Tag: general

The Chaos that is Life

I love coming home for lunch when I can. My family isn’t there and while I would love that even more, I like the quiet. The house is still, silent. It’s relaxing to come home and be still for a few moments before jumping back onto the always moving train that is everyday life. Maybe what I love most when I come home is the chaos. Some months ago, Kellen offically entered his “wildman” stage (a stage I hope he never gorws out of – but don’t tell his mom I said that!). He is uncontainable. He chases the dogs without end. He gets into mom’s underwear drawer, puts his findings around his neck with pride and runs through the house screaming. He throws balls against mirrors. He roams the house with plungers, with brooms, or with a wiggles doll in tow. As of right now, there is harley in our living room, a wiggles couch in the middle of our family room, plastic animal magnets strewn across the kitchen floor, every conceivable type of ball in every conceivable floor location, and cheerio remants littering the rug. Add to that multiple baskets of clean laundry placed without any particular order throughout the house, some folded – other not so much, overflowing trash cans, dirty clothes forming a disater area that is our master bedroom, a kitchen table piled high with bills, junk mail, and gadgets that have no permanent home in our house. And that’s not even mentioning a yard that swallows ankles, a pool that is more yellow than blue, and a garage that will probably overflow with junk on the next unsuspecting door-opener. The crazy thing is – I love the chaos! To me it symbolizes that we live hard. We enjoy life. We are too busy living in fact to clean, to organize, and to pick-up. It makes me smile to remember how each toy got to its current location. I laugh out loud thinking about the wild exploits of my son. Life is certainly lived here – and hope that never changes. I would like some order and need to take some time catching up on all that needs to be done, but that’s what the wekend is for. Until then – there’s more adventure in store.

tired ears and the hurting heart

Minutes ago I got out of our church staff meeting and my heart hurts. I am so tired of hearing the words, “church growth” when we talk of our church mission. I don’t want to hear the words “attendance” or “numbers” anymore as we discuss the health of our church. It’s getting old to listen to my pastor reference “growing churches” or better, “fast-growing churches” as he convinces the staff on a course of action. Today we talked for more than an hour about recruiting volunteers without even a reference to our need to be dependent on God. I had to mention prayer as the first step in the recruitment process. I guess it just didn’t fit into the 7 steps to effective recruiting outline that my pastor presented. I love these guys and my heart hurts for them. Obviously they don’t get it. They don’t get that Jesus is more interested in their attention to him than their success for him. My heart longs to be around churhc leaders that see success through Christ’s eyes, instead of through Rick Warren’s eyes or Outreach magazine’s eyes. The more I study the words of Christ, the more I realize the difference between the two. How did we get here? And the better question is, how does a new generation of church leaders move the church in a new, yet ancient, direction?

Anxiety and God

This morning I was reading 1 Peter 4 and I ran across a simple verse that really caught my attention. After Peter declares to his audience in verse 1 that, “if you are willing to suffer for Christ, you have decided to stop sinning.” He goes on to write, “And you won’t spend the rest of your life chasing after evil desires, but you will anxious to do the will of God.” The word that catches my attention is “anxious” and the question that has been running through my head is, “What am I anxious for in my life?” Comfort? Success? Attention? Approval of others? These are the things that I think I am anxious for most often. but God’s will? I think my anxiety for God purposes and my role is those pruposes are growing on my priority list. It seems as though God is taking me somewhere new in this dilemma of life anxiety. I am starting to feel it – everything is of fading importance except for God’s plan fof the world. My comfort is worthless if it means I miss the role I was created to play in God’s story. Success is stupid when you begin to question our human view of success and begin to compare ot to the biblical measures of success: love, faith, and servanthood, etc. Attention is overrated. The more attention you get, the more expectations that are put on you by well-meaning, yet often very human sources. Same goes for approval. When we live for approval, our view of self goes down the toilet when we fail to get the approval of others. I am tired of playing that game. It a game where no one ever wins. So for me, that leaves only one anxiety left to pursue. Only one thing to capture the focus of my impatience – God’s will.

