In practice…


Just a quickie today… so all the things I spewed out in my previous entry are all good and dandy, but don’t really mean much if I can’t put it into practice. A lot of my “stances” on things can seem to big to really make a difference, yeah they are big but we all know a lot of little things makes a big thing, otherwise we wouldn’t be talking about the crazy debts we find ourselves in.

So walking life iuby values and with conviction isn’t easy nor is it particularly “nice” but whn your’e able to finally see the big picture the rewards are huge!

In the Bible, particularly from Paul the idea of running life like a race is brought to our attention. For some that may sound exhausting and to some extent it is, but only during the race, and aborted attempts. When I ran 5k races I send to always have at least one thought per race of giving up, and the times where I did I during practice never felt good, both physically and emotionally. But on race days and good practice days — it was fantastic, to know I finished and finished well!

I say all this because life takes intention and direction. And most of all we can’t take our eyes off the goal, when we do that we feel the exhaustion and become prone to fainting.

And th counter balance? Don’t burnout! Oh man, that’s another entry for another day. This MAX ride is complete.

The stuck thoughts


Sometimes it seems that my thoughts and ideas don’t really mean anything. Most of the time I figure most people probably don’t care and/or are not open minded enough to consider other ideas. Yeah, I know, jaded and cynical, honestly though within my sphere this is the general attitude. Please note I said general, I know awesome, open minded people as well.

So because of this jaded view many of my thoughts get stuck. This, my friends, is people pleasing at its best. Not able to pontificate my ideas and thoughts because I think others don’t care? Dumb.

I also sometimes can’t meet my own standards, for instance, I prefer to not get political mostly because I have strong thoughts and it seems somehow everyone else in my circle either doesn’t care or are the extream at one end or another. I prefer longer more fleshed out discussions and most of the time life doesn’t dish out the opportunity.

So all this just to say, there’s actually a lot going on in me, it’s just a matter of priming the pump and stop being so concerned about others. All while honoring my values to stay on the high road, honoring God, and respecting humanity.


Some thoughts from my Monday morning commute on the TriMet number 9 bus… mobile post, might not make any sense.

Do you have memories of things you’ve done or said that make you cringe? Maybe it’s just me that thinks back on the pas sometimes and wishes I could just erase some of these things. I know that it is these things which make me who I am, so in the end I’m ok with it. Although some of the following memories have some strong emotions of embarrassment, I’m listing them anyway because these are in the past and I need to just lay it down and be who o know I am, whether or not I’m embarrassed. Most of these things are little, but for some reason or another they have or do provoke some feelings that made/make me cringe.

2nd grade – kicking my desk when I got frustrated with math.

2nd grade – lying to a teacher about a jump rope being stolen, getting another (“popular”) classmate in trouble.

5th grade – Not understanding my math homework, and then getting a “white slip”, which was the highest in fraction, for not completing it.

6th grade – Crying after my English teacher mistakenly accused me of lying about finishing a book when indeed I had.

7th grade – being told by one of my best friends “to away, don’t sit here” at lunch on the first day of school and my very emotional response.

In more recent years it’s been a number of speaking opportunities that have haunted me, one was just last spring, mostly because I didn’t receive any productive feedback nor has anyone offered to have me speak again, total insecurity here, I know I need to just askand learn.

I always cringe when I don’t follow up on things I’m leading, I hate it when I fail in my own values, I know I’m just human In a mesed up world.

Love overcomes performance, that’s the bottom line, live it, think it, speak it.

Being comfortable in my own skin

One would hope that after being on this planet for nearly 30 years I would be comfortable being myself… but for whatever reasons stupid insecurities still creep up, and it drives me fricken crazy.  It’s always silly stuff too, but I realize it’s always the things that haunted me as a grade schooler as well… the same feelings.  So, I can either just accept this, as part of who I am and really just be okay with it, or I can continue to be distracted and held back by it.

I want to just be ok, but it’s a matter of retraining my head to match my heart, and both of them to match reality/truth – no one really cares about the things that I feel embarrassed/insecure about.  It’s ok!  The thoughts in my head are always whispering about what people think of me… and I’m here to say the truth – people like me!  It’s been hard enough to get where I am, I don’t need to keep on “working” at it.  This is one thing that I think I’m okay with saying “I’ve arrived” – now get off the plane and see reality for what it’s always been.

