Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from January, 2010

Day 60, Harmonizing and Being Authentic

Today, I stood in front of a Chapel of people to give the announcements and other small Chaplain like duties. Instead of prayerfully considering what was going on around me, I began to day dream about this thought. What if these people are reading my blog or my journal or they see me at my house or they have coffee with me at the CMR or see me at a Command Staff Meeting or play XBOX with me online?

The question came: AM I THE SAME PERSON IN ALL THESE VARIOUS VENUES?

Does the John Craven that blogs about pooping/Jenny McCarthy/Adoption and other very obscure topics, harmonize with the John Craven that loves expositional preaching, John Owen, smoking a Pipe? Is this John Craven who loves to pet Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs, be the same one that counsels marriages?

I recognize we all have very different places we live and work. I am not talking about those differences. I am talking about a almost schizophrenia lifestyle that is created by the almost endless mediums one communicates in througho…

Day 59, The Decay of Manners, Can be an Unexpected Blessing

**Caution: This may be disturbing for people of high standards of manners***
In the military, we have something called, "Hail and Farewells". It is a semi-formal affair where the upper level leaders of a unit come together to 'Hail' all the new guys to the unit, and 'Farewell' all the guys who will be departing. A meal, short speeches, a couple of jokes and you leave. A 'SEMI-FORMAL' event,...so you must be on your 'A-Game' in the Manners department.

Now for some reason this past week, at one of ours, I had eaten something during the day...that had not completely settled in my stomach. The entire night was a constant uncomfortable bloating sensation that thought would never cease. I was looking forward to great expectations to leave the speeches, and get in the car and get home. As the night wrapped up, we got in the car,...along with some people who had hopped in for the ride for a brief 12 minute ride home.

YET, thinking I could remain vigil …

Day 58, Recovering and Sour Milk.

After several days of being away from the Ole Blogger, I am getting back in the saddle again. Jessica's surgery is over and she is healing wonderfully. Although, I have seen that she has learned that if she 'looks' like she is in pain, I will just about stop anything I am doing to tend to her beckoning call. Yet, after the third or fourth trip to the kitchen for a spoon, bedroom for a book, office for the lappy,...I have noticed that these ailments generally disappear in the presences of a certain niece of ours calling on Skype. At the sound of Skype ringing, my wife miraculously can leap to her feet, dart through the halls effortlessly,...point click, situate, and watch on web cam our niece, Hannah. I typically, stand utterly amazed, as once she is seated enjoying the show, I scratch my head and wonder from whence did this vivacious woman arise? Nothing short of a miracle, I suppose.

Furthermore I have just about finished my commentary on the book of Nehemiah for Lifeway, …

Day 57, Crazy Feelings of Anxiety

Laboring away at the ole commentary on Nehemiah, I have been humbled many times as I am struggling over and over again with my personal understanding or definition of what true leadership is.

Despite my current efforts to write scholarly after 2100 (9:00 P.M.), I decided to fall back on faithful blogging.

Therefore, I will just tell you the truth right now. Jessica is going into the hospital tomorrow here in Germany, and I am a little anxious about it. I am not scared for myself or the procedure, I am just concerned for my wife. I have not had kids yet, but I am sure that first day of school for your 'first born' is quite rattling. And in a very bizarre way, I want to somehow save Jessica all the pain and uncomfortableness of this entire episode. For some odd reason, I would rather MUCH rather me deal with this than her. That's what is bothering me.

On the other side of my heart, is a strong desire this week to look very intently again at my calling. In about 6 days, Jessic…

Day 56, Wrestling with Nehemiah

During the late 90's, I was just finishing up college when the popular trend of Evangelical Christianity shifted to emphasizing 'Leadership' as its primary. If you remember this era, you might recall the numerous books that John Maxwell published in this frenzy. Almost all the writings were centralized around the book of Nehemiah and Ezra. Youth Camps, Discipleship materials, any extra conferences were somehow centralized on Nehemiah. To be frank, I grew very upset with the almost tunnel vision approach of the church on this character. From the 90's through the first decade of the 21st Century, this Nehemiah character is unveiled again, not with the leadership focus, but on his ability to convey vision and build. AND THUS, many churches across the SBC, used this theme to create slogans and mottos surrounding 'church building campaigns'.

Frustrated in my heart, I grew to almost despise the story. I rarely would even read Ezra and Nehemiah in my readings. Not feel…

Day 55, The Adoption Support Begins.

Dear Family and Friends,
Jessica and I have finally crossed the point in the adoption process where we feel as a couple that it is appropriate to begin to call our Christian brothers and sisters to support our adoption.

Since our first date climbing Stone Mountain, July 16, 2004, Jessica and I have been planning our family through adoption. First, in the seed of conversation. Second, in the labor of plowing paperwork. And now, almost 5 years later, this has become a reality.

The Lord has been more than gracious to us to prepare for this adoption financially. Virtually all of our deployment money has gone into preparing for this. Yet, through prayer we feel that it is time to give the Church, the followers of Christ, an opportunity to not only support 'The Craven's', but ADOPTION itself.

A young lady in Barbourville Kentucky said it best to us, "If you are PRO-LIFE, then you must be PRO-ADOPTION." This one statement and many others have set our hearts on fire f…

Day 54, Jenny McCarthy Kick My Butt Tonight.

As many of you may know, we Army soldiers are fit and rugged and can't be stomped into the ground by anyone who doesn't have a Ranger Tab. I mean, seriously, I wake up,...go do PT at 6:30 for 1 hour, then typically after work run 4 miles just to stay fit for the fight that keeps us safe. ((Doesn't hurt to look good for the gal at home either)).

Yet, this evening, instead of going for my run, I dawned my PT's and turned on our Wii to try a new exercise system we got called, "Your Shape". Its simple. A video camera captures you on one window, Jenny McCarthy Avatar barks orders at you on the left window. While the exercises is happening, a constant feed on how you are doing is being sent in through the feed on the camera. I thought it sound preposterous and decided to show this system what a 34 year old, United States Army Captain can do.

Choosing Advanced, Cardio, 30 minutes. I put the controller down and started the program. NOW...before I continue. God speaks t…

Day 53, Preparing for Overseas Flights.

Amongst (love that catchy word) the clatter regarding the "Christmas Day Terrorist", Jessica and I still had a flight to catch on December 31st. Being told multiple times by the media and relatives that early arrival would be best, we proceeded to arrive about 4 hours prior our boarding. (Not a bad idea).

We went right through with no terrible problems. The typical, Chaplain Screening, is always my favorite. You know they aren't profiling, when a white 30-something, male gets nabbed just about every trip. A clear, MAM.(for all you military guru's).

Anywho, here's where the blog begins. Jessica and I grab some window seats on the way back to Germany, thanks to Expedia. Then we get out the headsets and dawn the ear-plugs...yes, we double up...SUPER QUIET. This is where we thought we could definitely keep our senses privatized. BUT, wait...yes there are 5 senses.

The seats directly in front of Jessica and I had a lovely German couple, 30-somethings, with two toddlers…