Deep and Wide


My son Ty and I have a bedtime ritual.  One of us declares how much we love the other one.  Then, of course, being the competitive family we are….we try to “out do” each other.

Ty:  I love you more than all the frogs in the world.

Me: I love you more than all the frogs and all the lizards in the world.

Ty:  Oh yeah?  Well I love you more than all the frogs, lizards and geckos in all the world.

( and since I hate to lose)

Me: I love you more than all the spots on all the warts on all the reptiles in all the world!

I adore this game with him. I love watching his face as he trys to dream up the unfathomable depths of his 11 year old mind.  And, it constantly reminds me of just how deep and wide God’s love is for me.  No matter how much I love my family – God loves me more.  No matter how passionate I am about my husband – God is more passionate about me.  No matter how excited I am about my dreams and goals – God is more excited to see me use the skills and talents he gave me in the pursuit of those goals.

The ONLY way to express how much I love Him back is to offer my whole self to Him in complete worship and devotion….and you know what?   I STILL wouldn’t win the game.  God ALWAYS loves me more.

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. -Paul  (Romans 12:1)

…only Light.

When my son Tanner was two, he drew me a picture of a bright orange, yellow, blue (and green) smiley face sun. It was one of those kid pictures that you “ooh and ahh” over, stick on the fridge, and then throw away when a new one comes home. Tanner is 11 years old now and I still have that picture hanging in my office.As much as I love him, I have to admit Tanner isn’t an artistic phenom.  The reason I still have the picture is because of the caption that the pre-school teacher added to the bottom.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness.  Only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate.  Only love can do that.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King

I thought about that quote a lot this week.

I thought about Don’s message last Sunday from Isaiah.

I thought about being a light to the world instead of being thrown into the darkness.

I thought about “the light at the end of the tunnel”.

And I thought about our bon-fire.

Last year we had 19 inches of snow on the ground for our first bonfire event.  This year we only had a small tornado and 13 inches of rain. :-)But, the thing is – neither weather “disaster” was able to darken our bon-fire.  It took a lot of coaxing by Johnny (and a little kerosene from Don) to get the fire started.  But once it got going – even a torrential down pour wasn’t able darken the light. As soon as the rain began to stop, people began to drift back to the comfort and coziness of the bonfire.

We had a nice dry, warm shelter. We had plenty of yummy food, loads of fun stuff and crafts for the kids…..bobbing for apples was a HUGE success.  Rachel had the pavilion looking simply amazing with beautiful decorations. Josiah and Don even tried to toast marshmallows over a torpedo heater and sterno cans (you had to see it to believe it ) But, in the end, what I observed was that people continued to be drawn to the light.

The fire was what made this event special.  The entire week before the event all the chatter on social media was dominated by references to the fire. Rick got us psyched with “fire songs” from every decade.  During the event people couldn’t wait until the fire started crackling. And even after the rain, the bon fire was still the centerpiece of the evening.

Isn’t it amazing that two thousand plus years AFTER Isaiah inspired his people to be different, to be the minority, to avoid being thrown into darkness- people are still inevitably drawn toward the light.

In John 8:12 Christ describes himself as “…the light of the world…”    This entire week, my life was filled with pain, tears, suffering, problems and sickness, but I kept reminding myself that Christ promised that we will not have to walk in darkness alone.  There is light at the end of the tunnel and that light is – Jesus – the light of the world.

Thank you Jesus.

And, thank you Dr. King for reminding me that – Darkness cannot drive out darkness….only light can do that.  And that hate cannot drive out hate….only love can do that.

April Fool’s Sunday

We pulled a little April Fool’s Day prank on Don today. If you missed if, or want to watch the slow motion replay, check out the videos below! :-) Besides our little prank, it was a fantastic day to be at actionchurch. We heard what the last chapter of James had to say about pain, broke bread, drank juice, spent time together in prayer as a community, and experienced some great music from Breezewood, – it was all awesome. You can get the next best thing by checking out the podcast that will be up Monday night!

For we Walk by Faith, Not by Sight.

Ed. Note:  Our movie selection for Sunday “@ the Movies” is The Book of Eli.  I love these thoughts that Garrett (Stage Manager/Photography Ninja at actionchurch) shared on his blog.   Great Stuff!

