Daryl Grunau

Daryl Grunau | Life | Design | Coffee | God |
Browsing category: Family, Spiritual
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Why I will not Apologize

You know what?  I get it, I honestly do.  I know that it can be frustrating for you to have to sit around my children during church.  I know that they don’t always remember to whisper, they might sit when we stand or stand when we sit, and they will probably (at some point) be eating during the service.  I promise they will be distracting sometimes and I guarantee they are not going to sit quietly the whole service (although I do promise to take them out when they are melting down… we all have those days don’t we?).  But here’s the thing…. that’s not my biggest concern right now.  My husband and I are not trying to teach our children to sit and be quiet so the adults can worship God through singing, teaching and responding. We’re not trying to make sure that they are “seen but not heard”, frankly their noise level is the least of our concern on a Sunday morning.
So what am I trying to teach my children when I get the opportunity to have them with me during the service?
I want my children to know that Church is FUN!!  When we come to Cornerstone, my youngest, Norah who is now 2 years old, almost always runs to the sanctuary doors and starts dancing and clapping.  Even in her young mind, she knows that in that place we sing with joy, we clap (some of us anyways), and we celebrate!  As she gets older she will come to understand that we are singing songs of joy to our Savior, we are clapping in adoration to our Father, and we are celebrating the works of our God!  Our oldest daughter, Libby, has started to understand that more and more every Sunday we are together.  She knows that we go to Church to learn about God and to remember all of the incredible things God has done for us through Jesus, His Son.
Secondly, I also want my children to know that Church is a place where all people are valued.  I want my girls to know that they are a part of something bigger RIGHT NOW.  They are not a nuisance, the are a part of something bigger than themselves… something God specially designed to carry out His purpose to the world.  They are not a part of the Body to come, but they are a integral part of the Body in the present, the here and now.  Are we perfect? Absolutely not!!  But that’s the beauty of God using His Church to work around us…. He takes us in our weaknesses so that we can see His Spirit working through us.  My children can grow the kingdom of God!  I have seen many children come to our mid-week program through the invitation of our Cornerstone kids and I know many children, Libby included, who are excited to be able to talk about Jesus with their classmates.
Lastly, I want my children to learn what God wants to teach them.  There are so many times that Libby has learnt of the things of God from simply spending time in the service.  She has asked me questions regarding the songs (“What does Hallelujah mean?”), regarding the sermon, which I once assumed she wasn’t listening to (“What does obedience mean?”), and she is learning so much from watching what we ALL do (“Why do we stand?”, “Why do some people put up their hands?”, “What’s the bread for?”, “What’s that picture on the screen mean?”, etc, etc).
So what am I asking of you, the Church?  Please understand that my husband and I aren’t perfect (and I’m sure other parents would agree they aren’t either) and we will get frustrated, but we’re trying to teach our children about something that is bigger than any of us.  It can be exhausting for some of us, to look for teachable moments, or to keep a toddler engaged (hence the snacks!).  But you know what?  A smile from across the room, or a knowing nod can be such an encouragement to a parent’s heart.  Older people, please encourage our young families who are trying teach their children the ways of our God.  Please don’t treat our children like an annoyance, and please don’t judge our parents purely on their children’s behavior.  Kids will be kids and we all have bad days.  If you’re around children at all, you probably know that Sundays have that special way of getting children completely off routine, causing more meltdowns… maybe it’s God’s way of teaching families to rely on Him and His Church… who knows!  I am asking that you extend grace to us, as parents, and come along side us to support and encourage us.  It is hard to raise a family in this age, and families are being attacked at every level, so please pray for us and lift us up to God.
Lastly, if you take nothing else from this article, please hear me when I say the children are watching EVERYTHING that happens on a Sunday.  They are not just looking at the stage, they are looking everywhere.  They are not just watching the leaders, they are watching YOU.  They are not just hearing the words that are being spoken or sung, they are watching your actions and how you are responding to what’s being said.  And they are not only watching you in the pews… they are watching you in the foyer, in the gym, while you drink your coffee and in the parking lot.  And please, I beg of you as a mother who whole heartedly wants my children to fall completely in love with Jesus, show my kids what it’s like to be 100% in love with God.  Please extend the love and grace that God has given to you to my children.  How great it would be that by the time the children in our church can first say “Jesus”, they have already experienced His grace and love through people of the Church thousands of times!  And I’m not talking about in the nurseries, or the CE wing, but in our pews and foyer…. can I hear a “Hallejuah!!”

