Monday, September 30, 2013

Using Dead Men

It’s almost an afterthought. It is like the editor told the writer, “I need 50 or so more words.” A most amazing story is sandwiched between a couple of otherwise mundane events in the history of Israel.

That’s not completely fair either. The story I’m referring to is found in 2 Kings 13:20-21. It involves the prophet Elisha, who was anything but mundane. If you know anything at all about this Old Testament prophet, you know his stories are crazy and wild. In fact, beyond crazy and wild.

In fact, it’s difficult to find a stand-out story of Elisha, the guy who saw iron ax-heads float, raised dead people to life, miraculously multiplied a widow’s oil and my personal favorite; calling down bears on unruly teenagers. Teens, you’re on notice!

But the best example of how life is all about God and not about us can be told in Elisha’s death.

Elisha died and was buried.
Now Moabite raiders used to enter the country every spring. Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet. ~2 Kings 13:20-21
I'd have loved to be a reporter asking questions of the guy who woke up in Elisha's tomb. 
Well, I remember being very sick. Then I don't remember much, except I woke up and it was dark all around and it smelled. Plus I had a bump on my head, like I had just been tossed aside rather quickly. So I turned on my flashlight app and about had a heart attack when I saw the bones of that old prophet. So I accessed Google maps and got outta there!

Elisha had shown himself to be faithful to God. One might assume that once a servant of God died, it meant God was done using that servant. But this clearly shows otherwise. In fact, one may even suggest that God likes it best when we die and are not in the way to muddle up the story and the focus.

Isn't this part of what the Apostle Paul is after when he commands us, “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3)? I think yes. It’s insider language and it sounds weird to people who haven’t read the Bible or accepted Jesus’ awesome gift, but we speak of death like it’s easy or makes sense.

It’s neither.

We need to understand that as the Bible talks about death; it signifies us getting rid of anything that looks like the us we were before Jesus and becoming people who look and act like Jesus. We need to be so willing to let God use us as He sees fit. Who knows, God may even use our actual deaths to bring Himself more glory.

This is what Elisha did, in life and in death. Maybe it’s time we die and let God really use us.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Not A Fan


There's a big difference in being a fan versus being a follower.

Being a fan is akin to being a customer. We like a certain product, sports team, or musician. We like them because of what they offer us; great hair, bragging rights or entertainment value. We can stop being a fan when they no longer offer these things. The focus is on us.

But being a follower is very different. We follow leaders. We place our trust and hope in those we follow. We submit our plans for their plans, our ideals for their ideals, our future for their future. When the going gets rough, a committed follower stays the course. It's the course of the leader. The focus is not on us.

This alone would be reason enough to make me like Kyle Idleman's book Not a Fan. But it's not the only reason.

Kyle has written a challenging book here, not unlike the book where he gets his ideas. That would be the Bible. Quoting Jesus throughout, Kyle helps us dig deeper and think more broadly as to the cost of true discipleship.

Deftly breaking down the original language and customs and sharing current stories, Kyle leaves us with an eyes-wide-open approach to our faith, one that leaves us no longer content to be a fan.

That's why we're not called to be fans. We're called to be followers. I encourage you to check out the book from wherever it is you buy books, but only if you're ready to be broken. Much like Jesus, Kyle's challenge does not offer you a middle ground. Are you a fan? Or are you a follower? There is no third option.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

It Has To Stop

My family passed a field of crosses, each one representing four lives that have been taken in our county since 1972. My kids asked. Inside, my heart sunk. Innocence was about to be broken once more. 

You know about that, right? When you have to first tell your kids that mean people exist. When you have to confess that even you aren't perfect. When you tell them that death happens. That crime happens. Why flags are sometimes flown at half-staff. 

A little more of their innocence is chipped away from the beautiful sculptures that they once represented. You wonder where jaded people come from? They are made by parents having to tell children about sin. 

In this case, the sin was abortion. As we explained to our kids that sometimes fear, sometimes confusion and sometimes a lack of love, cause people to kill babies. Tears filled my eyes, even as I drove, as my 3 children spilled with questions and contempt for anyone who could think that killing a baby was okay.

