Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Now what? my family leaves Friday to visit grandma and grandpa, that means I will have two weeks with "nothing" to do. OR SO I THOUGHT. I had just finished reading the email from the mission team when I get another email. Another church in the area is taking their youth group on a mission trip downtown, kind of like a "stay-cation" but one of the leaders is not going to be able to make it.
When I was the youth leader at our church, we often did joint ventures with this youth group, so I know several of the kids and I know the leaders really well. I sent them an email and as a result I am now going on a different mission trip :-)
I am reminded of Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
So keep checking back next week, there will be updates on the mission trip, starting Monday. The only difference is I will drive instead of fly, but we will do God's work none-the-less.
Monday, June 22, 2009
My heart for mission trips continues to grow. I have an opportunity to return to Honduras with St. Christopher's Killeen for my second medical mission trip, their 11th. During their 10 years traveling to Honduras, the medical mission team has seen just under 30,000 patients and delivered over $2,000,000.00 of donated medicines. Additionally they have a group who is helping with scholarships (free school ends at the 6th grade), and another group building structures (medical clinics, churches, etc.). You can read about my 1st mission trip here: http://downrightfaith.com/voicecryingout/?p=22
This year, July 16th - 23rd, we will be taking just over 50 people, including at least 7 doctors, 7 nurse practitioners, 10 RNs, and 8 interpreters to Honduras. Each day we will break into 4 teams, which will visit 4 villages to provide medical care for 1 to 3 hundred people per village. So during our trip we hope to attend to about 3,000 Hondurans. We will not know the exact villages until just before we arrive.
I would like to ask you to support me in prayer and financially if you can. I have experienced just how powerful and necessary prayer partners are while on a mission trip and would like to have a good, strong prayer team. You can send your commitment to prayer and donations in several ways, my mailing address is at the bottom of this email, my email address is Randall@randallh.com and you can leave comments on my blog (http://firstsamuel16seven.blogspot.com/).
I want to thank you for your willingness to help and be a part of what God is doing in this Ministry to Honduras. I will be blogging about our final preparations and if possible while in Honduras and of course a summary when I return.
Thank you in advance for your support.
1816 Solano Cove
Leander, Texas 78641
Reality is I kept hoping the job situation would correct itself, at which point I would celebrate with a new post. Well, I guess I am tired of putting it off, I know finally, right...
I am 24 and a wake up from leaving for Mission Honduras 2009, my second trip. Truth be told I am very excited about this adventure and seeing what God has in store for us. The final packing party is coming up this Saturday.
Which reminds me of the other thing I didn't get done... sending out letter to encourage people to participate through me, via prayer, following my blog etc. I guess it is not too late. Okay that is my plan then. Tomorrow I will write the letter and then post it here as well as email and put it in the mail. That should give people time to respond with prayer requests etc before I leave in just over 3 weeks.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it is to hold me to that. If you don't see the letter here in 24 hours ping me and find out why not. You other mission, also your choice, is to keep me and my family in your prayers for the job situation as well me and the rest of the missionary team for the medical mission trip.
Let me know how I can pray for you. Remember what the angel told Mary in Luke 1:37 "For nothing will be impossible with God." but also remember Mary's response...Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ (Luke 1:38a)
Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word, Amen!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Well, the last couple of days God has really jolted me right out of it, in a couple of ways...I had an interview on Monday, not sure where that will go but it was nice to at least sit down and talk about the possiblity of working. We have been very busy cleaning the house... for a couple of reasons (spring, too much junk we don't need/use, family visits etc.) Then today I got a call from my mom with some interesting news... she talked to my biological father and wanted to know if I would like to contact him or have him contact me...WHAT! DUH!
For those of you that know some of my story I have not, to the best of my knowledge, ever met him, I won't go into the details (as I know them) but I expected he would contact me when I turned 18, and have off and on since then spent time trying to find him. Over the last couple of years I have spend a bit more energy, and at one point thought I had probably found him but was not sure and did not know how to start a conversation.... "Hi, you don't know me, but 40 plus years ago...." In fact Jen and I just talked about it last week.
Well, our God works in mysterious and wonderful ways. He, Randy, send me an email today and I have since replied.... time will tell where it goes from here, as you know I am not the most outgoing persson, well okay at least not until you get to know me.
