Monday, October 19, 2009

I was country when country wasn't cool

I grew up in the South, in the country, on a farm, which explains a lot of who I am. I am proud of this fact, and I treasure the values, tradition, and morals I learned from growing up in the South. One of my memories of growing up southern was trend of the Urban Cowboy. Basically, we thought of these people as wanna bees, and thought that it was silly to wear a cowboy hat and plaid shirt to look like a cowboy and certainly country.

During this trend the "real south" clung to it's roots, and a song was written about this new found cool trend of being country. The song was by Barbra Mandrel and George Jones it was called "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool" It spoke of things country like putting peanuts in your coke when no one was looking, and wearing straight leg Levis. Basically it was a rebuttal to all of these people trying to be cool by being something they were not. It's real message was that what you wear doesn't make you country, but how you act makes you country.

Well as I grow older I see another trend happening, it is becoming uncool to be a Christian. I think this is for many reasons, but first and foremost it is because Christians have lost sight of what it means to be in Christ's likeness. I truly believe in my lifetime there will come a day, when calling oneself a Christian will have a negative connotation. For many people this is a sad day, but to me I look forward to it. Call me crazy but...

I have always championed the underdog, give me an impossible challenge and I rise to the competition. Say it can't be done, and I will break ever bone in my body trying it. So as it becomes more and more uncool to be a Christian, I am ready. I want to have to defend what I believe, I want to be the Christian that stands tall in adversity, and I want to be the one that shows an unbelieving world how big God really is.

I am not saying I want Christianity to struggle, or for Christians to be persecuted, but I also am tired of going through the motions and not living what I believe. There is a song by Matthew West that really describes where I am in my Faith walk. For me it is time to be real, my faith is not part of me, and
I don't wanna go through the motions
I don't wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don't wanna spend my whole life asking,
"What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?"
that is where I am but not where I am staying. JN 10:10

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Draw Near and Tiger Woods

Sorry for being so long since my last post. I don't sit in front of a computer at work so I have to find time at home. Today I am heading to work later, so I thought I would post what's been on my heart lately.

My church is doing a 50 day experiment of Faith. For 50 days the whole church and all its groups are studying five aspects of faith in an effort to draw near to God. They include daily prayer, bible reading, service, community, and worship. It has been a challenge for me to keep up, but I have made a commitment to see it through to deepen my faith.

Today as I took Beau to mommy's day out, I was thinking about having a strong faith, and how much the world view of Christians is changing. I truly believe in my life time you will have to either stand up for your faith or deny that you believe in God. With politics becoming more and more against the values of Christians, I think it is time for the church to get out of politics and get to what really matters developing stronger believers.

I have always thought that believers shouldn't force their beliefs on others through political channels, never has worked, never will. Still how do we spread the message I believe to be true for all?

Then it hit me, Tiger Woods. Think about this, Tiger would never be the golfer he is today if he had not been "sold out" on golf. I have heard the stories of the hours and hours he spent training at a young age. He and his dad knew to be the best you must practice and practice a lot to get better. Look at anyone who is the best at what they do, they didn't get there by giving it a little bit of time each week, or thinking about it, or taking about it. They got to where they are by working at it. So then why if everything takes time and effort to be successful, do we think our faith will be strong without any work.

I grew up on a farm, my allowance was simple, if I wanted money for something I asked my family what I could do for it. Funny how it always seemed to be picking up rocks in the fields, but it did instill in me a strong work ethic. However I have this ethic in work, but not in my faith journey.

So as I continue in this 50 day experiment of faith, I'm going to work at it, make it a priority. I want my faith to be strong, to be the best it can be. I know that nothing in this world matters more than my faith and belief in God, and for too long you'd never know it by my actions.
So each day for the next 40 I will be working on my Faith and my relationship with God.

Then who knows I may even try to become better at golf, nah I rather go fishing. peace and love Big B

Saturday, July 18, 2009

SO I am not so good at this blogging.

Well so about having such a gap between post. We've moved, built a pool for my parents, disassembled, and then reassembled a swing set, all while working six days a week. I know woe is me, but finally things are getting settled.

I understand how this blogging thing is suppose to be so great at keeping connected. You'll be able to let everyone know what you are up too. Sure if you were good at it in the first place, yes blogging saves time. If you are like me, I would love to stay in better touch with my friends, but you know the older I get, the more I am just glad to have made it through the day. However, I have always been told I am a little extroverted, so I am going to try to keep all the fans of Team Ernst aware of what is going on.

