Thursday, December 25, 2003

I just wanted to take a minute to wish all reading a great and merry Christmas. I pray your time with family and friends is excellent. But most of all, I hope you feel a renewal with the Lord Jesus. After all, this is the reason for the season.

I had the opportunity to Christmas carol with some friends. We went to the local hospital and walked the halls singing carols. It was an interesting experience. I have not been caroling in a very long time.

I wonder what types of traditions people are carrying on. Traditions that are handed down from generation to generation. Some how I think because of our changing family structure and values we are changing as well.

What types of traditions are we carrying on? What types of new traditions are we starting?

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Well, Christmas is around the corner. Too many things to do before the big day. This is where my procrastination comes back to bite me. Yes, I have not purchased one thing yet. I have to admit - shopping is not my favorite thing to do. I will go in with a list, conquer that list and LEAVE as quickly as possible. I just hate it.

Anyway, Christmas eve is shot - family dinner, church service, bedtime. Christmas day will consist of presents, fixing breakfast and lunch for my daughter, traveling to take my daughter to her mom's and then spending time with a family I am close to. They have had an incredibly rough year. I have watched them struggle thru.

New Year's resolutions? Do you do them? Do you stick with them?

I am in a life group which intentionally meets once a week. We intentionally are reading a couple of books together and we intentionally discuss them. One of the books is on finances and is entitled "Money, Possessions and Eternity" by Randy ALcorn. If you are looking for a book to challenge you on the whole issue of finance, this is the one to pick up. The author does a pretty good job articulating the importance of tithing and being responsible with you money.

In fact, he is so good that I have been changed because of reading this book. There are points in the book where he is almost sarcastic in his response yet very pointed in truth.

The points are so moving that I am in the process of rethinking how I have done my finances and how I will address them with my daughter.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

I think I am losing my mind. There is a significant amount of hype relative to the new Mel Gibson movie, the Passion. All the reviews I have heard have been great. Even the pope gave a thumbs up. The movie is a relatively accurate portrayal of the life of Christ. This includes the crucifixion and death of Jesus.

I was listening to the Today show this morning getting ready for work. I heard the news reporter say these words, "There are people in the Jewish faith that are afraid the movie {Passion} is anti-Semitic." Did I miss something? Did we view the movie Color Purple or Roots as Anti-Caucasian. Or the Last samurai as anti-samurai?

More on that later,

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Non eventful day. What can I say?


Monday, December 15, 2003

This morning I was watching the Game Show Network with Adam Knoll. His is sick today and is home from school. After listening to him answer questions, I am reminded how not good I am at Jeopardy.

What a great day yesterday was. Awesome worship! Great message! Even time alone with God. That was interesting. The team decided to have a period of time where as a group we did nothing but focus on God. For me personally, it was awesome. (Can I use the word awesome twice in a paragraph?) I am sure there was mixed response from the rest of the group.

It is too bad that we do not take time out for time alone. When I was on staff at a previous church, we were required to take a once a month DAWG day. (Day Alone with God.) These some of the most meaningful times for me. I was "forced" to spend an extended time with God. I would encourage this. Take the time.

Meeting with the guys from Watermark today.....Always interesting.


Saturday, December 13, 2003

A footnote from the earlier blog. I had the pleasure today to be a servant for my church's children's Christmas play. It was fun. I would encourage all to attend Sunday evening 12/14/03 at 6:00 pm at the YMCA in Grand Haven.

Always good to see the kids.
Where to begin. I am reminded how fragile life is from time to time. I had to pick up my daughter from school yesterday early. Apparently, she has pick up a flu bug that is going around. I started to feel under the weather this morning. I am not looking forward to the flu. The concerning thing is there are so many different strains of the flu around - how do you protect against it. I can remember when the flu was a fever, throwing up and Vernors. Now children can die from it. What?

My sudden "not feeling well" could be because I am not motivated right now. The Christmas season is upon us I am not in the mode. I know the reason for Christmas and I know it is a time for family - yada yada yada. What I am frustrated with is the commercialism that is attached to the holiday. Recently I heard that the average American family will spend about $1,000 bucks on Christmas and most of it will be on credit card debit. I am not sure how that makes most people feel but it frustrates me.

All this to say, my prayer is that my family will embrace what Christmas is and celebrate on that level. Christmas should be about the birth of Christ, family time, helping one another. I am struggling on several levels because I know that most of my family will not be celebrating from this angle.

Becca, my daughter, and I had a recent discussion about the Christmas thing. By the way, divorce is not a fun thing to do - so don't do it. Work it out. Just a little advise from your Uncle Carter. (More on that later) Anyway, it is amazing how distorted the holidays can become. We were watching Nick-Toons the other day and a commercial came on. It was a cartoon referencing the "real meaning of Christmas". I was bugged by the commercial because it has totally secularists (is that a word?) the holiday. Becca even said,"Goodness dad. Think of all the kids out there watching that commercial and not getting the true meaning of Christmas." Out of the mouth of babes....

So I challenge all who are reading to refocus. Spend time renewing your relationship with Christ. Talk to family members about it.

And on that note,

Friday, December 12, 2003

Contrary to what was said in someone else's blog (steve thompson), I write my own blogs......

For those who do not know, I have been on a journey for quick some time. I accepted Christ at the age of 16. The life before Christ is an interesting conversation. A discussion we can discuss at some other point. Shortly after accepting Christ, I went to an encounter weekend at a christian college. During this weekend, I had experienced a encounter with God like none other. At this time, I felt God was calling me into a full time ministry position; a place to serve Him with my life. Now we can debate whether that was bad pizza or God until the cows come home. I believe it has been God in relentless pursuit of me.

At this point in this conversation, I need to expand. I believe it is God's greatest desire that every man, women and child to be in right relationship with Him. What does that mean? Do we have enough time to discuss and review? More on that later.

Honestly, I got scared. I ran from God in so many instances. I could see where and how God was calling me gently. Yet, I ran away. There are probably many reasons for that. Lack of confidence in God and myself mostly. It took a major crash - emotional, physically, financially - to make me stop and see that this is the right path - journey - for me.

As I get more confidence, I will expand on all of these subjects. What I can say right now is do not run away from God - run to Him!

More thoughts

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Good evening. I am still working out the bugs on this Blogger thing. My daughter, Becca, and I picked up a Christmas tree today. Christmas will be a little different this year. Three and a half weeks ago I was layed off from my job. Long story there, but I do get unemployment benefits. It sucked going to the unemployment office for the first time - EVER. I feel like I am in a wait and see mode. Thank God I have been interviewing. Most have said they will not make a decision until the first of the year. Again, another suck point. I am encouraged through because I feel like God is running me into a different direction. More on that later.

I had dinner last night with some people I am just starting to get to know. The dinner was great and so was the company. There names are Steve and Jessica Thompson. They have three children - Spencer, Carter and Zoe. I have to admit - I do not think I have ever met anyone like them. You see there is a level of contentment in the home unlike I have ever seen. An even, steady stream of content. It is very refreshing. The kids are great!

So back to Becca. She is an awesome young lady. At 9, Becca is ready to take on the world. She brings a special presence about her. It is cool to watch her grow - not only watch but to influence that growth. Becca has taken on the violin this year. Her mother and I are musical people so it has been refreshing to see Becca pick up an instrument and show interest.

More later.

Acting like I know what I am doing,

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Today begins a new era for me. I have been intending to journal my efforts; mostly for future reflection and reference. Here it is. Inside my mind. Yikes! that is scary.