Thursday, February 4, 2010


Seriously, what a week.  Death seems to just be staring me in the face this week.  So many people I know facing death....some young...some old.  Today I just read on a friend of Annie's blog a wife lost her husband last night to cancer.  We have been following these people and praying with them as they go through this tough time.  I can't imagine losing someone so close.

Last night at youth group we talked about death and how it comes so unexpected.  We talked about the importance of family.  I lost it then in front of all them.  I couldn't keep in the tears.  My grandfather is having surgery this weekend to correct his heart.  I love him a lot, and want to see him live more years to come.  I want him to see my children.  He is only in his 60's.  Such memories we share together as I was growing up.  He taught me how to fish, and we would go often.  I am remember the day when he watched me catch my first bass.  We talk about that day a lot when we see each other.  Even though this stuff is hard I believe God is good.  My other grandpa asked me yesterday if I would be his pall bearer, and one of my favorite pastors is battle brain cancer.  I am sure that I will see more of this as I get older.  I just never expected it to all hit me at once.  

The thing that has been ringing through my mind is, "what happens when things get worse?  What will be my response? Will I believe God is good? Will I continue to seek Him?"  I am constantly brought back to 2 Cor 4:17.  "For our light and momentary afflictions are but for a moment in comparison that surpassing weight of glory that awaits us."  The thing that God seems to be saying to me is that this will only last for a while, its not permanent.  Even if it continues the rest of your life, in comparison to heaven its just a grain of sand in the ocean.  

I want my life to be like the Johnson family who endure cancer to the end.  Josiah, who breathed his last breath last night, was a father that loved his children and his wife.  That was evident, but the way his family endured this trial and the whole time praising God for His goodness.  That takes a man of God to point his family in such a direction.  Only a husband that loves Jesus could remind his family of the goodness of God, despite the death that seemed to be approaching sooner and sooner.  I want to be this man.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


So recently my wife showed me a blog website of a friend who's husband is struggling with terminal cancer.  He is now in hospice, and probably won't make it much longer.  This post inspires me to be more of a man of God.  I echo with my brother, "I need to grow up." I am ready to take life more seriously.  Read the words of this wife who records a day in the hospice:

We had the kids come last night and Josiah talked with both of them individually for what will probably be the last time on this earth.  It was one of the most precious and heart-wrenching scenes I have ever witnessed.  He loves his children so much.  I want to write down what his words were to them in case I forget.  I want to be able to remind them later.
Ava was very excited to see her Daddy.  She is not intimidated by new places and ran right to him when I brought her back to Josiah’s room.  She cuddled very sweetly on his lap while they had one of their “talks”.  Josiah has been talking with her about heaven and death for a couple weeks now.  Just little bits at a time.  When she got settled, he first gave her the plan of salvation right off the bat.  He told her what Jesus had done for her on the cross and that she needed His forgiveness for her sins.  He told her that she needed to then live her life for Jesus.  She heartily agreed to all of this…not sure how much she understands at this point, but she is getting truth in her head.  Josiah went on to tell her how much he loves her.  He reminded her of the name he called her when she was a baby (“baby Ava”).  He told her to love Mommy and to obey her.  He told her that God had a special plan for her life.  He then kissed her hair, her hands, and her sweet little face.  The three of us read a little book together and then she gave her Daddy a bear hug and a big kiss and happily skipped out of the room.
On the way back to the waiting room she asked if there were other sick people there.  I explained to her again, in simple terms, about death and heaven.  I told her that she had just had a special, special talk with Daddy and that someday I would remind her of it.  She was happy with that answer and went to spread some much needed joy and love in the waiting room.
For Lincoln, I had planned out with my Mom to bring him hungry so Josiah could feed him a bottle.  For the past several months Lincoln’s bedtime bottle has been their special Father-Son time, so I thought that would be a nice calm things for them to do together.  Lincoln was a little unsure, but as soon as he saw his Daddy, his face lit up!  Link cuddled and drank his bottle and Josiah talked with him.  He challenged him to be the man of the house.  To watch out and take care of his mother and big sister.  He emphasized to him several times to respect his mother, to obey her, and grow in wisdom so he could give wise counsel to her.  That he had picked out his mother from everyone else to be his wife and Lincoln’s mother.  He told him to make sure that no one harmed his sister.  He told him about the love of Jesus and how God sent Him to earth to die for him.  He told him to be a warrior for the Lord.  Josiah told him how proud he was of him and how much he loved him.  He told him that he was “his beloved son, in whom he was well pleased”.  How he was carrying on his name and when it was the right time, he was to pick out a “special little lady”.  Josiah prayed that Lincoln would be a man of honor and integrity.  That he would be a man’s man…strong and gentle.  That he would never be bitter or angry because his Daddy died so early.  That both Link and Ava would know Christ at an early age and live for Him all their days.  Josiah prayed that I would have wisdom in raising them.
Josiah took off Lincoln’s little slipper and sock and tickled his foot.  He wanted to hear Link giggle and he did.  Josiah kissed him and cuddled with him and after Lincoln was done with his bottle I took him back out.  Lincoln grinned all the way out.  I told Lincoln on our way back to the waiting room that he had just a very special talk with his Daddy and that I would remind him of it one day.
God gave Josiah strength to have these special moments with his beloved children.  I am very thankful for that.
I don’t think Josiah could have ever finished everything he had on his list.  But we will not have any regrets.  Whatever gets accomplished is what was supposed to happen.  The rest….God will provide.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Zion National Park

