Friday, May 18, 2012


So things haven’t been too great with me and God. Still lots of frustrations and roadblocks and fears and reliance on understanding and such. Guess that isn’t new. Anyway, I had a good convo with another friend (this seems to be a helpful theme in my life) which helped thaw some of the chill between me and Jesus. I’m still so frustrated about my purpose and things of that nature, and when confronting it, numerous other blocks help to derail attempts to right things. Hmm, I’ll just let me understand what that means because I don’t know if I could explain succinctly or at all.

I finally started to pray and confront things. Trying to be present and okay with where I’m at in life, and with who I am. That’s really hard. Really hard. This morning I just prayed that God would use me how He sees fit, asking Him to bring up opportunities where He can move.

I had games with my Ultimate Frisbee league tonight. And this guy (who apparently is on one of my teams) that I had never met introduces himself. A little bit of convo happened, more his initiation (it’s rarely ever mine, something I struggle with). But I had the choice to push into it further, which I did (because I was more open due to my heart’s position with the Lord). He shared some struggles he’s been having, that he’s trying to overcome some strongholds, find better, healthier friends. He dropped the word “blessed” at some point, so I brought up church and community. He’s in between churches and looking for one. I was able to direct him to a friend’s church that’s not too far from where he lives. Who knows how this plays out, but I knew within a few sentences of us talking that God was up to something.

That was awesome, an answer to prayer. Then the second game we played went short and I threw the disc with another guy for a while. He asked if I went to UNF (again, other person starting the convo), which led to a longer talk touching on him looking to get his MBA as well, working for a similar company like mine, moving to the beaches soon, looking for a church, biking enthusiasm. Uh… am I really socializing out of the normal parameters of my typical comfort zone? And it’s feeling natural? And I’m not forcing it?

No, this isn’t the first time it’s ever happened. I’ve had a few similar experiences, but still the thing I’m realizing may be my biggest battle is fighting preconceptions of how God may want to work. Seriously, I don’t think I doubt God’s abilities very much (though I certainly still grapple with His love for me). But I yearn for the box to contain an uncontainable God. Maybe I think understanding is safe, I’m not sure. And I get scared to get excited because I SO want God to bring His kingdom and use me… that when the results don’t follow a line I’m tracking in my head… I get confused or doubtful or hurt or disappointed. Hmm.

So apparently I haven’t disqualified myself from His service. Done enough to deserve such, but I suppose nothing can get between us and His love. Yeah.

No, this isn’t a one night fix-all. But it’s something important, and I want to praise God for it. I still don’t know my role, my part to play, but I can be myself and try to be open to whatever the most creative Being can come up with. Haha. That’s exciting and scary.

God is good. And faithful. He loves me even when I hate me. I don’t get it.

Thank You Lord.  Amen.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


I lost sight of the gospel. What is it? How had Jesus really changed my life? I felt I was a believer, but there was no way I could claim to be an actual disciple and follower.

The past 2+ months I had pretty much lived like my B.C. days. Really didn’t care. Really had no hope. Felt really hurt by hope. And I’m supposed to evangelize? Evangelize what? Sigh.

I wanted to know what the gospel really is. And the smallest part of my imagination could picture me really finding it, and being truly on fire as I’ve only dreamed. But I was too scared, scared to be hurt, to be disappointed, to be let down “again.” Not totally blaming God (at least not directly), but rather myself, since I always screw up what God wants and provides.

Will God really show me, so clearly even I can’t screw it up? That was too much to hope for, to scary to allow myself to dream.

After “enough” (what?) time of true lifelessness passed, the slightest breaks in the walls started. I had wanted people to come rescue me… but not many seemed to care much. But all of a sudden, numerous friends started showing their concern, and my heart started softening. I had been mad at God, since so many of my friends hear Him and none really came (at least in the way I wanted or thought I needed), so He must not have cared. Perhaps, I wouldn’t have received them prior to the time they did come. But now I’m realizing I didn’t need to be rescued by friends. I needed to be rescued by my Savior.

A conversation with one close friend reminded me that Jesus’ sacrifice freed us from sin. Not eliminated sin. Not eliminated temptation. But it gave us the ability to choose life and turn (repent) from the things that kill us.

These past months, I gave myself back over to the slave master of sin. But it was a choice. Because those chains have been eternally destroyed by the blood of Jesus Christ. I have the choice. I’ve been scared to choose Jesus, because so much hurts. I don’t get my way (not that I even really know what I want anyway). It feels too hard. But the other way is death. Empty death.

