Here’s to our Father’s!

June 15, 2014

Today is a great day to be reminded of all the love our Fathers pour out for us!  Each year many holidays and celebrations come and go, and in many ways it is easy to forget what we celebrated come the next day.  Yet there are certain holidays that we should be mindful of celebrating each day what may have only captured our attention for 24 hours in previous years.  Today specifically I was unable to celebrate with my dad, so we instead went golfing and enjoyed a little lunch Thursday.  Yet, there are so many times throughout the year I am reminded of how important he is in my life.  For all the blessings he has worked to provide, time he has sacrificed to support me, and love he has shared…here’s to you DAD!

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There are numerous reasons why I love my dad, yet the most important I believe for the both of us is as simple as spending time together.  Whether it is with family throughout different times of the year such as our afternoon trip to the Madison County Covered Bridges a few summers back, our Christmas gathering with family or our fun at sporting events like the most recent at Kansas Motor Speedway, experiences together are what make lasting memories!  I look forward to and hope for so many more.  So on this day in 2014, I thank you DAD for so much!  I cannot help but be draw attention to the love you display, which is an example of love that comes from our Heavenly Father!

“What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God!  That’s who we really are. But that’s also why the world doesn’t recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he’s up to.”
 1 John 3:1 

The Message version is a great view of our identity as Children of God.  Maybe you haven’t had the chance to connect the dots between your’s and God’s stories.  It may help to think of your story connected to your father’s story.  In many ways your father has displayed the same love that God shares with His children.  How great is it that we can experience this type of love from our dads here on earth.  So let’s celebrate our dads in the ways that only we, their children only can!  We are each unique children of our own fathers, as we are unique children of our Heavenly Father.  Today and every day we get to celebrate our dads; our mothers too; in unique ways.

DAD, I want to celebrate you by sharing a message with others, proclaiming how much I appreciate the time we spend together!  I can’t help but also thank you for this…

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Yes, this is a photo of my dad many years ago and you can see where I got my good looks…aren’t we handsome!  Thanks DAD for all you do and for who you are!  Love you DAD!

 

 

 


The Beautiful Game!

June 12, 2014

Today is the day that the world begins to tune in to an amazing sports spectacle!  Years of playing and coaching the “Beautiful Game” is a testament to a lifelong passion.  Now, we all have different passions…one of mine just happens to be soccer, the real FUTBOL!  You know where I’ll be this afternoon.  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, this day is my Sabbath Day and I couldn’t imagine spending it any other way on this, the opening day of World Cup 2014.

Why do I love this game.  I love the creativity of each individual player combined with the camaraderie of a team.  Many don’t understand how teams can play 90 minutes and end in a tie and often ask how one enjoys such a low scoring affair.  For me there is a fluidity in the game that separates itself from other sports and there is a level of skill that is required which is unique.  I began playing at the age of 6 and continue to play as often as I have the chance.  Over the next month, I will be watching as many matches as possible, with hopes of some brilliant goals and watching the world’s best compete!

I was able to celebrate with our boys in the Red, White and Blue last October as they capped off their world cup qualification with a W in Kansas City over The Reggae Boyz of Jamaica.  In 2012, I attended the Hexagon qualifying match against Guatemala and all I can say is the love for the game is alive here in the States!  It was in 1994 when I attended my first ever professional soccer match in Chicago, a World Cup Match between Greece and Bulgaria and there was nothing quite like it, yet it was not quite as popular a sport…
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The World Cup fanfare was simply amazing and oh how I desire to travel to a World Cup abroad.  It is definitely on my bucket list, yet this year is not the year.  Watching from afar is fine by me and I hope to catch as many matches as possible, to watch the games unfold and see what surprises await.

In so many ways as I think about my love for the game of soccer, I am reminded of my life’s passions which inspire, encourage and light the fire.  When you witness the passion from the host country, you cannot help but be reminded of our own passions.  I came across a promo video yesterday that concludes with a reminder of our one true Passion!

