Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I've Moved...

Hey...this isn't my blog anymore, well it kind of is, but I'm not going to put anything new up here.  My new site is  

This and That

Let’s just try and pretend that it hasn’t been over a month since I posted something.   I’ve been thinking about a lot though and I thought I would share some of it. 

 Dusting is definitely an under-appreciated chore.  I never think to do it, and you can certainly tell.  Guys are bad at the detail work when it comes to cleaning the house.  Here’s to all of you women who pay attention to the details.  Just let me know when you need the trash taken out.

 Too much of our time involves the use of a cell phone.  It’s actually quite sad.

 Did you know that there is a list out there of the top ten fastest growing churches?  I’m not sure this should really be as important as we have made it.  What if instead there was a list of the most drastically changing cities/communities?  I think that would be kind of interesting. 

 Yeah, and why do we treat pastors like rock stars?  Any why do pastor’s tolerate this?  Wasn’t most of the New Testament written by someone who was incarcerated? 

 I really don’t like getting in the shower when my feet are freezing cold.  Kind of ironic that it burns huh?

 You know how people say that they wish they could back to a certain period of time and do things differently?  Well, what if we lived like we did?  Like right now was your second chance to do all of the things you wished you had?  It makes you stop and think about what the future you might be wishing you would have done right now.  This could make for an interesting life, or movie.  Wait…yeah, Brad Bitt already did that.  Go see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button right now.

 Apathy isn’t something that you are pulled out from; it’s something you crawl out of.

 I really need to be more consistent with this whole thing.  

Monday, December 01, 2008


This might sound ridiculous, but I think I would rather break a bone or have a large wound rather than a hangnail or a paper cut.  Those little nagging injuries are so annoying, and I feel like a complete wuss if I complain about my throbbing hangnail as opposed to oh, you know, my arm falling off. 

I’ve heard it said that the number one reason why people don’t believe in God is the problem of pain and suffering.  I wonder if there is like a top ten list out there or something.  But, the question goes like this, “If God is so good and all powerful, then why do bad things happen?  Why do people suffer?”  I think this is a fair question.  The typical response that they get is something like, “Well pain is God’s way of making us stronger.”  Someone told me one time that pain is God’s way of putting His finger on something that needs to change in our lives.

I don’t for one second doubt this to be true.  I mean you read things like Romans 5:3-5 that tells us that persevering through suffering produces hope, and in James 1 that perseverance in the face of pain brings about maturity.  Not only have I read these passages but I’ve discovered them to be true in my own life.  So, I don’t doubt this truth, but I have been asked a very difficult question concerning this truth though.  Why?

After explaining how this whole thing works to someone who has asked the pain and suffering question, I was once asked, “Well, why did God make it that way?”  It is a really good question and I really didn’t know what to say.  If God is God, and can do whatever He wants, and if He supposedly loves us, then why do we have to go through pain in order to grow?  Why couldn’t growth happen through something else, like every time I ate chocolate or something? 

Now, I’m sure a lot of you out there could easily answer this question and it’s probably something that you’ve known for a long time, but I couldn’t.  I couldn’t answer this question without feeling like I was just swallowing something that somebody told me to believe.  Until the other day. 

Here’s what I’ve come to realize.  God didn’t make it this way.  Not at all.  God didn’t make a world with pain and suffering.  Pain is here because of humanity’s rebellion and disobedience.  I think pain came into the picture in Genesis chapter 3, when man betrayed God.  I happen to believe that how heaven is described is how things weren’t meant to be from the beginning.  Revelation 21:4 says, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  That’s how I think things were meant to be.

What I do know about God is that He is a redeemer.  He takes things that are ugly, broken, and awful and He makes them beautiful. Whether it is our past, our shameful mistakes, or horrible things that have been done to us, God takes these things and he uses them to offer hope.  Look at the cross.  It was once the most shameful and disgusting symbol.  I’ve heard that the word for the cross (crux) was considered a swear word, but now it is the most powerful symbol of forgiveness and love.  That’s what God does.  He knows that a human being will not go through their life, probably not even a single day, without experiencing pain, and instead of suffering just being mindless pain; it is now a vessel for change.  As a follower of Jesus I can look at pain and see it redeemed, I can see it as a way to experience hope, and it is a reminder of how good God is and of how much He loves me.  

Monday, November 17, 2008


I don’t normally like the idea of Internet PDA, but I feel that now that I’m engaged I have a bit of a right to express some.  As of 10/17/08, Lindsey Grayce Jefferies has decided that the idea of spending the rest of her life with me is somewhat of an ok thing.  The proposal went flawlessly!  Thanks to everyone who helped make it happen. 

 In the words of Lou Gehrig, I consider myself the luckiest man alive.  I wanted to take some time and tell you about her

 She is the walking, talking proof of God’s love and grace in my life.  I, in no way, shape, or form have done anything in my life that is deserving of her.  I hope and pray that I will never think that I do deserve her.