Kairos (καιρός) is an ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment. Well this was a kairos moment if ever there was one. I am very much looking forward to getting to know him, catching upon 40 years of history and then some. Thank you Lord for bringing us together.
Mathew 18:20 comes to mind..."For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them"
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Zach is a strong will, intense, internal young man who has challenged me in many different ways over the last 9 years. But he did something which I don't think I have ever shared with him. He brought me back to God.
At that time in my life I had been running from God for so long I forgot I was running but I looked into those innocent eyes and remembered John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son..." I knew at that moment I couldn't do what God had done, this person was only a few minutes old and yet I could not imagine life without him.
Before he was born I was bad at relationships, unfortunately this included his mother, Zach has never known a home where both his mother and father live. There are times I wonder if that was the right thing to do, if it would have been better for Zach to stay and I realize it was the only thing to do, if he had any chance at happiness and "normal"
But the one thing I knew at the time was I would always be a part of his life. His mother told me she figured I would last 2 years and then he would never see me again, if I had followed my life pattern up to that point that would have been true, I did not maintain relationships longer than 2 years. The difference now was I was tethered to my son, and this changed my life.
It has been 9 years since his birth and I still spend time with him whenever I can. His mother and I are still trying to figure out how to be parents together while apart. He has come to love Jen as a second mother, one who could never replace his mom but rather be the bonus of a second mom, there are times I am jealous of their relationship, but I know at this age it is easier for boys to talk to moms than to dads, so I am glad he has two voices of reason to help mold and shape his future.
Zach continues to grow, physically and spiritually. He is up to the middle of my upper arm, putting him at over 4 1/2 feet tall. He plays basketball. He loves life. He loves to learn. He loves his bothers and his little sister. He makes me proud to call him son. I hope he is proud to call me dad.
9 years ago today, he saved my life. I love you son, happy birthday
Monday, March 9, 2009
For example, I had planned on creating a logo and challenging everyone to blog for lent, given that we are in the second week of lent I guess I will keep that one for next year :-) We usually pick up a new discipline or work on enhancing an existing one. We, Jen and I, talked about doing the love dare. unfortunately we haven't gotten to that... maybe tonight we can start.
My oldest son, turns nine tomorrow... where his time gone.
On the job front I am continue to search and have faith that God will provide. That being said I don't think I have been this busy in a while :-)
So I guess the point is to live in the now and yet to keep living and not get stuck chasing rabbits.
Now to catch up and get serious about Lent !!!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
At any rate I caught myself thinking it will be better when I get an interview, which made me laugh. (read with sarcasm) Sure, it will be. Then I will stress over the interview, did I say the right things... is it a company I want to work for.... then stress over the offer... then over the first day and first impressions for months to come... all the while laughing harder at each consecutive thing that I thought of.
The reality is God calls us to live in the now. Psalm 118:24 reminds us :"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Everyday and every moment was made by the Lord, and we should rejoice and be glad!
In John chapter 10 Jesus is explaining that he is the gate and all that enter through him will be saved, however he also warns that the thieves are poised to steal us away. In verse 10 he says "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." not that they may have life and EVENTUALLY live it abundantly but that they live abundantly in "the now"
if you catch yourself thinking about the "next great thing" stop and reflect on the current great things... find the joy in the now.
I don't have a job, but I do have time to spend with my wife and kids, time to catch up on my honey-do list, catch up with friends etc etc.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
My lovely wife has reminded me a few times in the last couple of days I haven't blogged.
In my Wednesday night men's group we did a spiritual gifts "test" and one of the things that came out as a gift was writing...
I was talking about blogging with my good friend tonight and saying I needed to find a routine...
I have asked God for guidance on finding that routine and posting in general...
I got home and applied for a job, updated my facebook status, read through my twitters, checked my linked in page... in the back of my mind I kept thinking... I think I am forgetting something.
Then out of the blue I get an email saying I needed to approve a comment on my blog...
Okay Lord I hear you...
now I just need to find that routine. There is an idea that I have had on my heart/mind for the last week or so to help this... keep posted it involves you.
