Help Us Help Others

Help Us Help Others
Chaplaincy Clark County

Thursday, September 12, 2013

That Sam I am, that Sam I am

Good morning,
I pray the day is finding you well.

I started the fall weight loss challenge last night at the "Y". As usual it took me out of my comfort zone.

First the trainer took my measurements, reality check.

Then the trainer measured my body fat, another reality check.

The cherry on the cake of my day is when the trainer weighed me, serious reality check.

I realized that if I gain anymore weight my only option is to move to a planet with less gravity.

In my line of work I spend a lot of time with people working on their spiritual and emotional health. This kind of work is not hard for me, yet it seems to be very hard for some of the people that I try to help. It takes them out of their comfort zone.

Working on the health of my body is important, I know this; yet, it is hard for me.

If I am to be honest, which by the way I am trying to be. I do not like running on a treadmill. I do not like doing lunges, in fact I despise doing lunges and think they should be against the law, just saying.

I have done these weight loss challenges before and they always go like this.

My trainers name is Sam.

That Sam I am, that Sam I am.

I do not like that Sam I am.

Do you like working out?

I do not like working out!

Would you like it in a house?

I would not like it in a house!

Would you like it with a mouse?

I would not like it with a mouse.

Would you like it in a box?

I would not like it in a box!

A fox, a fox, would you like it with a fox?

Not with a fox.

Not in a box.

Not with a mouse

Not in a house.

I do not like working out. I do not like it Sam I am.

Sam you let me be.

But Sam doesn't let me be. He keeps pestering me until I finally submit and I find that working out is actually fun. Working out doesn't hurt anymore and I actually do feel better.

I still despise lunges though, just saying.

We need all kinds of people in our lives. We need people that care.

While Sam is busy working on the health of my body, I will be busy working on Sam.

My prayer today is,
Dad, as I submit to the pain of working out this old body of mine, give me the strength to present you well. It is hard, Dad, to present my best self in the middle of lunges, You know I don't like lunges. Please give me the endurance to do them well and give me Your breath as I lose mine, to speak your words. Amen


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Getting on Right Race Blvd

Good morning,
I pray the day is finding you well.

I hit the ground running this morning.

I did not get much sleep last night. It was one of those nights where I kept waking up, so many thoughts, so little time.

When I got to the "Y" I walked in to a barrage of emails, phone calls, and individual needs.

I was multitasking.

I was responding to emails while at the same time answering phone calls.

Brandon, the pastor of the church that meets at our "Y", and I would be on the phone when an emergency call would come through and I would have to hang up on him and take the call. It is a good thing Brandon and I have a good working relationship and he knows my heart. Then the noise starts. Right outside my wall the Impact hammers start up. I cannot hear anything and I know I must grab my cell phone and iPad, go to a quiet place that has wireless so I can continue my day.

I am walking to my car with my cell phone, iPad, keys and coffee cup in hand (Yes, a coffee cup is a vital part of my ministry) when my phone rings. I answer the phone, ask if I could have a moment to get into my car, the person says yes, I get into my car, throw my iPad, phone and keys on the passenger seat and put my coffee cup to my ear and say I am back. I realize that I am talking into my coffee cup. Put the coffee cup down, pick up my iPhone and hit the end button effectively cutting me off. I call the person back and he says, "What happened?" I tell him I was busy talking to my coffee cup and hung up on him when I realized I was not on the phone.

This is when I knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that I had completely fallen into the rat race this morning.

I am now in a quiet space, a space where I can take a moment to breath and wait on The Lord.

The rat race is an insidious race. You can be in it before you know it and without even trying. Even if you are intentional about not being in this insidious race it will sneak up on you.

The goal then is not so much to stay so far out of things that the race cannot get you. It would be very hard, nay I say impossible to be in active ministry living as a hermit, so being a hermit is not the goal. The goal is to have your rat race radar on so that you realize quickly what is happening and you can make adjustments to get off the rat race highway and onto right race blvd.
Father, continue to give me the nudges so that I can exit the rat race highway and enter right race blvd. Guide me, be my GPS if You will and continue to teach me so that I can present my best self to others so that they may know you. Amen


Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Good morning,
I pray the day is finding you well.