 I’m pretty sure the word beautiful feels like it’s being used in its truest sense when it is being attributed to her.  (If you don’t like mushy stuff, don’t read anymore)  She is the kind of person you scratch your head at and you can’t help but wonder if she is real.  “Can it be possible for someone to be that…good?”  

 Her love for God isn’t just a topic for conversation that she pulls out when it’s convenient.  She doesn’t offer him, “props”, but she has given him her life.  She spends time with him every morning and it seems that her and her mother both have the sort of close relationship with him that is enjoyed over a cozy breakfast.  She loves God, and He knows her. 


Making her laugh is my favorite thing to do.

She makes the best cinnamon roles in the entire universe.

She can do pull-ups and dips.

Only because of her do I like turtlenecks and high heels.

Her skills at the “air drums” are unmatched.

Playing with my hair makes her and I both sleepy.

Green eyes; curly hair.

She is really good at whispering…too good in fact.

Coffee tastes infinitely times better when she is around.

 I used to not believe in the whole, “You just know” business.  It seemed all too convenient for already married people to say that they just knew each other where the one.  I do believe in it now.  If you asked me how I know I would tell you this.  It is the most incredible feeling to know that for some crazy reason I am the only one on this earth who is capable of making her as happy as I do.  To be that person is the greatest privilege I have ever received.  There is nothing better than to know that there is no one who she would rather be with and that there is no one who I would rather make happy. 

In my life there is proof of God’s existence, there is proof of God’s grace, there is proof of God’s great love; it is her.

Round On the Sides, High In the Middle

I thought I would send out an update for all of my adoring fans. (Please understand the sarcasm!) This is my first official blog from the state of Ohio where I am currently watching snow fall outside of my window. 

For those of you who haven’t heard, I accepted the position of High School Director for Ginghamsburg Church just outside of Dayton, Ohio. It is historically a Methodist Church, but it honestly doesn’t look much like any Methodist Church I have ever seen. It does, however, carry the same passion as John Wesley to see the world changed by the Gospel, and for that I am honored to be a part of this church.

So far things are great! I am really excited to see what God is going to do here and I am learning a lot. For one, most of my life I’ve been a bit of a dreamer…yeah, shocking I know, but I am now in a place where I can see vision become reality. After all, potential will always stay potential unless something is done with it.

I am currently looking back over the most dynamic year of my life. Trying to describe with words the distance covered and the change that has taken place is somewhat of an overwhelming task. If you don’t keep a journal I highly recommend that you do. It’s a great thing to have written proof of God’s work in your life. I am not the person that I was a year ago and I am incredibly grateful for it. 

If I had to use one word to offer a taste of the movement I’ve seen, it would probably be contentment. This is an awfully tough lesson to learn and it’s one that I don’t think is ever finally reached, but is instead daily decided upon. I don’t think of it in a sense that I am satisfied with what I have done or that I have no desire to see things change, but it’s more of being ok with who I am and where I am at and hopeful that God will do what He wants. 

All of my friends in South Carolina…I miss you terribly. South Carolina definitely got a hold of my heart and all of you Southerners are right when you say that there really is no place like the South. Thank you so much for your support and friendship and I can’t wait to see you again! 

Monday, September 08, 2008

I Do

    For the record, I am not an expert on marriage.  Clearly.  I’m not married.  So please don’t for a second think that I consider myself to know more than you, especially if you’re married.  I do however read the Bible on a regular basis and I’ve seen what it has to say about the subject and I just wanted share some of my thoughts.

I’ve recently discovered a huge frustration in my life.  I mean this one is big.  It’s when married men talk about their wives as if they are “just” their wives.  There’s nothing special about it, it’s more work than anything, and the marriage relationship is presented as a hassle that they are forced to put up with.  Us single guys who are still excited about the idea of getting married are strongly encouraged to wait because we don’t know what we are getting ourselves into.  We hear things like, “The first two years are great, and then it’s all down hill from there.”

Do me a favor; don’t paint yourself as a victim.  This seems strange to me.  It’s like we’re supposed to feel sorry for them or something because their relationship isn’t what it used to be.  Now, I understand that not all relationships are the same and that marriage does require a lot of work, but if your relationship to your wife isn’t what it used to be then I can probably guess that you have something to do with it. 

Here’s why I get really frustrated though.  The Bible uses the relationship of a husband and wife as a powerful illustration to describe the relationship between God and his people.  That means that as followers of Christ one of the most powerful examples we have to show people what it’s like to know God and be in a relationship with Him is the marriage relationship; how husbands love their wives and vise versa.

Your marriage isn’t jut about you.  We live in a broken world that lacks true examples of love.  Nothing is as good as it seems and nothing seems to last.  I refuse to believe that is true.  A marriage relationship where two people love each other in a sacrificial way; where a spouse’s fulfillment, satisfaction, and happiness comes from serving the other, offers hope.  It proves to people that you can love and be loved in the way you’ve always dreamed of. 

