Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'm a little kid....

What is it about snow that makes me turn into a 5 year old? Seriously, not two weeks ago, we got over 13 inches of snow in Keller, one day. In fact, it was a single day record for snowfall here. Of course, the weatherman said the night before that we could get a few inches, but thats about it...he was close.

I woke up around 6:30 wanting to get a peek outside to see if it was snowing, or had already snowed. I looked out the window and it was a winter wonderland in my tiny little backyard! There was already about 4 inches on the ground and it was snowing hard! At this point I was wide awake...I ran to the front door to see what the neighborhood looked like, then ran back to the bedroom to make sure Joanna was up to see all the snow. I forced her out of bed and into some warm clothes so we could go out and play in it...I'm pretty sure we were the first ones on our street to be out and about.

We made a snowman (joanna's FIRST snowman ever), I made snow ice cream (Joanna's FIRST ever) and we even tried to go sledding with an ice chest lid. All I could think was that "I'm acting the same today as I did every time it snowed when I was growing up..."

It reminded me of Matthew 18, "Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven..." The snow has reminded me that is where I need to be...trusting Christ like a child trusts his parents, enamored with Christ like a child is when it snows, awed by Christ the way a child is awed by superheroes. Sometimes, at least for me, I get caught up in myself, I need to be reminded to get over myself, quit taking myself so seriously and just trust in a little child.

May you all remember, may you all find the inner child and may that inner child remind you that trusting is easier than we make it out to be!

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Different Kind of Man...

Joanna and I decided last year that we would spend our first Thanksgiving and Christmas as a married couple by ourselves. We decided to spend Thanksgiving in was a great choice! Neither of us had ever been there, or to New England anywhere for that matter, so we were excited to see what that part of the country was like. It might be my new favorite city, and it was exactly what I pictured fall in New England to be...crisp and cool but not freezing, some leaves gone, but some with all the colors that make fall great (you know, all the reds and yellows and oranges that we don't see in Texas...dang you Texas). Overcast but not rainy, it was perfect.

We did everything a good tourist should do...the Freedom Trail which takes you to every important American Revolution spot in Boston. We saw Paul Revere's house, saw where they read the Declaration of Independence for the first time, saw the Old North Church where they put the lantern after Revere's midnight ride (one if by land, two if by sea...). We saw Plymouth Rock, Harvard and of course, Fenway Park. A GREAT trip!

I love history, especially American History. I love visiting historical places, there is something both mystifing and comforting being in a place hundreds of years old and knowing that great men once walked in the exact place I'm standing. I could close my eyes in the Old South Meeting House and almost hear men like John Hancock stirring the congregants to action while planning the Boston Tea Party, or stand at the grave of Sam Adams and know that buried there was a man known to be "A leader of men and an ardent Patriot." It makes me wonder where those men are now. I wonder what these men would think of the way our country has mis-used the rights they fought so desperately and so hard to achieve...but that's a whole other soapbox.

These men left a legacy. A real, tangible legacy. They didn't live their lives just thinking of themselves. They lived each day with an eye to the future, they built a life for their children and grandchildren that would be better than the one they lived. They built an empire. What kind of legacy am I leaving? What kind of legacy are you leaving? I refuse to be one of the masses that simply gets by, looking out for number one. I doubt that hundreds of years from now there will be anyone inspired by my tombstone, no tourists taking snapshots and saying what a great man I was, but I WILL live each day putting my wife's needs before my own. I will greet my neigbors with a smile and a kind word in an effort to create a chance to share truth. I will bend my knees daily to the Father in an effort to be more like Him and to love better.

So, in honor of these men that won our independence, I am working on my Declaration of Dependence. An actual document re-declaring my dependence on the Father to live, love Maybe by doing this daily, my legacy will be like what Isaiah wrote about in chapter 58: "You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings." Not for my own glory...for His alone. Any takers?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Village...

What a blast the past month has been for Joanna and I! Most of it has been centered around the Razorbacks, which is both good and bad (thanks to them losing!!), we spent the first weekend of October going to the new Cowboys stadium with my great friend Brian Robinette (see previous post), the next weekend was in Fayetteville at the Auburn game with BOTH the Robinette's, the Qualls', Doug and a whole host of great friends. That was followed by a weekend in The Woodlands baby sitting Jo's little brother and sister and having a blast messing with the Gator fans of that household!

While all that was fun, it was a fresh reminder of how much I miss my friends! Wouldn't it be great if we could start a community all on our own...much like the move The Village (minus all the creepy stuff of course). Think about it, wouldn't it be great if you could hand pick all your favorite people to live in the same community with you. Work together, raise kids together, play and laugh and cry together. Not like a wierd David Koresh compound, simply our own little town. We could call it Friendsville or You're Not Allowed In Town. It would no doubt anger some who would be left on the outside looking in...they would just have to get over it!

I'm pretty sure that's what the Garden of Eden was supposed to be. Lots of people enjoying life free from outside harm and stress. Too bad sin had to screw it up for the rest of us...good one Adam and Eve. And I'm pretty sure that's what Heaven will be like too...lots of great people, and none of the riff raff we have to deal with here :).

So, all that to say, way to go October '09! Thanks for reminding me that God is good....he has blessed us with friends and family that truly do love us. He has promised us a great place to live when we get home someday...and sealed us with the great Holy Spirit guarantees our deposit into our home. Thanks for reminding me that this isn't my home, not Texas, not Fort Worth...I'm the actually the riff raff. I'm ok with that!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A birds eye view...

