Saturday, February 27, 2010

Check This Out!

Just a note.  My youth group performed this skit during our prayer event.  Just click on the Everything picture to the left.  Stephanie my daughter, Jacob my son, and Jenna and Jessica my nieces, are in the skit.  It is awesome.  Check it out! 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Soul Has Been Lifted!


So much has happened over the past week and half it has been hard to keep up with them. Of course, I have kept you up to date on the prayer event from last week. I still don't think I have recovered from that whole thing. However, I have found myself being very contemplative. Over the past five months I have asked you to come along as I share with you my journey home. Today, I ask the same of you. So, join me as I share with you some things I have been touched by in the recent past.

If you have followed my blog you know that I have made a huge deal about the books written by Andy Andrews. I have blogged about The Traveler's Gift, I have alerted you to the fact that you, absolutely, have to read The Noticer, and I have encouraged you to be looking for and sharing The Lost Choice. The past few months my blog has been filled with Andy Andrews! I want to take a moment and let you know why that has been the case.

For those who have read the books you will know what I am talking about. For those of you haven't I will do my best to explain. When I found The Traveler's Gift in the library it wasn't because I was looking for it. I had no idea who Andy Andrews was and I wasn't trying to find out. I just happened to be trying to pull another book off of the shelf and his book fell onto the floor. Before returning it to the shelf I read the back cover. I thought that the premise sounded interesting and I knew some of the people who had reviewed it and, trusting their judgment, I took it home to read. Since then I have found power in words again. I have realized that there is thought and importance in what people read and what they can write. I am sure many of you are thinking to yourself, "What is the big deal about these books?". Let me tell you why they are a big deal to me.

The Traveler's Gift, The Noticer, and The Lost Choice are all books that asks the same question, "How do we become a better person?". In itself that is a subject that many authors have tried very hard to sell to people. Let me tell you this, right now, I am not a big fan of motivational speakers, feel good psycho babble, or "21 ways to do this or that"! That is why I enjoyed these books so much. In their pages I didn't read how to become a better person I read about people who are, or could be, me. In the words that I read I didn't hear someone telling me how bad I was I heard about how good I could be! Save the Bible I haven't read that many books that inspire me, but I was inspired by these. I was inspired to become a better person simply because I believed that I could do the things the characters in these books did. These books made me want to be a better person!

Surely, you are sitting there and thinking to yourself, "OK Derek, I believe you but how can a book do that?". My answer would be simple, books do it all the time! What we read is just another way that we process the world around us. For good or for bad the books that we choose to busy our time with makes an impact on us. Whether it be romantic novels or presidential biographies, US News and World Report or Playboy magazine, John Grisham or Stephen King, what we read shapes us. That is why I think it so important to read my Bible! But when I am not reading scripture don't I owe it to myself and to my fellow man to be reading something that lifts my soul. That's what these three books have done for me...they have lifted my soul.

My journey home has been a rough road for me. That doesn't me that it would have been a rough road for you. It simply means that I have struggled finding my way back home. Through trials of surgery, through unending nights of pain, through peaks and valleys as a pastor, as husband, as a father, as a son, I have had my fair share of struggles. I don't say that because I want you to feel sorry for me. I say that because I want you to know that, for all that I have gone through, I have read something that has lifted my soul again. I have had the opportunity to challenge myself to be a better person. I have had the great opportunity to share great writing with my father and he with me. I have taken the 7 statements of success that Andrews speaks about in The Traveler's Gift and make them my own. I have read of "Jones" in The Noticer and challenged myself to look at my life from a different perspective. I have read The Lost Choice and committed myself to something great in my life. Through these past few months and through these three books I have found that I am a traveler and I do have gifts. I am a person that "notices" things and gives people a moment to catch their breathe and begin life again. And I have dedicated my life to encouraging myself and others not to have the "lost choices" of life.

