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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Life Lessons

Today while reading the scripture for my daily deovotional I came across something interesting, the passage was Exodus 27, the making of the tabernacle. The interesting part was in all the minute details that God asked be put into the tabernacle and the ark of the covenant. I have heard from all kinds of people, believers, and pre-believers alike that God doesn't care about the glamar, the vanity, etc. Nope he doesn't, but he does care about small details, the little things that enhance life, make it nicer. I think that just as he asked the Isralites to craft such details for the tabernacle, God also asks us to be excellent in all we do, crafting our lives to shine. It's all woven together.

Later on I read Acts 6, and came across the piece about Stephen, one of the seven the Apostles chose to help serve the widows food. Two different times within a paragraph of each other, Acts points out that Stephen was a man full of God's grace, God's power, full of the Spirit and man full of faith. We should assume that the others were also full of the Spirit, as that was one of the requirments to be in this serving position. Yet, why point out Stephen... maybe because the author (Luke) was introducing the reader because Stephen would be persecuted in the paragraphs to follow, or is there something more here? What I heard God tell me is that his character, his attention to detail and integrity is what made him Shine, and in turn caused people to see Christ, and Christ was able to work through him....

Monday, January 29, 2007


Ever desired something so badly, so deeply, yet you knew it was the wrong thing? Ever desired something so badly, so deeply, yet you were afraid of it, even though it was right? Ever desired something so badly, so deeply, yet you were apathetic to go after it? Ever feel like your desires make you insane? Ever do what you either hate to do or don't want to do, and you don't do the things you really desire to do? What shall we do as human beings? Stop doing. We are not human doings, we are human beings. So, stop doing, and start being.

I desire to have an amazing, wonderful, sex life with my wife. Why? Because that intimacy is something that I can only say is a touch of heaven's love. I desire to be myself, and be comfortable being quirky. I desire to stop doing things for myself, and start being myself for others. I desire to walk by the power of the Holy Spirit, and stop walking by the fears of the enemy. I desire to sacrifice my will for His, not so that I can simply "do" more works, but so I can live simply in His will that I know is good.

I desire simplicity.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


One of my biggest pet peeves is non commitment! It drives me nuts when people change from church to church, place to place, group to group, or just don't go for some "feeling". We talk about giving our lives to Christ, 100%, but then we let the whims of our flesh decide our path. Now, of course I'm not talking about being sick, going on vacation, etc. I'm talking about the person who doesn't know from week to week (or whatever the case may be) what they will commit to for that week. "Oh, yeah, that sounds great, my friends will be there so I'll go." You know that's great for checking something out, or even maybe supporting a friend in making some changes... but our faith is not in people, people will always disappoint, always, at some point. Our faith is in Jesus, the creator of everything, I do believe he will guide us, he created everything we see, he can and does certainly create our paths, when we let Him, to be magnificent.

When the church I was saved in (I don't like the term saved, but it's the easiest to use, rather than, the church where I gave my life to Jesus, lol, I said it anyway) went through a pastoral change I was devastated, I wasn't sure where or what I would do. So, amazingly (wish I did it more these days) prayed to God for a direction, he specifically said wait six months. After that six months, I began going to another church's young adults group (where I met Alexis a year later), however God asked me to stay in the old church for yet another six months; although I was being fed at the new church. If I hadn't listed to God, and hadn't set my last Sunday for September 1st, 2002, I would have never heard Carol and Denise speak about Poland. In addition, if I hadn't listened to God about staying in Poland after I so desperately wanted to return home I would have never met Dan Russell, which in turn means Alexis and I would have never come to Gresham and experienced the life changing place of East Hill Church, where Alexis and I call home now... I'm not even sure Alexis and I would be married... but that's for God and not me to know :)

You see, I know that because I let God draw those paths, and let Him tell me where to be committed, even though it was hard, the best has come of it. It is so frustrating for me, especially with people around my age, it seems day to day "commitments" are always changing, not to mention things like relationships! That's a whole different post.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Now this is exciting.

If this turns out to be as stable and feasible as they think it is, I would buy a car driven by this technology in a heart beat... assuming I could afford it. I've been eyeing the Toyota Prius for quite a while, however, it's a bit out of our price range, so most likely we'll end up with a traditional gasoline powered vehicle as our second car. The implications of this kind of technology is extraordinary.

