Friday, October 7, 2011

A Quiet Mind- Reflecting on Water Bugs

      It's nearly 6pm and Im still sitting at my desk waiting for a late afternoon  meeting to get started.  My head is pounding which is fairly abnormal for me.  Im not a headache sort-of guy. Perhaps it was the lack of coffee, or perhaps some other inner force pulling at my mind which has been excessively busy lately with the details of life.
      I pick up this post thinking back to my former reading. The description of a quiet mind is peculiar to me. The idea of a calm & undistracted moment in time where my mind and heart are not pulled away from a focus on the Lord is beautiful. While, no doubt, it has been a persistent goal to attain those moments of quietness, it sometimes seems that the harder I try to find them, the more difficult it has become to move in that direction.  
In the past, my experience has been that sometimes the best opportunities for me to pray with God have been in the midst of some other arduous labor intense goal.  During my early years, I spent a significant amount of my morning quiet time pulling on a 12 ft oar to propel my self and other struggling men across a dark covered lake.  Im sure, like any aspects of the Christian faith, what is observed by outsiders is confusing.  Often, we as Christians hamper our testimony with sin, but in other cases, the uniqueness of our own personal walk may appear like men rowing in the pre-dawn darkness, sitting backwards, bouncing from shore to shore like little water bugs...Wandering aimlessly to the view of the outsider, but with a seemingly great purpose from that which is inside, that which makes up who and what they are.  My faith started and continues to flow from within my heart.  Sometimes stumbling, but never without an innate purpose, driven by the power of the Holy Spirit to being sanctified during each stroke of life.
As I finished college and left rowing, I have always hoped to return to what was definitively for me- an activity beyond the sport, it was indeed a spiritual experience. Not wandering like a water bug, but like a prayerful warrior, I would slice away at the water as my mind prayed through the moments of my days.  It was a cherished time with God. 
  Well, as I struggled and grew, persevered and preserved, God has continued to take me places in life where the dedicated pursuit of an activity has led to the quietening of my mind.  My focus would shift away from the goal of the activity and my thoughts would transcend to meditating on the character of God, His redeeming love for the sinner, and the reconciliation He offered me though Jesus Christ.  Part of my walk with God has been just that, a walk...I like to refer to it as “getting above tree line.”  Having mentioned the need to my wife, she has graciously understood my need to bow out for a bit and get reconnected with God, to reflect upon the salvation given to me and more purposefully submit to my response and living out the effect of that gift.  
My trips above tree line have taken me many places; sometimes as small as a city park, a ski lift, or even the caved summit of Rumbling Bald Mtn where I asked my wife to marry me.  More recently, God has shown me even higher summits on Denali and Rainier.  These “Sabbath Moments” like rowing, like many quiet times are manifested in different ways for different people.  Each of us, being a unique member of the Body of Christ, have been fashioned for God’s purposes in a way that will bring about both individuality and commonality in how we experience God in our lives. 
In the words of a friend’s friend-This is the beauty of Sabbath time, that it awakens us to the reality of things. I spend most of my day scrambling to get things done, skating across the surface of life like a water bug. But there are some things that can only be accomplished when the soul is at rest. In his book of poems, A Timbered Choir, Wendell Berry expresses this beautifully.

The mind that comes to rest is tended                                                                   
In ways that it cannot intend;                                                                                   
Is borne, preserved, and comprehended                                                                 
By what it cannot comprehend.

       Berry is on to something here.  I was so thankful that my friend shared these thoughts from this other blogger. The un-Sabbathed mind is often plagued with fears, doubts, questions, and anxieties. The mind at rest is able to release these things into God’s hands. It is content not to comprehend; it is enough to be comprehended. In my walks with God, I am tended in this truth: that God knows us, and loves us, and is carrying us along the way, even if we don’t know exactly where we’re going.  I’m not sure what I will do now that the time of these opportunities is compromised by life; its goals, pursuits,....and dare I say sin?  With much blessing, comes also many new challenges and I suppose I’ll have fight harder to find a Sabbath in another corner of life. Yet, I am convinced that spiritual growth requires rest, deep-down soul rest....for me, sometimes I guess, that must be rest-in motion, rest- while moving, or rest with purpose
        Right now my time on the bike or hiking quietly  are the most refreshing part of my days, not because they do anything magical in and of themselves, but because they put me in the position where something can be done....where my heart and mind transcend my normal inclination to self absorption moving instead towards my Lord, the redeemer of my soul...and so, recently the challenges of this pursuit have threatened my gaze and focus both for myself and my family.  In mortifying the flesh and fighting the temptations of this world we have purposed to work diligently in casting off that which is not essential.  We’ve tried to change what could be changed, adjust to what could be tolerated, and fought against compromising truth and law. 
       With great conviction,  we now shift the position of our gaze to look at other opportunities in living for Him...I’m sure there will be doubters and naysayers, people wanting to splash the busy little waterbug, but our source is within, and we are driven to another shore....where with faith we look from afar to see what God has in store.....more to come. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Early Morning Considerations....