A swarm of thoughts

So much of the time I shy away from writing something on here because I begin to think for people, and most of the time I think they’ll think I’m being too negative, or I think they’ll read it as “complaining”, I just want to let you know (even if you never thought those things) that my heart has never been in those places, although my mood certainly has.  I’m in a place in my life where I’m feeling good and content with where God has me, and at the same time, I’m discontent with where I spend most of my days, stuck up in an office.

The funny thing is, I really like my job, but when I start to think about the time it requires I am not too happy with it, as I would much rather be free to meet with friends, have coffee (or beer), love on people, spend time with my bride and daughter, etc.  However, I still really like the job, and I love working with the people God has placed around me.  It’s kind of a weird paradox, a love/hate kind of issue.  So, overall I am content, but there is definitely something inside me that wants more, and I’m trying very hard to hear what God has to say about that.

I know it is through discipline in Christ that I’ll find fulfillment.  Today I was reading Proverbs 12, and the first verse captured me – “To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction” – I’ve always been one to accept correction, to seek his discipline….  that is at least what people could see.  Now that God has been showing me (through marriage) how much more I need to seek his discipline, I have found myself unusually closed up, unwanting to change.

Thankfully, I think God is turning a key, opening a door, and doing new and greater things in me.  I think I’ve began to let him.  It’s hard, it burns, but it feels right.  As seek his healing in these areas I know his promises will become true, and I’ll be more free.

What I’m thinking…

One of the many reasons I don’t write on here anymore is that, as self-focused as it sounds, I think far to hard about what people may think about what I’m writing.  So, I end up canceling out any thoughts with silly weird arguments about why not to post something.  The whole idea behind this blog in the first place was simply to write about what I was thinking, about life, about God, about people, etc… But with more and more of what I (we) are doing in the future, I feel I need to filter things far more than I would like.

I suppose the challenge is that I should write in a way that I still express myself honestly, and at the same time in a way that honors the God that I so claim to follow and love.  Yet, many times the things I’m thinking about are about the disappointments of life, which are all quite real, and need to be discussed.  I know there are plenty of people who appreciate the reality, but I also know (all to well) there are people who want to “make sure God is involved” – and then there’s the “You’re going to be a missionary, right?, YES!  So, don’t you think you should be positive and focused on God… well yes… but…”  I understand these comments, I really do, and at the same time I strive to not be religious and not be giving pat, common, text-book, Christian answers.  God is far bigger than that.

So here I start on a very long, overdue, rant and soap box… however I will start with the core of my God-given heart’s desire in life….  I wrote the following and realized it was a bit convoluted, but maybe it will start some conversation, and then I can clarify with posts to address the questions and/or discussion that comes – or maybe it will just sit here and I’ll create conversation in my head and post my thoughts as I go…

The strongest passion I have for others is that they be encouraged in their walk with God, and not just in the private aspect of a relationship with God but in the ministry piece.  In fact, sometimes I wonder if our walk with God is truly full unless we are actively ministering to those around us.  I often find myself frustrated, disappointed, and concerned for the “Church” do to the apparent lack of concern for caring (ministry) to others.  Then again, I find myself equally frustrated by myself because I myself do not step up when I know that God has given me many opportunities.

So, as a person who is fully aware of what God is calling me, and my family to do, I am constantly looking for ways to encourage others to trust God, and take risks.  Many times throughout biblical stories we see the characters faced with life-changing risks.  The blessings that come from following through, and having the discipline to honor God with our decisions, are more than I could ever explain in a short posting here.

The challenge every person faces come not in the big decisions, but in the everyday decisions, the choices that are presented to us when we first greet our co-workers in the morning, or how we engage in conversation with our peers.  Yet there are so many forces which drive our interactions with those around us, everything from how our parents treated us, how “popular” we were in school, to poor choices and uncontrollable life circumstances that eat at our soul and take us off track.

