…who are you? who, who? who, who?…

Do you ever wonder where you came from?  I’m not talking about the city you were born in, the elementary school that you went to, and the state that is on your driver’s license.  I’m talking about the people that gave you your last name; the ones in whose steps you follow; your ancestors.  That is what I’m talking about.

After watching a few episodes of “Who Do You Think You Are?” on Hulu I became very interested in finding out where I came from.

So I hopped on Ancestry.com and started my two week trial.  For those 14 days I was absolutely consumed with finding out as much as I could about my past and history.  I was able to go back to the 1600s with both of my mom’s parents, and the same with my dad’s mom.  But my dad’s father, the actual Sauser name, I couldn’t get back very far.  I was only able to get back to Hugh W. Sauser (also spelled Sawsir) who was born in 1850.

That is pretty far, I mean it is 161 years ago.  But it’s nothing compared to the 1600s with the others.  I know that my great, great grandfather’s name is Hugh, and that he was born in Louisiana sometime near 1850.  He lived in Iowa for a stint.  But other than that I’ve got no information on him.

I want to know more.  I want to put together more pieces of the puzzle.  I want to find out where I came from and where my people have been.  I can read the Old Testament and New Testament to find my spiritual heritage, but I am limited when it comes to my physical heritage.

Has anyone else had this desire?  Have you already gone through the process of finding this information out?  Let me know.



…memorial stone…

A few years ago, probably 8 or so, I was reading in Joshua about when the children of Israel cross the Jordan River.  Now, this wasn’t the crossing where they were leaving Egypt, that was the Red Sea.  But what I read really struck me because of the sheer magnitude of what happened.  Let me share some with you.

“When the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carried the ark of the covenant ahead of the people.  Now the Jordan overflows its banks throughout the harvest season.  But as soon as the priests carrying the ark reached the Jordan, their feet touched the water at its edge and the water flowing downstream stood still, rising up in a mass that extended as far as Adam, a city next to Zarethan.  The water flowing downstream into the Sea of the Arabah was completely cut off, and the people crossed opposite Jericho.  The priests carrying the ark of the LORD’s covenant stood firmly on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel crossed on dry ground until the entire nation had finished crossing the Jordan.”  (Joshua 3:14-17, HCSB)

A few things struck me right there.  For starters the priests just began walking into the river with the most prized possession in all of Israel.  It took courage to do that.

Second, the water immediately ceased and stood still upstream quite a ways away.  That type of thing will give one confidence.

And lastly, the ground was dry.  Totally dry.  Water was just there but now it is bone dry.  That is amazing (quite an understatement I know).

In order to remember what God did for the nation of Israel that day they took 12 stones out of the river bed and set them up as a memorial.  They were called memorial stones.  In fact that is what the heading of my Bible says above chapter 4.  These stones were there to be a visible reminder to them, others and future generations of what God did in their lives that day.

Fast forward a few years and meet Kay, one of the student ministry secretaries on staff at my old church in Kansas City.  She went to Israel and I asked her to pick me up a stone out of the Sea of Galilee.  She did and it was awesome.  It is about 3 pounds or so which is a lot for a little petite lady like her to carry.  But she brought it home to me nonetheless and it was .  I knew that I had my memorial stone, but not the one for who it would represent.

A year later I started dating Tiffany, fell in love, and asked her to marry me.  I found an engraver in KC and asked them to engrave our memorial stone.

Today our memorial stone from the waters of Galilee sits in our house as a visible reminder for all who come in our house of what God did for us on the day that we got married – 4/12/08.

What has God done for you?  Do you have a reminder of it?

…ode to the k-train…

Today is October 8th.  I really would like to write this tomorrow because October 9th is Mr. K’s actual birthday.  But I know that when Saturday rolls around the last thing I’m going to want to do is write a blog.  So, I am doing it today in order to make sure I get it done!

This blog is for Mr. K, Dr. K, The K-Train, the esteemed Dr. John Katsion, or as I’ve heard Johnny Bomb Sugar Lips, as he is called by his wife Peg.  I’m not 100% sure that last title is correct, but it is good enough for me to include here.   For the sake of confusion, I’m just going to refer to him from now on as Mr. K.

Mr. K is seriously one of my heroes.  I’m not sure if I have been affected by anyone in the same ways as I have with Mr. K.  In my life there hasn’t very many men who have cared enough to try and pour into me.  And I’m not saying that there aren’t a lot who care and have tried to help, but Mr. K is one who, I feel, always intentionally tried to push me, mature me, help me, and challenge me to become and man God wants of me.

Every few weeks in college he would take me out for chinese food.  I love chinese food.  And if he wasn’t taking me out for chinese, we would go out for mexican.  Now, I didn’t really like mexican in college, but I do now.  (Thanks to Mr. K introducing me to more and more of it.)  Much of the time was spent just asking me about life and what I was learning.  He would find certain things that I said and kind of dig into them and cause me to think about choices I was making.  I hated it, but I loved it as well.  It was the good kind of pain you know.

The influence that he had on me in college has stuck with me today.  When people ask about who has made an impact on my life Mr. K’s name is always one of the first to come up.  And it was because he cared.  Not only that he is one of the funniest men I know.  I asked him to be one of my groomsmen and by the time my wedding weekend ended, he had all the other groomsmen wrapped around his finger because he was so funny.  Every single one of them loved him and it made me so happy because I love him too.

That’s right Mr. K – I love you.  If you wanted I would give you a full frontal hug to prove it.  I would even kiss you on the…cheek.  Sorry I can’t promise anymore than that.  Thanks for the time, effort, prayers, and love you have given to me for the purpose of making my life better, and because you wanted the Kingdom of God to expand even more.  Thanks.

Here is a little video in your honor…I thought it was VERY fitting for a guy like you.  Happy Birthday Mr. K!