When it Rains – It Pours

Posted: October 9, 2014 in Wicked Pissah

In March of this year my greyhound Prince Harry at the age of 13 crossed the rainbow bridge as we were on a flight home from a vacation in Hawaii. I thought I was prepared, but I wasn’t. He had been having back issues which was causing lots of pain. Some days were great. Others, were very painful.

Harry-Dan-Kanab

 

Just over 1 month prior, Denise wrote this in our prayer book:

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The way Harry went was an answered prayer, which gave me peace. But just because you have peace, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t grieve. I didn’t grieve. I avoided looking at pictures of him. I erased thoughts as they came up. I wasn’t ready to look at my loss of Harry eye to eye. I stuffed thouse thoughts and emotions down deep thinking I was ok, because I got peace…right? Wrong!

Shortly after he passed, I started having dizzy spells. That transitioned into bladder issues, pain in my abdomen, and lack of appetite. 6 long months, a loss of 10 lbs, MRI’s of the brain, and CT scans of my abdomen, and a colonoscopy  later, everything checked out medically healthy. The culprit (diagnosis) was stress built up by not grieving.

Recently you might remember seeing Phoenix being on the news for having record rain storms which caused lots of flooding. One of those mornings I was on the phone with Denise and asked her “Should I be crying and letting it out, or will it just make me sad?” An hour later I went for my lunch time jog. I got half way and it started to sprinkle. I thought ” God is weeping with me” and I was moved by emotion.

As I got to the end of my run, my favorite most moving song blew through my headphones. Right at that time the torrential downpour that caused the flooding you saw on the news began.

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I ran back to the office soaked even though I was only 2 min from the end of my run when this happened. I stood out there and watched the storm. This wasn’t normal rain. It wasn’t even a wild Arizona monsoon type of rain. This was the hardest rain I had ever seen in my life. It was by this storm God told me “This is what you should be doing. Let it all out! Cry Dan, cry. It’s ok. You need to bawl your eyes out. Grieve for Harry! I’m here with you. All the time”. The weeks after that I allowed myself to look at his pictures, reflect on his life, and let it all out. I cried like a baby. In the following weeks my health improved dramatically. My good friend Andre had a great suggestion to have a celebration of Life for Harry which is happening this weekend and will help work through all this as well.

So what does all this mean?

God can speak to us in a multitude of ways, and never under-estimate how he will.

If God can make the sun stand still for a full day, why can’t he make it pour to get a message across to me?

Formula of the Week

Pre-conceived notions – walls we put around God = un-believable interactions with Him

Question of the Week

When have you felt God speak to you in a way you hadn’t expected?

Drop a comment and let us know how.

Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood

Posted: October 2, 2014 in Wicked Pissah

Do you remember that kid’s show Mr Roger’s neighborhood? Yeah, you know….. the one with that creepy guy that takes off his shoes while singing “Won’t you be my neighbor”.

mister-rogers-neighborhood

 

I heard a sermon a few weeks back on the art of neighboring.  Studies showed some interesting things. For the 8 houses closest to you, could you:

1) List the names of everyone in the houses

2) Write something relevant about each person that you wouldn’t know by just standing in the drive way

3) Write in-depth information about each person (dreams, hopes, fears, etc)

 

The data showed the following:

1) Only 10% of people could list the names of everyone in the houses

2) Only 3% could write something relevant about each person

3) Less than 1% could write in-depth information about each person

 

Last weekend with autumn in the air I walked into Trader Joe’s and found pumpkin…everything! So I brought some pumpkin bread mix home and made some. It was so yummy, that yesterday I decided to go by a few more boxes and make some. I got to thinking about how this life really is all about relationships. The neighborhood is the easiest place to start cultivating these. Thanks to Denise’s “sky goddess” personality  we already have great relationships with most of our neighbors on the same street as us. But there are neighbors a few streets down that we see while exercising and have talked with from time to time and know their names, but not a whole lot more.

Last night I made two batches of the pumpkin bread, and brought it to 5 of the houses of people that know my face, I know their name(s),  but I don’t know that well…yet. I got invited into one home and found they were trying to hook a TV up outside to enjoy the great weather. To some, they might as well be trying to build a rocket to the moon. For me, I can hook up the TV in my sleep. After taking a look, there were some obstacles that we couldn’t get around, but I found a solution online. I will be going back to get it all hooked up for them soon.

When I texted Denise what I was doing all night she said “who are you and what have you done with my husband”?  :) You see, I’m an introvert by nature. I get energy by being alone and reading or playing music. I get drained when I need to interact with people and talk.

