Sunday, July 22, 2012
Kat and I are watching the finale of The Bachelorette. Yes, I just left myself open for lots of jokes but over the years we have watched various seasons. As we watched tonight, I could not help but think back to my relationship with Kat and how our relationship started off like a fairy tale.
During college, both Kat and I joined greek organizations. Upon graduating, we both took jobs working as consultants for our greek organizations. There was a leadership conference to help consultants become better and that is where Kat and I met. The ironic part was that I was not even supposed to be at the conference because I was had signed up to take a different job with my fraternity that would not have sent me to the conference. However, at the last minute I was replaced and was sent to the conference and even my room key had another guy's name on it because I was not supposed to be there.
I can still remember the moment when I first laid eyes on Kat. She was a few feet in front of me signing in and I looked at my friend and said, "I want to be with that girl." In my book, that was like me saying that I was experiencing "Love at First Sight." The conference was only a few days long but by the end of it, I wanted to be with Kat.
After the conference, we returned to Indianapolis where our greek organizations were located and we went on a date. I took Kat to a fancy Italian dinner and at the end of dinner, I asked Kat if she would be my girlfriend. Almost immediately, Kat rejected me. She explained that she was not ready because she had just gotten out of a 4 1/2 year long relationship. However, I was not going to allow this no to be a final no. We continued to date prior to me having to go on the road to travel the southwest.
During my travels, Kat came and visited me and finally agreed to be my girlfriend. I can still remember when I was in Waco, Texas and I was talking to Kat on the phone when I first told Kat that I loved her. Just a couple of months later, I traveled to Chicago to meet Kat's parents. During that trip, I asked Kat's dad for Kat's hand in marriage and I bought an engagement ring with Kat's mom.
We met in July of 2004 and just 4 months later in the month of November, I proposed to Kat. We had been in the same city less than thirty days but I knew that Kat was the woman of my dreams. We met 8 years ago this July and we will celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary this December.
The most amazing part of our fairy tale is that I love Kat more today than the day that we said, "I do." We have been through our fair share of struggles but we have come through those struggles stronger and our love is deeper.
Thank You God for the amazing woman that you have gifted me for this journey of life.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Yesterday, Kat and I continued a tradition that we have fulfilled many times over the last eight years-- seeing a movie around her birthday. Last night, Kat and I went to see The Dark Knight Rises. I could not help as we sat in that dark theater but look around at the exit doors and wonder what the victims thought and felt as the gunmen opened fire upon them as they sat in their seats. What thoughts went through their minds? How would I react? And the question that we are all collectively asking, "Why?"
Why would a person kill innocent victims? Why did this have to happen? Why, if God is merciful, did this heinous act occur?
It is senseless tragedies such as this that people begin asking God, "Why?" Some of us ponder if God exists when horror is seen? Others of us, want to know how something this terrible could even occur in the first place?
The truth of the matter is that God's heart is broken for those that have died. God's heart is broken for those that are hurting and suffering. God did not create man to suffer but to have peace. God did not create man to perish but to have life everlasting. However, all things changed when Adam tasted the sweet taste of sin within the forbidden fruit. Upon his teeth breaking the skin of the fruit, the world as God created, changed. What was perfect, was now marred. What was beautiful, was now tarnished. What was without sin, was now covered in sin.
As we look at the tragedy in Colorado and begin to ask, "Why?" We can find the simple answer in the first pages of Genesis. However, my questions then become," What could we have done?" Did we as Christians reach out to this man in love? Did we show him Jesus by how we loved each other? Did we reach out to him when he was obviously struggling? What can we (and when I say we, I mean those that follow Christ) do to help prevent senseless tragedies like the Aurora shooting from happening again?
For those that look at an event like this and question if God exists, I say that it affirms my belief in the existence of God even more. I think that an event like the Aurora shooting would be more of a norm and less of an abnormality if there was no God because there would be no collective moral conscience that is inside of us.
For now, I pray for peace and healing to the families that have suffered and hurt. I pray for those that witnessed this horrendous event and will carry a scar of what they saw. I pray that we that follow Christ will have even more of a renewed passion for reaching those that Jesus misses most (those that are far from God) so that more events like this don't occur.
Hug your family a little tighter tonight,
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Today was one of those days that I will not soon forget. I left church today to pick up some letters from the Post Office. As I began to turn left onto West 7th, out of the corner of my eye I could see a car coming at me and I knew in that instant I was going to be hit. It seemed that everything was slowing down and yet in that instant I realized how powerless I was. I could do nothing to stop the car and I could do nothing to protect myself.
After being hit, I just sat in the car stunned and dazed. My head began to hurt and I was very dizzy. This amazing lady jumped out of her car and told the person that hit me not to leave and then came to my car and told me that she had called the police and that I was going to be okay. I called Kat and said, "I was in a car accident but I will be okay." Soon, the EMT's showed up and told me that they were going to have to cut me out of the car. The awesome EMT joked with me and kept me calm while the Fire Department busted the windows out and cut my door off my car. After that, I was taken out of my car and placed on a stretcher and taken to Maury Regional Medical Center.
Thankfully, the doctor checked me out and ordered x-rays but I walked away from a high speed side impact crash with not a scratch. My car is most likely totaled but to have been t-boned and not have even a cut much less a broken bone is a miracle.
This is one of those events where we say things and we don't understand what we are saying. I kept saying I don't know how I am okay. But the truth is, I know exactly why I am okay. Jesus Christ protected me today. Jesse Shuster, our worship pastor said Satan must have been wanting you not to speak this Sunday but God does. Thankful to be on the side of God.
It just goes to confirm in me that God has great plans for the Spring Hill Church Plant because I am sharing the vision for this plant on Sunday. I will be there no matter how sore I am.
I also want to take time to thank those that have been extra awesome today.