When it comes to living a life for Christ, I find true passion.  Sharing His love and life with others, whether it is through soccer…or whatever your passion may be!  How are your passions lining up with your mission in life?  I spent the majority of my time this past High School Soccer season asking the question of how to move beyond the simplicity of the game and the competition, to focus more on leading the young men I coach, helping them grow into their unique selves.  I believe that it starts with my passion for Christ whom I’d love to share with the boys I coach, and I am blessed with the opportunity to discern opportunities to teach and lead under His guidance.  I believe this is one platform I have been given to impact the lives of youth.  Just as you saw in the video, the Brazilian national icon, Neymar, is gifted in the game he plays and invites God into the battle with him!  There is something more to him than just playing the Beautiful Game.  I share this with you today, a public statement of faith he has made, “Life only makes sense when our highest ideal is to serve Christ!”  Amen!  Do we live with this same central passion?!  My prayer is that this month of play is not just about a Beautiful Game, but about a Beautiful Life filled with passion!


32 Birthday Thanks to All!

December 12, 2013

So many things to be grateful for this time of the year and after celebrating my Birthday yesterday, it is time to share those thanks after all the wishes came in!  Before we get to the thanks, there are a couple highlights I want to share with you.  Over the past 5 months I have had the opportunity to live with my friends Jared and Britni, along with their two little kiddos, Grayson and Sloane.  As I awoke and came downstairs I was preparing for the day with a little quiet time with the Lord when Grayson came walking in to the reading room with a card he and Sloane made for me.  What a great way to start the day with the smiles of these two friends of mine(and mom and dad)…

Grayson & Sloane BDay Photo

Then it was off to the Java Jag, the coffee shop at Ankeny Centennial High School, to volunteer.  I was able to see some students and share a smile with them, always great seeing students in their environment!  Afterward I was off to work, starting my day with a meeting with my Children’s Ministry Staff, Jackie and Angie.  Little did I know that the meeting had an alternative motive, a surprise that both of the ladies were in on.  Even before the meeting started, Miss Bridget walked in and definitely surprised me with her presence and presents.  We shared a delicious Wig and Pen Union Jack pizza and then gave me some wonderful thoughtful gifts.  What a blessing it was to have lunch on a day where we are both busy with student ministry at night!

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Following this wonderful lunch date, I continued the day by watching a soccer match of my top team, Chelsea.  As I watched I did a bit of work, but was preparing for a night with students.  In preparing I was excited to take on a new  activity to share with the Junior High students.  Dustin, our worship leader, and I practiced some choreographed dance moves that our friend Geneva taught us to share with the students.  We found out later that it rocked!  As PowerLife started I was serenaded by 100 students and leaders to a wonderful Happy Birthday sing along, as I thanked them I told them how much I loved celebrating my Birthday with all of them, couldn’t be more blessed!  After a great night with the students, I then returned home to enjoy game night with Jared and Britni.  The kids and Britni had baked a cake and Jared had bought some ice cream for a nice treat.  After playing four games, 2 of Settlers of Catan and 2 of Ticket to Ride, I came away with one win in Settlers…I’ll take it.

Catan BDay PicBDay Dessert

Such a great way to the end a day filled with surprises and fun!

There was one thing that the day was littered with I have yet to mention and a reminder of all the great friends in my life.  Thank you for all the Birthday wishes in person, via text and Facebook message.  As I thought about how to say thank you to all I knew of something I would like to share that would be a gift in return.

This year’s gift to you comes from the Lord( John 15:9-17 ), it is His love!  The best gift I got is the love that comes from the Lord and as the Lord reveals in scripture, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  So that is my offer to you this day!  How may I “lay my life down” for you?  I want to continue to grow in my sharing of love with you all as we continue our journey’s in this life!