Because I have done these things I am a better person and the world is better for it because the one thing that was made clear to me in these books is that everyone makes a difference. Whether for good or for evil everything we do makes difference in our world and in the lives of those who live on this world. From now on I refuse to accept mediocrity, I choose to act and not react. From this day forward my journey home will be better, brighter, and full of the confidence that my God has placed inside me. I will choose to be happy and I will seek wisdom. I will make a difference in my life and in the life other's because I can. I will be a better husband, better father, son and brother. I will not have any lost choices in my life because I choose to do something. My journey home begins again this day!

I do not believe that Andy Andrews is an angel sent from heaven. Andy Andrews is just a guy who wrote some books. But the words that I needed he wrote. I am not a better person today because of Andy Andrews but I am sure that God had a hand in his writing. I am a different person today because I choose to be! My God wants that for me and from me...a gift from a father to a son!

If you get a chance read his books, start with God's and move on to Andy's! Until next time I will see you on the journey!



Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hotmail: Trusted email with Microsoft's powerful SPAM protection. Sign up now.

It Is Finished!


Well, the "Journey In Prayer" event is over and it was a huge success! I am not sure how you rally measure the success of a prayer event but I believe that God was pleased! I write this blog with a great sense of completion. A vision that was born 5 months ago has come to pass and I give God the glory for it. Yet, as Tuesday comes and goes and I find myself two days out of this great experience I find myself struggling.

I have been on this "Journey Home" for many years now and I have just taken a week to look at my "Journey In Prayer" and I find myself wondering about my journeys. Since I have previously stated that I am on these journeys I must pause and wonder where the journey is taking me. Where do I think, wonder, or expect, these journey to lead me in my life. It is a true statement that time marches on and that each day brings us closer to something...death I suppose. Still, my mind ponders the unending possibilities of where I am going to find myself at the end of these journeys.

I suppose it is like this for all of us. Don't we stop at certain points in our life's journey simply to assess the road we are on and where that road might lead? Isn't it human nature to yearn for the answer to what or who is at the end of all of this thing we call life? I know that each time I come home from a huge mountain top experience such as a mission trip or a Christian conference I find myself full of excitement and a head full of endless possibilities. Then just as the event gets far enough away from me that I can still remember it but not feel it I find myself tumbling down that mountain top to the cold, harsh reality that I am smack dab in the middle of life again. Why can't I keep that mountain top experience inside of me? Why is that all of things I was feeling, experiencing, and sharing just a few days earlier have somehow disappeared? Why is it that emotional high that kept me going 14 hours a day last week is elusive to me? It's like trying to catch smoke in your hands!

If you have ever experienced this in your life then you know what I am talking about. It makes you question whether what you experienced was real. It makes you wonder if you will ever feel it again. On My Journey Home I have found that mountain top experiences are suppose to be that way. God brings each of us to spiritual heights from time to time. I think, it is during those times, that we catch a brief glimpse of what our faith is suppose to feel like. The reason we don't feel that way all the time is that the busyness of life clamors for our attention.

Mountain top experiences are good for the soul but it is the day to day activities where our true faith is tested. It's easy to feel the closeness of God's Spirit when our attention is focused on it. What tries men's souls is when we try to access that same Spirit in the midst of life. That is where the true nature of our faith exists. So, yes, yearn for the mountain top experience, absolutely1 Yearn for it, seek it out, enjoy it while it's there. But , when that experience ends know that God does not stay on top of the mountain. He follows you down into the valley. God's love can't stay on the mountain it's not His nature! He wants to be in the valley with you. He love's to meet you on the mountain top He's good at that kind of thing! But where God really strives, where God's true loving, compassionate, merciful, and forgiving nature shines is in the valley of our lives. On My Journey Home I have met Him in both places. It's great to see Him when I am on the top of the mountain, but I really need Him when I am not.

May this day find you seeking God in all the places of your lives. May you seek Him on the top of the mountains of your lives as well as the valleys. You will be happy to know that He is in both places. Until we speak again!



Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pass It On


As many of you know I am in the middle of a week long prayer event with three other churches in my small community of Las Animas, CO.  It has been an inspiring and moving week thus far.  God has truly blessed the efforts of so many volunteers this week.

I, quickly, want to share with a great opportunity that has come my way.  I have agreed to become an affiliate member of  What this means is that, soon, you will be seeing adveritsements and banners, besdies the ones that you already see, on this blog.

I have been so touched and moved by Andy's books that I can't help but try and pass them along.  I have to admit, though, that I come nowhere close to my father's endeavor to share these books.  After my blogs regarding Andy's book The Traveler's Gift my dad began sharing these books with many people, including me!  He has done a great job in passing along some of the great wisdom that Andy has to share.

If you have not seen or heard or read any of the books by Andy Andrews click on the links and check them out.  I will receive a commission for any books purchased from my site.  Although that is a good thing, I really just want to try and get these books into the hands of as many people as I can.  Next to the word of God I have never read any books that have made as big of an impact on me as the books by Andy.

I want to thank my Dad for sharing as he has and want to let you know that, if you decide to read them, you won't be disappointed!  So check out the Andy Andrews clicks that soon will be added to this blog.  The ones that you see right now are just the banners that I placed there myself.  New ones are on the way!

So, until we meet again, I wish you happiness and a blessed day!

PS Dad I checked at Wal Mart and they are Warbird PLUS.  Those are the ones that I use!



Friday, February 19, 2010



I am so busy at the moment with the prayer event that I don't have the time to share as much as I would like with you.  Last night's service was amazing and you could really feel the presence of God in our midst.  I appreciate all of the prayers for me, I could really feel them as I presented my story.  The prayer event is going well and will run through Sunday.  After that I will be so happy to get back to our time together.  I hope you will stick with me and check in to see if I have shared more of our "Journey In Prayer".  I appreciate you visiting  with me and sharing My Journey Home.

PS  Soon these 14 hour days will end!



Thursday, February 18, 2010

Share Your Story!


I am happy to say that last night's Ash Wednesday service went very well. We had close to 60 in attendance. Communion and the imposition of ashes was a very powerful and prayerful experience. Our praise team sounded beautiful! So, our "Journey In Prayer" continues this morning with a Lenten Prayer Coffee and our nightly service tonight at 7:00 PM.

Tonight I have the opportunity to share my prayer journey with those in attendance. Sometimes it can be a little scary laying your life out there for all to see and hear. My Journey Home has been a wonderful tool for me to share my thoughts, ideas, struggles, and triumphs with all of you. The reason it is so easy is because I don't have to look you in the eye and try and discern the emotions that I might be evoking within each one of you. That being said, it is also frightening to think that anyone who might stumble across this blog could be privy to some of my most intimate feelings and writings.

However, I think that it is good to share our stories. Scripture tells us to go out and preach the gospel. I think God put in each one of us a desire to share what He has done in our lives. I believe that in the sharing of our stories we help others live out their stories. This can be a frightening thing to do for some. My encouragement to each of you would be to share your life stories with people in your lives. Whether it be spoken or written there is value to the life you have lived.

I am confident in saying that each one of your lives have some bit of wisdom hidden away inside the day to day chaos we call "life". There is "stuff" in your life story! That stuff could be the very thing that someone else needs to learn so that they might grow in their own lives. Don't be afraid to tell your story! If you think about it it is the only story that you know for sure! You can't mess up the story because it's yours!

My Journey Home has been about telling a story. It is a collection of experiences, ideas, tragedies, and triumphs that have been written down for anyone who chooses to read them. My life is far from perfect. It has had its fair share of ups and downs. Yet, in sharing my story I feel as if I am adding to the "fabric of history". My mother makes quilts. She is also a great at crocheting! It is her quilts that remind me of my story and your story as well. Quilts are made up of individual pieces and when those pieces are stitched together it becomes something greater than its individual pieces, it becomes whole!