Early Morning Considerations....
I have been a morning person as long as I can remember. It is an exciting opportunity to wake each morning, to become aware of that first breath that greets the new day.....often, it is not a fresh fact, sometimes, it is downright raunchy, or dissapointing, or at worst- plaqued by the heartache of the previous day.

Many of us are drawn to prayer. It is how we live our life, how we are carried from moment to moment by the Creator, Lover, and Redeemer of our souls.  Do you know how folks often comment about knowing or hearing from the "friend of a friend" who said "such and such" about "this or that"....well, recently- A friend of a friend penned these thoughts about his morning with the Lord and it so vividly captured my own thoughts, I felt moved to share. The prospect of a new day is such a consideration indeed, especially when spent in the knowledge and comfort of our Lord. Hear these words first from the psalmist.

In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; 
in the morning I lay my requests before you 
and wait in expectation.
(Psalm 5:3)

 The Lord, our God, is ever-present and ever-knowing of the most intimate needs of our  lives.  He, alone, is willing and capable to redeem us to Himself and in Him is peace like no other. The psalmist writing in chapter 5 had the full confidence of this relationship. His trust was secure and he "waited in expectation"...I have to wonder what that looked like in the business of the morning routine.  It seems that it is a position of the heart, more than the physical body- to be waiting.  As I think about the morning routine, of running around after kids, sneaking in a work-out, or contemplating what surgery I'll be participating in when I arrive to the hospital....I struggle to conceptualize the waiting part. 

Most people who know me would comment at this point in my lack of patience. I like to refer to it as being "patient- challenged."  Not sure how to further explain the deficit except that- I'm working on it....I don't see myself as a busy-body, but more so as a man-on-a-mission...
So, as I consider my day in the Lord and the blessings and challenges that lie ahead; I move forward in ready-awareness of God's sovereign hand moving. Acting in anticipation of Him, with what humility I can muster....and so here, my friend of a friend comments about what I see to be my similar morning mantra of moving forward and waiting for God at the same time...

"Walking is a good way to wait. It is waiting in motion. The psalmist calls it “waiting in expectation.” It is not just a passive resignation to whatever will be, but a hopeful patience that is poised for grace. Poised but not frozen. Still in faith but still faith moving forward. Peace on a pilgrimage.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Off to Croatia!

Cliff Jumping together was tons of fun!
Heather and I just got back from an awesome little escape to the country of Croatia for some much needed time together.  We really enjoyed being able to have great conversations while enjoying the adventure of an REI adventure vacation.  Lots of hiking, biking, kayaking and relaxing while taking in some great scenery and meals together.  While we missed the kids and friends back home, this little escape was a great blessing and refocus on the important "stuff".  The people we met in this country were amazing folks; hard workers who have endured much hardship over the past few decades and were quick to show their hospitality. To see more images of our adventure, check out the link to the slideshow!
Croatia Slideshow
The kayaking was tough work, but a beautiful time

Pagers and Cell phones wont find you under these waterfalls!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

One race done, another to go...

This post is post dated...Life had been so busy, I forgot to share pictures from my first bike race- the Assault on Mt. Mitchell. So much business distracted from the efforts. In any case, it was a tremendous encouragement to finish the ride and be able to walk afterwards.  For results click here: Race Results!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Oregon ManDate

Nope, this is not some special legislative motion from Oregon, just a couple old friends blessed with the opportunity to get together for some hang time and climbing.  My 2 tent mates from Denali ( Kristian and Will) as well as another teammate- Craig decided we would all descend on Will's place in Corvallis Oregon.  Our hopeful endeavor was to climb Mount Hood...The Lord had different plans for that idea, but we had a grand time seeing the sights of the Oregon Coast (Devil's Cauldron), climbing(hiking) the Columbia River Gorge, and seeing some absolutely spectacular water falls...not to mention some great food and conversation. Thanks alot guys for the great time and company.  Hopefully, Lord willing, we will try and get up Hood next year. Here is a link to some more pics from the trip! Below is a link to other pics from our trip. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What's Up?

