care more than some think is wise; risk more than some think is safe;
dream more than some think is practical; expect more than some think is possible


Transplant Travel...

So this is a fairly accurate depiction of what it looks like for me to travel abroad (or domestically for that matter). I just thought it was an interesting growth or progression of medicines.

Basics: Zpac, Allergy pills, AD, & tylenol 

Add: All morning meds + malaria meds

Add: All am & pm doses & diabetic supplies


Miracles in Nature

At the Alabama trailhead
This past Tuesday/Wednesday, I went hiking with Jonathan Weaver (think brother) and my lady, Meredith Hart at the Walls of Jericho in north Alabama/Tennessee. First, this place is amazing. If you live in Alabama or Tennessee or in the Southeast US, I recommend highly you go as soon as possible. It is hard to believe that this place exist in lowly Alabama. It does!!!

As we set out from Birmingham, we asked the Lord to meet with us while we were out in His creation, experiencing Him by the workmanship of His hands. For me, I tend to encounter God when I am out in the woods, be it climbing, camping, hiking, etc. Give me the woods, and I am sure I will have a distinct & worshipful experience with the Lord. Of course, put me in the woods with two other stout believers, & you can just imagine the fellowship, laughter, & joy to be shared.

First water sighting!
Well, God showed Himself powerful in a number of ways. In some expected ways & in some highly unexpected ways. The beauty surrounding us as we hiked was remarkable. In late winter/early spring in Alabama, the woods are gray. Drab and gray, yet distinctly pretty. Early in the hike we realized that we were to be visited the entire two days by green highlights of moss, standing out against the gray back drop of the woods!  Then we came upon the first indications of the water we were expecting to see in the canyon, it came in the form of a hillside creek. As we descended the 1000 ft+ to the bottom of the canyon, we crossed the 30 ft wide Hurricane Creek. The water has a lagoon green tint to it, so pretty and very unique.
Log bridge crossing @ Hurricane Creek

Among the natural features around us, in creation, it was impossible not feel as though we'd all been put in our place, so to speak. The Walls of Jericho are deemed the Grand Canyon of the South, and for good reason. With canyon walls staggering to 200-250 ft at places (maybe even 300ft), you cannot help but feel the smallness of your entire being in light of the massiveness of God's handiwork all around. Once you're in the back of the canyon & the walls surround you all around, you a vividly made aware that you are powerless, as you witness the force and power of the flowing water that has for centuries carved its way through the rocks, creating features that appear so unearthly, natural features and shapes I have never seen before! Its hard to describe what I felt as I witnessed where the water had tunneled its way under one entire part of the rock feature we were all clambering over, then to see it punching through the rock in no meager way. There were even spots where the rock had been so eroded away that the water was coming through a hole in the middle of the rock face. Not too mention the pure white of the limestone all around. It was all simply amazing.

Looking toward the back of the canyon, at the 180 degrees of rock and water!

Later on, during the evening after we had finished our backpacker meals (and Left Hand Fade to Black, black lager  that we took with us), my insulin pump decided to quit working. For various reasons I have had trouble with it in recent months. In the 6-8 times its been problematic like this, I have never been able to fix it. Every time I had to go back & change out of the parts & re-inject it. So, to see the screen flash "NO DELIVERY" was not exactly encouraging. My first thought was, "Wow, I dropped the ball this time."

Sitting above the lower falls, looking at the river's beginning
See, as I was packing the night before, I did not pack any backup pump supplies (I know better). And the Lord knows I know better, and He in His faithfulness was quick to remind me that I need always pack backup supplies. He did remind me. I ignored the reminder as I was packing. It was easy to justify not taking extra supplies for a single night trip, plus it was that much less bulk & weight (which is a lousy excuse cause it is not weighty or bulky). So, I ignored the warnings of the Spirit. Thus, as we sat, & I read my pump, I knew I had totally screwed up.

For clarification sake, when my pump does not work I do not get insulin, which means my sugar will spike because of an intake of carbohydrates (Insulin is given to decrease blood sugar levels with each meal and throughout the day). Without insulin, blood sugars can be dangerously high and have severe consequences. So...

Sitting there explaining this to Mere & Weaves I began to realize - yet again - that my decisions not only affect me but those with me too! I learned this in no uncertain ways, in hard ways. As I sat there fooling with it, hoping to make Mere & Weaves think I could fix it, I realized I was knee deep. So I started thinking, "I will just eat the bare minimum and drink water like and fiend!" Time passed, and for various reasons - probably obvious - I was prompted to pray, to ask the Lord to fix it, recognizing that He is not only the masterful Creator of all the natural world, but also Lord over all man's technology!!!

As Paul reminds us in 2 Timothy 2, God is faithful even when we are faithless. He was faithful & good that night, as He always is. About 15 minutes after praying, confessing my sin of ignoring His promptings, & asking Him out of His sheer goodness to fix it ... HE DID! It simply started working. Nothing I did fixed it, but then God just made it work! In a strange twist of irony my sugars then bottomed out, because in my attempts to fix it, when it worked I received a significant dose of insulin. So, to not pass out from low sugars, I had another beer (all carbs) and some more food. Then we went to bed, for a restful & peaceful night's renewal.

Point is, God is really good. He can be taken at every last word He has spoken to us in Christ and in the Scriptures. James is clear that all good comes from God, and this never changes because He never changes (James 1:17). I experienced in a fresh and new way the other night, for which I am grateful for. To think, the Creator-God of all the universe would be so attentive to my needs - lowly Adam - and to fix them in perfect timing and in His distinct and good ways. So yes, we encountered God out there. He made us to encounter Him and I am alive most when I meet with Him - be it at church, the solitude of my room in prayer, or in the woods ... but especially in the woods!!!


