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Father’s Day Musings

Father's Day Musings

My wife, sister and I spent hours yesterday trying to figure out what we were going to do today for the fathers in our families.  We were trying way too hard to find something that would appease all different sides of the family. After a way too busy weekend we really wanted to do something, but had little energy to put something together.  We ended up just taking our dad’s (and my sister’s husband) on a hike through the Torrey Pines State Park.  We spent just under 3 hours walking around and enjoying the beautiful day (today as actually the longest day in the year).  My nieces (almost 2 and 4) were a blast, but the four year old got mighty heavy on my shoulders at around mile 2.5. We got back to the parking lot and went or separate ways, driving home to an epic sunset. It really was a great afternoon and showed me how ridiculous we can be trying to put together a party or ‘event’ when in reality all we should be doing is spending time with those that are important to us.  Sometimes, it is the none planned moments with those that we love that end up being the most memorable. My wife always jokes that I’m not very good at the whole “quality time thing,” and though I sometims brush it off, the truth is I need to intentionally seek it more often.

I love my dad and have feel extremely blessed to have a man like him as a role model, mentor and person to laugh at/with.  My dad and I are very different, but I have learned much from him and am honored to be his son. So thanks dad!

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Graduation Reflections

Graduation Reflections

It was a surreal moment.  After 6 years of studying, writing papers, sitting in class, a horrible commute from San Diego to Irvine and Pasadena–6 years of doing ministry at two different churches, coaching high school sports teams and leading mission trips to all different parts of the globe with the threat of school projects sitting in the back of my head and finally…it was finished.

I debated not walking in the graduation ceremony last Saturday, but only for a moment. Each of my graduations have meant something to someone, but not necessarily me. When I was promoted from 5th to 6th grade I almost didn’t participate because of a strike I led against my p.e. teacher, my mom was angry and I was a bit hurt (I was gonna miss out on pizza!) but the ceremony was defiantly designed for and important to parents. In middle school I spoke at the graduation ceremony, how the tides had turned in 3 years! But I still didn’t feel like the ceremony meant much to me (but I did wear contacts for the first time at it, and was convinced I wouldnt be a nerd and girls would like me because of it).  In high school I felt accomplished, but more so felt that I had met the common milestone that most American young adults achieve. College graduation was awesome. I took pride in finishing college in 3 1/2 years–but with the unknown looming, the uncertainty of my future made me want to crawl back into the tiny chairs of my kindergarten classroom. I’m not sure whether it was the fact that I was finally pushed in a way that challenged me to the very core of who I am or the simple relief of completing a degree that many don’t, but this graduation felt right. This graduation didn’t feel like a step into the unknown (even though I don’t know where I am going with the degree yet), an ending or a beginning.  Yes my seminary classes have finished and in some ways “formal” ministry for me may be beginning.  But the truth is, being called to ministry is not something that can or should be directed, dictated or defined by a master’s degree’s or denominational ordination.  My call to ministry did not start when my first class did, nor when I took my first youth director job at a church, but when I was knitted together in the womb of my mother by the Creator of the universe.

As annoyed as I got with one of my professors years ago for her continual bland regurgitation of the saying “all ministry is God’s ministry,” the truth is that I am not about to jump into “my” ministry, but my Savior’s.  It is for this reason that I walked across the stage with a smile proud, not of an accomplishment I have achieved, but of who I have been called to serve.