So little faith…

Imagine that of all the moral debates throughout time, there was one that you were 100% sure that you knew the truth about and there was no doubt at all. If you could help advance that truth but you would have to condone 4 of the 7 deadly sins and act as if they were not a big deal, would it be worth it? In order to advance truth would you undermine other areas of truth?

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I believe there are many Christians today that have and are embracing things and people that are anti-Christ in order to try
to be the hand of God instead of being faithful
to the hand of God.

Sometimes our truth may indeed be God’s truth and in God’s plan, but if we try to force the hand of God, we are in reality showing a lack of faith. Be faithful and patient as we trust God’s timing and try to share truth with love and grace.

Reading: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Listening to: Sia – Everyday is Christmas

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Liars & Riches

“God, I’m asking for two things

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Image from whowhatwhy.org.

before I die; don’t refuse me—
Banish lies from my lips
and liars from my presence.
Give me enough food to live on,
neither too much nor too little.
If I’m too full, I might get independent,
saying, ‘God? Who needs him?’
If I’m poor, I might steal
and dishonor the name of my God.” – Proverbs 30:8,9

I’ve run across this passage in a few different readings and conversations over the past few months. I’m not very superstitious, but when something comes across my path more than once, I do try to pay attention.

It’s very possible that I’ve had too much food to live on in my life lately. I’m wondering if I’ve grown too independent and maybe not shown proper thankfulness and appreciation for what I have. I know that in my past I’ve had too little and dishonored my faith. So now I wonder how I’m doing with banishing lies from my lips and keeping liars from being in my presence. How do I banish liars that aren’t healthy for my faith without isolating myself from the world that needs a people who are trying to live out an honest faith? And how do you really become aware of the lies that you are telling yourself?

I am interested/concerned in how this generation is growing up with so much information at our disposal and yet there is so much issue with mis-information. When our leaders trouble with what is true and what would be convenient to be true, there are bound to be repercussions that will resonate through our country.

May we have eyes to see the lies that we are telling ourselves and others and may we be cautious of the company we keep.

Listening to: A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here

 

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Stuck in or out of style.

My wife is a stylist. We enjoy having discussions about hair styles, whether that be about someone we come across out and about, or styles we have seen watching the Oscars. We sometimes joke about what kind of hair styles we have had in the past and what we may do someday if we ever have the guts to try something crazy. While observing people in their natural element or even someone on a TV documentary, I wonder how someone is still wearing a hair style that was popular from the 1980’s, back when I was a child. Maybe the person doesn’t care about style at all, or maybe is just a bit oblivious to it? ANIMEHAIRSTYLES9Now being a guy, I fully realize that I have it easier in many ways when it comes to style and fashion. I could probably get away with really changing my hair style twice in my lifetime and still stay pretty current. Women however, probably have to change 3 times in 3 years. I’m not sure about that last statement though, you should consult my wife on that one. I once heard it said that personal style usually reflects the year that people consider the best year of their life. Have you ever noticed this to agree or disagree with it? I have, and I’m starting to believe this theory. Although I’ll never be fully in vogue with modern fashion, I do like to pay attention to current with fashion. Within my comfort, I even like to experiment with fashion. I hope this fact is pointing to the fact that I don’t believe I’ve achieved the best years of my life yet.

I heard a song recently that was talking about how everything was so much better in the old days. Not really an idea that is out of the ordinary. Even last week a friend spoke about how things were so much better when he was growing up or even in his parents time.  Was everything really better in the past? I guess my first questions is always “for whom or for what people group.” Many people tend to grab ahold of this idea. Nothing like “the good ol’ days”. I don’t ever want to get to the point that the things that I’m most excited about are stories about how things used to be. I mean, I do enjoy reminiscing about the past from time to time, but I hesitate to embrace nostalgia. My goal: to live in the present and plan for the future in light of the past.  I want to live here and now and try to embrace everything about this time in my life.

I guess I just want to encourage us to live a life that acknowledges the past, remains mindful of the future but embraces the here and now. Be active and make a difference today and even learn something new from the world around you. Fear of the future, cynicism of the present and grasping for nostalgia will never make the world a better place. Make a difference today and everyday.

