Archive for the ‘Family Life’ Category

h1

What Have We Become

September 5, 2008

Oh sweet spirit of John Wimber; What have we become? Or, perhaps the real question is: What are we becoming? Lord have mercy and may it be so much more then we are today.

h1

A Followup Report

August 2, 2008

A couple posts back I was bemoaning the fact that I spend so little of my usable day given over to God. (See: Really? 6.25%) So I wanted to follow up and report on my attempt at making some changes.

Some background is necessary here: Because Barb and I live in a mobile home, we can be a bit pressed for space. When we got married the family room that was located directly south of the kitchen was turned into a bedroom and is currently my office from which I run my business. That made a two bedroom coach into a three. As the kids got older and Caleb and Jen needed separate rooms we closed off the dining room north of the kitchen into another bedroom. That gave us plenty of rooms, but left us with no place to have a table to sit down to eat, so it just became our routine that I would prepare dinner and everyone would eat as they became hungry and wherever they wanted to grab a spot. So about the only time we get to eat all together is if we go out to share a meal as a family. Not my favorite solution but it’s what we have.

The upshot is that Barb and I usually end up eating our meal sitting on our huge California King bed watching the news or some other mind numbing programing. So, as part of operation “God TIme” (just made that up) I decided to shut off the TV at least between the hours of 6-7 and devote that time to spiritual reading, either scripture or as Barb and I are currently doing together, reading some Fr. P. suggested catechuminate material. It has been really wonderful and the quiet has made me realize how much we leave the TV on just to fill in the void. We are so NOT comfortable with silence as a culture. It’s like we need the incessant droning of the voices, laughter tracks  and car commercials set to classic rock tunes to remind us we are not alone. Funny, but it is in the silence we avoid so eagerly that learn we are truly NOT alone.

So that’s it, it’s just a start, but it is a start. Change comes only with much effort and the amazing grace of God. As a culture we have become addicted to entertainment. We seem to need the constant sounds of what our culture wants us to believe is real life. But the one who is real life needs our attention to speak that life into us. It’s hard to fill a soul that is brim full already.

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to see the new Batman movie with my wife. I know, ironic isn’t it?

h1

Really? 6.25%?

July 16, 2008

Now is the time.” I heard Father Patrick speak those words during a homily over 5 months ago and I knew in an instant, in the blink of an eye, they had been said by the Spirit and I knew I was one to whom they were directed. I don’t mean that Father intentionally spoke those words to me directly that morning, I just knew in the deepest place in my heart that he might as well have.

Last night Father was over to our house to meet with Barb and I for our normal Tuesday night Catechumen sessions. Being that it his first visit to our home, he walked around the living room taking in the various photos we have of family hanging about and remarked how quickly time goes by; “It’s a vapor” Father said. Then sitting down close to me and looking right into my heart he said in the most serious of tones once more “…so now is the time, now is the time!” And just as those words had hit the center of my being some five months earlier, so they did again, and so the question remains: how will I respond this time?

There is no doubt in my mind that I took the first utterance of that phase very seriously. In fact I made some difficult, real changes to several aspects of my life that were completely out of control, and by God’s grace and mercy have seen wonderful, fresh glimpses of the life of Christ being formed in my core. But I also know that God wants to give me so much more of himself. His life laid down for mine so that I might lay down mine and gain His.

Father gave us more then a few recommendations last night regarding some things he suggested we should read and also some things we could do to prepare ourselves for our first confessions as Catechumen. Honestly, at first, I was slightly overwhelmed, internally searching through my regularly scheduled life in search of an extra minute or two in which to add the additional activities. But it was echoing in me: “NOW is the time!”

So this morning I did a quick little estimate of the time I actually have available and the time I intentionally give to God. Presently, not counting those days I spend in worship with the Church, Saturday night and Sunday Morning, I manage to give to God approximately 10 minutes in the morning for prayer and then about 5 minutes at the end of each day in examine of my day before praying Psalm 50 (that’s 51 to all you evangelicals out there) and closing my eyes. Now I’m not saying that I don’t consider or ponder the things of the Spirit at other times, I do, I’m just talking about time I set aside ALMOST everyday. That’s out of a 24 hr period.