Why would anyone do this? Why would we allow this? Why isn't this against the law? Who thinks this is okay?

Even kids get that this is a wrong that needs to stop. 

I don't know who reads my blog or how you came across it. It's entirely possible that you have had an abortion and my words sound callous and uncaring. If this is in your storied past, at a time when other options did not seem present or available, I want you to know that my scorn is not directed at you. Forgiveness is available to you just like it is for me. But if you're among those who refuse to accept the truth, clearly made available to those who fear God and those who do not, then accept my scorn as your shame. 

Because even children understand abortion is wrong. 

If you are in a position where you are considering this as an alternative, please find me. Hope is available. Help is here. No judgement, just understanding.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Who Let The Napper In?

I'm not saying that I am the Billy Graham of preschool chapel speakers, but at that moment, I was getting it done. 

Every other kid in the room (of about 70) was laughing and giggling and keeping focused on me. But there was this 2-year old insomniac who couldn't keep her eyes opened. She was the toddler version of that old man in every church service. You know the one. His toupee is off kilter and he doesn't seem to mind his gob being wide open. The drool travelling down his chin is distracting at least 6 other people. 

But the devotional I gave to those preschoolers was good. I shared the love of God with a roomful of little ones, and most of them stayed awake to hear it. So why is it I can only think about that one sleeper? 

We do that. We focus on the negative, even when it is in clear minority to the positive. Well, I'm going to get positive on this one. If ever they decide to do a crusade for preschoolers and they start looking for a speaker, I'm dropping my name in the hat. But I'm posting men at every door, finding out if all these little ones missed their nap time or not. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Kill the Crickets!

I have a couple of theories...

Either there is one really big cricket sitting outside our bedroom window. But he's like the really big 12 year old boy, the kind that has facial hair already, but hasn't yet hit puberty. So his voice is really high. It could possibly be a pre-pubescent cricket that's just big for his age.

Or...

It's a whole Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir of crickets, all waiting for the conductor to drop his baton so they can chirp at the same time. This choir of crickets is so well trained that they sound as one.

Either way, it's loud and it disrupts my sleep.

Of course, I'm sure if I were to go outside and somehow manage to locate the source, I would find just a few crickets. But isn't it interesting how small things can add up to big things in our lives. A small sliver under a fingernail, a small scratch on a DVD, a small nail in your tire. They are all small, but good luck concentrating on anything else until you get the situation resolved. 

Perhaps this is why the devil is in the details, but you can guess who we're not focusing on when we have any of these minor interruptions in our lives. It is The One where our focus should always be, above and beyond anything else. 

Even when there is one cricket, chirping outside your bedroom window all night long. Did I mention he probably has a megaphone?

Monday, September 23, 2013

I'm Sticking With God's Grace

But he gives us more grace. ~James 4:6
I have to be gut-level honest here. I know that many pastors and people and churches can be all over the place when it comes to our focus. But I have always been a grace kind of guy. I will always be a grace kind of guy. I have, at times, felt guilty about this, as if grace is somehow inferior to law, inferior to deeper thinking, somehow a 1st-grade mentality to our Christian discipleship.

But I don’t agree. I believe even the Law that God gave Moses had grace in it. How else do you explain that a man can commit a sin, which is so heinous to God that death is required, but God steps back and says, ‘You know what…kill this goat and a couple of birds and we’ll call it even.’

How is that even close to even? Fair? No, it’s grace. However you interpret salvation and end-times and works and faith, the whole system is based on grace, an undeserved gift from God.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Ministry and Me

Once again showing why ministry is not (or shouldn't be) about me. I found the following over at Ministry Matters by Ron Edmondson.

I’ve always strived to be a delegator. I know I’ve written posts on it before…how to do it successfully…that kind of garbage. But, that’s before I knew the skinny on delegation. So, that’s it. I’m done. No more delegation for me.
I’m dumping delegation for good.
Here’s what I discovered…

7 problems with delegation:

To finish this article, click here.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Here's a Blog Post about a Facebook Post that Became a Tweet

Those connected with me on Facebook might have seen me post this last weekend.