Then just to say thanks in a unique way, here are 32 Ways I am Thankful for all of you, my friends:
1)     Friendship through life
2)    Support through
3)    Encouragement through challenges
4)    Laughter in good company
5)    Creativity together
6)    Sense of Adventure
7)    Care for my well being
8)    Smiles when a lift is needed
9)    Hugs to share love
10)  Thoughts when in conversation
11)   Prayers in all circumstances
12)  Questions that make me think
13)  Energy early in the morning(and throughout the day)
14)  Empathy when emotions are a challenge
15)  Wisdom in decisions
16)  Love for soccer(sports in general)
17)  Hope in the desert places
18)  Experiences of a lifetime
19)  Your children who bring joy
20)  Your compassion for those in need
21)  Memories of the past that won’t fade
22)  Teamwork
23)  Hospitality over the years
24)  Affirmation in times of change
25)  Accountability in thoughts, words and deeds
26)  Gifts over the years
27)  Acts of kindness
28)  Inspiration and Motivation
29)  Vulnerability and humility
30)  Appreciation for food
31)   LOVE FOR GOD AND OTHERS!!!

There is so much more I could say, but this is a pretty good start!  Thank you all for your friendship and your kind words yesterday!  It was a great way to celebrate and this time of year is always a good reminder of all the numerous blessings that come in the shape of friends!  Praise God for you and your friendship!  Please let me know how I can be praying for you and your family!  My goal is to share more and more love, because God continues to show His Love more and more each day!


Thanks to the One!

November 28, 2013

Time to give THANKS to the one who created us and has given us everything!  “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!  His faithful love endures forever.”  (Psalm 106:1Psalm 107:1, Psalm 118:1, Psalm 136:1, 1 Chronicles 16:34)

I am constantly reminded of how good God is through the good and the bad.  Today, I am thankful for too much to list and give credit to all deserving.  What I am sure of is that God is the provider of all blessings as our Creator.  He has given numerous gifts that can be only through His love and power.  Primarily I am thankful for the way God has used my family and friends to encourage and support me in my journey.  As the journey continues I hope to also be a blessing to others and that is my prayer today, “God use me to be an example of your love and grace that helps remind others of your abundant blessing.”

I started off my day preparing “thank you” notes and gifts for some great people and I just love that today reminds us how empowering giving thanks is for ourselves and others.  Then I continued onto my 3rd Annual Thanksgiving Day Mountain Bike Adventure.  I find time riding as great time to connect with God and be in His presence in His creation.  I traveled to a new site, 

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I was the only one out on the “singletrack” today and it a beautiful ride with a mix of dirt and snow.  Over the past few years I have enjoyed starting the day off in quiet time with God while exercising and soaking in His creation.  There were a number of challenging hills and turns, which provided humbling encounters today.  I am so grateful for the passion of adventure and exploring.  It is impossible to deny how great God is when you see what these eyes saw this morning.  Here are a couple examples:

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Today as we spend time with God, family and friends, let us be reminded that when we have more than we need that there are others around us in need of some of which we have.  What will we share?  In our Faith and Trust, will we take a step provide for others.  A new tradition of serving others begins tonight as I head to Lutheran Church of Hope to package meals for Meals from the Heartland.  A prayer to close, “Lord, thank you for all you have given to me.  May our work packaging meals today provide nourishment to those in need and may those in need receive this provision as an example of your Love for them!  Through these meals may your name become know!  Amen.”  Thank you God for this day and every day, for the current blessings and future blessings!  You are the ONE to be Thankful for!


A Different Day!

November 1, 2013

Each year many get excited about a celebration that involves creativity, carving, candy, contests and costumes.  Yes, you are correct, it’s Halloween.  I do wonder how many know the roots of this holiday we celebrate so profusely in the Western Culture?  As I was doing some prep work for teaching this week with the middle school confirmation students at Hope, I decided to venture out and research a few things.  I soon was reminded that Halloween is derived from All Hallows Eve, which I then learned was a part of Hallowmas which is a time of year set aside to remember the dead including saints, martyrs and the faithful departed(via wikipedia).  There is much more to the history of Halloween and even Hallowmas, but I am one to always ask the question, why do we do what we do?