Our life story are the pieces and history is the whole! It is that old adage that says, "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts". Let us be a people that add to that to the fabric of our world. Go out and share what you have experienced. Stand up and proclaim the stories that make you who you are. Don't be afraid to tell people how you have triumphed over tragedy and lived through loss. Your story is unique! You are writing your story each day, so, share it with the world!

Wish me luck tonight!



Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"A Journey In Prayer"


For those who have read these blogs in the past might recall me telling you about a prayer event that is taking place between three churches in the Las Animas community. My church happens to be one of them. For 5 months I have been a member of the core group that has been planning this event. Well, it started last night with our Shrove Tuesday pancake supper. The supper went well and fed close to 100 people. Tonight, we begin our services with an Ash Wednesday service. Our "Journey In Prayer" has begun!

I tell you all of that information to say this, I am scared to death this thing is going to be a giant flop!

That's the way we are though, isn't it? What I mean to say is that many times in our lives we find ourselves planning some major event and then, right when it's getting ready to start we freak out! It might be a vacation, a sporting event, or a class reunion. No matter what the event is we expend so much energy worrying about whether it's going to be a flop or not that we forget to enjoy the event we planned. I find myself doing the same thing. Instead of giving this event to God and letting Him direct the show I take it upon myself to judge whether or not it is a success based on my standards. My fear is that we will go through the entire week and I will be so worried about whether it is making an impact on other people that I will not let it have an impact on me.

On my journey home I have found that things go much smoother when I let God take care of the details. "Gotta have brain surgery God, I need it to go well, you take care of the details". "Crap! Gotta have another brain surgery God, need this one to go well also, you take care of the details". People say that the "devil is in the details", that's a bunch of hoohey! I have found God in the details of more in my life than I have ever found the devil!

I think God wants it that way. I think He wants to know that He can take care of the little things in our lives as well as the big ones. So, let me encourage you to do the very thing that I am having trouble God in the little things in your life. It's when we are able to trust God with the little things that we find out He is also the God of the big things! Remember, God is in the details!



Monday, February 15, 2010

Yeah for Change!


For those of you who have been following my blog for a while will realize that I have changed the template of my blog. What that really means is that it looks different! I like it! Change is good, sometimes! If you are like me there are some things where change is not acceptable. I don't think it's that some people like change or don't like change. I think it has a lot to do with how the change makes us feel.

I am a pastor and so I hope that many of you will understand when I say that change is hard for people. In most churches the "c" word, as we like to call it, can be a deal breaker. I don't know what makes us able to accept change outside of the church but when it comes to even the little things of our church we immediately run from any type of change, oops, I mean the "c" word.

I have come to find out that change in a church has a lot to do with memories. Many people, and understandably, want to reminisce about the "way it used to be". There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I think God made us that way. I think when He was deciding how we were to be created He knew that remembering the past could be a positive in our lives. Again, there is nothing wrong with us remembering the past with loving hearts. The problem is that we, sometimes, spend so much of our time remembering the past we don't live in the present. Or, we it's not hat we long for the past it's we just refuse to believe that what ever the change might be could actually be better than what we used to do.

Change is inevitable. We live in a world where things change all the time. I experienced this very thing last week. If you remember reading one of my recent blogs in which I discussed dropping my cell phone in the toilet you will know what I am talking about. If you haven't read that one you should go back and do so. It's always nice to have a good laugh at someone else's expense. Go's OK!

I mention that incident only to say that the new phone I got to replace the dead one was sooooo different. It was a touch phone. I soon realized that what it really meant was that it was "don't touch" phone. I found out that just picking the thing up the wrong way could immediately dial the White House, the Kremilin, or the switch board of the missile silos of the Chinese military. I also learned that my phone can take pictures, shoot video, access the internet, and can, if need be, be used as a lantern in a dark and stormy night. Unfortunately, the one thing I couldn't get it do was dial a number!

