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Sunday, January 30, 2011

which came first?

Fellow travelers, 


We were cooking hot dogs over a fire this evening, and enjoying the glorious weather. As I was sitting there I just started to soak in the sights, sounds, and wonderful smells. And I began to wonder, do I like the smell of a fire because God made fire smell good? Or do I like it because it was made to smell good for me?


It got me thinking about tons of other things I enjoy as well, such as: I love looking up at the stars, the taste of popcorn, laughing with my friends, spending time with my beautiful wife. 
Normally I would just think that I like those things because of the way God made me. But I remembered the words of Jesus when asked about the Sabbath. He told the religious leaders that man was not made for the Sabbath, but rather the Sabbath for man. If God created something big like an entire day dedicated to rest and rejuvenation, just because He knows that we need it, then why not all these other things as well?
Doesn't it say, that EVERY good and perfect gift comes from God?


So it is not just happenstance that I like popcorn, or that I feel close to God when I look up at a starry night sky. And it is not coincidence that I love my wife. God created the world for Himself. He made us to interact and love Him, and we were made in His image. Therefore He knew exactly what to create that would bless and please us. WOW!
I like that.


Go out there and enjoy what was made for you!


Happy Trails,


Luke


Squirrels in my pants

This last summer we were blessed to be in Keystone, CO with many of our friends for a conference. While we were there we discovered this amazing show. When I say amazing I mean "so good that it reminds of the cartoons I watched when I was kid" amazing, that is pretty good!

It is called Phineas and Ferb, and it has music, humor, slapstick, and all kinds of zany off-the-wall antics. (I love using the word "antics").

So, for this short post, I wanted to leave you with a little taste of the awesomeness that is "Phineas and Ferb"

Friday, January 28, 2011

There and Back Again

Fellow travelers,

As I was driving home from dropping Janice off at a hotel in Dallas  (so that I did not have to drive her at 3:00am to get to her flight tomorrow). I realized something...I really miss her.

I know, I know, that is not a truly revolutionary thing, but it is something that even though I knew, I had to learn it again. And that got me thinking...

How many things out there do "know"? Yet, we continually are having to re-learn them again. 
For instance, we constantly seem to forget how much we appreciate certain people...like the garbage man (man, when he doesn't come, we REALLY miss him), or a close friend, or even a random co-worker we barely know yet their absence affects our world.

Point being, we seem to use much of our time re-learning things over again. Why? Why do we have this built in reset, its like after a little while things start to build up and our minds have to reset, and we have to hit it on the top, or blow into it...just make sure the connections are clean (those of you who had an original NES know what I am talking about). 

I guess if I had to make a hypothesis it would be this. By allowing us to forget things, that we know, it makes things fresh, as I was thinking about how awesome Janice is, it really made me want to see her, and now, as I wait until Tuesday for that to happen, it will make the reunion that much sweeter. So go God for that!

So if you are finding your life a little stagnant, maybe you need to relearn some things, go watch Princess Bride again and be laugh until you are mostly dead...read that book you loved (you know, that one you read in High School?).  Send your spouse on a nice vacation somewhere for a couple days so you can miss him/her (note: I am not suggesting you do this without their consent, that could get hairy)
Whatever you do, make sure you take time to enjoy it...because you never know when you will get to relearn it again!

Happy Trails,

Luke

Enjoy these Farsides I relearned




Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Elijah Luke Whiting


Elijah Luke Whiting

Born to be free
Full of honesty
Bright eyed and hopeful
A ball of loving energy

Passion and grace
All in one place
Laughing and smiling
Joy on your face

Let me tell you why I love Elijah. He is light, brilliant, he can light up a room and bring joy to all who are in it. He loves people, and he wants to treat them kindly. He hurts when you hurt, and laughs when you laugh. His young heart grows with each new friend he makes. He is quick, and he can tell when you are trying to get away with less then the best. He is quick to pray, and quick to play, and I love that those rhyme ;) At 4 he is already showing glimpses of who God has made him to be, and I am in awe that God entrusts me with this precious life.

We Love You Son

Happy Trails,
Luke Father of Elijah

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

We can't walk straight...

Fellow Travelers, 

Before you read this, watch this video (if you have already seen it, then feel free to move on)


I don't know about you, but I found this story extremely fascinating. Not only is it random that as humans we are incapable of walking, swimming, or driving in a straight line without a point of reference, but I think it is a purposeful thing.

Speaking of purposeful:
I watch the State of the Union address tonight with my LifeGroup (a small group of friends who all love Jesus and each other, and who share life together). I will leave the political commentary to the commentators (its job right?) But I will say this, I was struck by something that I had never noticed before. Out of all the political partisan and bipartisan rhetoric there was one thing that EVERYONE in the room agreed on totally, when President Obama said that despite our differences and bickering, we all are happy to be Americans, and not in some other nation. And it hit me, I felt the emotions rise, and at the same time I felt a tug, something remind me that while I love America, this is not my hope. I am not waiting for the government to lead me down a straight path...
now the connection

You see we all HAVE to have something show us the way. If we don't, we walk in circles and end up walking into trees. For most people they look to their government, or some man-run institution,  for that point of reference. But God created that need in us, so that we would look higher. Everything changes, except God. He is the only light that does not fade, and He will not lead us astray. 

