Thursday, December 30, 2010
Then I noticed I had not paid much attention to my blog. I remembered thinking back to my reasons for doing this. I wanted to create a space where I could write freely, dream big, laugh loudly, and richly inspire. So the last few post have been different videos and collections of things that have happened (and yes I know the snake story provided great humor for many). But I still felt like a clanging cymbal. I felt like I was posting for the sake of posting...as if I have thousands of readers who cannot wait to read my latest adventure...and if I didn't post something, then they were going to be highly disappointed! The reality was that I was not turning to the One who richly inspires me; who gives me the change to dream big and who has given me the gift of song and laughter.
So here I am, reflecting upon the past year and wondering what the next year will bring! I am praying that God would give me the words to say to extend his grace. I am praying that God would give me peace of mind about timing in my life. I am praying that all roads that I travel down this coming year and beyond, will draw me closer to Him and others to Him.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Today I posted a statement on my face book page about an incident between myself, and a certain creature from the reptile species. The truth is that I have a serious, serious, serious fear of snakes. This fear was set in me at a young age while watching Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Or was it Raiders of the Lost Ark? Either way, this story would not be possible without the cinematic skills creative force of Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford.
PICTURE THIS: I was on the phone with the Direct TV lady-who I will refer to as Rose- because our DVR box decided to stop working the night before. She asked me if I could go back to the house and get a code number from the box. Naturally I was willing,so I started on my long journey back to the home....which is probably a few hundred feet from the office. To not waste time, I decided I would jog back. I am sure that Rose was thrilled to hear me panting on the other end of the phone because I had quickly become winded. As I was approaching the house, I decided I would entertain my inner track star by hurdling over the yard border. Once I cleared the border, the trouble began.
Once I landed, I took three more steps before I noticed that I was stepping on a really dark stick. I am not sure why I slowed down, but there I was looking at my foot, that was stepping on the back half of a black snake. Of course, my heart stopped. And I could feel myself preparing to whimper out loud like a lost puppy... THEN IT HAPPENED. As I was quickly walking aways from it, the snake was coming at me! And he was coming fast!!!! At that point, my inner track star was eclipsed by my inner black woman, who decided that the world needed to know what was happening to me. All I could was scream....loud and long! The scream went something like this:
"OOOOHHHH HELP! HELP!ITS A SNAKE SWEET BABY JESUS GET AWAYS FROM ME! AAAAAHHH!! OH HELP ME LORD!"
The scream was also accompanied by me jumping up and down in circles in my drive way! Once I gained my composure, I realized that the snake was no longer chasing me. I think the high pitched screaming ran him off. I quickly looked around to see if anyone had heard my cries for help...alas no one was there. But I think that was a good thing because I was not sure how I was going to explain all that screaming!
As I was walking toward my front door, I could hear a faint voice calling my name. Before long, I realized that in all of this self-commotion, I had dropped my phone on the ground and Rose was still on the line!
Sheepishly, I picked up the phone and responded in my deepest man voice(which is really hard because I am a tenor)
Me: "Yes this is Mr. Gage"
Rose: "Are You okay Mr. Gage."
In that moment, I thought about telling her that I was being chased by a really big dog, but before I could response she continued.
Rose: "Its nice to know that I am not the only person who is deathly afraid of Snakes. Although I don't think I can scream that high!"
Rose: "For a minute I thought I was going have to call 911 to help you. But then I realized that would not be possible because you are in Florida and I am in Colorado."
Me: "Well Thank you for being so concerned."
Rose: (And this is a direct Quote) "Who wouldn't be concerned with all that screaming...I really thought you were being robbed!"
Me: "Well Thank you again...(i think)"
In the end, I was able to make into the house to get the code Rose needed and I alive and able to tell this story.
I don't think there is a message or point to this story...other then the confirmation that I really can scream like a girl, and that I really hate snakes.
If anything, I hope you enjoy the laugh!
Monday, November 1, 2010
So last night was the first time in 2 years that we actually walked the neighborhood to collect candy! It was really a great time! And it brought back a lot of memories of me and my cousins hitting the streets of Midwest City, Oklahoma to fill our bags.
But here's the deal! I was out with my son, and his best friends Nathaniel and Lucas. Keep in mind that Nathaniel is 11 and Lucas is 13 or 14 (i can't remember)You know the conversations was really interesting. Between collecting candy,dodging cars,and stranger danger, I found myself laughing at these goofy kids. So instead of me trying to retell the stories, listed below are some of the tweets from our epic Halloween journey.
-Headed 2 the Parker's 2 enjoy the evening! #smores
-Is loving the fact that @expert_fisher is comparing the heaviness of his trick or treat bag with the 11 yr old & 4 yr old.
-TOO FUNNY! @expert _fisher just got yelled at by some dirty old man!
-With my phone and ring tones in hand, i have decided 2 be the black Justin beiber for Halloween! #babybabybabyOhhhh
-From the mouth of Nathaniel Parker "A man's gotta do, what a man's gotta itch," that is all i can tell u! #tmi
-Considered walking up 2 a door that had a confederate flag in the yard! #dixiegonebad
Overall it was a great night! Good Fellowship with Great people!
