Saturday Sledding At Wipeout Hill

sledding 1

Hello everyone!  It has been a busy day and I am finally able to sit down and write a post, praise God!  I want to share some photos with you of the sledding day our family had on Saturday.  It was awesome!  The sun came out and it was a beautiful day with all the fresh snow.  I had been wanting to try out this hill for years.  It is on the other side of our neighborhood in the next subdivision just north of us.  We ended up nicknaming it “Wipeout Hill” because it was way steeper and faster than I thought and it was gnarly!  I should have brought my snowboard.  One of these days I’m hittin’ this hill on my old school Never Summer Legacy!  You’ll see why we named it the way we did in the pictures.  Enjoy and God bless you all!

sledding 4
Our little girl

sledding 5

Our daughter was great at slowing herself down, so she stayed in control.  My son and I on the other hand just went straight down!  Here is our son comin’ in hot…backwards!

sledding 3

sledding 6

Nice one son, you went all out!  He wasn’t hurt by the way.  We had a blast!  Even I gave it a try, and on my first and only run of the day I went big and for a moment I got the same stoke (that means rad encouraging feeling) that I get when I’m snowboarding.  Smiles all day brah!

sledding 7

sledding 8

I was aiming for the little jump and I leaned into it and that’s where it started to go sideways on me.

sledding 9

And here we go…

Check it out, I’m still holding the sled!  I’m used to being attached to my board.  I figured I would roll out of it easier if I just stuck with it.

sledding 10

Laughing all the way as I got slammed after doing a back flip down the hill.  Not bad for a 40 year old dude, thank You Jesus!

sledding 11

sledding 12

My little sweetie made sure I was okay.  Our kids thought my wipeout was pretty sweet, so that was a great run!  Shaka!

 

sledding 13

Here is my wife and son going down together.  They didn’t wipeout.  Just a nice final ride down Wipeout Hill.

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Somebody in the neighborhood has a good sense of humor.

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sledding day view

Back home we enjoyed a perfect sunset to end a perfect Saturday full of the Lord’s blessings.  I just want to say that I am so thankful for my wife and kids!  I love them so much and I am so thankful to be alive!  Take time to enjoy the ones you love and cherish every moment.  Thank You Jesus for loving us so much!

May the Lord bless you all abundantly in all things!

Grace and peace friends!

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16 (Jesus speaking)

 

 

 

A Tent For The Sun

snowy day sunshine
Photo by Ryan, Snowy Day Sunshine

Hello everyone, God bless you all!  I hope you are enjoying a peaceful Saturday full of joy and rest.  I am resting now, but I have been shoveling snow all morning.  Man my back is sore!  It snowed a lot more last night.  I was looking forward to using my snowblower, but it wouldn’t start.  It has to be something with the carburetor or the spark plug and I wasn’t about to take the carburetor apart today.  I use Stabil in the fuel, so it should be clean.  I don’t know why it wouldn’t start, but it wouldn’t.  I was not happy about that, but I gave it to God, grabbed my shovel, and got to work.  When I was all finished and got a chance to catch my breath, I looked out one of the back windows in our kitchen and the above picture is what I saw.  It was very encouraging!  It doesn’t take long for the sun to come back here in Colorado.  All of this snow will be gone real soon.  That’s how it goes here.  We get most of our snow in March, April, and even May.  We have a saying here, “April showers bring May blizzards.”  Those Spring blizzards coming down out of the Rockies can be intense!  I love Spring!  Just a few more months friends!

Seeing the sun breaking through the clouds reminded me of Psalm 19.  I would like to share that with you today.  Take a look at that photo one more time and please consider the truth in this Psalm.

“The heavens declare the

glory of God;

the skies proclaim the

work of his hands.

Day after day they pour

forth speech;

night after night they

display knowledge.

There is no speech or

language

where their voice is not

heard.

Their voice goes out into

all the earth,

their words to the ends of

the world.

In the heavens he has

pitched a tent for the

sun,

which is like a bridegroom

coming forth from his

pavilion,

like a champion rejoicing

to run his course.

It rises at one end of the

heavens

and makes its circuit to

the other;

nothing is hidden from its

heat.

The law of the Lord is

perfect,

reviving the soul.

The statutes of the Lord

are trustworthy,

making wise the simple.

The precepts of the Lord

are right,

giving joy to the heart.

The commands of the Lord

are radiant,

giving light to the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is

pure,

enduring forever.

The ordinances of the Lord

are sure

and altogether righteous.

They are more precious

than gold,

than much pure gold;

they are sweeter than

honey,

than honey from the comb.

By them is your servant

warned;

in keeping them there is

great reward.

