Biblical Living, Experience, Family, Lessons for my crew

Time to say goodbye

Typically, I’m not much of an emotional guy, but I’m finding, as I grow older, that there are many things that are so close to my heart. When it becomes time for those things to move on, there’s something of a piece of you that leaves along with it.

Over the past year, Crystal and I have contemplated selling our home. I was always against it, she was never consistent 😏. For a long time now we’ve prayed about owning a piece of property that was secluded, reserved, raw and a blank slate where we could continue to grow our family. There is nothing inherently wrong with the house we own on any level. It has been a wonderful home, that is, after we worked so so hard to get it in a livable condition again. When we first bought this place, it was a complete disaster. But years later, we’ve transformed it into a tremendous home that will bless any family that will own it from this point forward.

I think the thing that becomes so emotional to us is two things. First, the fact that we are leaving here with no defined timeline as to when our next property will be ready.

Second, that this place is something of a Bethel location for us for all the moves of God he has accomplished through us. I’m not sure if that fully translates, but it’s a Biblical relatable found in Genesis 35. We’ve seen the Lord work in so many situations, and not that this location had anything to do with it, it’s just that this location now bears the memorial marks of that movement. We can sit here around our firepit or on the back patio, or around the kitchen table and remember the greatness of our God as he answered prayer after prayer after prayer and added blessing on top of blessing.

But here’s the important thing…

There is more!

Don’t get hung up on the physical idea of more. I’m not specifically speaking of more in terms of tangible resources you can put in your hand. I think so many times that’s where we digress and become overly selfish. This more I’m speaking of relates to the experiences and adventure the Lord wants to carry us through. More for our family resonates around how much more we can see the Lord work through us and into the lives of those around us, including and especially our kids. We want to be able to lead them into places of unique tension.

What’s that mean?

Movements of faith are always faced with elements of uncertainty!

If we neglect to lead our kids into what faith feels like in this season of their lives, how will they know what to look for when faith rests on their shoulders alone?

I can point back to so many situations in my past where I literally felt the tension of faith.

Hebrews 11:1, such a familiar passage. Quotable by so many people. Lived and fleshed out by painful few.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Hebrews 11:1 NIV

What we are certain of is that the Lord is miraculous and full of wonder. What we are filled with faith for is that the future is as bright as the promises of God as seen as experienced in the past!

Family

Weeding the Garden

Almost every year our family plants something of a garden. We’ve got this grate space the back of our yard that serves this purpose. We worked it out years ago when we had first moved into our house. We fenced it off to keep our rabbits and determined that it would be a place where we would, not only grow great tomatoes, but also spend time together. Our family really believes in the value of good hard work. All of our kids know they have responsibility around our home, and we thought gardening would be a good addition to that.

Creativity, Leadership

As a Pastor, When I finally made this simple realization, EVERYTHING CHANGED

So just recently I made this statement about the church and Theology. First, let’s unpack what Theology is in the case that you might not know.

Theology is the study of God.

In the religious world, words that end in ology mean “the study of”. So Soteriology means the study of Salvation. Pneumatology, the study of the Holy Spirit. There is so much more than just the study of God or Theology.

Here’s my problem.

The Church has been known for far too long as a boring place where you learn about God.

Lessons for my crew, Purpose

We’re gonna be okay

I know today seems so hard. Forgive me, but it might get worse. We really have no clue, but what I do know and understand is that the Light of the Church shines brightest when the problems of the entire world seem darkest. I think I can speak for both of us when I say that, It looks pretty dark outside right now.

What are we supposed to do?

Lessons for my crew

You’re Worth More than You Think You Are!

Photo by Alex Lopez on Unsplash

How much time do you spend looking in a mirror?

That can vary with every person, can’t it?

I spend next to no time in front of a mirror, whereas my wife, is tied up there for a while longer! My daughter, Taylor, still more than that. There is just this sense of perfection that needs to be finished, and clearly, that takes time.

It’s one thing to get ready in front of a mirror, but have you ever just looked at yourself in mirror? What do you see?

Clearly, a reflection. That’s what you see, a representation of yourself.

People don’t typically look at themselves, they look for the flaws they can fix, do what they can, and then move on.

Biblical Living

What I’ve learned in my trek through the Bible in 30 days

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

I started this year with an ambitious goal. Maybe not ambitious to you or anyone you know, but one that I’ve never done before, so a goal of new territory for me.