Well we have moved into the new house, and we are so thankful for this place. That's me on our deck by the grill. We love our new addition to the yard. Some friends of our had to move to Oklahoma City and weren't going to be able to take there swing set so we bought it. Then one Sunday my father, and buddy Jeff dissembled this thing into enough pieces so we could move it. Once unloaded, we realized this is a two day job. So finally my father came and helped me finish the swing set. I can tell you one thing in this world for sure. Nothing makes me happier in the world than when I can make my son smile.

At our community group the other night, we were discussing gifts and if we could have everything we wanted would we still want. I have come to believe that getting or receiving everything we want isn't a good thing. Don't believe, when was the last time you went to an all you can eat, and didn't leave feeling like your head was going to pop off, or at least the buttons on your pants. No, well maybe that is just me. Still having spent the better part of a month of days off to build this swing set. One smile is worth it all. He still is grasping the concept that he gets to play on it everyday.

So life is starting to get settle, that is until the new baby comes. Next Time "being with child"

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Easter The bunny and those darn Cadberry eggs

I'll admit it, I love Cadberry Cream Eggs. My wife gave me this addiction, and every year we look forward to the time when those eggs pop up in the grocery store. There must be at least a thousand calories in each one of those things, but I can't help it I love them.

I still can't understand how a celebration of the Resurrection has anything to do with eggs, or how eggs come from a bunny, still I do love them. While enjoying an egg last night it got me to thinking how we as a society can distort and modify anything to it what we want it to be.

As we approach the days when we will have to explain why eggs come from a bunny during Easter to our son, I thought how am I going to explain what Easter means to my son. As I pondered these thoughts and how in my infinite wisdom I would be able to explain this concept to my son. I thought was does it really mean to me.

In this day and age if you claim to be a Christian, you open yourself up to almost immediate stereotyping. I work in an environment with a lot of non-believers, for those that don't know I am the manager of a large wine store in Joplin MO. Even though I consider myself to be a believer, many people doubt this because of the work that I do. And that is my point, I remember in grade school going to UM Kids, and Mrs Betty King held up a piece of white paper with one little dot in the center of the page. She asked a simple question, What do you see? Of course we all said a dot, and then she explain the parable of the splinter in our brothers eye and the log in ours. It always stuck with me, judge not and you will not be judged.

So what do eggs and bunnies have to do with anything. Well I came to the conclusion that the only way people will know the truth about all this stuff is to live a life worthy of the sacrifice that Jesus made for all of us. Can you imagine if we all have a sacrificial faith? What if we lived our lives like we had a debt to pay back to someone. A debt so large that it would take a lifetime to repay. Everyday we would have to go out into the world and make payments. Never to be able to even to get close to paying off the debt. Well that is how I see my faith and my life. I am indebted to Christ to live a life worthy of his sacrifice for me.

So when that days comes to explain all of this to Beau, I hope and pray that he will understand that eggs don't come from bunnies, and Easter is not about chocolate eggs. And by my example he will understand that Easter is about Sacrifice and that we will forever be in debt to live a life worthy of the greatest sacrifice of all.

Monday, April 6, 2009

To a new begining

Its been almost two years since we moved our new family to Northwest Arkansas, and now its time for more change. My wife Sarah and I were truly brought together by God, since we'd never find each other by ourselves. Which was proven by the fact we lived less than a block away from each other for more than a year, and never met. Heck, I wasn't even smart enough to meet her the first time her friend tried to introduce her to me. Thank goodness God has always been able to work through my short comings. After the arrival of our first child we decided to move our family to Arkansas to honor our commitment to have Sarah stay home to raise our budding family.

Since moving back to Arkansas things have been a little tough, but not as tough if we'd have stayed in Colorado. The position I left was dissolved less than two months after I left, and the housing market started to stall, but we were able to sell our house right as the market peaked. Although it has been a challenge find a job, and find a house we both liked, God has blessed our faithfulness to follow His direction.

Well now for more change, we are happy to announce God has blessed us with a new baby on the way. Lord only knows how were are going to manage with a new baby, but to make things even more interesting we are finally about ready to purchase a new home. We never seem to do things the easy way, but with God we always seem to make it through.

The first time we moved we both had just taken new jobs, and to top it off found out we were pregnant with our first son Beau. This time we decided just to move and have another baby. Lord willing in October we will invite our second child into this world.

Well I've always heard Blogging is a chance to write down your random thoughts down for the world to read, and I have plenty of them, so hopefully I will be able to keep up with this and keep the world informed of all the wonderful things God is doing with TEAM ERNST phil 4:13