Monday, January 22, 2007


I'm so tired that I can't even really get to sleep! My mind is overactive and I have a feeling of dullness inside. Probably this is all due to being over-tired... I should get to sleep. I'm having another rough start to a week, it seems Mondays bring around at least opression, if not a bit of depression, I'm just fried by this time of the week. These are the days that I MUST (but have no desire) get into God, reading His word, being in prayer, and being open with people, but instead my flesh takes over, and my spirit seems dry.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


I'm realizing more and more that we need deep, meaningful relationships. We simply need them. I know a lot of people go about their entire lives w/o these kinds of relationships, holding everyone at arm's length, claiming that they are "good" when you ask them "how are you?". Yet, I know that they simply can not be good, they are only feeling as good as they have ever felt, but if they would allow someone inside, they would know that GOOD can be so much better. The even stranger thing is that the key to that deep/meaningful relationship door seems to be only through our heavenly Father. It seems to me that people who have not been touched by Him really have a hard time being truly open, and willing to discuss personal issues. I believe this is true because only our God is graceful and merciful. With grace and mercy, comes real freedom.

Last night I had an amazing opportunity to talk with a friend, God had put it on my hear that I needed to talk with him. I didn't know why, just needed too. I know that God used him to open my door a bit wider, lately it's been simply ajar, and hard to see into. I'm excited but still a bit scared to share things again, but I know it's the right thing to do.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Winter Wonderland

Snow landed here this morning, and I'm working from home today.
Major freeways are blocked, the main one I take to get to work has no on ramps open... fun.
This morning outside our bedrrom window.

At about 9:00am - Outside our living room.

This is outside our kitchen window.

Outside our 2nd bedroom window.

And finally outside our bedroom window again.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Being bored...

I know some of you would pay to be bored, I would pay to be doing something that I have a passion to do. The grass is always greener on the other side. This season that God has us in also has me in a very trying state of "wait". It's a good place and I know that it will require much patience. I feel as though there is something that I must give birth to, but I have no idea when, and only a hint of the "what". I know God has something very exciting and that this waiting season is a key ingredient for full gestation to occur. In the mean time I must hunker down and write technical documents are server migrations and more fun stuff like that.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Freedom in boundaries and transparency

I could talk about boundaries and transparency until the Lord returns. Over at Sister’s Weblog Susan recently was looking back at transparency. This got me thinking about a couple of things. First, many people, and most Christians are so afraid of absolute transparency that they have locked themselves into a pseudo prison of shame and guilt. The funny thing is, the more transparent we are the less guilt and shame we need to deal with, we must still repent and always listen to the Holy Spirit for conviction, but guilt and shame are simply tools of the enemy. In Susan’s post, she highlights a number of verses that support the idea that God deeply desires our transparency. When we are transparent with what we are struggling with, with our issues, it brings awareness to the situation so that God can use his people to bring his healing, his wisdom, and most of all his love. I know this is true, because in my own life I have experienced this, and every time I become more transparent I have greater freedom to be who I truly am.

God uses people to do his work, read the Bible and you’ll see that, the idea that God does things unexpectedly is not 100% accurate, yes it some aspects, but the overwhelming majority of scripture shows that God uses people to get his work done. Inversely, the enemy does the same thing… Thank God that only one third of the angels followed Satan, and that the Lord still has the other two thirds bringing messages to us to do His work!

Now why did I mention boundaries? Well, because many people do not truly understand why saying “no” brings true freedom. You see, if we live by our God given priorities (i.e. staying in His word, praying/listening for Him, loving/protecting guiding our families, doing the things that support our calling, and the list goes on) we will experience freedom that only God can create. Alexis and I are learning this now, we have many things that come up, ministry opportunities, trips, many “fun and exciting” things, however, we have made the decision to honor God first by always filtering all opportunities through our priorities which we know are from Him. Because of this we do not feel guilt/shame if we have to say no to someone/something because we know that God has an amazing plan for us, one that will prosper us, and not bring us harm.

Together if we ask God for his priorities in our life, support them with boundaries, and are continually transparent with God and his bride (the church, other believers) we can experience a life of freedom from doubt, shame, and guilt. Believe me it is not easy, in fact sometimes it is incredibly hard, but the consequences are life-giving instead of life-taking.