Most of what I write is simply me processing the events that I witness, in the Church and outside the Church, as I see people of all statuses and of all walks I am humbled to know God as I do.  I am challenged each day with the ideas of why has God given us, my family,  the joy of having such amazing family and friends…. while others are seemingly aloof, floating around in this world without any connection points.   Then I am reminded that it was because someone, at some point, obeyed God, and reached out, took a while to minister to someone, who did the same, who eventually ministered to me, and the same to Alexis.

I thank God for those that have this discipline, this passion, for I am eternally grateful.  I wish to not be like these people because of these great things, I wish to do these things because our God has an amazing and wonderful life to give us, when we surrender to him.  This is the heart of everything I am, want to be, and will be.  I have nothing to be discouraged by, as long as I am choosing to obey and discipline myself… even then God’s grace is sufficient if I fail to meet “the mark”.

Let those that have ears hear.  May those in the Church be encouraged to take the risks, the “lost” have the choice, only if they experience it though, we also have a choice – but I’m not so sure we can easily forget (that voice is pretty consistent) when we choose to ignore it.

Online and under the surface

One of the things that I struggle with each time I attempt to post something on here is the idea of “how deep” do I go with my ideas.  It’s more of an internal struggle, for the most part I get positive feedback on my deepest personal posts, but there’s always the fear in the back of my mind that is waiting for the day I get bit by something I write.  I hate “small talk”, I hate being shallow, and I hate feeling stuck to “surface” talk, both online and in real life – which many times keeps me from even going far with new people I meet, or with people at work.  I always feel awkward writing or talking at the surface level… I want to go under the surface.

Then there’s “what’s appropriate” – I have a lot of different ideas, concerning the church, life, and viewpoints on everything around those two subjects.  Some things I feel are safe to write about, other things can be tricky, especially when it comes to items where I could possibly finger point or accidentally (by means of elimination) gossip or spill the beans about someone that shouldn’t/doesn’t need to be spilled.

No matter what I write I always write with the notion of encouraging, challenging, and/or thought provoking – never to separate, split off, or slander another idea and/or tradition.  While at times I may write something that seems out of line, it is most likely me trying to process something and see what the broader community thinks.  In the end I want to love all people, believers of Jesus, and non-believers of Jesus.  I want to challenge both groups into thinking of God both everything we think we know him as, and everything that we don’t yet know.  I believe in the Bible and that it is the truth, but I also believe we can apply that truth differently than we have in years and generations past.

Just a random thought, hopefully to get my brain going on writing some more.  You can be praying that I step out and not worry about what others might think – I can always clarify if there is a misunderstanding.  I hate being misunderstood and that is another thing that blocks me sometimes – fear of being misunderstood… kinda silly when I think about it – God knows my heart, and that’s what matters.

and His kingdom come…

Just about every day, my thoughts are invaded with the idea of “His will be done and his Kingdom come” and I always start to think what on earth does that look like?  I think I get the “His will be done” part – for the most part, listening, and obeying what I hear him ask me to do.

But this “and his Kingdom come…” part is what I get stuck on.  Now someone could easily “go logical” on us and say, well if you are letting his will be done (listening and obeying) then his kingdom is advancing…  Yes, that makes sense, yet I believe there is a lot more than just a simple cause and effect formula to this kingdom thing.

For me the Kingdom of God here on earth “as it is in heaven” is well beyond my understanding, it’s more emotional, more carnal.  The Kingdom is the Church, the people, the relationships, all of which are connected by the ribbon of God flowing through our lives.  The Kingdom is here on earth when I stop and take  a moment to pray for my friends, when I have coffee with someone, when I text a word of encouragement.  These things to me are letting the Kingdom come.  Yes those things are also His will living through my life.  For the Kingdom to come, his will must be done.  For his will to be done, the kingdom must come.

If a day goes by and a relationship isn’t touched, a soul not encouraged, a person’s thoughts not effected, or a prayer not offered up on behalf of another – then I wonder “have I let the Kingdom come today?”

Let his kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven…..  as it is in heaven – that’s my next idea to ponder.

If only trains worked in America

I love trains, I would love to see high speed, competitively priced trains in America… but we would need so much investment to make it work, and even then Air travel is much more efficient for a nation the size of ours. Now if we all agreed to sell every straight path between all our major cities, and somehow paid for all of this, than it might work… here’s an interesting article.