We are mourning the loss of one of our YMCA family today.

I was told of her passing yesterday afternoon right before I was leaving for the day. I drove home with a heavy heart knowing that the next day would be filled with connecting with her children and grandchildren, making myself available for them.

I got to my house, did my chores, made dinner and settled in to watch Monday Night Football. I had taped the game. I like taping games, no commercial breaks. No sooner had I sat down then my son Levi comes bounding through the door saying, “Hi dad, I am here for the night! Oh good, you already have the game on.” I replied, “Is something wrong at your apartment?” Levi says, “Nope, I just came over to watch both games and spend the night. What’s for dinner?”

I think I will get him a tee-shirt that says, “What’s for dinner?”

We watched the game together.

We talked.

We laughed.

When I went to bed, Levi was in the middle of the second game, it was a double-header Monday Night Football night.

Sometime during the evening, I received an email from the YMCA. There was a family in trouble, a broken relationship between a father and a son. The father was looking for a place to put his son.

I sat there as I read the email. I looked over at my son, who was busy making mom laugh. I started to think of all the “What-ifs” in life.

What if I had taken a different stance with my son during a troubling time? Would he still be sitting in my living room, coming over on his own accord just to be with me?

What if I had not shown love to my son as he was grew up? Would he still be sitting in my living room, coming over on his own accord just to be with me?

What if I had not spent time for my son as he grew up? Would he still be sitting in my living room, coming over on his own accord just to be with me?

I do not have the answers to these questions. Only God can see all the what-ifs in life.

This is what I do know.

By placing Christ in the center of my life and doing my best to follow His teachings, He gave me the energy, the heart and the space to take a breath as we raised our children. I do not know what tomorrow will bring, but at least my kids know that their parents love them.

We are mourning the passing of one of our YMCA family. This person has run a long race and finished the race well.
We are going to miss this member of our family, at the same time we are rejoicing because we know she is with Christ.

My prayer is:
Lord, continue to give me Your heart. Continue to give me Your guidance. Continue to give me Your wisdom. Continue to give me Your words. As I run the race that you have put before me, help me run it well. Help me finish well. I do these things not to bring me glory, but to bring you glory. So that others that may not know You will see these things and praise You Father. Amen.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

A quiet morning

Good morning,
I pray the day is finding you well.

The season is changing, actually that is a silly term; the seasons are always changing. I am reminded of a weatherman (I guess if I were to be politically correct I would say weatherperson, but this was a guy so I think I am safe saying weatherman, maybe not, I don’t know.) who said, “There was no weather today.” I thought, “What a silly thing to say. Of course there was weather today, there is always weather.”

It is getting a bit cooler and the mornings are dark when I wake up at my house by the river. The birds are still asleep and the air is still. We have an interesting phenomenon where I live. The sun heats the air and causes it to move through the valleys and along the rivers creating a gentle breeze; there was no breeze this morning, there was no sun.

I sat in my chair listening to the river.

I sat in my chair waiting to hear the first rustlings of the birds and other animals that call the river home.

I sat in my chair waiting to hear the waking of the day.

I sat in my chair listening for God.

God did not say anything.

After a while, I got up from my chair and got ready to go to the “Y”.

I got dressed, collected my things that I need for the day. Got in the car, realized I forgot my keys, went back in the house, got my keys, got back into the car, and started driving to work.

As I drove into town, I started to notice noise. I was stopped at a stoplight, which is a good thing to be stopped at. It sure is a lot better than driving through a stoplight. A car pulls up next to me and music is playing, I notice the music. A trucks engine is rumbling, I notice the engine noise. Pretty soon I am noticing a lot of noises.

Then a still small voice said, “The world is full of noise. I gave you this morning so that you could remember the tranquility and draw on that in the midst of the noise of the day."

As I go through my day and listen to noise. I am thankful that God caused me to stop and realize that I can draw on the quiet times. If I am to be an ambassador of Christ, I must not allow myself to be caught up in the noise of the day, but be that respite for people when they do.

Lord, my prayer is that You continue to give me grace as I do my best to abide in You as you are abiding in me. Let me be that quiet moment in a person’s day where they can just sit and decompress. Where they can just sit and be in You as You are in them. Amen