Sunday, April 30, 2006

Our deepest fear

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people will not feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not in just some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

-Marianne Williamson

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Unfriendly skies

So, I finally repaired my RC airplane. I have been waiting for a calm early Sunday morning to try it out again...based upon previous experiences I have learned to not attempt to fly in any wind including a breeze. Well last Sunday I figured I might as well try her out again, it was calm, quiet, and dry. My first attempt of the day was pretty good. I even made a decent landing in the taller winter rye. To my amazement the plane was still in one piece. I made a second, third, and fourth flight...they were all pretty short, but still impressive for me. On the fifth flight...I should have stopped at four...anyways, things started out well I made a few circles and then began thinking about where I might land when I noticed a large tree was in my flight path. I quickly abandoned my landing and began trying to clear the tree...pretty quickly I realized what was about to happen was not going to be pretty. I braced myself as my little plane got closer, closer, and closer. The poor thing never stood a chance against an eight inch Red Maple branch. The branch stopped it in its tracks. The good news is other than a badly broken left wing she appears to be ok. The bad news is I am not sure I will be fixing her again...I think I will opt for an early retirement. My flying days our done.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


So the other day was my birthday. A few of my employees decided it would be a better idea to leave interesting voicemail messages for me at work rather than the simple and ever popular "hey, happy birthday". They were all pretty interesting messages. They varied in degrees of fear they were intended to inflict upon me. It started with Brad attempting to sound like one of our southern Tennessee tree suppliers and informing me there was a big problem with our order. Next was Aaron attempting to sound like a nationality I am completely unfamiliar with and could not understand a word of. One of the best was the one where one of them had their neighbor call in and say there was a major pesticide spill on one of our jobsites, that my pesticide license was being revoked, and that he would call in the morning to discuss the fines and lawsuits that were pending. There were a couple angry snowplow customers...I think one was supposed to sound French and another was supposed to sound like a Pakistani who had all his sprinklers taken out by one of my drivers. I think it was Marcus who left me the message about winning some exquisite gun from the NRA. Jason left one that sounded like a very large angry man from the Consumers Power, Light, and Cable Company that was going to cut down some of my trees on May 1 if I didn't have them removed. In all I think there had to be close to ten messages...obviously they aren't working hard enough and have far to much time on their hands. None of them will fess up to who's idea it was they will all pay equally.

I also went out for lunch with my parents and Natasha to Outback Steakhouse. My parents church was doing a fund raiser their for their youth group. I have to say that Outback has one of the best giving back to the community ideas I have heard of...the food was free from Outback and the employees were there as volunteers. The church charged whatever they wanted to the congregation...Outback charged nothing. I was very impressed and we ate like Kings...Bloomin Onions, Cheese Fries, Filet Mignon, Potatoes, Salads, and Cheese Cake.

Also, Natasha some how pulled a fast one on me by delivering a birthday cake to our church where I had a small group meeting that night. I was completely fooled and never saw it coming.

I have to say it was one of my more memorable birthdays...full of jokers...who will be paid back :)

Saturday, April 22, 2006


I feel like a huge weight is almost off my shoulders...we got 1000 of our 1800 trees planted this week. Its stressful because the time window of planting is shrinking quickly. If only the rest of the field had dried out...maybe next weekend. I should take a picture of it because it looks so beautiful this time of year...the one above is from a couple years ago.

I love working out there. It is so peaceful and quiet. There is something about being out in the sun working with dirt and plants breathing in fresh air. Ahhh

