Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fall Family Climbing Trip 2013

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:1-5

This verse points to Jesus being author and creator of life. Through him, all things were made...and this includes you and I. However, something interesting in life happens to all of us at one point or another. We start to think we are in control. We begin to live life dictated by our selfish pursuits and desires, which in turn seperates us from the Creator's original design for our lives.

So what is this original design? And what does it look like for us? First, know Jesus is the Author of life and he has written every character's original story that has ever lived. Then, you must know that each character is promised an identity...an identity that translates to life...real, true, rewarding life...which in turn becomes light in this world!
So, identity is the state or fact of being the same over time; or the sense of self, providing sameness and continuity in personality over time. Essentially, your identity is who you really are! It's who you are when your with family, when your in love, when your partying and having a blast with friends, and when no one is watching you.

Furthermore, in regards to our spiritual condition, there are  two types of identities in this world...the one that is promised to you by the Author (Identity in Christ) and the one that is promised to you by...well, You (Self-identity).
Let's take a look at the one promised by you. The one you develop on your own. The identity you write for yourself. I will use myself as the example for self-identity. I can do this, because I am a leading expert in selfishness. I am often times motivated by my own desires...pursuing what quenches my thirst; living life through tunnel vision mode. I regularly fail to see the big picture...I constantly fail to recognize the needs of others...and I fail to perceive the consequences of my actions. Sadly, more often than not...I live for me. I do this...because I start to believe that I am in control of my life...of my identity. I replace the truths promised to me with "temporary fillers."

These fillers come in all different sorts:

Probation Officer (my job)
Climber (my hobby)
Adventurer (another hobby)
Sports Enthusiast (once again...another hobby)
Foody (...hobby)
etc, etc, etc...(most likely, even more hobbies)

Then there are important roles I have that make up my identity as well. However, when I begin to act like I am in "control" of these roles, I then absorb these into my self-identity. Which again, makes it about me:

Husband
Father
Son
Brother
Friend

When I begin to identify myself...and write my own story, I am often lead to an empty life. For instance, when I see myself as a climber...and all I want to do is climb some dumb rocks...it only satiates temporarily. I'm never fully pleased. I keep looking for fullfillment in climbing...when in reality, climbing cannot fill my cup. It's not meant to.

And the same goes for any of those titles you see above. Not one...not Husband, Father or Adventurer can fill my cup. Not one of those identities is meant to fully please me. It is impossible for me to be fulfilled by any of those self-identities. It's not meant to. So when I go seeking what pleasures me, regardless of the identity I take on, I live out a life that was not promised by the Author to me. I live out a life predicated and determined by my selfish gain. It's in this life I find darkness. Sure, there is temporary happiness...moments if you will. But in reality, we just continue to chase after an elusive dream (darkness).
The life promised to me is the life predestined to fill my cup. Choosing to trust Jesus and choosing his identity for my life is choosing to live in light. He speaks truth into our lives. That truth is life...that life is light...and that light overcomes all darkness.

My identity has to be of a Believer. I'm a believer in Christ Jesus! That's what I am first, and only. This is who I am. I (as Jesus promised and authored into our lives):

I am God’s child (John 1:12)
I am adopted as his child (Ephesians 1:5)
I am in Him (Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:30)
I am born again (I Peter 1:23)
I am forgiven (Ephesians 1:8; Colossians 1:14)
I am set free (Romans 8:2; John 8:32)
I am dead to sin (Romans 1:12)
I am holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4)
I am given God’s glorious grace lavishly and without restriction (Ephesians 1:5,8)
I have redemption (Ephesians 1:8)
I have peace (Ephesians 2:14)
I am secure (Ephesians 2:20)
I am protected (John 10:28)
I have hope (Ephesians 1:12)
I have purpose (Ephesians 1:9 & 3:11)
I am a personal witness of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8)
I am God’s coworker (2 Corinthians 6:1)
I am completed by God (Ephesians 3:19)
I have God’s power (Ephesians 6:10)
I can be strong (Ephesians 6:10)
I am a light in the world (Matthew 5:14)
I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37)
I am victorious (1 Corinthians 15:57)

This, yes this!!! IS MY IDENTITY! This is who I am. This is life.

And because of my identitiy in Christ, I:

...am His disciple (John 13:15)
...can honor God through marriage (Ephesians 5:22-33)
...can parent my children with composure (Ephesians 6:4)
...can be humble, gentle, patient and lovingly tolerant of others (Ephesians 4:2)
...can approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12)
...can bring glory to God (Ephesians 3:21)

and because I can bring glory to God...
...with freedom and confidence, I can lead my wife as a Godly husband, honor my daughters and raise them with Christ, serve the juveniles in my commuinty with a broken heart for them at work, and climb dumb rocks for his glory!

So make no mistake...I AM CHOOSING TO NOT BE A CLIMBER! That's not who I want to be. I am a BELIEVER. A believer that happens to climb rocks. Happens to work with juvenile delinquents. Happens to be blessed with a beautiful wife and beautiful daughters. Happens to be involved and enjoy in many things of this world...

I am a believer in the Author's original character for me...an identity that receives life and shines light to all mankind, so both you and I don't have to live in darkness.
What: 2013 Fall Family Climbing Trip
Who: Hendrix's, Bradley's, Gilbert's, Reyes Family, Gilbert's, Hardin's, and the Pasquel's
When: 11/16-11/18/13
Goal: Enjoy family, friends, love, laughter, food, being outside, and a little climbing
So, there is not much of a trip report here...so it will be more of a picture collage. Couple things to note...Originally, we were supposed to head to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch  in NW Arkansas, however...it was wet up there and it was dry in the Texas Hill Country. So we chose to head south for warmer and drier weather. We spent three days outside in three different places: E-Rock, Reimer's, and M-Rock. The Hardins, graciously let everyone camp in their backyard like at Reimerstock.

Enchanted Rock State Park (E-Rock), 11/16/13
Reimer's Ranch 11/17/13
 
And just a couple shots from M-Rock, I think we were done shooting by day 3.

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