Increase My Hunger

8 Dec

Outreach has always been a key component to my Christian walk, ever since I can remember. But over the last few years, the passion I used to have to, “reach the world with the message of the gospel” has died down to ember status.

My appetites for church and scripture are still intact; God is sustaining me, but the fervor I once had is restrained at best.

It kinda scares me to be honest, I want to finish well.

Lord, increase my Hunger for You, help me to fall in love with you all over again, deepen my study and my prayer life, draw me back to Yourself.

Psalm 40:11 As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!

waiting..

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To God Be the Glory

7 Dec

There’s an old hymn, written by Fanny Crosby:

To God be the glory, great things He hath done,
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life our redemption to win,
And opened the life-gate that all may go in

There’s something about these old hymns that we’re missing in the body nowadays, something that used to tie American culture together with the church.

When Christmas came around when I was a kid, sure we’d get excited about Santa and the Christmas tree but those old Holiday songs reminded us that it was all because of Jesus, a token of what America stood for; love, charity, family . . . God.

I understand we’re supposed to be distinct, peculiar but we’ve lost the capacity to impact society through art. Contemporary “Christian music,” has become bland and tasteless, except to church goers. It’s like we’ve got our own little genre clubs.

I don’t think that honors God. We’re supposed to be salt and light to the entire world.

Contemplating Divorce

6 Dec

I’ve been divorced for a few years now. It was brutal, I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. Fortunately I don’t have many regrets, I went down swinging.

People will tell you that staying together, “for the kids” is never a good idea. I understand the argument but I’ve lived it and my advice to you is this (as long as there aren’t any safety concerns or serious adultery issues) . . . what better reason is there?

It was hard at times there’s no denying that, but I’m grateful for the privilege. Once that window of opportunity shuts, there’s no going back.

If you’re still in the contemplative phase, here’s some tips from Psychologist and Author James Coleman from his book [IMPERFECT HARMONY]

*I will stop looking to my partner as a source of intimacy for now, and maybe forever more.

*I will grieve the loss of the marriage I thought I’d have, and stop bemoaning what I’m not getting from my partner.

*I will work hard to develop my life because that will be the best remedy for resisting my partner’s negative pull on me, or my destructive need of him or her.

*I will work to examine my counter-productive beliefs about marriage as being central to my happiness.

*I will work to keep the tone of my household calm and in control because that is what’s best for my children and me. While I don’t have control over my partner’s behavior, I have control over my own.

*I may have to accept that sex with my partner will be rare, non-existent, or less satisfying than I would like.

*I will give up my addiction to being right.

*I will stop hoping that my partner will change and will stop pushing him or her to change.

Regardless of whether or not you stay together, it’s not just about you anymore. You’re a parent, and that will never change.

Invest copious amounts of emotional capital in your children no matter what’s going on in that house. Just because you guys can’t get your act together doesn’t mean they don’t deserve your full and undivided attention. It’s not their fault.

They need us more than you may think.

Create memorable moments, one-on-one, with each of them. Look for things to praise them for, opportunities to talk and more importantly to listen.

They need a map, you’re it.

Click here to read more

An Explanation for Expletives

5 Dec

As I was raising my kids, I was really careful about what kind of media I allowed in the house. When they’re small you worry about such things, their little minds are being shaped. I was okay with violence; I honestly don’t see a problem, especially raising boys, but profanity was off limits. They’ll eventually hear it all on the bus as they head off to school, but setting standards in the home is a crucial component to raising healthy adults.

As they get older they’ll struggle with it once in a while like most of us, especially during times of stress. Personally I think it makes you sound ignorant, and scripture warns against it.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

But to deny its existence in every day life, especially in this sin soaked culture, would be silly.

People are craving authentic. When I wrote, Boundless Devotion, I included some expletives within the dialog. Being a believer for the past thirty years, I’m certain that will marginalize some, but ultimately it’s a story of redemption.

There’s a, “method to the madness.”

I also included some heavy crime material so you may not want your first grader to read it, but I left the descriptive to the imagination. The protagonist and all of his allies are all duty bound and honorable, hence the title.

Here’s a portion of a speech I included from General Patten:

Be seated.

