No one talks about the son who stayed at home

I sat and talked with a friend the other day. We were talking about life, faith, and stories. As I shared about another friend of mine who has majorly turned his life around, he said “Joel, I’ve grown up my whole life in church, I’ve never partied, I never even touched alcohol until I was 21, I never did drugs, I’m not married, so I’ve never had sex, I’ve never majorly screwed up. I’ve always done exactly what the church has taught me to do. And I feel like that’s not good enough. Like I don’t have a story to tell.”

He paused for a moment and drew a breath as his eyes moistened. Then, with his voice quivering, continued,

“I hear people talk about all these people who are turning their life around, who used to be really bad, and everyone celebrates them. But here I am, and no one even mentions how well I’ve done at keeping all the things that Jesus commands and the church tells us. I feel like I’m not good enough, that I don’t have a story to tell, that I have nothing to say that is worth listening to.” Continue reading

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Dear Mr. President

Well, this morning before I went into work, I wrote an email to our President Barack Obama. I wanted to be respectful, but also address some concerns I had with his administration and what direction it was headed in. I’m not posting this to open this up for a big political debate, so if you are looking for that, go somewhere else, but I wanted you all to know what I wrote, and maybe if more people write messages, he will begin to realize what it is the people actually want. (I included my email address and phone number in the original that I took out, and I had the URLs in the message, but for cleanliness on here, I hyperlinked them) Continue reading

United We Stand?

So many times, we christians are our own worst enemy. We judge, argue, call names, ostracize, alienate, and belittle others, over little things in the name of Jesus. But that is so wrong. Continue reading

Your Heart: Good or Bad?

“There is a widespread belief among Christians today that the heart is desperately wicked – even after a person comes to Christ.
It is a crippling belief.
And it is untrue” ~John Eldredge

I recently just finished “Waking The Dead’ by John Eldredge, and let me say, I loved it!

In this book, John talks about how most of Christianity teaches about the heart. We teach that the heart is evil, something to guard, to lock in a cell and never let out or it will destroy you. But that is so incredibly wrong!

Your story does not begin with sin. It begins with a glory bestowed upon you by God. It does not start in Genesis 3; it starts in Genesis 1. ~ John Eldredge

The very idea of what Christ came to do was to bring freedom to us, to restore us to the life God had originally intended for us. A life of glory, not shame. A life with a good, pure heart, not one with an evil, oppressive heart. Continue reading

God Doesn’t Want To Answer Your Prayers

I believe that sometimes, God doesn’t want to answer your prayers. (and when I say “answer” I mean give us what we ask for)

That’s a bold statement, I get that, but just bear with me, I think by the end you’ll see what I mean by this…

We spend so much time asking God for things. We ask him for money, for miracles, for friends, for family, and everything else we can think of. And many times, these things are good things, healthy things, things that he should answer for us.

But sometimes he doesn’t want to answer. Even the good ones.

Why? Continue reading

Garnering Wisdom

“Sell everything and buy Wisdom! Forage for Understanding!” ~ Proverbs 4:5 (The Message)

Have you ever really thought about wisdom? It’s not something you can learn, it’s something you earn. You can’t buy it, it’s something that’s given by God.

Recently, I have begun to ask for wisdom. And he has been answering. Honestly, it’s scary. Because God doesn’t just hand you something, instead when you ask for something like wisdom or patience, He gives you opportunities to practice and develop it. Which means that I’m being thrusted into places where I have to use wisdom….

I never thought that getting what I asked for would be so scary…. Continue reading

About The Author – My Method

If you haven’t read my other posts, you can find them here. The order is IntroductionMy Passion & My Calling. Please read these if you haven’t yet…

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Now, I want to talk about my method, how I live out my calling and my passion. This is probably the most misunderstood part of me, the part that is hardest for people who don’t know me well to understand. Which means it will be the longest post too…

If I could sum up my method in one word it would be this:

Relationships.  Continue reading

About The Author – My Calling

Last week I talked about my passion, and today  I want to talk about my calling…

If you read the previous post, then most of this shouldn’t really shock you.

My passion is to mentor youth. To help grow, shape, and mold them in the men that God wants them to be. (Side note, I say men and not women because as a single guy in his mid-low 20’s, it would be extremely inappropriate for me to mentor young women)

I love to travel. (This may seem like a bunny trail, but I promise, it’ll all make sense, just keep reading.) Continue reading

About The Author – Introduction

Questions.

If you spend more than 5 minutes around me, you probably have a ton of them about me, because I’m a very unusual person & I do/say some very odd things… First of all, I take this as a compliment, I mean, normal people are boring, and who wants to be around a boring person?

But that leads to a lot of questions about a lot of things… Continue reading

Such A Time As This

He’s calling
Wake up child, It’s your turn to shine
You were born for such a time as this.
~ “The Anthem” by Jake Hamilton

Yesterday morning I took a friend to work, and as we were talking on the drive in, he said to me “Joel, I feel like this year is going to be a defining year for me.”

I have been feeling the same way as I have been thinking about this year. I feel like this is going to be a year where God defines and grows so many things in me. It’s awesome, it’s scary. Continue reading