Refocusing, in the Spiritual Sense

Refocusing, meaning there was at one time focus, hopefully good focus, however now, there is a need for adjustment.

I wear contact lenses so I do not walk through this world out of focus in my physical sight. When not wearing my contacts, I have a pair of glasses. These are great for at night while reading or watching TV. The problem is; I cannot wear them to drive or work on my computer. Could be the bi-focal effect or just that my eyes are more used to my contacts for these tasks.

Either way, I have tools to use for the physical focusing of my eyes. However, spiritual focus can be a little bit more challenging. Oh, how easy it would be to have a pair of ‘spiritual contact lenses or glasses’!

In reality, something better is available. Now before I go much further, I need to point out that when I speak of the spiritual sense, I am referring to my relationship with Jesus. I clarify this because there are many who seek “spirituality” through other means or processes.

I said relationship with Jesus. He is not my religion. No religion ever chose to take my place to pay a price I could not pay for a debt they did not owe. This relationship is just one of the situations where I personally have needed spiritual refocusing lately. Trust me, there are many!

It is not that my relationship is distant or damaged with Jesus; rather it is more that I have been busy focusing on my own priorities instead of what really matters, hence the need to refocus. I am doing this through means of putting some things out of the way in my life so spiritual focus can resume to a level that really honors the relationship.

One of the things, yes, just one, is how I view others in the grand scheme of eternal life. God has a plan to use people to reach people. It is His primary way of getting the Good News out. My dogs will most likely never get up in the morning and proclaim the Gospel message. It is up to me to go to all nations, meaning all people, and share this message.

For the most part, I get this. Then along comes that one person who reminds me that if I stay stuck in my off focused self, I really do not like to reach out. That one person who just rubs you the wrong way, you know what I mean, right? I know I am not alone here! And these people are in church fellowships all over the world!

Well, I mentioned something better than spiritual glasses is available . It is actually a Who, not a what. In God’s great plan for humanity, He gave us a gift, the gift of His Holy Spirit to guide us and have spiritual eyes focused on what He wants us to focus on.

The best part of His ‘refocusing’ gift is when I really need the help to not become distracted by that certain person or event (or more often myself), the help is there. The refocusing occurs as soon as I surrender, or put  myself aside.

What is true refocusing in the spiritual sense? Denying myself, and moving forward with what God has already planned for me along with trusting in God’s Holy Spirit to keep me on the path He has me on for the greater good of all, not just for me.

Advertisements

Just get out and move!

Just get out and move!

That was my motivation some four and one half years ago when I bought my first adult mountain bike at a Goodwill store for 16 bucks. It was a small frame Specialized brand, obviously built for someone of a much smaller frame than I am, but I was on a budget and made it work.

I still remember the look on my Honey’s face as she was looking through clothes and such when I walked up to her with the bike in tow. She had given me this look many times before. It was one I am familiar with, being the dreamer in the family and all. Plus, being one who has had a higher than average amount of hobbies in our 28 years of marriage, I wasn’t surprised by her reaction.

I had needed to get out, move, and get healthier. I’m not a runner, never have been, so bike riding seemed a great alternative for me to try out. Turns out, I really missed riding a bike. I began riding in the large fields on motorcycle trails between our house and the church building about a mile away. I could ride different routes and get some decent miles in. I even rigged up some lights for heading home in the dark.

After a few months of riding, I downloaded an app to track my progress. I recently received my ‘happy anniversary’ email from them with my lifetime stats. I’ve ridden over 2600 miles and burned over 245 thousand calories since 2012. I’ve not always been faithful and consistent though, with injuries or illness, the occasional vacation, or just life in general getting in the way. Let’s not forget inclement weather too! Riding in the bitter cold or gusty wind is just not fun!

I have switched over to road cycling and now that I live in a more road cycling friendly community with many bike lanes and routes, I am being more determined to get out and put some mileage in. Today is a down day. I’ve put in about 80 miles this week in three rides. That may be a drop in the bucket for some of the extreme cyclists’, but for me, I used to think that a 12-mile ride was a killer. Now I feel like I’m just warming up around 10-12 miles.

On my ride yesterday, I was thinking about why I share my stats on social media. It’s not about, ‘Hey, look what I’m doing and you’re not!’ but rather more for the hope that it motivates others to get out and move. I feel better getting out there. Sure, I hurt and am tired when I get back from a ride – it’s supposed to be that way! The results though are far more beneficial than the temporary discomfort.

