Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Eve and Day

Well, I was working last night, and man were we working. Busy pretty much the whole day...got probably 2-3 hours of sleep, but for some reason I'm not dead tired right now. I anticipated working today, so one of the guys could go home with his kids, but the supervisor just decided they would run with one less truck today. That's cool, cause that means I get to go to church, sit home watch some football, and later, go over to the Gilberts for Christmas Dinner and fellowship. It'll be great. Anyway, in thinking about Christmas...

The whole reason for Christmas (not the origins and all that crap), but the reason WE celebrate Christmas is the birth of Christ. Well, correct me if I'm wrong, but don't we celebrate birthdays different? First off, there's generally a party, and then we do it in honor of the birthday person, then we give gifts to the person I guess to show them that we love them and are thankful for their existance.
So why with Jesus birthday, do we do things different. Cultural persuasion I guess, but I was only thinking about this for a little yesterday in between running calls, so maybe you guys could help me a little, but wouldn't Christmas be cooler if we did it like this...

First off we get all Jesus friends together (the body)
Then, have a party and a good time fellowshiping and being merry!
Then, we toast to the reason we're all there to party. To JESUS, and we share all the reasons we love him, and some cool stories of times we've had with Him.
Then, we party some more.
Then, we give gifts to Him. (Maybe simply praise and worship, maybe more elaborate...dedications, money, time, other commitments)
Then, we party some more.

That sounds like a much more focused Christmas, and freakin awesome time too!

I'm sure there could be some rockin Jesus B-Day parties!

Friday, December 23, 2005

First things first

Happy belated birthday to my much beloved friend Ben Cloud, and congratulations to him as well on publishing two books that have been much requested for sometime. Keep it up amigo!

Next thing...

Psalm 39:2-7
But as I stood there in silence-
Not even speaking of good things-
The turmoil inside of me grew to the bursting point.
My thoughts grew hot within me
And began to burn,
Igniting a fire of words:
"Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
Remind me that my days are numbered,
And that my life is fleeing away.
My life is no longer than the width of my hand.
An entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
Human existance is but a breath."
We are merely moving shadows,
And all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth for someone else to spend.
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?
My only hope is in you.

I got to thinking the other day about life and careers and ministry and marraige and all those things. And within that, about all the things I'd like to do, and how doing some things may mean sacrificing others, and how there's only so much time before your suddenly old, and it would be great to retire, and live peacefully in my old age with my grey hair and my beautiful wife (hopefully I will still have hair and a wife, not so sure at this point). I was specifically thinking about full-time ministry, and how unless in a rather large organization or position, you kinda sacrifice that retirement (I think. I'm very much uneducated on the worldly "benefits" of ministry), and would really have to focus on investing while you were younger in order to provide for your family in your old age etc...Well, I guess not, cause God is our provider, but financial wisdom would still be required.

Anyway, from that track, I got to thinking about how short life really is, and what we REALLY need. You younger folk may not understand this, but I know you more seasoned/experienced persons will.

So for now, take in a deep breath,

allow your body to relax,

and let your mind wander back to the days when you were a child.

You can most likely picture yourself there,
playing in your room with your toys, or out in the front yard with your best friend playing basketball for "respect",
Or having rock wars with your brothers at the park,
Or fighting with your brothers or parents, punching a hole in the wall and thinking you broke your hand,
Or a fishing trip with your dad
Or your mom taking you and the youth out teepeeing the pastors house at 1 AM
or simply fishing down at the park, alone, in the majesty of God's handiwork displayed in the Arizona sunset etc...

Or whatever some of your memories might be, I know you can picture them.
And you can picture these things like they were yesterday. Yes, as if you were able to close your eyes and free your mind enough from the troubles of today, you might be swept back to a time long ago, but yet not that long ago, where your worries were not so great, and all you had to do was live.

Then, you Blink...

Suddenly, you are no longer in your blissfull youth.
You are driving to work after school trying to pay bills and make it out on your own, and find out who you are, and what you're made of. You still have time to play and hang, but not as much...

