Family Photo 2015

Family Photo 2015

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Shouting Hosanna

I have always loved spring. I know I have said that in a previous post, but the fact is that there is something so special and unique about this time of year. I think the arrival of spring is one of the many constant reminders of God's hand at work, not just in creation by making all things new and fresh, but His hands are molding us and making us new! Spring also ushers in the modern day reminder of Holy Week and the celebration of Easter. I can hardly believe that Palm Sunday is upon us. I am sure most churches will be taking time in there traditional services to make this moment in our spiritual & literal history with children or adults parading through their sanctuaries with palm branches and shouting "Hosanna."
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 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!

references from NRSV Bible
More Songs for Praise and Worship vol. III

Statements from Keller, part II "The Chocolate Family"

The other day we were all in the kitchen, helping Keller draw a picture. While we were talking about different colors, Ashley asked Keller "What color is Daddy's face and arms?" He thought about it for a moment and replied "Black." Of course I came back with some sarcastic remark like "I am not black!" But then Keller studied my arm and said, "Okay Daddy... you are brown!"
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

Classic Blog Post IV...the final entry

Post Date: Monday, April 21, 2008
An evening under the stars

So I realize that I have not blogged in a 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

Classic Blog Post III

Post Date: Wednesday, February 07, 2007
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


St. Patrick's Day Obsession

So, most of you know that I have a slight obsession with St. Patrick's Day! I think obsession is to strong of a word...however I think my wife might disagree with that last statement. I like to think of it as a healthy appreciation of all the things that make March 17th so special, unique and fun! However, I should probably clear the air and say that there was no drinking of green beer or ale on my part. I think there were enough people doing that! So why do I choose to celebrate this holiday?

Truth be told, it not to honor the patron saint of Ireland. As far as I can remember, I have always loved the thrill of dressing up in green and "searching for the pot of gold." (please note, I do not at my age dress up in a green suit and search for gold...even though the picture may suggest other wise!) In fact, there were some years that I would change my name for the day to "O'Ryan" just to get into the spirit of the day. As a teenager, I think I was excited about St. Patty's day because it meant that we were in the middle of spring break or we were getting close to spring break!

So how did I spend the day you may ask? If the enclosed picture is any indication, it was a wonderful day! I was able to spread some Irish cheer and humor with my AMAZING Irish accent, shared some informative facts about the Black Irish and of course there was the sparkle bow tie! I was a little sad that I did not get to do my annual interpretation of "O Danny Boy" ...but then again there is always next year!

Most of all, I celebrate days like this because it is good to laugh! And not just laugh at different stories or situations but to laugh at yourself! It is good take a moment and not be so serious! It is moments and days like this that I appreciate being a child at heart!

Friday, March 12, 2010

A baby, Grandparents, & a Mini Van....Oh My!

As you can imagine the past 3 weeks have been anything but dull in our household. The title of this entry says it best. Of course compacting several life changing events into a small window of time is familiar territory for us. For example, the week that my wife and I were getting married, we also decided to move to Dallas that same week and I was starting a new job soon after the wedding. Apparently, weddings, moving, and new jobs are all high points of stress....its amazing we are still standing! Then of course there was the birth of our son. Granted we had no control over his early arrival...however, it came just as we had moved to Florida and we were still living in a hotel because our home was not ready. With all of that, why should the birth of our daughter be any different?

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 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!

Classic Blog Posts part 2

Post Date: July 26, 2006
Title: Confessions from the Vegas Strip...part 1

Oh friends,
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 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 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!

Going Green!

You know it's coming...the big laugh; the dirty Irish accent; the search for the pot of gold! At this point there are only 6 days left until St. Patrick's day! For those of you that are blessed to live in close proximity to me...prepare to be amazed and prepare to laugh! I have found a green sparkle bow tie...need I say more!

My blog page is officially going green...not to save the earth from global warming or climate no! The blog page is going green for the rise and return of yours truly as..."The Real Black Irish!"

I am hoping that BRAVO will pick this up as a reality show...they will take anything! HA
WARNING: this blog post or celebration is not approved by my wife in any way...she thinks it is silly...but I say, pass me a microphone so I can sing you a sweet Irish lullaby!

Friday, March 5, 2010

First Fridays...264.5 lbs. and counting!

To better understand this post you may want to reference my previous post titled "It's not about falling off the wagon...or is it?" The time has come for the wagon to be hitched back up! Since the previously mentioned post, there has been a lot that has happened in my life. And of course, I let those things stand in the way of what I needed to focus on when it came to my health and fitness and how that related to my spiritual life. To be honest, I thought that when my wife had the baby and lost her baby weight, I too, thought the sympathy baby weight I gained would just magically disappear! Alas, that is not the case, however through this life change, and the physical act of me falling on my face before the Lord, I am determined to see this process through.

A few weeks ago, I was trying to decided what to post and the Lord kept pointing me back to this bible study. In typical fashion, I thought I would come up with something better, or more funny, etc. Finally about a month ago, after I finished writing about Keller's birthday, God was leading back to this conversation and to this bible study. I remember thinking "what can I possibly say?" This was a failed attempt and I personally did not want revisit it. Once again I was reminded of His grace in my life and the Lord was quick to remind me of not just my on personal progress of this study, but of the progress of the group! More inspiration came a couple a days later when I stumbled upon a blog written by someone I knew in college. He titled his blog "No Longer that Guy" and it immediately grabbed my attention. Upon opening his blog and reading his entries, I was shocked, amazing, and inspired all at once. He decided to share his weight loss journey through his blog! It is an uplifting journey and I encourage you to take a read when you get a chance.
Through reading that blog and deep reflection, I have discovered that I cannot do this journey alone. Besides that help and leading of the Holy Spirit, I need some of that "in yo face" accountability. What I mean is that I want to hear from you....I need to hear from you. I hope that you will send me a message or call and ask me how the journey is going. Ask me about my meals, what I am learning spiritually. That beautiful picture of me at the beginning of this post is serving as my visual accountability as well. I titled this post "First Fridays" because I will post new photos and comments about this journey on the first friday of every month. For me, this is a new level of transparency....and as much as it scares me, I know that this is the best thing for me. Will you join me?

Classic Blog Posts part I

For the next few weeks I have decided to go digging through the archives of my short blog life and reprint some of my previous adventures. I would like to thank the inventor of the journal for creating a blank book for me to fill with my thoughts...however crazy they may be at times. And I would like to thank the creator of myspace who gave me my first online blogging opportunity...sorry I don't check that account much anymore. Happy Reading!

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!