What a week in Deucology land. Let’s get right to it.
The new look seemed to go over well. Several people commented that they liked. I have also continued to explore the idea of going to a self-hosted blog. I learned a great deal about it. My friend, Jon, did this recently and has offered to share his experience with me. (Jon, I’ve got to give you a call and talk about that.)
Here is a rundown of this week’s posts:
I Never Had “A” Salvation Experience started the week out on Sunday. I conveyed how salvation is not just an experience in the past, but something that is present in my life every day.
First Church Year #2 on Monday continues our adventure of settling in at our new church.
January ended on Tuesday with me sharing Random Thoughts At The End Of January.
On Wednesday, I asked the question What’s Your Story? I got some great comments from several of you.
I shared one of my favorite posts on Thursday, Wave Your Hands In The Air.
I ended the work week yesterday with My Quitter Experience.
Let me just say a word about yesterday. Friday was one of those rare days that hasn’t happened very often. Does the way I just said that make it double rare? My college friends, Tony and Gretchen, kicked off the day by discovering my blog on Facebook. They read several posts and got my traffic off to a great start. Then it got really crazy.
I tweeted to Jon Acuff about the post, since his Quitter book inspired it. Later, I commented on his blog and he replied. He even asked if he could write a post about my experience, and, of course, I said yes. That little exchange seemed to have driven about 25% of my blog traffic yesterday. So, in a very public way, I want to thank Jon Acuff. I met Jon once and he is someone who is truly interested in helping others achieve their dreams.
Another thing that happened this week was that there were more comments than any other weeks. I passed 1,000 total comments. That is something that truly makes this experience special. I appreciate everyone who takes a few minutes to engage in the conversation.
I hope you all have a great weekend.
How was your week? If you blog, how were things your way?
I don’t know if you have read Jon Acuff’s book, Quitter, or not. If you haven’t, stop what you’re doing, buy it and read it. Jon has not paid me to say that.
I don’t know if you have had a Quitter experience. I have. Just not the way Jon advises.
Several years ago I felt called to ministry. I gained support from my pastor at the time. The seminary that I wanted to attend had an extension center in the town I lived in. It was the perfect setup.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t my dream.
My dream was to move to the main seminary campus. I wanted to do this so badly that I became miserable in my job. My performance suffered. I invented scriptural reasons and ways that God was telling me to move.
So, what did we do?
It was a miserable experience. Not to say that we didn’t have some good times there. Unfortunately, I worked three jobs and went to school. I hardly slept. Our financial situation worsened.
Looking back, I should have done it differently. I would have worked harder to be financially in a good position before we left. I would have taken more classes at the extension center.
I can still achieve this dream. It’s just on hold. My dreams have shifted and morphed a bit. My kids are at an age where I can’t pursue that one right now.
It will still happen though. No doubt about it. I will still complete my seminary degree.
It will just happen differently than I originally expected.
Do you have a Quitter experience?
As you might know by now, especially if you follow me on Twitter or are a friend of mine on Facebook, I went to see Jon Acuff Wednesday night. If you don’t know who Jon Acuff is, let me tell you. He is the creator of the Christian satirical blog, Stuff Christians Like. Beyond that I will not attempt to explain it. Follow the link and check it out.
I found out about Jon Acuff about a year or so ago. I read his book Stuff Christians Like and began following the blog. I found Jon on Twitter. Recently, I read his book Quitter. Finally, on Wednesday I heard him speak. After all of that, I came to this conclusion.
Jon and I are now best friends.
I know, I know. Some of you have doubts about Jon Acuff and I being best friends. However, let’s consider the evidence.
Exhibit #1: A photograph. Notice the sidehug.
Exhibit #2: A conversation
When I met Jon the other night, he immediately quoted a tweet that I had posted earlier. I had tweeted that I rarely go anywhere with my family and that it takes something special to pull me away. Wednesday night was such a night. Jon Acuff was speaking. And he knew that I had tweeted this to him. Who else but a BFF would remember such a thing?
Exhibit #3: An autograph
My friends, Matt and Dave, took their Jon Acuff books with them to get autographed. I left my it in my truck. I asked Jon to virtually autograph mine. He pointed to his heart and said that it was there that it would take place. From his heart to mine.