Hallows Eve

I wonder if you have pondered this question yourself over the past couple of days?  Because so many of us spend time and energy preparing to celebrate Halloween, yet as I have done for years, I don’t even celebrate what it was intended to celebrate.  I primarily celebrate the opportunity to be goofy and enjoy time with friends in a unique way, all dressed up!  I wonder if we looked at Halloween a bit differently, if it would be less about the traditions with roots to the 16th Century in Ireland, Scotland and Wales which has evolved to costume parties, trick or treating and good ole pumpkin carving and more about it’s true origins of celebrating those who have passed.  But let’s be honest, in many cases there isn’t a lot that is fun about that and in all reality if we celebrated per Halloween’s original roots it sure wouldn’t look the same.  So what are we to do?

Maybe we take some time each year remembering those who have passed on Halloween and create our own unique celebration for this, and then just for fun do all the other stuff, which is less about the commemoration and more about the gathering of friends and neighborhoods!  How will your perspective change this day forth?  Because today is known as All Saints Day, a celebration of God believers who have departed this earth.  Today can take on a new focus for all of us, who do we know that have passed before us that we can be reminded of and celebrate?  Who are the saints, or Christian believers, we know?  Let’s be reminded of their lives and the examples they set for us and praise God for the eternal life they have been gifted with!  A gift that is available to all of us!

Oh and how about a curve ball?  October 31, 1517 marks an important moment in Christian history.  Martin Luther’s 95 Theses were delivered as his first move in the Reformation.  October 31 is a different day in multiple ways.  It is a day that we too celebrate the day in which Martin Luther stood up against the malpractices of the church leadership in the Roman Catholic Church.  At the time, Pope Leo X granted indulgences for those who donated to the renovation of St. Peters Basilica in Rome.  He was the leader of the church and the people were coming to him asking forgiveness of sin and it was granted through a donation.  Martin Luther took a stand for a different reality and that reality was rooted in God’s Holy Word, which at the time wasn’t available to many because it had yet to be translated into a language they could read.  For many reasons this is why the people entrusted the Pope and priests to be their interpreters and followed their lead.  For those Christians today who read this and understand that forgiveness doesn’t cost us a thing, we can see how out of line Pope Leo X may have been.

Martin Luther

Why don’t we celebrate Reformation Day more profoundly than Halloween?  Especially when Halloween is rarely a time of commemoration as it was originally intended?  Now I know many churches today celebrate Reformation Sunday which falls the Sunday after October 31, however the day that the 95 Theses were posted is a major historical event that transformed the church in many ways.  Now this is what I was sharing with the students about on Wednesday night, the roots of the Lutheran Faith.  I am so thankful for Martin Luther who obeyed God and His Word in a way that has changed the trajectory of Christianity for many centuries!  Praise God for Martin Luther, whom stood firm in his Faith which led to a new day and a new way!

Maybe today you will forever be reminded of a different day and a different way to celebrate on October 31!  Perhaps amidst all the fanfare of candy and costumes, we will take a moment of time to celebrate a man who chose to stand firm and post the 95 Theses that led to a breakthrough.  Maybe he can be an example for us today in learning how to stand firm!  October 31, maybe you and I will look at it to be “A Different Day!”


Nederland or Deutschland…Both!

October 7, 2013

Dank je wel and Danke!  The two countries we spent the majority of our time exploring while away have much to offer and I am so thankful for the opportunity to have seen so much.  I had previously shared some photos on Facebook and you are about to see some more!  I first want to express how unbelievably beautiful the countryside is in both the Netherlands and Germany.  From small towns off in the distance and valleys with dense forestation, to an abundance of flowers and the infamous windmills, these eyes did not get tired while driving many miles over a span of 7 days.  The trip took us away from Den Haag, Netherlands, the homestead for my great friends Brad and Mindy who are living over there on a 2 year work assignment.  We first journeyed to Germany with stops in Cologne, Bamberg, Munich, and Stuttgart.  Our first stop in Cologne was an opportunity to see an amazing cathedral with such great intricacy in its design.

