Feb 6 2013

“find your joy”

Here is my contribution to kick off C!C’s Devotional Journal entitled “find your joy”:

I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly.
John 10:10

As the idea for this devotional journal began to take shape, I knew that I would need to “practice what I preach” and thus began asking myself: “Jason, where do you find your joy?” In response I decided to start a list and pay attention to when I found myself joyful at the little things in my days. My search became a catalogue of surprise joys, and seemed to deepen the saturation of enjoyment that these little moments brought. Allow me to share the highlights:

  • The “Daddy’s home” rush and outpouring of affection
  • Stealing kisses with “the wife of my youth” in the kitchen
  • Spontaneous laughter, five throats strong, at the dinner table . . . or the hallway . . . or the restaurant . . . or in the car . . . or . . .
  • Reading Ps. 16:9 > “Therefore my heart is glad and my spirit rejoices; my body also rests securely,” and knowing that it is true in me.
  • Realizing that my back isn’t hurting
  • Realizing that my back is hurting but that it won’t hurt in heaven
  • Sudden moments of conviction reminding me that God has called me to such important tasks that I cannot succeed on my own . . . in order that He can succeed through me.
  • Watching family and friends learn to value and apply courage
  • Each new word that my kids learn which make me anticipate future conversations
  • Being pierced by the Word of God via fresh encouragement OR conviction from a passage as familiar as my “work jeans”
  • Finding the beauty in the dance of shepherding my wife AND being shepherded by her

Where do you find your joy?


Jun 3 2011

Girls

As the Lord continues to thrust me along this journey of life, faith, and fatherhood, it never ceases to amaze me the extend to which the pathways are laced with sweet opportunities for reflection and encouragement.  This week, as the Byers family of four packed into the technician’s room at a local ultrasound clinic, we met Byers #5 . . . a girl.

Truth be told and for whatever reason, we totally thought that it was going to be a boy.  Somehow, I’ve always thought boys are just easier.  In some ways it just seemed to make sense to have some more tough-little-testosterone to counter Caleb’s fire (and speed.)  We’d even pretty much decided on a boy’s name without many leads on a girl’s.  So, moral of this part of the story is that when we got the word: GIRL, Carrie and I looked each other with a sort of sheepish grin and giggled as if to say, “Okay, well hello little lady, here goes somethin’.”

Since pre-teen girls seem to make about as much sense to me as black holes (although super-nova might be a better comparison for energy output), looking ahead to those years with two young girls makes me quiver in my boots.  And yet, in praying through some of my thoughts and feelings, I’ve found a significant peace in turning the unknowns over to the Lord.  From there, I think the Holy Spirit whispered, “Now that I’ve got all the unknowns, let’s work together on the things you CAN do.”  Then the FIGHTclub rules came to mind:

1.  Know Yourself (busy, nervous about leading a family of five)
2.  Trust Your Saviour (Sovereign, Strong, Loving, All-Sufficient)
3.  Fight Your Sin (my family needs my grace based godliness)
4.  Carry Your Sword (my grounding point, my source of Truth)
5.  Stand with Your Brothers (other guys need me and I need other guys to help me in this fight)
6.  Do Hard Things (raising children, especially girls may be hard, but it is a very worthy calling … and a privilege)
7.  Be a Hero

This last one is what I deeply desire to be for my family . . . for my girls.  They’ll need a man who will be a tender warrior, fighting for them in a world that sets itself up against that which is true and pure and sacred.  They’ll need a dad who lives to show them the Hero that they have in Jesus, who gave His all to pay for our freedom, who conquered death to redeem us to Himself, and who stands in Heaven, waiting to receive us as His holy bride.

Lord, given all the baby girls that you’ve blessed Celebration! Church with, help us be good stewards of them.  Help us all, particularly the men, be the kind of heroes they will need to connect with all that You are for them.  Heavenly Father, strengthen us all to be like the Proverbs 31 woman who is “clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come,” because You are our Rock, our Strength . . . our Hero.


Apr 1 2011

Hello blog world – here goes somethin’!

You gotta start somewhere, huh?   Confession: I tried to start the blogging thing once before and stopped four posts in . . . just couldn’t start the habit.

But, thanks to the launch of a new version of our church website and a thoughtful challenge from Joel at our last men’s FIGHTclub meeting, I’m trying again.

In his devo, Joel challenged us to think about how we can purposefully employ our FC rules throughout the Summer.  One application of FC rule #1: Know Yourself was to keep a journal to help chronicle and reflect on how God challenges and grows us over time.  I decided to take that challenge.  The hope is that I’ll be able to both journal and blog in order to share pertinent thoughts, observations and lessons that might encourage someone “out there.”

Now I’ve just got to a) find or make a journal that I can get excited about filling and b) get in the habit of posting on here.  I hope that you’ll join me for the journey (and that we’ll both enjoy the ride.)

Christmas 2010

Fam @ Christmas 2010