Monday, February 2, 2009
I bring this up because I wanted to put a little context around what a "closest moment" means. Today, my lovely bride had taken the kids to a play date at one of those jumpy houses, basically a large room filled with many very large inflatable items on which the kids can jump and play. While there the 5 year old was holding the 18 month old while they slid down one of the large slides and Jen was videotaping the memory, (probably to blog about later) while doing this she managed to step off the landing pad in such a way that her ankle twisted and it sounded like she "stepped on a bag of potato chips"
She calls me and I was, thank God, in the area, I came and picked them all up, took her to the emergency room, my old insurance lapsed, of course, as of my ending my employment on Friday. We had the forethought to get new insurance before the old lapsed you can read about that here. At any rate, thank God again.
Okay so the closest moment... I don't know about the 5 year olds you are in contact with, but mine was a shining example of the Love of Christ today. the entire time on the way to the hospital, at the hospital, on the way home, he was constantly reassuring his mother it was going to be okay, does it hurt, can I get you anything, I love you, etc. at one point she sat in a different place and put her foot on the chair he was sitting on, rather than saying something like "eww gross" he said "I like this better I can touch your foot" as he ever so gently rubbed her foot, being careful not to touch the swollen ankle.
Thank God for such a shining example of unconditional love, I was both proud and yet in awe of the Christlike example my 5 year old showed me today. it truly was a living example of what Jesus meant in Matthew 18:1-4 "At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
BTW Jen is okay it is a very bad sprain, and she is adjusting to life with crutches and ice packs for a while.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
I am officially unemployeed for about 34 hours now... still no worries all I can say about that is praise God. ...lillies of the field...(Luke 12:25-28)
we have been giving our 18 month old medicine for just over a week. The thing is she doesn't like it so it is a two person job, one holding her "still" the other getting it down her throat and not letting her move until she swallows it. SHE DOES NOT LIKE IT, the interesting thing was tonight she immediately starting shaking her head no and trying to crawl away but we managed to get the medicine down in record time without crying. This got me to thinking about a discussion we had had in men's bible study around dealing with the same issue repeatedly. The observation was made that if we could figure out what God was trying to teach us we could probably get through it a lot faster and come out stronger on the otherside... in other words sometimes the only way we can learn something is to go through it over and over, usually kicking and screaming the 1st couple of times and eventually, if we look at it rationally we figure out why we are there and realize it is not so bad. I don't think this is exactly what Jesus meant when he talked about he said unless you come to me like these children... but then again maybe it was
The last is I finished the book "The Shack" and for those of you who have not read it, I encourage you to do so, it was even more moving and somehow very personal. I sat in Schlotzsky's one day last week, eating my sandwich, crying and I didn't care who saw me, i was truly moved. You can get more information ect on the official website I will be adding a link to my site to become part of the missy project.
okay gotta get the boys out of the shower...
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I will tell you this, I am about half way through it and I have to admit Mr. Young has captured my attention with his characters. I am an avid reader, and many books I read I don't always get a true sense of the people in the stories, sometimes this is probably on purpose but most of the time I think the writer and the characters just don't connect. With the Shack, I am truly feeling very connected to "Mackenzie" or "Mack" one of the main characters.
I was completely caught off guard a few minutes ago, I was eating an early dinner, and sitting quietly reading, for those of you who have read the book I am about half way through the chapter titled "in the belly of the beast" and they are discussing what happened in the truck. (see no spoilers :-)) at one point I literally began crying, not because I had ever experienced what Mack or the other characters were experiencing but rather because I could feel the emotion that Mack would have felt.
I have to admit, this is a first. Granted I am a little soft hearted at times (clear throat, pound chest, "me man, ungh") my wife and I refer to movies that choke you up as "stupid movies" you know, sitting in a dark theater, trying to inconspicuously wipe the tear from you eyes before anyone notices and you say "(sniffle) stupid movie" That happens quite often, to tell the truth I get choked up on that "stupid show" extreme makeover home edition.... anyway all that may be true but it has never happen while reading a book, until today.
not sure if that is a good book review or not, but take it for what it is worth, Mr. Young has pulled me into the book to the point that I am feeling what his character feels. As a side note Mack did cry in the next sentence, I discovered when I was able to continue reading. "The Shack" is a book that will challenge you spiritually and I feel will change you spiritually as well, if you let it.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The naked truth...We are always naked before God, so there is nothing to hide, if we examine ourselves as God sees us there are no garment to hide behind... if we are stripped of our pretensions, vanities and other items we use to look good to others... who are we?