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Downsizing

First off I will preface this post by saying that I am not downsizing the blog. While it may appear that way because of the lack of posting to the site, I am in no way planning to downsize my blog. In reality, I would like to increase the amount I post here. However, I would rather wait to post something good, than post alot of junk. If you are looking to here more from me than I encourage you to follow me on twitter here, if you don’t know what twitter is, then you are missing out. You can also see my most reason twitter in my lifestream on the sidebar to the left.

Now to what I meant by downsizing. I have decided that I own to much stuff. While I don’t think of myself as a pack rat, I have accumulated too much. Oh sure I have many useful things that I might like to use more often at a later date, such as my pool table or coke machine. The reality is that I don’t need this stuff and can easily get rid of it, sell it, or even throw it away. While the idea of selling the stuff I have to get new stuff is a reality, I hope to be more diligent in spending this money. For instance, I need new tires for our car, this would be a wise use of money I would get from selling my coke machine. However, one of the biggest reasons I want to downsize is because we don’t need all this stuff to live. Modern consumerism has played a HUGE part in helping me acquire all the stuff I don’t use. My plan is to get rid of stuff and not to free up space for NEW stuff as consumerism would tell me to do. Jesus told a parable about the rich man, and when told to sell everything he had and give it away he was very sad, because he had lots.

junk-room

How many of us have too much stuff. I know I do and I plan to do something about it. I will sell anything of large value, like my pool table. But I hope to be able to donate alot of it as well. We have so much and others have so little. Sometimes when I see my garage, my basement, my storage rooms, I get sick to my stomach by all the waste. Today I am letting you all know that I have had enough. It’s time to downsize.

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Forgiveness

San Diego man mourns loss of family, forgives Marine pilot in jet crash – Los Angeles Times

“I believe my wife and two babies and mother-in-law are in heaven with God,” Yoon said at a news conference afterward. “Nobody expected such a horrible thing to happen, especially right here, our house.”

Yoon said he bore no ill will toward the Marine Corps pilot who ejected safely before the jet plunged into the neighborhood two miles west of the runway at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. “I pray for him not to suffer for this action,” Yoon said. “I know he’s one of our treasures for our country.”

It’s not often we see this kind of forgiveness in the news. I was expecting the man to look at sueing the Marines.

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From the past

Tonight I realized that with WordPress I could finally import all 154 blog posts I made on my first blog hosted at blogspot.com. So while I was waiting for all the importing/exporting to take place I decided to skim through some posts and came across this one, that seemed to speak to me once again.
It’s an excerpt from a book I was reading before the birth of my daughter.

It is futile for us to live in anticipation of life always coming together.
It will come together as it does in those moments in life that just seem
‘perfect.’ It will again. And then the next day, it will be disrupted. It
may even fall apart. The hope is to live fully in the moments of laughter
and contentment- and to also be present in the moments of fear and
disappointment. We need to remember that every part of it has purpose and
meaning. We need to live as if we really believe the greater purpose for us
is transformation – to believe that sanctification takes priority over
enjoyment.

– from Becoming a Dad

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Be a Revoluntionary

I have recently been finishing off 4 or 5 books I have been working through lately. In fact, this week I counted 4 books that I had read 3 quarters of. So the first one to finish was Revolution by George Barna. This proved to be a much better book than I had anticipated. I would recommend this book to those of you who are a bit disillusioned with the small “c” church, and long to see the Church active. The part I really like was the part at the end of the book called, “Affirmations of a Revoluntionary.” I don’t think I need to say more, just read it, think about it, and decide if you are inline with it.

