Vander's Thoughts

Vander's Thoughts

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lost Contact

Last week I thought I was being really smart by deleting my old email account from my phone. What I actually did was discover how fine the line is between being a genius and an idiot really is. I didn't realize that along with my email account I would be deletaing all of my contacts as well. D'OH!

I couldn't believe that all my contacts were gone in an instant. Some of those contacts were my only connection to friends and family (of course only those who aren't on Face Book). In a real sense I felt like I lost more then a contact, it felt like I lost a connection with someone I cared about. The moment I lost my contacts I was reminded of how important each of those people are to my life and still were.

I can't imagine my life without relationships, even the painful difficult ones remind me that relationships matter and there is a value in working through problems. You and I were created for relationships and when we loose a connection with someone a part of our past dies off. We may not see it as that, but that is exactly what happens.

Have you lost contact with someone that used to matter to you? Regardless of the past joy or pain of the relationship, right now would be the perfect time to call, reach out, email, text, do whatever you have to to reestablish the connection. The bible calls this reconciliation and it is our responsibility to make it happen. When we do we will find new life in a relationship that was dormant.

Thankfully I had previously backed up my files and was able to restore all of them, I hope you can do the same today, and with the real ones too.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hitting the Wall

Yesterday I went on a five mile bike ride next to an old railroad track. It was awesome just riding on a trial that I had no idea where it was taking me. However, about half way through my ride I seriously hit the wall, so much that I thought I could go no farther and figured I would be looking for a highway to catch a ride in the back of a pickup truck. I know what your thinking, half way through a five mile ride is only 2 1/2 miles, but this was a tough trail and besides it was one of those trails that is up hill both ways, you know the ones our parents talked about. Well after taking a moment to catch my breath and make the decision to not flag down a passing truck, I started back for home. The thing was as I continued on my ride, I found a new strength that not only got me back home but I ended up adding another mile down the trail in the opposite direction. Of course when I finally finished my ride I remembered again that someone really needs to invent a better bike seat. Really why is it that those seats have to be so small with such little padding?

There are moments in life when we all will hit the wall. You never know when you are going to hit it, but it really is inevitable. You're just going along and it seems to hit you out of no where and always at the most unexpected times. It's in those moments enduring is critical because if we give up we will never realize the rush that comes from God as we fight through the difficulty. It doesn't matter where we hit it, in our job, or our relationships, or our finances, God always promises that he will give us the ability to endure as we lean into Him. And the greatest part is the new strength we find in the midst of the struggle is like spiritual adrenaline. Hitting the wall has a purpose, it reminds us that we need to rely on a deeper strength, one that can only be found in God's Spirit.

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." Romans 5:3-5

When you hit the wall don't give up, but rather give in, so that you can experience a strength that only comes from God.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Battery Life

Last night I placed my cell phone (don't worry I won't make a shameless plug for the far superior iPhone here) on my iHome charger (sorry this is a shameless plug) like I always do. Throughout the night my phone kept blinking on and off, which made me simply turn away from the bright light. I never really thought to check why, I was just annoyed by the light keeping me awake. Well I discovered the reason in the morning when my battery wasn't charged, in fact my phone was completely dead because the iHome wasn't even plugged in!

There is nothing worse then a dead or poorly charged phone when you need it throughout the day. Even though I placed it on the charger as much as possible throughout the day, it never reached full capacity. In fact I pretty much had to read the low battery warning throughout the day.

Our spiritual life can be just like the battery life on our phone. We may get by by checking in with God a little here and a little there, but unless we are taking the time to be fully charged by God, we will never experience life at it's fullest capacity.

What kind of life do you want to live? One full of uncertainty because we are pushing our limits or a life that is as Jesus said, "Life in all of it's fullness".

The only way we can find out what that type of life is like is to discipline ourselves and plug into God daily. There is no other way.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Packing and Picking

For the last three days I've been packing. My office, my garage, my stuff. But packing is really a two stage process of determining value. I have to determine if something has served my purposes or if there is some future value for me to hang on to it. I want to get rid of most of my stuff mainly because I don't want to have to box it all up, but there is a bigger problem I'm having. The problem is I've been into that show American Pickers lately, where two guys travel all over America looking for valuables in other people's stuff. Well the shows not the problem, but because of the show, every time I try and assess the value of something that I have, I can't help but imagine one of those guys offering me like $50 for something I really want to throw out.