It’s amazing what God can do when you step out of your comfort zone.

He can show you:

How your skills can be used to serve others. 

How to do things you never thought were possible

How to be comfortable in something that is fearful or uncomfortable for you

I look forward to growing the relationships deeper with these neighbors, as when it’s all said and done, life is really about meaningful relationships. So why do we avoid them in lieu of Facebook which pretend to be meaningful, but really aren’t?

 

Formula of the Week

Neighbors + Meaningful Relationships = True Community

Question of the Week

How many of the 3 questions above can you answer, and what can you do about it?

Drop a comment and let us know!

Above the Clouds

Posted: April 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

This week my wife Denise wrote about her experience going to work in the friendly skies as a “Sky Goddess”. I think you will all enjoy this.

 

I must tell you how only God was the reason I went work this week!!

The first of every month is time and a half pay for flight attendants who pick up extra trips from the company due to overlap. I was on call as a reserve.

Scheduling assigned me to fly to Houston, which is another flight attendant base, to sit reserve. After I checked in at the airport I looked at the list of Houston reserves and they had 16 flight attendants sitting at home waiting to be called. I was trying to make sense of WHY they would send me to go so I called scheduling.

Hi Frank, this is Denise, I’m not quite understanding WHY you are sending me to Houston when you have 16 reserves sitting at home AND you are going to have to pay for a hotel room for me?
Frank’s reply: I just don’t know. (AND then he says, anything else I can help you with?)

My eyes filled with tears and I walked to my gate. I called Dan and he said, ‘Well, it must be God thing.’
Honestly, that made me more upset and I got more choked up that he didn’t share my misery and tears started down my face and I had to just hang up!

I boarded the plane, shared my story with the working flight attendants and they shared my misery and I felt better!!!

I do have an Aunt (the black sheep) and two cousins (always struggling in life due to their upbringing) that live 45 min outside of Houston, the broken side of the family. (We ALL have one!)
So I prayed on that flight and I prepared a text for my cousin Daniel to send when I landed in Houston at midnight. I have to tell you, I was kinda of nervous. The expectations we have of others vs our own.

The next morning Daniel said:
Hey cuz. How are u? Mom forward me a text from u asking me to lunch…that sounds cool. Could u text me the address and time u would like to meet me.

PAUSE. Wow. Pray. Reply. Shower. Wait. God at work.

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For 6 hours uninterrupted I sat and listened with love and smiled. He is going through such hard times right now that he has not eaten in weeks. He said he drinks 6 essures a day for nutrition. We ate the barbeque buffet there at the hotel and he had three plates of barbeque chicken, brisket, broccoli, red potatoes and a salad with strawberry shortcake for dessert. He was surprised he could eat all that. I was afraid he was going to throw up later but he didn’t. Lol We had not seen each other in 6 years and it felt like 6 months. He just needed me to listen and love on him. Maybe feed him a good meal too.

God is good. When things don’t make sense, you will soon find out what God’s plans are for YOU. Just pray, trust and believe. I still had to act in faith! I had a thought and acted on it.

So, I am in a seat flying back to Phoenix to go back home. Had I NOT acted on God’s intentions it would have been a missed opportunity and a waste of my time. Now I have tears of happiness and joy knowing WHY I was sent to Houston.

Denise King
Serving Christ our KING!

I had been fearing the day that my greyhound Prince Harry would leave Earth for 12 years. Even for the last few years many people had already said “the day that Harry dies is going to be the saddest day ever.” He seemed to touch so many people.

For those of you who aren’t aware, Harry helped start the 2nd Chance at Life program which matches inmates with greyhounds. The inmates get taught a skill to use when they get out of prison (dog training) and receive unconditional love from the greyhounds. For some this is the first time in their life they have felt this. For the greyhounds they get obedience trained to make them an easier placement in a forever home. His charm and loving ways sold the Warden on the Prison/Greyhound Program. It had nothing to do with my power point presentation. He is a true hero and he has changed the lives of many inmates and greyhounds. He gave them hope, and a 2nd Chance at life. He taught me what life is all about (others).He taught me how to live as God wants us to live. By unconditional love, and being a part of something bigger than yourself.

You can see a quick 3 min video about this (which has some Harry sightings in it) here

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However even though my heart aches, I am at peace knowing the events that led up to and around his passing were an answered prayer. How you ask? The night before we flew back from a vacation in Hawaii we found out Harry had another back disc flare up, and couldn’t walk. These usually pass after 24 hours. He was able to take pain medicine and sleep through the night. The next day we were flying home from Hawaii, and Harry looked peaceful on his bed looking around. But he passed away in his sleep that morning. Therefore upon arrival we were expecting to be greeted at the door with Harry’s loving howling. You can hear a recording I took of this a while back as I’ve never seen another dog do this before, but Harry did it every time I came home, even if I was gone only 5 minutes. It’s cool to hear him respond at the end when I ask “did you miss me?”

