Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Man's letter to His family and Friends

This letter is to my family and friends. Years ago, I decided to write letters that are typically written before someone dies. I am not dying, to my knowledge, as of yet. I feel healthy and have a lot of energy. However, no one can predict his or hers passing. We are simply on borrowed time. This is why it is so important to not waste our life on useless things or get caught up in lustful desires. 

Life is like being on a road that is only a mile long. The starting pointing and the end destination are not all that important as the traveling in between. The question I ask myself often. " What am I doing on this road?" I have been blessed to be one of those people who are always thinking and looking up at the stars. My life has been adventurous and amazing so far. I am married to a beautiful and lovely wife. I have been blessed with four handsome and beautiful children. God has surrounded me with wonderful family, friends and acquaintances. I have a great job that I love and supplies for my needs and desires. Most importantly, I have a relationship with the living King. I am at peace within myself, but I am at turmoil as well. I know that sounds like a double negative or seems impossible to have both. I am at peace through Christ, but the turmoil is the gut wrenching feeling that there is something more I should be doing. 

I believe there is a spiritual instinctive desire that hits individuals at certain points in their lives. Mine started at or around my early 30's. There has been some shifting in my life to accommodate but circumstances put things on the back burner. Now there is a renewal in side of me to accomplish something more in and through Christ. The funny thing is, I don't have a complete clue what the change looks like. I am just going into this thing as blind as a bat. Holy Spirit has to lead me.

I wanted to share what my ambitions are and what I am hopefully remembered for when I do past away. Legacy is so important to me. Maybe it is too important to me. Currently I am concerned if my family Surname will be carried on to the next generation through our family tree. I love my last name, but it is just temporary. My heavenly name through Christ is more important. Who will be our heirs and will they serve the Lord? What can be done to ensure this? 

Because I am quirky this way. I have to list my ambitions and desires for this second half of my life in a clear, defined order. Therefore, below is my list that I share with all who desire to read. I hope that it will spark something in you and cause you to take a 360 degree look at your life. What are you doing right now? If you have reached the last half of your life, what are you going to do? For me, I am believing that the second half of my life is greater than my first and will carry a greater significance. All I can do is trust in the living God and follow him. 

My Ambitions and desires for the Second half of my life. 

1. Have a more defined and closer relationship with my Savior.
2. Reach the next level of  relationship building with my wife. We are planning to go to Italy for our 25th wedding anniversary and renew our vowels. ( a,e,i,o,u and sometimes y. Just joking.) If you desire to come, let me know.
3. Reach the next level of relationship building with all my children. This means  becoming more of an influence and hopefully a mentor in their lives. 
4. Spend more time with my other family members.
5. Mentor and disciple as many young hearts that I can handle.
6. Serve and simply help people. I want my life to be about service and showing the love of Christ to others. This means traveling around the United States, traveling abroad, and supporting different charities that make a difference. It also means building up my own non-profit which will be used as an outlet to perform some of these tasks. 

That is it. 6 simple thoughts and ambitions. Obviously I have done most of these most of my whole life, but I feel this desire to step it up a notch. All I can do is move into a more significant place with my ambitions and godly desires. I simply want to help others in whatever capacity I can. This is my personal mission and hope. There is more to life than the rat race and busyness. If your life is all about yourself ( which I am willing to bet it is), then when will you move from self to others? Life is only a mile long. Some of us are at different markers on the mile stretch. Nonetheless, the mile drive is almost over what will be your significant contribution to this world that you will one day leave behind? 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Serpent, the Badger, and the Dove

Once there lived a Badger. The Badger was thought of as being worthy, gentle, graceful and a helper to others throughout the forest. He enjoyed being devoted to his creator and to the other animals. Most of his daily tasks consisted of helping fellow animals with their chores. Badger would help Beaver with the carrying of wood for Beaver's new house. Badger would help Skunk with the fumigation of his home due to a misfire. Badger would help the Dove who was the forest's voice for the creator. Dove and Badger were often seen together and working together to help the other animals. Dove was wise and intelligent. He always knew what to say to make the circumstance better. However in recent times Badger and Dove seemed to grow further apart.

There was a serpent who also lived in the forest. The serpent was cunning and quick with his poisonous strikes. He would spend days, sometimes weeks, tracking his prey before his final blow was administered. The serpent hated the creator because of the removal of his legs thousands of years ago. His whole existence was to cause havoc within the forest. His disdain for the creator was carried out on the creation. The serpent hated the Badger because of Badger's servant heart which was expressed daily. The serpent knew that Badger was too big to swallow but not to big to bite. The serpent's bite would cause the average animal to become evil and unresponsive to the Dove's message from the creator. In essence the victim would die from what was right to what was evil.  The serpent set out to bite Badger and turn him from the goodness. He watched Badger every day until he recognized the pattern. The serpent soon discovered that Badger would often walk along the river in the dawn of the day by himself and everyday. This is where the Serpent would strike.

True to his routine, Badger woke up early one morning and started his trek along the beaten path which was next to the river. Badger loved gazing at the river and seeing the reflection of the rising sun in its waters. In the bushes along the path laid a curl up Serpent. His head was reared back and ready to strike. The Serpent did not know that high above the tree tops sat Dove. The Dove also liked flying along the river banks and would often accompany the Badger. Dove saw the Serpent and immediately swooped down to warn Badger. Badger was quickly approaching the bush where evil was about to strike. Dove landed gracefully on the path just a few stones casted ahead of Badger. Dove yelled out to Badger. " Badger my friend, don't step another step further." Badger stopped instantly but with bewilderment" What is wrong Dove?" asked the Badger. " There is something in the bush ahead of you which could hurt your life." the Dover gently said. The Badger knew that the Dove was never wrong and had learn to follow his voice on a daily basis. The bush in question was just a few steps ahead of him and Badger did have a routine to keep. He was almost late from helping Beaver with his house.

Badger decided to ignore Dove and carry on with his routine. Besides he could not see anything wrong with the bush. Badger took his last two steps which moved him in front of the bush. Dove stood on the path ahead with tears welling up in his eyes. Suddenly without hesitation the serpent strikes out from within the bush and lands his fangs of discourse into the backside of Badger. Badger yells with an agonizing voice. His yell echoed throughout the forest. Many of the animals heard the gut-screeching scream and ran towards the river to see what was the commotion.

The serpent released his venom into Badger. Each fang pumped into Badger's system fluid of evil and hate. Badger shook Serpent off and staggered around the path dazed and confused. Dove flew up to Badger but could do nothing for him. The other forest animals made it to the path and circled around Badger as well. Tears falling like rain drops protruding from each animals face. They knew that Badger did not have long. The Serpent slithered away with a smile and disappeared into the dark shadows of the forest. Badger started to lose his sight and control of his body movements. Suddenly he fell onto the path next to the river. All motion ceased and he released his last breathe. Beaver and Skunk took the body of Badger and buried it under the sycamore tree close to the river. Dove shared with all the animals the day's message from the creator and about Badger's demise. Great sadness floated throughout the forest like a morning fog. Dove finished his message flew back up to the tree tops with a grieving heart.

Moral of the story: Don't become complacent in your faith to where you don't listen to Holy Spirit's direction. The enemy is always waiting behind the bush to strike down the next religious Christian. Once the strike is administered it is hard to turn from the evil which comes afterwards. Trust in Holy Spirit and let Him lead you down the right paths.