Welcome

Much like your parents attic, treasured memories lay within. So, wipe the dust off my ruminations and remembrances, sit back and enjoy!

The Taste of the Mat

The boxer was pushed back by the referee and told to get to the other side of the ring, but his eyes never left his opponent. His opponent had lowered his guard and the boxer, pressing his advantage, came in with a crushing blow to the right side of his jaw; dropping him to the mat like a sack of potatoes. From across the ring, the boxer was intently watching his opponent as the referee started the 10 count. Watching for any movement, the boxer was calculating his next move, should his opponent regain his feet. His opponent pushed himself up to his feet somewhere around count 5, and after a quick check by the referee, the boxer rushed back in. The opponent barely had enough time to catch his breath before the boxer landed a breath expelling body blow; causing him to stagger back and drop to his knee. The referee rushed back in to separate the two fighters, but with rage in his eyes and a consuming desire to ‘end this’, the boxer shoved the referee aside and as his opponent started to turn his face upward, the boxer pummeled his opponent to the mat…

Have you ever felt like this? You’ve weathered the storm, you’re weary and bruised, but you’ve started to recover and before you know it…BAM! You’re knocked down again. Lisa and I sure have! We are quickly closing in on our first year of marriage and we’ve already experienced things a lot of couples never have or never will face. How do you combine two families and have them blend as one and yet still deal with the individuality that makes each family unique? What do you do/say when the kids still yearn for the way things used to be? For awhile, it seemed like a new issue cropped up almost on a daily basis and while I consider myself a strong person, after awhile it just wears you down! But in the midst of this struggling and stress, something…almost imperceptibly…began to happen, bonding and growth. Sure, Kyle and Hope still drive each other crazy, but at the same time, I see them WANT to play together (at times). Nick and Vinny butt heads at times and like the opposite things, but they love to sit and watch TV together and just talk or ride their bikes to get a soda together. As a family, we’ve already established some of OUR traditions (all of us LOVE to sit around the fire pit on the deck and have S’mores and tell stories). It really is quite amazing!

God has a plan in drawing us together as a family…I have always believed that and Lisa has as well. The issues and ‘bumps’ we have (and most likely will continue to) experienced, draws us closer to each other and continues to show us that we STILL need God to build our house (Psalms 127:1). I believe one of two things is happening; either God is refining us for a purpose He has yet to reveal. Needing Lisa and I to go through and experience certain things to prepare us for His work. Or Satan is attacking us, trying to break us down and to thwart God’s plan for our lives. But I think on this; Satan is one of God’s greatest creations, he’s cunning and devious and possibly one of the greatest stratetitions ever…why would he be wasting his time attacking us if we were ineffective for God’s purposes?

I don’t even pretend to know what God has in store for Lisa and I…it may be grandiose or it may be quite humble in nature, but either way, so be it and may God be glorified! As long as Lisa and I keep our eyes and hearts focused on God, we’ll never let our guard down and we’ll be able to make our stand against the boxer.

~ V

Erosion

It’s starts with a single drop of rain…not long after, a small rivulet is formed and over time, a stream. A large snow melt and some months of heavy rains and soon a river is formed…Deep and quick moving, a river’s constant flow can cut through rock, erode foundations and even change where it flows. That first initial drop of rain was meaningless, but with 5 million more, they can change the landscape. Slowly…over time, almost without notice.

Sin is the same way. While we make all the excuses, ‘No one sees, so no one knows’, ‘they’ve got plenty…they’ll never miss a couple’, ‘I can do this, it doesn’t hurt anyone’, the rain falls and a rivulet forms. Over time, the deep river of compromise has eroded and overflowed our moral banks and sin floods into every aspect of our lives. And just like a real flood…there is devastation and the course of our lives are changed...


Slow Fade – By Casting Crowns

Be careful little eyes what you see
It's the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little feet where you go
For it's the little feet behind you that are sure to follow
It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It's a slow fade, it's a slow fade
Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray
It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you're thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking
It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Families never crumble in a day
Oh be careful little eyes what see
Oh be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
Oh be careful little eyes what you see.

But we don’t HAVE to stay this way. Our banks can be shored up, our lives restored. Jesus…He calmed the waters…quieted the storm when His own disciples grew fearful and lacked faith. Who better to control the river that has gotten out of control, then the One who created it?

Most of my posts are based on personal experience, but this one was different. I felt God pressing me to write this post and I kept asking what was He trying to show/tell me? He simply told me that not everything He tells me is meant for me…I pray the seed finds fertile soil.

~ V

Meanwhile, back at the League of Justice...

Mom's are superhero's. And just like Superman, Spiderman and Batman, they too have abilities. If you're like me (and who isn't), as a kid, I sat and watched Batman, defeat the villains with a combination of smarts, martial arts moves and his trusty utility belt.



He had everything from shark repellent to smoke grenades packed away in it. Mothers too, have a utility belt of sorts, but they called it a purse (and if it's perfect enough, they take pictures of it and blog about it...but I digress). I've seen mothers pull everything from fishing line and band-aids to happy-meal toys and screwdrivers from their satchels. I would even go so far to say that mother's have super powers that are just as powerful as any superhero; Mother's have the uncanny ability to take a scraped knee, clean it, bandage it and with a single kiss, make it feel SO much better! They also have the uncanny ability to know that when the kids get real quiet, something is usually amiss...They know more, see more and hear far more than any normal human being usually does...
Happy Mother's Day to all of you super mom's out there!
I know my mom was super and I know my wife is an incredibly super mom as well! Thank you...I'm always in awe of how much you do!
~ V

Through the eyes of God, the parent...

