Our kiddos

Our kiddos
Eli and Addy

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Times, They Are A-Changin'

So, my whole life I've always had this twisted and somewhat distorted view of how I thought things would be for me as I grew older. I knew, from an early age, that I either wanted to be a professional baseball player or a professional musician when I grew up. I guess I'm batting at least 500. I never played professional baseball - but I guess you could say I am a professional musician....I mean, I get paid to play my guitar and hang out with students. Yes, I realize much more goes into what I do, but it's still not a bad gig. So, why am I not content? Why all this urgency to be different? Why do I feel like it's never enough - never good enough - never finished?

Our student ministry ("Fy-Dub" Student Ministries) has been going through this study on the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. While, I've done this study before (in a previous church), the Lord is revealing more and more to me about myself through this time going through it. Why? Why all of a sudden are my eyes being opened to reality a little more? I don't know. Perhaps I was never at a place where I felt I needed more love or joy, peace or patience, kindness or goodness, gentleness, faithfulness or self-control. Perhaps, at the time, the season I was in was a season of rejoicing or better yet, a season of basking in the glory revealed by the Holy Spirit of our Most Holy Lord, God, Almighty! Ah, wouldn't that have been awesome?

But, I don't think that's the case at all. I feel in my spirit that I have never truly experienced these fruits because of my own self-centeredness.......my own self-righteousness. I didn't experience an enlightenment because I didn't want to. I was so blinded by what I was doing for God. I was so blinded by my godly goals....so much so that I couldn't see His Godly desires and plans for me. See, it was all about me.....I this and I that and I can't or I did or whatever.

God calls us to a place where we understand ourselves through His perspective. It's taken all this time for me to see that. When one is called into ministry, one doesn't understand right from the start that it's truly God who lives in You who works all things out for His good. We get wrapped up in what we can do for Him! Well, no offense, but I'm pretty sure God doesn't need me for anything! He can do it all Himself. I'm simply a vessel He uses to get the job done. And that's an awesome place to be. That is a place of love. That is a place of joy. That is a place of peace. That is a place of patience. That is a place of kindness. A place of goodness. A place of gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.

Be blessed, ya'll....
-The Moads!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It's Been A While.....

So, I know I've been somewhat absent from the bloggerboard lately (ahem......since January). But, the family and I have had a ton of stuff going on. I've been cheating on my blogspot account with facebook......and it's been stealing most of my updates. The church stuff is going alright but ministry is going really well. We've been able to make some pretty great relationships that feel a little more like family. Ashley's job is getting easier to deal with - she finally got some help with her students. Eli's doing really well in school and loves it. In his class they have a few seniors from the high school that come in and assist Eli's teacher with stuff and both of the high school boys were in a musical over the weekend......High School Musical 2. One had the lead role and the other boy had a supporting role that pretty much overshadowed everyone else (that kid was so funny). Anyway, Eli was enamored by the theater and I think he's seriously considering it (which, honestly, is fine with me as long as he keeps singing). Addy's getting huge - and she's so stinkin' pretty (she looks just like her momma).
So, here are some recent pics of the kiddos. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Do The Right Thing!

My step-dad always says, "If you're gonna be dumb......you gotta be tough." Well, I think there's a ton of truth to that. My whole life I've always had a heart for trying to do the right thing. Of course there were times of rebellion where I did exactly the opposite of what I knew to be the right thing - but that lingering (and sometimes fleeing) spark of truth seemed to haunt me every time I screwed up, constantly reminding me of the fact that I knew the right thing to do - but refused to do it. You know what's funny? Most of the time, I was able to manipulate the situation and weasel out of any kind of serious trouble. Sure, there were times where I thought I was a little more sly than I actually was and wound up getting into a whole mess of crap I couldn't get out of - but that was rare - mostly, I could talk my way out of it.

