A refined faith. 


This year has been unprecedented in many ways. 

This year is a milestone for Kelsie and I. 

This year has been and will be a beginning in many ways. 

This year can be defined by a real personal experience with God’s truth. I have been seeking the Holy Spirits revelation in my life and He has delivered.

I am really coming into a belief that I was made for more than who I am right now. And yet, I am quite proud of who I am. With Gods blessing, I’ve accomplished several of the goals I’ve set over the last few years, I’ve grown in character, Kelsie and I have really grown into a rhythm of healthy relationship. 

I am beginning to feel really excited about my future. Not so much about what I’ll do- I still have my dreams of building our farm, of going on trips to beautiful and exotic places, of having a certain pace of lifestyle- but about who I will become. The last five years have been hugely transformative for me and I have a feeling that the next five will be even better. I have this hope because of this deeper understanding of who I am in Gods global tapestry. 

I’m still learning that I am not the focus in my life. I’m still grappling with understanding that my work doesn’t take #1 priority. I still have to work to place my wife’s needs before my own. However, in all these things, I am seeing the importance of growth. I am understanding how a lack of my growth in becoming secondary to Gods purposes for me is inhibiting His work in me and through me. 

With this improved perspective both Kelsie and I are seeking the heart of God through His word and through his prophets. We are eagerly searching for our place in His plans. We are like college graduates at a career workshop discovering and defining our strengths so that we can land a job. We are posturing ourselves in a position of refinement. We’re trusting the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the gifts that the Father has given us and then to reveal to us how we can use those gifts to bring hope to those who need it. We want to bring peace to those crippled by anxiety. We want to bring love to the lonely, the manipulated, the abused, and the rejected. We want to see our friends and family take their faiths to the next level- we want to see them ask ‘why’. We want them to wish they knew the original languages of scripture so they can fully understand the verbiage that was intentionally and divinely appropriated. We want to know our creator in as large a capacity as any creation can know its creator. 

We are, and we desire to continue, learning to know Jesus personally so that we can be more and more filled with His spirit. We long to be utilized in His purposes.

We are no longer content with having a faith that lacks power. We believe in the power of the resurrection and we intend to live every day for the rest of our lives knowing we can move mountains with just a little bit of true faith. 
Are you living a faith full of power? Do you believe you were created with intentional gifts and abilities? Do you feel  like your life as a Christian is different than your life before it? Would your life look that different if you found out that there was no God? 

Here’s a truth you can walk away with, no matter your place in life: there is always more with Christ. More joy, more peace, more patience, more kindness, more goodness, more gentleness, more faithfulness, more self-control. So if ever you feel lacking in one, if not every, category know that He is ready to offer you more. All you have to do is ask with a humble heart. 

There’s this weird feeling


Choice is a complicated thing. 

It can be joyous, it can be anxious.

It can desired and it can be dreaded.

It can be healing and it can be hurting. 

 

 

I have a choice. I have an opportunity. I have the freedom to make changes. I have the ability to try something new and to reach out, expand, grow, develop. Or there is always the possibility that I will reach out and miss. That I’ll grow but not how I wanted to. Or that I will develop in ways I did not intend to. But many people don’t have choices. Many people are locked in, trapped, stuck and for many, hopeless. 

Here I am with a choice and instead of rejoicing in the freedom I have, i’m picking at my fingernails because I’m anxious. I am afraid. I am worried. I am, all negative emotions. 

I’ll divulge. 

 

I am afraid of hurting people by making a change. I am afraid of being wrong and looking like a fool. I am afraid of causing avoidable stress. I am worried that it won’t provide financially. But neither does my current situation. I am unsure of what’s to come. The risk is making me fidgety. 

 

I am excited about the prospects. I like the mission. I feel compelled by the purpose. It is with some variation, what I originally dreamed of doing, but I don’t feel ready. I want to tell God it’s not time yet. I know it would be a blessing for me and my family. I counter that with wondering how much of a difficulty it will be.

 

There is obvious benefit. And then there is the non-obvious harm.

I will continue to pray and I will continue to trust. I do not know what I will decide.  

A deep sadness


I am overcome by sadness when I take the time to think about the condition of the human heart on a personal, national, and global level. 

Tonight I read the news for about an hour. I read the news everyday, often twice a day but I browse. Tonight I read every story. 

 

I lost count of how many tragic stories there were of people strategically and intentionally aiming to hurt other people. Some had the motives of money or revenge but others didn’t have any motive reported. And those are the stories that really affect me. Somehow there being a motive is more forgiveable… More understandable. But I can’t stand to hear about people who are driven to harm other people. To destroy other peoples lives… An equally touching side of the stories though, is the fact that the person being harmed is usually doing something good. It’s beautiful really. It’s a contrast between people living for human dignity, integrity, and equality and people living for the easy route and the cheapest route; people willing to sacrifice anyone or anything for their own benefit. 

 

I might have lost focus in this post.

