Monday, February 23, 2009

To Share With

TV Time - Project365:32

I was recently watching a DVD called "At Close Range". It's the story of internationally acclaimed National Geographic magazine photographer Joel Sartore. It's a fantastic DVD that I highly recommend. Joel is a great photographer with a neat personality, but he's also a father and husband. Much of this story details the struggle he has with balancing work and family. He spends weeks and occasionally months on location, sometimes without any way to communicate.

Joel said something in the movie. It was not featured, in fact it was in a non important thought to the subject at hand, but it caught my mind. He said, "Everyone needs someone to share with". When I heard that and it settled into my head, I had to pause the movie just to think about it a bit. I couldn't agree more.

Not having someone to share your dreams, hopes, experiences, ideas, frustrations, joys, triumphs, and failures with is like being the only one on the golf course when you sink a hole-in-one. Yes.. you still got a hole-in-one. It still counts, but it doesn't have the same satisfaction of having someone next to you screaming, hi-fiving, and jumping up and down.

My wonderful wife allows me to share with her. If I didn't have that in my life, I don't know if I could survive. Just yesterday, she sat there and let me rant to her about how frustrated I've been with my own performance at work. I'm talking about 2 hours of this. She was my sounding board. She allowed me to share and she help me guide my thoughts. I felt better after. But, I'm not talking about just someone to "vent" to. I'm talking about truly sharing with.

I say, "Hey Heather, come listen to this". She doesn't have to say a word. She just sits next to me while I play a song I found on iTunes that I like a lot. She doesn't have to do anything, but allow me to share that experience with her. I love to take pictures. I love to look at great pictures. She can sit down next to me and browse photos from a photog that I really like on Flickr. It's wonderful.

The joy of doing something.... anything... is far richer when it can be shared with someone. Heather is my someone.

Monday, February 16, 2009

My Peeps

Fun In Target - Jump - Project365:39

These are my peeps. My people. My blood. My my most favorite human beings to ever walk this planet. I thought I'd dedicate this blog entry to them, my family. I just love them to death. We just got through celebrating a rather strange valentines weekend. Friday night, we celebrated Heather's grandmother's 90th birthday. It was a great celebration. Granny's daughters, Ann and Carol, did a fantastic job putting on the event. Then, Saturday... Valentines day, I went to say goodnight to my grandmother, Cassie. My Dad, my uncle, my sister, and various extended family members gathered in Dade City, Florida for a graveside service.

TEL_4928It was bitter sweet. My Grandmother was a Christian. I know I'll see her again, but it was still sad to know I won't see her here on earth again. However, it was nice to have all my family together, not to mention it being Valentines day.

Later that night, we gathered at Heather's folk's house with all her extended family and had a huge dinner and just hung out.

The bottom line, I got to do one of my most favorite things... take a road trip with the three people in the photo above. I just have so much fun spending time with them. They are the coolest people in the whole world. I have the smartest, funniest, most creative kids ever. And the best part... they put up with me. They let me do stuff like take crazy pictures in Target!!! They pose for me. They listen to me rant about politics, music, business, etc.

Together At Last

My Grandparents - Project365:40, originally uploaded by Thomas Lester.

I can only imagine Papa waiting for her at the gates with a big loving smile on his face. Together at last.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Four Flames - Project365:28

Life is all about influence. Everyone around us influences who we are. Some may disagree with me. They may say, "I'm not influenced by that person". I say, yes you are... You are are influenced to be like a person or your are influenced to NOT be like a person. Everyone that we have contact with influences one way or another. Often times, it's not until we take stock in a persons life do we realize how that person influenced our lives.

Catherine (Cassie) Lester was one of these influencers in my life. When I was young, I didn't get it. I sometimes even regretted her influence. As I take stock, I realize that she has influenced a great many aspects of my life in a very positive way. Manners, grammar, my music, parenting, learning, goal setting, investing, and just living life. I'm talking about my Grandmother. God called her home Saturday February 7, 2009.

I know one thing more than almost anything. My Grandmother loved me dearly. She loved me unconditionally. She was strict, but I never doubted her love. I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by love like hers. These are the influences that allow me to love my wife and family the way I do. She may not be here in the flesh, but she lives on through us. I think of her regularly as I find myself teaching my kids the things that she taught me. I don't even think about until after I hear myself say it. Just last week my son said, "Me and Harrison are going to the circle" and without even thinking I said, "What's so 'mean' about Harrison". I smirked to myself after hearing those words come from my mouth. That's exactly what Cassie would have said.

I will miss her, but I will see her again one day in Heaven. So, for now, I will just say "Goodnight".

I never thought it'd come so soon
I'd be with you inside this room
Heaven's taking you from me
Your hand grows weak, it's telling me it's time to leave

Help me say goodnight
I won't say goodbye
Leave the light on, I'll be home in time

How can a granite
stone symbolize
The kaleidoscope
that was your life?
Your words will stay alive in me
My knees grow weak, the tears I leave, are healing me.

"Say Goodnight" - This Beautiful Republic

Thursday, February 5, 2009

How can they hear hear about Him?


Brian was playing at Fuel last night, and I usually head over to the main sanctuary after they get done with the worship set. Something made me stay last night to hear the message. I'm glad I stayed because Pastor Josh Turner was so in their face... he was in my face, too!

Josh spoke about evangelism. Specifically, he taught from Romans 10:14-15. It goes like this:

14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”

That's a pretty powerful set of verses. "How can they?" I kept hearing that. "How can they?" Well... they can't. That's our job. It's our job to tell them. Josh pointed out, it's not our job to have all the answers. We end up not telling our friends about our relationship with Jesus because we are afraid we won't have the answers to their questions. THAT'S OK! We don't have to have all the answers. If that was the case, their would be even less Christians on this planet. We just need to share what God has done in our lives. That's the one thing that we know and we know well. We use that as our foundation to share Jesus with others.

What if we don't share Jesus? It's easy, and maybe even comforting for us to think, "Someone else will tell them about Jesus". But, what if we get to Heaven and we find out that we were it? That there wasn't anyone else?

If we love our friends, we need to make sure they are aware that there know that there is another path than just "down". We need to share with them Jesus with loving words. We need to be their for them when they need us. We don't have to have the answers. If we do our part and share with them Jesus, then God can do the rest.

They can not believe, if they have not heard...