Who can discern his errors?

Forgive my hidden faults.

Keep your servant also

from willful sins;

may they not rule over

me.

Then will I be blameless,

innocent of great

transgression.

May the words of my

mouth and the

meditation of my heart

be pleasing in your sight,

O Lord, my Rock and my

Redeemer.”

Psalm 19:1-14

Amen in the Name of Jesus!  Have a blessed and peaceful weekend friends!

Grace and peace to you all!

Snowy Day & The Light of Jesus

snowy day 1

Well, we are finally getting some snow here in Colorado.  It has been a very dry winter and we haven’t seen much snow yet.  We are supposed to get a few inches today.  It’s the wet heavy stuff.  I shoveled this morning and I will shovel again later this afternoon.  I don’t want ice ruts on the driveway from my wife’s Traverse.  We are pretty socked in today and we can’t see the sun or the mountains.  That is rare here.  We get sunshine pretty much every day.  Denver is second only to San Diego in having the most days of sunshine per year in America.  We get something like 330 days of sun.  It is very nice and our winters are pretty mild compared to the states in the North, Midwest, and East Coast.  I know, I’ve been through many Chicago winters that chill you to the bone!  34 degrees and snowy is pretty nice here today.  Thank you for the moisture Lord, we needed it!

snowy day 2

Not seeing the sun today makes me think of those long days in Illinois where we didn’t see the sun all winter.  That is hard on people.  I know many of you live in states like that.  People can get depressed just from having too much gloomy weather.  Not seeing the sun also makes me think about God’s light and that we have access to that light every day no matter how bad the weather might be.

snowy day 3
View from our bedroom looking at the driveway

snowy day 4

Sometimes I get down about things.  It’s like a gloomy dark cloud comes over me and it’s hard to see the light.  Through all my battles, every time I looked up and focused on Jesus, His light came pouring through those clouds and broke through the pain.  His light washes over us and His Light is in us and through us by the power of the Holy Spirit.  It is a blessing to see the sun every day, but it is His light that sustains me and gives me strength and hope!  No matter where you live on earth, you have access to His light right now!  Jesus is calling you to come out of darkness and come into His light!  Don’t be afraid.  There is no fear in His love.  His love is perfect!

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12

Do you want to have the light of life?!  You can have that this very moment in your life!  Jesus will receive you as His own and save your soul!  He will fill you with His Holy Spirit and bring you peace!  He is the Only One who ever died to forgive all your sins.  Salvation is a free gift from God that we could never earn.  No amount of good works will ever get you into Heaven.  Our salvation comes only by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  It is what Jesus did on that cross that saves our souls!  Jesus said, “It is finished,” (John 19:30) just before He died and He meant what He said!

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.  Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory.”

Ephesians 1:13-14

Jesus paid the full price for all of our sins and He offers salvation to every single person on earth.  Jesus is the Only Way to Heaven.  Once you confess faith in Jesus Christ, you are saved and you will be filled with the Holy Spirit who is a seal on you and a deposit in you from God that guarantees your eternal life.  The Holy Spirit gives us wisdom to understand God’s Word and empowers us to live a holy life that pleases God.  God also gives us spiritual gifts through the Holy Spirit that He will use in your life to bless you and others.  Salvation is not about what we could ever do for God.  It is about what He did for us!  God has redeemed us through faith in Jesus and that gift is to the praise of His glory!

“But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.  This is why it says:

“When he ascended on

high,

he led captives in his train

and gave gifts to men.”

Ephesians 4:7-8

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.”

Galatians 5:22-23

God has made it very simple and easy to understand.  Jesus Christ is the Only One who died for us, so we could be reconciled to God, our Father in Heaven who created all of us and all things.  His Name is I AM and He loves you more than you could ever imagine!  That is why He came and died for you.  He loves you and He does not want you to perish!  He wants all of us to be saved!

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

2 Peter 3:9

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Jesus speaking in John 3:16

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Ephesians 2:8-9

“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Romans 10:9

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6

That’s it friends!  That is the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.  We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus.  Salvation is the gift of God to the whole world and that includes you!  Will you receive His gift or reject it?  That choice is up to you.  I pray you receive His love today and live in His light forever!

Look up today, the Light of Jesus is always shining on us!

Grace and peace to you all!