I went into Dairy Queen to pick up an ice cream cake for my wife and daughter's birthday. After grabbing a large round cake I took it up to the register. The DQ worker looked at me and asked, "Is this for here or to go?"

I said, "Ma'am, if you have a fork back there, I have about an hour to spare."
I went home to explain to my wife why I didn't have the courage to ask for their names to be misspelled on the cake after our initial conversation.

A couple of days later, a friend admitted to actually laughing out loud when he read it. If only there were a way to say that with just a few letters.

But then he followed up by saying he took the story, made it tweet-size and posted it to his Twitter account. My first reaction was not to thank him for finding me humorous. My first reaction was not to respond with some quote about imitation being the highest form of flattery.

My first question was to ask if he quoted me. After all, I am on Twitter. Did you give credit?

He smiled while telling me it took him 140 characters to tell the story, leaving no room to give credit.

My second question was to ask how many re-tweets he had.

I'm so full of myself. I guess my search for insignificance will continue.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

This Is How It Should Work

Here is part of something I talked to my teens about this week.

42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” ~Mark 10:42-45. 

Jesus points to a secular model and how those in charge let it go to their heads. But He says this is not the model for what He is doing. In the Church, the servants will be the greatest. Jesus puts an exclamation point on it all by saying that even He came to be a servant and to give up His life.

This is foreign to our thinking. A King comes to conquer and live as long as possible. A King does not come to die. You can’t rule if you’re dead. You can’t be awesome if you’re not around to show people how awesome you are. You must stand strong.

I've often said, 'Who is going to talk about me if I don't talk about me?'

But Jesus says, ‘Not so fast.’ Even the Son of Man…. Even the greatest One ever…. Even God in the flesh…. Even Jesus came to be a servant. Even Jesus came to die. It was His calling, His purpose, His reason.

So I’m telling you that our purpose is linked forever with the identity of Jesus. In another book of the New Testament, this one written after Jesus died and rose again and bolted for Heaven, we find the apostle Paul writing to the church in Ephesus. He is talking about how lost we were and basically as good as dead before Jesus did what He did for us. Then Paul lays out our purpose and calling.

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. ~Ephesians 2:8-10

In this few short verses we get several aspects of our identity and calling.

  • We are saved sinners. (by grace)
There’s nothing you can do about this. It’s being given a birthday gift after you did nothing to help the birthing process. Oh, and to top it off, you were a bit of a brat on your birthday. But you still got a present.

  • We are people who believe. (through faith)
You can’t prove it. You often can’t even explain it. But you choose to believe it.

  • We are to be humble. (so that no one can boast)
We brag about everything else, from sports to grades to clothes to income. But this, we are all absolutely equal.

  • We are artistic masterpieces of the best Artist ever. (We are God’s workmanship)
I don’t know how you see yourself. But God saw something worth dying for. God saw something that He made and had called good.

  • We are supposed to do good things for other people. (Created in Christ Jesus to do good works)
This become sour thankful and joyous response to the gifts we have been given.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

So Here's What We're Going To Do

So let's talk about how people talk to Jesus.

Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” ~Mark 10:35. 

This was a very brazen thing for the disciples to do. I don’t know if teens today are aware of this, but you are called a generation of entitlement. People say it as an insult, meaning that your generation, as a whole, thinks that you should get whatever you want. You assume, generally speaking, that you should be able to get all A’s, play and win in any sport, learn any musical instrument, be given a phone, tablet and any of the latest gaming devices. Other generations see you expecting praise for doing nothing and assuming that jobs should be yours if you want them.

Now, let me tell you that I think some of this unfair. It is a generalization, but even where it is true, previous generations have to take responsibility because we are the ones who have given you exactly what you want. Whoever is at fault, there are truths to these stereotypes. BUT, you’re not the first generation. We’re reading how a couple of teenagers 2,000 years ago walked up to their teacher, who was the Messiah by the way, and told Him they wanted whatever they asked for. And they expected it to be done.

If I had walked up to my dad and said that, he might have laughed. That is, after he would have knocked me down a few pegs and told me to get off my high-horse. My parents used phrases like that and I still have no idea what it means. My point is that I wouldn’t have dreamed of saying that to my parents. But these two guys walk up to someone they believe to be the Messiah of their nation and ask this question. It’s incredible.