Then, you Blink...

It's your wedding day. The happiest day of your life to this point. It's you and the one you love more than anything making that commitment to stand by one another till the day you die, and you run out of the church with your beloved to the getaway car...

Then, you Blink...

Your in the OB at the hospital, your first child grasping, reaching, for a life full of wonderous mysteries ahead. Now this is the happiest day of your life...

Then, you Blink...

Your first is on his way to college, flying the coop, off to make something of himself, to find out who he is, what he's made of. You're sad, but happy at the same time...

Then, you Blink...

Now, your fourth child is leaving off to the mission field. You've been through this three times before, but this one stings a little worse for some reason. There's no on left, no more crying, crawling, running, screaming, making messes, it's all gone, but your beloved is still there...

Then, you Blink...

Your in your rocking chair holding your spouses hand when the kids come open the door with a suprise visit and the grandkids...

Then, you Blink...
It's almost done and gone, and yet you can still close your eyes and picture each event like it was yesterday.
Where has all the time gone? It really wasn't that long ago, was it? But yet it all still vanished in the blink of an eye.

Then, you Blink...





You see, this is somewhat encouraging to me. As I think about life and all the things I'd like to do (or at least I think I'd like to do), I sometimes think there's not enough time, and what if I choose one thing and that leaves me wanting later. Well more specifically, if I were to, at some point, enter into full time ministry, not be able to retire and live in peace in my old age. But then again, it doesn't matter. Those years will go by so quickly anyway. All we really have to do is live each day as unto the Lord, trust that he'll provide, and then Blink...

Life (or what we thought was life) is gone, and TRUE LIFE has begun. A life where we'll never run out of time to do all the things we like, and we can do nothing more than live IN PEACE because God's peace is eternal. And that other thing...oh yeah, life, we may not even be able to remember, or maybe simply as a Blink in the Eye of Time, cause in relation to eternity, what is a physical life on earth?


BLINK...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Test results

Well, I went over to city hall earlier to talk with the human resources director to see how I did on the test, and if I made it through to the oral boards. They were all in a meeting, so I decided to walk over to harbor lights and have a cup of coffee and organize my thoughts on upcoming youth stuff. Kim met me over there, and we talked for an hour or so and hung and had coffee. While we were sitting there, Mark Demaranville, one of the assitant chiefs from the LVFD, walked in with his wife and I recognized him said hello and shook his hand, and I think he recognized me and went on with his business. Anyway, when all was said and done, I went back over to city hall, and met with Lana, and she greeted me with a congratulations. I was pretty stoked to hear that, meaning that I made it through, then she told me that I actually received the top score on the test. I missed 2 total, and got a 96.3% or something like that. So, I'm not sure if this was intentional, or slipped or what, but I said praise god and thanks for the congratulations, and she just nodded. I did find out that one of my good buddies from our vol. dept. missed it by one question, which bites majorly, because he's a great guy and a hard worker, and would make a great firefighter. You know, the kind of guy you want to work alongside, but maybe next time.

So anyway, things are looking good for that right now.
I really am thankful to God for this, cause I honestly had no clue how it would turn out, and he's blessed me once again when really I'm quite undeserving.

So, all praise and glory and honor be to You, my God. For You alone are worthy.
Thank you for all the wonderful blessings you give me in life. Please allow me to give back even more to you from these gifts. Amen.

