Living Water

I had a great conversation with Kasen, my 4yr old boy this past week. We went camping in Cuchara, Colorado and  were hiking by a spring on our way back from “Blue Lake.” We took a little break from our hike and I convinced him to get a drink of water right out of the spring.

Kasen: Why can we drink it?

Me: ‘Cause it’s good water. It’s clean. In the Bible, they call it “living water.”

Kasen: Living water?

Me: Yeah, ’cause it moves. . . like it’s alive. It’s not dead like the water in the lake.

Kasen: Why is the water in the lake dead?

Me: ‘Cause it doesn’t move. It’s not good to drink ’cause stuff grows in it.

Kasen: Stuff grows in it?

Me: Yes. In the Bible, the best water to drink came from springs like this one. It’s good for you to drink. It’s healthy and makes you feel better.

Kasen: And it tastes good.

Me: Yeah – and it’s cold too. I like it.

Me: In the Bible, Jesus says He has the “living water.” He is good for us and makes us feel better too. 

Kasen: Jesus is the “living water.”

Me: Yeah, He nourishes us and quenches our thirst. Jesus is the best thing for us. Even better than this water.

Kasen: Daddy, Can I get some more water?

Me: Of course. I’m gonna get some with you.


Check out these verses:

John 4:13-14 – “13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 7:37-38 –  “37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

 

 

 

The Wind

After church today, we came home and went outside in the back yard. Here’s the conversation I had with Kasen. (3yrs)

Kasen: Daddy, where does the wind come from?

Me: I don’t know Kasen. We can’t see it, but we can feel it.

Kasen: We can’t see Jesus, but we can feel him too.

Wow!! We’ve had a similar conversation before, but I didn’t think he’d remember it all so clearly. I told Miranda about it and she said she had talked to him about it as well. It makes me so excited to see him understand so much about God at such an early age.

The sermon today was from John 3, where Jesus is talking to Nicodemus about the work of the Holy Spirit and relating it to the wind. Seems like the wind is what God is wanting us all to remember today. I love it when His voice is so clear!!

The Hardest Question

Guest Post from Miranda:

It all started with Kasen asking me, “Who is your brother mommy?”

Mommy: Well Kasen, you know my brother – it’s Uncle Jared.

Kasen: Well who’s your mommy?

Mommy: Gigi.

Kasen: Who’s your daddy?

Mommy: Papa

Kasen: Who’s daddy’s mommy?

Mommy: Grandma.

And then I saw the lightbulb and Kasen said, “Mommy, where’s daddy’s daddy?”

It wasn’t “who?” that time, which was weird. This time he asked “where?” My breath was taken away and I was thinking, “How in the world do I answer this question.” I wasn’t prepared to answer this question. So I said, “Well Kasen, daddy’s daddy was sick and he’s not living anymore.”

Kasen: But mommy, where is he?

Mommy: He’s in heaven with Jesus.

Kasen: Jesus is not in heaven.

Mommy: Well where is he Kasen?

Kasen: He’s with God.

Mommy: Well where are they?

He looked up, and said, “Up in the sky. Up in the air somewhere.”

I thought to myself, “Thank heaven we’re off of that question.” but also thanked God for the opportunity to have that conversation. I also thought, “I wish I could have met him so I would have known what to say to Kasen.”

Mommy: Jesus is also here with us, and he’s in heaven with daddy’s daddy.

Kasen: And at Gigi and Papa’s house?

Mommy: Yes.


Message from Steve: I’m so grateful to have a bride like Miranda. She’s such a great mom! Although I wish I had been there for the moment that she shared with Kasen, I think she responded perfectly. She didn’t fumble all over herself trying to come up with an answer. She was able to tell him the truth in a way that he could understand and then got a bonus opportunity to talk a little about Jesus/heaven/etc. When Miranda told me this story, it brought tears to my eyes. I hate that my children will never know my dad, but the fact they know me, means they know much of who my dad was as well. I see him in the mirror more and more as I grow older.

Why the Grass Makin’ Noise?

Kasen & Daddy slept in the Tent

Our family took a quick trip to McKinney Falls with some friends this past weekend and Kasen (my 2 and a half year old) and I slept in a tent one night. We had a great conversation as we settled down for the night. Here’s how it went:

Daddy: Kasen, you know who loves you??
Kasen: Yeah.
Daddy: Who?
Kasen: Daddy does.
Daddy: You know who else loves you?
Kasen: Mommy.
Daddy: You know who else?
Kasen: Kasen.
Daddy: You love yourself??
Kasen: Yeah. (laughing)
Daddy: and Kesleigh loves you too.

We continued through the rest of the family – grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.

