Monday, January 13, 2014

TWO YEARS since my last blog post!

Just recently, I had reason to go online to look at my blog. I'll tell you why in a minute. But I was surprised that it had been OVER two years since my last blog post. Yet the lack of activity on my blog does not translate to a lack of activity in my life! Quite the contrary. And I think that's why I was posting the "year in the life" the last two posts. Perhaps it was to defend my lack of blog posts ;-) Yet, I think this blog post may not be so much about the past as to the future.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Another Year!

I realized today that it had been one year since I last posted a blog! My how time flies!! So, I thought I'd sit down and reflect on the past year. In keeping with past posts, I'm going to list out, by month, different events that I remember.

2011 in review:

Built a pump house over the well pump at the farm
Began taking New Land Owner classes from the Colorado County Ag Extension service
Hopewood Farm becomes a non-profit corporation in the state of Texas

Purchased a 12 foot lowboy trailer for the farm
Began taking the Urban Rancher classes from the Harris County Ag Extension service
Purchased a Colt Anniversary III 1911 pistol in celebration of 20 years employment at Chevron

Cleared land for the log cabin site
Site for the log cabin was staked out
Volunteered at the Texas Quest adventure race

Built a two bay lean-to next to shed at the farm for tractor, 4 wheeler, and side by side
Pad site was created for the log cabin

Traveled to Salt Lake City for business
Took first load of timber to be milled down for the log cabin
Concrete was poured for the foundation of the log cabin

Went to Canton to find items for the log cabin
Traveled to Midland for business

Satterwhite Log Homes constructed log cabin
Traveled to Salt Lake City for business
Made 2 knives
Tractor Supply opens in Columbus, TX (woohoo!!!)

Put up electric fence so cows could graze on property
Shingles installed on the log cabin
Plumbing/electrical rough-in at the log cabin
Hopewood Farm now has a website domain name!

Interior walls up, painted at the log cabin
A/C installed at the log cabin (whew!)

Put up deer feeders and deer cameras on property
Kitchen cabinets installed at the log cabin
Septic/propane installed at the log cabin

Deer hunted first day of deer season (no kill)
Moved furniture from mobile home to log cabin

Countertops and appliances installed at the log cabin
Had Christmas at the farm!

I look forward to what God has planned for 2012!

All for now,

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Signing Back On: Can't Stop a Good Thing!

At a friend's encouragement of my blogging, I had reason to revisit my blog a few days ago. And when I did, I re-read my 2010 wishlist - to which I had to smile at how God guided me through the year.

Now, let me reiterate that I try not to be just about doing things. But reviewing the list reminded me of how God provides. And it made me realize that my hopes shouldn't be like a Christmas list to give to a Santa-god. But more of a "is this what you would have for me?" petition to God. I'm now seeing it as a way to submit a prayerful request and to see if it aligns with God's will. Putting it up to a light, so to speak.

A friend recently posted on facebook, "when God made the world he intended on today happening. powerful to live, love and walk in that truth..." Exactly!

So I present to you 2010 in review:

Played in a drum circle
Learned how to play a trap set (drums)
Shot my first buck and doe!
Taught a mosaic workshop again at Laity Lodge

Traded in my 1996 Toyota 4Runner (with 225,000 miles) for a 2007 Toyota Tundra Pickup
Badged again with the Houston Life Stock Show and Rodeo

Co-led as mission trip to Costa Rica
Went turkey hunting for the first time
Went to HFBC Hunt Retreat (a long time desire)

Started a new position at Chevron Pipe Line Company
Created another art installation for the Church Easter exhibit

Met Rich Stearns (author of "Hole in the Gospel")

Taught a mosaic workshop again at Laity Lodge
Went to my first (and probably last) Roller Derby
Picked pears at a friend's farm

Purchased 21 acres near Fayetteville, TX (recreational/retirement land)
Bought the obligatory 4 wheeler and side by side for the property

Attended a "How to Build a Log Cabin" workshop
Bought a TRACTOR! ;-)

Suprised my dad by installing a 1940's Fairbury Windmill on the property

So, you can see that some things from my previous "wish" list happened, some didn't. And I'm perfectly fine with that. I embrace it, in fact.

Because what was further instilled in me during 2010, that I hope to carry with me for a long time, is that God has a plan that is perfectly suited for me. My part is to trust. But to discern the will of God takes more than a bucket list. It takes calling on the Holy Spirit for a renewed mind. I just can't do it with my simple human mind. And when I do that I need to be ready. For when I call on the Holy Spirit, He will only fill what I have emptied. Meaning, He won't fill an already filled space. If my mind is cluttered with an "I want", "I was hurt", "I need" then there's no where for the Holy Spirit to go. And if I have a "well, I've done this then you should do this God", then all I see Him as is a Coke-Machine-god. And I'm totally missing what God wants with a relationship with me.

At the end of last year, I felt a stirring on some passages that God gave me a while ago (Psalm 37:5-9, Isaiah 58:6-10). After pondering them and discussing them over email with a friend, I realized that I wanted to leave all my insecurities in 2010. The anger, the wrath, the fret, the yoke of oppression, the finger pointing, and malicious talk! Just love God for God and let Him love me for me. "Free me to give and receive love as never before."

I was comforted with “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise." (Isaiah 43:18-21).

I choose to trust because of who I know God to be (righteous and blameless) and because I know He has already chosen to love me. And my actions are based on a response to His love. But when they aren't, the good news of grace is that nothing is irredeemable. It takes repentance, then surrender. And I can't express how peaceful surrender is, when I know that it is to a perfect God who loves me more than I'll ever know.