Genesis 2:8-9 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 2:15-17 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

Genesis 3:6-13 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." And God said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?" The man said, "The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?"

God gave Adam (and eventually Eve, as well) only one command…Not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God wasn’t a task master; He didn’t delight in crafting impossible situations for Adam…one rule was all. He was even upfront and plainly told them the repercussions if they disobeyed…they would die…

I’ve read and been read this story…the story of the fall of man…hundreds if not thousands of times since I was a child. But now, as a parent I read this passage and I can see through the eyes of God, the Father, as He looked for Adam and Eve in the garden, surely knowing already what they had done…what would I have said? What HAVE I said to my children…’What IS this that you have done? I gave you ONE simple rule…I gave you EVERYTHING else, you were free to enjoy everything else that I had given you…I didn’t want this for you! That’s why I warned you against it! You have chosen an exponentially more difficult path…oh, how I didn’t want this for you…

One moment of pleasure changed the entire course of Adam’s life…banished from the most beautiful, most peaceful spot on Earth…loss of the intimate communion he had with God…and he had to bear the pain and sorrow of one son killing the other, just to name a few…what a price.

We all make choices...children and adults alike. We warn, guide and instruct our kids...hoping beyond hope that they'll listen or at least absorb some of the things we try to teach them. God is no different with us...and if we are honest with ourselves, at times we're no different then our kids...God wants us to trust in HIS wisdom and guidance, not just every once in a while...not just on the big things, but every day...every moment.

Oh, that I might have just a minute portion of the grace God has for His children…

~ V

It's COMING!!!!!!!



If you know what this sign is, then you're like me...a red blooded, full grown, Star Trek nerd...

Yes, I fully admit it, I like...no, I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY like Star Trek and I can not wait for the movie to come out...this FRIDAY (that's tomorrow, just in case you were wondering)! No, I'm NOT some freak who will dress-up as my favorite character (although, that would be pretty cool...maybe not). I DO however, own an extensive collection of Star Trek themed Hallmark ornaments...honestly enough to decorate an entire Christmas tree...

Have I mentioned that I LIKE Star Trek?? I do, you know!

Star Trekin' across the universe...poor Lisa... :)

~ V

I'm not junk...

Ok, guys...please watch this video before reading on...(thanks for humoring me! Oh and don't forget to pause the player at the very bottom of this BLOG)


video

About a month and a half ago, the former youth pastor at our church came up to me after a Sunday morning service, looked me square in the eyes and told me, 'You don't have to believe the lies, you know. Satan is a liar and he's very good at what he does, but you don't have to believe him.' and then he moved on. Now, I barely knew this guy, in fact I can honestly say that I had never had any sort of conversation with the man other than a brief hello/hand shake on Sunday mornings. But there I stood stunned and I literally couldn't speak even if I had wanted to because of the HUGE lump in my throat.

You see, I've struggled with self-worth for most of my life. Never felt that I was good enough at any sport I tried, never really very good at playing the piano and though I love to sing, I have always questioned my ability. Never the good enough son, father or even husband...the list goes on and on. I've always felt that 'If I was just a little better' or 'If I would have handled that just a little differently' things would be different...

In this video, the character playing God said a few things that really struck home with me, he said 'There are things that you do in your life that do not work, but you go to these empty wells whenever you're hurting, whenever you're angry, whenever you're lonely and tired, but they do not work.' I try to handle my problems on my own and at those times I honestly feel (or I've convinced myself) that I know what's best...but I know that what I'm really doing is trying to prove to myself (yet again) that if I resolve this...if I fix that...that maybe, just maybe I AM good enough. Another thing that struck true with me in this video was when the man told God, 'I just feel like I've let you down SO many times.' that was/IS me...but what God said to the man in response just blew me away...'No...you were never holding me up. I hold YOU up with my victorious, righteous right hand and don't you forget that! In this relationship I hold you up...'

If I'm not ever good enough, if I always feel like I'm going to fail...What does that say about how I feel about how God created me? Does God create something that's bound for failure? or that is worthless?

I really crave your prayers for me with this...even though I read, see and understand these things, sometimes it's not easy...

~ V

100 myles...NO, it's MILES...of garage sales

This is the face of a man who isn't happy...
Why isn't he happy, you may ask? Well, this guy went to the 100 mile garage sale. Yes...100 miles of garage sales. It's a thing they do each year around here and honestly, last year Lisa and I went and we had a GREAT time! OK...so what's the difference between last year and this year? Ummm...the three kids we decided to take this year!
Why do kids feel that they need to constantly correct each other? Or maybe it's just MY kids (and what does that say about ME?? Ugh..) but after about the 100th time (yes, that's about 1 per mile) of listening to one of them correct the other for accidently saying shale instead of sale, I was about to wack (or is that whack) something or someONE. So I've established a new law...kids and 100 mile garage sales do not mix! I think I'll call it; Vince's Law of Simple Sanity...

Honestly, it wasn't as bad as I make it out to be, but ALL of you dad's out there, I KNOW you're feelin' my pain...

~ V