I am thankful for Jesus Christ who took care of me. I am thankful for the EMT's from Maury Regional Medical Center, the Columbia Fire Department, Columbia Police Department and the staff at Maury Regional. I am thankful for amazing friends like Lisa Whitten and Julie Webster that came to the scene of the accident to make sure I was okay. I am thankful to Fred Garrow, Jesse Shuster, Derek Whitten, Shane Hunter, Braxton Hunter, Linda Hunter, Ed Motzny, Jim Adkins, Abigail Adkins, James Robert Adkins, BJ Bolton, Sue Purvis, Larry Purvis, Sarah Hoelscher, and Keri Huffstutler for visiting me at the hospital. I am thankful for my amazing wife that came to my side and has taken great care of me. I am also thankful for my mother-in-law that cared for my precious children while Kat took care of me.
Finally, I am thankful for my friends, family and church that prayed for me.
Kat and I feel loved and blessed by an amazing God and amazing people all around us.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
We have all heard the adage, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. " Whoever made that statement was a liar. Glad that me calling them a liar will not hurt them because it's only a word.
The damage inflicted by words lasts longer than broken bones. I know this from personal experience. Over the course of my life, I have suffered the blow of several words my way. From elementary school and being bullied to high school and not being the cool kid, I have had many words leveled at me that caused deep wounds that still surface from time to time.
Those hurting words did not stop when I became an adult. You read the love passage from 1 Corinthians and you assume that we put away childish things but it seems that many people continue to behave in childish ways by using words as weapons. My skin has toughened even more working for the church. It seems that everyone is passionate about their opinions about how church should look, act and feel. With my new venture into the world of church planting, I think that my life of hard knocks within the church will help me be able to handle future criticism. I have found that I do not mind criticism as much when someone speaks directly to me about it but it seems much harder to swallow when it is whispered in halls and behind backs and without the courage to share face-to-face.
Learning lessons of how to remain humble in the face of negativity,
Sunday, May 6, 2012
God did something to my heart when he called for us to adopt. He took the desire to have biological children from me. I feel bad making this next statement because I have friends that are praying very hard to get pregnant, but I pray that Kat and I do not get pregnant. I pray that God's will for our life is to continue to adopt. There are orphans all around this world that need parents and I hope that we get to bring more of them home.
Praying for my friends Derek and Kristy Whitten. They are adopting two older girls from Africa and they are in the home stretch of bringing them home. I can't wait to see the Whitten family expand through the miracle of adoption. I can't wait to meet Bethany and Katie for the first time.
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Since Kat and I had been out of our routine for the past several weeks, we had not been able to complete our normal Saturday morning ritual, Marcy Jo’s Mealhouse. It was so nice to walk through the doors this morning and be instantly filled with the smells of fresh biscuits and bacon. However, it is more than the food at Marcy Jo’s, its the people.
At Marcy Jo’s, one of the owners Marcy always makes my family feel special. My daughter loves her and always yells Marcy Jo when she sees her.
Many people go to Marcy Jo's because the other owner of Marcy Jo's is Joey from the famous country duet group Rory and Joey. We love them too but we go because the food is amazing and the staff makes people feel at home. If you have not had a chance to try Marcy Jo’s, make sure and check it out especially on a Saturday. Tell them the Hunters sent you.
Friday, May 4, 2012
Recently, Kat and I watched the movie Real Steel starring Hugh Jackman. I am pretty sure that Kat agreed to watch the movie because he was in it. Either way, we both loved the movie and by the end of the movie we were both sitting on the edge of our seats cheering on this fighting robot as tears streamed down our cheeks. I know, I know. Big surprise that I was crying but truly this movie gripped your heart and it caused me to reflect about the type of father I want to be.
In the movie, Charlie (Hugh Jackman) was a dead beat dad that tries to make some money off of his kid because the kid’s mother has died and the aunt wants custody. Needless to say, there was a tumultuous relationship between Charlie and his son. During a scene late in the movie after Charlie and his son have started to bond, Charlie asks his son what do you want from me? The son, Max responds by saying, “I just want you to fight for me.”
As I look at broken families all over our country, I see kids just wanting their fathers to fight for them. We see sons without fathers growing up carrying around a deep wound and not understanding what it means to be a man. We see young ladies without the father in her life trying to replace dad with each new guy that comes into her life. When will we as fathers begin to fight for our children. When we will as husbands begin to fight for our marriages? When we will as men of God begin to fight for God?
Our children are crying out, fight for me. Our wives are crying out, fight for me. Our God is crying out, fight for me. Even in the homes where the man is present, we live in a society where it is cooler to work long hours and slave at the office than it is to invest in the relationships that are around us. The ministry field is not exempt to this. I know that many people joke that pastors just work on Sunday but many of us fill long hours with meeting people, counseling, praying, studying and trying everything that we can to reach the lost. We are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If someone is in the hospital, we drop what we are doing and rush to their side. If someone is having a crisis at 2 in the morning, we leave our beds and counsel the hurting. However, pastors try and use the excuse that they are working for God so being a workacholic and non-existent husband and father is acceptable. I have wondered lately if the reason why so many pastor’s kids are far from God is because the person on the stage talking about God was not the same person that the kids never saw at home.
Last week at the church planting conference that Kat and I attended, we saw Bill Hybels, pastor of Willow Creek Community Church and his family speak. Bill, his wife and kids were speaking because both of Bill’s adult children still love Jesus and serve the local church. Bill became choked up when speaking about how proud he was of his children.
I am choosing to be a present father and a present husband. I am choosing to fight for my wife, for my children and for my God. The question becomes, “Will you?”
P.S. I am writing this blog at the Apple Store at Green Hills because for some reason the IPhone is not water resistant when you go swimming. Not sure why!!!