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Christ the Center

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galations 2:20

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Holy Glory

What has God been up to in my life – craziness would pretty much describe it. I guess as I sit on top of the ‘mountain top’ this morning and look down it is hard to realize that this part of my journey has only been 2 ½ years. Some days it seems like so much longer than that. Anyways, as I look down the mountain and look at how I got to where I am now it is pretty amazing. For me the life change and the beginning of me allowing God to really move in and through me started when we found Impact…err Phil found his office at Voyages. I think Natasha was a little shocked when I told her I wanted to go back the second week and then the third week. For me it was authentic people…open, honest, and truthful. Where I came from this was not “normal” at church and I had checked out of church because I saw no point of being part of a show.
New Zealand had a huge impact on my life. Part of it was leaving my sheltered little world, although I had previously been to Canada… three times, and seeing there is another side of the world. The biggest part was the interaction with the lives over there. Cession was awesome…pretty weird to be at a church on the other side of the world and be thinking this could be Impact…there are not many differences, sure that guy talks funny but so do Phil and Jason sometimes. The country is breath taking beautiful. It was awesome to reunite with Ryan and Angele. The people were very friendly and went out of their way to take care of us. The thing that impacted me the most was meeting a guy named Neville. Neville was our “chauffer” from Auckland to Napier, he is from Living Waters Church in Napier…he is pretty much their version of our Cy Floyd. He knew the country like the back of his hand and I got to spend a lot of time with him as we drove through the country of New Zealand. I don’t know exactly how to describe how that relationship has changed and impacted me…it was obvious that Neville loved our group even before he ever met any of us. Being with him for some reason opened my eyes and really began awakening me to life.
New Zealand led to me dealing with some things from my past. I don’t know if you all have noticed but I tend to be quiet (that was a joke…its kind of obvious) I had the tendency to deal with things by stuffing them down and ignoring them. I am certain that for me the things I ‘stuffed down’ began coming out in different areas of my life: Crohn’s Disease, my marriage, my relationship with God, my relationship with family, etc. I had an AHAAA moment one weekend when Natasha was away visiting her cousins. Things started to click in my brain about how I didn’t really dealt with a few certain moments in my life and how those things affected me, because I was trying to live life like they hadn’t affected me because I didn’t want to relive them. Dealing with these things has had a huge impact on the relationships in my life…God, Natasha, family, work, friends.
It is awesome to see how God is using those things to put me in situations with the people in my life that makes sense for me to share my story with them…it also freaks me out. I have a guy that I work with that I could just sense something was not right with him…I really felt like I needed to ask what was going on in his life and share what was going on in my life. We spent a couple hours talking about our marriages and how we are similar men that do stupid men things and think stupid men things and how those things affect our relationship with our wives. Lately I have been dealing with family issues from my side…parents and sisters. I had a pretty awesome moment with my youngest sister a couple weeks ago. Long story short…I thought we were going out with her and her husband for dinner…I didn’t understand that they had noticed a difference in who I was and wanted to hear what was going on in my life….Natasha has a different story to this that may be funnier but mine is more accurate. Anyways, we have some history that involves some wounds that I inflicted upon her. As I look back on it, it is pretty apparent that Satan was pretty happy we didn’t get along. I know God was in that moment as we both healed and I am sure that it was only because God is working in and through both of us that that moment happened. This weekend my two nephews…who are more like the brothers I never had came to Impact. If you missed them…you couldn’t have they make me look like a midget. Man, I want them to “get it”. It was an awesome service for them to be at with Phil talking about going after the things that matter rather than the things of this world. I hope that they see that in my life and I pray that they understand it and don’t go the way the world is pulling them. I guess the thing I am most struggling with right now is knowing what to say…also feeling comfortable to say it. Twenty minutes after something is when things usually start popping in my head that I should have said.
I have spent a lot of time lately reflecting in my journaling. It is crazy to see what God is doing in my life. My relationship with God is crazy different and my marriage is probably just as crazy different now days. As I look back I also see all the people that have been part of my journey…there are Impactors, New Zealanders, and I just met some more Epictorians this weekend. The relationships I am developing are so much different than the relationships I thought were “deep’ a few years ago. I was talking with Andrea about this at the Epic bootcamp. A couple months ago I got sent on one of those missions I sometimes get sent on Sunday mornings. Andrea asked me to go to their house and find a game board in their basement. Afterwards I emailed her about how normally in our world if you are close with someone you might have refrigerator rights and that’s about as far and deep as it goes. I am thankful that I have friends like the Struckmeyers where it goes much deeper, deep enough that I have laundry room rights.