Life is an Adventure

Life is an Adventure



bright_blueRiverOh, the rush of the adventure of this life.


The bright lights of the sky reflected in the highly motivated flowing water brings invigoration and desire for today!






Nehemiah 8:9-11

Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is sacred to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.


Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”


The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for this is a sacred day. Do not grieve.”


It is “o” dark thirty and here I am already moving into my day.  Lots to do, things to think about, people to see, places to go and I am up and “atem”.  My life is an adventure and always has been but I haven’t always felt that way.


From July 31st, 1954 God had a plan for me. Well, actually, it was before the beginning of time!  As His plan has unfolded I can’t say I have always enjoyed it but it sure has been an adventure.


As you have reflected on your own life have you considered using the word “adventure” to describe it? I have not often thought of adventure when I have been down in a valley or wrestling with a struggle. I can picture myself with my arms swinging in front of me saying “no” I don’t want that right now. Or “leave me alone” when someone invades my space unwelcome at that moment.


climbing ladderClimbing a high peak, toiling over a difficult project, or working through a 20 year marriage all have their trials but they also have their joys and in the process we experience the adventure of discovery, highs, lows, and a sense of accomplishment.  As a follower of Christ, the way is always up!


In October of 1986 I received a phone call that changed my life forever. The ministry of Love In Action called me to ask me to consider a position with them managing one of their residential facilities. I had prayed desperately for God to allow me to work in a full time ministry. I laid out my plans but none of them came to fruition. But when this phone call came, I knew it was an opportunity from God and joyously welcomed it. After extensive plans were laid out in just two months I was on my way from Nebraska to California to discover what He had for me. Ecstatic and unprepared for what was ahead I accepted this as a huge answer to my heart’s desire.


I saw this as the beginning of an amazing adventure but now over 23 years later I can’t say I always saw it that way. Those years were some of the most joyous experiences and yet some of the most painful of my life. I have no regret about having made the decision to go and can see how God used all of those years to shape my own character. I often said I felt that working for Love in Action was more about what God was doing in me than anyone. It was like climbing the highest peak for me. Along the way the discovery of people, life, relationships and certainly my Lord brought great satisfaction to what I accomplished through God’s working in me and through me.


Three years ago, in May of 2008, I entered another adventure! “God,  Surprise Me”, was a little prayer that has brought another revolution to my life. (read the stories, click here) This new adventure is full of joy, and also its challenges as well. That is the way adventures are! Up, down, sideways, and sometimes a little rest in the middle.


A while back, I was asked by a friend to take him to the county jail so he could turn himself in for a warrant that has been issued for his arrest. Due to a violation of his parole he was to go back to the system for a parole revocation hearing and would have to spend time in jail until his hearing would take place. As I took deep breaths I pondered his life and what it has been like to be his friend. We met every week for over a year and I felt I knew him really well. As we drove downtown I was keenly aware of what he was about to walk into. He tried to process this with me and yet the angst on his face was obvious.


I mentioned this to a friend of mine and she said, John, your life always seems to go to curious and interesting places. I responded, “yep, that is the story of my life”. I never know what is in store for me but God has certainly had many unforeseen things up His sleeve to throw me off.  I look back and laugh at the crazy things I have been through. I can also look back and cry at the sadness I have felt or seen for others.  The mountain tops in my life have been very high. The valleys have been very low. But it sure has been a ride and I am not expecting it to stop any time soon.  I am thankful that God has allowed me to have a wife that is willing to ride alongside me!


As you have walked through career development or raising a family or maybe just relationships that have been a challenge, can you use the word “adventure”. I have found that when I change the word to describe the challenges it gives it a new frame to think through.


Adventures are discoveries. They are exciting because we never know what is next. Walking through an adventure has a certain exhilaration about it that gives us a little more energy to embrace it. But when we see things with heaviness or fear it seems to de-energize us and drag us down.


white water


A friend invited me to join a group to go white water rafting on the north fork of the American River in Northern California. I said yes and talked about how fun it would be. As we drove to the launching point I started to get really nervous and fearful. I could feel my heart pounding and the higher levels of anxiety inside me. The fear was taking away the joy of expectation and potential of the experience. As we started the ride down the river we had so much fun! It was 100 degrees and the cold water was wonderful. The rush of our yelling in the rapids was awesome. The calm of our resting point where we just laid back in the water was a welcomed break.


I wonder how many things I have missed out on in life because I was too afraid to embrace them? Far too many I’m afraid.


Luke 21: 34-35

“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.  For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth.


What can I learn about me today Lord? What do You want to show me that may change my life forever? Lord, I am scared about what I am about to face but walk with me, take my hand, don’t let go!


I was at an amusement park standing in line for a huge turbulent roller coaster ride. I was anxious but excited. My friends were with me to help give me courage to go forth onto this mysterious and fearful thing. As I got strapped in and the ride started to climb the huge straight up ascent I began to pray fervently. God, help! Then as it got closer to the crest I said, “what am I doing asking God to help me, I did this myself”. As the coaster rolled over the top I screamed and down we went! Through the hoops, over the hills, under the trestles and in a few short minutes we were pulled to a stop. I laughed and with enthusiasm I said that was great fun. It seemed when I released the anxiety and just ran with it I could enjoy the experience.


Is that the way it is with life? If we release our anxiety and run with it will our lives become an adventure?


Ps. 55:22

Cast your cares on the LORD

and he will sustain you;

he will never let the righteous fall.


So, here I am again, it’s still “o” dark thirty. I don’t see the sun yet, but I am thinking differently already. I am up early because I had indigestion that just wouldn’t go away. I wasn’t up early today for any admirable reason. I wasn’t up to spend time with the Lord or to go exercise, It was just because I couldn’t lay there any more from the discomfort. So here I am starting out my day with pain in my chest. But writing these words gives me something else to think about.


What do you have for me today, Lord? Who will I see? What will happen that will challenge me? How does this day fit into the adventure of my life? I can trust that it will and that God will make good whatever happens today. I will learn something. I will grow just a little more today.


Something I know for sure, You love me and we’ll face this day with grace. Come on sun! Rise to welcome us with the Lord’s loving arms of embrace.


sunrisePsalm 113:2-4


Let the name of the LORD be praised, both now and forevermore.


From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised.


The LORD is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens.




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