Value is a hard thing to determine. What is worthless to me, may be incredibly valuable to you. No matter what the circumstance, value is always determined outside of ourselves.

I dig what Jesus said about our value as recorded in the Message,
"What's the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! You're worth more than a million canaries." Matthew 10:29

You may not feel like much right now, but in God's eyes you are beyond value. That's a good thing to know in a world that has an ever changing value system

Oh yeah if you're into picking, were having a garage sale this weekend.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Relational Reality

I was reminded the other day of a time when I met with a college student who had lost a friend to an accidental death. He was sad, he was broken hearted,he was experiencing loss and he was in mourning. The thing was, he never met this person face to face. He had developed a relationship with them over My Space and, just like in any relationship, was hopeful about the relationship enduring. When the relationship was suddenly over, he began suffering the affects. Now, I am big on face to face relationships and not an advocate for internet relationships, but who am I to say that internet wife hunting isn't practical. However, what I discovered in the process of helping my friend through this was regardless of the relational reality, all relationships are real.

I know that God is real. I can't prove it, but because of my faith in Him, he has proven himself to me. My relationship with God is as real as the relationship that I have with my wife, my family, and my friends. It doesn't matter what other people think about this relationship, I know it's real and that's all that matters.

What Relational Reality do you have with God? I hope it's as real as mine.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


In my new city there are many routes to get home each day. Yesterday I needed to get home and change so that I could get back to pick someone up and I had 30 minutes to do it in. I live about 15 miles away from the church, so I sought out the advice of others to determine what was the fastest way to get there. After hearing all the options I choose the route in which I thought would give me the best outcome. Unfortunately I didn't factor in for traffic. So there I sat in particularly long line at a stop sign and what do I see? One of the guys I asked for advice passed through the intersection I was waiting at and he had left 15 minutes after me!

You never know when you'll be in traffic until it's too late and it always disrupts your plans. I don't know about you, but sometimes I need my plans disrupted because it reminds me that I'm not really in control. Traffic forces me to stop and surrender my timeline, my plans and my desires to the fact that I am not in control, but it also reminds me that God is in control and I need to seek him.

I love how The Message relays the truth of Psalm 27:4-5, "I'm asking God for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long. I'll contemplate his beauty; I'll study at his feet. That's the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world, The perfect getaway, far from the buzz of traffic."

We may not be able to avoid traffic, but at least we can spend some time with God while were in it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

One Hour Parking

Parking in downtown Sac today to grab some lunch with my co-laborer Scott and we both saw that the sign clearly read, "One Hour Parking". We parked headed to lunch knowing that we had to be back at the car at 12:48 to avoid a parking ticket. So the shock we had when we discovered a parking ticket on the windshield at 12:45. What the heck!?

What we both failed to see was the "other" sign that read, "Pay Station". Who pays for One Hour Parking? I guess Scott does now since he was driving, but really when was the last time you had to read two signs to determine how to park?

This causes me to think about God's word. You can't just read what you want, you have to read all of God's word to experience all of it's wisdom. I want direction not correction, but sometimes to head in the right direction in my life, I must first be corrected.

Next time that you read a portion of God's word that you don't like realize it's only there so that we can really live out the parts that we do enjoy.

"All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. - 2 Timothy 3:16

Monday, October 4, 2010


The other morning I went out for a morning walk to see the Elk Grove area. I was following the instructions of my father, that he had told me since i was kid, that you should always walk facing traffic so that you can see what's coming at you. Good thing too because as I was in a particularly narrow stretch of highway, I noticed a young girl driving directly at me. I assessed my surroundings and knew that if I had to I would be jumping a barbed wire fence into some brush that wouldn't have been comfortable, but definitely better then the front bumper of her car. When she was about 20 feet from me she looked up and our eyes met. It was one of the moments when you can see what the other person is thinking and I'm pretty sure she knew what i was thinking too (which I already confessed to God). But in her right hand was her phone, I couldn't believe it i was almost the victim of 'Drexting' or better known as texting while driving.

Proverbs 4:25-27 reminds us, "Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil."

Distractions happen, but we can limit the distractions when we stay focused on the moment and not on anything else. I avoided pain because I was looking forward and almost experienced major pain because someone else was distracted. Let's keep your eyes on what God's plan is for our lives and his path and He will lead us to a place of real abundant life.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

It Begins

Well I made it to Elk Grove and so begins my new life here. I've never been so excited about the uncertain and unknown before. It's like God is showing me all over again what living by faith is all about.