Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Break Every Chain

Garth's Blog is on a one-month hiatus from Dec 15- Jan 15.  The holidays have been busy, and our baby boy is due on January 10!  To kill time until then, the short New Years update below is followed by a personal "share" from my other blog.

I'll update my Twitter occasionally, and we'll return with new blog content in mid-January. Check back on January 15 as we resume with all new family updates and recent overseas adventures!

New Year's Eve at McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse/ Imbrie Hall:
Lena stopped smiling just long enough for a quick photo.

Happy New Year!  Our family had fun celebrating New Year's Eve last night. And this year, we actually got home in time to witness our neighborhood loudly deteriorate into a war zone around 11:30 p.m.  It's hard to imagine any of those firecrackers/mortars/rockets/shotgun blasts(?) being legal within Beaverton city limits.

Our block hadn't heard such deafening blasts since all four news networks were falsely tipped off about explosions from within our neighborhood Intel campus. As terrifying as that sounds, the "explosions" heard from neighbors blocks away were actually the results of a fire at a garbage truck yard next door.


The link to the story of me ending up in front of all those TV news cameras is here: Garth's Blog: Having a Blast at Home.


Today's entry below is a "share" from one of my other blogs. It may look familiar to readers who saw my original post yesterday morning. If this seems more personal and spiritual than a typical "Garth's Blog" post, that's because this wasn't originally intended for a mainstream audience.

But don't worry, new "Garth's Blog" content is coming soon! I'm still gathering photos for upcoming posts about Christmas, surfing, student ministry, pumpkin patches, hiking, and some late 2013 overseas trips.

In the meantime, feel free to check out my Twitter feed or just follow me. My latest Tweets are also embedded on the upper right corner of this blog page.

Here's yesterday's post, "Break Every Chain," from my other blog:

There is power in the name of Jesus
There is power in the name of Jesus
To break every chain, break every chain, break every chain.

Those words from a Jesus Culture "Awakening" event were the soundtrack to my final early morning commute of 2013. Normally, the entire freeway portion of my drive time would be dedicated to prayer. But not today. Not after last night. Sheer exhaustion caused my prayers to stick in my throat... unable to escape my heart. Rather than giving up on morning devotions altogether, I allowed someone else's words to be my prayer instead.

There is power in the name of Jesus
To break every chain.

Leading up to today's uncharacteristically passive time of prayer, this happened:

Our formidably lunged, two year old Lena loudly decided on Saturday night that only having 1 1/2 hours of sleep would be more than enough for me. Sleep quantity didn't increase much these past few nights, either. I've been getting up multiple times to quiet Lena down, attempting to spare the Mommy-to-be the hassle of putting her back to sleep. Her crying persisted into the night, until a couple hours before my alarm rang.

There is power in the name of Jesus
To break every chain.

I've often prayed such a prayer in more obvious contexts: as an impassioned plea for healing and wholeness... for freedom from the bondage of sin... for the lifting of a heavy heart... for mending of strained relationships... for finding the grace to forgive friends who take advantage of me... for finding the humility to ask for my own forgiveness.

But today, such a prayer was a simple reaching out for strength, for the divine power to make it through the day. Extreme sleep deprivation stifled my attempt to pray even that, much like sleepless nights can physically throttle my various hikes and trail runs. Yet, like the disciples who got busted for nodding off in the Garden of Gethsemane, I'm yearning for a chance to redeem myself after a lackluster effort in my own garden of prayer.

Taking care of my family, I know in my heart, is more important than taking care of my ZZZs. But in my utter exhaustion, the satisfaction of honoring those priorities doesn't make days like this any easier.

2013 has been a joyous, high energy year that is ending on a brief down note. My own strength has decided to take the week off. It's time for me to draw on God's strength.

There is power in the name of Jesus.

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