Latest Iphone photos 297

 

 

Cycling may not be your choice, I ride by many people who are out there walking around the block, or running/jogging. I saw one older lady out with her walker! Way to go Granny!

Just get out and move, you’ll be glad you did.

Oh, and try it without socks!

 

5 Helpful Hints for a Good Grade – Part 1

Hey everyone! This is my buddy Josh, Big Josh to his friends! Say hi to Big Josh! Thanks!

talesfromthedrainpipe

Greetings & salutations! Big Josh back from the drainpipe once again, with a little bit of advice for college students who struggle with Literary classes. I’ve been asked a thousand times how I managed to ace all of my Lit classes back when I was a college student. I’m seriously not trying to toot my own horn or anything like that. Yes I got straight A’s in college, and 1 B in painting that I don’t like to discuss. Though I didn’t score aces on every essay I turned in, and I turned in every essay, I took the criticism and my professor’s advice from each effort, applied in to my next and became better.  Over time I realized a few things that I was doing that seemed to help not only in my Lit classes, but ever other class as well. Those special few who I tutored know these…

View original post 696 more words

Well, its been awhile, I know, sorry!

Its been near a year since I’ve posted, time has just gotten away from me I guess. Anyhow, no excuses, just a busy year, one of which I will be catching up on for everyone.

Its still been a year without socks for the majority, that’ll never change. But for now, here’s the highlights…

Got back from our epic trip to Alaska which happened to fall in the middle of a church merge for us. Last June we joined up with friends from Faith Community to better serve our small valley. July was the start of that chapter and I have been serving as campus pastor being able to get a better perspective on ministry and just what God is doing in my life.

Along with that change, I started back to school to finish off my full degree. I’m going for my AA in Christian ministry, may go for my BA but not committed to that just yet.

I’ve been spending a lot of time volunteering at the local middle school (where I serve on the board) with the seventh grade class. We had a student complete suicide back in November and I’ve been there for support for the kids. Just got a bunch of thank you letters from them! They have dubbed me Mr Skittles, the room mom! I love these kids!

Besides the usual family stuff…kids, grandkids (number six is due in September!), dogs (we added a female Staffordshire last august), and getting by through life…I have been liscened through Foursquare and will have some new adventures coming very soon…I’ll keep you posted very soon, I promise.

Here’s to life! Life without socks and new adventures!

Remembering Alaska

In actuality, it is hard to forget a place of such grandeur.

Coming into the land of the midnight sun

Anchorage Coming into the land of the midnight sun

This was how we were greeted as we landed in Anchorage, it was ten o’clock  at night. We thought we would have a hard time with it being so light, not when you realize where you are.

There had been a fire burning on the Kenai peninsula for a few days and our cab driver was quick to tell us that the smoke in the air was not normal. He assured us that we would be able to see things and that Alaska is generally clear all the time.

It did clear out for us as we got some rain which also helped the fire situation.

After checking into our hostel we had to go get some provisions at the local super Wall-mart, the only place open that time of day.

We spent the first few days taking in the museums and zoo, riding bikes and meeting people from all over.

One guy that made a great impression due to his enthusiasm for life was Rene from Austria.

IMG_0721That’s him prepping his motorbike for his journey from the northern most point of Alaska to Argentina. We ran across him at a turn out on the road to Seward as he had stopped to take a picture. He was breaking the bike in on some short jaunts before heading north and had spent the night camping in Seward. He had gotten rained on and was chilled but still very happy for his adventure (and to see us again). I gave him my contact information and am looking forward to hearing from him sometime. When he found out I was a pastor he hoped that he would not need my services in that capacity.

Our time in Seward was good. The Sea Life Museum is amazing, a must see. Our kayak adventure couldn’t have been better. Even though we had light rain, the water was pristine and I did get to see a bald eagle in flight. I just didn’t have my camera out as I was paddling.

100_1001100_0998Me and my Honey at Bridal Falls, its a bit fuzzy due to rain on the lens, but this was a beautiful place to just chill for a while.

Our hostel in Seward was a bit…let’s just say…aged. It was a place to lay our heads at night and served its purpose, but if we return to Seward, we will try the other hostel available.

100_1005It’s been two weeks since we returned from Alaska, but the memories of our time there will last for years to come. It is a place I will return to, God willing. I have to experience more of it…and yes, without socks!

Shalom!

Looking down 3rd street to Ressurection Bay, Seward Alaska