Saturday, July 30, 2011


A small spark of encouraging hope

This morning I ran 4.5 miles!!

Ok... truth is I mostly walked with some sections of jogging, but still it's the longest I've been able to go in MONTHS without significant pain in my knee.

And after the FRUSTRATING week I've had, I am so thankful for something GOOD.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Are you the doughnut or the hole?

… and everybody's got a God-shaped hole.

Do they really?

When thinking about this, I thought about a doughnut. If I am the doughnut with a hole in the center that God is going to fill, that makes God smaller than me. That means I am surrounding and protecting God. And even might possibly mean that the size of God in me is limited by the amount of space he has to fill.

Would a perfect, holy God want to fill a void in the human heart?

Genesis 6:5 The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.

Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

He knows our hearts are filled with evil, caused by sin. God cannot dwell in the presence of sin. He tells us he will remove that heart and gives a brand new one. He doesn’t plug up a hole in our evil heart of stone – he’s not the doughnut hole. Instead, he invites us back into the fabric of eternity, back into the place where he created us.

But… if God is the doughnut, He is bigger and I am the smaller. He is the protector and the creator of my space. He remains unlimited and undivided.

God cut us from his own fabric and placed us on earth. He set eternity in our hearts to draw us back home.

We returned to the tapestry of all creation. Like a paper cutout of human-kind inside the framework of God.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Genesis 1:27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

The heart of God has a you-shaped hole that only you can fill. Without you, there will always be an empty space.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Animal Attraction

AKA: My wonderful 4th of July weekend.

At the beginning of the week, I got news that my boring-looking weekend was about to change as I would have a guest coming to visit.

This is Stephen

Day 1 – the Zoo
There is something about the zoo that brings out the child in me. Ok, I admit… it takes far less than the zoo to do that. But none-the-less it was a beautiful warm, but not too warm summer day to see the animals and capture photographic memories.

A young school boy informed me the otters 'were mating'
I just thought they were telling secrets

Look like a familar scene?

This is Stephen before he shaved

Hmmm.... is it more ethical for me to eat the scorpions or the crickets...

What you talkin' 'bout Willis?

Spa Day

I'm 'little'

These 2 waddled right up and struck a pose.

The scarlet ibis is my favorite bird. Identity crisis??

This one looks like it came from Jim Henson's studio

Hey, did you know there was a new muppet movie coming out this fall?

As usual – additional photos (the best ones!) can be seen over here.

Day 2 was too humid to do much of anything, except maybe suffer with allergies. We stayed in the AC for the day, talking, reading and resting.

No summer day is complete without a Slurpee.
I have a rep to protect.

Day 3 – What visit to Michigan could be complete without seeing Bronner’s and Frankenmuth? No, we didn’t have chicken dinner. (I know – but not my favorite, that’s all I’m saying) We did get ice cream and taffy :D

Gotta do the woman's work

After returning home, we walked to the beach until the mosquitoes drove us crazy and we were forced to walk back. Singing at the lake… amazing. Fireflies in a field at dusk… more amazing. Seeing a spectacular sunset to top off a wonderful weekend… awesome!

And Monday after an early drive to the airport .... I slept!


Allow me to introduce you to my newly discovered alter-ego


Reverend Chuck Walla.

Do you need a healing? Do you need prayer or the Spirit to whack you upside the head and knock you unconcious? Of course you do!

I’m Reverend Chuck Walla and I’m here for you. I be preaching from the book of Dollars and for a nominal fee you can receive a guilt-ridden sermon. For just a few dollars more, you’ll be on your knees in repentance.

Of course… if you do like you should and sacrifice all, you’ll get the best dang preaching and it won’t matter if you’re healed or not because you’ll have nothing left anyway.

Now I know, some of yous is skeptical. You say you never heard of the Book of Dollars before, but let me tell you brothers and sisters… you read it every day. And it’s about time I get some of it! Praise the Lord! Can I get an Amen!?! So come on down to the revival meetings – all this month.

(disclaimer: this is meant in good fun and humor and not meant to be a mockery of God, His Word, or his true messengers.)

Now… meet the real chuckwalla