Now I can hear some of you saying, yeah but you sleep for 6-8 hours of that. Ok, I’ll give you that, so now I’m down to 15 minutes out of a 16 hr period. I feel way better. Some might argue, wait, surely you can’t count the time you’re at work. We obviously need to work and often our minds are so occupied between the hours of 9-5-well surely I can’t count that time? Ok, I’ll give you that one as well so now I’m down to what I do with my eight remaining waking, non working hours. Wow, now I’m almost off scott-free. In fact I might just be a spiritual giant!

6.25% of my 8 hours are set apart for God. I’m actually surprised that it’s that high, but I did ask my CPA wife and she gave me that number. I’m not trying to beat up on myself or saying that number needs to 10% or 50% or whatever! The number isn’t the important thing, it’s my heart and I’m just saying that I’m hearing the still small voice again, and it’s not in the thunder, the earthquake or the wind. No, it’s meek and soft, almost a whisper; “Now is the time.”

The bottom line is that I make plenty of time for those things I really love; My Macs, my Nikon, my TV shows, my photography books and magazines. God wants to give me so much more, but it seems that I’m already so full of everything else. Lord have mercy on me. Help me to love you at least as much as these other things, at least that would be a start. “Now is the time.”

h1

End of the Day

April 14, 2008

Well Barb and I just topped of a wonderful day of worship and fellowship with a nice dinner with Jason and Debbie. Since Jason started working out in Whittier with my Son David, we don’t see nearly as much of the Z’s as we would like, so it was so nice to be able to sit down and share notes over where we are in our journey to explore Orthodoxy.

After Divine liturgy this morning we had a really nice time sitting down with Father Patrick and getting to know him a bit and letting him get to know us. How cool to have a man like Father Patrick so available and so open to our questions. The more we learn the more we are enjoying our time here. It is early in our inquiry but God seems to be fitting so many things together for us all.

Yes it was a wonderful Lord’s Day today. Thank you Lord for the Church, for good friends and for a wife who is willing to share in this crazy journey I’ve been on for the last 30 years.

Peace be to all

h1

The Mouse that Smiled

January 28, 2008

The Mouse that Smiled

Okay not really a smile but it cracks me up any way.

h1

South Texas

November 12, 2007

Hi all,

For those who have asked, I have just posted a few pictures on my Gallery that I took on our last trip to the San Antonio area. Nothing earth shattering. Just wanted to see if I could make anything out of not much.

Peace to all.
Mark

Link to my gallery

h1

Florida?

October 27, 2007

Florida?
And you all thought we were in Florida.

Though outwardly we are wasting away, still inwardly we are being
renewed daily. II Cor 4:16

h1

Day 2 at WDW

October 25, 2007

Breakfast on Thursday and Jen getting a Tattoo. (Sort of) Today we
did the Magic Kingdom and then went back to EPCOT so Jen could get a
Henna Tat we promised her.

Day 2 at WDW

Day 2 at WDW

Day 2 at WDW

h1

EPCOT

October 25, 2007

This is Epcot at Sunset and the coolest ride EVER: Test Track.

EPCOT

EPCOT

h1

A Room with a View

October 23, 2007

A View from our Room.

A View from our Room.

A View from our Room.
Okay, actually 3 views

h1

More From the Space Center

October 22, 2007

More From the Space Center

More From the Space Center

More From the Space Center

More From the Space Center

More From the Space Center

More From the Space Center

More From the Space Center

h1

Kennedy Space Center

October 22, 2007

You can see the Shuttle ready to launch behind Jen and Caleb. The launch date is the 23rd and the day we were there was the 22nd so there was a lot of stuff going on. It was really cool.

Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center

h1

Universal Orlando

October 20, 2007

Universal Orlando

h1

Orlando

October 19, 2007

Orlando
Well we’re now in Orlando and in way nicer hotel. Yep, a tv in the
bathroom

h1

Happy Birthday Jen

October 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Jen

Yeah, that’s an alligator in my daughters hand. What a cool b-day. We did the Everglades today.

You know I always wanted a daughter. When David and Tim we’re yet unborn, we were sure they were going to be girls. So was I disappointed when they were boys? Not on your life, I can’t imagine my life without my Davey-Baby and Mers. I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world. But I still think it’s really cool that God let me experience what’s it’s like to have a daughter, Especially one who is as wonderful and as much fun to be with as Jen. I couldn’t love her any more if she were my very own. Happy b-day Jen. Love you!

h1

More sky

October 17, 2007

More sky

h1

Skies

October 17, 2007

Skies

h1

The Beach

October 17, 2007

The Beach
Today we made it to the beach and the water was warm and the skies
were awesome.