Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone?

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To some this may sound like a trick question, to others it is serious thought. I tend to fall in to the second camp. I really wonder how much would I be missed if I were no longer around. I often wonder what kind of legacy will be left behind by me. I wonder will there be enough people at my funeral to even carry my casket. I wonder a lot of different things about what the lives of those I love will be like if I were to pass away.

Now, I have been writing everyday minus one for the last 62 days, I wonder if you all would miss me if I were gone. I am curious if I have left a small mark on your world, that has left and indelible mark on you in some way? Everyone wants to be remembered for doing something good.

It may be selfish, but I want to be remembered for making difference in the world through my words. Not because they are my words, but because every time I write I try to offer hope and encouragement through the power of Jesus Christ. There is no way I have been able to do all the things in this life I have done without His guidance and help.

So it is not a legacy of me I want to leave behind but a spreading of the good news of Jesus. I want people to say of me, what they said of the disciples, “That He has been with Jesus.” And as it is being said God would be glorified and in the end I would be like John the Baptist. “He must increase, and I must decrease.”

If I haven’t left that kind of impact then what has my life been for? What is it all about? So I guess in reality while I want to be a little selfish and know if people would miss me if I were gone the biggest question is did I represent Christ well while I was here? If I were to stop writing tomorrow, would the work I have created be a good discipleship tool, or just more junk clogging up the net?

Question: Do you think I have made a difference for the Kingdom of God? How can I do more?

Living in a World of Broken Dreams

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Why is it as a child we are told we can become anything we want to be, but as we get older and start to solidify certain things we are told to grow up and think about something we could really do? When we say we want to be in a creative field like an artist or the like we are told to find a job with some security. Pretty much we are told “I wanted to do something like that also and had to do something different.”

I am not saying everyone is like this just some. Those are the ones we need to stay away from.Tweet: If you have a dream inside of you to do something and it keeps nagging you, chances are you are supposed to be doing it. I have two passions in life, they are preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, and writing. I am in the process of trying to get them to take care of each other so I can make a living of doing what I love.

There are just so many people out there who once had a dream to be something different in life and the circumstances of life chocked those dreams right out of you. I want to encourage you to find your voice again and let God guide you to what he has for you. Don’t settle for the life someone else wants you to live. This is where most people would pull a verse outta context and offer some encouragement. I can’t do that I love HIs Word too much to mistreat it.

What are you longing to do? What keeps you awake at night other than worry and anxiety (we’ll leave it for a different post)? If there was something you could do in this world for the rest of your life and money wasn’t an issue. Once you can identify what you want to do, you need to identify your why?

What do I mean by your why? It is the reason behind everything you do? If you cannot identify your why you are going to have a hard time chasing your dreams. I long to be a pastor, in order to be one I needed to go back to school. The question I have to ask myself is why do I want to be a pastor?

Sometimes the answer is hard to remember, most days its not. I want to be a pastor to help people grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. And to do it effectively I needed to have a certain amount of education.

If we allow people to continue to dictate how we are to live our lives we will be in a constant state of upheaval. We need to determine what our dream/goals are and the whys behind them. So we can become the people we were created to be. Life is not meant to be some ho-hum experience we meander through. it is to be a glorious event we get to enjoy. Now everyday will not feel like a celebratory time, but its okay. As long as you can find time to realize who you are.

Don’t live in the world as another person with a broken dream. Step up and step out in faith proving you trust God to provide. It may not come in ways everyone else thinks it should, but God’s provision is his provision none the less. The best thing you can do is start to make an action plan and implement it.

Question: What dream do you need to work on?

3 Steps to Reignite Passion in Your Life.

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It’s is not an easy question to consider is it? But I would appreciate it if you took a moment to really think about the question. So…what is your answer? If it was no congratulations you are a lucky person. I on the other hand would have to answer this question on most days with a resounding yes. I do lack passion in my life. At least a burning desire to do certain things (except for writing). I love to write.