The Giving Tree

I am sure you know this story. Its a children's classic. Its moving, and a vivid picture of what love is. This book moves me. I have not read it in years, but I know it well enough without need of reading it to know how I cherish it. Its simply wonderful. It is heart warming.

However, I think there is a darkness to it, that must be addressed. Why? Because the tree gives its entire self away. The tree sacrifices itself for the boy. From a tree perspective, I would assume this story is a tear-jerker, and full of angst! But darkness does not equate to bad, or any such thing.

You see, I cannot read this book and not be reminded of One who gave Him entire self away, who sacrificed Himself for me, who died at His own expense for my own benefit! You see, this book to me drives me to the cross of Christ, "...'twas on that old rugged cross Jesus suffered & died, to pardon & sanctify me."

Jesus gave everything, Philippians 2 speaks of this stating,  "Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." And in Galatians 3:13 Paul tells us, "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us - for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who hanged on a tree.'" Jesus gave it all away! That is why He calls us with all authority to give our lives away for His name sake!

It is for this reason that I am grateful for the book The Giving Tree ... it is the ordinary in life driving me to the supernatural, causing me to face the urgency of eternity and thus causing my heart to worship the eternal & holy Creator-God who in His very own goodness - on no account of man's merit - offered to redeem a creation that spat on Him!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is exalted forever and ever, amen!


Do you want to be a parent? Read this first!!!

This is one of the funniest things I have read recently!!! And I am not even reomotely close to being a parent. But for those of you who already are, man I hope this provides you with a laugh, cause if this is true, you need one!!! Enjoy.
1. Go to the grocery store.
2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home and pick up the paper.
4. Read it for the last time.

Before you actually have children, find a couple who does and berate them about their...
1. Methods of discipline.
2. Lack of patience.
3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.
4. Allowing their children to run wild.
5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners and overall behavior. Enjoy it because it will be the last time in life you will have all the answers.

A really good way to discover how the nights might feel...
1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static {or some other equally obnoxious sound} playing loudly. Eat cold food with one hand for dinner.
2. At 10PM, put the bag down gently, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.
4. Set the alarm for 3AM.
5. Since you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2AM, make a drink and watch an infomercial.
6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.
7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.
8. Quietly sing songs in the dark until 4AM.
9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work, go to work, work hard and be productive.
Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.

Can you stand the mess children make? To find out...
1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jelly onto the curtains.
2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.
4. Then rub them on the clean walls.
5. Take your favorite book and/or photo album. Destroy it.
6. Pour milk all over your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.
1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.
Time allotted for this - all morning.

Forget the BMW and buy a minivan. And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway all spotless and shiny. Family cars don't look like that.
1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it on the glove compartment. Leave it there.
2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.
3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat making sure you really take the time to shove them as far as you can down into the cracks. Sprinkle Cheerios all over the floor and proceed to smash them full force with your foot.
4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Go to your local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a preschool child. {A full grown goat is an excellent choice}. If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. No leashes allowed. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

1. Hollow out a melon.
2. Make a small hole in the side.
3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.
5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
6. Tip half of the remaining into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.
You are now ready to feed a 9-month old baby.

Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying "mommy!" repeatedly. Important: no more than a four second delay between each "mommy"; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required. Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a car ride with a toddler.

Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt sleeve or elbow while playing the "mommy" tape from Lesson Nine above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

Remember that a sense of humor is the most important thing you will need when you become a parent!



I am in the middle of trying to figure out discipline, as in personal-discipline or self-control. I do not only mean in spiritual disciplines, but in every facet of life.

I am not sure exactly when it happened, but sometime in the last 2 & 1/2+ years I threw discipline out the window. Not sure when or where, but I know now it is gone. Undiscipline (I am using this word even though spell check says its wrong) is not a quality to be sought after. Now some of my friends would tell you that I am hard on myself. I am. But this has nothing to do with that. We are called to lead orderly, productive, & disciplined lives. For sometime now, I have found that mine is not. So, this matters & it is not simply me being hard on myself. I am under the full conviction of the Lord that I must master discipline, or rather be mastered by undiscipline.

The questions that have been raised in my heart & mind thus far concerning this matter are as follows:
  • In what areas of life is discipline lacking? Why is it lacking?
  • Does lack of discipline tend toward sin? What sin(s)?
  • What is the role of appetites? Am I mastering these appetites, or rather are they mastering me?
These questions are not comfortable to consider, & perhaps the answers even less so. But, I am under the strong conviction that the Lord in Scripture has a lot to say about personal discipline and self-control. Let's take a look.

I Peter 1:13
"Therefore preparing your minds for action & being sober-minded, set you hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ"

I Corinthians 9:27
"But I discipline my body & keep it under control, lest after preaching to others, I myself should be disqualified"

Hebrews 12:1 & 2
"...let us lay aside every weight, & sin which clings so closely & let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder & perfecter of our faith"

I Thessalonians 5:6
"So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake & be sober"

I Peter 5:8
"Be sober-minded, be watchful [because] your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour"

2 Timothy 2:3-6
"Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops"

Matthew 16:24
"Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself & take up his cross & follow me"

So I think it is clear, that God has in mind that we are to be well disciplined people, which is not to say that we cannot have fun, but that our priorities are straight and clear, that we are single-minded in pursuit of Christ & His glory through our lives.

I do not have answers to all of the questions above, as of yet. This will be a process, no doubt.

How does discipline benefit you life? How does undiscipline harm you?