“For we walk by faith, not by sight”.   2 Corinthians 5:7

I came across this today in my readings and then it popped up again on a iPhone application I have, so I thought it would be suitable to write about tonight

This is such a tough lesson portrayed in the bible. God wants all our trust to be invested into him, to lead us and to guide our way.

We as a human race are emotional//hateful//loving//dominative. We must control everything, but in reality we control nothing, God lets us decide. If he wanted to stop the entire world from breathing, he would, if he wanted to take away our sight, he would, but he doesn’t. He wants only the finest in heaven along his side. He wants his children who carry his gospel here and far, who wont stray from a path he set before them.

People say we have a “destiny”, I have a hard time believing in that. Every time I’m given a path they’re always two choices. Every time I’m confronted with a issue theres always two choices. Before I’d act on a selfish idea or decision or act on my own faith rather then trusting in God to lead me toward the right doorway.


This Blog Was Inspired By

Another story from the road…

Ed. Note:  Jerry, our Rock-n-Roll Czar, looked particularly tired this week at actionchurch.  When I asked him about his gig the night before, this is the story he told me.  Sometimes God “shows up” in even our most disappointing and trying times. 

A few days ago I noticed the SERVICE ENGINE SOON light came on in the bus. Right at that point I should have taken it to the garage and had it checked out. I didn’t do that. Instead, I checked the oil and water, filled the levels and thought I had corrected the issue. Friday comes and I hop in the bus and head to Oak Orchard in Delaware for the weekend. The ride down seemed fine and I did not notice any different noises or problems. After the show on Sat night as we began to pack up for the trip home, I started the bus to cool it off for the ride and I could hear the belt starting to squeal. Right at that point I got a sick feeling in my stomach. I knew if the belt broke, I would be stranded. My only thought was to get back home to PA. So, off I went. I listened for the sound of the belt getting worse and hoped it wouldn’t. But as you might have guessed by now, it did. As each mile passed and the belt screeching got worse, I began to pray “God, please just get me some where that I can pull off safely. It was right about then that I felt the belt break and everything got eerily quiet. The battery light came on; the check engine light came on, the temp gauge started to move and in a few minutes had reached the RED zone. That’s when I saw the sign that said Chesapeake Service & Rest Center 4 miles. “God please let me get there,” I said. I kept rolling and kept praying. Even thought is was 2:30 in the morning on I-95 driving a bus that was in serious trouble, I didn’t feel alone. I was talking out loud and felt as if I had a passenger riding with me. Then I was at the entrance ramp to the truck center, I had made it. I also realized at that point I had NO BRAKES or STEERING. I got stopped and turned the bus off. The smoke and steam rolled out from under the hood and chassis like it was on fire. The attendant at the truck stop came out and said “are you on fire”. No just really overheated. The serpentine belt had broke. “Ah” he said, “you aren’t going anywhere now” I laughed and said, “you’re right”. He went on to say, “you seem to be taking this all pretty well” I thought about it for a second and said, “It could always be worse”

I called my wife Ruth and she seemed to be waiting for the call. She answered right away and said, “I’ll leave right now to come and get you”. After watching the sun come up, I lay down in my bed at 6:00 AM Sunday morning and was glad to be home. Later that day we would go back to the rest area and get the truck towed back to good ol’ PA. The tow truck driver said, “you know, it’s good you broke down when and where you did, cause if it had been somewhere else it could have been much worse” Right then it hit me! Our next trip was New York, 4-½ hrs. away. The entire band would have been with me. We would have missed the show, let people down, the band’s name would have been trashed and we would have lost a lot of time and money not to mention still having to tow it home and get fixed.

God was doing the planning. God got me to the rest area instead of breaking down on a back road in Delaware. God made it possible to get home. And God knew that even though breaking down at 2:30 in the morning is not much fun, it was better now than later! GOD KNEW!

As for me, I learned to pay attention the lights on the dash. I learned it can always be worse. I learned that we are never really alone. And most of all, I learned that if we “Let GO and Let GOD” things work out for the best even though we may not see it at first.

I’ll get ready for our next show, our trip to New York and “another story from the road”.