Oh man talk about an exhilarating trip.  This was a trip that I will always remember.  Justin and I hiked through a canyon for hours and climbed a peak that I literally thought I was going to die on.  I think in one of those photos you can actually see where I peed my pants.  LOL We then camped out there and found ourselves talking about everything from childhood to God.  It was most memorable trip that I can't wait to take again with my good friend Justin.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Faithful I am not

I would like to say that I am faithful all the time;  I continually seek God, and on weekly basis I hear His audible voice.  The truth is that there are many times when I find it hard to trust God, to lean on Him, to ask of Him, to be consumed by Him, and to reflect Him in my life.  I want this, but it is not always the case.  

Although, there is one thing that is consistent in my life, and that is God's faithfulness.  Even when I am not faithful, God is.  

2 Timothy 2:13 "If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself." 

Despite my faithlessness, God works.

Last night we saw a whole slew of youth in youth group, and I had nothing to do with it.  I prayed a couple times throughout the week, but I did nothing and God did everything.  I normally am not nervous about Wednesday nights either, but I was for some reason I was last night.  Though once again, despite me God was faithful and many seemed to be moved by the message.  All I can say is "God is good and I love Him for His faithfulness." 

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


You ever thought about the moment when you pass from this life and instantly you are in the presence of God.  Looking at examples of people who have seen a glimpse of Him: Isaiah falls to his face and says to God "I am undone" in other words I am not worthy.  He can't even lift his eyes.  Or what about Peter, John, and James when they follow Jesus up the mountain right before His transfiguration.  They respond in the same fear.

Its a frightening thought think that these men who were devoted following God were not worthy of standing in the presence of God.  How would I be any more worthy than them?  I wouldn't.  I am often times reminded of an experience I had out in Seattle.  I being from Iowa have never seen anything close to a mountain until I went their.  Mount Rainier sits as the second highest peak in the continental U.S.  I didn't know this at the time.  I decided one afternoon that I would climb to the top.  Those who know of this mountain are probably laughing right now.  Some friends and I are climbing real fast as we only have like 5 hours.  So we are sprinting up this thing.  Eventually we get to snow and ice, and we start to notice that the people around us are no longer wearing tennis shoes like us, they are wearing spikes and have poles.  We are slipping every which way.  By the way, this whole time we can't see the peak because it covered by a cloud.  We keep saying, "we have to be getting close".  Suddenly, the clouds part for just a second to show a glimpse of the peak.  We weren't even close to the top.  At that point I never felt so small.  I had no idea how big this mountain was.  Looking back I think about that experience, and I think I bet this is what heaven will be like when we stand before God.  I can imagine my words now, "I never knew...."

So what to do with these thoughts and feelings? It reminds me that my God is more than an old bearded man in the clouds.  It reminds that my God is to be feared.  It reminds me that I am not worthy to be His follower. At the same time I know my God loves me.  Weighty stuff.....A.W. Tozer says, "What I believe about God is the most important thing about me"

Monday, October 26, 2009

I'm Alive

So I figured I would start this blog off with where the title of this blog came from.  I was reading Romans 6, and more specifically verses 4 & 5.

"Therefore we have been buried with him though baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may live a new life. For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be united in the likeness of his resurrection."

Wow these such familiar truths began to have new meaning as I meditated on that all day.  I was driving and thought to myself who I once was, all the regrets, and everything that despised is dead.  Who I once was is dead.  That is not me anymore.  That man was buried with Christ.  Jesus took all the regrets, guilt, shame, and everything that was hideous in my life and bore that in His body as He hung a bloody mess....murdered for me.  Now I am alive.  In the car, I kept saying to myself, "I am alive...I am alive...because Jesus I am alive!"  I am a new person.  I have a fresh new start at life, and on top of that I have been freed from sin.  I bursted into tears, "I am alive!"

These have been sobering thoughts, and much needed in the drought that sometimes takes place in my heart.  I love it when God brings the rain.  God is so good.