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Cologne Cathedral.

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Cathedral at night.  A photo I captured that I thought was cool.

After a night in Cologne it was onto Bamberg for our next stayover.  Along the way we were able to make a pit stop for a boat tour on the Rhine River.  This was a top highlights of this trip.  Simply amazing to see the numerous castles and picturesque towns right along the river.  Take a peak…

IMG_20130922_043248_896Castle #1

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IMG_20130922_052237_875Castle #8 (in background)

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A great glimpse, but as you can imagine in person the sights were much greater than my cell phone camera can catch.  It was amazing to see a castle around almost every corner.  I really hope that my friend Brad fulfills his promise to buying his wife Mindy a castle some day.  I can only imagine what it would have been like to live in one of these great fortresses along the Rhine.  This trip is a must for anyone visiting Germany.  Hop aboard the KD Rhine Boat in Bingen for the nearly 2 hour ride up the river to St. Goar.  It would have been great to have the whole day to hop off in a couple of the towns and catch a later boat to continue.  The little towns I am sure had much to offer and a tour of one of the castles would have been an added bonus.  Our time was limited as we wanted to get to our next overnight stop for some rest, Bamberg.

Bamberg is a gem and the Old Town is known as a UNESCO World Heritage sight.  It was barely touched during World War II and displays some very old architecture.  It is also known for its Rauchbier, which is a smokey flavored beer.  Only appropriate to enjoy a pint of a beer with one’s name in it!  Rauch translates to smoke in German and it provides a unique process of brewing that originates from Bamberg.  Even though a short stay, here is a glimpse.

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Above Bamberg!

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Along the river in Old Town.

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Bamberg Cathedral.

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Old architecture.

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St. Michaels Church

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Outside the Brewery where they make Rauchbier.

Then it was off to Munich where we spent three days and nights.  This proved to be a great mid trip break with all the miles we planned to put on.  Munich was my favorite city we visited with so much history and unique architecture.  There were a number of sights we were able to see as we ventured on a bike tour, spent a day at Oktoberfest, visited Dachau and went to a Bayern Munich match.  I too was able to take a run to Olympic Park which provided a great view of the city.  Here are some of the sights in Munich.

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Marienplatz during the Glockenspiel…hit it at the right time unintentionally!

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View atop a tower at one of the churches in Munich!IMG_20130923_064736_696

Inside a church along our bike tour…very intricate design on inside!

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The outside of the church referenced in previous photo.

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Garden visit along our bike tour.  Love this shot!

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Angel monument along bike tour.

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Oktoberfest 2013.

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Olympic Ring ride at Oktoberfest, yes I went on this!

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View atop the ferris wheel The Oktoberfest!

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The PowerShot which also gave quite a view of the city at night!

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Panorama of the Bayern Munich match at Allianz Arena!

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View out of the window of one of the barracks at Dachau. You can see the foundation of many other barracks that were in this prisoner camp.  Hard to believe that this was real!

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View of Olympic Park from atop a hill.

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View of Munich atop the hill at Olympic Park.

As you can see we definitely took Munich in!  From Munich it was on to Neuschwanstein Castle, which provided for a surprise second castle, which is the much lesser known.  It however provided one of my favorite sights of the entire trip.  Check it out.

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Hohenschwangau Castle with a simply majestic backdrop!

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Pretty Majestic too!  Thank you Neuschwanstein!

From here we were onto Stuttgart for an overnight and didn’t explore the city too much, from our first glance it was quite industrial.  We did however take in a great meal and then visited the Mercedes Benz Museum before we departed the next morning.  My favorites at the Mercedes Benz Museum are here.

