Sunday, November 28, 2010

Give thanks

So I know it might be a little late for a thanksgiving blog. but I decided that one day shouldnt define when you should write a blog about giving thanks. I mean seriously why are we gonna let society tell us when it is appropriate to give thanks for something. .... actually it is more that i was lazy last week and didnt really feel like writing but the previous at least was a valiant argument. But being over here in Korea celebrating Thanksgiving in a different setting. VERY DIFFERENT. And experiencing new things the last 6 months has really opened my eyes to new and old things to be thankful for. So here is my top 10 things that I am thankful for this year (in no particular order)

1.Family- I am so thankful for my family. One of the most overstated sayings is "you dont know what you got till its gone" Well i can proudly say that is not the case for me. I have always appreciated my family and I know the feeling is mutual. But ever since being over here I have realized that my family is so unique. I have met people from all over the world and some have really good families and some don't but no matter what the family makeup is for people I have realized that My FAMILIA is perfect for me. I am the man that i am today because of my family. I love how goofy we can be and how deep we can be. I love how my mom can get everyone ready for school while still in the bed. I love how my dad always keeps me up to date on the newest shows and how my grandparents always make sure that i have something on my head when its cold. I have come to the realization that my family are some of the funniest people that i know and I miss that and am so thankful to be a part of it.

2.Families- I have been really blessed with a lot of families in my life that treat me like their own and I have become so grateful for that over the years. I am glad to say that I have added a new family over here to that mix. There is something about interaction with kids and being able to talk to adults that really does things for my heart. I love getting wisdom from people that have been through the fire and further along on the journey than me and i love the joy and fun that a kid can bring to my life. It has been hard for me to hang out with so many people in the same place as me. I mean its fun but I dont grow and get challenged nearly as much as I do from my adopted families. The best part about the different families in my life is that they are not fulfilling some void left from my family but just an abundance of love that the lord has graced me with.

3. Toilet paper in bathrooms- i know this one might seem a little weird but most public bathrooms in Korea do not have t.p. in the stalls and it can turn into a very unpleasant surprise. luckily I have either lucked out or taken a peek into the stall before sitting on my throne. There is a hilarious story that goes with this but i will save it for those who want to hear. So if you are one of those people just ask me about my close call with no t.p. and i will give you the deets.

4. Heated floors- Korea has been hard for me, i am not gonna lie but they did knock this one out of the park. the apartments heat comes from the floor which is a good concept since hot air rises, Reist would be so proud of me. But there is no better feeling than waking up either in the middle of the night or in the morning and walking on a nice warm floor instead of the shock of cold wood. since Korea doesnt believe in carpet this is a very viable option.

5. Driers - I will never take for granted again the greatness that is a drier. I remember having a shirt or something that i wanted to wear at night and putting a load of laundry in and playing a game of madden or watching a movie and knowing that I will have the shirt when i am done. I cant even count the times that i was down to my last pair of undies just praying that the laundry would be dry by the morning. I realize that there are a lot of people around the world that dont have driers but I am glad that I have had one for most of my life.

6. Internet T.V.- I know this is going to make me sound shallow but being able to watch t.v. and keep up with shows that i like has made me feel connected almost as much as anything. I never watched t.v. online until i got to korea. But when you have 18 hours of free time at work a week. It's a great way to pass the time. I know all you people will say "pick up a book" or "do something more productive" but i will just stick to my and my and my favorite

7.GOOD BEEERRRRR- yess i emphasize this not because I am some raging alcoholic by any means but because I always thought that coors light, or pbr was the worst beer you could ever get. It wasnt until I met mr. Cass, Hite and Max(uh) that i really appreciated good beer. i mean it makes the before mentioned beer seem like a good micro brew. Just imagine how bad this beer has to be to make you wish you could drink a coors light or a natty light for Gods sake. I am not even gonna mention how much it makes me miss really good beer like Newcastle, Dos Equis, Chimay, my favorite microbrews and best of all a BLVD Wheat.

8. Driving- One of the worst feelings you can have is swiping your T-money card (subway card) and hearing the train leaving or running to the bus stop to see that it is just leaving and your options are wait for 10 minutes or take a cab. Korea has an amazing public transportation system and I am not complaining about that at all. I wish K.C. had that worked out but i digress. But there is nothing like being able to get a call from your friend to hang out or go to dinner and get in the car and leave right then and not have to wait on anything. You are in total control of how fast you get to a place. You all know the feeling if your car is in the shop or you are without a car for whatever reason. There is nothing like the freedom of being able to drive. I am thankful that I have had that and will soon have it again.