What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. ~Mark 10:36. 

This is even more incredible. Jesus doesn’t just automatically shoot them down. He actually asks them to continue. I think we can learn from this that Jesus is willing to hear us, to listen to us and even willing to grant the amazing. Jesus is God and He wants us to be amazed at Him.

Monday, September 16, 2013

We Bought a PG Rating?

Ah, you have gotta love free movie weekends. It allows people who are a bit behind in their movie viewing to catch up. 

Last week my wife taped a showing of We Bought a Zoo. Rated PG, she thought it would be a family-type comedy, complete with animals and hilarious mishaps. Anyone who was watching current movies in 2011 already know that that isn't true. 

One look at http://www.kids-in-mind.com/ for the movie rating gave us pause. I love that site. It gave us several reasons to hold off on the family movie party. 

My wife and I ended up previewing it and realized it was clearly not made with families in mind. Now, let me say my problem is not with the makers of We Bought a Zoo. The movie was interesting at points, amusing at points and perhaps even caused my allergies to act up.

Overall, it was a good story for my wife and I to enjoy together. 

But who is in charge of rating movies? Seriously, this isn't the 80's when, at least looking back, we can all understand that sometimes PG means PG and sometimes it means R. 

When I read of the use of language, I assumed Kids in Mind was exaggerating, which maybe they have a tendency to do, in their zeal to be accurate on every detail. But I was wrong. Kids in Mind was correct. 

With multiple uses of strong language and themes beyond my 12 and under crowd, I have to wonder if Hollywood has heard the phrase the innocence of youth. Parents, keep it in mind. Keep your kids in mind. Because Hollywood certainly is not.

Oh, and there were no animal antics. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Parodies Are Funny...Because They're Real

I have a Twitter account. You can follow me on there if you like, although I must admit I'm terribly exciting. @rick_nier if you so choose to follow. I just don't fiind that much time to visit the micro-blogging site. I try, and it's accounts like this that make me wish I did more.

I'm going to thank Tony Myles over at More Than Dodgeball for this retreat from the workload.
http://www.morethandodgeball.com/general-ministry/parody-accounts-parody-reactions/

Face it. It's Friday and you were't planning on accomplishing much today anyway, right?

Enjoy!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

God's Gun Show

The Lord will lay bare his holy arm

    in the sight of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth will see
    the salvation of our God. ~Isaiah 52:10



God was flexing for the people. This is further proof that God is a guy. I've been married to my wife for 17 years, but I still don't miss a chance to pose in front of her. Just ask her. It's an impressive thing, but I don't want to make a deal out of it. 

This verse is further proof to me that God is all about Him, which is what we should be as well. Can't you just picture God hearing the people of Earth bragging about this or that? Then He decides to roll up his sleeve and show everybody something worth talking about. 

Welcome to the gun show indeed!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering

I thought this post was timely and appropriate. Well written, Max Lucado.

remembering 9-11
It seems that in the dozen years since our country’s heart and skyline were ripped apart, we still struggle with how to spend this day that represents such pain and, even to this day, fear.
9/11 has come to serve as a day of remembrance for the many trials we have endured as a nation over this past decade.
The continued threats and anxiety created by ongoing terror threats have become, if not normal, an ever present stressor.
We wonder if we’ll ever be free of that sense of unease in our daily lives.
The Boston bombing served as a reminder of this new reality. Violence continues to tear at our country from within – the mass shootings in Arizona, Colorado, and Sandy Hook. The unthinkable stories of the innocent victims and instant heroes in these situations have seared our consciousness, leaving us reeling with grief and disbelief. Natural disasters like Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Sandy, and other destructive forces have scarred our land and our people.
We are weary.
We wonder: Will we get through these turbulent times? The answer from the pages of the Bible is a resounding YES. The story of Joseph reveals that even when life hits us with multiple blows, with God’s help, we will overcome. On a day like September 11, the church should remember that what man intends for evil, God can use for good. (Genesis 50:20)
Joseph faced a famine in his day, and he focused all his efforts on bringing life and nourishment to all. Today we face a famine of hope. As God’s people, let’s dispense courage and sustenance to our generation, offering a plan and a story of God’s help and goodness.
That’s how I plan to spend 9/11 this year.
Worship and remember that God is for us (Romans 8:31), and with His help, we’ll get through this. Let’s lead a harvest of hope, together.
HOPE