A snowboarding story

I'll make this short

So, the other day, I went snowboarding with Chip over at snow creek. We're having good times, I'm falling a little entering the drop into the hill, cause it's pure ice, but other than that, no problems. My feet feel comfortable in the bindings, like I was doing this yesterday, so we decided to go do the run with the jump on it. It's not that big, more of a tapered downslope after the little crest, but anyway, we decide to do this a couple times. I'm not doing too bad, I get some air, land, and then tumble and repeat that several times. It was painful, cause I would land, then lose my balance, then fall. Well, one time I decide to get a little more speed, and a little more air, and then I land, and tumble like normal, nothing seems out of the ordinary...you know, "there I was, minding my own business," when all of a sudden in the middle of my roll, I feel my right foot is free from the board. And then it was like slow motion. You know like something out of the movies. I saw the board swing around in a vertical circle, and then whack! The edge of the board slams right into the left side of my groin! I saw it coming the whole time, and there was nothing I could about it. It was like something out of final destination when they see their doom coming right at them, and all they can do is wait. So, I laid there for a minute or two, and then tried to get up. Chip saw the whole thing happen, so he was standing there thinking I was truly hurt. Fortunatly, nothing important got hit, but a quarter of an inch to the right, and I would be having some major problems! So I tried to get up, but the muscle there was way to soar, so I kinda crawled to my knees, handed chip my board, which he skiid to the bottom, and then I finally stood and hobbled my way to the bottom. I showed the rental people my board, and they were sorta puzzled how it happened (it's supposed to be nearly impossible). They asked if I was hurt, and I told them no (but I was thinking, "it didn't feel too good."). They issued me a new board, I sat for a few minutes, then I went back up with my new board and had at it again. My muscle didn't hurt when my feet were locked into the bindings, it was only when I finished a run and had to push with it that it hurt, and hurt real bad.

So, that's that.

My testing yesterday...hmmm...
I didn't have to take the physical cause I already had a CPAT, but I was supposed to take the written, and climb the aerial ladder. Well, the ladder had a hydraulic leak, so that was postponed till later, and then the written. I have never had test anxiety ever in my life, but for some reason I had it big time here. It seemed like my head was in a fog, and I couldn't keep focused on what I was doing. Several times, I had to go back and re-read something, cause it went in and straight out. It was wierd. So, I have no idea of how I did on this. I'm going to finish this post, then go pick up a guitar from the shop, then go over to city hall and ask her. She graded them last night, so I can find out today. We'll see. In order to move on, I had to get into the top 7 of 13. This normally isn't a problem, but like I said, I don't know where my head was at. So, Lord willing, I'll have made into the top 7 and onto an oral board interview. I'll come back on and post later as to the results. I fully trust this into God's hands, and if he doesn't want me in the fire service, fair enough. I told myself a while back that I would try a specific # of times to make in the fire service, and if it didn't work out, I would pursue full time ministry. So, maybe this was a God induced fog, I don't know, but I trust Him and His plan for me.

(not really related, but part of what I'm reading this morning)
Ephesians 1:3-14

How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we belong to Christ. Long ago, even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure.
So we praise god for the wonderful kindess he has poured out on us because we belong to his dearly loved Son. He is so rich in kindness that he purchased our freedom through the blodd of his Son, and our sins are forgiven. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
God's secret plan has now been revealed to us; it is a plan centered on Christ, designed long ago according to his good pleasure. And this is his plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ--everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because of Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us from the beginning, and all things happen just as he decided long ago. God's purpose was that we who were the first to trust in Christ should praise our glorious God. And now you also have heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The SPirit is God's guarantee that he will give us everything he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. This is just one more reason for us to praise our glorious God.

AMEN! I found that passage to be particularly encouraging this morning.

Love you guys and have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

brrrr...

I just lost a bet with bob over a game on addictinggames.com, and had to run down to the mailbox in my underwear. It was really cold, and the asphalt didn't feel to good on the bare feet...lesson, don't bet on games you've never played that the aussie has spent an entire college semester playing.

Bagels and Coke Zero

I am having a bagel for breakfast before I go on to do my firefighting test, and it reminded me of our last youth communion with bagel pieces and coke zero, and you know what it works. It reminded me of Jesus, and what he did for me.

"Do this in rememberence of me."

Monday, December 19, 2005

More tumbling down snow covered hills

Chip and I are going to snow creek today to do some snowboarding...actually, he ski's, but whatever. Chips a little crazy, so please pray that his craziness doesn't get him hurt, or convince me to do something stupid and get me hurt.