Lord, I ask you to continue working in me, open my mind to be open with my brothers and sisters. Help me to get to the root cause of my struggles, and to be aware of the things in my life that may cause me to fall into my struggles. Lord I thank you for my friends that push me to be aware of the triggers and allow God to work in it. I thank you for your endless mercy and grace, I know at times I feel as though I’ve reached some kind of limit, but I know that it is only that old dragon’s influence turning the truth into a lie.

It's not as bad as it seems

So, I tried posting this entry from my phone a couple of times the other day and it just never made it. On Thursday morning I witnessed one of the most amazing sun rises over Mt. Hood, it was fantastic. I was humbled because the sunrise reminded me of God's full goodness; and most of the time I do not give him enough credit for all of the amazing, big and small, things he does in my life, and in the world each and every day. Instead I tend to focus on what the enemy is/has/will/seems to be doing. While it is important to discern what is from God and what is from the enemy, I want to be a person who focuses on God's work, it is much more encouraging and gives me energy.

I praise God that he has sent his Holy Spirit to all of his believers, to guide me and all of us into the true light. So, take a moment and give God what he deserves, your praise. He is good.

Lord, I know your grace is enough, it is all I need. My flesh must be cut away and my spirit must come fourth if I am to fully embrace your goodness. May my choices bring honor and glory to you. May my choices be your will as what is done in heaven. May my choices be of forgiveness, grace, and mercy as you have endleslly given us. May I choose to eat of your bread each day. May my choices give you glory, honor, and power. In Jesus' name - Amen.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Utterly stressed

So I am having one of those nights, where I don't know which way is up. I feel stressed, but when I think about it, I cannot think of anything that is causing the stress. So, then I wonder if it is the enemy “just” pushing my buttons, or if it is “simply” the fact that I am feel physically exhausted. When all of those things happen my journaling/life lesson doesn’t happen, such was the case today, which in turn created a number of other issues (that longing to connect with God didn’t happen, wasting time on nothing particular and really not that exciting either, etc, etc). The list can on and on.

Simply put, I feel defeated, and the fact of the matter is, the enemy is the root cause. My sin nature wants to satisfy the flesh, and my spirit gets the short end of the stick. This could easily turn into a depression time, and at the moment it’s a ticked off time (in which my wife gets the short end of the stick, hence a fight with me tonight). Bottom line, Travis no feel good. Travis need to do priorities.

Father, so much inside of me is spinning around, it feels as if something nasty is about to be birthed out of me, or as if I could puke the black plague out. Lord, I need you, and I know you are here. I thank you for your Holy Spirit, that you can bring my flesh under control when I cannot. Lord I am asking for your wisdom and your fellowship. I thank you for this venue of venting. May you control my lips, my heart, and my spirit, multiply your fruit in me, and may your humility guide me. In Jesus’ name – AMEN.

Ready to go home.

Have you ever looked at a computer monitor/object for so long at one time that when you take your eyes off of it you can't really focus on anything else at a different depth? Yeah, it's certainly time to go home. 15 min to go! Whoo hoo.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Alexis and I are baby sitting!

This is Alexis with our friend's 2 year old, Kaydin.

Friday, January 05, 2007

You gotta watch what a network admin does....

Yes it's a commercial, but it is what I do... and times that by 155 clients that we have and now you know why Travis is grumpy sometimes and just wants to stay far far away from anything that has electrons flowing through it.

Watch it here.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Looking forward...

I'm actually looking forward to doing my journaling time today. This is good, it means something is changing. Have I mentioned that the second half of my day 4 days of the week is quite boring... I have to try really hard to find things to do. Yikes... it's not my company though, I'm contracted at the moment to another place right now, and I'm only here for "help desk" things.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Life Lessons

I just read through today’s life lessons, and I was again struck by God’s perfect love. I read Genesis 6-7 and Luke 3:1-22 and although at a glance they may seem to be completely unrelated, Noah’s flood and the intro to John the Baptist, the common thread is one of justice and love. The flood was about God having favor with Noah as the only human, at the time, to have a righteous and blameless life. John the Baptist was the one to make the way for Jesus as Lord and the only one to live an entire righteous and blameless life.

