The Light of Laughter!

My grandson has the best laugh… like his mother, he can cackle from deep in his belly and light up a room in a heartbeat.

His laugh is contagious and full of genuine joy, it warms the coldest heart and breaks through the chill of any dour day. It’s magical and supernatural and wonderful to hear, and God designed it exactly so. 

Life can be so challenging, so stressful. We live day in and day out with clenched fists and anxious minds, ducking and weaving our way from one crisis point to the next. Laughing is the last thing on our mind, work, finances, strained relationships, health  issues… those are the things that get our attention.

pixabay.com

This Thanksgiving, my grandson (14 months) arrived with all the jovial chatter of a plump  little cherub, cackling and hooting his way around our Tennessee house. He was mesmerized by the lights and sounds, nuzzling our soft furniture and pillows, blankets, toys and trinkets. Stuff we took for granted.

His blue eyes sparkling with excitement, he rumbled from room to room. He was simply thrilled to see and touch, to try and catch our little dog or strut out some new steps on the fireplace sill. He roamed and rolled in hidden places and spaces, experimenting with everything he could. Awash in new tastes and touches, life was thoroughly exuberant, fascinating and full of hooting joy with all that could be discovered. He was a glowing spot of hope and happiness, a wonder to behold.

Sometimes we get so serious we forget to laugh. To enjoy our life. It’s really that simple.

We adults get so grown up we forget to savor the tastes of our wonderful existence. Grandkids can break that fallow space up for us, allowing new light and flavors to renew our heart and refresh the mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank God for our little grandson!

If you don’t have your own grandkids, godson, toddler, or nephew… go borrow one! (with permission of course) Freshen up your day with some toddler living and a cereal box full of tender laughing, the contagious joy you unleash won’t wear off for a long -long time. (I’ve been told, granddaughters are just as good as grandsons 🙂

No one can spread joy and happiness faster or further than a toddler… it’s no wonder God used children to exemplify HIS KINGDOM in the gospels*.

Given the gospel illustrations* that Jesus used with his disciples… there must be something truly special, something amazing and hilariously joyful about redemption. I mean let’s truly stop and think about how much laughter must be going on up there, full joy and hilarity, nonstop  celebration in Heaven that we can’t really comprehend yet. Makes you wonder, shouldn’t we start seriously practicing down here?

Merry Christmas and may you have a very HAPPY New Year!

Pastor Brad.

Scripture Passage: *Mark 10:13-15 (BibleGateway.com)

Roadtripping Revival – A Summer to remember

The stats are EPIC. 

12,400 miles… five weekends, in six national parks…stretched out over 30 states with over a dozen people in tow. Americana on display as we worked our way across 2 lane, country road and interstate highway. Merrily bumping along in a 12 passenger van, 14 bunk Prevo bus, and luxe Ford Expedition from one weekend to another. Performing in the bible-belt, eastern seaboard, across New England and into the upper Midwest…finally ending the wandering in Washington state. Then…  we jumped back in and drove all the way back to Nashville 🙂

EPIC! 

The sights and sounds were thousands of pictures long… and the experiences as diverse as the landscapes we crossed, but all of them were strategic and superb! It’s always amazing to see how much we change when we make the space for personal reflection and deeper relationship, it’s like a part of us is suddenly re-discovered.

When we invite God into that roadtrip mix… it’s sure to exceed all expectations

Over the next few days and weeks, I’m going to share some glimpses (behind the scenes, beautiful, funny- awkward moments) of how this summer changed me and those I traveled with.

If you’re seeking a bit of encouragement or just want to live vicariously through us… your are most welcome to join in the journey and come along. It’s gonna be fun… a roadtrip revival! #ishineontheroad

Summer Tour 2015

Summer Tour 2015

Peace out,

Pastor B.

Our Crazy Black Friday Beachday

Hope everyone had a great Turkey day with their families…I sure did. I must confess a crazy impulse overtook me during my thanksgiving post-tryptophan haze. Our family kid gang is all mostly grown-up now…late High School and College aged… and as you might expect…”broke”.

Black Friday was looming and the girls were exciting chattering about the sales, while anxiously counting their limited cash. I had an epiphany somewhere between the second and third helping of Chocolate creme pie and cranberry salad. The BEACH!

RoadTrip Destination Reached!

My kids hadn’t seen a beach in over a year and the opportunity was right in front of us… Thanksgiving was at my brother’s house this year and he was only 2.5 hours from the Atlantic ocean. I grabbed my super-duper smart phone and checked the weather forecast. Sunshine and 65 F for the coastline…. PERFECT!

I had a seven passenger SUV and a tank full of gas. Black Friday wouldn’t strangle me this year…no long lines at the local Best Buy or Target for this uncle… we’re going for sea-foam and sunshine and some heavy iPod playlists to keep the party rolling.

Ft. Fisher, NC beach

Six am hits and we’re on the road, sucking down java and cranking out the “Black Keys”. All six of us crammed into a vehicle at 70 mph and empty roads to the southeast….Drowsy but stoked to be rocking along on our spontaneous roadtrip to Wilmington NC and the beaches nearby.

I have to confess… we had a blast.

The sun showed up right on time and we walked the pier, jumped the surfline and cruised the empty beaches for the better part of four hours. Blue sky’s above and thundering Atlantic surf below… we had found something better than a killer deal on a new watch or sweater, we were running, jumping, seashell collecting fools.

After rushing our way to the beach we slowed our pace and truly enjoyed the day. Munching on Gyro’s and fries at the college diner we refilled our tanks and then discovered the southern charm of the port city of Wilmington was exactly what we needed. Kilwens  in the heart of the downtown district was SUPERB!!! The sweet treat’s and homemade ice-creams proved to be worth the wait and walking the historic cities cobblestone river front streets was educational and amazing to see as we soaked up the sights and sounds of an active harbor full of history and beauty and sunshine fun.

Walking the Black Friday beach

Late November sun does start to fade early and so did we. Climbing back into our vehicle we hoofed it back to Raleigh to catch up with the “old-folks” back home. Exhausted, but satisfied with our adventure.  We had ducked the “normal” for something extra-ordinary today and everyone agreed, it was worth the drive!

RoadTrips are amazing. They break the monotony of life completely to little-bits and open us up to brand new ideas, experiences and dreams…. stuff gets downloaded directly into our hearts and heads.

This Thanksgiving was extra special, I got to hang with my twin nieces and my own almost grown up- kids. We didn’t have much extra cash this year, but we did have a brief moment of precious family time to share and we made the most of it!

Love you guys ! Peace out,

Uncle Brad.