You see, the technology had "changed". Seemingly overnight technology had not only passed me by I believed that it had lapped me a couple times. I realized that I had become one the people that I have had so many disagreements with, I became an opponent of the “c”" word. So, after going in the bathroom (I wanted to go back to the scene of the accident) I tried to come to grips with the idea of my cell phone changing! It's not that I particularly liked it, it was just that I knew that if I was ever going to be able to call someone on this stupid phone I was going to have to change as well.

You see, on my journey home I have had to deal with change. After my brain surgeries I was not allowed to do some of things I had taken for granted in my life. At times I wasn't allowed to drive. I had to come to grips with the fact that I wasn't allowed on my roof anymore. For those of you who are wondering if I was a frequent visitor to my roof to sit and ponder the universe I, simply, meant that I couldn't change my swamp coolers pads. Now, for those of you who are reading this and living east of the Mississippi, a swamp cooler is a type of air conditioner that is prominent in areas that are not blessed with the hair straightening, shirt soaking, God awful, humidity that some of you experience on a daily basis in the summer. Suffice it to say, I had to embrace change.

After doing so I realized that change wasn't so bad. Heck, there were some changes that were good. The great thing that I realized was that embracing these changes didn't mean that I was saying the way I did things in the past were wrong. It simply meant that I had to do things different if I was going to succeed in living "post brain surgeries".

I want to let you in on a secret! God enjoys change. If this were not true then no one would ever have accepted Christ in their lives. The ability to recognize that our lives are empty without God cause us to embrace change. So, I challenge you to look at your journey home and to see where changes can be made. Remember it doesn't mean that the old way was bad. It simply means that, here in the present, there might be a better way.

You might just find out that, like me, new cell phones aren't our enemy but our friend. You might find out that , like I did, it's ok to call someone on the same phone that you can take pictures with. That is, as soon as I found out how dial my phone! Brothers and sisters don't fear change, embrace it. Make change for the better not change for change sake. Be truthful as you look at your life and then decide where change is needed. If it works don't mess with it. If it's broke figure out how to fix it. Finally, if you do need to change something in your life realize that it's not forgetting the past it's trying to make a better future.

Until we meet again may the peace of God guide you this day and everyday!



Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What a week!


I know that I said that I would be down for a while and I am not really back here to post anything exciting! (that's assuming that anything I post IS exciting) I just wanted to keep all of you up to date on the kind of week I have been having. First, my mom fell and broke her wrist while trying to shovel snow! I know, what in the heck is she doing shoveling snow!? She's a great mom and a great wife and she is trying to protect my dad from a heart attack! In the meantime she goes down and breaks her right wrist and so, now, my dad gets to put her makeup on her. I will try and get some of those pictures and post on the blog. OH, if wishin' made it so!

Also, the Colts lost! nuff' said!

I had a session meeting yesterday (it's the governing board of the church). Couldn't have gone worse, well it could have but it went the way it went and it has just added to the stress I am experiencing. I now spend most of my time counseling individuals. It is rewarding but draining. I actually love that part of my job. It feels like I might actually be helping someone. We still have the prayer event coming up next week. I hope I am alive to enjoy it.

The best part of my week has been the fact that I finished reading The Noticer by Andy Andrews. I know it sounds like I am receiving payments from Andy Andrews, because my blog is practically a fan website, but I assure you I am not. My dad had told me that it was a great book. He was right! If you only read one book this year make it The Noticer. Life changing is all I have to say about it. I can't wait to read The Lost Choice.

Anyway, that is a little bit of my life and the week I am having. If you are a prayer I would appreciate your prayers. If you are not a prayer I would encourage you to become one. Well, I better run, believe it or not, I have a counseling session in 10 minutes.

Can't wait to meet you here again very soon!



Monday, February 8, 2010

Out for a While!


