Monday, December 31, 2012

Moving Forward

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Phillipians 3:12-14

Moving forward! This is my prayer for the year to come. There is much to be thankful and greatful for...and much to learn from the previous seasons of my life. There has been progress and growth and on the same token, have been stumped and "stalled out." I reach a peak, and stumble back down...way back down...to the valley of doubt.

And though there were many great moments this past year, I tend to look back at my shortcomings more often than not. Who did I fail? What did I miss? Am I a Godly husband? A Godly father? A brother under Christ? Did I miss my opportunity to share Jesus? Am I Jesus at work? Is work going well? Am I well?

[Doubt] 

Who did I hurt? Sarah? Yeah, probably more often than a loving husband should. My girls? mmm, don't even want to remember...makes me want to cry. My family? Too often, unintentionally or not. Friends? Check. This list can go on and on...

[Doubt]

...but I want to come face to face with Jesus. How did I do this past year? Did I do well enough? Am I a bright light like the morning star or salt of the Earth as you call me to be? Are you pleased with me?

[Doubt]

You know, nevermind, that's...that's a question I never want answered until I arrive at my goal. I know where I stand with my inequities, and it doesn't look good. I am a sinner...through and through. I fall short. And will continue to fall short...

[More Doubt]

...but please, please...
"Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Remember, O Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old." Psalm 25:5-6

It's a new year. I will look ahead. Like Paul, I know I haven't obtained anything or reached my goal, but I will press on. I know I have failed in many areas, but I will not dwell and will forget what is behind. My goal is in front of me and with God's love and forgiveness, I will reach my goal. I will reach my peak and will stay there in heaven with Christ Jesus. There is no doubt in Jesus...only victory. And through Him, my doubts are covered and conquered.

Moving forward! That's my prayer in 2013...moving forward in Christ!!! Not living in the past, but in the now, moving towards my goal!
My final trip report of 2012 is a picture collage of my greatest ongoing adventure:
My wonderful family!
Hope you enjoy!
The girls slept in a tent, inside our living room for almost a week...
 
Goodbye 2012...Hello 2013! Pasquels are on the move!





Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanks...Giving (Ozarks November 2012)

"Offer to God thanksgiving, And pay your vows to the Most High." Psalm 50:14

I am blessed. I am thankful. I would like to run down the list of all the things I am thankful for...like a heartbeat, air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat, and rest...then the things I'm provided for...like shelter, protection, warmth...then family, my beautiful wife, my silly kids, my mom and dad, and so forth...then there's friends, relationships, and everyone else that I know. I am thankful for all these things and much, much more!!!

But this year...what I am most thankful for is Grace, Mercy, and Love. In 2012, God has revealed to me more than ever that my life is not my own. I feel like I understand (maybe if it's even a small glimpse) that everything I do hinges on something Greater than I. I can't quite define it, or explain it...so I wont' try to sound smart...but every breath that goes in and out, every heartbeat I take, and every moment is an act of giving...a constant gift. So, here I am...

Given Grace...given an unmerited hand in life; out of pure kindness to me, though I continually suck in most areas.

Given Mercy...given a continous pouring of compassion in my life, though I am often a repeat offender...a selfish moron who keeps making the same mistakes over and over again.

Given Love...given Jesus Christ. Given the ultimate expression of love...that is Jesus redeeming me so I can have an intimate relationship with my Father. I can't do it on my own...nor do I deserve to...but with Jesus, Grace and Mercy follows...

So this year, and hopefully every year...I will give thanks to giving. For God giving me the greatest gift of all..his Son!

Where: Ozarks of Arkansas, Buffalo National River Wilderness
What: Family vacation, Lost Valley State Park, Horseshoe Canyon (climbing)
Who: The Moore family (Jen, Sean, Major, Addy, and Beckett) and Pasquels (Sarah, Hannah, Pia, and me)
When: 11/23-11/26/12
***This isn't a trip report***I have visited these areas and a trip report was documented in previous posts. Your welcome to check them out under December 2011 trip reports. So from this point on, it's just pics (with a few notes) from this long holiday weekend. Hopefully they will tell the story...hope you enjoy!
(Pia showed her courage, grit, and determination more than ever on this trip. I mentioned to Sarah that I have never seen her so confident and bold. There was no fear in her...I loved it. She grew up a little bit this trip and was holding her own with the bigger kids.)
(The kids got to see bats, elk, deer, horses, cows, pigs, mountain goats, birds, peacock, a lamb, and two of the kids spotted a rat snake on this trip)
(Yes, those are bats...)