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Friday, March 18, 2011

Smitty was right

Fellow travelers,

Over the past few weeks Elijah has really gotten into people's full names, and who they are in relation to their family.

So now instead of introducing himself as Elijah, it is Elijah Luke Whiting, and then he goes on to introduce his brother, Judah Benjamen Whiting. He loves to explain to me how I am his dad, and so and so is his friends dad, and Pop is my get the picture.

What I find fascinating about this is that it is such a clear picture of what we all are wanting: a place to belong, a sense of fitting in. He wants to know who he is, and he wants to figure out where everyone goes, and we all are seeking that. Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo teach in "Growing Kids God's Way" that one of a father's most important jobs is to implant a sense of belonging and purpose. That really struck me. My sons need to know where they belong, and they will find it. Whether I teach them or not. The problem is, if I don't take the task myself, the person who teaches them may not be someone I would like. It could be their friends, or a TV show, or any number of other people who will fill that void and that is just scary.

So I have started being very deliberate in calling out not just who Elijah is as a person, or as a man of God. But calling him into who we are. As a Whiting family, and as members of the family of God. It is fun to be sitting there with Elijah and Judah and be able to say "Whiting men don't complain, we are thankful for what we have!". Sometimes they seem to get it, and many times they don't. But I know that their little hearts are soaking it up. And one day that sponge will pour out, and they will be confident of who they are, and where they belong...and that will make all the difference!

Happy Trails,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Team Whiting Adventure: Episode 1

Episode 1: Adventure at Chuck E. Cheese

So today was a Whiting Man Day. The boys and I set out for Chuck E. Cheese with a coupon for more coins then we could ever use, and a desire for fun.
Everything was going great. Judah was pretending to drive race cars and Elijah was busy putting 4 coins into games that only need one...but little did we know what wild times were ahead.

You see, Judah needed to go to the bathroom (Yeah for potty training!). Unfortunately, when I asked him if he needed to "sit down" or "stand up", he told me stand up...he should have told me sit down.
To save you a mental picture you would rather not see, lets just say that he ended up needing new pants, underwear and socks. And guess what dad forgot to bring? BINGO, the bag with extra clothes.

So here I am, in the bathroom with a boy sitting on a toilet, with no pants to wear (no clean pants), and my other son is out playing games. What would you do?
I know what I would do...because it is what I did. I went and asked if they had any lost and found clothes I could borrow. They did, a jacket. Thanks Chuck E Cheese lady. So I place the oversized jacket on Judah, just big enough to be acceptable, just short enough to be obvious that something is missing.

I grab Elijah and we walk across the parking lot to Burlington Coat Factory. We must have looked so strange, there I was walking with one son who had on a long-sleeve soccer jersey, shorts, and snow boots and another son wearing just a big jacket...yeah, we got some strange looks. 
I found the cheapest shorts I could, and picked up some Diego underwear (of course Elijah wanted me to get the Power Ranger ones). We pay, and as we are walking out the store I accidentally knock the cup of Chuck E Cheese coins and spill most of them on the sidewalk. I inform Judah (who has yet to be dressed) to not bend down to help, and Elijah and I quickly gather our booty.

We make it to the van, dress the boy, and return to Chuck E. Cheese for 10 more minutes of fun.
We finish our adventure at Wendy's (we did not get pizza at Chuck E. case you were wondering), where upon hearing that a friend of mine was sick, Elijah immediately says "Lets pray right now for him" which we do, and then head home for that is a great way to end an adventure.

Go Team Whiting!

Lesson of the story?


oh, and we have a lot of coins keep an eye out for Episode 2: Clash of the Skeeballs

Backstop of the Gospel

Fellow travelers,

What is the good news? If someone asked you right now, what would you say?
Even though I have been walking with God for many years, I still find myself sometimes fumbling for the right words. It usually is because my head and my heart can disagree on what the most important part is...

@Bill Johnson
the heart of the Gospel is love, passion, glory and we are called to go from "passion to passion". Discipline is part of it. It is the "backstop of the Gospel". It is there to help protect us. But it is not the focus.

When we offer people a system of values for living a better life, we are shortchanging them. The good news is not that we can live a good life, and be nice people, who live nice lives...the good news is that we have a loving father in heaven, God, and He loves us with a passion that cannot be explained except that He was willing to give His son, Jesus, to die for us. Because of that sacrifice, our mistakes and sins are forgiven, and we can have a full relationship with God!

I think sometimes I don't "feel" like sharing the gospel with people, because I only think about the discipline, the rules. I need to keep my eyes on the prize, because when I do I share from a place of passion and excitement!

So, what are we offering people? Am I living a life of passion, love, and glory? That is something that sounds good to me, that is something I can get excited about.

Happy Trails,

Monday, March 7, 2011

I wanna be in the light

Fellow travelers,

There is this tiny traveling carnival that has come to our fair city. It is one of those 5 ride and a steal your money game places. As I was driving by it this afternoon I just thought how run-down and scary it looked...I was like "I ain't taking my kids there!" But then this evening I was driving by it again, and it had transformed into a lighted wonderland! The shadows hid the ugliness and the bright lights attempt to pull you into the "fun".

The light shows things for what they really are. Darkness is excellent at covering up things you don't want seen. Sometimes you can even use a little light to cast shadows right where you want them. But in the light of day, there is no hiding the blaring faults and problems.

It just made me realize that I do that myself. Try to create the illusion of being all together and perfect, when I really am in need of Jesus and His forgiveness just as much as anyone. I love that old (I can't believe I can say this song is old...what does that make me?) DC Talk song, "In the Light".

I wanna be in the light, as you are in the light, I wanna shine like the stars in the heavens.

It is hard to be vulnerable, but if we live in the light, we allow God to bring the change we need. If we live in the shadows, we end up getting used to the darkness, and start to fear the light.

I don't want to be afraid of God's light...I want to embrace it and all it entails...because I know I can trust God to not just reveal my problems, but help me deal with them.

I hope I see you there...

Happy Trails,


aka Jesus Freak

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Good quotes

"Faith begins where man's power ends"

"Whatever is not from faith is sin"

"Peter walked on Jesus' invitation to come"

"Our first call is to know Him"

"Now faith, what are you standing on now?"

-Bill Johnson

happy trails

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Put your behind in your past

Fellow travelers,

I just finished watching "Secretariat". It was a good movie, and it got me thinking about the Lion King, where Pumbaa incorrectly quotes Timon and says "You gotta put your behind in the past". I love that! There is something right on about taking responsibility for dealing with your past, and not expecting others to do it. In Secretariat they have a similar message. Face your challenges, run your race to win (I like that one...go Paul!), if you don't win, press on, and keep running. 

Combining these thoughts I think is important. I was reminded of James 1: 2-3 where we are told to 

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

Challenges, and trials are used by God to grow our faith. And as our faith grows we gain perseverance. Trust me, we know how hard it can be to consider trials "pure joy". But as one who has made it through some trials I can tell you, on the other side it is really fun. Being able to look back and see God's faithfulness is one of the most rewarding things EVER!

So what is the point? How did a warthog and a race horse get us to this thought? I don't know...perhaps it is because in order to race to win, we must have the proper attitude during the race (joyful) and if we are to even get in the race we have to be able to trust God with the past (where your behind goes) and look forward...He is I AM...He is here, with you now. 

Happy Trials,