My apologies for the lack of blogs the last week.  I am involved with a huge prayer event that three of our community churches are participating in.  I have had no time to invest in my blogging.  So, I would ask that you be patient with me.  I will be back at the site in just a few days.  Until then, I want you to think about a question that I have for you. If you could ask God one question what would it be?

Keep checking to see if I am back to my posts.  Your audience means everything to me!

Until next post!



Monday, February 1, 2010

Remember It...Don't Relive It!


I pray that you are experiencing and recognizing the grace of God in your life today!

Today is the first the day of February 2010. It's hard to believe that January has passed. The beginning of February always takes me back to my first brain surgery. I had my first brain surgery on Jan.27, 2003. It wasn't until the first week of February that I was able to come home. I can remember those days of sleeping on the couch what seemed to be 20 hours a day. I can also remember the sadness in my mother's eyes when she tried to get me to eat something and I just did not have the appetite. I can also remember sitting on the side of the bath tub after taking a bath and wishing and begging to God that this pain would end. I can remember getting the nineteen staples taken out of the back of my head.

All of us have those times in the year that we either celebrate a memory of an event that bought great joy or dread the remembrance of an event that, to this day, still hurts. I am not sure which type of memory my first brain surgery resembles. I know that I can still remember the pain because it really hasn't gone away. But I don't think I remember the surgery in the same way. I spent many hours in a neuro-psychologist office to make sure that was case. I am not a big fan of psychologists. It's not that I don't think that psychology is a useful tool in recovery it's just that I really haven't met many psychologists that I liked! My neuro-psychologist was different. He was a very pleasant man and took the time to realize that I really wasn't paying attention to much he was saying. I am sure that is some fault in my personality that I should work on. Maybe I'll try that...nah, probably not! However, I do remember something that he said that has made a huge difference in my life. After my first surgery, and the second one as well, I had nightmares of waking up in the neuron ICU and being in so much pain. It was my first surgery that I got air trapped in my brain and it hurt! I mean it really hurt! I am talking about the kind of hurt that will make you wet yourself! It's the 10 when the doc asks you, "on a scale of 1 to 10, what is your pain level?" It was a 10, no 15, wait 20, well you get the idea, it hurt. Anyway, the neuro-psychologist told me that I needed to get to a place in my life where I could remember the surgery without reliving the surgery.

Believe it or not, there is a big difference in the two. Remembering the surgery is what I do now. On January27, 2003 I had life altering brain surgery. There it is, no big deal. It is a fact to me and, although I still live with pain, the pain that I live with does not remind me of the surgery. I remember it but I don't relive it. Each day I wake up I thank God for the opportunity I have to put my feet on the floor and get up and something for Him. It took me a while to get to that place but, the point is, I’m there. I don't relive my surgery everyday but every day I remember I've had brain surgery. One brings despair and doubt the other brings hope and a sense of accomplishment.

What about your journey? No doubt there are days on your calendar that are either marked with happy faces or sadly lived out because of the memory they hold. Each one of us have days of despair that are marked with a day, or a month, or a year. Everyone who was a live and able to understand what was going on during the day of November 22, 1963 remembers where they were. If you don't remember that day in Dallas you were either too small or not alive. It is that way for my generation on September 11th. But whether it's November 22nd, or December 7th, or September 11th we all have our days.

How can we begin to remember those days without reliving them? Maybe the pain is so great that we can't. But shouldn't we try? Don't we owe it to ourselves? Shouldn't we refuse to let memories of the past define who we are today? My journey home has taught me many things in life. Still, the greatest thing I have learned is that I serve a God that looks forward and not back. He is a God that is more interested in what I can do for Him today than what I might have accomplished for Him yesterday. If that is the God I serve then I should have the same mindset. My name is Derek Hutchison and I survived three brain surgeries, but what have I done for God today? Let us be people of God who can remember the awful without reliving it. And in doing so, we pay honor to that past without letting it lead our future.

I pray that I will see you on the journey home!