Friday, October 15, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
I got the phone call today telling me that you were no longer here. Right away, I had to pause and thank God for the chance we had to see each other this summer. Before that, I realized it had been way to long since our last visit together. For that I am sorry, but I know mom did her best to keep you up to date with all of our happenings her in Florida. As the afternoon and evening went on, I found myself remembering all the wonderful memories we shared. I know there are too many to count but there are a couple that immediately came to mind.
Storytelling's and so & so. I can remember many times when mom and I would come to your house, I would be excited because I knew you would have a story to tell. Of course we would take a moment and catch up on our daytime "stories." Most of these stories were extremely humorous, but many of them were life lessons that could be applied to my life then and now. Most importantly, through these stories, I got to see and understand first hand how much you cared for your family. You embraced us all and in a lot of ways you became another grandmother to me and the other cousins.
Holy Hats and Fashion: Who could forget Aunt Lou's hats? I do not think there was ever a time that you did not have a beautiful hat for church service. There were many shopping adventures to your favorite stores to find the right dress...but more importantly, the right hat. I was reminded of the importance of giving your best to the Kingdom...and that included looking your best.
Food Friends for Life: There is no denying that you and I shared a common love for cooking, making, sharing and eating food. I would always laugh anytime you would call and ask me what I was making for dinner. And like wise, any time I was at your house I would inquire about your dinner plans...or desserts. If there is one thing the Gage Family can do well...it is to eat. I realized a couple of years ago, that my appreciation for making food for others, came from you and grandma Jewel. I can still remember summers in Atoka with you, me and grandma in the hot kitchen mixing cakes, frying chicken, baking cobblers, and of course perfecting the banana pudding! It was an honor to stand along side you both and share in the gift of making "Soul Food."
The list could go on and on of our time together. But my mind began to wonder, where do we go from here? The pain is so fresh in the hearts of our family. There are those who question why? But we are reminded of the hope we have in Christ! I was comforted by His word in 1 Thessalonians 4 that states:
"But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. For the Lord, himself with a cry of command, with the archangels call and with the sound of God's trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words." Aunt Lou, this is not our good bye. I am praising God that you are in no pain. I am praising God because you have found your reward. Being where you are right now, looking down on us, I wonder if you would say something like the words to this song.
You Wouldn't Cry
All you saw was pain. All you saw was rain
But you should see me now, Moments filled with tears,
Lasted all those years, Disappeared somehow
You never said goodbye, On your knees you cry
You're still asking why, but
Blue has never been bluer. True has never been truer
Honey never tasted so sweet, There's a song in the breeze
A million voices of praise.
A rose has never smelled redder. The sun has never been brighter
If I could find the right words to say,
If you could look at my face
If you could just see this place, You wouldn't cry for me today.
What you think you see, isn't really me. I'm already home.
You've got to lay it down, Cause Jesus holds me now.
And I am not alone.
Your faith is wearing thin, But I am watching Him... And He's holding you too.
What may seem like years will just be a moment.
Oh the day will come when I'll show you where you're going. I can't wait to show you that,
Blue has never been bluer. True has never been truer
Honey never tasted so sweet, There's a song in the breeze
A million voices of praise.
A rose has never smelled redder. The sun has never been brighter
If I could find the right words to say,
If you could look at my face
If you could just see this place, You wouldn't cry for me today.
Thank you for being supportive and encouraging to me and my growing family. You will always have a special place in my heart!
You are missed! You are loved!
Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
ASHLEY: Keller how was school today?
KELLER: Fine! Ugh, is daddy going to be at home or at church?
ASHLEY: I will be at the church.
KELLER: Well, when I grow up I am going to be just like daddy!
ASHLEY: You are? Well that is very nice!
KELLER: Yes!!! I am going to be Dark Chocolate, just like daddy!!!
If you do not understand the humor of this message, I encourage you to go back and ready the previous statement by Keller, which refers to us as the chocolate family. Some people think I should compile all these stories and phrases and publish a book. A working title has already been submitted..."Through the Eyes of Keller"
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us," (Ephesians 3:20)
After reading these words, my spirit was lifted. I could not let myself get bogged down in the things that were happening around me. Just because my fasting period was finishing, I could still hear his voice saying "go deeper. We are not finished." My heart has been up lifted during this time...and I am curious and anticipating what the Lord is going to reveal to me through his word.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
As many of you know I have been on a fast this month and one of the things I was convicted about the use of technologies like facebook, twitter, and even blogger. I think we all know that our words really can be powerful. whether we like it or not, our words create action....both good and bad. All the social networking, blogging and Internet outlets have given us as Christians a huge opportunity to be light in the world. So my challenge in this next blogging chapter is to continue to encourage, hope to inspire, but to always remind people that they are not walking their journey alone.
Happy Reading Everyone!
Monday, August 16, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
To add salt to this wound of laziness I am a reminded of a the story of Abraham and ultimate sacrifice God had called him to make. We know that Abraham was a man that feared the Lord. We know that for Abraham, his life was devoted to serving the Lord. As I was reading these chapters in Genesis this week, I was amazed that Abraham was willing to go, no questions asked. Even though it meant sacrificing his most treasured position. As I father myself, I am asking myself how he did it? After all, he was human...surely he had some doubts as he was climbing that mountain with Isaac....yet, he continued to climb. Of course we know that Isaac was spared and a ram was offered as the sacrifice that day.