It wasn't until I met my wife that things changed. I didn't understand it at first - I fought it, wrestled it, even refused to accept it as reality - but, somehow, against my will, I grew a conscience - and, truthfully, I'm glad I did. But, it seems funny how, now, I try to go out of my way to do the right thing and more often than not it blows up in my face. How does that work?

I'm not kidding. I used to know the right thing to do and did exactly the opposite. Now, I see the right thing to do and act upon it and it kicks me in the tail. The Lord must definitely have a sense of humor because I swear sometimes I can see Him - sitting on His throne, looking down at me and the junk I'm in, laughing Himself silly, telling the Holy Spirit beside Him, "Hey, dude, watch this.........Bah-ha-ha-ha!!!!"

Yes, I realize that's absurd - but it paints a pretty good picture of how my life has changed so drastically over the last 10-12 years. I guess my step-dad is right, though - regardless of how hard it seems, I will continue to do my best to try and do the right thing.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A New Christmas Eve

So, I'm blogging on Christmas Eve.....should I feel depressed about that? I'm actually just trying to give everyone an update on the "newness" of North Carolina. I had a conversation the other day about how different it is being away from home for the holidays. It's not that things are so different as it is that I am in a different place geographically. Truthfully, it's sort of cool being in new surroundings at a very familiar time of year. I mean, I've lived through 31 Christmas Eve's in my life - but I've never lived through a North Carolinian Christmas. So, really - I get to experience the lights and festivities of a completely new geographical location as opposed to seeing the same houses in our old neighborhood with the same lights and wreaths. It's not so bad. There's a different type of chill in the air that I've never really experienced before. A slightly similar temperature yet with a unique and genuine scent. It's almost like an old sweater you find while cleaning out your attic that you recognize from a few years ago. You put it on and it's familiar - but you hadn't worn it in so long it feels like a brand new shirt. That's sort of like how it is being away from home this time of year. You'd think I'd be depressed and all - when really, it's the same holiday I've experienced 31 times - only in a new location - with my wife, son, and daughter. The familiarity is there - I can feel that...... But, I get to breath in the scent of historical homesteads, 120 foot pine trees, rolling mountains, and feel the chill that will surely bring the year's second snow. I don't know - it's kind of nice.

So, from the Moad Clan in NC to all of you reading: Merry Christmas! And may you never forget the real reason for this blessed season - - Jesus Christ - - and what His birth means for you and me as believers.

- Moad!

Monday, December 8, 2008

When did he turn 6?

My son turns six years old today. Last night, during our bedtime routine, I laid down with him and thought, "Man, when did he get so big?" I still remember him as a toddler, looking up at me with his arms raised, tears in his eyes, longing for his daddy to cure all his ailments and rid him of all his fears. Now, it's like he's a little man! He's in school, he can read, he can even do math. He's independent (other than the times, of course, when he comes downstairs in the middle of the night and curls up between Ashley and me because of a bad dream). His mind is constantly coming up with new scenarios for his Star Wars toys. And he's amazing with Addy. He's a little man! I get so much enjoyment out of watching his little mind work or when he plays with his baby sister. And there is no sound quite like his laugh! I am so proud of him!

Today, we'll play Star Wars a little longer. I'll hug him a little tighter. I'll let him stay up a little later. I'll read him an extra story at bedtime. I'll have him read me an extra story at bedtime. We'll do the things he wants to do a little longer. Because I want him to know - without doubt - how much his daddy loves him! I am so proud of my boy!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Power of Praise

This last Monday, in my quiet time, I was hit by an eloquent and profound message by David found in Psalm 42. This particular message is one of the chief reasons my wife and I are so passionate about bringing to light what praise can do in the life of believers. As many of you already know, my wife was struck by a terrifying case of dehydration that caused our flight from Fort Smith, AR to Atlanta, GA to make an emergency landing in Memphis, TN on our way en route to visit Rocky Mount, NC back in June of this year. Talk about some scary stuff!