However, something inside me felt something wasn’t right even on the flight home. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I knew it was there. As we pulled up to the house at midnight we noticed another car outside our house. It was our great friend Andre’s car. As soon as I saw the car I knew Harry had passed. Before we got into the house he said “I have some bad news.” I finished his sentence for him….Harry died. He confirmed.

Denise ran into the bedroom and got her prayer journal. Opened it up and read this entry from 1/13/14 aloud in front of everyone at the house (close friends had been called in even though it was midnight).

harry-prayer

As you can see the events around Harry’s passing was an answered prayer.

  • We didn’t have to make the tough decision as to put him to sleep when his back problems got too frequent
  • He died peacefully in his sleep
  • We didn’t have to see him in that condition
  • Friends were there to handle the situation for us
  • The pain he went through the night before allowed me to fathom that he was no longer with us when we saw Andre’s car while pulling up. Otherwise it would have been too hard of a shock to bare.

All these events are not coincidences, but God-Incidences to allow peace in my heart that his passing was done in God’s perfect timing in the best way it ever could have happened. It’s obvious God’s hand was upon Harry’s whole life, so why wouldn’t it be there to help him leave this world?

I love you Harry! You’re awesome buddy!

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Cancer Changes Everything

Posted: November 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

I hope this blog has been a funny way to give you a transparent window view into my life and my faith. Today will be transparent, but not funny.

Sunday night I had just got home from a board gaming convention to hear the news that my Mom was diagnosed with stage 3 Peritoneal Cancer while I was gone and was having emergency surgery the next day to remove the tumors.

After the sleepless and food-less night, I was drawn to one of my favorite promises given to us in his Word.

Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

God has a plan. He is good. All the time. Whether we can see it, understand it, how, why, or not. It’s true. Sometimes our feeble minds can’t wrap our heads around how God can be good in a time like this. We aren’t always supposed to understand it until later, and sometimes never. Or at least during this lifetime.

The reason why our God is hard to believe sometimes is because He is …..well…unbelievable! Who wants to believe in a God that is believable? One that we can put in a box and understand all his ways? Not me!

God has a way of drawing us towards him when we are further from Him than He would like. He tries to get our attention but we go on our merry ways like usual. Sometimes it takes something as serious as this to get our attention, to bring family closer together as we always should be, and closer to Him which he longs for so bad because he is our heavenly Father and he loves us so dearly just like you love your kids.

Before being wheeled in, my Mom essentially said that her motto for life is as follows:

Matthew 5:14 – 16

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Here’s a picture of my mom in good spirits right before she went into surgery.

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Speaking the Truth in Love

Posted: October 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

Who likes to be told the truth? Well everyone…..unless it’s about themselves :)

Mark Twain coined the phrase “Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it.”

Even though it is the most valuable thing we have, it’s not always the easiest thing to do. Especially if telling the truth to someone is going to cause some self reflection which will inflict damage to that person (even though they need to hear it).

Paul tells us that we are to “speak the truth in love”That sounds easier than it really is. See the truth is that people who aren’t your true friends will stab you in the back. But Oscar Wilde says:

Wilde-Quote

Now this type of stabbing still should be “in love”. The stab is just the necessary means to open the flesh, to get to the underlying wound. Imagine your friend has been shot, there are no doctors around, and you are the only one that can get the bullet out for the chance of their survival. Once the bullet is out you can help stitch them up. Speaking the truth in love should be the same thing. Open the wound, help them identify and remove whatever it is that is harming them, and then help stitch them back up.

Speaking the truth in love has a formula that was shown to me recently from my cousin Dave.

Formula of the Week

Truth + Gentleness = Love

Without the gentleness, it’s just the truth (without love).

Question of the Week

In what way have you had an interesting experience either on the giving or receiving end of speaking the truth (either not in love, or in love). Let us know what you learned from it by dropping a comment.

Life Changing Trip to Israel

Posted: October 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

Earlier this year we took a trip to Israel for a 10 day pilgrimage. It was a life changing event. To see why it was so impactful, I produced a video with my new learned production/photography/videography  skills. This might have you add a trip to the Holy Land onto your bucket list.

Enjoy!

israel video

 

You’ll Never Be Perfect

Posted: September 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

When I was a kid I used to watch wrestling on TV. One of my favorite wrestlers was Mr. Perfect.

