Everyone has that moment etched in their mind.
The moment you said, “I do.”
The moment you heard the first cry from your son or daughter.
The moment you found out you were going to have a son or daughter.
The moment your first love broke up with you.
The moment you heard the words, “I’m sorry. It’s cancer.”
The moment your team wins the big game.
The moment your team loses the big game.
Moments that seem like just that; a moment. But the moments link together into memories that leave an indelible mark on your heart and soul.
Today, one of those moments happened for me.
Congratulations to my son, Grant Isaac Rodda, on his decision! Love you, son!
We are almost always in a rush to get somewhere. Hurry to the next thing. Get to the next place. Do it quickly because I have a “to-do list” a mile long.
But today is my day off. So I slept in a little later than normal. All the way to 7:15 am. Mostly I slept in a little because of my workout last night. I spent some time with the kids before they headed off to school. And when they were off to school, the house was empty and quiet. A great time to simply take it slow and enjoy the beautiful morning.
When my wife returned from taking the kids to school, we decided to go on a run together. I absolutely love the freedom to go on a quick run with my wife. We don’t get to do that together very often, but it’s so much fun when we can. I guess there’s something special about having a hobby you can share with your favorite person on the planet.
The scenery was beautiful; my wife being the #1 source of scenery attraction for me. I’ll just leave that thought there. =) The sun was bright. The temperature was perfect for a run.
It was simply a fantastic morning! I took it slow and I liked it that way.
I do still have things to accomplish today, but what a great start to the day.
So I want to encourage you to take it slow. Find time today to slow down. Evaluate life a bit. Enjoy those closest to you. Take time to enjoy the weather and sunshine. Don’t just rush through it and take it for granted.
Get out there and slow down!
There are moments in life when words don’t seem to do justice to what is going on around you. Something beautiful or tragic can’t seem to be expressed in the right words. Your brain struggles to find the right language, vocabulary or term. Something about every word that comes to mind just doesn’t seem to fit quite right. Kind of like trying to force the wrong puzzle piece into place.
That’s where I’m at with Ashton’s 8th birthday.
He is unbelievably handsome (I would say cute but he might get upset with me). His eyes can put you in a trance. Stare into them and they keep going deeper and deeper.
He is very smart. This he takes after his mother in for sure. His reading level was tested before 1st grade and he was already reading beyond a 6th grade level. And he is in the gifted program for math. He makes us feel very proud as parents.
He is in touch with his little emotions. He cries at sweet commercials. His heart hurts for people who are getting picked on. He is so compassionate to those around him.
He is energetic. If you ask the question, you might need to prepare for a 30 or 40 minute, dissertation on the topic. Just like the Energizer bunny, he can keep on going.
But these are all a few basic characteristics and words that come to mind. If you get to know him more, words will begin to escape you. The words don’t seem to have been invented yet for the kid we call, Ashton James Rodda. He’s just himself. He is who he is. And boy, do we like him that way.
Happy 8th Birthday, Ashton James Rodda!
I love you, Son!
Who would have thought? Inspiration from a small, Old Testament book, that goes by the name of the prophet, Joel.
I am reading through the Bible in one year. Currently I am well over halfway done, but still in the Old Testament. I will admit that there are some Old Testament books that I get to and honestly think, “What can I possibly get out of what this book has to say? I mean, it’s so…well…old.”
And today I find myself landing in a short, three-chapter, book by a prophet named Joel. First thought, “Here we go again.” Not very encouraging coming from the “pastor.”
But if there’s something in a small book like Joel that can benefit us today, God can certainly show us where. So I prayed before I began to read, “God, please show me what you want me to see in this book. Whatever it is, let me see it clearly.” And wouldn’t you know it, clear as day, Joel 2:12, 13 popped off the page and smacked me in the face.
That is why the Lord says, ‘Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.’ Return to the Lord your God, for He is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.
There it was.
Popping off the page.
God wants more than my outward show.
You see, we all can be good at putting on a show for everyone. We are fantastic at convincing people we are one way, when on the inside we are another. We can show up at church, but internally not allow it to impact us in any way.
God is not interested in the outward show (tearing our clothes in grief). When the Bible says that, we would need to hear, “Don’t come to Me (God) just by looking like it on the outside. Don’t show up at church and pretend to be coming to Me.”
God is interested in the internal happenings (tear your heart). What we need to hear is, “God wants more than the outward show of religion. God isn’t interested in your record for most Sundays attended in a row. God is interested in whether or not your heart is fully, completely, 100%, turned, focused and aimed toward Him. Am I fully surrendered to the God of the universe?
I can be the master of this. Putting on my show for everyone to see. Making it appear that everything between God and I is okay, when internally, God and I are experiencing tension. Tension over whether or not He can have all of me.
Guess Joel is urging me to continually lay down the stuff I want in life and to turn my heart completely to God. Time to give up the tension and allow God to have His way.
Have you ever experienced that tension?
Am I way off?
I had this crazy idea to write about some of the things I learn throughout the day. Maybe transform some of the stuff I write into a journal at some level. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen. But to start, how about some of what I learned today. We’ll call it, “WILT.” Get it? See what I did there?
God breathes life, but you have to be dead first!
I learned that even in a book like Ezekiel, when you seek God, there are some significant spiritual truths that surface. God uses these to transform us, from the inside out. You should read Ezekiel 37. One of the moments that struck me was this one…
Ezekiel 37:9 – “Speak a prophetic message to the winds, son of man. Speak a prophetic message and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again.'”
In the midst of spiritual death and dryness, God does His best work. God can’t breathe life into me if I don’t die to myself first. I must give up doing life my own way in order for God to breathe into me, true life. If I want to experience all God has to offer me, I need to be willing to die to my own wants, desires, needs and selfish patterns.
Someone needs to know the real you!
It feels good to get beyond the superficial parts of life with someone. It is healthy to share your hurts, pains and struggles with someone you know and trust. For me, it’s a group of guys I meet with for accountability. On a more personal level, it’s my wife.
There’s something healthy and great about allowing her to know what’s really going on inside me. Sitting down for a cup of coffee and really digging in is ultimately liberating. I was able to spend time with my wife today, just the two of us. It was great to be able to connect with her at a deeper level. Taking our relationship into deeper and better waters.
But it is such a good hurt. I love the way I feel when I’m working out. I love how I feel when I’m done. I really love the energy I have the next day. Yes, it hurts. But it’s such a good hurt.
What did you learn today?