Fire Dept. testing tomorrow. Just a written, and then climbing a 102' ladder. Should be fun.

I'll post again on the adventures of snotsnickles and such when I return from snowboarding.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Snow and Job Security

As long as it snows, I will never have to worry about losing my job. Reason being, some people still don't know how to drive, or even walk, on it.

Our first call of the day was to a heavyset 50+ yr. old woman who went out to check the mail in what looked like a little kids pair of old, plastic, clog/sandal things (you know the kind, 3" of smooth rubber underneath her feet, and strap holding them to her feet), when she slipped on her steps that were covered in 3" of fresh laid snow.

Well, imagine that! Lesson #1. Don't walk out in the snow wearing innapropriate footwear, and then complain when you fall on your butt and hurt yourself! If you can't tell, I wasn't very sympathetic. She just sat there, not moving a thing, crying in the snow. She hurt her hip, not her back or neck or anything like that...oh, I wasn't happy with this woman. So, we had to get the scoop stretcher and get her on it, and she just kept crying...boo hoo (sarcasm and apathy). Then, we got her in the back, and we had to look at her hip for any obvious difformity to see if she broke it or anything, and she's like "Sob sob...I don't have any underwear on...sob sob" OK, first off, it's not like we've never seen any of that before, but that doesn't mean I want to either. Then she was complaining about how she couldn't afford this and all that, and now I'm thinking "Dangit woman! You shoulda thought of all this before you went out parading in the snow with kids sandals, no underwear, and no money!" She'll think about it next time...well, maybe not. Oh well, I guess they keep EMS rolling.


We ended up running all night and day, as it's been for the past 3 weeks, medicals, mva's, whatever, but this next one was cool!

