25.

Well, today was my 25th birthday.

I ended up having the day off of work so it was a pretty relaxing and quiet day…just what was needed. Then this evening I met up with some of my closest friends for dinner, always a good time.

Here we are, at the start of another year and this idea got me thinking. It is not the year that ends of being good or bad. I mean, a year is simply the time it takes the earth to travel around the sun. Rather, the year will be what we make of the time we have ahead of us.

So…rather than hoping the year is good, I know it will be good because I am going to take action into my own hands. With guidance from Christ and the support of my friends/family I look forward to seeing what the year holds in store…ironically, I will end by saying it will be a good year!

Cheers and stay tuned for stories of my 25th year!

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10 Minutes

I meant to write about this a few weeks ago, but time as escaped from me. However, I still find it worthwhile so here you go!

A number of weeks ago, the forest fire season began in earnest across the country. Perhaps the most noted was the large fires in Colorado. These fires appeared relatively quickly and ravaged the land, destroying homes and changing people’s way of life. I do not remember the final number, but the fire left behind hundreds of destroyed homes and will cost well into the millions.

Due to the proximity to the fire, many people had to be evacuated and did not know if they would have a home to return to when the fire had passed. During this time of evacuation, I heard stories of families who had 10 minutes to evacuate their homes…that is 10 minutes from the time there is a knock on the door to when they had to be driving away…10 minutes.

This got me thinking: what would I do with only 10 minutes to pack and leave. 

Honestly, it was difficult to think at first what I would grab and what would I leave behind, knowing full well that I may never be returning to my home. So after some thought and walking through my house, here is a rough idea of what I would grab:

  • My dog would be the first “thing” I would grab, she would go in the car right away to reduce the chance of her getting in the way
  • Photos. Many of my families photos are in albums and in one place in our home, I would grab all I could and get them in a car. Many of our photos do not have digital backups and could never be replaced.
  • Irreplaceables. There are a couple things in my house that could never be replaced and things I would hate to loose…jewelry from past generations, couple of books (first editions/autographed and my Bible) and a couple random trinkets (Ken Griffey Junior signed ball, Eagle Scout medal). I would only go for the small ones that I could quickly grab, toss in a box and put in the car.
  • Electronics. I would not grab my x-box or tv, but would make an effort to grab my laptop, external hard-drive and the tower component to our family computer.
  • Anything else. Time depending I would make an effort to grab anything else that would be hard to part with or replace…quilts my mom made, awards, etc…

Now I know it is one thing to think of these things when just sitting at home and looking around, but during an emergency it would be entirely different. Above all, and above myself, I would make sure my family was safe and out of harm. We do have several cars and actually talked about who would take which car and what would be in each, based on the amount of time we would have to pack and leave. Each of us have different ideas of what is important, it would be interesting to see what we ended up with. In all honesty, I would want to pack up the rest of the family and get them on their way before I left.

So there are just a couple thoughts I had regarding having to pack and leave with only a few moments notice. It is a good reminder to remember that overall stuff is just stuff and nearly everything can be replaced, but chances are there are some things that would be difficult to replace and may be worth grabbing as you head out the door.

Now here is my question for you…there is a knock on the door, someone tells you it is time to go and you have 10 minutes to pack and leave: What do you grab?

You have 10 minutes.

Go.

Just Some Advice

Hey everyone!

I was just perusing through various websites and came across the below picture. I know it is a bit out of focus but there are some great bits of advice on it! It is mainly for guys but it works for nearly anyone. Check it out and feel feel free to comment with any pieces of advice you may have too.

Advice

The Fight Against

Just a few weeks ago, my family received news that impacted us like no new has before: cancer had entered our immediate family. On November 27th I received the call that my mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Now, I have known other families who have had this tragic news called into their lives, but it is still hard to imagine that it has been brought into my family. I cannot fully remember what I felt in the moment I was told…I remember being in absolute shock and feeling numb that it had happened. In fact, I got into my car and drove the hour and a half straight home to see my mom. We spent some time talking and praying together, with some tears mixed in throughout.