Ever since I saw this story, I have been in awe of how we all have a built in need for something to guide us, and not just in our hearts.

Something to think about as you go...where are you looking for your reference?

Happy Trails, 
Luke

Monday, January 24, 2011

What if?



Fellow tavelers, 
This is a battleship...it is large...very large
When my brother and I were kids and we would start asking the age-old question: What if...? 
 What if I get sick? What if my teacher hates me? What if I don't like it? etc
My dad would always retort with this: 
"What if a battleship fell on your head?"
That usually got us quiet...because even though the answer to that is quite simple (you would die, in case you were wondering) it would remind us that "what if" is a tricky question, and usually pointless.


But today my mind was racing with thoughts and ideas, and many of them centered around things God could do...and I realized, the "what if" question could be very inspiring!


What if God brought complete healing to my family?


What if God cured my disease?


What if He provided all our support in a month?


What if I saw an entire nation saved in a day?


Thinking like that excites you! Those questions drive you to God, to ask Him for the impossible, to dream!
God loves a dreamer, He created us so that in our minds we can escape the "rules" we live in. It took dreamers to imagine going to space, or flying, or communicating with people half-way around the world instantly. And those dreams aren't even close to the amazing ones God has in store for us!


So the next time you find yourself in a slump, like a battleship has landed on your head and is keeping you down...start asking God the what if's, and dare to dream!


Happy Trails,


Luke

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Laughter is medicine for the soul

Fellow Travelers,

As I was contemplating what I wanted to share with you, all I could think of was how good laughing is.
Not only is it proven to increase your life expectancy, but it is in the Bible that a happy heart is good medicine (Prov 17:22, go ahead and look it up)

So here are some hilarious things to read, watch, or listen to:

WARNING: SOME OF THESE THINGS WILL MAKE YOU LITERALLY "LAUGH OUT LOUD"

Brian Regan: One of the funniest comedians out there, and he is CLEAN! You can't get better then that.
Here are 2 of his best sketchs: Pop Tarts and Flying

Things. I. See. This is a blog by a guy named Justin Jaksha...he has some hilarious stuff
Check it out

Tim Hawins: This is a Christian comedian, he is just slap your momma funny
Bed time prayer and Favorite Verse

Enjoy your Sunday!

Happy Trails,
Luke

Friday, January 21, 2011

Work in progress

Fellow travelers,


I have been writing this blog for a few days now, and I am really enjoying the process. I find that I do better if I can say or write my thoughts out. I am an external processor, and so this is a great way for me to go through ideas and thoughts that have been running in my head.


That being said, I still feel like this is a work in progress. As you may have noticed some of my posts are a mixture of silly and serious, some short and sweet, some longer and less sweet.


What is interesting to me though is that I am finding some correlation between this blog and my life. I find that as I am getting older I am getting more predictable in some areas, and less so in others. Just when I think I got something figured out, it changes, and sometimes when I am ready for change, things stay the same.


Being a work in progress is an essential part of our walk with God I think. It forces us to rely on Him. It means that we can't comfortable and just watch life go by, if we want to have the full life God intended. I desire to live that life, and let me tell you, embracing that "work in progress" spirit can be tough. It implies that there is a goal to be reaching for, and that means you have to hold onto hope through it all, believe that where you are now, is not where you will be tomorrow. It is hard to see that sometimes, but I have seen enough lives changed and hearts healed to know that it is true.


So thank you for starting this "work" with me. I hope that as I grow so will my ability to share any wisdom, humor, or revelation I receive along the way.


Happy Trails!
Luke

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Good word


Fellow Travelers,

I recently heard someone share this verse and I thought it was great!

Matthew 11:28 (MSG)
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me---watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

I really like this verse. It doesn't say, take a break from life, escape everything...no it talks about resting while walking. That speaks to me that we can find rest WHILE living life. What a thought!

We are in the middle of God making some crazy changes in our life and it is comforting knowing that there is rest in the middle of craziness. Instead of focusing on figuring things out, I like the idea of learning the "unforced rhythms of grace". Which is not something we can make happen, I think it comes with walking with Christ. We start to fall in step with Him, and things start to fall into place, just like Paul says in Romans 8:28...all things work together for good for those who love God.

Hope you found this word as good as I did.

Happy Trails,
Luke

Monday, January 17, 2011

Quick thought

Fellow Travelers

Isn't it interesting:

Sometimes we try to one up each other with our accomplishments, and sometimes we try to one up each other with our mistakes.

I have found myself trying to show how much worse I am at parenting. I had someone tell me they thought they let their kids watch too many movies, and I was like "We let our kids watch WAY too many movies", like somehow I am making them feel better by being worse...or opposite, I am showing how much more help we need, and that translates into Bonus Points!

Anyway, I am going to make this a short one.

Blessings on you all,
Happy Trails

Luke
oh and if you have a a video you think is awesome, please share it!