So we get toned out for mutual aid with South Platte County across the bridge (in MO) for a rollover accident. Well, dispatch said the person was out of the car, and generally when that happens, they call back and say they don't need an ambulance, but we were on our way regardless until we hear otherwise. When we finally pull up, I see cars all over the side of the road, but they're all on four wheels, so I'm a little confused, then I look down to the bottom of the 30' embakement sloped at probably 70 Degrees off to the right and see an SUV turned over on it's side. We get out, and people start yelling. So we ask, who's hurt? They say there's a man and a baby that were in the car up in one of the cars on the side of the road, and still one woman trapped in the car. So my partner says, "I'll check Dad and the baby, you climb down the 30' snow covered hill, and crawl in the mangled vehicle trying to help while I stay warm." Well, maybe that's not exactly what she said, but that's what happened.
So, I get down to the bottom with my spinebag, and find a woman in her 30's crawled up in a ball on the driver side window (or where it would've been), complaining of neck pain at 8 of ten, and even the slightest, I mean slightest move, made her scream bloody murder. So I climb in the rear entrance of the car, get a collar on her and check her pulses and motory function (basically all I could do with her in that position), and start looking for a way to get her out of the vehicle. I'm looking at how she is, the seats, everything around us, and taking into consideration the fact I think she has a C7 fracture and don't want to move her at all, and finally decide that we'll have to get the Fire Dept. to cut her out (not cut her, the car around her). One guy tells me the truck is 5 min's out, so I sit there with her finding out what happened, if she lost consciousness, airbags, seatbelts, etc...waiting for them to get here. They finally arrive and tumble down the hill, and ask how I'd like to get her out. I told them about the suspected fracture, and how moving out the back (where I came in) was not an option, and they'd have to cut her out. They kept asking if I was sure and saying they thought they could move her here and there etc...and I'm like "NO. We're not moving her anywhere. She can wiggle fingers and toes right now, and I'd like to keep it that way." So fire tosses a blanket in to me, and I drape it over the patient and myself to cover us from shards of metal, and sparks, etc..., and they begin to cut with the sawzaw. Mind you, at this point, I can't see anything but the patient. My legs are cold and cramping from being in an awkward position, my ears hurt because the vibrations from the saw were hurting her neck, so she's screaming right in my ears, I have no idea where this saw is at in relation to me, and then I feel someone reach their hand in, feel my head, and say "uh, could you move your head back some?" I'm thinking great, they're cutting blind, and all it would take is the blade to jump, and I could be maimed. I really didn't have any room to move back, but you can bet I made some! Well, the sawzaw kept catching and freezing up, so they went and got the big chop saw, which has kind of a circular cutting blade, and they begin to use this. Now the chop saw is MUCH sharper, and MUCH bigger, and makes VERY big sparks, so they get going with this, and all I can hear is ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ, and really, really big sparks begin flying everywhere landing on this 100% cotton blanket that was covering us up, and I'm thinking "I really hope this blanket doesn't catch on fire with us in here." Finally, all the noise stops, someone pulls the blanket off our heads, and then I have to hand c-spine over to someone else, gently crawl over her and straddle the steering wheel, so we can maintain neutral inline mobilization, but we still had to free her feet up, so we pick her up from there (oh, we did place a ked board in to help maintain c-spine), free the feet, and get her out. We get her all strapped down, except the head, and their head straps aren't working, so I go to my bag, and grab our headbed tape. It's a big blue piece of something like duct tape that is supposed to go around the collar and to the board, but this dude, before I had a chance to say anything, just takes it and slaps it across her forhead right on top of her eyebrows, and I'm thinking "Dough! I guess she didn't really need her eyebrows anyway huh?" At this time, she can still move her fingers and toes, which is a good thing, and then the bright firefighters all grabbed a corner of the board and pretty much run up the hill with her. The people up top (including my partner who now was just watching the show, I guess she, the medic, didn't feel any need to help) had thrown down 3 ropes. One to tie to the board, and two for each side of people holding the board to hold onto so they didn't slip. Well, I guess they didn't want to use this, so I'm trying to support one of the firefighters running up the hill, so he doesn't fall, and wipe out and slide down the hill, making me look like a large powdered donut.
So, that was that, we transferred care to MAST ambulances, and then booked it back to KS for another call. It was a blast though, and thank God the patient and I didn't get cut up by saws, or burnt alive in the car, and she could still move all extremeties...that was a plus. But that wreck made my day. I love stuff like that! Oh, I can't wait to get into firefighting!

I have my written test on Tues for the Leavenworth Fire Dept. I looked at the study guide, and am confident I'll do well, but without God's blessing and approval, it'll probably be the same thing that happened in Tempe. I do everything I can to put me in the best position possible, but if he says no, it's a no go. Fair enough.


The worship night went pretty well on Fri. We didn't have too many people show up, but it was still an awesome time of worship and felloship regardless. We'll probably do another one in Feb., and then one in April, and then see about doing it once a month after that.

That's all the updates. Love you guys, and keep seeking after God. Don't let your walk get complacent. And please pray for my fire app here.

Luke.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Jesus Take the Wheel

So lets see...

It was Tuesday. I was at work, and it had been a rather busy day. The snow had melted a couple days prior, so everyone was back to their insane selves driving like 15 over the speed limit, ignoring all warnings on the news etc, that the roads were slick today. So, I spent most of that day (and night!) cautiously extricating retarded people from their crunched up vehicles, and putting them on extremely cold, hard, and uncomfortable long plastic spineboards. So it's getting close to 6:30 am, time for me to rouse my self from a quite unpleasant 90 min's of sleep and get ready for shift change, when there it goes again. Beep beep beep beep beep..."9101...Traffic accident 20th and LeCompton...". Blah blah blah, as I wipe what small crusties that had formed on the bags on my eyes in the hour and a half I had to sleep. I threw on my boots and coat, and stumbled my way down the stairs to our ambulance. "Fire Control, Medic 1 in route." As we rumbled down the road in our 6 ton rig with lights flashing and sirens blaring, dispatch came back over the radio and told us to use caution as the roads were slick. Usually, these reports come from the fire dept. who arrives on scene before we do, and they relay it to dispatch and dispatch to us. I thought to myself. "The roads look fine, I'm in a 12,000 pound vehicle, It'll be fine," not thinking that this came from the Fire crew who drives a 12 ton engine...what can I say, it was early. So anyway, we come over the big hill on 20th, and see fire trucks and cop cars everywhere, and the two vehicles that had collided and skidded their way over onto the sidewalk. I started to put on my breaks to slow down as we came up to the scene, and I looked for the closest place to park without putting us over the leaking fluids from the wreckage (yes, an ambulance flying 30' in the air cause someone threw a cigarette on the ground in gasoline which is under the rig would look cool, but it's not good for me). As I attempted this, I found that yes indeed, the roads were slick, and I should've headed the warning...then BAM!!!

