Thursday, May 29, 2008

Try Again...

Looks like there are still a few of you who pop in here now and again to see I still haven't written. Take a peek here. I don't write often there either...but I have recently.

Monday, August 06, 2007


For those of you still checking in I want to ask for your prayers on two issues.

1. Just over a week ago a friend of mine named David committed suicide. David is from the country I lived in and is from a great family. He and I were able to travel together some while I was there. It has been a hard week for me dealing with the loss of a friend. Please pray for his friends and family as we grieve the loss of such an amazing young man.

2. I am looking at a job. A school in Arizona is interested in me becoming their Campus Pastor. I am to let them know Monday if they should book a ticket for a face to face on the campus. It sounds like an intriguing position. Call if you want to hear more details.

Thanks for your prayers!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Faith and Questions...

The chats I’ve had with some friends recently have been interesting.  Two are struggling with faith.  They are struggling with the things they grew up knowing.  I think they are struggling for different reasons, and their approaches to it are different, but they are both struggling.  

The first has shared with me that as a child/youth she felt lied to.  She doesn’t believe pastors and other leaders actually believed or meant the things they told her.  The view on alcohol or sex perhaps wasn’t meant to be taken as strictly as she assumed it was.  When her mind started to spin and she lost faith in leaders she began to question God.  As she did, she looked for answers.  She looked in good places.  She found none that satisfied and eventually stopped looking all together.  Even worse, some of the guides not only didn’t give answers that helped – the screwed her up more.  Now she longs for answers, but lacks the desire or motivation to search for them.  She has given up on churches and dreams and love and faith.  Yet she doesn’t really want to give up on any of them.  

The other friend is in a different place.  I think she found sin she enjoyed before she found doubt.  She found a boy who she liked but she knew wasn’t a wise choice.  She wasn’t really interested in a wise choice though, so she pursued it anyway.  A few times it has crashed yet resurrected itself.  She hates the relationship but likes feeling loved and being able to love.  She likes the physical.  She likes the idea of it being around until she at least figures out herself and her own beliefs again.  She doesn’t see that it is likely what keeps her guessing.  She is searching for answers.  Or maybe she just thinks she is.  In actuality she is probably more concerned with finding justification for her sin than answers.  She is working harder to disprove her faith than to remember it as real and alive.  She wants to box God in.  She wants God to be simple and understandable…possibly so she can figure out how to hide the sin from him.  She is like Adam and Eve hiding in the garden from the God that sees everything they do no matter where they hide.  She wants to love God; she is just tired of it being so damn hard.    

I never know where to go with these types of chats.  I feel we have a responsibility to help one another brave the path of faith.  Yet I believe the doubts and the questions contain great value.  How do I stop giving answers but encourage they continue asking good questions?  How do I walk beside them as they search?  How do I help others question in healthy manners but not come to dangerous places as perhaps both of these have?  I do I help decipher good questions from not so great ones?

I led a youth weekend two weeks ago.  I spent a lot of time with senior guys in high school.  We had a lot of fun.  We shot it pretty straight.  We talked about life and love and God.  We talked about how we try to mix them all together.  The focus was on making Christ Lord.  Not sure I’ve ever figured out how to do that.  I’m trying to learn.  But the more I look the more I believe it is less about quiet times and going to church and doing this and not doing that.  It seems to be more concerned with people than tasks.  It seems to be more concerned with love than perfection.  

I miss ministry.  I miss community.  I love to be able to have chats like these with friends.  I love to walk with others as we journey faith.  The Father is leading me back towards church ministry.  I hope as he does so he continues helping me learn how to serve better, how to love better, how to live out holiness better.  I hope he makes of me the man he has called me to be.  I hope I can help him more than be a hindrance to the project.  

Friday, February 23, 2007

Personal Pride...

A couple of weeks ago I made a comment.  As soon as it got out of my mouth I thought, “Damn that sure was arrogant!”  I let it go, because as bad as it sounded I said it because I meant it; I believed it.  Wednesday afternoon I got hit hard.  This pride I had recognized a couple of weeks ago resurfaced.  This time it hit me hard.  I wasn’t proud of it and I’m still not sure how to deal with it.