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Always love cars with these gull wing doors!

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How about the 1974 World Cup Transport for the Deutschland Team!

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A sweet concept SUV!

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Can never beat a collection of classics!

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Classy!

After this morning stop it was on to Luxembourg City for our next overnight.  One of the coolest things in Luxembourg was the Casemates du Bock, which provided for a unique view.

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Panorama from the top of the Casemates.

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Another view from atop…fort like.

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From below the casemates.

Then we were back to the Netherlands.  After a pitstop in Liege including a 360 step climb for a view and lunch.  we were headed back for Den Haag.

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Will it be worth it?

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Yes, my legs were sore!

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It was worth it!

A little exercise was needed along the way because there was definitely a lot of driving.  Did I mention we put a lot of miles in as we explored?  We covered 1230+ miles in 6 days of driving.  Here is a snapshot of the route.

Map of Travels

A definite bucket list checkmark while driving on the Autobahn in Germany. I was thankful that Sixt upgraded the VW Golf equivalent rental to a BMW 1 Series Diesel.  Let’s just say when it was opened wide on the Autobahn I reached 220km/hr(136 mph).  Ya, that was sweet and my palms were definitely sweaty on the first go.  That was all of 20 minutes into Germany.  Yes, I like to go fast and I was fortunate that my co-pilot as we traveled across Germany was appreciative of the opportunity to go fast.  He also made mention of how much safer it seemed on the autobahn as compared to driving the interstates here in the US.  I concurred as drivers are much more aware of what is happening around them and senses are heightened.  You had to be when cars would fly by out of nowhere, literally!  Some had to have been clocking 250km/hr(150 mph).  A neat experience nonetheless and when I go back I will not hesitate renting a car.  After all the miles we were ready to settle in for a night back at the homestead.

We enjoyed a little take out and some College football before a day in Amsterdam.  Amsterdam provided some great sights and my favorite were the canals.  Took a little canal tour which provided a good view of the city.

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Great view of canal.

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Love the bikes that line most of the bridges above the canal.  There are an abundance of bikes in the Netherlands and I love it!

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Smallest house in Amsterdam.IMG_20130929_062347_948

The design on the top of buildings are called Step Gables…one of my faves!

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As I mentioned great architecture!

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One of the sights down the canal at an upcoming church tower.

After another night at the homestead watching football and enjoying some pizza, it was one last day.  This day we had nothing planned and I wanted to make the most of it by getting to see what I would define as a must see in the Netherlands, Kinderdijk.  I had a carefully planned route from Dordrecht which would involve taking a train, renting a bike and making a pit stop at the Noah’s Ark replica.  It really was the best way to close out my trip!

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A great panorama of the windmills!

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Up close and personal with a working mill!

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Love the farm in the fore ground, feels like the countryside!

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Love the canals that surround the windmills.  Useful!

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Bikes & Windmills = Dutch experience extraordinaire!

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That’s big!

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Unique perspective!

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There were animals.  Many pairs inside and yes some were live!

What I love about everything experienced on this trip is that there were so many sights that the eyes could only capture.  The photos are only a glimpse of the amazing time this trip was and my hope is to encourage others to find opportunities to get out and explore this world!  This was by far a trip of a lifetime and I am so thankful for our hosts Brad and Mindy who decided to live over in the Netherlands so we could come visit :-)  Where will your journey take you too?  I hope in my sharing some are encouraged to someday visit Nederland and Deutschland as you will not be disappointed!  As for now it is back to work, bon voyage!