As I am walking through this journey, I am learning that it is not about my devotion time, but my devoted life. PLEASE don't misunderstand that statement. I don't want that statement to sound like an excuse or justification for not spending time with God. If anything, that statement should encourage us to spend more time with him. Sometimes, I fear that we have placed devotion time in a box and expect God to speak to us in one hour...no more, no less. It is clear that people learn and process in many different ways and we hear from God in different ways. I encourage you to find new ways to be engaged in His spirit. If we want to live devoted lives for him, then yes, you have to spend time in His word, hearing His voice, and even making sacrifices. If our lives are completed devoted to God, then the "devotion time" becomes some so amazing, and cherished.
As I begin this next week, I am encouraged about what is in store...even though I do not know what it could be. It could be living in the plain (read last blog post) or it could be something exciting. When I compare these small things I am giving up to Abraham (which I shouldn't), I realize two things:
1. In no way are these comparisons equal.
2. I just need to put on my big boy underwear and seek His will, listen to His voice, and go where he leads!
Saturday, August 7, 2010
I am looking forward to August, because it means the return of a routine. Summer is so carefree and that translates in what you eat. But the thing I am discovering about myself is that because I love sweets so much, I need to cut them out. I am not at the point that I can say that it is safe for me to have a little every once in a while. Because that leads me to eating more of it. So this month I am focusing more time on my food intake (especially the sweets) and making my workouts more intense. I am sure there will be funny gym stories.
My weight lost goal for this month is set for 8lbs!
How is your journey?
Saturday, July 31, 2010
As Christians, we know that our relationship and our walk with Christ is any thing but dull. I believe that life comes to us in 3 forms; mountains, valleys, and plains. The mountaintop moments in our lives are of course when we have some great moment...whether that be with a job, personal relationship, or spiritual revelation. It is those mountaintop experiences that we want to hold on too, because we like the way we were feeling in those moments. These are the moments that we find it most easy to praise God, because His hand in our life is obvious. The valleys are those low moments that we do not want to talk about. These are the moments that we wish we could sweep under the rug and be back at the mountain. We find it difficult to praise God because we can't always see past the situation to know that He is in fact moving. The valley is usually a place that we knocked into, or placed there by some unforeseen circumstance or situation. The valley is the complete opposite of the mountain. And yet we know that the valley is a place that we can move from. It is a place that, though we don't want to be there, we can find a way out. Then there is the plain. For some people the plain of our life is more uncomfortable then the valley. For many, myself included, there are moments that I do not feel like I am living unless something is happening...be it good, or bad (mountain or valley). The reality is, the plain is the perfect place to be for deeper encounter with God.
The other day I was thinking about what I wanted for my birthday. How was this birthday going to be different from last year? After all, I am going to be 31...so this birthday has to start off big! The truth is, the more I sat and thought about it, the more I heard God's voice telling me to be still. How can you truly be still and know that He is God? Yes, I understand in our world that, stillness and a quiet attitude are rare. But think back to those moments where you were intentional about your quiet time, and focused on His word despite the screaming children in the background. Remember how you felt in that week or two weeks where you were pouring yourself into His word and He was pouring His spirit over you. Time alone with God, however you do it, is essential to our spiritual growth and maturity. Which brings me to these 31 days.
I will be honest with you and say, my quiet time is sparse at best. It has become easy for me to say that my schedule is so busy doing stuff for the Kingdom, that it has trumped my personal time with Him. But it wasn't just my job. I can say that my social time has become a factor in this as well. Especially when you consider Facebook, Twitter, texting, etc. As I was examining the things in my life, I realized that my passion to serve God and live in His will for my life is greater then any of this stuff in my life. And I had to be real with myself and say, "You know, It has been a while since I really heard from the Lord."
All the while, I have been having this feeling that something big is about to happen! Do you ever get that feeling? You can't plan it. You can't force it into being. As I was praying one night about these feelings, I heard God say to me "Ryan, its time to go deeper." For me that means, I am letting go of certain things that would distract me from His voice. For me, that means I need to learn to live in the plain of my life and be comfortable. So for the next 31 days I am giving up the following things:
-Facebook and twitter
-fasting one meal a day
-All TV except for news(it is hurricane season...I need to watch the weather)
What I need for people to understand is that I am not doing this fast as a way to get God to give me what I want or what I think I need. This is me, finding ways to live in the plains of my life and be attentive to his voice.
I appreciate your prayers as I walk this journey. I am praying that God's will would be done and that His voice rings loud and clear in my hear.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
There is so much we want to do and so many people we want to see and believe it or not 12 days may not be enough...but that is all that we have so we are making the most of it!
The first half of the trip was spent in the Oklahoma City area. I, of course, grew up in the city, so driving down all the familiar roads and highways brought back a lot of memories. We were able to go back to my home church, Midwest City Community Church of the Nazarene. I was asked to sing a couple of songs...and of course I was willing! It was great to see so many old friends. But I think the word 'friends' is a big understatement. As I was scanning the congregation, my mind was flooded with memories of these people who believed in me from day one. My heart was overwhelmed with feelings and reflections of these people who encouraged, support, prodded, guided and extended grace to me! I am forever indebted to this congregation and forever grateful to the Lord for leading us to this place.