Your Turn

How will you remember the 9/11 anniversary this year? If you struggle with the daily sense of unease for our nation and for safety, read the story of Joseph and be reminded that God does redeem the evil of this world and use it for good. Please leave your comments on our blog today.
Photo credit: rabbit75_ist (Photos.com)

Originally posted at http://www.faithgateway.com/remembering-9-11/

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Long-Winded Much?

So what do you do if you realize that someone is about to kill you? As I read my Bible, the answer is to tell a long story.

Acts 7 is a perfect example. Stephen, a guy hired to help distribute food (read: waiter) was pulled before the religious leaders of the day to answer some accusations.

Apparently Stephen was looking at the situation and decided his chances weren't good. So he began to tell a story. From the beginning.

From the very beginning.

The question was about what Stephen believed about Jesus. If someone asked me what I believed about Jesus, I might answer simply that He is the Son of God. He died for my sins and now I live for him. Even conservatively speaking, that's 2 Bible verses, tops.

But Stephen had a different idea. They ask him the question and he begins by talking about Abraham. Yeah, father Abraham. The guy with many sons. Then Stephen takes these religious leaders on a walk through the Old Testament, something I am sure they adored. He spoke for 51 verses. 

But if you're going to die and they offer you some final words, you might as well make sure and tell it right. What amazes me, almost as much as the long answer, is that nobody cuts him off. Apparently there were no NFL-kickoffs to get to. 

Well, once Stephen took a breath, they all picked up rocks and killed him. One of the guys standing there was a guy who would later be called Paul. Perhaps it was here he learned the art of long-windedness. Because he would go on to be a great orator, but man oh man he was a long-talker. 

I'm just saying, we pass on more than just our faith.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Another Monday?

It's another Monday. For me, it means another day off. You might assume that means I'm feeling pretty good today. But it finds me hoping I can find a way to pack in enough rest so that when I drag myself across the finish line that is this coming Saturday, I will have enough strength. 

I know as well as many of you how I should only concern myself with the to-do list of today. I'm pretty sure a Jewish carpenter gave that advice. Actually, it was probably more than advice. It finds me wondering how everyone else faces Mondays. If you're feeling the same way and you have to go to work or school...well, no wonder people hate Mondays. 

I'm trying to remind myself of the truth found in Philippians 4. 

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. ~Philippians 4:6

We need to distinguish concerns and anxieties. A concern is something we take to God, then trust in His hands. Anxieties are when we spend lots of time worrying about things we can do nothing about. And even though I didn't see the word if in that verse, I see a then in the next one, making this a if/then statement.

Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:7

That is my prayer for you and me today.

But it is another Monday. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Everyone Has Always Hated Teenagers

Okay, so my post title is not true.

At all.
But if you are an old codger, or know an old codger, you'll appreciate this. It seems someone took the time to compile some great quotes of old people talking about how much better it was back in the day.

The only problem is that each of these old guys lived at different times. So, as Jon Seder over at Mental Floss, point out, there likely wasn't a real golden age.

I work with and love teenagers. So for those of you who like to blame the youth for anything and everything, check this out. It's 15 quotes from grumpy old men doing what grumpy old men do best. Oh, it's also for anyone who wants to chuckle at the irony of it all. And anyone who likes reading ye olde English.

15 Historical Complaints.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Our Ever Changing Morals

Have you seen this story, coming out of Florida, about the cheerleaders whose uniforms are so heinous that they are no longer allowed to be worn during the school day? Fortunately, for high school guys everywhere, they can still be worn at sporting events. 

I write this as a former Florida high school male who enjoyed seeing cheerleaders. But I write that last line, partly to my shame, as I am now a father of two daughters and pray against them ever wanting to wear those cheer leading outfits. 

If you read the article, you'll see quotes from the parents of the cheerleaders. They, of course, are aghast at the whole situation. They can't believe something deemed appropriate for sporting events is deemed inappropriate for the school day. If you're looking for the collective face-palm worthy moment of this post, it's in this paragraph.

