Saturday, March 20, 2010

Way up, way up, in the middle of the air!

Dad and I on the ski lift at Taos Ski Valley, NM

Over Spring Break, I was given the opportunity and blessing to ski with Mom and Dad. Mom and I drove up to Taos Ski Valley, together, on Sunday, as Saturday, I chose to run a 10-mile trail race. You can read about the race here. I enjoyed spending the time with Mom, Hugo, and Lois. Hugo and Lois are some very special sock monkeys, for the Gaudet Reunion 2010! We had fun taking pictures in Roswell, NM, with the aliens! :) Our drive was elongated by some crazy snow conditions on the drive up, but God is good, and kept us safe.

During our ski trip we took one day to hike. And then Mom and Dad indulged my desire to go to the Earthship homes. I'm not a particularly green person, I was just curious. I think Dad enjoyed the interesting building materials as well.

Mom and I outside of the a Earthship home.

Me inside of an Earthship home--notice the inside flower garden.

This is the gnarly stuff they make the homes out of--tires, beer cans, pop cans, beer bottles, dirt, interesting stuff.

I had a blast during the week! To my surprise, some friends from church, Trent and Henry Timberlake, also came up to Taos Ski Valley. Henry and I went out for a couple beers at Eske's, the evening Trent and Henry arrived. Eske's has some pretty cool local brews. The next evening, the guys joined my family for burgers at the condo. Dad, Henry, and I skied the following day--I'm pretty sure Henry liked skiing fast with Dad! Henry convinced me to try a couple of the ski jumps. I jumped slowly the first time and landed alright, but the second time, I got some air, and then enjoyed a crash. Oh well, it was a fun learning experience. I also tried a box for the first time. Not my cup of tea.

One of those random joy moments for me is when I catch a little air--and then going through my head is always "Way up, way up, in the middle of the air! Ezekiel saw a wheel..." Always brings a huge smile to my face.

Dad and I on the lift!

Another thing that brings me a huge smile to my face are my friends Fares and James. I am pictured below with the guys. They keep us inline, and keep our stuff safely stowed away, when not in use.

James, Faith, Fares

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm wet, too

A friend of mine recently shared her testimony on facebook, I told her that I loved her analogy and wanted to share her testimony on my blog, and Julie said that it would be alright. Please note, there is a little tongue in cheek humour in here. :) This has a fabulous modern day parable--and I too, like Julie, am wet! Sharing your testimony is easy; getting your testimony is the challenge. God has already won the battle and He will be victorious!

When I was three, I stole a jar of candy from a kiosk. Sticking my hand in the glass shaped heaven; a childish greed took over and I took off. When I was six, I joined a wannabe soccer team. I mentioned early morning runs to my mom, who thought a crowd of kids jogging at five thirty was a horrible idea. I snuck out and ran anyway. When I was nine, I recruited my Indonesian friend to help fix a spelling test. I listened—her accent meant she sounded words out—and wrote. When I was eleven, I walked out to a crazy friend’s party. It was 11:30 at night, and would run late, of course. There I didn’t ask permission—I went out.

If you think about it, I wasn’t murdering people. I wasn’t stealing cars. I wasn’t being cruel to anyone. But, I knew, because I’m a missionary kid, that stealing, lying and whatever else, was wrong on the Jesus stick. I was sticking pins in the water balloon of sin, rather than a knife, maybe. But I was still getting wet.

Sometime during all of this, I went forward at a church alter call. Essentially, I prayed Jesus would keep me good, and send me to Heaven in the end. I didn’t understand the implications of a relationship with an invisible, distant but close being. Anywho, I continued to act up, a bit, but didn’t link myself to the evil crowd my dad preached to. He said evil people were hell-bound—because I wasn’t worried about my behavior, my life stayed the same.

Age twelve I realized there should be something more. Emotion struck, tears flowed, knees bent and I walked out of church with something new. It’s like something clicked about my behavior, like I understood the water balloon thing. A thing is a thing, no matter how small.

I’m seventeen now, and a lot has changed. If you know me, you know how much.

By that, I mean a lot.

Did I say a lot? Yes, a lot. I’m like a playdoh sculpture; shaped all the time. Basic form is static, but every friend, every party and every weekend in Bali changes a little something. No hyperwise conclusion here, just stating I’m the same as I was back in ’99. A little good, a little bad. A little candy kiosking, a little moralizing. End.

Just like Julie, I know that my sins are wrong on the Jesus stick, I even know when I'm sticking pins in the water balloon, and going back to my prior post, it feels pretty good at the time. Really...what's a little water? But Julie is right in her analogy, I'm still getting wet, even if I'm not sticking a knife in the world of sin.

Confession. I am wet!

Monday, March 15, 2010

GPS and God: how are they alike

This article was posted in First Press, the bi-monthly newsletter of First Presbyterian Church, and gave no author. I thought it was a good analogy.

GPS stands for Global Positioning System, which is now available in cars to guide you to your selected destination. You enter an address and GPS will instruct you on each turn necessary for you to reach your desired destination beginning from your present location as the starting point.

Let's say you get in your car with GPS, but you don't turn it on. How can it help you?

Now if you don't have a relationship with our Lord Jesus, how can He give you guidance?

Okay, so you turn on the GPS and enter your destination. Now you turn up the radio and don't pay any attention to the GPS when it is giving you instructions to turn right. You decide to turn left. GPS now has to re-compute the instructions to get you back on course and to your destination. The penalty is that it will take longer to arrive and you may miss a critical appointment.

Now, if you have a relationship with Jesus, when He tries to tell you the path you should take, if you decide to go your own way; you may be led down a path of sin. You may also pay a penalty by ending in a place you shouldn't be. You are not available to do the work God had planned for you and you will need to repent and ask for forgiveness. Then you need new directions to get back on the right path...

I think all too often, I have the radio of life turned up, and I'm not paying attention to GPS Jesus, giving me instructions. Other times, I hear Him, plain as day, but as a sinner, I decide to turn the opposite way. It seemed like a pretty good idea at the time, right?!

My Dad and I were listening to some old Rich Kannwischer sermons, and in one of them he made the following statement...

When David had Uriah killed, he felt like a powerful King, not a sinner
When David slept with Bathseba, he felt like a lover, not a sinner

Feelings can be deceiving.