If you find yourself lacking, what are some things you could do to change? How about change your scenery. Changing what you have around you could release feelings and emotions you had not felt in a very long time. Go to a place you have never been before, or it could be a place you love but haven’t been to in a while. Where is a place you can go for a change?

Try something new. I know personally I love writing and glass engraving. They are both very cathartic for me. Each allows me to express my inner artist to one degree or another. Writing allows me to show more of the inner me and what is going on in my head. While glass engraving allows me to show off what I can do with my hands. I say try something new because before I was given a Dremel for my birthday last summer I would have never known glass engraving would be so much fun. What is something new you can try, one thing you have thought of just never attempted?

Meet more people. It sounds kinda funny but by meeting new people you open up new doors to the first two suggestions. You may end up going somewhere you haven’t been or doing something you’d never consider. I am slowly getting to know some of the baristas names at the local Starbucks and they have become a little more familiar/friendly with me. You never know if you’re single you could find your soulmate there I know one friend who did.

It is easy to fall into ruts or funks or whatever you want to call it. When we feel almost life less and wonder what in the world is going on. Being a student and a parent I can usually tell you what my life is going to consist of especially when I am without money. It is a lot of staying home doing homework of some sort. This becomes boring very quickly. My wife struggles with the same thing.

Question: What do you suggest to help bring passion back to your life?

How to Love Someone Who’s An Addict

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This is not an easy post to write. I am not writing as the person who needs to learn how to love an addict. I am the addict addressing how to be loved. In my life I have been addicted to A LOT of things. Ranging from alcohol and drugs to pornography. By the grace of a loving God through Jesus Christ I have been set free from those addictions.

However, there is one ugly monster I cannot slay and it’s the addiction of approval. I know when you read this headline you were probably expecting a how to guide since it says “How to love someone that’s an addict.” What I hope you get from this post is exactly what it promises. Just not the step by step variety.

For me I have learned not to put myself in the sin of proximity. It means not allowing myself to be put in situations where I may fall off the wagon. So the first thing you can do is not be a stumbling block for those who struggle with addiction. If they are trying to not do something, don’t bring it around them. This goes for EVERYTHING from food to cigarettes.

Try not to reminisce about the good old days when such and such used to take place. All it does is make the person feel like you don’t love them for who they are, just what they used to be. I was a very crazy guy in my previous lifestyle. Now I am more laid back. I tend to play the background and let others take the center stage.

One of the best things you can do is love the person through all of their struggles. It is not an easy road to travel. I did not walk the road alone and can take no credit for the turn around made in my life. It is all due to the intervention of Jesus Christ into my life. But what I do know is the things mentioned above have helped me to remain clean and sober for almost 13 years.

It is a whole different story about my addiction to approval though. I can tell everyone all day long how we are to find our identity in Jesus and we are fully accepted in him. Knowing these things should be enough, but for me they aren’t. I enjoy hearing I have done a good job, people liked whatever I did or however the acknowledgment may come. I write this as a way to acknowledge my need to overcome this aspect of my life and trust God is enough not only for me but my entire family as well.

There are too many things in life people can become addicted to. Watch for the signs in your own life. Comfort can become a ruling emotion, longing to take over. Eating can easily get out of control (take it from me). I had gastric bypass three years ago because my weight had gotten out of control along with the rest of my health. So I understand the devastating effects of addiction and wanting to be loved.

While being loving make sure you are not also an enabler. You have to know when enough is enough. Tweet: Being an enabler is almost more dangerous to an addict than being the one who tells them no all the time. I’d rather you tell me no to an idea out of love and respect than to enable me out of fear or rejection.

I just need to keep reminding myself there is nothing in this world to hard for God to accomplish. He has brought me this far. From being an ex-thug, addict and thief. To having a B.S. in Religion (Magna Cum Laude) and working toward my Masters of Divinity. These are things I never in a million years would have dreamed of. It is my hope, when i am finished with this degree I will be able to use it well and not just for more accolades.

There you have it. Some practical ways to love an addict, and some more about me you may or may not have wanted to know. Now it’s your turn.

Question:What are some things in your life you may be addicted to?