No, not really, I started stopping way before that. I did feel our truck get a little loose footing though, and managed to park it in a safe place. I hopped out of the ambulance, now much more awake than before, and grabbed a spinebag and board and walked over towards the chaos. All was fine. Two patient refusals, and we packaged one lady up and took her to the hospital. Just another car wreck.

Well, I finally make it home. It's now around 8:45 cause we caught the late call, and I have to be at the church at 10 to help with some thing or another, not really sure what, so I go home, grab a guitar I have to take to the shop and some deoderant,and start heading to the church. I wasn't more than two blocks away, over on 15th street "slowly" making my way to the church, when suddenly my front end starts to spin to the left aiming for the ditch (in KS, no roads are flat on the edges, they all lead to ditches or walls...not sure why), and I'm thinking "ah crap...sigh," being I was too tired to really freak, then my rear wheels bight, I gently correct the direction of my spin, and I'm back on the road.

Well, as all that happened, I was reminded of a new country song out by some chick called "Jesus take the wheel." It's about a girl and her baby in the car on the way to her parents when she loses control and spins out, and then the chorus.

Jesus take the wheel
Take it from my hands
Cause I can't do it on my own
I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
Save me from this road I'm on

Jesus take the wheel

It was a rather rude awakening to what had been going on with me for the last 4 days. I had been sick for three of them, and tired and busy, and for four days, hadn't spent any time at all reading God's word, or praying, or anything. I kept pushing on to the next thing thinking I'll spend time with God tomorrow. Well, I finally figured out that in 4 days, I had wandered seemingly a long ways from where I wanted to be, and I wanted to get back into that close fellowship, but I was too tired, and didn't feel like doing it.

Then this happens, and at the same time I had been thinking about this analogy of what it meant to give things to God. I had been playing this game called conquest on my computer (it's basically RISK), and you build up armies and try and dominate the world. For some reason this tied into my thinking about giving things up, and I found that sometimes what you have to do is run from whatever battle your fighting and simply focus on the Father, and then he comes in with the big guns and takes care of the battle for you...Let me try to explain this. Some of the strategy in RISK is making sure you don't spread yourself too thin. If you do, your lines will be broken, and there is nothing to protect the inside of your territories. So, you have to focus your troops in one area and let the other players duke it out and thin themselves out, then you go and conquer the world. Well, it's the same here. Your one battlefront, the place where you focus your attention is on your relationship with God, and then he goes and takes care of the other battles for you. Not that it's easy, or it even looks like you'll be victorious all the time, but it's the truth.

So, I learned my lesson, and asked God that the next time he'd like to get my attention, I'd appreciate it if he did it without me having to clean my drawers.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

John 18:1-7

After saying these things, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples and entered a grove of olive trees. Judas, the betrayer, knew this place, because Jesus had gone there many times with his disciples. The leading priests and pharisees had given Judas a battalion of Roman soldiers and Temple guards to accompany him. NOw with blazing torches, lanterns, and weapons, they arrived at the olive grove.
Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him. Stepping forwardto meet them, he asked, "Whom are you looking for?"
"Jesus of Nazareth," they replied.
"I Am He," Jesus said. Judas was standing there with them when Jesus identified himself. And as he said, "I Am He," they all fell backward to the ground! Once more he asked them, "Whom are you looking for?"
And again they replied "Jesus of Nazareth."
"I told you that I Am He,"...