I am a Revolutionary in the service of God Almighty. My life is not my own; I exist as a free person but have voluntarily become a slave to God. My role on earth is to live as a Revolutionary, committed to love, holiness, and advancing God’s Kingdom. My life is not about me and my natural desires; it is all about knowing, loving, and serving God with all my heart, mind, strength, and soul. Therefore, I acknowledge the following:
>I am a sinner; broken by my disobedience but restored by Jesus Christ in order to participate in good works that please God. I am not perfect; but Jesus Christ makes me righteous in God’s eyes, and the Holy Spirit leads me towards greater holiness.
>God created me for His purposes. My desire as a Revolutionary is to fulfill those ends, and those ends alone. When I get out of bed each day, I do so for one purpose: to love, obey, and serve God and His people.
>Every breath I take is a declaration of war against Satan and a commitment to opposing him.
>God does not need me to fight His fight, but He invites me to allow Him to fight through me. It is my privilege to serve Him in that manner. I anticipate and will gladly endure various hardships as I serve God; for this is the price of participation in winning the spiritual war.
>I do not need to save the world; Jesus Christ has already done that. I cannot transform the world, but I can allow God to use me to transform some part of it.
>My commitment to the Revolution of faith is sealed by my complete surrender to God’s ways and His will. I will gratefully do what He asks of me simple because He loves me enough to ask. I gain my security, success, and significance through m surrender to Him.
>I am not called attend or join a church. I am called to be the Church.
>Worship is not an event I attend or a process I observe; it is the lifestyle I lead.
>I do not give away 10 percent of my resources. I surrender 100 percent.
>God has given me natural abilities and supernatural abilities, all intended to advance His Kingdom. I will deploy those abilities for that purpose.
>The proof of my status as a Revolutionary is the love I show to God and people.
>There is strength in relationships; I am bound at a heart and soul level to other Revolutionaries, and I will bless believers whenever I have the chance.
>To achieve victory in the spiritual war in which we are immersed, there is nothing I must accomplish; I must simply follow Christ with everything I have.
>There is no greater calling than to know and serve God.
>The world is desperately seeking meaning and purpose. I will respond to that need with the Good News and meaningful service.
>Absolute moral and spiritual truth exists, is knowable, and is intended for my life; it is accessible through the Bible.
>I want nothing more than to hear God say to me, “Well done, My good and faithful servant.”

Thank You, Lord God, for loving me, for saving me, for refining me, for blessing me, and for including me in the work of Your Kingdom. My life is Yours to use as You please. I love You.

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Poetic Industries and Watoto

wallpaper1024x768This past weekend God worked it out through His plan that I would attend a concert of “The Watoto Children’s Choir”. For those that don’t know, the Watoto Model is….

“In Africa, there are over 60 million orphaned and vulnerable children (HIV/AIDS, conflict, disability, street children). These staggering numbers will have impact on a family, community, and a nation’s future. In Uganda, the future for many of these children will be changed through the work of Watoto. Raising the next generation of Ugandan leaders is our number one focus. It is our mission, our purpose, our passion. We place these parentless children in families where unconditional love, spiritual discipleship, care and nurture, and the meeting of their physical needs takes place. These children will grow up to be change agents for Uganda. If these children are equipped with essential moral values and life skills they truly can live lives of significance and lasting impact.”

Children from the choir shared passionately about God’s faithfulness, his love and Grace in their lives. They each shared a dream that they had to impact Uganda and how they believed so strong that their dreams would become reality. They shared in a way that I don’t hear from many high school or even college students about God working in their lives. And they where mostly between 10-14 years old. Not only that, but these kids where ALL orphans, they had ALL lost their parents to war, poverty, or HIV/AIDS. I firmly believe that the church needs to get involved in missions like this. Its like the old saying goes, “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day, but teach a man to fish, and feed him for life.” This great project in Uganda is more than just aid, it is “rescuing a child, raising leaders to rebuild a nation.”

That is why I am going to be printing the first Poetic Industries shirts and donating profits to this Project. If you would like to order a shirt. Please email poeticindustries AT mac DOT com.