Let me give some background.  My mom always assumed I would be a homebody.  I was pretty close to my family growing up.  I spent the majority of my weekend nights in high school at home or church.  It wasn’t so much because of a lack of friends as it was that I enjoyed being with my family.  Typically I went to the movies with Mom and Dad.  I don’t remember many times I went with friends.  

But I didn’t stay home.  When I graduated high school, I moved away to go to college.  I wasn’t that far away.  I was only about a 4 hour drive away.  I came home some.  Summer after my freshman year I even lived at home to work at a local church.  That was the last time I lived at home.  I went from college to seminary; I was four hours away and then twelve.  My next move was to the other side of the world.  I moved to Africa.  

When I finished in Africa I came back to my hometown.  My parents had moved to Africa at that point so being here was hard.  I had been gone nearly 10 years.  I don’t have friends left here and the people I would hang out with here (my family) were mostly gone.  I’ve told people my time here is temporary.  I thought I would move by the beginning of 2007.  I was ready to get out again.  I was ready for the next step.  But I didn’t move by 2007.  I’m still here.  

People still ask, “So have you moved back?”  I don’t know how to answer.  I don’t want to say yes.  I don’t want to have moved back here.  I want this to be a temporary place.  Here is where the arrogance comes in.  

A church here has mentioned me sticking around.  They’ve talked about me helping lead in some way.  The first time it was mentioned I talked about maybe being interested, but I didn’t know if I would be here long.  This week it was brought up again.  Suddenly I saw the pride.  

Somewhere along the way, I decided I was too good for this place.  It is hard for me to say that.  I’m not sure how to deal with it.  I told my brother Wednesday afternoon that part of me fears if I stay here for a while I’ve sold out in some way.  It makes me nervous that I have abandoned some call or some dream for my life.  At the same time the real fear isn’t selling out as much as it is dealing with pride.  Somewhere along the way I decided that all of my adventures put me in a place where I didn’t “fit” here anymore.  I was too good.  Wow! How arrogant does that sound?  How incredibly ungodly is that?  

I’m not sure if I’m gonna stick around, but I know that I have to deal with this pride.  I have to deal with these thoughts I have allowed to seep into my person.  

Right now I’m considering two options for the next phase of my journey.  I might stay here.  I might find some work, hang out with my brother, and help be a part of this local church plant.  I might instead go to the northeast.  A great friend lives up there.  He pastors a really cool community.  I’d love to be a part of it for a time.  But I’m questioning if it isn’t time for that just yet.  I want to answer a call.  A call moved me to Texas; another moved me to Africa.  I want another to decide where I’m going next.  Is it here, is it elsewhere?  I’m just not sure yet.  

Friday, December 22, 2006


I stopped praying.  Not sure when it happened.  I didn’t even realize it had happened until last week.  For some reason I started thinking about prayer and I realized it had been a while.  I was thinking about the future: thinking about jobs, and where I might live, and who I might live with.  I realized I stopped asking for God to direct that.  I want to follow God; I guess it would be important to interact with God in order to receive some of his wisdom.

Spent a few hours talking to an old friend the other day.  Our expectations had put us both in a strange place regarding our relationship.  Finally we moved past some of those things and were able to be friends again.  The chats that finally came where important.  I needed them.  I’d missed my friend.  

Through them I realized something I think I already knew.  The hardest part of being back in the States has been that I’m lonely.  She challenged me to enjoy where I am and be blessed by the time that I have to relax and grow and learn and experience life.  The tough part is I don’t want to do it alone.  I don’t want to sit on the porch and watch the water and read.  I want to get a cup of coffee with someone I love.  I miss friends.  I miss community.  

I realize every sporadic post I write these days is about the same thing.  I’m having a hard time moving out of this rut.  I don’t enjoy writing these days.  I’m not sure what I enjoy right now.  I’m just hanging out.  I cherish the times with my brother and the times I get to spend with friends.