My pursuit this year is one of intentional direction and seeking what God has next. I felt the best way to do that would be a super fast trek through his word, and so began my quest through the Bible in 30 days. I’ll end up a few days late because, you know, life happens.

Recently, I’ve seen a few stories of people who have abandoned their faith because of problems with the Old Testament. They say that they cannot trust a God who would go to such lengths to destroy rather than forgive and who seemed to be more about rules than relationship.
They are speaking through their ignorance and lack of first hand investigated effort. They see this through their perception rather than through their knowledge of investigated effort.

Biblical Living, Experience

What’s in your hand?

The Lord wants to wow you in wonder of what He can do with what’s in your hand.

What’s in your hand right now? You’re scrolling through this post with your iPhone, so that’s in your hand.

Maybe it’s early in the morning where you are and so there’s a steaming cup of coffee in your hand.

I’ve been doing a lot of remodel work at a property we recently acquired, and so frequently there have been power tools in my hands.

Whatever it is that is in your hand, I believe the Lord wants you to know that He’s able to use whatever that is to put you in amazement of His astounding ability.

Biblical Living, Random

Your ask is too SMALL

Hey what are you praying for right now?

What’s on your list of consistent requests to the God of all comfort and the Lord of creation?

It’s shocking to me how many people don’t have a consistent prayer for which they are petitioning the Lord. We have grown too small in our asks and I’m not sure why.

I have a theory about why.

Are you interested?

It’s because we can’t so we don’t think God can either.

I’m going to mess with your head a bit here in this post, but I believe there is a part of our theology that places ourselves on God’s level. Without even realizing it we have pulled up a throne next to God’s and are governing our own world’s as if we had His power.

Our prayers got smaller, because we got larger.

Rather than dealing with our inability to move mountains, we decided that it would be best to leave the mountains where they stand.

So here’s the problem. Subconsciously we know we don’t yield the awesome power of God, but rather than submitting to that and humbly acknowledging His deity and authority, we would rather keep our self-positioned throne next to His and just deal with our lack.

Can you see what I am seeing? Pride is what keeps us from asking the Lord for the biggest and strongest of prayers in our lives. For when we submit to His unique ability to provide and answer, we are also acknowledging our inability to do the same.

So again I ask, what are you praying for right now?

Because the things you are seeking the Lord for are a direct reflection of your view of this amazing and almighty God who affirmed His own desire to see our prayer dependance on Him.

Stop asking the Lord for small things. Start praying mountain moving prayers that only God can accomplish. And put those prayers on repeat. Put yourself in a position to see the Lord himself move and act on your behalf and begin to see the Lord move.

I guarantee you, it will change your life

Purpose

It’s your Serve

Photo by Jeff Sheldon on Unsplash

Have you ever received a gift that you just had no idea what it was for or how to use it only to find out later that it would have been the most wicked coolest thing you had?! It’s almost frustrating when you discover something you had access to all along but never figured out its intended use until it was too late.

In our relationship with Christ we receive this amazing gift in Salvation. The fact that God would look at us, in the condition we are in, and seek to Save is beyond the scope of our full comprehension! That alone is enough! But he doesn’t stop there.

It’s like insurance. The product you pay for, to insure your something, often times comes with other benefits you had no idea were there. That’s probably a really bad example.

The benefits that God give us go way beyond just that of salvation and that simply astounds me.

One of those gifts if the presence of the Spirit of God. Not really the focus of our conversation today but it’s there.

The Fruit of the Spirit is another such example. Qualities of life that are superhuman in some cases.

The part I want to focus on for this feature is the gifts God grants for us to be able to use to live, serve and bless people around us.

Peter wrote in 1 Peter 4:10- “Each of you has been blessed with one of God’s many wonderful gifts to be used in the service of others. So use your gift well.”

I encounter a lot of people today who painfully express a sense of emptiness. A vacancy in their lives that doesn’t seem to be filled by anything. They are sad, hurt, lost and wondering why they even exist. Inevitably, I ask them two questions every time:

1) What group of people are you connected to that is inspiring you to move ahead?

2) Where are you exercising your spiritual gift?

If you can’t come to clarity with those two questions than it’s not wonder that your life feels the way it does. You are feeling what your body feels when you don’t exercise it, move it, and stress it.
Your faith needs movement, tension and test to be fully activated.

Do you feel you are underdeveloped right now? Maybe it’s time to pursue some solutions to your Spiritual gifting and really finding out who God made you to be.

What’s your thought? Do you feel you have this figured out or could your faith and gifting use some help?