Here is today's vid...it is a song I wrote and played with my friend Maxwell Chapman...ENJOY!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

There is no plan B

Hello fellow travelers,


I was looking back today on the past almost 2 years. I was struck by the difference I felt in my attitude toward missions, ministry, and life in general. 2 years ago you would have found a much more anxious Luke. I was worried about finding the "right" path, and not missing God. But as we have walked this crazy path which has led us across state lines, into 6 different houses, and had us change our plans almost monthly, I have come to some startling realizations. 


God is good, and He is big. Even with all the "bad" things that have happened, every time we have experienced some miracle of generosity. And even though usually it is in small things, there have been some big ones too. I have a friend who put it this way: it is like we are on a rollar coaster, the ride is crazy, and even scary at times, but it is on a track, and it is heading somewhere. God might be taking us on some loops, but that doesn't mean we are lost.


There is no plan B. Jimmy said today in his sermon, "Even if you have failed at plan A, God will make another plan A" I do not need to be concerned with "arriving" at the right place. God has me in His hand, and I have to trust that.


These may not be mind-blowing for you, and while I may have known this in my head, God has really planted it deep in my heart. 


One last thought. We watched "Legend of the Guardians: the Owls of Ga'Hoole" tonight. Good movie, beautiful animation, and they have some good thoughts. In the movie there are these owls who have taken an oath to "protect the weakmend the broken, and vanquish the evil", and they do even unto their own death. This was inspiring to me, reminded me of the Isaiah passage Jesus quoted about Himself


1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, 

   because the LORD has anointed me 
   to proclaim good news to the poor. 

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, 
   to proclaim freedom for the captives 
   and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor 
   and the day of vengeance of our God, 
to comfort all who mourn,

I just thought that was really awesome. They also say that you are what you dream, and the hero dreams of the Guardians, and eventually becomes one. I love that thought, as I dream of seeing God move in power, in me and through me, I imagine that God has placed those dreams in us to draw us towards them. 

Anyway, I can't stay serious for too long, I leave you with this wonderful video:
Happy Trails!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Something old

So I decided to try something new and post BEFORE midnight...I know I have been posting a lot, I cannot guarantee that this will be a continuing trend, but for now, I am really liking it.

Its the funniest thing, all day today I kept thinking of things I should say in my blog. Funny ideas, or witty quips...and now I got nothing.


So i will make this short and sweet, I will be posting another video...this one is a shout out to all my college friends. Trogdor was my first introduction to Homestarrunner. And this web-show thingy was constantly quoted during my days at Baylor.

So here it is, if you have never heard of Homestarrunner, don't worry, just know that Strong Bad is the guy answering the emails and that he is hilarious...enjoy!

New Frontiers

Captains Log Startime 2:02 AM...I have been up for the past 4 hours helping my wife create a beautiful cake. I can now say officially, that I have made a fondant rose (with a little help from Janice).
It sure feels good to be a part of something so creative. I will post pics once we have them.

oh, and I think I am going to start sharing some of my favorite online things, videos, websites, games...anything that I have enjoyed ever since the beginning of my experience on the world wide web...should be fun!

Have a great evening, morning, day...whenever you are, I leave you with this wonderful song that I have actually sung in public before...plus the recipe sounds great...

video
Luke

Friday, January 14, 2011

It begins...again

So after the loads (4) of people who responded to my last post, I have decided to try officially blog.
whew, that was fun to say

We have been spending this week hearing God for a fresh word. It has been quite refreshing indeed.
One thing in particular that stands out is this thought: "We are not called to go anywhere, or do anything FOR Jesus, but rather we are called to walk WITH Jesus wherever we go, and whatever we do"
This was incredibly releasing for me. As we have been on a long journey of trying to move to Russia, I have forgotten at times that Jesus is more interested in the journey, and not so much the destination (thanks Jimmy for that one). With that in mind we are being freed from unnecessary worries and fears. And I am enjoying it immensely.

On a different note, I was able to be a witness in a mock trial today for a friend finishing law school. This is my 3rd or 4th time to do this, and it still is not old. There are moments when I am watching these men and women practice their craft that I feel like I could do well among their ranks. After all much of lawyering is found in confidence of speech and thinking on your feet, right? The only problem is I would not much like the years of all night studying, the piles of pages of law to memorize, and the endless ridicule you experience when you enter said field. So I think that maybe law school is not for me...but I definitely have a much greater appreciation for those who practice it, that is not an easy gig.

Well I think I have waxed eloquently (or not so, depending on your opinion) for this post.
Have a great day, and enjoy your life...while you still can.

Blessings
Luke

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Why Not

So I am sitting here trying to find a way to help my wife fix her blog, when I decided to start writing my own. Unfortunately that sort of thing is not too uncommon. There are just so many things out there to distract you...for instance, when driving down the road I find myself transfixed by the simplest things, like McDonalds, or tornados. It doesn't take much to get my mind off of something.

I have been watching Stargate SG-1 series...I am almost done, and it has taken me a while, but I really like it.
What was i saying? oh yes, my mind.

Anyway, this is my first post, and hopefully I will be able to keep this up.
Blessings
Luke