Who are you looking for?

Monday, December 12, 2005

Feeling a bit under de weather

My head feels like it's going to pop.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Upcoming stuff

Well lets see...

First off, if you guys could all keep my Dad and the group of men he's with in Pakistan in prayer, they will need it badly. I copied a small letter from my mom in regards to this below. Also, Micah, Chrissy, Joshua, and baby on the way could use your prayers as well. Long story short, things are going well for them. However, Joshua is getting sick, they don't really have access to hot water, he's cranky all the time, and not adjusting well to all the change. They have a lot more change coming up as well, so your prayers would be much appreciated for them (for those of you who don't know, Micah is my brother who moved to Ecuador to plant a church in Manta, his wife is Chrissy, and their son Joshua, and a baby on the way)

Other things...
I just got my applicant packet in from the City of Leavenworth. It tells me all the things I will need to know in regards to the testing process. I will have a written exam and have to climb a 100-200' ladder or something on the 20th of Dec. They are hiring for 3 spots, and had 13 applicants. Things are looking good for that right now, and I would love to get the job, as I have somewhat committed (in my mind at least) another 2 years or so to the church here, and being a part of what God's doing in it. (all you Tempe people, don't freak. If things go the way I see them now, I could still feasibly be back in Tempe working for the Fire Dept. there in 2-3 yrs. which only makes me 23-24...still plenty of time, and I will be gaining valuable fire experience while I'm here...of course, all of this is simply what I see as of now. I am also very open to the idea of doing full time ministry if God calls me to that. Any which way, this is how I see it now, but we all know that this may change tomorrow, and God always has the final say...yeah, like when I thought I was going to get the job in Tempe last time. Anyway, I'm thankfull that God cares enough to take my desires away from me in order to do his will. I've found that His is much better anyway.)
So, with all of that. Please pray that God's will be done. I'd really like the job here, but am content wherever God has me.

Oh, in regards to the packet, I have to hand write my response to 5 questions and turn them in before the testing date...kinda wierd, but whatever. The sooner I get this in, the more it shows my enthusiasm for the job. So, I will be working on that right after this (actually, I need to spend some time reading my Bible first, then working on it). Then, I'm supposed to go put up lights at the Gilberts, then I have worship practice tonight for the worship gathering, which I need to put together music for, and then we have college group. (Kat, I think I might have to bail today on the lights...I know...I just really have to get this paper thing done...maybe tomorrow after the movie. Yes, tomorrow after the movie.) College group will be nice. We are going to O'Malley's in Weston. I will have a guiness there for the first time.

Cya Guys,

Luke.

Prayer request

For those of you who don't know, my Dad left with this group on Dec. 5th to help build shelters, and give whatever aid they can to the people in Pakistan before winter comes. Here's a small update. Please pray that their luggage would get their, and they would be able to effectively preach the gospel as they provide whatever assistance they can.



"Some of the men headed for Pakistan have arrived with no luggage...here is a email that was passed to me from Mark S. (Frontiers)

" Ah, the best laid plans.

Nine of us arrived in Islamabad a few hours ago but our luggage is somewhere between Hong Kong and Pakistan. Probably closer to Hong Kong.

If this were a vacation, the most we'd have to wrestle with is having to go buy a new swim suit. But this isn't a vacation, and the luggage holds the cold-weather gear of a group of men who want to get to the mountains as soon as possible to build shelters for villagers who face death by cold with each passing night.

We're hoping it arrives tonight. But one man whose luggage went missing a week ago is still waiting.

We'll go, one way or another. It just might be a lot more uncomfortable than anticipated. And we anticipated a lot of discomfort. "

Also an update from the men hopefully will be on KTAR 620am on the dial this Friday the 9th and the 12th @ 6:50 am AZ time. If you can listen somehow...you can hear what is going on."

