I have a memory from childhood. At this point in my life I’m not sure just how truthful the memory is, but I’m pretty sure. It seems to me that for a couple of years on Good Friday we had horrendous storms. In fact, what I remember is that the tornado sirens went off on Good Friday for a couple of years in a row. I grew up in Enid, OK so springtime storms producing tornadoes is no big news and thus it would support in theory what I am trying to recollect. If you’ve never experience such a violent storm there is one characteristic that I have recognized as an indicator of very severe storms. That is a green tinted sky. (I am not a meteorologist, but grew up watching Gary England.)
So imagine a dark green tinted day with thunder, lightening, swirling winds and the sound of tornado sirens whaling.
This is my childhood memory of Good Friday and I remember taking a strange solace in the midst of it all. It just seemed right. Violent weather on a day that commemorates the single most violent act to have ever taken place on earth. Sinful men killing God’s innocent son because we couldn’t deal with just how perfect his love is. So for me Good Friday has a memory of darkness, uneasiness, violence, destruction, you name it; pretty much anything that is not good.
But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What are your Good Friday recollections?
Today is the day that I mourned for a son.
I grew up in a house mostly full of men and today I realized; no pictures of my son playing football, no posts about how fun it is to wrestle on the floor with my boy, no young man to sit and pour out what little accumulated wisdom and experience gained from my years.
Don’t cry. I’m not.
Because I know that, even though God has not graced me with a son (yet), I have so much. I have a beautiful and extremely intelligent daughter. She is healthy and strong. And what I and her mother lack in wisdom and experience, God graciously provides.
This isn’t so much about my daughter or lack of a son as it is about how God moves to fill us with things we never expected would be fulfilling. How God takes the voids in our lives and fills them so deeply that the thought of mourning for them feels like a waste of time.
Here’s a great song from a band I don’t know about. But for me today it speaks to the joy of knowing that in the voids of my life God has stepped in and covered them all.
What music is speaking to you today?
Today, 15 years ago, I took a chance. I picked up the phone, dialed the numbers and with perspiration on my hands and brow waited as the phone rang and rang. She wasn’t home yet, so I hung up and had to try again later. Boy, there’s something about risk. It seems that once you finally get the courage to move you have to start over again. So after what felt like an eternity I picked up the phone again and dialed the numbers. This time she was home and available. Now I was fully nervous and probably trying to overcompensate by acting really cool and aloof. In reality I wasn’t even sure what I was asking for, but the bottom line was she said yes and we had our first date.
February 14, 1996
I took her where I take all my prospective soul mates…Shoney’s. That is, after I wowed her with my map skills. Guys, you know you have a girls heart when she acts so excited and interested in the dorkiest of things. I’m living proof of this.
15 years later she still acts interested in my dorkiness and enjoys my company on cheap dates. I have to say that I never expected love to be so amazing and deep as the love that I have experienced from Missy.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
From the Gerbrandt Family to you! Hope you have a wonderful holiday.
Here’s a little pre-Christmas holiday cheer from the Gerbrandt family to you!
I realized this morning that I don’t like referring to my work as “my job”. Job now has the connotation of forced labor. I’m one of the lucky ones that has a calling. As Media Director at Literacy and Evangelism International I spend at least 60% of my time focused on things that I am passionate about and are areas of strength for me.
But this isn’t about me and my awesome “job”.
I realize that there are many people in my life who have invested in me and helped me learn about myself and God’s design for me.
So, like a winner at the Oscars, here is my acceptance speech:
“First, I would like to thank my parents and my family. They have always been a source of love and encouragement. My dad has taught me the value of hard work and not feeling sorry for yourself when things get tough. My mom has shown me what grace and hospitality are all about. My brothers and sister who are always so much fun to hang out with have taught me the value of family love and care. My extended family who have accepted me and trusted me to make decisions about moving their daughter and sister (and granddaughter and niece) away from her home. I would like to thank Mike Miller as a long time friend and mentor. Mike took me on my first international mission trip and since then has continually invested in me as a leader. I would like to thank The Heart Church who has been so gracious to allow me the space and time to focus in on my strengths discovering more specifically what it is that God has called me to. I would like to thank Dave Jewitt and Your One Degree for guiding me and spending so much time and caffeine on helping me to discover God’s specific DESIGN. And of course, thanks to my wife Missy and my daughter Eve, who have been my source of inspiration and perseverance. It is because of you two that I want to be the best that I can be! Thanks for all your love.”
As the music starts up and the announcer starts to talk over me…
“And of course I’d like to thank Jesus Christ who is the One who makes all things possible…”
How would your acceptance speech go?
Last night I took some time to sit down with Missy and watch an online conference for pastor’s wives. Even though it was by women for women I really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it. The most important thing I learned was appreciation for my wife and daughter. It’s pretty obvious that this blog is self-centered. My thoughts, my events, my life. Unfortunately, this blog has become a metaphor for my life.
It’s all about me.
So, some props for my wife and daughter…who rock!
…my map (she keeps me on course)
…my forgiver (she reminds me of God’s grace when I mess up)
…she’s a full time student (and does very well in school)
…she’s a mom (and has rearranged her schedule to make that a priority)
…she’s a minister (she doesn’t just lead the children’s ministry at church, she does it with a deep conviction that the children learn about Jesus)
…she’s a great friend (despite all her business she still calls people to check in and meets with them for coffee or exercise)
…my goal stretcher
…my gentle heart
…she is a first rate student (confirmed by every teacher she has had)
…she is devoted to God (and it blows me away)
…she is a gracious friend (willing to admit wrong and forgive being wronged)
…she is tenacious when she puts her mind to it (powerful when overcoming obstacles)
I love my girls. I tell them that a lot, but I’m feeling like it’s just not enough.
How do you express your love for the significant others in your life?
PS. If you would like to watch this conference yourself check out the link here.