Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My friend Max

I have a friend named Max. I met Max in KidZone at Impact in the 4/5 year old class. I don't know why, how, or even when we exactly met. I don't know why we connected but we did. I say I don't know why, but I know God intended for our lives to intersect.

I also know being the adult that God intended me to be an example to Max. There is a Chinese proverb that says something like; A child's life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark. The funny thing is that Max has made a pretty big mark on my life. Max I love the way you live life, granted you are only 4 and following the instructions of you parents. I love your smile, your humor, your love for God, your inquisitive mind, and your caring heart. When I typed inquisitive mind I am reminded of one of the first times I met Max, I was helping him with a puzzle in KZ and I was shocked at how well he was at putting all the pieces together.

Last Saturday was a work day at Epic, a church plant of Impact. All the Listro's showed up. Just another example of their abilities to touch lives. Max and Gavin who are like 5 and 3 helped paint the outside of the building. Granted it was a toss up if they got more paint on eachother or the building it was so awesome to see these five kids working hard. I can see that same love of life as I look at Max's brothers and sisters so I know that it comes from their parents.

Max's parents, Amy and Christian, love God and have given their lives to him and I mean entirely. I was with Christian, Max's dad, last Saturday and he was talking about their up coming move back to Connecticut. All their belongings will fit in to two van's. That is two parents, five kids, and everything they own. I couldn't fit all my own junk in two van's. They are moving back to Connecticut as they prepare to leave the USA to go into the mission field.

The reality that they will be leaving in 8 weeks is setting in for me and I have to admit that I am sad they are leaving. I will miss the marks that they all leave on my life and all the lives around Impact...I will miss Max leaving marks on my paper. Amy and Christian are awesome parents, this world would be a much better place if there were more like them. They have five kids that are very fortunate to have them as parents because they actually parent and they are going after God's heart. So I guess I have to give my blessing to the Listro's to leave Impact and head out and impact more lives in this world. It is is comforting to know that they will be touching lives where ever they go.

Max my prayer for you is Proverbs 3: 5-6. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Hoping are paths cross again.
Your friend,

Jim (I mean Mr. Jim)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I'm a Pyro

I like fire. No, I love fire. This week we are burning our brush pile that is more of a mountain of brush. It was probably 200 feet long by 75 feet wide and about 15 feet tall. We had hoped to cook hotdogs on it yesterday, but you couldn't get within 50 feet of for more than a few seconds and we didn't have any 50 foot long poles. Today we may try using a long stick attached to the loader forks. I'll let you know how that works.

I am not sure what it is about fire that gets me excited but it does. It is probably the uncontrolability factor...not that is is out of control, its that you can't really put your hands around fire. Well you can but that hurts. It is also that it is almost alive too. It breaths in the air and exhales the smoke while dancing around absorbing the wood like it is eating it. I think I get that deer in the headlights look when I am around fire.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


I returned to my roots and went fishing last night in the lake I grew up on. It has been a long time since I cast a line into these waters.

Its amazing, really not in that much time, how much something can change. The fallen trees that once held the big bass were not there, they had succumb to the water and time. They had been replaced by new fallen trees in different places that changed the whole lay of the lake. The coves and hot spots that I had once fished are nothing but a memory. I felt like a fish out of water at times. Luckily my nephew was with me and is a master of this lake. He pointed out the new hot spots with amazing accuracy.

I find it amazing that as I get older it is so much less about the end result. Last night it was not about the fish even though we were fishing. It was more about being out in nature, God's creation. It was watching my Jitterbug dance across the water while spending time with a nephew.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Faith the size of a mustard seed

Some days I don't even think my faith in God is that big. Our church does an awesome Father's Day service, complete with Ribs, Car show, and Rootbeer Floats. Its an awesome tool to meet specifically guys that wouldn't normally walk in the door. So the past couple weeks I have been thinking about who do I know that should be there. I just felt like there was someone I was supposed to be inviting that really needed to be there. Well on Wednesday it became perfectly obvious who it was. I work with a guy that has worked at Twin Lakes for 20 some years. I was about 10 when I first met him. He has not had a "perfect" life, not that anyone does, but there have been a rough things that have happened in his life. On Wednesday I was talking with him and it became obvious in our conversation that he really needed to hear about God's grace. The things he was currently dealing with were very difficult and involved his abilities with his children. It was also obvious that this was the person I had been praying for, this was the person that needed an invitation to hear about God's love and grace. So I invited him and he even said he probably would come.

So in that moment I am riding the high of seeing God work and being apart of that process. About an hour later I am thinking about could happen on Sunday. This is the point where my extremely small amount of faith comes in. I began thinking about what Phil and Jason might be speaking about, what will be singing about, and what will be the overall message of the day. Then I began worrying about what if it has nothing to do with what my friend is going through...what if it isn't what he needs to hear. Basically, what if God doesn't show up. Never mind that he tied all these events and people together for this moment to possibly happen and now I am questioning if he is capable of coming through on Sunday. It's these moments that make me feel like my faith is so small it is sometimes pitiful.

God show up like you do, show up like you are capable, and show up big because you are an awesome God.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Its a special day for my hair. Its the first day in over five years that I paid for a haircut. About 5 years ago the little Dutch boy in me decided I could achieve the same shaved look I was shelling out $10 for at my local Supercuts by buying a $20 hair clipper from Meijer and doing it myself. I can only think of one major mistake I made...if you have never tried, it is very hard to trim the back of your neck by yourself using two mirrors. But a little shaving cream and a shaver can remedy the situation...if you don't mind the Mr. Clean look.

Natasha requested to see hair on my head a couple months ago. So I began letting my clean shaven head grow out. I have been doing a couple of rough trimmings a month to keep it looking respectable, but today I made my first visit in a long time to a hair stylist. Her name was Sheila and she did a fine job. She turned my scruffy head of hair into a work of art, at least I think that's why people keep staring at me.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


So I have been reading through 1st Corinthians, this morning I read chapters 13 and 14. I know that I have read and listened to these verses many times, but for some reason this morning they really struck home.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angred, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

I was thinking about, what is love? Is it patience or kindness? Love never fails. What else never fails? God never fails. God is love. I rewrote those verses in my journal replacing the word love with God. It seems so simple...but it makes so much sense as I read what I wrote and think about how it describes our God.

God is patient, God is kind. He does not envy, he does not boast, he is not proud. God is not rude, he is not self seeking, he is not easily angred, he keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. God never fails.

Monday, June 05, 2006


Today is one of those days where I am wondering if I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. Is there something else God wants me to be doing?

Last week I went through the assurance verses to refresh them in my brain. For some reason Proverbs 3:5-6 has been sticking in my head and I keep thinking about it. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. The fact that I keep thinking about this verse is making me think that there are areas in my life that I am not fully trusting God, that I am leaning on myself.

It seems so counter everything for a 30 something, white, USA male to trust totally in God. Our culture is so the opposite of that. It is kind of sad to see what we have created.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Strange Story

This has to be one of the strangest stories I have ever heard. I can't imagine what these families are going through. It is comforting to know that they are Christ followers and are leaning on God.