Archives for August 2014

August 25, 2014 - 3 comments

Formerly Orphans

"God is relentlessly determined to erase every suspicion that He is not good."
Lawrence J. Crabb, Jr., PHD, In the forward for Bold Love—Dr. Dan B. Allender & Dr. Tremper Longman III


This photo is a miracle in many, many ways. I'll begin with that and start telling you the stories as I go along. But, for now, I'd like to introduce my Dad, Alexandru Hotea. He's told me stories, matter-of-factly, where he chose bravery in the face of challenges that sound like fiction.

He was orphaned at the age of three. His dad passed away in his early 40's from health complications in Communist Romania. His disabled mom, my grandmother, raised him and two daughters—my uncles, his older brothers, were old enough to be out of the house, one in military service and the other married and working a job.

He recognized the vacancy in his life resulting from fatherlessness. It was a known issue. Something referred to throughout my childhood. But, until recently, I hadn't understood the full implications of it and how it affected my life, my approach and relationship to God as my Father, my way of relating to others in my life.

What we both needed long ago, and what I've come to believe every man needs, was the guidance and "fathering" of a man or men who have lived a life with God as their Father and who could pass on that life-giving "how-to". As I live and breathe, God is answering that longing and prayer through men who know him as Father. John Eldredge and his eldest son, Sam Eldredge have written a book documenting a conversation between father and son that climbs the hard miles of becoming and being a man Fathered by God.

I'm shamelessly promoting it. Shouting it from the rooftops. This is the book that men should read.

Killing Lions, by John & Sam Eldredge

August 23, 2014 - No Comments!

Outside

I packed my clan into the minivan at Mammoth before sunrise and headed north, hauling a borrowed tent-trailer and a stack of bikes strapped to a thirty-dollar rack I got on Craigslist. Deep quietness settled over me as we pushed up the 120 off 395, east of Lee Vining. The kids were sleeping. I was chugging Italian Roast from a Thermos watching the RPMs groan toward the 4's and 5's crawling up the road at 30-40 mph. The sleepy mountains watched me, like body guards, as I cut a timid trail through their muscular formations leading toward camp.

My heart swelling with coffee and mountains.


Beauty is essential to God. No—that's not putting it strongly enough. Beauty is the essence of God.John Eldredge


First Light on Red Mountains off 395 East of Lee Vining

First Light on Red Mountains off 395 East of Lee Vining


The mountains are calling and I must go.John Muir


Thankfully, I married into the legendary ritual of camp acquisitions established by my Father-in-Law. A process as solid and reliable as the granite formations that bring me back to Yosemite time and time again.

Camp Guardian: Bald Eagle in Tuolomne Meadows

Camp Guardian: Bald Eagle in Tuolumne Meadows

Dawn at Tuolomne Meadows

Dawn Patrol Camp Site Scouting at Tuolumne Meadows

Enjoying the View, Sipping on Half Dome California Wheat: Smoke from the El Portal Fire and Rain Clouds

Enjoying the view, Sipping on Half Dome California Wheat: Smoke from the El Portal Fire and Rain Clouds


Madness does not come by breaking out, but by giving in; by settling down in some dirty, little, self-repeating circle of ideas; by being tamed.G.K. Chesterton


This year's trip was new. It was new frontier because I had not been to Yosemite with an awakened heart until this time. I'd always loved Yosemite. The lush beauty of thick pine forests receding to expose the Earth's balding bulges of granite. But this time I had a greater awareness of God's playfulness and constant effort to engage me through beauty, through the outside. His shameless, persistent indulgence in extravagant beauty surprised me countless times throughout the week.

And it was more than (fill-in-the-blank). It was unpredictable. Saturated with life. Like a sponge that never dried out.

I still feel the residual rest, right now, while I'm writing about it.

Brookie, I think. Small, but Mighty. He took a Blue-Winged Olive Ext-Body

Brookie, I think. Small, but Mighty. He took a Blue-Winged Olive Ext-Body