And the marathon of surrender will continue to teach me for the rest of my life; and ending with a wonderful finish line... Heaven!

All for now,

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. -- Proverbs 3:5-6

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Year in Review, a Year to Behold, and a Signing Off

On January 29 of this year, I wrote a blog entry in which I recorded a bucket list. While I don't "live by it", I did find it fun to write. It also gave me cause to write a thankful list, which again, gave me an opportunity to realize how thankful I am to God for giving me so many different opportunities in this life on earth.

With that in mind, I figured now would be a good time to reflect over the past year and write down a year in review.

Things done this year from the 2009 Bucket List
Visit Spain (and a priviledge that it was a mission trip)
Fly in a glider (soaring)
See an American eagle in its natural habitat
Climb up the Grand Canyon
Learn how to tie different knots
Shoot a machine gun
Go deer hunting
Go rappelling - Aussie style!
Play a wii

And some things I didn't expect
Climbed the 3rd largest cathedral (in Sevilla, Spain) (I've already climbed #1 and #2)
Took the Jeep 4 wheeling (again)
Rode the MS150 in Texas
Rode the MS150 in California
Went to my sister's 30th High School reunion
Went dove hunting
Went paintballing
Completed an artwork for the church's Easter art installation
"Badged" with the Houston Lifestock Show and Rodeo
Learned how to weld
Learned how to play the djembe and congas
Became "director" of a 1 year olds class for the children's ministry at my church
Took a photo with David Crowder (another CCM artist)
Saw a meteor shower

And looking forward to 2010, here's some things I'd love to do:

Here's my hopes for 2010 from my 2009 bucket list
Learn to fly fish
* Vacation in Costa Rica (maybe even surf!)
Swim with dolphins/whales/manta rays
Catch a firefly and put it in a jar
Learn to sail (by myself)
Learn to start a fire (without matches)
* Go back to Ireland, and be sure to kiss the Blarney stone this time
Visit Peru (and climb Machu Picchu)
** Get married
Go deep sea fishing
Learn how to make beer, wine, or even moonshine!
Peg a speedometer of something fast!!
See a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans
Ride on the Ferris Wheel at the Texas State Fair

And some new things
Visit Alaska
Ride a zip line (again)
Learn how to build a log cabin
Participate in a drum circle
Learn to play the trap set (drums)
Teach mosaics at Laity Lodge (again)
Kayak on Corpus Christi bay
Do an artwork for the church's Easter art installation (again)
Buy some recreational/retirement land
Go rappelling - Aussie style! (this time, not get talked out of it half way down!)

* These may have more of a missions focus now, but this remains to be seen... or unfolded!
** Hope springs eternal!

You know, life is definitely more than "doing things" but, we have a short time here and I want to enjoy ALL that He has created for us. And I want to make sure to enjoy it with the perspective that I am an alien here - meaning, with a God-honoring perspective and in a way that makes me think not about earth but about our eternal home.

This is probably more than all for now... this is probably all.

Signing off,

Monday, November 16, 2009

I Have Decided

That 2009 will complete my time in the blogging world. It has been an incredibly fun and rewarding and revealing time for me. But as most things in this world, there is a time and a season to it. And I believe this is the end of the time and the season.

Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to read and even a bigger thanks to you who have taken the time to respond.

All for now,

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What Can Faith Really Do?

Ever ask yourself that? I have. Plenty of times. I heard this song and it spoke to me. I hope it speaks to you also.

What Faith Can Do
by Kutless

Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache
You think its more than you can take
But you are stronger, stronger than you know
Don't you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining

I've seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn't ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I've seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That's what faith can do

It doesn't matter what you've heard
Impossible is not a word
It's just a reason for someone not to try
Everybody's scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
It'll be alright
Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing

I've seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn't ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I've seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That's what faith can do

Overcome the odds
You do have a chance
(That's what faith can do)
When the world says you can't
It'll tell you that you can!

I've seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn't ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I've seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That's what faith can do
hat's what faith can do!
Even if you fall sometimes
You will have the strength to rise

All for now,

Monday, October 26, 2009

Not a "First Song" But a Good One

I heard this on the radio this morning, yet it wasn't the first song I heard. But I so needed to hear it.

Truth be told, I guess I've been feeling a little more lonely than usual lately... perhaps with all the traveling, all the changes, all the constants. But the song reminds me that there is one thing I too often forget to do.. come to the cross. That's where my heart belongs.

Perhaps you need to be reminded of it also.
Where Your Heart Belongs
by Mainstay

You lost yourself in finding out
The wonders of the world will let you down
You gave yourself to those who never
Cared about your soul, they only cared for their own
Seems everyone has left you

You're not alone, I hear you call
And I've been waiting here for you through it all
You're not alone, come to the cross
Let me show you where your heart belongs
You're not alone

You went down the darkest roads
And you know just how it feels to lose your hope
But don't give up on everything
When everyone has given up on you
And it feels like everyone has left you

You're not alone, I hear you call
I've been waiting here for you through it all
You're not alone, come to the cross
Let me show you where your heart belongs
You're not alone

I will never leave you
Come back to my open arms
To the only love you need

You're not alone, I hear you call
And I've been waiting here for you through it all
You're not alone, come to the cross
Let me show you where your heart belongs
You're not alone, you're not alone, you're not alone

All for now,