thinking a lot lately of where I can have the most do I influence people the best
-Giants vs. Patriots...not sure who I'm rooting for
-Coach B from the Patriots...truly a story of bouncing back...he was TERRIBLE in Cleveland, but OBVIOUSLY better now. 2nd chances
-Tom Brady...leader
-Luke stayed all night at a friends house last night...just doesn't seem like he should be that old yet!
-GREAT vision messages the past few weeks at Living Stones...Just love Sam's passion!
-Quote of the morning: "Let's not be excited about a church that is doing things for God, let's BE that church that is doing things for God!" YES!!
-Love how we love the community here...been a good fit for our family...great place to heal and get recharged
-Chloe simply LOVES the youth group...she needed that.
-If I could do anything in the world what would I do...asked myself that this week
-Had a friend say...if he was given 1 million $ what would he do...asked myself that this week too
-Sad that Mr. Cabiness passed away...(read yesterday's post!)
-GREAT to see some old friends was tough to leave Bremen when I taught there...GREAT staff...Great kids...Great community!
-Frankly...every school or job I have ever had was hard to leave...
-I simply NEVER EVER want to lose my hope in people...that they can change...that they can live up to their God given potential
-What if...
-What would happen if you got to the end of your life and realized that you focused on the wrong things? Don't worry about that...instead DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!!
-Alright...I LOVE all the pregame is fun!! (Told you this was random!)
-I want to live the 2nd half of my life even better than the first...(assuming I am 1/2 way through!!)...I don't want to just coast...
-Ever heard Keith Green's song: "I make my life a prayer to you...I want to do what you want me empty white token compromise...I wanna tell the world out there your NOT some fable or fairy tail...that I've made up inside my head...your God, The Son and you've risen from the dead! I wanna thank you now for being patient with's so hard to see...when my eyes are on me...I guess I'll have to trust and believe what you say...OH you're coming again...coming to take me away...I make my life a prayer to you......."
-So many times my life gets clouded...clogged up with my own thoughts...the stuff of life but then God just does something...something that grabs me and gets my attention and focus on glad God gives us multiple chances and never gives up on us...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

"Hey Mr. Cabiness...Thank you!"

It was 1997...I had been married for about a year and I was sending out applications to schools...looking for a job. I had had 2 interviews when I headed down to a town called Bremen. It was a small town...HEY...the sign as you go into town says..."Bremen...a good town."

I still remember that day like it was yesterday...I remember the 3 people that interviewed me. I even remember some of the questions!!

When I left that interview I thought..."I'm never going to get that job..." One of the teachers asking questions just didn't seem to like me...frankly...I knew I wasn't getting the job.

I was surprised when I received a call at a factory where I was working at the time...some man named Mr. Cabiness was on the other end...he was the principal and wanted to meet with me. I was excited and SCARED TO DEATH! He asked me to bring in a couple of songs to play and be ready for some questions.

I just got chills remembering that interview...Mr. Cabiness was a passionate man...he LOVED kids and demanded your best...he offered me a job that of the best decisions of my life was when I said yes!! He gave me my first "real world" job!!

Cabiness was great to work knew what he expected of you...he supported the arts and all of his teachers. Frankly, if a teacher had trouble with him...well...I just don't think he was one to blame!! I enjoyed going through the office and hearing him talking with students...he was tough, but then he would flash that contagious smile...that smile made everyone feel at home.

He was a strong leader...I mean come on...the man had to lead a K-8 building and in the K-4 there were 3 or 4 male teachers!! :) He also listened to his people...after my first interview, I was of the teachers didn't want me. But one lady (THANK YOU MRS. WALTER!!!!!!!) went to Mr. C and said..."you need to interview this guy...just interview him." I thankful that he listened to his people!!

In a profession where MANY drop out in their first years of teaching...many simply get disenchanted with everything that you have to deal with...Mr. Cabiness gave me a foundation to build on...he breathed confidence into me and allowed me to flourish.

After he retired...Mr. Cabiness couldn't quit...he came up here to South Bend and served as a "sub" principal in a number of schools...I was blessed to see him again last year when he "subbed" at our was good to be able to thank him in person for his impact on my life.

Mr. Cabiness passed away and his viewing was last night and funeral was today. When I went last night there were 100+ people ahead of me in line and at least another 100 as I was leaving...he left a lasting legacy...I will never forget his impact on my life and am a stronger person for knowing him.