I learned something yesterday in the softball game that has really rocked my world. I'm the coach, and for some reason, I've had a tough time getting some of the guys to play their positions correctly, bat correctly, etc. I grew up playing baseball even into high school as well as on traveling teams. But a lot of these guys have never played before. A new guy showed up a couple months ago and he's been able to get the guys to listen to him and they've improved significantly. So last night we spent a couple of hours talking after 10 PM count. And that talk hit me hard.
Yesterday was a very special day. It was the anniversary of me coming into prison and also Sierra's 16th birthday (my second born). Two years ago today my life changed forever. When I thought that everything was going great and the world was an open door, my life and everything around me came crashing down faster than a house of cards in a tornado. I have experienced the pain of having my entire world turned upside down--from my family ripped from my arms, my ministry destroyed, being abandoned by those I loved, the death of my only brother, etc...I simply don't believe there is an emotion that I have not experienced over the last two years that a human being can experience. But that is all through the lens of pain. Over the last two years I have learned that there is another lens--a lens of power that accompanies that pain.
We had our Feast of Trumpets service last night and it was beautiful. We had seven people from our group there and I had everyone dress in our uniforms with a white t-shirt. They were each to bring a letter to the Lord that had both a deep heart request to Him as well as their New Year's resolution of things they are committed to doing to renew their covenant with Him. We were then going to have an offering where we bowed on one knee and offered Him our covenant renewals. But at the last minute, the Spirit moved me to wait until Yom Kippur to do that part.
Faith is not meant for times of comfort and ease, when all is in our control and life is sweet. Faith proves its very essence at the times where you cannot stand because of the pain, when you have no idea which way to go, when the road seems so long you think you’ll never see the end. Faith begins when the bridge across the canyon is blown out and the pieces of your life lay scattered across the field of your dreams. Trials, tribulations, breakdowns, and moments of great pain are the waypoints that define our lives, the very moments that dictate who we really are and provide us the most opportunity to draw closer to our Creator. These are the moments where we finally stop and look up for help. It seems that only in the moments of great need do humans realize their frailty and cry out to the One who provides great assistance for their need.
Every Friday at 3 PM we have our weekly Erev Shabbat meal here. Everyone kind of pitches in and I make a meal with the help of brother Mike when he can. But today it was just me at the wheel, and I decided to make egg omelet tostadas. (They're among the group's favorites.) We've grown to seven now, and I can't believe how long it takes to put everything together. I can tell you right now I TOTALLY respect my wife more for all the cooking she does for our family and guests. It is a LOT of work! So hat's off to all those moms out there who feel like they live in the kitchen! And honey, I am so sorry for not helping out more than I did! I will NEVER leave you alone in the kitchen ever again! ;-)