Daddy: And do you know who loves you more than anybody else? Jesus.
Kasen: Why he love me?
Daddy: Cause you’re his little boy just like you’re daddy’s little boy.
Kasen: Where is Jesus?
Daddy: He’s right here.
Kasen: No he’s not. (laughing)
Daddy: Yeah, he’s right here. You just can’t see him.
Kasen: He in tent?
Daddy: Yeah.
Kasen: Why He in tent?
Daddy: Cause He loves you and wants to be with you. He likes being with you.
Kasen: I’m sittin’ on Jesus.
Daddy: You’re sittin’ on Jesus?
Kasen: Yeah (giggling)

pause…

Kasen: Why the grass makin’ noise?
Daddy: Those are crickets. They’re makin’ noise ’cause they’re happy.
Kasen: Why they makin’ noise?
Daddy: ‘Cause God took care of them today. They’re trying to tell Jesus how much they love Him.
Kasen: I make noise for Jesus too.
Then he let out a big scream. Aaahhh!!
We laughed together.

I’m so glad that I’m able to have these kinds of conversations with my son. I look forward to the future as he is able to grow in his understanding of God and our conversations grow deeper. I pray that he remains inquisitive. I pray that he also keeps “sittin’ on Jesus” and “makin’ noise for Jesus.”

Tents & a 1½-Yr-Old

100_5471

OK – he’s only 16 months, but close enough. Kasen loves tents! When we go to the Bass Pro Shop, one of his favorite things to do is to run in and out of all the display tents.

Our small group went camping at Brazos Bend this week for Spring Break so Kasen and I made a quick day trip up to spend a night with them. He loved it! His first tent camping experience was a huge success. He went on a bike ride, played with his friends, helped find a geocache, fell asleep by the campfire, and slept til about 3am. He woke up and looked around a bit then snuggled back down into his sleeping bag for the rest of the night. He was still up like an alarm clock at 7am, but it was a good night.

100_54731Side note: We did have a little scare. Kesleigh had a skin infection and we were told we might need to take her to the hospital. The good news is that the antibiotics are working. Pray for her to have continued improving health.

I’m also grateful that we were also surrounded by great, caring friends (our small group) who prayed for her and engaged in some incredible conversations around the campfire. There’s just something about a campfire that brings those things out.

Lessons from a Juggler

RootI have a friend, Jonathan Root, who is a professional juggler/comedian. His team has 5 International Championship Titles and 3 World Records. You can check him out at www.rootberry.net. Recently, we’ve been having a conversation on facebook about leadership and juggling. I just thought I’d share some of our conversations with you guys here. Although most of the ideas expressed here are his, I’ve marked specific things he said in blue. The rest is just my ramblings about it all.

I started out asking him the basic question, “How is juggling like leadership?”  Here’s his answer:

9:16am Feb 26th
Juggling is not like leadership. Juggling is a means to entertain people. I use juggling to draw and keep peoples attention. Then I use the juggling and comedy to relate to them. A pastor, a speaker and entertainer (in this case a juggler) are all trying to effectively communicate with their audience. If you cannot communicate with your audience then your message will be ineffective. And the message we bring is the message of salvation so we cannot (afford to) be ineffective in communicating our message. This has probably led you to more questions so feel free to ask.
Root

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As our discussion got deeper, it became clear that he is passionate about communicating the gospel effectively – much like a pastor or Christian leader.

Here are some of the main lessons I learned in our conversations.
1. Juggling and leadership are all about practice. “Focused practice
make an excellent juggler. Trying the same tricks over and over till
you hit them every time is an art.”
In leadership, I’d have to say that the same is true. The more you lead, the better you become. The difficult thing is that a true leader is seeking to do something like it’s never been done before, while a juggler is trying to be consistent about doing the same thing over and over.  Still, even in a new situation, all of our past experiences or practice helps to guide our decisions as we lead. Practice is all about developing skills.

2. Like leadership, in juggling it is critical to not watch the ball hit your hands, but to watch a ball until it
starts to fall then you know where to put your hand.
In leadership, this is similar to the way that a true leader watches culture and the movement of God so that he can lead others to place themselves in the right place to serve Him. Watching the ball until it starts to drop is all about vision.

3. Professional juggling requires attention to details like directions to venues, time management for making flights, and constant improvement/development of your show. Otherwise, you’ll eventually burn enough bridges that you won’t be able to book anything. I wonder how many churches have found themselves in this place? It seems that our culture feels pretty “burned” by the church and I’m not sure it’s completely fair to them, but it’s still true none-the-less. It’s important for the Christian leader to seek constant improvement/development of the people (the church) too. Leaders must be managers too.

4. There is something called a “squeeze” in juggling where two balls end up landing in the same hand at the same time. These are not done very often because they are so difficult, but according to Jonathan, “you have to want to do them.” There are a lot of things in the church that we like to avoid. When a true leader’s vision requires a “squeeze,” he goes for it. No matter what the difficulty, like Moses, he finds the courage to follow God through the Red Sea’s parted walls of water. God saves us through the “squeezes” not from them.

5. Juggling is an art. The best leaders in juggling are the guys who are good at putting it all together – Routining the juggling, mixing in
comedy and having it all relate to the audience so they laugh and clap.
In those moments the audience experiences more than just juggling. There is a sort of “art” to leadership too – when everything comes together under the right leader there is something that can’t really be defined – something that transcends the task at hand – something that goes beyond the vision. True leadership “feels” God’s timing and transcends our humanity.

By the way, here’s a clip of Jonathan and his friend Bill from their shows.


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