 

Listening to: Chris Stapleton / Traveller
Reading: Finding God in the Ruins / Matt Bays

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Burden of a gift

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We can’t run from our burdens. Each of us has been given simple gifts. Things that we do well. If we run from a gift, than we aren’t being true to ourselves and in some way are actually doing a disservice to those we love and the world around us. I’ve been wondering about my gifts and if I really know what they are. Maybe what I have thought were my gifts, really were vanities and distractions. In times like these, I seek the wisdom of the sages. Or at least the wise people that I know and that know me. I’m trying to clarify gifts and be sure that I don’t run from them.  I want to embrace my burden and make it mine.

I’m a believer that in life, we go through seasons. Lately, I’ve been in a season of silence, perhaps a dark night of the soul. Trying to see what’s next. I feel like i’ve accomplished a lot in 40 years of life, but I know I have not reached the end of the potential that life has to offer. I guess I’ve been looking for a vision of what goals to set, for myself and for my family.

I know that being a good father and husband is the most important thing I can do, so I’ve started there. Trying to be sure my family is able to share my journey in faith. Sharing sacred time with them on a weekly basis and being intentional to spend quality time with each of them regularly. From here, I’m now looking to see what other pieces can be added that will make a meaningful life.

“We’re looking far away, what we really need is here.” – Night is Electric

Reading: the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Listening to: Gary Clark Jr. / Blak and Blu

 

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New beginnings…again.

I’ve officially started working for Granite Ridge Builders as a new home specialist. I really can’t express how excited I am. After working the past few years at a job I was just simply thankful to have, I’m now working at a job that I’m eager to learn and that uses the skills and gifts that I already possess. I am beyond grateful for the start of a new season of my life. Only a few days into the job and I feel so much more awake. Able to partake in happiness and to love those around me. 

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Quattro Systems will continue to be an important part of who I am and what i do as well. Working for Jason Spuller has been such a great part of my life back here in Fort Wayne. He’s become more than a boss to me. He’s a trusted friend and a part of the friends that make life beautiful for me. 

Thanks for all of you who have kept encouraging me and praying for me as I’ve moved through this last season of my life. 

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So who does the shaping?

Quite often when someone tells me something about their church or their faith I can pretty quickly and usually safely assume a few things about them. It’s true that some of them are stereotypes and prejudices I’m willing to admit. [Always try to make sure that our preconceived notions about the world and others don’t keep us from enjoying life as it comes our way. Ideas and especially people.] Recently though it’s reminded me of a blog post by Donald Miller. He asked does your personality influence your theology. In my own words it made me wonder…

Are people drawn to a religion based on the shape of their soul or do we fall into a religion and then they shape our soul? I realize this can’t really be answered with certainty, but I wondered what others thought. I discussed it with a few friends and they all seem as confused and provoked as I.

In some ways I believe our religion shapes us. Where we are born often will decide what faith we take on. Whether born in America or Japan, small town or urban city can greatly influence how we will believe and what our opinions will look like. Being brought up in a religion and culture will make many of us who we are.

In some ways I believe our soul shapes our religion. Looking back at my history I can see that even though my upbringing taught me a particular way with specific beliefs, my soul wasn’t comfortable until I found a way to believe that resonated within me.

I’ve found this question really interesting lately. These are the things that run through my head. Feel free to join the late night thinking.

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All the LIES

Last night I started watching the X-Files. Yes, I’m aware I’m a little late on this one. When it was on, I tried watching it several times, but I never caught on with it. My guess is because I was a little too hyper. Amber on the other hand loves the show and likes that I’ve started watching it on netflix.

The poster in Agent Mulder’s office is pretty great.  I’ve always enjoyed sci-fi and so I immediately thought it was a charming poster. Then I got to thinking about the opposite. Not about what we believe or need to believe, but about all the lies that we actually do believe.

Have you ever thought about all the lies? The lies we believe. The lies we tell ourselves? The things that we believe about ourselves or others that simply aren’t true, but because we believe them we are in some ways imprisoned. The people in my life that tell themselves that they aren’t going to work this job for long. They are going to quit and pursue their life long dream of [insert person aspiration here].

I want to believe. I want to hope. Sometimes before we can believe or hope, we must come to terms with all the lies.

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