There ladies and gentlemen. I rest my case. Jon Acuff and I are best friends. I can’t wait to hunt unicorns with him.
Of course, all of this is ridiculous. I love to read Jon Acuff’s works. I enjoyed hearing him speak. He was a very nice and gracious guy. But best friends? Sure!!! We have a tendency to idolize people, don’t we? We put people up on pedestals. Especially us Christians. We make Super Christians out of our celebrities. And Jon is certainly becoming a celebrity. After all, he shows up on Fox and Friends every few weeks.
We build them up. We imagine that they wake up every morning and pray on the cold, cold tile of their kitchen floor. We almost expect them to walk on water. Does Jon Acuff walk on water? Not a chance. And he will agree with me.
Jon is a great guy. He makes us laugh. He makes us think. However, he is not what we build him up to be in our minds. He is a regular guy, albeit a talented one. He wants to point us toward God and Christ, not himself. He needs our prayers. He needs our friendship. He needs all the things that we need. What he doesn’t need is for us to idolize him.
Let’s make a pact. Let’s not idolize those that God has given what we deem to be special ministries. Let’s support them however the Lord leads.
That’s what Jon Acuff expects from his best friend.
What Christian have you idolized in the past? Have you ever set them on a pedestal only to knock them off?
Today’s Follow Friday is going BIG TIME!!! I’m bringing out the big guns in a shameless act of trying to get more hits. All of this is true, but it’s also true that if you’re reading this and you don’t know who Jon Acuff you need to check him out as soon as possible. As soon as possible defined as being after you read this blog post.
Jon Acuff isn’t the reason I blog, but he is someone who has inspired me to keep going. Here are some reasons why:
Jon has what I think is probably the most successful Christian satire blog, Stuff Christians Like, in the history of the world. Is it the only Christian satire blog in the world? Possibly. He has inspired so many of us to try what he does. Some of us have figured out that we can’t be the next Jon Acuff. And we shouldn’t be. Jon would encourage us to be the US God wants us to be.
Jon also writes a post daily about reaching your dream job, social media, creativity and other things that apply to many of us who attempt this whole blogging thing. I encourage everyone who follows me on Twitter or is my friend on Facebook to read this blog.
Jon also has translated Stuff Christians Like into a book. After you finish reading this post and check Jon’s blog out, go out and buy this book.
Jon has a new book out called Quitter. It is a book about finding your dream job, even if you are still working your day job. I am currently reading this as you read this, unless of course I’ve finished it by the time you read this. While you are at the store buying SCL, go ahead and buy Quitter.
Jon has also been seen fairly regularly lately on Fox and Friends on Sunday mornings of late. More than likely if you see him on there he will be wearing a V-neck sweater. Each time I’ve watched, I’ve hoped that he would break out and, well, start break dancing because he’s street like that. Alas, he hasn’t done so.
Today is Independence Day. Most Americans are celebrating the freedom gained over two hundred years ago by eating hamburgers and hotdogs. Many are celebrating by drinking beer as this has become the number one holiday for beer consumption. Many to most will attend a fireworks display like I will be. With all of this celebration of freedom that is happening, the question has to be asked: How many have achieved the dream of freedom?
Maybe you don’t know what I’m talking about. When I ask people about their dreams they mention things like financial freedom, retirement, and traveling. Maybe they consider freedom owning and riding a Harley-Davidson every chance they get. Some will talk about playing all the golf they want or opening their own business. Jon Acuff has written a book called Quitter that is next on my reading list about achieving your dream job. Others dream about winning the lottery, which is, let’s face it, a pipe dream. However, all of these things are about DOING. In essence, though, I believe that freedom is more about BEING. To put it differently, it about who you are. That leads to the question, do you dream more about what you want to do than who you want to be? Which is more important?
So where do we find freedom? How can we truly find the personal Independence Day that we all dream of? Where do we begin? It has to be with who we are. Jesus said in John 8:35 that we are all born slaves of sin if we commit sin. Who are we? Slaves. Of what? Sin. Why? Because we commit sin. How do we gain our freedom? “If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” How can you achieve the dream of freedom? Through the Son making you free.
Who do you want to be? Slave of sin? Or free through the Son? This is where you have to begin in your search for the dream of freedom. Are you a slave doing a lot of things searching for freedom? Or are you free through Christ?