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He Loves Us

A few years back I was sitting in church, the pastor had just delivered “the pitch”. He was asking the congregation if they had prayed the prayer giving your life to Jesus Christ to raise your had. He wanted to pray for those whom had just given their lives to the Lord. I being my sinful selfish self sat grumbling, again. The pastor was on a every Sunday run of giving “the pitch”. Sure, I knew it was more than that, but every Sunday? Come on!

I decided I was going to sneak a peek and have a look to see if anybody really had their hand up. When I looked around there were indeed a few with their hands raised. I then looked up towards the stage and all the worship leaders were there, one had her eyes open too, looking out towards the new believers with their hands raised. She had sincerity in her face and tears coming from her eyes. I was immediately humbled as I became aware how these few lives had changed forever in just a moment. I was more understanding why the pastor offered to lead people in the prayer every weekend and the importance of the opportunity.

Today as I sat in church this morning we had people of all ages being baptized. Tears of a special kind of joy filled my eyes  as they came up out of the water. The public proclamation of not only placing their trust in Jesus Christ but choosing to follow Him and live in His ways for ever. Today the pastor spoke about how baptism was not something that you just do but that is by the leading of the Holy Spirit that we choose to be baptized. It is heart racing, adrenaline pumping, I am laying down my old ways and becoming a new creation in Jesus Christ. I am choosing to follow Jesus despite the cost or circumstance.

Albeit  some follow Him better than others and that is okay. God does not look at and rate our short comings and sins. None of us are perfect or will ever be perfect. He loves us anyway, forever, just-the-way-we-are. He never leaves us, He is always there, no-matter-what. He is our father, we can run away, He still loves us. We can do the unthinkable wrong, He still loves us. We can and do scoff at His word, He still patiently waits and loves us. He is always ready and openly forgives when we say we are sorry for what we have done. No matter how we shake, scream, cry, cheat, and do wrong against Him, He is still there. He knows who we are, every intimate detail. He will NEVER LEAVE!

Where ever I go He is with me.

 

Faith

There are times in life when we as people come to a crossroad, and sometimes it might be a fork in the road, a time in life when we have to make a decision. Some decisions are simple and easy:  vacation or stay-cation, fix a vehicle or buy a new one, and then there are the ones that are, well, a bit more complicated. I recently came to a crossroad. I had a choice to make. I could continue down the road I was on, that was safe and secure as far as I knew, or make a deviation from the direction we were going. Then, there is the most important  thing we as believers are called to do. You see, there is a God who’s intelligence is far more superior to ours, or anybody’s who has ever existed, and the best part is we can consult Him at any point in time, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  I sought after God’s will in my life and for my family. I felt His leading for us to move to Colorado Springs.

We came to Colorado Springs on a vacation in April of 2014. We had a good time visiting Focus on the Family, swimming in hotel pools (We recommend Comfort Suites on Kelly Johnson Blvd. for the pool slide.), and traveling to surrounding places. Oh, and the adventure of the Cog Railway from Manitou Springs to Pikes Peak. During the majority of this vacation, I was severely ill, almost to the point of an ER visit. I believe, after a visit to the G.I. doctor, I may have had a intestinal fungal infection otherwise known as severe bloating. I know, too much information. Anyway, both my wife and I come to the conclusion that this was not the place for us. Too fast, too busy, and too big. We made our way home to continue on our existing, secure, and safe path.

The nudge was too great and continued to steadily and gently push us in this direction, but was I sure that this was really was the leading of the Holy Spirit? I had to seek the wisdom of whom I believed were Godly men. A few men at church took the time to speak with me, to listen to my thoughts and concerns. One, in particular, asked all the tough questions about debt and finances. He asked if we were in continual prayer. How e-x-a-c-t-l-y does the Mrs. feel about all of this? We weighed the options of following God’s leading or staying put. Invest the talents or bury them in the ground for safe keeping? (We know what that outcome was. Matthew 25:14-30.)

Proverbs 3 : 5 & 6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. 

I had looked through the Bible trying to find another in a likewise situation. It seemed that everybody had a reason why they were called to do something. Here I am today still trying to figure out why, trying to read the last chapter of this story, I am impatiently waiting.

My employer had requested a month notice, I gave him two and a half. Kind-of buying time in the event I was wrong and at the same time going the extra mile for my employer. God’s leading was still there, never changing. In June we put our home up for sale. August we came to Colorado Springs and with a list I made began to drive by houses looking for one suitable for our family. There ended up only being one we could look at in the few days I allotted for us to search.  It was more then we wanted to spend, It was better then we could ask for, it has a awesome park across the street for our kids and beautiful view of mountains. Close to trails both paved and unpaved and a large backyard. We felt good about it in so many ways. We prayed and signed a lease.

