January 6, 2009

Seeds of Hope

Posted in Christian Life, Christianity, Eternity, Family, Friends, God, Heaven, Jesus Christ, Mission, My Personal Walk, Personal, Prayer, Running, Things That Make Me Cry, Things that make me laugh, Things that make me SMILE, Thoughts, Worship tagged , , , , , , , , at 12:06 am by Dan Barnett

I’ve made it my goal to raise $5000.00 for an organization called Bethany Christian Services. I’m asking for flat donations or per-mile pledges.  Every mile I run this year will be logged on this site.  You can click here to learn more and donate.

December 12, 2008

The Almighty Paver

Posted in Christian Life, Christianity, Discipleship, Eternity, Friends, God, God's Sovreignty, Jesus Christ, My Personal Walk, Personal, Prayer, Religion, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Worship tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:41 pm by Dan Barnett

I’ve had the opportunity recently to reconnect with old friends. Some are from years ago when I was young, and some are from not so long ago. In talking with some, exchanging emails with others, and just observing as well I’ve been blessed to be shown God’s hand in so many of their lives. He has shown me his control and his providence.

I’ve begun to see his plan revealed bit by bit. The masterful story he is telling undoubtedly has he, himself, at the center.

I recently sat and talked for a bit with a woman about this very topic. As we each shared our stories, through tears and laughter, God showed up in a new and fresh way in each story. I remember how hard it was as a 13-year old boy who had just started to feel acceptance in my circle of friends to be uprooted and taken away from all of them. I remember swearing that I would not stay gone. Ypsilanti, MI was my home. I was bitter towards God for forcing me to leave. Later, after graduating high school, I would be bitter again for God withholding blessings I thought I deserved. Mistake after mistake would land me a single guy with uncontrollable debt and no place to really call home. Through a roller coaster ride over several years, I would experience let down after let down in every area of my life. Things I poured my heart into just didn’t become what I’d hoped.

About 2 years ago (give or take some months) I felt a feeling I had longed for my whole life. It was the feeling of unmerited comfort. When my wife lost our third child early in her pregnancy I felt helpless. I had no idea how to comfort her or encourage her. All I could do was tell her that no matter our feelings we had to be OK with what was happening. Through a card from a woman I didn’t know God broke me. He reached out and squeezed me to his chest and wouldn’t let go. As I sat in my car weeping uncontrollably, I realized this was what I had longed for — the feeling of comfort.

My gratitude would soon fade, and my greed would take over. It wasn’t until God took my one security and smashed it that I would be forced to trust him once again. When I lost my job, I was “OK”, but that soon changed. Rejection came more than I was ready for. Well-intentioned people triggered hurt that I didn’t expect. Our marriage broke or flourished on every word spoken to each other. Then, the answer came.

I looked at the friends from long ago and realized that had I stayed, with the direction my life was headed, I would have been one of the biggest obstacles to God reaching my friends. God shows me his hand in many of their lives now. He took the obstacle out so he could draw them to him.

I then ran into an old friend from just a couple of years ago. Through a 2-minute conversation I knew he was hurting. We talked that night for over an hour. And, once again, God hit me over the head. As I addressed the issue of sin in his life I got to the point I needed to and God spoke to me. This friend was dealing with a struggle we all struggle with at times. He wanted to feel the presence of God in his life and wasn’t. I told him he was wrong. I told him that a father who loves his son disciplines him. He didn’t want God’s presence. What he wanted was God’s comfort. But the sin he was refusing to deal with was bringing God’s discipline. See, God was there. He was just there in a way my friend didn’t want. After talking to him I looked at myself and started to wonder if maybe God was showing me the same thing. I had told my friend that the pain and frustration he was dealing with would fade and be replaced by God’s comfort if he made a decision to go after God with everything. I reminded him of the prodigal. His father saw him off in the distance and ran to him. That is what God was waiting for me to do.

So, let’s get back to sharing the stories with the woman. Through the entire conversation one phrase of hers kept ringing in my ears. I had mentioned how the roads certain people in our lives have taken were long hard roads, and she said, “It’s hard to watch them go down that road. But, you have to remember that God built that road for them.” When we’re struggling to see God I the people around us who just can’t seem to get it, they just can’t seem to get over that hump to find God’s peace, we question, “Why not, God? Why don’t they get it?” We have to remember that God built the road they are on for a purpose.

When the end of the road comes to them, and God is not at the end of that road, and there is no more hope, we have to remember. When they become as our enemy, and we experience more hurt at their hand than we can bear, we have to remember. We have to bring ourselves to rest in the comfort of God’s sovereign plan. We must rest in the comfort that God built that road, and where that road ends up is up to him.

December 1, 2007

Oh… Alright!

