Thursday, April 26, 2007

A little adventure...ordeal even!

Just making a quick interjection here before I make the next post -
The group that I am apart of recently set out on a little adventure. Let's just say it involved 6 guys, a truck, holding hands, and some blind folds. You may at this point be questioning what I am learning in seminary...but click on the pictures below to find out more about this adventure:

Monday, April 23, 2007

The pain of loss...

As I was out on the river yesterday the sun was beaming down and the water was just gorgeous. I couldn't help but look around and just take in the beauty of Creation, from the biggest wave on the river to the smallest flower on the bank. On such a beautiful day, in such an awesome setting, it's difficult to understand or make sense of the danger, tragedy, pain, and evil that is evident everyday. All the pain and suffering in the world is evident not only on the news, but in our own day to day lives.

It was one week ago today that the tragedy at Virginia Tech unfolded, taking many lives and physically wounding many others. Beyond the physical wounds, the emotional wounds spread even further, leaving people living in fear with doubts about the goodness that exists. One year ago today I had to struggle through some of these same feelings. One year ago today a good friend of mine, Sally Naas, passed away while kayaking on a beautiful day on a familiar river. In whitewater kayaking, there is an inherent danger, but it that danger had never been realized like it was on April 23, 2006. The pain that I felt in the loss of this friend was one of the most difficult things I've had to work through in my life.

In the face of tragedy, the reaction is almost always to ask "Why, God?". So really, why, if God is so powerful, loving and so good, do these things happen?
Well, I want to answer those questions, and I will. If I answered them now, this would be a longer blog than you would want to read. In the coming days I will post a response. Right now I would just like to focus on remembering and lifting up those affected by the Virginia Tech tragedy and the loss of Sally Naas. Please remember in both cases the emergency services personel and those who experienced the situations first hand. I especially would ask that you lift up Woody Naas, Sally's husband and members of the West Virginia Wildwater Association that were on the kayaking trip. The pain of loss in both situations is beyond measure.
Remembering one week ago...and one year

Broken hearts will be healed by love!

Monday, April 02, 2007


There are few things that get me as excited as the rush of a raging river. While I love to watch it from the shore, there is nothing like being right in the middle of it. The flow of the water takes over my consciousness and draws me into a deep place of connection with all of creation. It is here that I can’t help but marvel over all that God spoke into being. It is my great love and appreciation of whitewater that helps me to better understand Psalm 42 and John 7:37-38. To know the power of water, especially moving water, is to have a small glimpse into the power of God. I love to “eddy out” behind a rock right in the middle of a rapid and just stop and see all that is happening in a place that perhaps less than 1% of the worlds population will ever visit. I’ve seen deer and ducks swimming through a rapid. I’ve seen waterfalls rolling off the mountainsides and even eagles flying through the air. I see all this and can’t help but help but think about our role in it all (I’ll save that for a future post).

There are several people that I’ve kayaked and canoed with over the years and they have all taught me a bit along the way. But, there is one person that I really owe for the knowledge and experience of whitewater. My grandpa, who you’ll see in pictures below, got me started kayaking at the age of 11 and I did my first whitewater river at 13. At 25, I’m still kayaking, but I’ve really picked up on tandem canoeing, with Jeanine. Growing up in West Virginia there were rivers, waves, and rapids waiting to be surfed everyday of the year. Here in Kentucky, there are a lot more dry spells and fewer opportunities to get out on the water. It’s a lot like the different seasons of life I suppose. The abundance of water comes and goes, but we keep on looking for it, hoping for it, and savouring every chance to ride 1/4 mile wave train.

We just returned from the 9th annual Webster Wildwater Weekend in Webster Springs, WV. It’s hard to believe I’ve been to 8 of the 9. There are some great folks there in Webster Springs that organize a weekend of racing and fun on the Elk River (the longest river in West Virginia). Just like me, my wife my grandpa, my mom, my uncle and my “little” brother participate in the race. Each year at least one or two of us place in our categories. This year, my brother Joseph placed second in the short boat slalom race. Winning or not winning, the Webster Wildwater Weekend is a great time to be with family and friends and to enjoy the awesome rivers that flow onward to the sea. Next time you pass by a river, I encourage you to pause and think about where it’s going, where it’s been, and just how beautiful God made

If you'd like to see more pictures from this years race visit