well, Lord willing- about 11,000 feet is up; Yep, I bet many of those few who actually check out my blog were wondering if I was even keeping it active...To tell u the truth, "active" is the key word there, things have been quite "active" lately.  Life has been overwhelmingly busy with family, work, church, teaching, etc...The Lord has blessed me with many opportunites to be stretched and grown beyond what I thought possible...and as I stumble through that process, even with a few bruised knees and scuff marks- I'm ever looking upward...
So, what's going on...what does Pearce mean about "11,000 feet"?...In one day and 16 hours from when I start writing this post, I will be tackling my first century ride/road race- "The Assault on Mount Mitchell" check it out here The Assaults

With the business of life, it has been quite a challenge to prepare for this 2- wheeled journey uphill.  While much of life is a balancing act for everyone, I have been challenged by a scripture verse which has helped me keep it in perspective.  1 Timothy 4: 8- "for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come."

I pray that the balance has been well assembled and that despite the anticipated rain-  I will make a good showing this coming Monday.  If you are coming out to watch or want to follow the results online...My bib number is "1020". Recently, the past few months have been spent reading my bible or answering phone calls to the ICU while sitting on my spinner in the basement....Sometimes, I would race old re-runs of Lance Armstrong on my TV ( he usually wins)....This race will be quite an undertaking so I invite/ beseech/ plead that you would pray for my endeavour.  Below are some pics of the course and the vertical rise across the 102 mile distance....Post up when you can....see you guys on the other side- Godspeed, pearce

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Mustache March

The Mustache March- A few days ago, towards the beginning of the month- I made the decision to do something a little different.  Im stepping out in a new way to be effective for God....Some of you may have heard of mustache march...a month for men to grow out their mustaches to epic proportions. While some may answer the peculiar queries of those who gaze in wonder at our facial hair with a simple yet concise reason that resembles Mr Mallory’s account for climbing Everest...Because it is there,...because hair is there...!
On a more serious note, my sister (Lauren) and her awesome husband Ryan recently lost a friend who celebrated this month of the year. He was a man not afraid to step out and speak his word (you can check him out on Facebook- Christopher Beauvais)
...and thus, in honor of him and....for the Glory of God, the month of March has a new purpose for me. I have been involved prayerfully with a ministry dear to my heart called- “Climbing for Christ”.  My wife and I have supported their ministry as meeting people in high places has been an effective place for God to be revealed in my life. 
Indeed He continues to take me above the tree line for awesome growth and challenges to the direction of my heart.  This month( March), I’m growing the stache; for every day my wife tolerates the prickle of hair, I will be putting $5 away for Climbers for Christ....earmarked for a special ministry. Deep in the mountains of Nepal is a group of Christians who I have never met and who are involved with an awesome ministry of the Lord to reach the lost and share the love of Christ with them.  I so wish that I could go and directly be a part of that project, but for now- God has me, as I am able..
I will send what resources He has given me, above and beyond this month, so that the people of Nepal will be able to worship and know the God of creation who loved them enough to send His Son to be their risen Savior and King....will you join me? will you pray for these people as they assemble the final bricks and roof of their hillside church? Will you grow out your mustache with me? Will you support this project financially? They need a total of $450 remainder to finish the building project.  You can check out their ministry and others at . You can make payments directly to C4C or email me for more information....

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sovereignty........a few thoughts

I continue to be blown away about how big, amazing, capable, supreme, completely awesome our God is....So much of our lives are spent shrinking our image and perception of Him into something that will fit into our pockets; like a genie to pull out on a rainy day...or how so many of us(myself included) spend our lives talking  about and subjectively interpreting the occasions of our lives with conversations of "open and closed doors" not considering his input through the Word.  We then go about assigning God's will to situations in order to effect our decision making processes. We often insert our input in situations with benevolent or even malicious intents. It's not that I'm upset or frustrated about these mortal shortcomings, not right this moment anyways...(I grieve over my sins and turn away towards Him as he redirects me.)...More so, I'm just impressed and run over with joy that God is bigger than our little minds often try to make him...Charles Spurgeon emulated these words amazingly well...I'll end on his thoughts that prompted me to think once again about these issues today. 

"The devil blows the fire and melts the iron, and then the Lord fashions it for his own purposes. Let men and devils rage as they may, they cannot do otherwise than subserve the divine purposes."                            - C. H. Spurgeon

If you have a moment and are so moved, join with me to thank God for how amazing He is, that we can put our infinite hope and trust in His purposes through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.   To Him be the glory...