In addition to our church family reunion, there was a mini Gage family reunion...with some of our extended family. Since I was raised as an only child, I am "blessed" to have many cousins, auntie's, uncle's, great auntie's & uncle's...you get the point. So we had a family day which was tons of fun and loaded with laughter. It is always fun to reminisce with my cousin because we are so close in age and we shared so many summer adventures. It is great to see how our own families are growing and shaping. Though we wish we could see each other more, it is nice to know we can stay connected through our technologies!
We were able to return to our Alma Mater, Southern Nazarene University to look around and maybe see some former professors. We were in luck as we ran into Dr. Reighard, my piano professor, friend, and all around funny man! We were in stitches, cracking up and sharing stories. Before we knew it, we had spent an hour and a half in his office...and that was our first stop on the visit. Needless to say, the tour was cut a little short! lol
The second half of the trip was spent in the rolling plains of Thomas Oklahoma. It is amazing to me how fast you forget the simple living of small town America. In fact, as I was walking one morning, I heard these ladies chatting about their day. When lady A was asked what was on her agenda, she replied "Nothin' really...just goin make jelly! That's enough" Then, of course, that started my obsession with Sandplum Jelly! Have you had it yet? Our son was in heaven in Thomas. The grandparents bought him one of those kiddie pools that we all had growing up! He even got creative and put the Little Tikes Plastic slide in there, as his own personal water slide. I cannot even count the number of hours he spent in that pool.
Another highlight of the trip came a random idea. Ashley I realized that we were not going to see everyone we wanted to see while we were in Oklahoma. So we planned a "Lunch with the Gages". So we placed the announcement on Facebook...thinking that we would have a few people join us. Well, we almost shut the place down with people. Okay, maybe I am stretching it a little but we were not planning to have over 30 people. It was so great to see so many faces. Many of them we have not seen since our wedding. So there was 7 years of catching up to do. In that moment, I was reminded of how God truly blesses your life with friendship and love. Our hearts were full that day...and our stomachs!
It is always great to return to the places where you began! The past provides a unique opportunity to praise the Lord for those moments in your life. At the same time, it provides you that same opportunity of praise for the plans He has for your future. I am extremely humbled and grateful for this time we shared. There are so many more stories to share, but I don't want bog down the blogging world. The finale of this series will be from the prospective of our son, Keller! You don't want to miss it!
Saturday, July 10, 2010
The next three entries will be devoted to our adventures in the great state of our beginnings. Be prepared to laugh, get a little misty eyed and do a double take. I am sure that there will be many stories to tell, so I will try to keep it brief. Here is a teaser:
Today was Extended Gage Family day! After our dinner-which had some really good food-we went to my great aunt's house! As we were turning down her street, you could hear the laughter of children. And as we drew closer to Aunt Lou's house, we could see my cousins playing in the street....on my aunt's hover rounds (notice the plural). Who would have thought a group of kids could have so much fun? That is until the batteries ran out!
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Let it be said that I am extremely humbled and fortunate to be an American. We all know that we are blessed to have the freedoms that we have and to live as we do. I am very aware of the sacrifices that were made by the many men and women who have served in the Armed Forces-past and present.
Sometimes I feel that there are people in the world who blur the line between their political views and their spiritual calling. I think on days like today we have to be careful that worship remains focused on Him and not become worship of our country.
I confess to you that I some times struggle with how to balance my faith and my Christian convictions with my civic responsibilities and allegiance. How do we appropriately express our patriotism without giving the impression that our ultimate trust is in our government rather than in our God? Amazingly, my devotion time this morning lead me to Psalm 76. Take a moment and read it...for this psalm was helping me to see how God can be honored because of His work in our land.
As a worship leader, it is my responsibility, first and for most, to help lead people into a personal encounter with the Living God. So when it comes to holiday events, on Sundays-like today-though I want to respect the said event, I do not think it should be the reason why we are gathering together. Personally, What we did for our service today was a wonderful representation of who we are as Americans...but more importantly, as children of God. Today it was my responsibility to remind people that not only do we celebrate the freedom that we have to worship our Living God, but we celebrate the freedom we have gained by the sacrifices of Jesus Christ.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Ashley and I have made a better effort of holding each other accountable for what we are eating and for what activities we are doing. Moving forward has been our theme and if any of you follow us on twitter, you how these two words have become a standard in all that we are doing! One of the highlights of the month has been our epic return to Zumba class. Let me just say, that if you have never been in a zumba class, you need to go! Not only is it a great workout, but you can walk out with some great stories. I think my next blog series will be about our class.
Of course you have to understand that for any person wanting to lose weight, there is this small amount of vanity involved. I think we were a little more motivated to shed the pounds because of our upcoming trip to Oklahoma. But for me personally, the idea of living sloppy, like I have been, is just not appealing, and it is not who I am. And I know it is not who God called me to be. As I am working through this sloppy revelation, being appealing and attractive for the Kingdom takes on a whole new meaning. When I say these words, appealing and attractive, I don't mean it in the pretty christian people way. What I am trying to say is that, if I, personally, am going to do ministry for the Kingdom-and do it well- I have to be willing to tone up all areas of my life. It also means cleaning up the messes of life and refocusing on His will for me. It could me less time on Facebook and a fewer tweets. In my last entry, I talked about having this fear of succeeding. I think i was and at times still afraid, because God is going to require me to give up some things and maybe some people, that do not fall into his plan for my life. In our daily living, I know and believe that God reveals more and more of himself to us. Though his layers are vast and different, our response should always be the same...obedience.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
I love when the Lord leaves you small messages throughout your day. The past couple of weeks, the words to this song have kept playing in my mind. As I sing these words in my heart, I am reminded of two of many things we can find in the Lord; Patience and Strength. I may have mentioned it in my previous post, but lately I have been feeling sloppy, and I am not just referring to my eating habits... actually I am. But what I am trying to say is that I have become extremely lazy and sloppy in all areas of my life, including the spiritual needs. That is really hard for me to say out loud especially since I am in ministry, but I need to be completely honest.