 

I truly am deeply saddened by the extent of evil I see active in the world. Even in my world. I know that God, creator of every heart and every soul, did not will this upon any of us. I know His intent was pure and beautiful. I am challenged to maintain a mindset synonymous with God’s plan for my life. To see beauty in his creation, nature and human. To forgive not begrudge. To love not lust. To trust not restrict. 

 

The story for anyone who identifies as a child of God is not over. This too commonly sad and dark existence is not our end. But the hope of a brighter end alone will not bring the end any closer. We must practice positivity. Both in attitude and in action. 

I need your help with this because I do not understand how to do it. Or if it is what should be done… As of now it’s my only thought. 

Kids


Sometimes good things happen too. Good things happened to Kelsie and I.

We move into our house in two weeks! yayayayayayayayay

 

We’ve been hearing a lot of “When are you having kids?!”, “Now that you have a house, kids are around the corner!” and my sister in law is pregnant with her third so my family is expectant that we’ll follow suite. I have to say, yet again, not so quick….

 

I have some concerns with the way I’ve seen people decide to have kids.  

Some do it to save or strengthen their marriage. 

Some do it because they want to get married and it’s the fastest way to a ring on the finger. 

Some do it because they’re bored. 

Some do it because they’re lonely.

Some do it because it’s the “next step”.

Some do it to fit in.

Some do it unintentionally, but I’m leaving that out of this discussion. 

Some do it because they feel it’s God’s command. 

 

Almost all of those strike me as selfish, and selfish in the way that it’s wrong. 

I believe that raising children successfully and healthily can only be done in a selfless way.

Kelsie and I struggle with these motivators that we so often see exercised. 

As I write this I feel compelled to adopt.  

 

This world is already deprived of goodness and is only spiraling downward into more sin and more darkness. I cannot at this time choose to bring a new life into this existence, even with the miracle of God’s grace and the Holy Spirit’s divine intervention on the behalf of this new life. I can, though, see us opening our arms and our resources to a life that is here, not by it’s own choice, and is now abandoned by the selfishness of the one who did decide to create it. I do understand the circumstance of parents giving up children when they are not in a position to offer a safe and healthy environment for them to grow. It’s in that circumstance that I see the purpose of the church coming to life. Actually, it’s in that situation that I see the church lacking in it’s purpose.

 

I lost track of where I was and where I initially intended to go with this, as I so often do, but I’ll summarize.

 

I won’t have kids because i’ve reached a point in life where I don’t know what else to do.

I won’t have kids because I am bored, lonely, or feel like I don’t fit in.

I won’t have kids because I am disillusioned with the life I live and need to live vicariously through my kin.

 

If I have kids it’s because I feel like God has called us to.

If I have kids, it’s likely I’ll have adopted them.

If I have kids, it’s because Christ has convinced me that He will be stronger than my failures as a father. 

 

I know you wanted to know all that 🙂

 

Sometimes hard things happen.


I am in a place where I am forced to accept that God is in control and that I at this present time have no course forward. I was in a place, 24  hours ago, where I was on a course and quite near the finish line. Near enough to not consider anything peripheral. That end was my aim, my focus. Then it fell apart. The finish line went up in flames and the road beneath my feet crumpled. The trees around me turned to mulch, the clouds perspirated into rain. 

Then there was me. A man without a plan, a forward path, and without any hope. A man who needed to go home and tell his lovely wife that they’re dream had disintegrated before his eyes. A man who had to deliver disappointment and frustration beyond any experienced measure. 

 

A day later, I’m still without a plan or even a strong notion of what to do. But faith is regenerating. A few quotes have encouraged me and I’ll share them with you;

 

” When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away your ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the conductor” Corrie Ten Boom

 

“The most difficult lie I’ve ever contended with is this: that life is a story about me”. Don Miller

“Just because we don’t understand doesn’t mean an explanation doesn’t exist” Madeline L’Engle. 

 

I’ve found myself trusting God for a great twist in this currently dismal ‘life forecast’. My attitude in this trust is half that my cognition allows the fact that God is faithful and half that my heart feels betrayed and abandoned. That’s just the nature of the relationship between a divine and an absolutely non-divine being though, isn’t it?

 

I don’t understand why after some confirmation our future has shifted greatly. I don’t know what is coming to replace that path forward. I don’t know much of anything regarding my circumstances. But I will tell you that my heart is joyful with the love of it’s creator abounding within. I know God is faithful and just. I know he has not forgotten us. I know he has a plan for us. And I know that I need to be still and know that he is god (and that i’m his creation)

The Squirrels Run of Terror.


Mid-morning on a Sunday, papa squirrel looked at son squirrel and said ” Today your time has come. Make the run”

Son squirrel’s pupils widened and his eyes recessed. Not more than a minute later his little squirrel heart was racing faster than his tiny legs could ever carry him. He was warming up for his first run, stretching his scrawny and still relatively fur free legs and calibrating his bushy tail for perfect balance. The sun was growing higher in the sky and his brow was moistened with the perspiration of fear and adrenaline.