An Open Letter

To all those that God has given me opportunity to have influence with,

I am sorry. It humbles me to think that something about my existence has somehow made a difference in your life. What I am sorry for is the “crap” you’ve undoubtably picked up for being near my life along the way. I am sorry for the unbiblical philosophies that would frustrate Jesus himself. I am sorry for the comments that should have been held captive within myself. I am sorry for vocalizing my frustration when we had no need to hear my hurts. I am sorry for the instances of arrogance or childish competition that I have so elegantly been possessed with. I am sorry for all the challenges I gave without fully thinking them through. I am sorry for the hypocisy that is inevitably apparent. I am sorry for extreme humanity that I often exist with, forgetting the Spirit of God that dwells within me. I am sorry for being a know-it-all. I am sorry for living as if I can be the “messiah” in your life – that I can fix your hurts and concerns when only Jesus can. I am sorry for not more often remembering God’s work in the big picture of everyday life. I am sorry for devalueing the very real experiences you have had with your Creator because my shallow-view of God wouldn’t allow me to validate the experience. I am sorry for arguing with you for no good reason. I am sorry for being me.

But I also am glad that you get “me”. Good or bad – that’s what I’ve always given you. The flawed, the struggler, the shallow, the weak, the forgetful, the arogant, the prideful, the wrong, the anti-model, the anti-hero. Thanks for not holding the rest of the junk against me. Thanks for living life with me and letting me live life with you. Thanks for your grace, your love, and your acceptance. I hope that I in some way can challenge your life to godliness as much as you with knowing challenge mine. I think that how God meant it to be.

I love you all,


the romance that isn’t

As valentine’s day has approached, my excitement has grown at doing something special for Kelli. I will admit this is unusual for me – I am a typical guy. I employed the methods of romantic creativity to woo my wife, but once she was indeed mine, I forgot what romance was. Until recently. Sure, I’ve bought her flowers, planned special dates, done corny romantic things along the journey that is our marriage, but I was far from the romancer I once was. The problem is…I want to be considered a romantic. I don’t want my wife to smile, affirmatively nod, and think of me when she watches the sterotypical husband on tv miss an opportunity for a romantic interlude with his wife. I know that it honors my wife, it makes her smile to be swept off her feet again and again by romactic action. It’s been fun to romantic again. Even giddy romantic again. Secret surprises, complex plans, nights away, writen notes, and lots of anticipation. It’s been fun. The reward? – the message it will send once again to my best friend. I love you – I mean really love you in not just the “three quick words” to smooth things over way.

I want to be a romantic – and not just with my wife. I want to look at the heavens and become giddy as I anticipate the time I will spend in God’s presence later. I want to be affected at the very core when I think about the love between us. I want to be unapologetic in my pursuit – not matter how foolish or abnormal it may look to the world around me. I want to be a romantic.

Ye of Little Faith

What has happened to faith in the church? I am not talking about the mental cognition that God exists – but the life that results from the reality of that choice. So many people that I see in our church claim to follow Jesus Christ, but continue to live worrying about status, finances, everday life stuff. The church itself isn’t much better. We choose to dwell in models, how-to-books, numbers analysis, church consultants, and other safe models of church “management”. Where are the risk-takers? Where are the true faith-possessors? Isn’t that what God desires for His church – that we would dream big and actually be willing to step out into the unknown and trust Him to take us there? Instead we choose manpower. We look for the “sure things”. Church planters investigate the financial viability, the numerical possibility, and the growth potential as they search for a location to expand the bride of Christ. Whatever happened to searching for the voice and direction of God? How far down the line (if at all) should finanicals and numbers be in the church planting process!

But I am no different. I have been obsessing for months about “taking care of my family”. The church I work at doesn’t pay me enough to live in the affluent community the church is in. I now have two kids. And it saddens me to admit that I have been seriously contemplating starting over in the comfort and financial ease of my hometown. No voice of God. No clear as day direction from Him telling me to move my family to a new state – just my worry, my frustration, my lack of faith. A friend of mine recently told me the story of how his family had downsized recently. No car payments, little house payments (at least for SoCal), and simple living. He described how “free” he felt to do and be what God wanted him to be. As I have allowed my friend’s story to challenge me, I am realizing that “freeing us” is exactly what faith does. It takes so much of the pressure off of us. We are incabale of fulfilling our needs anyway! We must have faith. It has to be the driving force behind who we are and what we do. No more wimpy, heady, faith – but a real, life-changing, freeing faith where our lives actually look like we believe Jesus is all we need.

I am far from that destination, but I want to get there. And as a church leader, I want to take some people there with me.

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