Okay So I stink

as a blogger…hopefully not any other way.

I have not posted in a lot time. I apologize. Here is just  few of my crazy mixed up thoughts.

Some random thoughts… in no particular order.

  • I am ready to move on! Switchfoot has a new song called “restless” and that is how I find myself some time. It is so hard to move on and let go.
  • I am tired of the hurt and pain that being laid off has caused me and my ministry or family. I wish it was not the first thing I tell people. I so wrestle with who I am when people ask what I do. I am tired of that being one of the things I talk with my few friends about.
  • I feel so alone other than my wife in this world. I feel like the friends that I used to have are so busy that they don’t have much time to talk and listen even as I used to drop all my church work to talk them about stuff when things were reversed.
  • I am tired of my family living life with a job that causes us to be so stressed over money for gas and food. I am ready for my heart to heal to a point. Part of me wants to get over it and another part wants to be real, open, and raw and continue to walk into the new depth of my relationship with God.
  • I believe that need to find some place to serve and that makes me uncomfortable because that means putting myself out there and being vulnerable.

I am thankful for the positive changes that have happened in my life.

  • I am in better shape than I was. I have lost about 25lbs and am able to run 3-4 miles with really little effort. I have completed a Duathlon (3.1 mile run,  16 mile bike ride, and 1.9 mile run) in  1 hr 44 mins. I really would like to do a 10k run.  I have read about that distance and think that it might be a great distance for me to focus on for running. I am not sure why I have all of a sudden just really liked running and seeing the progress physically and mentally I have made running. Usually I really find some peace biking but I have really craved just getting outside
  • I do think I have a better reliance on the Gospel and better confidence on what Christ did for me on the cross I believe that it has changed my walk with God in a drastic way. I find myself much more trusting in the sovereignty of God… instead of me trying to make something happen.
  • I do not miss cable TV. I will miss it some during football season, but there really is not much on TV.
  • I have enjoyed reading so many interesting and exciting books.

I am not sure what is next for me but I think I will attempt to post more to make sense of my thoughts/ feelings.

Family camping

My family grew up camping but my wife’s did not. We went camping for the first time as a family at the Oak Hollow Campground in High Point, NC. My parents bought us a 10 piece package from Sams club in 2008 after we lost Nathaniel. I was hoping to get out some that year and grow our family tighter together. Life got in the way until recently we had friends visiting from Missouri and they were up for camping. The weather took a break from its 90+ degrees to gives us some beautiful weather. Lows at night were in the 50’s and highs were in the mid 70’s. Wonderful for tent camping and especially great when my extension cord was not long enough to bring a fan to the tent.

We had a great time swimming and hanging out with our friends from Missouri. It had been almost 3 years since we last saw them. It was kinda nice to talk to someone outside of my normal circle about some of the thoughts and stuff regarding jobs, future, and ministry that have been swirling around in my head.

Saturday morning we went back to counseling. I really do not like talking with our counselor, but I do like the things he asks us to read. They have been way more beneficial than our conversations.

I really enjoyed sitting outside and listening to the birds sing and the breeze blow by. I really like being outside and have not be outside near as much this year as I am usually.

Free Debt Snowball Spreadsheet

A great resource

Free Debt Snowball Spreadsheet

Vertex42, a site devoted to Microsoft Excel templates, spreadsheets, and calendars, has posted a free debt snowball calculator. From the description: This spreadsheet allows you to choose different debt reduction strategies, including the debt snowball effect paying the lowest balance first and highest interest first. Just choose the strategy from a dropdown box after you enter your creditor information into the worksheet.

via Free Debt Snowball Spreadsheet.

church membership

Joining a church! Told the pastor of the church we are now attending that we want to join the church. A couple of thoughts…

  1. This is the first church we have joined as a family that has not been tied directly to me being on staff. (I love it I am free to minister wherever and with whatever God leads me too)
  2. My daughter is so excited about the church. She gets up early and gets herself ready on Sundays. She sings with me in the service.
  3. I get to drive to church with my family. I love it. May seem like not much to most people but I have never had that opportunity since seminary.

Church membership is so important and it really is amazing that my heart desires to unite with any body of believers. God has done so much to make my heart be in this spot and have this desire.

After the last church situation, I have thought and said that I do not feel like I would ever want to be a part of a church again. I would have preferred to stay the one who just comes on Sundays and never really builds any strong relationships with anyone.

This church has really loved and opened themselves to love and care for us. They have made me and my family feel like family.

This past Sunday May 16 the pastor remembered to call us up and present us to the church. We are officially members.

9 Reasons Not To “Ask Jesus Into Your Heart” — SojournKids

9 Reasons Not To “Ask Jesus Into Your Heart”by Jared Kennedy on November 20, 2008

Your child lies in her snuggly warm bed and says, “Yes, Daddy. I want to ask Jesus into my heart.” You lead her in “the prayer” and hope that it sticks. You spend the next ten years questioning if she really, really meant it. Puberty hits and you only have more questions. She turns away from faith. You spend the next ten years praying that she will come to her senses. What went wrong?Of course, there is no way to guarantee that an early acceptance of the gospel will stick, and parents should not feel defeated when their adolescents question or even rebel against what they have been taught from a young age. However, we can be careful to avoid language that would give our children a false understanding of the gospel or a false impression about their own condition. If you’ve grown up in church setting, you have probably heard the phrase “ask Jesus into your heart” a thousand times—at evangelistic meetings or at the end of impassioned sermons. Perhaps you have seen it modeled as part of a gospel presentation. I have come to believe that the phrase “ask Jesus into your heart” can be dangerous way of calling someone to faith. Here are a few reasons why:

1. This kind of figurative language is not appropriate for most children.

2.  Salvation does not result from our asking but from what Jesus has done.

3.  The gospel is NOT primarily about Jesus’ work in our heart but about Jesus’ work in history.

4.  The gospel appeals to more than our emotions.

5.  Over-emphasizing a change of heart can actually discourage a child.

6.  The phrase “ask Jesus into your heart” is neither commanded in the Scriptures nor found as a description of conversion.

7.  God only saves those who turn away from sin and delight in his Son.

8.  Leading a child in a “sinner’s prayer” may give the child false assurance.

9.  Finally, this presentation robs God of his sovereignty.

via 9 Reasons Not To “Ask Jesus Into Your Heart” — SojournKids.

I read this and I thought this was a very well written and made a strong argument for not asking your child to accept “Jesus in their heart.” If you click on the link you can read their thoughts as they expand on each

Counseling appointment tomorrow

Tomorrow is my first counseling appointment.

I am slightly frustrated by the process required to talk with someone other than my wife about the loss of a job, confusion about my ministry, and even marriage issues. We have had to fill out an application, pay $20, and still not be able to talk to the people who we were referred to. I had really hoped to talk with a pastor someone who understood what it means to be called to do something and called by a church.

I am not sure really what to expect. I have taken a few counseling classes while in seminary and I really could not get into them. Honestly, they really drove me crazy. It seemed that they would say the same thing over and over. I hope this meeting tomorrow is productive and not a waste of time.