Every male squirrel must accomplish a run of terror to distinguish himself as a dominant male squirrel or as a subordinate, if even still existent.

 

Today was Reginald’s day. His course was charted down a telephone wire over a yard with a huge, howling hound, down the cables to the deck, over to the fence, along the fence top to the picnic table, grab some birdseed, jump back to the fence, on top of the garage and into the trees for a safe return. Reginald had heard this hound’s howl from several houses away but had never ventured close enough to get a look.

 

His warm-up completed and his time arrived, Reginald strapped on his headband (O-Ring from a hose nearby) cracked his knuckles one a time, and set forth to the telephone pole. Behind him, followed a band of elder initiated squirrels to support and encourage little Reginald.

 

On top of the pole looking out over the yard, Reginald quivered under the force of the wind which he’d never felt this high up before. No sight of the dog yet, Reginald practiced the deep breathing techniques his mother taught him as a young squirrel and set foot on the wire. Moving swiftly and smoothly, tail shifting his weight with the constant changing of the winds Reginald was building courage with every step. Halfway down the wire, a chilling howl came from the deck of the house and the hound was full force in hunting mode. The suddenness and sheer noise of the howl frightened Reginald so much that he lost his footing and began to tumble of the wire into the abyss which was the green grass yard. Luckily, perhaps by an act of another force, Reginald’s tail got caught in one of the splitting fibers of the wire and he hung dangling 13 feet off the ground. The hound was ferociously barking and jumping towards the squirrel, now in a mixed panic of fear and  relief of safety. It felt like hours to Reginalds family and elder squirrels but was merely minutes before he was on his feet again, now tearing along the wire, eyes set firmly on the cable running to the deck. The courage which had slipped so quickly from Reginalds grasp after the fall was now settling back in, step by step, and Reginald was determined not to let it loose again. He had plotted each step before it arrived and before long had outrun the now foaming hound and with seed in his mouth had landed atop the garage. Reginald had stopped now to look back upon his accomplishment for the feat was near over, with his head turned back towards the yard he moved closer to the edge of the garage. Just before his feet stepped off the edge, Reginald was able to quickly set his feet for a jump towards the tree of safety and of completion. With his focus widened and his determination relaxed, Reginald slipped on a loose shingle and fell tumbling off the garage towards the green grass which was home to the relentless hound.

On his way down to the ground which Reginald knew to be the end of him, he left the reality of his impending devouring for just a moment to reflect on the stories which his mother read to him, night after night, even long after his friends and other siblings stopped reading fairytales. Reginald imagined for just a second what each character must have felt like when they fell to their deaths, and  what each character had experience minutes before their end. He then thought back to every story where the character was saved by chance or by fate by something unknown and unfamiliar. But then his thoughts of stories ceased and reality struck him hard when his little body finally left air and hit something solid. Reginald didn’t open his eyes to watch the hound charge towards him, or to see the tears rush down his mothers face and his fathers gaze fall upon the ground in sadness. A minute passed and he didn’t feel blood nor teeth in his still growing body. Instead a breeze was wicking the perspiration from his fur and he felt himself gliding through the air. Opening his eyes in absolute astonishment to his still breathing, Reginald found himself atop a crow soaring over the yard which under all normalcy would have been the end of him. He was equally exhilarated and terrified. He was in shock and that’s when he lost consciousness.

 

That was not the end of Reginald the squirrel. No, that’s hardly the beginning.

A matter of trust.


There are times when my faith in God feels unapplied and unimportant; I would still strive to be generous and kind without the existence of a God. I would still love my wife purely and fully without a God. I would still work hard and be an honest man without a God. 

Then there are times when my faith in God reaches a conflict with my everyday life. These times are always a matter of attitude when boiled down to the basic nature. 

 

These times come every few weeks or months, sometimes days, and I find myself feeling like I should do something even though I do not see the logic, the reason, or the purpose to it. The choice I have is to trust this feeling and follow through, or rely on my logic and reason to be my guide and carry on. This conflict feels so large and overwhelming at the time and often because what’s at stake is actually large and overwhelming. Looking back upon the conflict after my attitude has been decided though it’s so simple to see what’s right. 

 

I find it to be without argument, a better idea to follow a feeling of what is right than to follow my logic. This is so simple to me because I know for a fact and from experience that my logic is flawed and consistently failing. I have never known this feeling of ‘right’ to lead me astray.

 

If you were to ask me today why I’ve made some of the decisions I have, the answer would be because I felt like I should. Not because it made sense. Not because it was for a reason that I could produce. Just because of a feeling. 

The attitudes at play in this conflict are: first, to believe myself to know best and second to believe someone else to know best. I can choose to live for myself or for someone else. It’s better not to live for yourself.

I don’t feel as if those words came out as best as they could have but i don’t rightly care today.

Consider it a reflection of my heart on this hot and humid Sunday morning.