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Vision

Recently I found myself awake at 1am frantically writing down and idea I had while trying to sleep. While I have this happen on occasion, it is rare that I feel that it is God waking me up with something. However, this time I think it just might have been. While I have been struggling to rework my job description to include a more rounded use of my strengths and to use my strengths for ministry to be more effective at my job, this idea might just help with that. Until recently I would never have called myself an artist, in fact most of my life I have been either classed as a “geek” or a “jock” as I played a lot of sports in high school and college (still play ultimate, it rules, anyways), as well I have always been a computer junkie. However, I am finding more and more that graphic design is art. Yes, I know it seems like a no brainer, but for me an artist is someone who goes to school and majors in art and minors in italian (sorry Crystal) and does lots of painting and talks abit difference than the rest of us. But everyone is really abit of an artist. Think about Kindergarten and Grade 1, everyone in the class loved to draw, sculpt, paint, and create. We are born with this innate desire to create. So what happens to us when we get older? Art becomes uncool, geeky, and boring. This is a shame. I only wish that I had learnt more about art as I feel very uneducated as a graphic designer and artist.
Then I begin to think about ministry, the church, and art. In our western evangelical churches we have removed much of the art. Much of this due to the reformation and the iconoclastic controversy, but I won’t get into that here. While we have art in the church it is mostly limited to music. Remember that I am being very general in that statement, there are plenty of churches that use the arts to a more fuller degree. The point is this: many new young musicians who grow up in the church can use this gift for service and worship in the church, but many new young artist will struggle to find a way to use their gifts for service and worship. If they do they have to be very creative and often stick their necks out. Take for instance a venture started by a youth I know. He decided to make t-shirts to benefit Corwin’s adoption process and is giving all the profits away, through his online store called Provadenic. It is truly amazing that this student is doing this, however, if he didn’t have it in his means financially to be able to do this where would he have taken his idea and his art too? And it is for exactly this reason that I came up with the idea below….

It is still very much a work in progress and much of the heart of the community will most likely change as it grows, but take alook at the raw data I wrote down late one night and tell me what you think, tell me if you are interested, tell me young people that I should talk to, you name I am looking for feedback and connections from local Artists.

Artist Community
To come up with a real name. Ideas Anyone?

Vision:
To see local artists, designers (film, fashion, graphic, etc) spur one anothers
passions through a sharing of ideas, with open dialogue and meaningful spiritual
discussion.

Goals:
1.To reach out to other artists by providing a safe place to gather, share ideas, and
discuss relevant issues
2.To see more Christians use their gifts in this area for service and worship
3.To encourage and inspire on another
4.To give people a place to dialogue about spiritual issues without being a “Church”

Practical Ideas
>Forums to discuss ideas or concepts artists are working on
>Profile Nights – to share work and to share spiritual conversations
>Groups – the use of small groups in homes within the larger network
>Shows
>Teaching – both spiritual teachings as well as practical teaching. ie. FCP Training,
Painting Classes, etc
>Use these gifts/passions to raise funds for local and global initiatives/social actions as
our service.

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Solitude Part Two


I love camp fires, especially late in the summer. You know when it gets cold at night and its that perfect temperature to sit by the fire, feel the warmth, but not get swelteringly hot like in July. I have always found it so easy to sit and reflect beside a fire. It reminds me of those nights when I was younger at Kadesh. We would sit around the fire and long to sing songs for hours and hours. I remember singing, Father of Lights, an old song now I’m sure, and watching God amaze us with the most spectacular display of northern lights. Those where good times. I felt God so close in experiences like that when I was young. I wish I could say that my time at Ranger Lake was just like those moments around the fire when I was younger, with just as much a deep spiritual connection to God. But I can’t. Instead, I felt nothing at all like that. I find it interesting that the experience I am going through right now comes at the same time as I read this blog today over at nakedpastor. Mother Teresa Me and You. It speaks of the struggle Mother Teresa went through without sharing, a heavy burden that she shared with no one. The article states something interesting, “Now that she is no longer with us and her letters are being published, perhaps the next and most important leg of her ministry will begin: giving people permission to express their spiritual struggles and inner torments.” While I don’t know where I am on this journey, or as St.John of the Cross calls it, a “Dark Night of the Soul,” what I do know is this: we must be free to share struggles, to be allowed to question, and to even doubt God’s presence in our lives. Openness and vulnerability are things which we need even more in our communities of faith. That is how I try to write on this blog….
So while I didn’t feel a deep spiritual connection around the fire at Ranger, I did notice something…the fire was bright, it was hot, but for some reason I keep having to trek into the woods for more fire wood. I noticed I had to do this quite alot in the first hour or so. It reminded me of my personal faith….the fire can be extremely hot, and bright, but I must continue to hike, trek, and put fuel onto the fire or it will burn out. So while I don’t always feel God’s presence or get a great spiritual experience, I must keep fueling the fire. I read in Pete Grieg’s book “God on Mute,” about a man who lost all taste for food. Eating gave him no pleasure, but to survive he had to keep eating, therefore, so must we continue to seek out truth, to pray, to seek times of solitude. They are the fuel for the fire, even if we have lost that connection. For one day we will be made complete, we will taste and see once again.