Do You Have One Word for Your Year?

There is a movement going on right now called “one little word”. Where you pick one word you are going to help guide your year. I thought I’d join in on this movement and make my “one word” PERSEVERE. I have so many things going on in my life right now I need to have perseverance to make it through. It would be simpler to just give up and quit. Lord knows there have been times I have wanted to quit school.

 

It just isn’t easy. Life that is. Trying to raise a family and go to school, now I’m leading a Tiger den (cub scouts). I’m hoping to keep at my writing not only for you guys, but because it does me good. I’m going to persevere. Why choose this word when there are millions of other words that could have been chosen?

 

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Like I said previously, it’s easy to want to quit. However, I am starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. I have ten classes left including the three I will be taking in the spring. As long as I keep on the same schedule/course I’m on right now I will be done with my Mdiv in the Spring of 2016.

 

I don’t have all of the answers right now nor will I ever. As long as I choose to persevere I will win in the long run. Not at just anything but at the goal I have set of earning a degree. People are amazed when I tell them how many credit hours my Mdiv is (93 if you’re curious). I have had several people tell me that the amount of work I am putting in I could have earned a doctorate in a different field. All I can say is WOW!

 

What gives me the drive to persevere? The only answer I have is God. It is something I feel called to do. I have felt called to be in pastoral ministry since I was 21ish. There is no better feeling than standing before a group of people and telling them about God’s word. Writing and interacting with you all is a close second. I am starting to wonder am I called to be an author as well as a Pastor. Why should it have to be an either/ or situation?

 

My question to you is what is your one word going to be for this year?

Finding My Voice

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I have been writing constantly for a month now. I cannot guarantee that I have found my voice, but what I do know is that I am finding it. I thank all of you who have shown an interest in my blog and made the choice to follow me. THANK YOU.
I am still learning who I am as a writer as as such I may have sometimes i veer off course. I hope you will stick with me through those times, and possible encourage me to find my way back to what made you enjoy my writing to begin with.

I may end up slowing down a little bit in the coming months with school getting ready to start back up. I plan on writing you guys (and gals) good quality content. It is my hope to post 3x a week. If there are things you would like for me to consider writing about, please contact me and let met know. I will do my best to do it.

While I may be alone on this side of the keyboard I know we are creating a great community here. In the next couple of months I will be moving to a self hosted site and hope that you all will continue to follow along. I love to talk about God, my family and even my health (as crazy as it is).

Thank you for coming on this journey with me as I find my voice and attempt to lead this tribe.
God Bless,
Paul

Can I Do That?

Do I have what it takes to lead? I have moments of  confidence and then after speaking with certain people I  feel deflated like I am not meant to do what I feel called to do. I often wonder can I?
  • Can I be a good pastor?
  • Can I be a better parent?
  • Can I make it in the real world?
  • Can I be an effective writer?
  • Can I….?
I recently read a blog post about admitting you aren’t the one. It made me think “am I the one to change the world with my writing?” Or am I just another guy going through seminary to say I have a degree? Where I am right now I could make a difference in someones life. I like to think I do on Monday nights, as I lead a small (sometimes 5-20guys) group of men.
I know that in and of myself I cannot do it. It requires a humble dependance on Jesus and his work through the Holy Spirit. There is not one thing on that list I feel qualified to do on my own. If I’m honest and other Christians are honest they feel the same way.
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One thing I need to keep at the front of my mind is that I am running my own race, not someone else’s. I cannot train to be someone else. I can only train for the roles I am called to.I need to play my position. Because not everyone is called to be a Paul (you know the guy in front). Some of us are called to be Luke’s (support personnel) or a Timothy (a future leader). I am still not clear on whether I am a Timothy or a Luke and that is okay.
To answer my own questions of “Can I….?” Yes I can be all of those things; if it is in God’s will and as long as what I’m perusing is pure. I can do anything as long as I believe I capable of trying. The only true failure is to not try at all. I’m making a promise to myself now that I may mess up but I will always try.
What do you need to tell yourself you can do? Where do you need some encouragement today?