9. Coaching Basketball- Around this time of year i get a little pep in my step because i know basketball season is starting and I am going to be coaching some of the coolest kids in my life. This is the first time in 7 years that I wont be coaching basketball and I am seriously going through some withdrawals. I just love being around the kids and seeing the goofiness and the quirkiness of the kids. This time is my favorite because everything is new there is so much excited and pressure to see where we are at the beginning of the season and strive for the growth that needs to be done to have a successful season. Everything from tryouts to practice and especially the rush of coaching a game is so much fun and is so missed right now. I am so grateful that i have been able to have been blessed by so many people doing something that I love to do. But hopefully next year I will be at it again.

10. Tayla Caple- I just want to reiterate again that there is no particular order on this list because if there were Tay would definitely be at the top. But i have been so blessed to have such a great person be in my life. She is the coolest girl I have ever met and has taught me so much about myself and handles herself with so much grace, dignity and class. Tay is easily the best thing that has come out of Korea and I am so thankful that God has blessed me with her. I came here with no intentions of finding someone and honestly if I had to come to Korea just to meet her I would every time. I normally dont do the public stuff (it kind of embarrasses her) but its my blog and i guess I can do what I want. But I am so grateful for the last 6 months and being able to gain another best friend into my life.

So there you have the 10 things I am giving thanks for this year. there have been moments where I am thankful to have them right now and moments where i am thankful that i will soon have them again. Thank you for being on this journey with me.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

empty nets

so its only been about three weeks since my last post. i have to say that's an improvement. I realized why this blogging thing is so hard for me. First of all i am a very verbal processor. All of you that know me know how much i love to talk and I enjoy talking about deep things so I normally get my feelings or thoughts out that way and blogging sometimes feels really redundant. I am also not cool with the vulnerability of blogging. I can express something and anyone can see it. I guess I like to choose who gets to be a part of my world at times. But God is pushing and changing me so we will see.

now since i have the disclaimer out of the way. the last couple of weeks have been really good and interesting I am learning a lot about myself (as usual) and the more i learn the smaller i realize that i am. But I had a visitor come to Korea a couple of weeks ago and she is one of my favorite people in the world. Mama K. Becky Kahler and she is seriously one of the most anointed and truly Spirit led people I have ever known and it was great. We did a lot of things and honestly she gave my spirit a big boost about life in Korea and most importantly in Jesus. One of the things she wanted to do was go the biggest church in the world. It has over 80,000 members (yes that is the right amount of zeros), let me say it again the church has 80 thousand members. there were only 18 thousand at the service we went to though. they must have been skipping. I wasn't too amazed by the whole church honestly I actually fell asleep during the message. it was in Korean and translated by the most monotone voice i have ever heard. Fortunately for me there was an English service as well that we went to and it was great. the message told the story of Jesus and his disciples from Luke 5.

The story goes like this. The disciples had been fishing all night and after not catching anything by the morning and Jesus says to Peter, "4. put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch" Which Peter in his greatness replies how I think a lot of us would with, "Master we toiled all night and took nothing!" That speaks so much to where I am at right now and probably where all of us are at if we could be honest. Just being at that place where we have toiled and worked and tried doing everything we can in a certain situation and seem to get nothing out of it.

I know for me that living in Korea has been like putting the net in the water over and over and continually looking into it and feeling like i am not finding anything. After a while it gets pretty discouraging and you feel like "what's the point?" I keep saying to the Lord I am doing the best I can I just feel like I am not getting it. And after feeling like I can't go to work another day, or handle another person staring at me, or handle another day without being with people who love me and want to live life with me. Everything Stops. My alarm goes off, because 7:20 comes every day, and the Lord says to me "Put out into the deep and let your nets down for a catch" Unfortunately for me I spent a lot of time in the beginning months stopping my conversation with the Lord at Peter's response. "Master we toiled all night and took nothing" except mine sounds more whiny more like "Gosh God I do the same thing everyday and nothing really comes out of it" And so I go with that attitude and I get nothing out of the day.

The great thing about this story is that Peter continued and said "But at your word I will let down the nets". As soon as Peter obeyed and let down the nets it says in verse 6 "they enclosed a large number of fish and their nets were breaking." Not only were there fish, there were so many that two boats were filled and the nets weren't able to hold the abundance of what the Lord had for them. So it got me thinking what if I continue and instead of my previous response go, "alright Lord today I am going to love these kids the best I can, today I am gonna smile at the person that bumps me or wave to person that stares at me, Today I am gonna throw my net in deep and trust you will give me abundance" So I have been and life has had a different feel to it. its not easy by any means but there is peace and grace that has been with me the last couple of weeks that I have never experienced (here or back home).

So whatever the situation is, Family, Finances, School, Job, Friendship, or just Life in general believe in the promises that the lord has for you. When he asks you to put your nets in deep again after you have toiled and seen nothing (not if definitely when) you need to continue the conversation. Its only natural to not want to do it but thats when we need to be supernatural and do it anyways. So let the nets down and may God give you abundance where there has been emptiness....