As I was sitting in my small group last week, I was so inspired about moving forward with our weight loss journey and with moving forward and doing better with everything else in my life. It was as if God had removed the over sized blinders covering my life and revealing in full detail just what was happening. I guess that is why I have not blogged in a while or even completed some journal entries. But the questions remain, how was I going to do this? How was I going to move forward and not go or look back? How was I going to dig through the slop and get back to where God wants me to be? Then Brown's song and those words came back to my mind....Patience and strength.
As I was studying the word, two passages of scripture held my attention. The first was found in James 5:8-12 and it states:
When I read that passage, God was reminding me that all good things take time. And of course we always say that God's timing is better then our own. So in my desire for healthy living, and all that it involves, I am having to remind myself that this is in no way a quick fix. Plus, I have to remember that this is so much bigger then what I am eating and how I exercise. For me it was trusting and obeying. It is trusting that God will indeed see me and my friends through this journey! In turn we need to be obedient to His voice and be prepared to head down the road he may take us. Which brings me to the next word: strength. Isaiah 40:28-31 says it all
Yes this process will be hard. There will be challenges along the way. But I rejoice because I know my strength is coming from Him. Everyday and everything of my life has to begin with him. During these past few weeks I have found myself becoming weary. Like most people, our responsibilities and our schedules can leave us feel depleted, exhausted, and well, weary. No matter our positions and responsibilities in life, we can all agree that there are times that we can grow tired in our day to day tasks. If you are reading this blog, I pray that you are encouraged and reminded that no matter where you are in your life, we take comfort in knowing that our God is faithful, and as the scriptures says "never grows weary." He is the God that gives us the patience to endure and that he is indeed our strength!
Friday, June 4, 2010
Well, June is upon us and I have reason to celebrate! I am thankful that my wife has not given up on me. She has been a constant encourager and support! The bad news...I don't think I have done a good job of encouraging her on this same journey. So we began this month anew with more drive and determination. One of my favorite songs is "Moving Forward" by Israel & New Breed. I close this post with the chorus.
"I'm not going back, I moving ahead. I'm here to declare to You my past is over in You
All things are made new, surrendered my life to Christ. I'm moving, moving forward!"
As we begin our next study, I am looking forward to moving forward with our small group...not just in the area of weight loss. But in our relationship with each other and our relationship with Christ!
Friday, May 14, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
Picture This: Sunday Morning Worship for Church Anniversary! There I was running around getting all the last pieces together for the service. As I was going out on the platform, I noticed something on the floor. So of course I bent down to pick it up. In the process of bending was aware that my suit was not fitting like it once did (read FF Blog Post). When this happens...you make adjustments...use one less belt notch, lighter shirts, etc. Anyway, as I was bending down, I heard something snag or pop! I just assumed that it was one of my belt loops that had give way...because it was already hanging by a thread.
So there I was leading worship with no idea what had taken place in the seams of my pants. After the worship set was completed, I sat down on the keyboard to wait for the next segment in the service. The bench is leather and can be a little cool...especially if no one was seating there before me. When I sat down, I noticed the extra coolness of the bench. Naturally, I chalked it up to me being extra hot....the sweat was rolling off my face this day! Since it was now time for the next worship moment, I slowly slid across the bench. Once again, I noticed how cold the bench was...but of course did not have time to ponder what had happened. As I was getting up, I heard the snagging noise again. For a split second(haha), I thought my pants had ripped, but I could not stop and look.
It wasn't until the church dinner that I realized the reality of the situation. As I was loading up some decorations for the dinner, a gust of wind blew in behind me revealing the giant hole in the crotch of my pants. I felt like Marilyn Monroe standing on that man hole with the steam...except I am not wearing a white dress, blonde hair...well you get the point! So I quickly ran into the bathroom to survey the damage! It was bad! So I immediately try to replay the morning to determine when this could have happened. And yes all those snagging moments were not my belt loops...it was in fact the hole getting larger! But I am grateful the Lord still received my offering of worship...even with "holey" pants!
Monday, May 3, 2010
Picture this: Sunday morning...early: I was pretty much a hot mess from the beginning of the day! We had just spent have the day on Saturday working the Family Fun Fest and then we did our concert of worship with the symphony that evening! So needless to say, getting up the next morning was going to be a miracle. I managed to get myself together and out the door. I had to go to Wal-Mart for some last minute items. Of course everyone knows my love relationship with that store...or lack thereof. Anyway, I thought to myself "how bad could it be? It was almost 7am on a Sunday. No one would be there and therefore nothing crazy could possibly happen right?" WRONG.