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The undertaking to pack up the house was far more then we could have ever expected. Over 12 people of all different backgrounds, most of whom I did not know, helped load the moving truck (I had the thought that it was like they were trying to get rid of us). The blessing of the help brought a humbling sense of gratitude for the men who risked injury to get us on our way. We arrived at our new location on the fifth of September. On the afternoon of the sixth I found my self at a place where I could not physically lift another box or piece of furniture. When we get to the breaking point God is there just as He always has been.God’s blessing yet again. A man whom I have never met was sent by an old friend and together we moved in the heavy furniture. Then my friend and his family, children and parents and his parents helped with the last stretch of the unloading. God’s blessing once again. The next morning I thought I would be to sore to move, however  I awoke feeling fine and ready for more.

We had to make a second trip back to clean house (with volunteer help, thank you!) and pack up the remaining items. Say tearful goodbye to neighbors and be on the road for the fifteenth time in a month (we went to Santa Barbara to see family too).

Here we are many job applications later, in search of a church, wondering what God has planned, what He is up to. Worried about what my in-laws are saying, worried about income and insurance, worried about the baby yet to come and how to pay for the medical care we will need when that time does come.

I still have faith, faith that God has a perfect plan, faith to not lean on my own understanding. The added time I get to spend with  my wife and daughters. The hike on the mountain yesterday afternoon. The blessings out weigh the worry, and with that is my closing thought.

We can go on our own way, a way that we may think is safe and secure, or it may not be. We can follow him in faith and trust, we can do His will, and not only will His blessing be upon us in His time, it will spill over to those around us. God makes all things beautiful in his time. And in His way.

In the end we will get to read the last chapter and see what God has done. We will be awe and wonder at how great He is.

Man Up: A Brief Instruction Manual

Well Said!!!

The Accidental Missionary

Not long ago, my wife escaped the confines of our house to enjoy what is known as a “girl’s weekend.”  If you have not heard of such a thing, I am not surprised.  Finding a “girl’s weekend” in its natural habitat is as rare as bumping into a cucumber sandwich at a monster truck rally.

While Gabby enjoyed what I imagined to be endless Sex and the City reruns interrupted by the occasional pillow fight, I was left at home to care for the kids.  The prospect was both exciting and scary.  I love having one-on-one time to shape their character in ways only a dad can, but knowing I would have to keep track of homework and execute a legitimate pony tail gave me indigestion.

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As soon as we woke up the next morning, Jake and Audrey excitedly asked,

“What are we doing today, Daddy?”

“Well, I need to…

View original post 1,192 more words

Edward Krueger

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My Grandpa Ed I knew a little better. My dad would load up all five kids in the station wagon, fill the Coleman cooler with food, hitch up the Coleman tent trailer, and head for the mountains. We lived in Phoenix, so the cool mountains of Colorado were a welcome retreat from the valley of the sun. My grandfather lived in Monte Vista, Colorado at the time, and I remember as a kid the trips we would take up there. Most often there were other relatives there too, and cousins. I remember when we were running around the house and my two cute blonde cousins met me at the corner in a head on collision. If I remember right, that incident knocked out my front tooth.

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I always remember good times up there. I remember my brother getting driving lessons and running down some mailboxes. It was a accident.

Remember in the last post about rivers and how they change their course and life changes? About the time we moved to Santa Barbara, without knowing my grandfather’s intentions, he moved to Sun City, Arizona. This was discouraging to my dad; if he had known, I think we would have stayed in Phoenix. We still made trips to see my grandfather from time to time.

Years went by, many years without a visit to see him. It took a trip out to see a girl who would later become my wife for me to stop by and see him. He still had and really always had his welcoming, friendly smile. We caught up on life, looked at pictures, talked about Christ and how great He is. After all the time that had passed, he made me feel welcome all over again. When I left, a lump arose in my throat, and by the time I made it to the interstate, tears were running out the doors of my pickup truck. I was mad, mad at all the lost years of not knowing and having a relationship with extended family because my mom was uncomfortable with them. Nobody could hold a grudge like my mom. There I was, a grown man, a construction worker, driving down the highway, sobbing and crying over a relationship I did not have. Little did I know, I was soon going to be living in the area.  God had written my story, and when I listen to His leading, life is lived at it’s best. I moved back to Phoenix to start a courtship with my wife. Getting to play cards with Grandpa was a byproduct, no, maybe a reward for following God’s will for my life.