Posted in Family, Friends, Personal at 5:15 am by Dan Barnett

1st-week-of-june-027_edited.jpgApparently I have been “tagged” by my sister-in-law.  So, to appease these women who have started chasing each other all over the internet and didn’t realize I’m a boy and not a girl, I will give 8 random things about myself that you may not know.  Beware, this is pretty dull.

1. I was once a woman.

2. My dad once intervened when a woman tried to offer me narcotics.

3. I was mugged in 8th grade.

4. I once infected my Social Studies by improperly dispersing a volatile amount of ch4.

5. I have soiled myself 3 times since my Senior year in Highschool.

6. I survived a brutal attack aimed at neutering me.

7. I’m in a book.

8. I once played soccer with real, full-blooded Indians.

November 19, 2007

Guys’ Rules for Women

Posted in Friends, Moral Issues, Things that make me laugh, Things that make me SMILE, Thoughts, WOmen at 9:59 pm by Dan Barnett

I got this in an email from a friend of mine.  I especially like #1.

The Guys’ Rules­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­
At last a guy has taken the time to write this all down
 
  Finally, the guys’ side of the story.
(I must admit, it’s pretty good.)
We always hear ” the rules”
From the female side.
 

Now here are the rules from the male side.
These are our rules!
Please note.. these are all numbered “1”
ON PURPOSE!
 
 
1.   Men are NOT mind readers.

1. Learn to work the toilet seat.
You’re a big girl. If it’s up, put it down.
We need it up, you need it down.
You don’t hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

1. Sunday sports. It’s like the full moon
or the changing of the tides.
Let it be.

1. Shopping is NOT a sport.
And no, we are never going to think of it that way.

1. Crying is blackmail.

1. Ask for what you want.
Let us be clear on this one:
Subtle hints do not work!
Strong hints do not work!
Obvious hints do not work!
Just say it!

1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That’s what we do.
Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

1. A headache that lasts for 17 months is a Problem.
 See a doctor.

1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument.
In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 Days.

1. If you won’t dress like the Victoria’s Secret girls, don’t Expect us to act like soap opera guys.

1. If you think you’re fat, you probably are.
Don’t ask us.

1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the  other one .

1. You can either ask us to do something
Or tell us how you want it done.
Not both.
If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

1. Whenever possible, Please say whatever you have to say during commercials.

1. Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions and neither do we.

1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings.
Peach, for example, is a fruit, not A color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

1. If it itches, it will be scratched.
We do that.

1. If we ask what is wrong and you say “nothing,” We will act like nothing’s wrong.
We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

1. If you ask a question you don’t want an answer to, Expect an answer you don’t want to hear.

1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine… Really.

1. Don’t ask us what we’re thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball, the shotgun formation,
or golf.

1. You have enough clothes.

1. You have too many shoes.

1. I am in shape.   Round IS a shape!

1. Thank you for reading this.
Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight;

November 4, 2007

Prayer for a Friend

Posted in Friends, God, Mission, Personal, Prayer, The Church, Things That Make Me Cry at 8:19 am by Dan Barnett

A friend of ours from church was in a pretty bad accident last night.  He broke his hip socket and his pelvis so bad that they will have to do surgery on it.  The recovery will be anywhere form 2-4 months if all goes well.  Please pray for him.   His name is Joe.  Even more please pray for his family.  He has a wife and 4 kids.  This is going to be an extremely trying time as he won’t be able to work during this time.  As a carpenter I know it will be exceptionally hard getting back into his job.  Please be praying very intentionally for them.  Thanks.

October 14, 2007

Buck Up!

Posted in Christian Life, Friends, God, Prayer at 9:12 pm by Dan Barnett

Check out this post by Steve.  He handed a print-out of this to us at church a couple of weeks ago.  I found it very helpful.

August 28, 2007

Blogroll

Posted in Blogroll, Family, Friends, Personal at 9:50 pm by Dan Barnett

Take a gander at the sidebar.  I have my blogroll redone. 

Adam Farmer is my brother-in-law.  He’s a student at Northland Baptist Bible College in Dunbar, Wisconsin.  He has some very insightful thoughts, lessons, poems, and songs that he enjoys posting.  I encourage you to check out his site as well as the others on the blogroll.

Beth Barnett is my wife.  She likes to blog with some thoughs of her own as well as fitness advice, and she also likes quotes and blogging about our family.  Check it out.  It’s mostly geared toward women, but it’s a good update on our family.

 The Desiring God blog is the blog for the Desiring God ministries led by John Piper.  DesiringGod.org is an awesome resource.

 Hollie Mortimer is our neighbor and a close friend.  She blogs mostly about her kids and her husband.  I just like to read about them from time to time.

Joe Thorn, or Pastor Joe as he is commonly referred to by my pastor, is the pastor of Redeemer Fellowship in St. Charles, Illinois.  He has started blogging again after a month-long break.  His new focus is on things relevant to his local church, but you can learn a lot from what he has to say.