I jumped out of the car and started walking toward the front doors of the store. I noticed that the greeter was unlocking the exit side of the doors. Some people would have walked in through those doors...but I have a policy about walking through the wrong side(read previous post). I waited for the enter doors to open, which seemed like an eternity. At last the doors open and I start heading in. In my rush I dropped my keys and quickly bent down to get them. What I did not notice was that the greeter was still messing with the key remote to the door I was walking into...and my foot was stopped right in the entrance. Just as quick as i picked up my keys, i felt this sudden pressure on my foot. I look up only to discover that the entrance doors have closed in on my foot. The good news is that there was no pain...in fact I started laughing because of how funny this must look to someone passing by! With a few colorful metaphors from the greeter, the doors were finally released and my foot was free. I quickly ran into the store to get my items...and then it hit me. I hope i am not on that people of Wal-mart website! Knowing my luck, it will probably show up...which means I am one step closer to being a star!!!!! hahaha
Friday, April 23, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
I realized last week that I was once again looking at this all from the wrong perspective. Our groups deals with physical, spiritual, emotional and mental perspectives of living. I was again looking at this only from the physical level. Physical in the sense of what and how I was eating and the lack of physical activity that was and is happening in my life. I feel as if the Lord is dealing with me in some areas (spiritual) and the truth is I cannot conqueror the other components without Him and His guidance. Especially if one of the cornerstone verses of this study is "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me." [Philippians 4:13] The one thing I have to remind myself is that may at this time, God does not what me to focus on the weight, but focus on His voice.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
As I was finalizing some plans for our worship services this week, I wanted to read more about this word. There are a couple of translations/definitions for the word Hosanna, but the one that stuck out to me this week was “LORD save us now!” That’s what the crowds were shouting on the day Jesus road into Jerusalem on the donkey. As I continued reading his word, I could feel that there was a passionate sense of urgency and desperation in there cries to Jesus. It was more then just rolling out the red carpet and welcoming Him to the city. They recognized their need for a deliverer, and they believed that He was the One.
I want to share this scripture with you from Psalm 118:25, 26 it says “O LORD, save us, O LORD, grant us success. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you.”
I have to believe that the spirit of the crowds that day was intense. But I am discovering that the word Hosanna was a word more of prayer than praise. When the people say “LORD save us” they are also saying “Come have your way! We know you are our Deliverer. Do what only you can do! Please save us and do it now!”
One of the songs that we are singing this week in simply titled "Hosanna" by Paul Baloche and Brenton Brown. I love the lyrics of the verses:
Praise is rising, eyes are turning to You. We turn to You. Hope is stirring, hearts are yearning for You. We long for You. Hear the sound of hearts returning to You. We turn to You. In Your Kingdom, broken lives are made new. You make us new.
So as I think about our current day...it is clear that we are in need of him. It is clear that some of us, including myself, need to say & shout out "Hosanna." Maybe this Palm Sunday will be different. Maybe this Palm Sunday will be a moment for someone to set aside their personal pain, or hang up that allows them to worship freely in a corporate setting. Maybe this Palm Sunday, as we are singing our songs and waving our branches, we are crying out to him in anticipation that His spirit will do great things....not just in the service but in our lives! That He is indeed going to make us new!
Then we asked him what color his arm was...but he did not answer. Instead he made this statement:
"Daddy! You are Dark Chocolate! I am Brown Chocolate! And Mommy You are Light Chocolate!"
When we asked what "kind of chocolate was Baby Kerrington, he said she "was not chocolate...she is just a baby!"
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Post Date: Monday, April 21, 2008
An evening under the stars
So I realize that I have not blogged in a while...so I figured that a real good embarrassing story about me should be just thing for those that are starving for a little "Ryan Gage Humor!"
This past weekend I was honored to perform with the local symphony for a fundraiser dinner for the community college. The location was wonderful. It was at the community college campus which is slightly hidden from the main road surrounded by trees and small lakes, etc... So, since the theme of the event was "Americana" I was asked to sing "God Bless the USA" and a Tribute to the Armed Forces.
Of course, I was feeling pretty good about the song selections. And I decided to wear a striking Red shirt with black slacks...which some say that color combo is considered power colors... So the they introduce me for the first song! Overall it went well and of course the crowd really enjoyed it. But then it went downhill from there.
I forgot to mention that the stage area was this huge white tent that was anchored into the concrete by these huge screws and cables. So there were cables and connections everywhere (by this point you where this is going). As I was leaving the stage with excitement, I was not paying attention to the walking path to leave the stage. The next thing I know, my foot was caught on one of those stupid tent cables....and of course I go flying face first into the ground!
Believe it or not, there is some good news to this! I tripped behind a huge speaker wall, so the majority of the crowd did not see me fall. However, the bad news is that there was one table of financial donors sitting at the last table of the front row, which was positioned just right so that they could see me make my shameful stumble to the ground. Of course there were the classics responses of "ooo" and "ouch." Then there was the classy lady that clearly had paid one to many trips to the bar. As she knocked over three wine bottles on the table to see me rolling in the grass, she replies, "Looks like someone borrowed some of our magic sauce girls!" which followed by the classic drunk dirty smokers laugh(You know what I am talking about)!