Weigh-In: I usually joke with the nurse "I will just use one foot today" in the physical sense this would work but with the spiritual check up I have to look at my deeds, one one side of the scale deeds of which I are proud on the other side maybe things for which I not as proud. Being conscious of my faults, and working on changing them (or repenting....as in thinking about what I did and why I did it so that next time I might not do it) is a great step toward spiritual well-being.
Don't eat after midnight.... how is my fasting? not just a specific time set aside to pray but what about our other hungers... friendship, love, family, beauty, God's will?
First the nurse come in...
Blood Pressure: This is a physical one I do battle with, meds keep me normal but what about spiritual, is my pressure too high, not just inside me but outside of me, do I apply undo pressure to those around me. Is my pressure too low? (okay not mine LOL) is our pressure too low, are we uninvolved, or lacking stimulation. Is what I am doing important and am I doing it for the right reason (Glory to God).
Drawing Blood... am I spiritually anemic, am I less loving and compassionate than I should be, am I overly anger, hateful or hostile?
So then the doctor comes in... How are you feeling? Anything you are concerned about? In the same way as physical pain, emotional or spiritual pain/discomfort, can be a sign that something is wrong or about to be wrong.... get it looked at, don't wait, talk with your physician (spiritual advisor) before it festers and takes longer to heal
Ears, Nose and Mouth... what have I done, spiritually, with these organs? have there been times I have chose not to listen, to hear, to speak or to see. Have there been times I have chosen to listen, speak about or look at things I should have turned away from?
small rubber mallet... I always have to look away when the doctor using this... I know control issue :-) how are my spiritual reflexes, are my responses appropriate in time, emotion, etc. in other words do I respond in anger when walking away would be more appropriate, do I use cutting/biting humor when what is needed is loving words of encouragement. do I speak or choose not to speak without considering the impact?
EKG... The doctor worries about hardening arteries but I worry about a hardening heart and mind. Am I open to new ideas, experiences, learning, possibilities, God's call?
Other physical checks... the "not as pleasant" checks... probing and poking in places another person shouldn't go... what am I trying to hide from God and from others?
And lastly, as my doc calls them... doorknob issues, everything is done the doctor is about to head out, just as he grabs the doorknob the patient say, "did I tell you I was having memory loss?" what else do I need to bring before God, what other concerns might be affecting my spiritual health?
it was interesting to run through this in my mind as the doctor and nurse were running through it with my physical being. hopefully I don't wait a year to do this again... spiritually anyway, the physical can wait at least a year.... enough with the poking and prodding.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
on the other hand, there is reflecting on past work experience and attempting to capture the last 10 to 15 years of your life in short snippets of buzzwords that will cause an HR or hiring manager to say, "now THIS is a guy I want to interview" I would rather have the 1st type any day over the later. capturing ones life in snippets is no fun.
As I have been thinking about this, I couldn't help but wonder what my Christian resume would look like. I think it would have a completely different format and the buzz words would be very different, for example I would hope there would be more words like Love, Loved, Loving, Caring, Altruistic, Selfless, servant leader, good listener, you know now that I write that maybe they are not that different, I would like my professional resume to contain such sentiment as Caring, Selfless, servant leader, good listener, and hey why not loving! Maybe they use different buzz words but perhaps they should convey the same message.
Randall is a Caring, selfless, servant leader who is a good listener and has a loving disposition.
Now all I have to do is make that show forth using words like managed, resulting in, saving, designed, developed and deployed... well like Jesus said in Mathew and Mark "For man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" so I will... With God's help.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Both are interesting and scary transitions, both in many ways bring to mind finances, trust in God, the future and other things. Both require my putting my trust in God to show me the way.
I am currently praying for the faith of David, Nathan told him that God said his designs for the temple were great, however the temple would not be built in his lifetime, rather that his son Solomon would build the temple. David response was not, "wait a minute God, here is MY plan!" rather his response was to praise and worship God. I don't know where the money or the energy for that mater, for the Mission trip will come from and I don't know where my next job is coming from, I do know that God has a plan, which in all likelihood is not the same as mine :-), and I praise Him for that, and walk with Him as I attempt to live into that plan.