Steve McCoy is my pastor and friend.  His site is generally more geared toward pastors, but he has some very helpful links to many other blogs and leaders.

My running blog is just that.  It’s a blog I set up to journal my running.

Timmy Brister is a seminary student here in Illinois.  I’m excited to get updates at his blog on his wife’s first pregnancy.  He also does a lot of book reviews and informative posts on the SBC(Southern Baptist Convention). 

John Barnett is my oldest brother.  His blog is not as serious as a lot of others, but he has fun, and it is fun to read.  He also has most of his sermons in type on there.

So, there’s my blogroll.  Check out all these sites.  You never know what you’ll find.

August 4, 2007

Going out with a bang.

Posted in Baby #4, Collin, Family, Friends, My Kids, Things that make me laugh, Thoughts at 4:44 pm by Dan Barnett

collin-046.jpgcollin-025.jpgPicture almost any movie with the husband driving the wife to the hospital, and you have our experience on August 2nd.  Beth had been contracting every ten and six minutes for a few hours.  At 9:00pm her parents arrived from Michigan, and her contractions basically stopped.  We went to bed around 9:45 thinking it would be a while.  35 minutes later I happened to wake up to see Beth hunched over at the foot of our bed.  She told me she thought it might be a good idea to go in.  After a quick call to the doctor we were off to pick up her support partner and head to the hospital and get settled in.  Eight minutes later, that all changed.  “Oh shoot, my water just broke” was what I heard, and my foot heard, “Step on it!”  So I did.  I called my friend, who happens to be a cop in Woodstock(where  we were headed), and asked him to get me a clear shot to the hospital.  He obliged when the comment  of the night, “Go ahead ad rock it out, Dude.  Rock it out.”  The support partner was on her own at this point as I became what every dad’s dream is.  A race-mini-van driver.  At 90 mph I traversed the obstacle course ladened with unnecessary vehicles.  The tally stands at about 10 illegal passes, 2 red lights blown, 35 mph over the limit, and one illegal entry through the ambulance entrance.  The only thing I didn’t do was call 911 or run in yelling, “My wife’s having a baby!  Somebody help.  At 11:00pm we walked into the ER, and 27 minutes of yelling, rubbing, and trying to persuade Beth to wait, Collin slid right out into the nurse’s hands.  Yeah, the nurse’s hands.  The doctor walked in shortly after.  It was a lot of fun looking back.  We don’t plan on doing it again though.

June 24, 2007

Takin’ it to the Streets.

Posted in Christian Life, Friends, Mission, My Personal Walk, Personal, Religion, The Church, Thoughts at 4:54 pm by Dan Barnett

brassmonk.jpgI had a good conversation with an old friend today.  On the way to the Dick Tracy Days parade, in Woodstock, IL, we were talking about church and mission.  He posed the question to me, “Which is more important: perfecting your doctrine or being involved in the lives of those around us?”  I quickly answered that they go hand in hand.  I said that in order to fully have either to be effective you have to have both.  He agreed somewhat and said, “I will never darken the door of another church, as long as I live, that won’t hit the streets.”  As we talked I explained myself and finished my answer.  I think aside from having a correct understanding of my own salvation, my biggest calling is to do works.  The greatest commandment is to love God with every part of your being.  The second greatest is to love others as yourself.  To be frank, if you come to me and try to tell me everything I’m doing is wrong and that I need to repent, I’m going to filter these words through my perspective of the person that you are.  On the flip side, if I see you serving me for no reason but to serve and love, I will start to wonder what it is that drives you to do such. 

The danger is my first answer to the question.  I can have all the correct theology I want and not serve.  I can know my Bible in and out(which is what I’m striving to learn) and never set foot in culture.  How does a monk fulfill his calling to tell others about Christ?  If he is locked up in a compound 95% of his life, who is he reaching? 

Now look at the other side of it.  If I am devoting everything I am to being in the culture and serving all I see, I’m doing what Christ has commanded me to do.  However, what am I leading them to?  We have a church in our town that has every religion I can think of each practicing its own beliefs and ceremonies under their roof.  So where a monk is not doing an effective job of reaching out with his beliefs, the other danger is reaching out and sharing false beliefs. 

So, I’m curious.  How would you answer the question?  What is the biggest part of our mission as the church: our doctrine or being in the culture serving others?

 monkwithguitar.jpg

June 18, 2007

Update on Steve’s Wife

Posted in Friends, Personal, Prayer at 7:11 pm by Dan Barnett

mccoys.jpg             For those of you who have been praying for my pastor’s wife, Molly, Steve has the most recent update on his site.

Here are all the posts about what’s going on.

The first one when they found out.

#2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, and #8