Don’t worry…

September 12, 2013

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Today I wanted to share with each of you what seems to consume us at times in our lives, WORRY.  There are many things we find ourselves worrying about.  Are we going to meet the deadline?  Are we going to have enough money at the end of the month?  Am I ever going to find a job I enjoy?  Will I ever get married?  So many worries, and so much time lost worrying.  I cannot help but recognize what Jesus teaches about worry, but more importantly asks…Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? (Matthew 6:27)

This past weekend I able to teach about this excerpt from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount(Matthew 6:25-34) to our children at Lutheran Church of Hope Ankeny.  It was a focus during our weekend services as Pastor Scott Rains shared a message(listen here).  I hope to continue to encourage and provide you with resources to help you consider what God is speaking to you through my writing.  I believe He is alive and well in our lives, and I know that I cannot take credit for what begins to stir in your heart after you take time to read what I have shared and/or what I have resourced you with such as scripture references, message links, book recommendations or videos.  So as you read today, I want you to consider what are you worrying about today?

Worries come in all shapes and sizes.  In specific as of recent I have found worry hanging out in the sphere of work.  Will I have enough time to do what I need to do.  Hear me loud and clear, what me, myself and I need to do.  Where does our need to do something come from?  I am walking through a 21 day prayer devotion with my children’s ministry staff and God revealed to me something worth pondering.  Much of the worry that we may face as it relates to expectations comes from ourself or others.  God didn’t intend us to worry.  Many of the agendas we encounter in this world are created by imperfect humans.  As a result we often find ourselves trying to meet up to the expectations of others.  I believe that we have responsibilities that are important to do our best to manage.  This is a sweet spot for worry to hang out and if we were to be honest with ourselves and considered what it would look like to Take God Seriously in this arena of our life, we would be evaluating the expectations He has for us, learning to discern His plan!  So let’s address this worry, is it imposed on you by expectations of others or self imposed?

It may not take too long to realize that the source of worry comes back to one of these realms and we are setup to fail, primarily because we encounter unrealistic expectations.  Part of the process to remove worry is to evaluate many of the expectations in our lives, where do they come from, how do we manage them and what is the result of meeting up to the expectations?  This process has allowed me to take on a new view when it comes to managing these expectations.  God made it clear to me that I am limited in my capacity, and in many cases it is only through His power that a task is completed.  I have come to know and understand that it is His plan that will be carried out, regardless of how I plan for execution.  In many cases my plan and intentions, have not been carried out perfectly or as I had hoped.  On the back end I  trust that God will do what He needs to in His time.  I just hope and pray that each day that I will do my best!

Last night as I was preparing for our first night of PowerLife, our Junior High Ministry, time ran out to do everything I had hoped before the leaders and the students and it would have been easy to let the worry creep in.  I turned over some of the details to God and simply did my best!  Again, I look back on last night and recognize that I might have expected to do too much in preparation and was setting myself up for failure.  However what has been revealed in conversation with others and quite time this week, is that there is only one way to overcome worry.  It comes from the passage referenced earlier when Jesus challenges the people when He says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33)  Are you hearing this?  Jesus not only is preaching this to the people of His time, but to us today!  Seek the Kingdom of God!  Above everything else!  First!  He(God) will give us everything we need!  Let that soak in.  Our needs that we come up with on our own, are not His needs.  Do you believe this?  Do you believe that God will provide your needs?!

Much of our worry as it relates to what we need comes from our own selfish desires and expectations, we find ourselves worrying to meet our needs, that we created.  Get rid of worry by asking God what He wants for us.  Ask God what our true needs are!  If this is new for you, please reach out to me.  I would love to talk through this, because I find worry fleeing as I have put more and more trust in God.  When the worry was removed last night as I turned it over to God, I was living the freedom of His presence as I delivered a message He had placed on my heart to share with the students and leaders.  If you turn your worry over to God, how might you better perform at whatever it is you are doing today? What freedom will it bring you?  Your worry may be coming from the expectations of the world, so be mindful to evaluate.  Turn the worry over and simply do your absolute best in the time you have today!  The Word comes from God through Jesus, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.  Today’s trouble is enough for today.”  Give your best today…as a parent, child, friend, employee, athlete…in whatever you do!  Don’t worry, just give your best!  I will pray that in your best, God will carry out His plan!
Give your best


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