Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sentiments from a Snowmobile

This past Sunday afternoon, Tim and I went snowmobiling for time #3. It was 12 degrees outside, so I was a little suspicious of whether or not going out was wise, but we stayed quite warm dressed in our winter gear and we had a delightful time out on the trails together.

Instead of doubling up on the same sled, this time we each drove our own. This provided an unexpected quiet time alone on the sled with my thoughts, prompting this blog entry. Well, quiet except for the loud roaring of the snowmobile engine. :)

A few miles into the ride, I realized that it had been way too long since I had just been quiet, uninterrupted and alone with my thoughts. In today's constantly accessible info/communication environment, even my 'alone' time is often distracted with my desire to check email, Facebook, look up a fact on the internet, or view an incoming text. There's hardly ever a time other than being in the shower, when I can 'drown out' all other distractions and just...think.

It's rather good and extremely therapeutic to just...think. To ponder life. To ponder God's goodness...
I find my creativity wanes when I do not take adequate time to think. The stresses of this world call loudly when I do not quiet myself and think.

And this is all in addition to the morning quiet time with God and devotional time, which I have regularly. I cherish my morning reading and quiet time. But still, in a normal home environment,even then, distractions are close at hand. Always, close at hand, distractions are there to, well...distract.

I think it is important to get one's self into a situation where we can be quiet and think, ponder and listen....to God, our Maker, our Guide, our Friend....wherever that might be; on a snowmobile or otherwise. But it makes activities such as snowmobiling have a bit of a higher purpose; I think for me, at least, it can be quite therapeutic.

Additionally, my thoughts went to some situations with some friends recently, where I've been using words such as "We're in this together"...."We can't go through life alone"...."We need each other." As good as it was to have a time to be quiet and alone on my own snowmobile, I was surely glad to not be alone on the trail. I am new to this snowmobiling sport and lacking much knowledge that I might need as we go on the journey. I am glad, so glad, that Tim was close by. It was very comforting to see his sled's taillights ahead of me as I followed, or his headlights in my rearview mirror when he was behind me. Sometimes he'd go out of my sight because he likes to ride faster than I do, but then he'd turn around and I'd see his headlights coming back to find me, to make sure I was okay, still there, not having trouble of any kind. I like that! I need that! And friends, in life, we need a buddy on a sled near ours...we don't want to have to be driving out in the cold, in the dark, all alone. It's just simply not a good idea.

So go ahead, make time for some fun in life, and remember above all to make some time for you to be quiet, listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit and what he wants to whisper to you....
Just don't plan to remain alone...find some good friends and do life together! That makes the adventure just about perfect!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

ZIP DRIVE....Zambia Instrument Project

One of the highlights for me in the year 2010 was the kickoff of the ZIP Drive at a national level. You can learn more about this exciting project/ministry which is helping orphans in Zambia, Africa.

Check out the website at www.zambiainstrumentproject.com

2011...Joyful in January

Yes, it's been a while....a long while.
My last posting was May 2010. And I was promising to update more often. Yeah, well. :)
Fortunately, it's January, the month of new beginnings, so I am starting over with this blog posting business. Giving it another try....

So much has happened since I last wrote here in May, there'd be no way I could recap all that took place, and it's almost too much to even summarize the highlights. But in a nutshell: God is good. Even when life is hard, God is good. That's the one constant, always, no matter what. God is good....

I've adjusted to Tyler's leaving home for Cornerstone University. It's a 20 minute drive from our home, but brand a new chapter in our lives nonetheless, as he is living on-campus and we go weeks without seeing each other. He is adjusting well to college life and is happy to be there, which makes the adjustment easier for all of us. He is majoring in The Art of Ministry with a Young Adult emphasis. He leads worship on Friday night college gatherings, and also is involved volunteering in leadership with the High School Ministry at Frontline Church.

Last fall, I spent two weeks in Florida with my parents as Dad had another small setback physically. The setback threatened to make changes in their living environment, but thus far, only minor changes have needed to be made, thankfully, and they are still living on their own, in their own cozy Brooksville home, with some help 5 mornings a week from a dear lady named Shirley. Dad is 80 and Mom will celebrate her 80th birthday in May, so all things considered, they are certainly doing very well, and we are grateful to God for his protective, loving and healing hand that holds them close.

Emily is in her junior year of high school and is studying hard this year. She also is having her best year ever playing basketball for the Girls Varsity Hudsonville Hornets team. Also new for Emily as of this past fall, she is involved weekly leading worship at our church's youth worship service that meets on Sunday night. It's very exciting to see her living out this role for which God has greatly gifted her.

Tim is still blessed to be employed by Spectrum Industries, and the company has had one of their most profitable sales-years yet, even in this very hard econonic time. Tim leads a men's small group that meets weekly at our church and he also is serving the Vice Chairman of the Board of Elders for Kentwood Community Church.

Kentwood Community Church is where I am employed, part-time, and it continues to be a great outlet where God uses my gifts and stretches me in many ways including leadership and serving. Our church has just ended a transitional year going from one beloved pastor...Wayne Schmidt, to the next...Kyle Ray. God is doing fabulous things in the lives of our congregation as we allow the Holy Spirit to do His work, and as we commit to becoming a diverse community, where people experience authentic relationships, finding hope and freedom in Jesus Christ, as they unconditionally love, selflessly serve and passionately cultivate life change.

These are among many reasons I have in which to be joyful....I am so very blessed. More later. Have a joyful January.