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Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

His Adventure

July 30, 2018 1 comment

One of the coolest things I see in the Bible is when people immediately follow Jesus or the Holy Spirit.

Jesus is walking by the sea and Peter, James and John drop their nets and follow Him.

Phillip is sent down to talk to the Ethiopia eunuch and tells him about the Gospel.

Paul and Barnabas head out on a missionary journey after the church prays and fasts seeking the Lord’s will.

It’s equally disheartening when people get ahead of God in what He’s got in store. That’s how Moses ended up killing an Egyptian and spending 40 years out in the desert.

For the past several years, I’ve had the privilege to spend my Sunday mornings at a campground sharing the Gospel and Jesus with folks. I’ve built fantastic relationships and wonderful friendships.

At some point, almost all good things come to an end.

Life happens. Circumstances have happened that keeps me from giving my all to this ministry as I have in the past.

The interesting thing is that I’ve felt the Lord leading me to the end of this for a while. Maybe I should have moved along sooner.

Regardless, He has made it abundantly clear that now is the time to stop.

I’m no longer doing this ministry that I have been doing for the past 15 years or so.

I could be sad. Sure, there is a tinge of that.

But for the first time in a few weeks I feel like I’m truly following the Lord’s lead. I’ve dropped my nets. I’m moving in the direction He’s sending me.

Where that is? No idea.

But it’s a new adventure. His adventure.

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Categories: Christianity, Faith Tags: , , ,

Origin Stories

July 25, 2018 2 comments

I love a good origin story.

A young man is attending the show with his parents. A lowlife approaches them demanding their money. When they resist, the parents are shot leaving the boy all alone, save a kindhearted butler. Driven by those events to the point of demanding justice and revenge, young Bruce becomes someone, something else as he grows into adulthood.

During a field trip, a high school student is bitten by a spider. Selfishness costs him the opportunity to stop the man who would later kill his uncle. Driven by guilt and grief, Peter realizes that with great power comes great responsibility.

There are countless others. People all around us with origins of their own. It’s even in the Bible.

A fisherman is told by a carpenter to follow him. He does so for three years. He has a bad moment and denies the carpenter three times. Later, Peter is restored and becomes one of the central leaders of those that follow the Way.

A man holds a crowd’s coats while they stone one they consider a blasphemer. He’s on the fast track to greatness and power. He takes a trip to Damascus to round up a group of these traitors of the faith until he is knocked off his horse by a great Light that speaks to him. Saul’s later Paul’s, course of life changes direction quickly.

There are others that could be mentioned. A father of a nation. A man who sees a burning bush. A shepherd who would later become king.

They all had origin stories.

So do you. This is how it was. I met Jesus. Now it’s like this.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. The new has come.

What’s your origin story?

Awkward

July 18, 2018 3 comments

I saw him as he was pumping gas.  My heart sank a bit.  I didn’t really want to talk to him.

He finished pumping his gas and started walking in to pay.  “Why didn’t he just pay at the pump so I don’t have to talk to him?”, I thought to myself.

That’s not a good attitude.  I quickly recovered and decided to greet him warmly.

“Hey, ________, how are you?”, I said.

I got something like a dismissive grunt back.  Schwew.  It wasn’t just awkward for me.

I used to know him fairly well.  I even remember one of that last real one-on-one conversations I had with him.  I ran into him about 40 miles from our houses.  He told me about his changing beliefs, some of which I consider bedrock items of the faith.  He told me about a preacher he liked who I think is a heretic.

Not long ago, before the gas pumping incident,  I had a chance to listen to him talk. Not a real conversation.  More like listening to him talk about all the things he likes, things I found a hard time lining up with the faith we (once?) shared.

I don’t know if he has shipwrecked his faith.  I worry much more about shipwrecking my own. I don’t know if he believes.  Maybe he always believed differently. I can’t really judge his heart.

I just know that the encounter was awkward.  Awkward listening to him talk.  Awkward running into him.

And I wonder how Jesus would have me overcome the awkwardness.

Categories: Christianity Tags: , ,

Getting Back In Shape

July 16, 2018 1 comment

I’m struggling.  A few months ago, I was running three miles in the morning and then walking one for a cool down.  Everything was cool.  My fitness level was improving.  Then I fell off the wagon.

I had a layoff for a little while.  Now I’m trying to get back at it and I’m not anywhere near that fitness level.  Maybe it’s because it’s a lot warmer at 5:30 in the morning during July compared to March, but I’m hitting a wall.  Mentally I’m wondering if I’ll ever get back.  Will I ever be able to run 5 miles or 9 or a 15k (all current goals)?

This is not unlike my blogging. This is my second post back. Would it be smart to jump back to writing a post every day? How about one a week? Then two and three. Then more if it works.

I think that it’s like that in our spiritual lives.  We go along really well for a while.  We’re reading a ton of scripture.  Our prayer life is awesome.  Then life happens and we begin to slack off.  Not excure for it, but it happens.