We decided, kind of at the last minute, to go to the Arkansas vs. Texas A & M game this past weekend at the new Cowboys Stadium, aka "Jerry's World." What an unbelievable place to watch a game. At first we weren't going, but Brian Robinette was coming in for the game so we decided to go as well. Good choice. It really is a spectacle that all sports fans should see.....but this post isn't about the stadium so I digress.

We DID NOT have good seats to this game, they were way too expensive for us! In fact, we were so high my nose is still bleeding! Sitting that high gave an interesting perspective to the game though. What I began to notice (as I should...I did play pee wee and jr high football) was from our birds eye view we could see everything develop. We could see what the defense was going to do, we could see when a receiver came open, we could see when a big hit was coming. It was actually really cool. Is that the way God sees us? I mean, He's up in Heaven right? Does He look down on us the way I was looking down on the Hogs? I don't think so...what do you think?

Here's what I wished were true, I wish we could see our lives the way I was watching the game. Think about it, if we could see what was coming, just how the enemy was going to attack us the same way a defense attacks a quarterback, wouldn't it make life a little easier? It seems like it would help us all avoid some mistakes, we could gameplan life a little easier. Unfortunately, we can't do that. We have to take a play at a time, one step at a time. So what do we do? We cling to truth, we cling to the Bible, to prayer, to trusted family and friends to help us avoid the defense and succeed in life.

So maybe we don't have the advantage of seeing our world and our lives from a birds eye view, but we do have the advantages of the things I just mentioned. We can pray, we can lean on scripture, we can open up to people we love who can help us move forward. My prayer for you all (and myself) is that we do just that. And when you do get the chance to step back for an aerial view, a snap shot of life...look for the good, look for the successes, look for ways to grow from the past. I love you all....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Crashes all around...

I saw a wreck today. I was sitting at a stop light in the middle of traffic and watched a car travelling toward me think about darting through a yellow light. The car behind him, I think, really wanted him to go so she could go too. She probably had somewhere really important to be, you know...a pedicure, tanning, Target...big, important stuff. Her problem came when the first car changed his mind and stopped, she stopped too...after slamming into his bumper. As the light changed again and I drove by the accident I noticed a few things: (1) Both drivers were very frustrated and seemed to be blaming each other. (2) The woman had also been applying makeup, she had a streak of red lipstick from her lip to nostril. (3) EVERYONE wanted to slow down and soak up every little detail they could. Like Will Ferrell says, they were "curious like a cat."

I can't seem to get that last thing out of my head...or my heart. What is it about a wreck that makes us all want to stop and stare...not help, just stare. Maybe we're all thinking, "I'm glad that's not me," or "Too bad for that guy." Whatever the reason, we all do it (you know you do). The problem for me is that it doesn't matter the wreck, it can be a car wreck, a plane wreck on the news or a human being that is the wreck...we love to watch! Why do you think reality tv is so popular? We all want to see a real life melt down! Eventually, we all just sit staring...cold and numb. We stand watching disaster in the midst of wreckage. Often with no trace of feeling.
I think too often I'm the wreck...usually just on the inside.

I understand what's its like to feel indifferent to the person I've become where traits like self-promotion, dishonesty and displacement rule while perseverance, trust and forgiveness are rare. I understand what it's like to feel unresponsive to my friends, my family, my God and myself. I know what it's like for emotions and response to feel as though they've been muted. I also know that prayer, true accountability and openness are the beginning stages of change. Change doesn't happen overnight, but it does happen when we trust God, persevere in the faith and forgive those who have injured us.

The real problem with wrecks is that we injure others, we leave others to clean up the mess, we get exposed. Lets commit to NOT being the wrecks. Let's trust and persever and forgive. Let's also commit to helping those involved in wrecks, avoid the numbness...avoid the curious stares. We can help clean up the mess together.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Round one...

I've always seemed to have this knack for getting things close to right, but not quite perfect. Good, but messy good. I was more of a 'B' student in school, I was/am a below average athlete (much to my chagrin), I fear that my friends are better to me than I am to them, I know my wife is! I'm not terribly out of shape, but can't seem to get in great shape. I don't always eat bad, but love a good MoonPie. I don't grow the best beard, but it's not bad! Overall, just a messy attempt at being good.

I'm not a great writer, so hopefully folks don't expect too much from my messy attempt at a blog. I do have an untapped desire in me to express myself this way. It doesn't really matter to me if it gets read or not. Again, it's my messy attempt at getting it out.

Here's what you can expect from me: a weekly (at least) update on my "messy attempt" at living life for something bigger than me. I'm tired of being "Rudy-centric!" My parents always told me when I was little that the world doesn't revolve around me...I get it now. So I'll try to put my life experiences (past, present and future) into the context of scripture and into the context of a fallen, sinful, selfish man who happens to be saved from all of those things thanks to this wonderful mystery called the "Gospel."

Recently, my "Rudy-centric" existence has literally been rocked by the tragic news of yet another brother who has had his secrets exposed for ALL to see. It's not pretty, in fact it's heartbreaking. I don't want that to be me...ever. So, I'm opening up. I'm inviting people into my messy attempt at living this life.

I welcome your comments, suggestions and critiques...bring it! Better yet, join me!