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They showed him doing everything “perfect”. They had videos of him water skiing on one leg with a blind fold, shooting a half court shot in basketball backwards into the net, and many others. I always thought that it would be cool to be perfect. As much as we’d all like to be perfect, we aren’t, and never can be. The truth is we can never even get close to being perfect.

Some people don’t realize that God takes us as we are (imperfect) and uses us, no matter how imperfect,  to do amazing things. We can’t and shouldn’t wait until “we get ourselves right”  before opening our heart to the Lord.  Don’t make excuses for yourselves that you’ll really turn to him when you’re right because that will never happen. There is no time like the present, and he accepts you as you are no matter what and loves you as your heavenly father.

Think this isn’t true?

Noah got drunk, Jacob lied, Moses murdered, Rahab was a whore, David had an affair. God still used them to do amazing things.

What’s your excuse?

Formula of the Week

The time it takes to become perfect = ∞

Question of the Week

Have you ever thought you were not good enough to turn to God? What happened when you finally did? Drop us a comment and let us know.

Trust Your Mirrors

Posted: September 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

Who here hates moving? Wow, that looks like most you. Now who here hates moving in Arizona, during the summer? Right! All of you! Have you ever tried to drive a U-haul truck? The first time you’ve tried this, you look into the rear view mirror, and you realize there is none! Then you really feel like a doofus when you continually try to look in it while you’re driving. After about the 10th time, you finally decide to rely on your side mirrors.

mirror

When you are forced to rely on your mirrors, at first it’s scary. You can’t look behind you and physically see what the mirrors are showing you. However, in fact, all the mirrors are doing is showing you truth. It’s just in a way you aren’t used to seeing it. Mirrors don’t lie.

We are called to be mirrors to be a reflection of God’s light and love to others.

Many times this can be to a stranger. But it can also be to someone that’s close to you, and they need to hear the truth. Many times it’s the truth they don’t want to hear. On the other end, many times it’s the truth that YOU don’t want to hear.

Just remember, if they love you enough to speak the truth in love  we need to learn to trust them as our mirror showing us truth, but in a way that we aren’t yet comfortable with.

The goal is to become a seasoned truck driver. By that I don’t mean by getting hemorrhoids :) I mean by where you rely on your mirrors and couldn’t drive without them. The key to this is finding true intimate friends who over time, we have learned to trust them as our “mirrors”.

Formula of the Week

Mirrors = Truth

Question of the Week

Have you had anyone act as a mirror to you and you rejected it, but then later on you realized it was the truth you needed to see/hear? Drop us a comment and let us know!

As you probably know, I’m known as the Game Boy Geek and I love playing and reviewing board games. Nerd alert (whooop whooop whooop)! Some people have wondered why I spend so much time playing board games and think it’s down right pitiful. Well, in addition to using and exercising your brain for healthy development, and using it a for creative and mathematical thinking, it gets people away from the electronic gizmos they are tied to, puts them in front of you and it’s great fun human interaction. Human Interaction? What’s that? Oh it’s something we used to do before iPhones and iPads came out, Son…..

I often get asked from people ” How do you find your purpose in life? Where do you find it?” I usually reply with “stop spending so much time looking for your purpose and start living it.” Almost all the time your purpose is right under your nose. It’s going to be in the areas you have a strong passion and/or God has gifted you with. Immerse yourself in those, and your purpose will become obvious.

In last week’s blog I talked about how our house guest overheard us talking about the kids we sponsor and it inspired him to also sponsor one that night. Well right after that, he saw one that said his favorite activity is “Playing Board Games”.

Has anyone heard of a country in Africa called Chad? Oh good. I’m  not the only one feeling like an idiot :)

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Anyway, as we looked further, we found that about 80% of the kids there had “Playing Board Games” listed as their favorite activity. So I felt the urge to sponsor one. Meet Narcisse.

narcisse

Since I now review board games for the Dice Tower, I have an interesting opportunity to get my hands on more board games than you can shake a stick at (over 600 get reviewed each year). I have contacted World Vision, and they indeed are very open to getting donated games after we review them and send them to the village in Chad Africa for the kids to play with.

Maybe someday if/when Denise and I go there, we will have an instant bond, and who knows what other larger and more dire needs we might see there that we could help fill (bathrooms, running water, etc).

Only God can take something that seems pitiful to some, and make it a blessing to others beyond belief.

Just remember “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

Formula of the Week

Pitiful = Purposeful with God

Question of the Week

What is something that God used for a blessing to others that most people would have overlooked? Drop a comment and let us know!