Here's an idea.  The next time you hear a spouse talking about the other in a positive way, one that reveals passion, love, and commitment, say thank you.  It is such a nice thing to hear.   

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Cutting Loose

Fall is coming.  I love the fall more than any other season.  I think that is the only thing I miss about about the state of Indiana, geographically speaking.  It is by far the best time of year.  Chapped lips, runny noses, the smell of burning leaves, jackets, and watching football Thursday through Monday.

I love oatmeal.  I really do.  But you have to be careful when cooking it because it swells up to nearly three times its original size and can make quite a mess in the microwave. 

I once saw someone put gunpowder wrapped in aluminum foil in the microwave.  Wasn't as impressive as you might think.

If it you knew it was the last time you were going to hug someone, do you think the hug would feel differently?

There's nothing better than discovering a new favorite song.  Sometimes I get sad thinking about all the favorite songs that I haven't found yet, and maybe I never will, but then I just listen to some of my old favorite songs and I forget about all of that.

I think you should go have some fun today.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Me Being Me (pt. 3)

Maybe you should read this slowly or something because you might get a little dizzy.            

So back to this idea of righteousness.  I decided to look up the word in the Greek and it told me that the word meant…drum roll…righteousness.  Awesome.  Then I decided to look up righteousness in my Webster’s dictionary.  Now I don’t know if it is because my Webster’s is really old or just lame, but the word righteousness could not be found in my dictionary, buuuut it did include, “right.”  The word right is defined as, “Proper and fitting, properly adjusted, disposed, or placed; orderly; sound in body or mind.”  This started to make sense. 

See in Romans chapter 6 Paul says, “When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.  What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of?”  Things that I am ashamed of.  These tend to be things that I wish I would never have done.  Things that seem to be out of character.  These are things that I do and then find myself saying, “You shouldn’t have done that, that’s not like you.” 

Then in chapter 7 Paul goes on this somewhat confusing rant about the things he does and things he wishes he would do instead.  It’s almost like we’ve walked in on this conversation he is having with himself.  After it’s all over though Paul says something really interesting.  In verse 22 of chapter 7 Paul says, “For in my inner being I delight in God’s law.”  This is interesting to me because there is this well-known Psalm, Psalm 139, and in verse 13 David says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”  It’s this intimate picture of God creating someone before they were born, knitting together the deepest parts of what it means to be a human being.

So maybe righteousness has something to with all of this.  Maybe following Jesus, becoming a slave to righteousness, is reconnecting with something that was created even before I was born.  Maybe it’s being the kind of person that God has always intended me to be.  I wonder if it’s not necessarily about following some list of rules, but instead what if righteousness, what if putting my faith in Jesus is me being…me for the first time?

To be continued...    

Monday, August 18, 2008


really don’t like to admit that there are times that I struggle with doubt.  But I do.  I don’t so much doubt the existence of God or whether or not Jesus is God; I really do believe that, but I sometimes find myself questing whether or not He cares about me.  It’s usually when I’m not enjoying my circumstances; when things aren’t the way I want them to be that the pity party starts. 

There is a really interesting account in Mark 9.  This father whose son has been possessed by a demon since he was young approaches Jesus.  The father says that the disciples tried to cast out the demon, but they couldn’t.  He says to Jesus, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”  Jesus replies, “If you can?  Everything is possible for him who believes.”  Then the father responds in a way that I automatically relate to, but then ask, “Well, what does that mean?”  He says, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.”

How can you believe something and not believe something at the same time?  I mean either you do believe or you don’t…right?  I think perhaps if we put ourselves in the father’s shoes we might be able to understand where he’s coming from.  The Bible says that the boy has been possessed since he was a small boy and that often the demon tried to kill the boy by throwing him into the water or into fire.  Imagine that.  Imagine being a father and watching your child go through that…over and over again.  And then here come some men supposedly sent by God who can’t do anything about it.  I have to wonder if the unbelief that the man is speaking of isn’t directed toward the existence of God, but whether or not He cares about what is going on.   Have you ever been there?  I know I have.  Now compared to the situation in this story my circumstances can seem somewhat trivial, but I can relate. 

I can assure you that God is here, and God does care.  One of the names for Jesus is “Emanuel.”  It means, “God with us.”  Not only is God real, but He is with us, and He genuinely cares.  So much that he often puts us in situations that only He can handle so that we will begin to only have faith in Him.   See the man saw that it was Jesus who drove out the demon.  I’m sure that man went home believing that Jesus was God and that He did care about him.  The most loving thing God can do is put us in situations where we have no other choice but to trust.  These situations produce faith. Faith that Jesus is who He says He is and that He can do what He says He can do because it is only by faith that anything and everything is possible.