I did’t just get to know my grandpa, I got to establish relationships with my aunts, Bonnie and Peggy, whom I adore, Uncle Mike, Billy, and John. We laughed and had fun just playing cards.

My grandfather has passed, but he left a great legacy of sons, daughters, and lots of grandchildren.

Krueger's in Monte Vista

 

 

IT’S TIME TO STEP UP.

  IT’S TIME TO STEP UP. 

A CALL TO COURAGOUS MANHOOD.

Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Wamego will be hosting a Stepping Up Super Saturday Video Event on February 1st. This One-Day Video Event uses DVD-based messages combined with small group interaction and personal reflection to bring home the truths about biblical manhood.  Dive deep into the encouragement of Dennis Rainey, Robert Lewis, Mark Driscoll, and others as they lend expertise to strengthen the courage of men in all phases of life.  This is an incredible chance to inspire yourself and your brothers to step up to be a courageous man of God. Topics Include: Defining manhood, Living Courageously, Building a Life of Faith, and Stepping Up to be a great leader. It will be on Saturday, February 1, and start at 8:00 am and end about 3 pm. The cost is $20 per person this will include materials and lunch. You can find out more about the event and register at mensteppingup.com.  We ask for you to pre-register so we can prepare accordingly. For questions please email Brad Jones at at jonesconstructionllc@hotmail.com

It’s not too late to leave a great legacy…

 MenSteppingUp_speakers

Pornography corrupts what God intended intimacy to be.

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I’ve seen it. I have experienced the corruption, too.  I allowed it to corrupt my marriage. Most of us men are so inept of physical intimacy, and the reason is we think we know all there is to know about it.  We think we have it all figured out.  A lot of what we know about sex we have derived from porn.  Most all of the sex talks from public school have been an utter failure in explaining the design of intimacy between a husband and wife.  We don’t know what to say or how to explain it to our children.  Honestly, how can words describe it when most of us don’t live it out in the way God intended it to be?

A few weeks before I was married, my best man handed me a book and said, “You have to read this before you get married.”  (The books were Intended for Pleasure by Ed and Gaye Wheat for me and Intimate Issues by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus for my wife.)  I thought I knew all that there was to know about intimacy, sex, and all the “stuff.”  After reading the book I was, well, kind of enlightened.  I had come to realize that I really did not know very much or anything at all.  It is sad to think about now.  Where did I get my education anyway?  Where did the people in my life, the teachers, my friends, even my own dad learn what they know?  Pornography is a sorry example of sex or lovemaking or whatever you want to call it.  I remember some of the things that I had seen, and I thought, “She does not look like she is enjoying that!”  And all the language, the “dirty” talk, what is that all about? So much of it is faked.  So much of the feeling, the pleasure that is acted out, is just ridiculous. So why do we (both men and women) keep returning to it?

When my heart and the heart of my wife is not into the physical part of our lovemaking, then it becomes just sex.  It looses the emotional depth that makes intimacy so great.  🙂 When our hearts and emotions and our minds are focused on the feelings and enjoyment of our spouse. it becomes the intimate act that God intended it to be.  I become so enthralled with her that I am beyond amazement.  My wife knows that I am there, all of me.

From porn, from past relationships, to the gal I had seen earlier that day, those thoughts rob us of the full enjoyment of sexually  coming together. Thoughts come in and “interrupt.”  Women have the same problems of being “interrupted” but for most women the thoughts are of a different nature. They are of life. They are about responsibilities of what needs to be done or thoughts of what somebody had said to them.  Why can we not focus on where we are?  Why are we so “interrupted?”  What can we do to enjoy being naked with our spouse?

By living a HOLY life.

I am a sinner; I always will be.  Yes, I have been forgiven, saved by grace.  But the consequences of my sins are going to haunt me as long as I let them.  To the extent and frequency that I choose to sin, in any way, there are going to be the consequences, the “interruptions” that take away from the ultimate pleasure of His design.  It saddens me to think about.

And then there are the lies, the lies from the world, the lies from our friends, from even our own spouse. Satan has been known to even  throw some lies into the pool, too.  We, as a whole, have allowed everyone into the most intimate emotional depths of our being.  We have allowed words, deeds, and thoughts to destroy, a little bit at a time, what was designed to be amazing.  We let the world, pornography, and our sins tell us what is right and what is wrong.  We should listen to the One who created everything perfectly.  He made us.  We messed it up.  If we think about just how messed up we are, we begin to understand why our spouse may not like us all that much right now.  Why she does not want to be intimate with me.  We cannot fix it, but we can make it better.

