The joy of...Joy!

"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." James 1:2-3.

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12

"Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again:  Rejoice!" Philipians 4:4

"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Proverbs 17:22

"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the Earth."  Psalm 100:1

I could go on.  There are likely hundreds of references to joy in the bible.  Many of them seem to make little sense:  Consider it joy when you face trials?  Rejoice in suffering?  Joy is something we rarely talk about in religious circles these days.  We love to talk about whatever the sin de jour is, or which translation of the Bible is best.  We spend hours scouring the scriptures for slivers of truth we can use as a weapon the next time we debate this or that.  We…

Life Gets Messy Sometimes

"Life gets messy sometimes", I say as I dip into the bag for another scoop of oil absorber (kitty litter-esque stuff).  Seems like no matter how hard we try, we still make a mess!  We put buckets down on top of plastic sheeting, and yet, there it is--a huge puddle of oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, or coolant.  Right there on my nice, smooth (and slippery-when-wet) concrete floor.  What's a boy to do?  Life does, indeed, get messy sometimes.

Due to our fallen world, messes are inevitable.  Even if we have the best intentions, we can still choose our words or actions poorly and hurt the ones we love.  Recently, I said some things to my beautiful wife in the spirit of honesty and intimacy, but wound up using some wording that did not communicate that spirit very well.  My intention was to state that I was concerned, but hopeful about our situation.  It came across as something very different.  She was hurt, and I was left trying to explain myself, still not doing a v…

A good foundation goes a long way

So, like I said in my last post, I got this truck in pieces.  The first real task I undertook was to get the Chassis started.  A truck's chassis is very important.  In fact, it's the very foundation upon which you build.  It has to be sturdy, capable of taking some pretty serious abuse.  It has to be straight so that all the additions will fit right.  It has to be square, for the same reason.  I wanted to be sure this truck would be something that would last a lifetime. 
I began with a thorough (by my standards, anyway) inspection of the chassis.  It was placed on jack stands and really studied.  Any rust or corrosion would have to be addressed.  Any stress cracks or bent beams could mean catastrophic failure after the truck was put back together.  Fortunately, I found the chassis to be in excellent shape.  The front end graft of the 1978 Volare front suspension appeared to be well-executed.  All that was left was some cleaning, some paint, and a rear end.  After that, we ha…

Finding God in a Rusty Relic

So, I've been thinking about some things for a while concerning the similarities between following Jesus and working on cars.  In this series of blogs, I'll attempt to share with you my thoughts as they've occurred to me over the past 3 years of revitalizing "Isabella".  Much like trying to model our lives like Christ, working on cars and trucks is a process that takes time, effort, determination, study, perserverence, and on and on.  One thing that I've noticed is that no matter how hard we work, the outcome is never really perfection.

Some of the topics we'll cover include (Not necessarily in this order):
- Life is Messy
- We all make mistakes
- Perfection is unattainable
- Failure is inevitable
- Almost anything can be repaired with enough time and effort
- It's all about heart (engines)
- Brains don't hurt, too (electrical)
- Don't forget to stay grounded (electrical)
- Brakes are essential
- Steering your life towards God
- Improving can be overwh…

Me and Isabella

So, on July 4th I brought my first love home with me.  Her name is Isabella.  She's 58 years old, very curvy, and wears layers of "make-up".  I've attached some pictures for your viewing enjoyment.  I will be periodically updating this blog to mine and Isabella's progress.  Tonight I sanded her right front fender.  Making a little progress.

Unpacking Camino: Part 2

Because it is very late and I need to get some other stuff done, this will be a short one.  I just want to reflect for a moment on the impact of knowing you are being prayed for.  My heart is never so touched as when I know that someone has been praying for me--especially when I realize that there are numerous people, many of whom I've never even met, praying for me.  The warmth shown to me and my fellow viajeros this past weekend is unmeasurable.  So, if you have been praying for someone, be sure and let them know.  Their knowing may accelerate the effects of your prayer, and may inspire them to pray for you or someone else as well.

If you are reading this, I have said a prayer for you.  I pray that God touches you in just the way you need to be touched.  I also pray that you will be blessed by having friends and family who pray for you by name on a regular basis.

Des Colores!


Unpacking Camino: Part 1

I've just returned from a journey.  More accurately, I've just begun a journey.  This past weekend I attended Camino at my church and was bombarded day and night with many emotions.  Over the next few days I will be unpacking my experience publicly because apparently I'm a masochist.  As a side effect, I hope that you can look to my experience and maybe see a little of yourself.  Or, perhaps, you will gain from this in some way.  Or, you might get a little dark satisfaction at my spiritual "squirming."  Whatever the case may be, sit back and enjoy...

This weekend was truly the first weekend in which have had (read "taken") the time to do some serious soul searching and self reflection in at least a year.  I'm guessing, though, it's been more like five.  The thing that most likely keeps me from doing so on a regular basis is that I often do not like what I see.

If you are black, white, red, yellow, too skinny, too fat, too short, too tall, not re…