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

1 Peter 2:9

 

An Undivided Heart

sunset from mailbox
Photo by Ryan, Rocky Mountain Sunset

Hello everyone and God bless you all!  I took that photo with my phone last night when I was at our neighborhood mailbox at the top of our street.  I loved the hazy glow as the sunset emerged from the cloud cover.  So cool what God does in the sky every night!  We always read to our kids before putting them to bed, and last night I read the Bible to my son.  He is 8 years old and he and our 11 year old daughter love to read.  I turned to the Book of Psalms and read Psalm 86 to him.  I pray Psalm 86:11 for my family every day and I ask the Lord to give us all an undivided heart like that.  Psalm 86 is a prayer of David who was King of Israel.  He speaks of God’s character in his prayer and it is important to emphasize that God’s character never changes.  These attributes of God that David talks about are who God is and how He loves us.  God will not be anything less and He will always be this way throughout all generations.

I can relate to this Psalm deeply as I’m sure many of you can.  Let the words describing God’s character and love wash over you.  We can trust Him even when we don’t understand.  We can trust Him because of who He is.

“Hear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.  Guard my life, for I am devoted to you.  You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you.  Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long.  Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.  You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.  Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy.  In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.  Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; no deeds can compare with yours.  All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name.  For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.  Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.  I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.  For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.  The arrogant are attacking me, O God; a band of ruthless men seeks my life–men without regard for you.  But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.  Turn to me and have mercy on me; grant your strength to your servant and save the son of your maidservant.  Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me.”

Psalm 86:1-17

Psalm 86:11 is the verse that says, “Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.”  I have prayed that for years over my children and my wife and I.  I ask the Lord to give us an undivided heart that we may fear His Name and love Him first.  That is what I want most for my children.  I want them to follow Jesus with an undivided heart.  To fear the Lord does not mean to be afraid of Him.  His love drives out that kind of fear.  It means to have a great respect, reverence, and awe of Him.  We can have that in greater measure when we understand God’s character.

What do we learn from Psalm 86 about God’s character?

God guards our lives and brings us joy.

God is forgiving and good and abounding in love to all who call on Him.

He alone is God and there is no other.

God has mercy on us and will answer us.

God helps us in our times of trouble.

God is great and He does marvelous deeds that have no comparison.

God’s love toward us is great and He delivers us from the grave.

God is compassionate and gracious.

God is slow to anger.

God is abounding in love and faithfulness.

God protects us from our enemies.

God gives us His strength, and He helps us and comforts us.

That my friends is a God you can trust!  Thank You Lord that you are forgiving and good!  Thank You for your abounding love, compassion, and grace!  Thank You for being patient with us and being slow to anger!  Thank You for loving us so deeply even when we don’t deserve it Lord!  Thank You for saving us!  You alone are worthy of praise!

We can rest in His love today and every day.  God will not be changing.  That is who He is.  God is love and He will always be love!  Remember, fearing the Lord means to revere the Lord.  There is no fear in His love!

“We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.  If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.  In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.  There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

1 John 4:13-18

Grace and peace to you all in the perfect love of Jesus Christ!

 

A New Song In My Heart

God has really been moving today!  I asked Him yesterday to put a new song in my heart and heal my heart.  This is the song He gave me.  He will never stop pursuing us friends.  He is showing me that!  No matter what, He will never give up on us and He will always pursue us with an amazing reckless love!  I have been in tears for a good part of the day.  It’s the Holy Spirit moving inside me.  Tears of blessing and joy!  After all these years I still don’t fully grasp the depth of God’s love, but He is always showing me just how wide and long and high and deep His love truly is.  May His will be done in Jesus’ Name!

God bless you all!

“What do you think?  If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?  And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.  In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.”

Jesus in Matthew 18:12-14

“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.  I and the Father are one.”

Jesus in John 10:28-30

“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Romans 10:9

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth drives its name.  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together will all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Ephesians 3:14-19

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!  Amen.”

Ephesians 3:20-21

God Lifts Me Up Again

bible verse cards

Good morning everyone!  It is a new day that the Lord has made, so I am choosing to rejoice and be glad in it!  I hope you are too!  The Lord spoke a very encouraging verse to me last night and He reminded me of it again this morning.  I just took that picture with  my phone.  That is a little table that sits underneath the mantle where our TV is.  I bought those Bible verse cards at the little shop down the street.  They have a nice Christian section and I found those in a corner over by the Bibles.  They had three different types, so I bought all three: Words of Wisdom, Daily Light, and Daily Bread.

Every so often I like to read through some of the cards.  My kids do that too.  It’s a great way to have God’s Word easily accessible.  Last night, I picked up the stack from Daily Light and randomly picked out one card.  This is what it said and I felt like the Lord was speaking directly to me.  We know that every verse has a context, but the Lord also uses His Word to communicate with us and it was no coincidence that I pulled this card out of this particular stack.  Here is how the verse reads on the card:

“The Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end.”