Be humble, say, “I am sorry,” be sincere.  Try to be as good, great, and holy as you can.  Most of us have heard someone say, “I don’t deserve you.”  That statement has more truth in it then we realize.  (I sure know that my wife deserves better.)  God wanted us to have the best.  THE ABSOLUTE BEST!  When we sin, we instead give a marred and broken version of what God intended to be the perfect.

God has ordained intimacy in marriage for us to enjoy each other and give each other pleasure in so, so many ways. To enjoy each others bodies.  Don’t let that gift be corrupted, marred, and broken.  Understand the gift the God intended it to be.  Please, do not let the outside world ruin it as I did.

Guys, God intended your wife to have a perfect gift; you are a marred version of that gift. Are you man enough to say that you are sorry?  And better yet, every day try to be whom God intended you to be? Here is a great place to get the resources to learn and grow into the man God intended you to be.  It has helped me in a massive way.  http://www.familylife.com/

http://mensteppingup.com/ 

 http://mensteppingupblog.com/ 

Ladies, God also intended you to be a perfect gift.  Your body is, in my opinion, God’s most amazing creation–all of it, including your mind, as a whole.  You can serve both God and your husband and be that amazing creation as a whole that God intended you to be.  Yes, we as men are jerks (God calls us sinners.), and no, we don’t deserve what you have to give.  God calls us to be people who bring glory to Him, and He wants you to enjoy love and physical intimacy the way He designed it.  Will you look past your husband and see what God has intended for good?  Or are you going to let the enemy have the gift that God has given you? You have the power to decide.

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Yes, He is that good!
I am interested to know your thoughts and story. If you would like to share, please comment below.

I love my wife…. well, sort of. Part 1

Husbands love your wives just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her. Eph. 5:25

Part 1

Years ago, I went to meet a church pastor for some marriage counseling. Within seconds of sitting down the tears begin to flow because I hated the fact that I was about to complain about my marriage, really about my wife. I did not want to do this, and I was ashamed, heartbroken, and lost. I simply did not know what to do to move forward from where we were at. Here is the saddest part; the counsel I received was, basically, in a sentence, that a husband is not called to be a martyr for his wife. That man bolstered me up momentarily. I wiped the tears away and left his office prepared to stand my ground for what I believed. As I started my truck, God spoke and gave me His counsel: “Chad, being a martyr for your wife is exactly who I want you to be.”  This was the totally the opposite direction I was just headed in, and as I accepted His counsel, I was FILLED with His peace in all things.

Romans 3 talks about how none of us are perfect and we all fall short.  Yes, all of us.  It is so easy to focus in on how others make our lives uncomfortable, and when it happens close to (or at) home, it can be the most painful. My tongue and the way I talk to my wife is the way that I hurt her the most. It is truly sharper than any two-edged sword. My words that I speak to my wife can be a beautiful carving of delight or can cut her down to fear of her husband. When I feel disrespected, I feel uncared for and begin to stuff and stuff and stuff until defiled words surface like a big nasty pimple on the tip of my nose. I begin to cut, slash, and destroy my wife with my tone and my words. Then, like most men I withdraw, seek out that wonderful cave to hide in and be selfish, essentially feeding the flesh because after all I deserve it! What a loser. This is not how God intended us to live. We are all sinners, each and every one. You and I both will never be as good as Jesus Christ, but moment by moment and day by day, we can continually inch closer.  And the more we try, it becomes easier to do.

Here is what I do. When I feel myself approaching the point of harshness; I have a choice, to step back a take a breath and ask for God’s help to give me a soft heart and wise words before I engage with my spouse. Or I can let my sinful, selfish, know-it-all nature have its way with my wife and my marriage, in a way fulfilling the goal of the enemy to destroy what God has put together. I have done it both ways and harshness has never worked. Ever!

A soft answer turns away wrath,

But a harsh word stirs up anger.

The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly,

But the mouth of the fool pours forth foolishness.

The eyes of the Lord are in every place,

Keeping watch on the evil and the good.

A wholesome tongue is the tree of life,

But perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

Proverbs 15:1-4

My wife is really an outstanding, remarkable woman. Those who know her will readily agree. She is a daughter of the King of kings. It is my duty as her husband to live with her in an understanding way (1 Peter 3:7). She is a sinner, as am I, and we both hate that we fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and that we do things in our lives that hurt and damage what God had intended to be great. Our marriage.

The fix?  Humility.  I am not perfect; my wife is not perfect. I have to choose to seek God in all things and ask Him to direct my words and my steps to love my wife and nurture my family, ultimately bringing glory to the King and His kingdom.

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A recent picture of my family

(Read Part 2 here.)

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