A Weekend Without Labor

One of things God has been teaching me this past year is a new definition of “recreation” – something that once meant ‘fun’ or ‘play’ or ‘games’ has transformed into something much deeper and penetrating as I have discovered re-creation. Rather than something I do to “take a break” re-creation is now something I seek regularly, that refreshes and recharges me for the rest of “life.” This Labor Day weekend was a special opportunity for some extended re-creation spent with family. (reminder, click on any image for a larger view) The treats of the weekend began on the way to church. Now from this picture you might I assume I live out in the wilderness, but there are several forest preserves quite close. But as we drove down the road to church my tendency to be taking in everything around me I caught a glimpse of something through a break in the trees and through a fence! Sara was surprised as I quickly pulled over and put the car in reverse claiming to have seen something through the trees which appeared solid on the left… indeed, I had! My guess is an Elk? We have a lot of deer in …

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Watch Where You Step!

So I’m out relaxing in the front yard, enjoying an awake-nap (know the type?) in my hammock, when I see something little and white moving across the lawn… (click images for larger close-up view, unless your name is Henry) See the little white ball? So I get down close to see what it is: a spider carrying a ball almost as big as him (or her), I honestly couldn’t tell, but when something is UGLY I usually assume it’s a guy. Pointing to show the size… not too scary, at least not from a distance. Maybe headed out to play? Or just left and took the ball with him when the other spiders didn’t like his rules? I got as close as I could and we locked eyes for a stare-down! He gave me a nasty look and I told him he was alive at my mercy; that I could easy squish him at any second. He shrugged and replied, “That may be true, but if you were my size, you’d be running for your mommy.” I had no come back to that, so I let him live. But I’m never walking barefoot in my front yard again!

It’s Not What You Do That Counts

You’ve heard it said, “It’s the thought that counts.” Well, we all know that’s a lame excuse for when we fail to do what we should, but what about the thought that what you do doesn’t count either? When it comes to our walk with Christ, what we do doesn’t count either! My “mentor” Oswald Chambers (OC) writes today, “We count as service what we do in the way of Christian work; jesus Christ calls service what we are to Him, not what we do for Him.” In life you will discover that it is far easier to work for Jesus than to abide with Him. “…that is why so many are devoted to causes and so few devoted to Jesus Christ. People do not want to be devoted to Jesus, bu only to the cause He started.” (OC) This forces me to ask as I look at my “to do” list, how many of my tasks is Jesus asking me to do? How many are a result of my ideas instead of His? OC gives a warning that I can personally relate to, “If I am devoted to the cause only, I will soon be exhausted and come to …

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2006 – A Year of Dramatic Change

2006. Wow.   There is no way to summarize last year. 2006 contained more change than any year I’ve ever experienced. 2006 was a year that was filled with the happiest and yet the hardest times in my entire life. When we look back we tend to want to focus on the worst… and yet, even in the midst of extremely difficult times, it is good to remember that God never fails to bring joy in the midst of suffering… if we take the time to look.I started this blog, PastorKarl.com, in April of 2005 when I went on sabbatical in order to chronicle my adventures during those fantastic six weeks, but I’m so glad the habit stuck. Any time I am down and wondering where is (or where was) God, I can simply click through the archives of my blog and am flooded with memories of great times and great memories, super friends and special kids, especially when I miss most of what was once my daily life. Indeed, 2006 brought a lot of changes, and at times, more than I could handle, and I failed miserably in keeping on top of everything, and yet in that brokeness God …

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I hate spiders…

I hate spiders. Well, ok. Maybe I don’t HATE them, but I am scared of them…. but fascinated at the same time. Even as a boy, I liked spiders best IN BOOKS! In real life… they creep me out. And yet… I am drawn to them. I will trap them instead of kill them. I kept a HUGE spider in a container in my office until it died in a fierce pose, and it took it months to die. (Kids checked on it each week to see if it was still alive, it was caught by a GIRL in Awana!) I had a HUGE funnel spider on my porch last week, and I was sad when I killed it… I was trying to draw it out with a stick and accidently gave it a mortal wound. Had the dumb thing just come out, it would have survived! But I’m happy to say a new one, even bigger has moved in! But I’ve yet to get him to come out for and pose for a picture. But below are some pictures of two resident spiders, one in the front yard, and one from the back yard. Do I dare say enjoy?? …

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