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play

Thursday, December 01, 2005

New Video

Yeah, I love 7th day slumber, but I need something with a little more crunch than "Caroline". I'll probably put a new video up pretty frequently, so get used to it.

The Video

This is from one of my favorite bands ever. Not only because they have a sweet sound, or because I can immitate him pretty good (yeah, that's right), but because I saw them play up in Pinetop AZ for a crowd no bigger than 100 people, and they actually lost money doing the show, and through it all, the only thing they cared about was sharing the love of God to a small group of youth...and they did it passionately and effectively also...they also did a worship set and some ministry time at the end. They Rock!

One more thing...

You need to check this post out on http://bjscloud.blogspot.com/

Understanding

Ok, in line with my message last night, I am "straining" to understand more as I read. I was listening to a Mars Hill sermon on studying the Bible a while ago, and the guy said he got saved, and then asked the pastor what to do then. He said "read the Bible till you understand it, and do that till you die." Pretty powerful. It really revolutionized how I read the Bible.

So, in line with that, I have a folder labeled "bible study" on my desktop, and I open it up when I'm reading, and write down notes as I go through various sections of scripture. (In case you find this inspirational or something I'll explain how it works for me) So, I start off reading the section I'm going to go through...IE 1 John, and I read through and highlite or underline in my bible, verses that stick out to me and have significant meaning, and I do that until I'm finished with the section...IE ch's 1-3 or something...Then, I go back through and re-read slower attempting to disect the verses, while reading the footnotes and study sections below in my bible, and contemplating deeper meaning in the said verses. As I go through this, I write down on my doc. particulary interesting verses, and any deeper meanings I may get from it...

And I do that till I die...

Well, or at least until I forget one day, and then another...but hopefully that won't be the case.

I think it will also help me with my messages and lessons for youth. Although, I'm not sure they really hear anything that comes out of my mouth when it comes to that time...Seriously though. Last night was one of my more passionate, well articulated messages, and I'm not sure anyone got anything from it. That's the funny thing about youth ministry. When it's all said and done, no one will remember anything you said, but they'll remember everything you did. The small things. Investing in their lives, small personal talks, playing four wheeler tag, how you respond to criticism or other bloggers attempting to be obnoxious. I know they do take some things from it, even though they'll never remember that you said, but hopefully it will translate into action in their lives.

I think about it...maybe some of our "lessons" have impacted their lives...let's see...Lessons I hope have impacted them...
hmmmm....well there was...ummm...

Shoot. I can't even remember most of them, and they were my lessons! I guess that means I can't blame them for not remembering.
I guess I remember talking about the power of words for both good and bad, and some other stuff. But hopefully, they will remember some of the things we've stressed.

Those being that it's crucial to your spiritual life to spend time reading God's word and praying. And that worship is a matter of the heart, and a lifestyle, not just songs. And that God listens to us, and also speaks to us! And the importance of a good strong sense of community and relationships with other believers (I know they got that one!), and hopefully they have come to understand in a small way how much God truly loves them, and how nothing we ever do can separate us from that love. And maybe they've learned how to present the gospel to someone, and hopefully in a non-threating way. And I pray that they've learned to love one another, and from that learn to love everyone (definetly still working on that one). And also that if they put God #1 in their lives, everything else will work out. And that God has a plan for them, and good things await them if they seek after Him. And that true faith is evidenced by fruit and actions in our lives. And did I mention that GOD loves THEM and they are so extremely valuable and important to Him. And that sometimes living for God isn't always easy, but it's always worth it. And how to break through the spiritual highs into a spiritual life. And above all of these things. I pray,... that more than anything I've spoken,...that they would come to know God's love, and that my actions here have spoken much louder than any sermon or message or lesson or whatever I may ever speak.

Lord let it be. Pour your love into the lives of these youth. That they would come to know you and love you with a passion they cannot even begin to imagine. And God, from there, I ask that you would take care of the rest. Amen.