Isaiah 60:20 (Ending of the verse)

I just froze standing there staring at the card.  I read the verse several times and praised God for it.  I am still kind of in shock over it.  The Lord does this for me a lot.  It’s like He just walks right up, taps me on the shoulder, and speaks directly to my heart.  He knows us folks and that is awesome!  I put that verse card in front by the way (see the stack on the left).  I will be reading it a lot!

The verse card didn’t have the first part of the verse on it, so here is the full verse:

“Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end.”

Isaiah 60:20

Thank You Jesus for your comfort and love!  Thank You for the Holy Spirit and how You speak to us through Your Word!  I receive this blessing and encouragement in Your Holy Name Lord, Amen!  May it be done as You said!

God is on the move!  Grace and peace to you all!

Rough Around The Edges

denver panoramic

Hello friends and family.  I hope this evening finds you well.  I wanted to take a moment to explain a few things regarding the post I wrote on 1-6-19 regarding the 7 year anniversary of my Celiac diagnosis.  I have heard from many of you on the comments and privately through my blog contact page.  Thank you all for caring and reaching out!  Many of you have expressed concern for me.  Please know that I would never hurt myself.  I would never do that to my wife, my kids, or my parents.  I know it must be shocking to hear someone speak so openly, but that is how I am.  Those that have been reading my blog for awhile know that I speak the truth boldly and I don’t back down.  They also know that I love Jesus with all my heart.

I want you all to know that I care about each one of you as fellow human beings and I appreciate and value what you have to say regarding my writing.  You are my brothers and sisters and I am encouraged to know you all!  I know I can be rough around the edges sometimes.  Look, I’m from Denver.  I grew up in Littleton just a few miles southwest of the city.  I had tough friends and we went to a tough school.  Some of our friends were gang members.  I had to learn to become a fighter even though I hate fighting.  Then I ended up going to High School 35 miles west of Chicago and I encountered more fighting.  I grew up playing competitive sports and I’ve taken a few shots to the noggin while snowboarding.  Growing up like that toughens you up.

I’m not a pastor.  I’m not out here leading a church or shepherding folks.  I am just a guy who loves Jesus and I preach His Gospel because of what He did in my life.  Call me an evangelist if you like, but I’m just a normal every day guy whose had a very strange supernatural life, so I preach for Jesus.  He is the One who set me and my family free from evil and He saved my soul.  I will always follow Him.  I love you Lord!

If you are new to my blog, please know that I preach the truth here.  Although I appreciate all of the friends I have made through blogging, I don’t write for people to like me.  I write the truth, and sometimes people are not going to like that.  Truth is hard to hear sometimes, but it is always better than lies.  Those who know me know that sometimes I ask hard questions and sometimes I wrestle with God a bit.  Maybe it’s from growing up with friends that punched and wrestled each other for fun, or maybe it’s just a deeply inquisitive mind, but whatever it is I definitely wrestle Him at times.  I approach God with freedom and confidence like He invites us to do.  He already knows my heart.  I’m not ever going to hide it from Him.  I give it to Him raw and open and I allow my readers to witness it.  I won’t ever hide the truth I know I need to speak.  The Holy Spirit inside me wouldn’t allow that anyway!

So, sometimes what you read on my blog might be raw and hard to read.  Most everybody has been supportive when I write like that, but some have been judgmental.  Again, I write the truth on my blog and I will always be true to myself and I’m not going to be changing that.  If you ever find yourself having a hard time with one of my writings and you want to leave my blog, that’s okay.  No hard feelings.  Just know that I love Jesus Christ with all my heart.  He is my Lord and Savior and I submit to Him because He is King of kings and Lord of lords and He is Lord of my life.  I am not ashamed of Jesus and I will be serving Him for the rest of my life and for all eternity.  Amen!

The Lord drafted me into the spiritual war when I was 18 and my faith has been tried and tested many times and every time the Lord has made me victorious.  I am one of His soldiers and He always lifts me up again!  Remember, I’m not ever going to be a phony or be all polished up.  The Lord has used me for things like street ministry on Colfax in downtown Denver and casting out demons.  He has done amazing miracles in my life and I have a lot of phenomenal memories of what God has done since I started following Him in October of 1996.  His grace is sufficient for me and I trust Him!  I have no reason not to trust Him.  He has moved in power in my life time and time again!  I will never forget those angels or what He did for me when I stopped breathing!

That is my verse for the whole year by the way.  2 Corinthians 12:9.  I need to get back right and just refocus on Jesus.  He is the sole reason for this blog and I will continue to preach His message of salvation by grace through faith in Him.  Jesus is Lord!

Grace and peace to you all!  Thanks for sticking with me and thank you for your prayers!

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

2 Corinthians 12:9