Now, at the beginning of this venture, we knew the Lord was already working in the hearts of many on our behalf – but, that did not stop Satan from sending his agents to infiltrate. Needless to say, we immediately recognized the fact that “Ol’ Red Legs” was hot on our trail and we were not about to allow him to keep us from the prize that Paul writes so eloquently about in Philippians – and so we pressed on. On our third flight that day, as we strolled down the ramp and boarded our plane, we began to sing aloud: “Lord, You are good and Your mercy endures forever. Lord, You are good and mercy endures forever. – We worship You. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” We sang it the entire flight – and sure enough, that flight went off without a hitch! That is the power of praise!

In Psalm 42, David says, “My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember You….” Basically, what David is saying is: “Lord, I’m hurting. Something’s going on within me that I don’t understand. I’m sad. I feel depressed. I’m alone. But, I will intentionally set my eyes on You, Lord, and praise You regardless of the junk going on.” He goes on to say, “Deep calls to deep in the roar of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and breakers have swept over me.” David recognizes that, even though he’s hurting (maybe emotionally, spiritually – even physically), the river that flows from the Throne of God contains healing water. And so he knows that regardless of what hurts – with authority given by praising the Name Above ALL Names, healing is found! And so, David finishes his Psalm with these words: “Why so downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”

If you're reading this right now, I want to encourage you to set your eyes on the God of Heaven and praise Him unconditionally – regardless of the stuff going on. There are so many times we are relentlessly tempted to give into depression or allow the circumstances to overtake us, rendering us helpless. But, 1 Corinthians 10: 12 – 13 reminds us: “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But, when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” So, I say – “Stand up, saints! Stand up in the face of adversity! Stand up in middle of the junk going on! Head straight for the Enemy’s Camp and take back what’s been stolen from you! Take back your joy! Take back prosperity! Take back emotional stability! Take back your health! Take back your peace, comfort, love! And shout at the top of your lungs praises to our King while doing it all!!! Stand up under it, saints, and allow the Lord to work on your behalf.”

And we’ll be right there beside you,
The Moads!

Monday, October 20, 2008

20/20 Vision

The old cliche "hindsight is always 20/20" is obviously a true and accurate statement (or else why would it be one of the most quoted statements in the history of cliches). But, just because something is true doesn't make it right, correct? For example, in the context of the statement, generally it's quoted because in retrospect you figure out you quite possibly could've done things differently, perhaps resulting in an entitrely different ending. But, if you think about it - should you be given a second chance at something - would you do it all over again? And if so, how? That being said, there are a lot of things I would like to do over. I'd like to fall in love with my wife all over again. I'd like to repeat my first two years of college. I'd like to possibly go back to high school (only the parts that I messed up - the rest I don't think I could stomach again). I'd like to re-learn how to tie my shoes (evidently I don't do the whole "bunny hop" thing - I figured that out as I was trying to teach my son how to tie his shoes and my wife gave me a look like "I can't believe you don't tie your shoes with the bunny hop rhyme" - apparently, I was neglected as a child). I'd like to repeat previous ministry opportunities. But, let's face it - they're not going to happen again........at least not in the same context as before. Therefore, my questions are......should it be said that hindsight is always 20/20? Or could it be rephrased a little more correctly? Because, really, when you look back at things, you're pretty much always going to find an area where you could've done things differently - but, given those same circumstances again, I'm not so sure you wouldn't make the same decision. Now, I could be totally wrong. But, I think the moral of the story here lies in another cliche: "If I only knew then what I know now." If that were the case, of course you could change things......or at least make a better attempt at doing the right thing to keep yourself out of the hospital after a night of binge-drinking and diving into a pool that was only five feet deep......waking up in a hospital in a neck brace and being in a wheel chair for the next eight weeks and then on crutches for another four. But, that's just one scenario. There are a lot more cases out there, I'm sure. But, if it were possible to go back and repeat a time in your life with the knowledge you now possess, why wouldn't you?

Just food for thought....

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