Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Pastors Greg and Starlene Martin are valued friends of ours and started a church about 8 years ago. Pastor Greg asked me to speak at their Men's Retreat. We spent one night together then headed out the next afternoon to do some white water rafting. In our raft of 8 men plus the guide, I only knew one person... Pastor Greg.
One thing that made our trip safe and fun was the fact that in a short period of time, we had to become a team of men focusing on one task: to conquer the rapids that were waiting to throw us into the rushing waters. It didn't matter what our jobs were, how much money we made, or what sort of car we drove, we knew that if we didn't become a team, get in sync with each other as we tackled those rapids, we were at risk of falling in. Together we were either going to ride the waves or be swallowed by them.
One of the techniques we used to make sure we were were digging deep in the water at the same time, is that we called out every stroke by yelling "DIG... DIG... DIG!" We took our rest between rapids together, and raise our paddles after each rapid to high five and celebrate another exhilarating victory TOGETHER.
In life, we weren't meant to DIG alone, but to share life, and do it together. Being connected in life, wanting the best, meeting the challenges together to bring encouragement and strength to life's battles. Doing life alone is exhausting and we can't expect to be victorious as a one man team. I didn't know the guys in my boat that well, but we committed to DIG together. We found ourselves telling stories, laughed together, watching out for each other when a big wave knocked some of the guys off balance. And after the 4 hour journey, I knew those guys better and we had more in common than we realized.
Are you paddling alone? Are you looking out for your own interests only? Who's around you that may need a friend or encouragement? Don't just wait for someone to ask you into their boat, ask them to get into yours. Be approachable, be diverse, always seek out new friendships. You'll find yourself being exposed to new adventures and being able to assist others in their life. Don't let negative past experiences keep you from new opportunities and new relationships. You were never meant to experience life alone... reach out and invest in yourself by adding value to others!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Rolling Down The River

One thing that took some time getting use to was trusting the raft. I'm not afraid of water, but my goal was to stay in the boat for the entire journey. I anticipated getting wet, which was welcomed since the temperature was in the low 80's. So our guide instructed us to secure ourselves by using our feet as we aproached the rapids.

Find Your Footing – every person in that raft was sitting on the outer perimeter, not in the middle. This allowed you to stretch way over the water and dig deep into the water to get the power you needed to pull through the waves. It was sort of scary at first, but the key to being aggressive on the intense rapids was to wedge your feet in the corner seams of the raft.

In life, finding your footing is to be anchored in the truth, God’s Word. The waves of life want to bring fear, anxiety and ultimately destruction, but we must be firmly established in God’s truth and stretch....reach out and dig through those waves!

Psalm 94:18-19 If I say, "My foot slips," Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up. In the multitude of my anxieties withing me, Your comforts delight my soul.

* When the waves of financial despair rise up, my footing is firmly established in the truth the God has declared Himself as my provider.

* When the doctors diagnose me with sickness, my feet are wedged in the finished work of Christ that has already healed my disease.

* When temptation seems to be all around me, I call upon Jesus and His Spirit anchors me in the truth of God's Word and will for my life.

* In the midst of uncertainty and fear, His Word becomes a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Renewing my mind isn't just memorizing what the Bible says. My mind is renewed as I secure my footing on His promises in the midst of the crashing waves, but boldly stretching myself over the situation knowing that I'm firmly established in Him.

Prayer: Father thank you for Your Spirit that enables me to be firmly established in truth. You did not give me a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind. I will engage my faith in the midst of the waves that crash against me, knowing that Your mercy has anchored me. Your truth gives me leverage and sets my heart free!

Monday, June 8, 2009

White Water Rafting

Last weekend I went white-water rafting, something that I'd never done before. IT WAS AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE! A group of 14 men went down the Wenatchee River in two rafts, along with three other rafts. Water was high, rapids aggressive and adrenaline pumping as we hit some solid class three waves and some class fours. Of the five rafts, two completely flipped over, the one I was in didn't.

There were times when you could sit back and casually float down the river, soaking in the beauty of nature. Next thing you know, your fighting the waves that are trying to launch you from your raft; everyone digging to pull the raft over the rapids.

Although there was danger, and a lot of hard work, my experience was exhilarating and very enjoyable. Whether it's on a river or in life, there's some things that you want to get a handle on in order to overcome the rapids. Over the next few days I'll share my thoughts on this adventure!

Listen to Your Guide - Our greatest asset in that boat was our guide, Sergio. He's a local and has been floating that river since he was 9 years old, a total of 18 years. He knows the river like the back of his hand and knew exactly what dangers to avoid, and picked the exact 'line' for us to take to match our abilities with our experience. It was incredible how he was able to position us like a master as we hit those raging waves. His role was to provide safety, give us a great experience and coach us how to paddle (dig). It was our role to listen and do exactly what he said, otherwise our experience could have been less than desired or devastating!

In life, there's no greater guide than Jesus Christ! He knows the road we travel: it's challenges, hurts, pains, difficulties, temptations, pitfalls, disappointments, etc. Life can be devestating, but with Jesus Christ as our Guide those waves become opportunities of great victory; full of joy, excitment and memories of God's goodness to us.

Psalm 66:12 says "We went through fire and flood, but You [God] brought us to a place of great abundance."

Regardless of the waves and rapids we face or are around the bend, know that as we trust in the Spirit of God to be our guide, we can have the courage and peace of mind to overcome every challenge... to live strong!

Prayer: Almighty God - Who gives strength to the weak and upholds those who fall. Fill me with your strength and courage to go through deep waters. To overcome all obstacles, to resist the devil and fulfill my destiny let your grace cover my life, and your hand be upon me.