Men, all this stuff you hear about America not wanting to fight, wanting to stay out of the war, is a lot of bullshit. Americans love to fight. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle. When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, the big-league ball players and the toughest boxers. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. That’s why Americans have never lost and will never lose a war. The very thought of losing is hateful to Americans. Battle is the most significant competition in which a man can indulge. It brings out all that is best . . . etc etc.

Again, I don’t want to offend your conscience if you’re a brother or sister in Christ, but it’s a military crime Thriller. There is nothing willy nilly about it I did tons of research. It’s just where the journey took me . . . it was inescapable.

Read a sample here

All Things Pertaining

1 Dec

Psalms 40:1-3 I waited patiently for the LORD;
he inclined to me and heard my cry. 2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.

I’ve been camped here for a while now, can’t seem to get past it. There’s so much substance! I’ve been struggling in a few key areas for the last few months and this Psalm pretty much covers everything. I’ve decided to break it down into parts and do a little meditating.

My personal favorite version is the ESV (English Standard Version), it’s straightforward and from what I can gather the most accurate.

Throughout the Bible it speaks of God’s sovereignty over creation, everything from the birds of the air to all things pertaining to salvation. The older I get the more I’m beginning to understand how blessed we are for that fact. None of us would make it otherwise.

Legacy of Tears

30 Nov

Looking around at all the foulness in the media lately, I was thinking of writing a book about the wickedness of the human heart. I even came up with a cool title for it, “Depth of Depravity.” However the more I pondered on the idea, I honestly wouldn’t know where to begin.

When I examine my own heart, it’s enough to scare anybody. I think that’s the case for most of us, but the dynamics have changed. Our eyes have adjusted to the darkness. We accept things as normal that should make us feel ashamed as a country; we’ve forgotten how to blush.

Overall Americans used to be on the same page in terms of morality. We enjoyed a, “community ethic.” where everybody knew the difference between right and wrong. Those days are over, which makes reading people a lot more challenging, and dangerous.

Nobody’s perfect, but ask those who know me and they’ll tell you, I’m one of the good guys. What about the other team?

If we’re truly honest with ourselves . . . goodness.

They used to say twenty or so years ago, that at any given moment there were at least a hundred serial killers walking around, living among us. I wonder what those numbers would look like today?

I’ve made many poor choices in my life, decisions that still affect me in many respects all these years later. Growing up in the chaos I was forced to call, “home” certainly didn’t help (long story). Nevertheless I took ownership of those choices, a skill sorely lacking in American culture. As a result I enjoy my freedom, I have a good relationship with my children, I’m relatively healthy, I have a roof over my head . . . there are consequences for good behavior as well as bad.

But my God what are we handing down to these kids?!

Braille — Changed Hearts

Unstoppable . . . a sneak peak.

29 Nov

..still workin’ on it, I’m what you could call edit retentive lol. This is a journey we’re both on, welcome to the madness.

“Chris was passed out in his truck. He’d been putting in sixteen hours days for nearly two weeks, trying to finish the job he and John picked up at old man Dones’ barn. It was about finished, so he decided to do a little celebrating the night before.

He wasn’t too worried about the guys, but he did feel a little awkward not being out there with them. What they were doing took tactical training and experience on the battlefield, the kind a civilian-minded man just wasn’t prepared for.

Suddenly he was awakened by the sound of somebody tapping on his window.

It was Lisa.

He took a quick look in the mirror, opened the door and stepped out, “Hey, uh . . . what are you doin’ up here?”

“I’ve been looking everywhere for you, I had an interesting talk with Nancy last night.”

“Oh yeah what about?”

“Christopher were you even thinking about the boys?”

“Oh,” he said with a smirk.

“What if something happened to you?”

“I’ got life insurance.”

Chris!”

“Relax, I’m just kiddin’ . . . so how’s Romeo?”

She looked down at the ground, “He left about six months ago, of course you’d know that if—”

“Wait a minute left?

“Yes, the boys were devastated but they didn’t feel right talking to you about it. I can see you haven’t changed much.”

“That ain’t fair Lisa. I tied one on so what, I’ve been workin’ my ass off out here!”

“Where’ve I heard that before?”

“Look if all you did was come out here to—”

“It doesn’t matter Chris, we miss you . . . I miss you.”

[The Final Outcome . . . When pigs fly]

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