Showing posts from March, 2019

In the Valley

I come to this song in a very different place than when I first heard it. This was released way back in 2006, back when I had two kids and was just getting my feet wet in full-time youth ministry. It's another one of those tunes that's become an old friend. We don't talk every day, but she's there when I need her, ready to remind me of her simple, poetic, and paradoxical message. I love how it begins. "When you lead me to the Valley of Vision..." This must be the foundation for the Christian as we walk through the valley. Valleys don't happen by chance. We don't stumble into them. We are led there, sometimes gently by the hand, other times with a bit more force, like dragging a dog by his collar to the vet. As I look back at the valleys I've walked through I must say I've come to love them. That may sound strange, but it's true. Granted, it's a lot easier to say that on this side of a deep one. I know a few friends that are travel

Not In Me

In October of 2017 I was on the threshold of the valley. At the time I didn't know all that God would give and take away, all that He would lead me through. But one thing He was certainly doing was breaking down my pride. You see, humility has always been a struggle for me. Too often I am enthralled with my own gifts and abilities, forgetting the One who gave them to me. Why is that? Today's song helps with this struggle. It finds the space where the Christian should walk, between utter brokenness over sin and the joy of being made righteous. It's a healthy place where I can honestly say "I am a sinner through and through" while simultaneously praising God that "My righteousness is Jesus life." This is summed up well in the phrase I have tattooed on my arm: Simul Justus et Peccator (Simultaneously Justified and a Sinner). A Saint and a Sinner. That's me. For some reason God really impressed this on my heart, and now I'm reminded of this tr

Resigned: Part 2 - The Other Side

I enjoyed a great evening with my former pastor last night. He did what I should've done before posting about my resignation. He saw a brother had something against him, sought him out, and tried to make peace. I would like to think he succeeded. One of the things I took away from that meeting was the truth that I still have a lot to learn about being a Christian, but what else is a true Christian if not someone that must consistently align and realign with the Word of God? Our time together ended with asking forgiveness, praying together, and the hope of some kind of relationship in the future. I wanted to start with that because I think it's important to know peace can be found, even through a situation like the one I came through. There was much that was clarified, and much that we had to agree to disagree on. But we still parted as brothers, bound by the blood of Christ. We're going to be together for eternity, after all. Why not start now down the journey of reco

Christ Is Mine Forevermore

This has been a crazy week. Since my previous post I've had the opportunity to reconnect with so many old friends that have reached out to me. I've been so encouraged by your comments and messages. You would think this feeling of community would energize and motivate me, but the reality is I've been dealing with depression again for a little over a month.* I think it's getting better. Maybe it's all the rain or difficult circumstances. I don't know. Having gone through this before I'm seeing the same old signs, but dealing with it very differently. I think you know you're depressed when you can watch How to Train Your Dragon 2 with your kids and almost start crying when you see Hiccup and Astrid talking... just talking. The mind starts to wander... Will I ever have someone like that again? It sure would be nice to have someone, just to talk to about everyday life, the future, silly goals, a funny thing that happened while flying on your dragon. Of co

Resigned: Making Sense of Why I Left My Church

I've had a good amount of time to process my departure from my previous church. In the middle of all that happened I wasn't able to really think deeply about the circumstances and all the consequences that followed. There is much that didn't sit well with me, but I didn't really know why. I had guesses, but now I think I have a big piece of it figured out. Perhaps my journey there will help some of you as you process your own why's for your situation. Let me start by saying my old church was amazing. I had five great years there. Sure, there were difficulties and struggles, but the victories far outweighed the defeats. The church was so generous in taking care of my family as I left. They asked me to take some time off, which I appreciated, back in December of 2017. For the next five months I received full pay as I transitioned into another career and moved on with my life. God used them to provide for me financially and that was no small thing. Yet, the naggi