Both passages reminded me that I am far from blameless, but I do know that I am righteous, only because of Jesus. I am seen as white as snow, spotless, fully redeemed at the price of Jesus’ blood. Yet at times I am as wicked, as full of sin, and worthy of death by fire. But now I am seen as completely washed of my sins, and God guides me with his cleansing water and fire with His Holy Spirit. The flood of Noah cleansed the earth of evil, the fire of Jesus’ words cleansed humanity of evil. I’ll leave you with John’s prophesy about Jesus:

John answered their questions by saying, “I baptize you with water; but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Luke 3:16 nlt


So here I am at work, actually at a client of ours in Portland's perl district (a great place to visit, but not to be stuck in bored out of your mind unable to visit all the cool things around you), bored, yet on edge that because I'm bored I'm not doing the right thing. I need to just chill out. Gosh, it's hard though. If I'm not doing something productive I feel that I'm going to be in trouble. I have things to do, but I'm waiting on this or that... strange. Anyway, better go before someone asks why I'm on blogger :)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Life Lessons

The pastor at our church challenged us about a month ago to really journal, now I have been journaling for the most part everyday the last four years. Well, except the last year, it's been more like once to three times a week, there are a number of reasons as to what caused this change, mostly due to apathy and being "busy". Well, I really am trying to change this and get back into journaling and blogging, I enjoy writing and I know God has gifted me with the ability to write for a reason. So, our pastor gave the entire congregation on Wednesday night what he calls "life lessons", it's a journal with a reading plan, and a very simple journaling plan. It's what Jason (our pastor) calls "S.O.A.P." which stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer. This is kind of what I’ve always done, to the most part, just now it’s in a neat little package that gets me thinking. So today's reading I chose the "meal" option (there's three different options, all revolving around the same text, 1. Snack, 2. Meal, and 3. Feast), I chose meal, which today was on Genesis 3 and Luke 2. In a nutshell, the theme God spoke to me was his transcending love, a love that gently guided us into obedience (the fall, Genesis 3) and a love that came to teach and for us to either reject or accept (Luke 2, the coming of Christ and his early childhood). In both passages we see God's love. Most of all in Luke 2:34-35:

Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is
destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others.
He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the
deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your
very soul.”

I noticed that Jesus was destined to either be accepted or rejected by people, and we must be prepared for the same, we are, after all, His followers. Lord, I ask for you to be near, to be the God of us that chooses good over evil, and for you to guide is into your goodness and stray away from knowing "both good and evil" for you designed us to know only your goodness, and in our pride we chose both good and evil.

Father, I ask that you bless our friends, Jason and Cassiday through this transition period, that you bring full understanding and that your Holy Spirit guide them into miracles they never thought possible. I pray for Jason, as a man of Your word, to be guided by your goodness and your wisdom. Lord I pray that the enemy STOP pushing the buttons, in your name I ask for healing from the storms that won't stop, I ask Lord for your divine rest and peace and that the faith of his friends and family be a constant encouragement. Lord, I pray for Kerstin's parents to have safe travel, for your word to be known to them intimately, and most of all, Lord, for your Son to be revealed to them; in only a way that our faith in you can understand. Lord I ask that you bring me to my knees, that I let my pride down, and that I see your beauty in everything I do and in every person that I encounter. In Jesus' name - Amen.

A New Year Has Come

Well, I was going to link to a video of the weekend before Christmas service at our church, but they don't have it on the website anymore. We now have to pay to see old services... I would like to know the rational behind that one. Anyway. My wife did a wonderful dance/sign language interpretation to Celine Dion's "A New Day has come", maybe I can get some video of it at some point. Anyway the words are great and you can apply it to the new year.

A new day has...come
I was waiting for so long For a miracle to come
Everyone told me to be strong Hold on and don't shed a tear
Through the
darkness and good times I knew I'd make it through And the world thought I had
it all But I was waiting for you
Hush, love
I see a light in the sky Oh,
it's almost blinding me I can't believe I've been touched by an angel with love
Let the rain come down and wash away my tears Let it fill my soul and drown my
fears Let it shatter the walls for a new, new sun A new day has...come
it was dark now there's light Where there was pain now there's joy Where there
was weakness, I found my strength All in the eyes of a boy
Hush, love
see a light in the sky Oh, it's almost blinding me I can't believe I've been
touched by an angel with love Let the rain come down and wash away my tears Let
it fill my soul and drown my fears Let it shatter the walls for a new, new sun A
new day has...come
A new day has...come Ohhh, a light... OOh