In our desperation and despair, my mom and I did what we knew to be right, although difficult: we turned it over to God. We could sit around forever asking why and trying to blame God for allow this to happen, but what would this accomplish?? When sin entered our world, death and disease entered into humanity, and this cancer is a clear and physical example of this sin and evil. Rather, after my mom and I allowed ourselves a few minutes of pity, we turned it all over to God.

You see, I have total and complete faith that in some way God will use this as a way to bring glory to His name, as well as bring my family closer together. I do not know why this has been brought against my family, and I have prayed to God to not allow me to enter into asking why, for I know that will lead to no good. Instead, I have prayed to Him to give my mom the strength to get through this and to bring people along side her to help her get through this. But more importantly, I have prayed for His will to be done and His plan accomplished.

I pray over this situation every day, and if you feel inclined I welcome your prayers as well. My family is gearing up to face the biggest hurtle we have ever faced together; I know that through the strength that God provides, we will prevail in this fight. We are entering into a period of doctor appointments, referrals , consultations and information gathering as we prepare for the first surgery.

Please join my family in praying over this time. There are so many aspects to something like this to pray for, in addition to God being glorified in some way through this process. Prayers for the doctors, the safety of the surgery  and that the cancer has not spread beyond the lump that was found. God is a miraculous healer, He has shown this time and time again, and I ask now for Him to step in so we can first hand see His power at work.

I seek to surrender this all to God…

He is our Healer…nothing is impossible through Him…

Psalm 23

Thank you for your prayers during this time. 

Life Lessons…from tv!

 

 

I just came across this online and could not resist sharing! It is a set of lift lessons from the hit tv show How I Met Your Mother, check it out!

 

What are some other life lessons you have taken from shows, books or other forms of media?

Should Have

When we look at our lives, we are often faced with the “should haves.” You know what I mean, the things you wish you had done because it may have just happened to change the course of our lives. But for one reason or another, we did not do them…and they became “should haves.”

When I started thinking about this idea of “should haves,” I tried to think of some examples from my life. Here are a couple things that sometimes I think about, and I wonder: how would my life be different if any of these were on my “done” list, rather than my “should have” list.

  • Should have been been more involved at Cornell, especially since I was blessed to have a Christian roommate
  • Should have gone on roomies freshmen year
  • Should have gone back to Mexico, or gone on another missions trip
  • Should have gotten on the 4:00 Am ferry
  • Should have gone to China to study
  • And in some cases, it’s as simple as: should have said yes/no

But here is the thing…no matter what we have or have not done, we are where we are in life because of it. Every time I start to think about these, or other “should haves” I remember something powerful: God has a plan for me and although I do not know what it may be, I know it will be great. As people, we are naturally flawed, and we often think this gets in the way of God’s plan for us. But, I assure you, God has a plan for each and every one of us.

So although we may think of the “should haves” and wish we could go back, remember that because of them, you are who you are today. And if you are not who you want to be, remember that life is a journey and you are getting closer to who you are meant to be. You cannot change the “should haves” in your life, you can only look forward and take advantage of the times to come.

On a different note, whenever I think of “should haves” I always think of this song. Brings back great memories of the RlazyS Ranch, that’s for sure!

Forgiveness

One of the hardest things you will ever have to do in your entire life is exercise forgiveness towards someone…yet it can also be one of the most important things you can ever do.

I will be honest, sometimes it is very difficult to say those three words: I forgive you. There have been people in my life who I may not want to forgive, for one reason or another. These are people who have hurt me physically or emotionally, have broken my heart or my body, have changed me in ways I could not have previously imagined…

To these people, I feel called to extend forgiveness. As the songs say, this is very difficult and you often feel like the one loosing when you offer someone forgiveness. However, as the physical and emotional wounds heal, I know that the healing will only be complete once I extend true forgiveness.

I have personal stories of forgiveness, and may share them here at some time. But for now, I encourage you to seek out one of two type of people…first, the people that have wronged you, tell them you forgive them…second, the people you have wronged or hurt in some way-ask them for their forgiveness.

Father- grant me the grace to show these people the forgiveness they deserve. You have forgiven me of all my sins and wrong doings, who am I not to extend this to those who have wronged me? Help too, these people…allow them to learn from their mistakes and work in them to help them be who you want them to be.

I know it will not be easy, but I will do my best to live the words of Matthew 6:14-15For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. And Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.