Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Over the past couple of weeks I have had a lot of time to think about God's kindness towards me.  I have had more than a few close calls where my life could have ended.  I have no cliche answer for why I have been spared and allowed to keep going.   One part of this most recent accident has had great impact on me. 

As I was being attended to and rushed to the hospital, Jennifer was receiving a call from CHP (California Highway Patrol).  I realize she received mostly good news, but the reality of that call is that once the officer identified himself she immediately anticipated hearing I was dead.  The officer informed her I was alive and on the way to the hospital, but in those moments our minds go to worse case scenario. 

I grieve the grief and fear that came over my wife in those moments.  I now know that the call scared her greatly.  Once she realized I was alive and where to find me, she then had to go into management mode. In some ways her grieving was put on hold as she had to think through what needed to be done. Fortunately we had a great friend come watch the kids and set up others to help and another friend brought her to the Hospital where I was taken. 

It just further cements the great value of having friends who will be there when you need them.  Not just people who will drive by but those who will be reliably there.  Ultimately God is the one who is always reliably there, but faithful friends are just amazing gifts.  In those first chaotic moments, those friends who came to watch our kids and take Jennifer to the hospital spoke to our kids about what was happening, prayed over them and reassured them.

So not only was God gracious to spare me, He also took great care to provide faithful friends to cover my family and their fear and sorrow.  God has been reminding me in amazing ways that I am not alone.  I am surrounded by faithful followers who are there.  My beautiful wife and family are surrounded by faithful followers.  It is too easy to forget that.  Hopefully it won't take a near death experience for me to be reminded of God's ever present help in the form of His body the church! 

I am so humbled and amazed at the amazing lengths God has gone to show us His love for us.  Our calling is to respond in gratitude to His work in our life.  We have many opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those around us.  In doing so, we might just be the reminder someone desperately needs that they are not alone!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I took a ten week sabbatical from writing.  I needed to focus on some pressing matters as well as not make public things happening in our life.  Not bad things, just things that couldn't be publicized at the time.

The biggest and most awesome of events over that time was the adoption of our beautiful baby girl!!  Hattie Belle Kelley came into the world June 19th and has absolutely owned me ever since.  To be truthful she owns all of us.  The boys are as in love with her as Jennifer and I are.  We have been greatly blessed with her presence in our family. 

Two weeks ago, life came to a screeching halt.  While riding into work on my motorcycle, I had an Chevy come over on me and create a life altering situation.  By the grace of God I am alive.  My body is broken up but it will mend.  I received incredible care from the moment of the accident; a nurse was in the car behind me when the wreck occurred. I was wonderfully taken care of by the Trauma staff at Sutter Roseville Medical Center and have been nursed back to health by my amazing wife and kids.  My church family has provided food, support, encouragement, prayers, presence, and more during this time.  It has been absolutely incredible to receive the care from our village.  From the adoption to the accident, Gold Country Church has literally met every need.

So let me use this first day back writing to just say thank you!  Thank you for allowing us to experience the love of Christ through his people.  Thank you for continuing to live out the love we planted this church on.  Thank you for once again proving the church, when it is working is a compassion incubator.  Thank you for the way my family has received what Jesus intended.