For those of you wondering, I walked away from the situation with no physical injuries...but emotional it sucks to be laughed at...especially when you finished a great accomplishment. And what are the lessons learned from this experience? 1. I personally need to stop laughing at other people! 2. Drunk people really can not be much help! So whatever you do...when you trip on something...the goal is to fall with grace, quickly pick yourself up, and smile until your cheeks hurt!
Friday, March 19, 2010
Attention Passengers...we are Landing in Mobile!!?!!
So many of you know that this summer is my class reunion. As a good class president, I decided to return to my home roots of Oklahoma to have a planning meeting with the other officers. The meeting was great and it was good to see people again. However, my arrival almost did not happen. Picture this....
Our flight from Tampa had just taken off for Dallas, and I was settling in to take a nap. I realized that the nap was not going to happen because my mother was next to me talking up a storm (she talks a lot when she is nervous). Anyway, after a small conversation, I started to fall asleep. We had been in the air for maybe an hour when all of a sudden we hit a really big patch of Turbulence. I mean this was rocking the cabin...bad. I think we dropped a couple hundred feet. My mother was next to me doing this strange breathing pattern....but there was a lady 4 rows in front of us who just fell out in her chair as if she was "slain in the spirit" (you could tell she did not fly much). Suddenly, we hear this loud sound. As if the metal from the plane is being peeled off the engine.
The next thing we hear is from the confused Captain "Uh, Uh ladies and Gentlemen, we are going to have to make a landing in Mobile, Alabama. I will keep you informed." That was it...that was all the information he was going to give us. No comforting words at all. He could have given us a "just relax' statement or something. I knew that the plane was going down...I was going to meet my maker by crashing into the dirty Gulf of Mexico.
As we are making the quick landing, I noticed the team of emergency units waiting on the runway for us. I then thought that the engine had caught on fire. Once we were taxied to the gate...the still confused captain replies "Uh, Uh this is the captain, we are going to ask you all get off the plane with your stuff." I knew right there that this Captain really did not have his stuff together and that he must have pressed the wrong button which has now placed us all in Mobile.
So there we are in the Mobile Municipal Airport...waiting, waiting, waiting
TO BE CONTINUED
Friday, March 12, 2010
PART 1 BABY: I still cannot believe that Kerrington is already 3 weeks old and did I mention how adorable she is? There are moments that we feel like first time parents all over again because her beginning is so much different from Keller's! None the less, she is precious and we praise God for her! When I look into the eyes of my children, I get so excited and humbled at the possibilities of who they will become. The likes and dislike they will have; triumphs and even heart breaks that will come their way! Even now, we are praying, as parents, that God would grant us strength and wisdom to raise these precious gifts.
PART 2 GRANDPARENTS: In addition to Kerrington's birth we have been so fortunate to have my in-laws and my mother here respectively these 3 weeks. They have been a big help and I know that Keller has had a great time keeping everyone entertained!
PART 3 MINI VAN: Yes, in the midst of all this craziness, we stepped out on faith and purchased a mini van. We are so in the parenthood crowd now! Truth be told, we had been talking about needing a different car for a while but of course the timing and the finances were not right! The Saturday before Kerrington was born, I just decided to stop into the dealership and see what kind of options they had! Needless to say, we were driving our baby girl home..as well as the rest of the family in our new van!
With all that has happened, it has naturally changed our daily routines. I have to confess and say that these past 3 weeks have created a hunger in me to be still before the Lord. Not only to stop and offer him praise for these wonderful blessings, but to stop and really hear his voice. There was a moment that I went into a small panic mode as I reflected on the reality of our new situation. It was very overwhelming! I remember praying to God to help me make sense of all that was happening...not just in the these three weeks...but as I thought about the future and of future children, ministry opportunities and whatnot. The Lord quickly reminded me of a story that author Priscilla Shirer shared in her book, "Discerning the Voice of God." In the study she talked about being on a morning jog and praying to the Lord about making sense and finding balance in her life. She was praying that God would reveal to her some answer as to finding a sense of order in her life. As she continued her jog, she began to notice the sun slowly rising and the birds beginning to sing. And she said that it was in that moment of the morning breaking that God said, If I can please all these things(creation) in motion, then surely I can restore balance to your life.
My reality is that I am chasing God and kids, too. God has indeed blessed my life with this incredible family, which has reminded me not to go it alone, but to lean on him and rest in the promise that He is with me. I know this post may sound like a ramble...and it some ways it is. But it is a raw moment that I needed to flesh out in my mind and in written form. For those of you with families, I pray that God will continue to renew you as you continue to raise your children, support your spouses, and dare to give your utmost to Him!
Title: Confessions from the Vegas Strip...part 1
I have been for the past 10 days to a place where any one's inner freak can cry out..."I'm home!" Yes, yes I was in Las Vegas. Mind you, I was there to work at a fine arts camp...but I got plenty of free time in the evenings. There is a long list of tales I could tell, but I will try to keep it contained to 2...maybe 3 blogs.
So it was Monday evening and the temperature was at least 109 degree and the wind was blowing...making it feel like someone turned on the industrial size hair dryer. Keep in mind that the city of Vegas allows you to carry your favorite beverage of choice around the strip...so needless to say there was a wide variety of drink colors, flavors and sizes. And just to keep the record straight, I had a super large Cherry Lemonade from "Hot dog on a stick." As I was standing in front of the MGM Grand, I notice these guys on the corner, laughing, drinking and having a great time. As I watched them closer, I noticed that all three of them had a bottle of beer in one and in the other hand...they each had a 24pack. Their new name for the evening was the "Economical Drunk Luck Club" But wait, the walking continues....