Then we want to get back at it.  We start reading the Bible.  Genesis and Exodus go well, but then we run into Leviticus.  Or 1 Chronicles.  Or Job.

We’re not ready for all of that.  We’re not in “shape.”  We can’t read the Bible that way or for that long or whatever parameter we want to put on it.  We can’t pray for hours or take on nearly as many things at church as we did before.

We need to do what we can.  Run a mile and walk one.  Read the Bible for 10 minues.  Pray for 5.

Do what we can.  Ask the Lord to help us do more as we’re ready.  Rinse.  Repeat.

Now back to getting in shape.

Summer’s Gone (Or Something Else I Did On My Break)

September 5, 2016 Leave a comment

Happy Labor Day.  It’s the unofficial end to Summer.  Sure, we have a few more weeks until the season is truly over, but let’s face it.  Our Summer plans are over.  We have moved into a new season that I like to call football season.  Summer’s done.

Today I want to delve into some other things that I did this summer besides just be busy.  The big thing is that I did a lot of thinking and reflecting.

I spent a lot of time thinking about who I am.  Not that I don’t know, but life is in a bit of transition these days.  My daughter is engaged and getting married in a few months.  My son is starting college.  My life is changing.  I’ve been asked to take on a position at my church that I’m trying to get my arms around.  All of this is really causing to me to look at who I am and what I should be doing.

The other thing that I did on my break was question the existence of this blog.  Should I continue it?  Should I change the focus?  Should I start an entirely new blog and do something completely different?  Those were just some of the questions I asked.  What did I decide?

I’m not sure.

I think the big thing is that I want the focus to be something like this:  A real guy pursuing a real God.  Maybe that’s what I’ve been doing for the past five years or so, but maybe I just want to slightly shift the focus.  What I realize everyday is that I don’t have this whole thing figured out.  Whatever I write about is usually what I’m trying to figure out.  Sometimes I’m trying to discover what I think about my topic, even as I write it.

So, that’s another brief glimpse into what my summer was like not writing this blog.  Let’s move forward now that summer’s over.

Now get out there and doing some grilling on this last day of summer.

Categories: Blogging, Faith Tags: ,

What Christmas Means To Me

December 22, 2015 4 comments

I can sum up what Christmas means to me in two words.

Faith and Family.

There are few Christmas presents that I can truly remember. One of them is a Bible I received.

I thought it was a brick, but when I opened the gift it was my very own King James Bible. I proud to carry that particular book around, although the King’s English was probably a bit advanced for my little kindergarten mind. To this day, if you really want to get me excited, buy me a Bible as a gift. There’s just something about God’s word and the foundation it is for my faith.

My family is the second most important thing to me, especially at Christmas. My spiritual gift if gifts, which I love receiving and giving. Seeing the looks on their faces when they get something excites me and makes the holiday perfect.

Christmas means many things to everyone. What does it mean for you?

Categories: Christmas, Faith, Family Tags: , ,

How’s Your Race Going?

February 10, 2015 8 comments

I ran today.  Actually it was yesterday as you read this.  Then again, I could have run early this morning.  I suppose I could get lost in trying to say this the right way.

I’m training to run a half-marathon that’s rapidly approaching.  I’ve run it before, but the last time I did I was still, barely, in my thirties.  Now I’m closer to fifty than I am forty.  I seem to hurt a little more than I did in 2007.

One of the neat things is that there will be people along the way cheering us on as we run.  It makes it a lot harder to quit and walk when someone is clapping, yelling and telling you that “you can do it” in their best Rob Schneider voice.

Here’s the thing, though, as I think about this.  The crowds will be largest in a couple of places.  One will be the start.  A lot of people will be there whooping and hollering as the gun sounds.

The next biggest crowds will be at the finish line in Neyland Stadium.  We will cross the fifty yard line and complete our 13.1 mile race that we have gutted out.  There will be more screaming and yelling as people sprint to the finish line.

*****

I wonder if that isn’t the way our Christian life is sometimes.

We recently had a rash of baptisms at church.  Five one Sunday.  Another the next.  More want to be baptized in the river when warm weather returns.

A crowd of us will gather, whether it’s in the church house or on the banks of the Little River, and cheer and people are gleefully dunked in the name of Jesus.

Then a lot of us will forget about it.  We will not spend any time with those who have given testimony to their saving faith in Jesus.

These new believers might spend a chunk of their race with no one noticing, no one cheering.  They might find themselves lonely, wondering where the cheers they heard early on in their walk with Jesus.

Guess what, though?  We have a fan base of sorts.

Therefore since we have so great a cloud of witnesses……let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

The saints of old are gathered around, watching us, cheering us on.  They’re yelling and screaming, telling us to not give up, to not quit.

They want us to continue.  They don’t want us to quit at mile 12 or 13.  There’s another mile, another tenth, to go.

So let’s keep going.  No need to stop.  There’s just a little ways to go.

Have you ever run a half-marathon?  How’s your race of faith going?

Categories: Christianity, Faith Tags: , , ,