What we should be aghast at is that we have been allowing our daughters to wear the skirts so short that even the school system can see it's a distraction to our stated purpose of education. Has no one done a study on increased attendance on spirit days in high schools?

Whoever said 'what one generation tolerates, the next will accept' was not far off. This is a great example. We have become so backwards in our thinking that parents, parents!, are now mad because their daughters can't wear skimpy outfits.

Maybe I'm parenting wrong, but I still have an eleven year old that has been trained to see too much skin as too much skin. It appears now I will have to include a caveat to these morals. Too much skin is apparently okay after they get out of school. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Are You Experiencing Neck Pain In Your Ministry?

Three weeks of neck pain. I don't want to get into any comparison with anyone who has chronic pain that lasts for years. But three weeks of neck pain for me is not common. Three weeks of neck pain can cause some problems. 

First, there's the neck pain. For me, it means three weeks of telling my energetic children they can't jump on me and use me as a jungle-Rick. It's three weeks of turning my whole body to face people. And it started out as three weeks of guilt-free non-exercise. 

The joy of not practicing discipline in physical exercise lasted about four days. Then I found myself at a loss as to what to do with all this energy. Since my neck has been hurt I have been hungering for movement, for exercise, for the freedom to move. 

I was becoming accustomed to trying to find positions that would avoid pain as I lay around...like a lump. Yeah, the ego took a hit as the lack of exercise had other adverse effects. As Hollywood's Reese Witherspoon so intelligently pointed out in her smash hit Legally Blonde, "Exercising gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy. Happy people don't kill people!"

I wasn't happy. 

This physical feeling is similar to how I feel about ministry. The neck has been wounded and we often are just situating ourselves to not be in pain. But some feel a sense if confinement at not being free, at not exercising our abilities, at not growing and moving. 

Here's how I dealt with the physical pain and how it translates to ministry.

1. Go see a doctor.
They have experience with this kind of thing. Sitting around hoping for the pain to go away, while not actually doing anything to make it go away, sounds like a definition of insanity. We often do this in ministry, opting to tell the physicians why their solutions won't work. 

2. Take the medicine.
Some of it has effects that I didn't like, the most politely advertised being the sleep-inducing coma. But until healing takes place, forward motion is not very productive or sustainable. This goes for ministry as well. Deal with the pain now and bring healing or find yourself dealing with it for years to come. 

3. Embrace the health.
I do have to admit that a life with less discipline, i.e. getting up early to exercise, was kind of nice. Yes, the cookies and the ice cream and the slices of pie were doing things to my body that I did not appreciate. I could remember exercising those effects away in the past. But I began to embrace the extra sleep, the extra time sitting around. But that is not healthy.

If we are to have health in ministry, we have to remember the benefits of what health can do. We have to kick the bad habits, which take less than three weeks to form. 

I have now been a few days past experiencing neck pain. I have even exercised a few times. Once I caught my breath, it felt good. I am enjoying the freedom of turning my neck to people calling, of playing with my kids. In ministry, we can enjoy the health of impacting people for good, of accomplishing mission goals and of bringing God glory. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

How To Use a Runaway Truck Ramp

 
"This is an adventure: setting out to do something that doesn't make sense, something for which you are not completely equipped, something that takes you into a place fraught with danger or uncertainty."

Authors Shawn and Maile Smucker certainly know about adventures now, as evidenced in How to Use a Runaway Truck Ramp. Feeling like they hit rock bottom they made the decision most of us would make. Pack up for four months and travel around the United States.

Wait, what?

That's right. With some writing jobs to keep them busy, they hit the road and showed their four young children places many have never seen on a bus-turned-RV named Willie. The chapters are each about the length of a blog post. Humorous, real and, at times, very introspective and encouraging.

It's like keeping up with friends who are on the greatest journey of their lives. On their journey away from home, or rather in their home on the road, they can see clearly to many things in their lives that needed introspection.

We can save ourselves the trip and still do the thinking. On the other hand, it is just as likely that we might be inspired to take a similar journey.

You can find a copy of the book here.