I was making my way towards Caesar's Palace to visit the Celine Dion Shop... Yes I did go into her shop and it was wonderful...don't judge! I was approaching the corner of Tropicana and Vegas Blvd and from out of nowhere I see this long pink feather boa coming at me. Attached to it was this 6'3 Drag Queen, who we will call 'Princess'! So it was clear that Princess was ready for a night on the town. 'Princess' was dressed to kill and you could tell that looking good was really all that mattered to him...her...whatever. As our paths are crossing, Princess-who was making sure everyone was watching him/her- did not notice the rain gutter on the curb...therefore, she tripped and lost her footing and down she went...boa and all! And of course if a video camera had jump to see my expression...you know what it was going to be. (If not please read my previous blog "Walmart and the hot pink hover round"). As she struggles to get back in those super thick heels, she did noticed her boa had fallen into on coming traffic...and alas, a cab, limo, and double Decker tour bus all left tire marks on the lifeless fashion accessory! Dejected, Princess collects the boa and feathers and continues on her way! I quickly learn that in Vegas, life does not slow down....not even the traffic!
Friday, March 5, 2010
Post Date: June 6, 2006
Well friends i can official say that I am a Florida Resident. Those that know me, know that I, for reasons I can not explain, always spot people using their hover rounds for unusual things. Yes granted this invention is probably the greatest thing to hit the market...but I thought all it was used for was to drive people up and down the sidewalk, not the street, or through a drive-thru (and yes I have seen both of those).
Anyway, So there I was in the local Walmart(I am always there..just ask Heather Biddle) waiting for my Dad to check out. I was waiting by the exit door that was clearly marked "exit". I know this because I have a simple policy about doors...if it says enter you walk in, if it says exit, you walk out. But I understand that there are some people in this world who refuse to following the small, simple, basic instructions. Which brings me to the rest of the story... As I was standing there by the exit, all I could see was this flash of hot pink headed into the store on the exit side...little did she know that although the first set of doors open for her, the sensors are not universal and therefore the second door would not open for her as she continued to cruise and eventually crash right into the air tight doors. All you could hear was the screech of her tires, her small yelp, and my big laugh as I doubled over into the floor. I think the only time I laughed that hard was at Heather Biddle's New Year's Eve party, when Lindsey had a small episode with a homemade Jewish decoration (and to this day I still laugh loud and hard about that).
Back to the story...After I picked myself up out of the aisle, I thought I should at least check on the lady, but to my surprise she had quickly regained herself and headed into the store...through the correct door. Only, her front tire had a slightly different spin.
There are two lessons to be learned by this story. 1.) you should always know which doors are marked enter & exit. 2.) Never, ever, ever, doing anything embarrassing in front of me. It is clear that I would not be able to help you in any way because I would be to busy picking myself up off the floor after laughing. Just keep in mind that I am not laughing at you, I am laughing with you...who am I kidding, I am laughing at you!
Friday, February 26, 2010
It was the Monday after the princess was born and my wife decided that she was going to go to the store with her parents...which means I was going to be home alone with 2 kids! However the Lord was gracious and showed me favor by having my good friend Andy B. drop by the house. Good news for me...maybe not good news for Andy. How hard could this be? The baby at this point just lays there and Keller will usually play with his trains, or cars, or whatever toy choice it is at that moment. This is going to be wonderful...me basking in the glow of multi children fatherhood/parenthood and being able to have a great conversation with my friend! This was multi-tasking at its best!
I forgot to mention that Keller had not been feeling like himself most of the day! We had given him some medicine and he continued to play his merry way. Once the wife and in-laws left the house, Keller begin complaining that his tummy was hurting. But of course being 4yrs old he did not want to be touched! So I began to notice he was starting to lay around on the couch and the over sized chair! I asked him if he wanted some water, so he took a sip and laid back down. So picture this: I have a baby in my right arm and a 4 year old trying to climb into that same right arm. As Keller continues to make his "I don't feel good" wining sound, I convinced him to rest his head on my left shoulder. So now the picture is set.... a negro version of some Norman Rockwell painting. And then it happened. As I heard the sound of my son yakking the entire content of his stomach onto my should and down my back I realized that I was frozen in place. As I started to move again, the yakking chaos began again! I believe the words for Andy were something like "Oh My Lord!"
I started laughing in my head because the last time I remembered Keller having an episode like this was during the Christmas production 2 years ago when we were running errands and Andy was with us and Keller yakked in the back seat of the car! I would say that Keller may be allergic to Andy but Andy has been around our house several times in between these two events! So back to the story: I handed the baby over to Andy and went into Mr. Clean mode. I got Keller calmed down and relaxed in the over sized chair. Then I had to pull out the big steam cleaner and go to town on the sofa and cushions! The good news is that both kids are doing well and Andy was not hurt in the process! HA
It was an eventful evening...and probably one I will not forget to soon. As I got ready for bed later that night, the thought came across my mind, "Welcome to Parenthood 2.0! Brace for the journey!"