Jesus was perfected through suffering. That’s what God the Father thought best, so Jesus could identify with us and intercede all the more personally on our behalf.

In choosing Jesus, I will suffer. My view of suffering will/has been changing. It may be partly the act of saying “Yes, Lord, I’ll trust You” when everything in me wants to run and turn away from Him.

So I have the choice. I see now that God allowed these two, long flashback months to highlight/reveal to me just how much He has done in me. Mainly, He has freed me from bondage to things I previously was enslaved to. THAT is the gospel. Jesus has freed the captives. Not made their lives pretty. Not eliminated hurt and pain and suffering; we’re actually invited and called to suffer with and for Him. But He’s bringing His kingdom through each and every person who is truly SET FREE from bondage. That’s the beauty. That’s the secret. I had really missed it. But I’m seeing it now, and hope to more fully realize it. And share it. Because THAT IS good news, the news I had not fully realized.

Does that make everything “just right?” No. I still have hurts and pains that are hard to imagine healed. But they will be, because God is faithful and true. And I need to be obedient to yield to His timing and process, often a process I don’t understand but through sincere, heart-felt faith.

So what now? That’s the question that kept me misfiring without having true hope. Well, I spend time with Jesus. Not just “like before”; I don’t want things they way they were before. But just spend time, however it looks. God will bring the opportunities to speak His words and testify to His grace and mercy. It’s a constant battle to keep priorities of the heart in check, but that’s there till this body dies and I’m with my God. It’s worth it… because it brings about the full realization of eternal life that Jesus fought and sacrificed to give us NOW.

More challenges will come. And I’m not thrilled with such a crucible-like method of learning lessons. But I must trust my Father in Heaven.

Lord, may I seek Your face. May I follow You, Your heart, Your will. May I hold firmly to faith when I can’t see anything making sense. Show Yourself mighty and strong, valiant in the battle for my soul. You are who I want.  You are life.  You are love.  You ARE. Forgive me my trespasses, gracious Lord. Thank You for Your sacrifice. May I follow You, Spirit, all the days of my life.  And may I turn quickly back to You if I stray. Thank You that You accept me, fully and completely as I am. May I realize and walk more fully in the sonship You’ve chosen for me.  Amen, and let it be so.  May I love in Your love.  Amen.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Is it hot to be hot?

I struggle with insecurities about how I look. From what I’ve heard through random sampling, I’m not alone in that. Last night, I realized that I foolishly fear that the woman I will pursue will relinquish wisdom and seeking the Lord, and will rather embrace operating in the flesh. You know, she’ll just go for the hot guy. Ugh. I felt bad for how little trust I was placing in “her” and in God. And I started to realize in fuller depth the trap of good looks (or at least the admiration of such).

Now, I don’t want this to seem like a simple rationalization of dealing with not feeling handsome enough. And thankfully I know in my heart this isn’t. But I see the Lord’s protection/favor/something in being of modest or lesser physical appeal. I know logically that a woman that would choose her mate based on looks alone (which most if not all would flatly deny, I’m sure, so let’s go with even a heavy weight or emphasis) is not a woman that would make a Proverbs 31 wife. So, if I am rejected by said woman, is that bad? Rather, it would seem to be a good sifting, almost like built-in protection. Sounds good to me.

On top of this, I’ve heard it said of movie stars, etc., that they can struggle with knowing if someone really loves them for whom they are or because of how they look. Well, being homely surely dismisses this argument. And we all age and degrade in countenance, so you shouldn’t base too much on what will be lost. I'm confident a woman isn’t going to have fickle feelings for me based on my appearance. Still, at weak and downtrodden times, “not measuring up” can still hit a nerve somewhere (don’t know many people that are completely unaffected). God’s working on that.

I see it as some odd form of God’s grace that I was nearly 300 pounds and much less attractive in high school. Considering some of the strongholds I faced, I’m scared to imagine what would have happened to me if I had the ability to “get any girl I wanted.” I’ve been spared much heartache (though still not all) and am better prepared to be a loving husband and father. All of those lonely nights and tears cried can’t measure up to the joy I have of being able to offer more of myself and my heart to those I love.

Surely, being hot isn’t bad. I’m just noticing some of the ramifications. I think being unattractive, being modestly attractive, and being extremely attractive all have positives and drawbacks. As time goes on in my walking with Jesus, I pray that I will become not merely more content in who I am, but that my heart will be set on who He is, and who He’s making me into.

Colossians 3:1-3 “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”