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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25 Years of Wisdom…

Well, today is my birthday. The big 25. A quarter of a century…

Now that I’ve been alive for 25 years, I guess I’ve learned a bit of wisdom I’d like to pass on…

If I could go back in time and tell myself something, I’d probably tell myself like to learn to like exercising and being active while young… But other than that, probably nothing else.

Why? Continue reading

Holidays are here :)

I love Christmas. For so many reasons. Presents are nice, but honestly, “gifts” is not one of my love languages.

What I love about Christmas is how everyone seems to be willing to help others during this time of year. People go out of their way to do an act of kindness. To me, that is beautiful.

But why only during this time of year? Amidst the story of Christ’s birth, we need to remember the reason He came, and the life he lived here on earth. A life of generosity, a life of love, a life of compassion.

So maybe this New Years, maybe we should set our New Years Resolution/Revolution to be more like Christ in our actions throughout the year…

 

Lost and Alone

It’s been a bit of an interesting night. I started watching “The Gods Aren’t Angry” by Rob Bell (affiliate link). I was supposed to be writing this blog post, but I was enthralled by the video. When I write, I generally close out all social media, turn off the TV, and put on some music. But tonight, I don’t know why, but I didn’t.

And I thank God I didn’t. Continue reading

Faith

In our world, especially the Christian world, we throw around this term “faith” a lot. You see it everywhere. Phrases like “just have faith”, “put your faith in Jesus”, or “it’s a matter of faith”…

But what is faith? Continue reading

Deeper

Well, since this is my last blog post before Sunday, I want to fill you all in on a thing I am helping to launch called Deeper.

Have you been going to church for a while, maybe made some steps towards Christ, either getting to know him, or trying to know Him more, but just felt like something was missing? Felt like it was to shallow? Felt like you wanted to go deeper? Continue reading

God Speaks Through Shuffle

Today’s post is going to be short, since I don’t know that I have a whole lot to say on the subject…

Have you ever found yourself driving in your car, listening to your iPod while it is on shuffle and the perfect song for whatever you are going through comes on? Continue reading

Your Soul is Your Own

“A king may move a man, a father may claim a son, but that man can also move himself, and only then does that man truly begin his own game. Remember that howsoever you are played or by whom, your soul is in your keeping alone, even though those who presume to play you be kings or men of power. When you stand before God, you cannot say, “But I was told by others to do thus,” or that virtue was not convenient at the time. This will not suffice. Remember that.” ~ King Baldwin IV, “Kingdom of Heaven”

There is so much good stuff to unpack in this quote, but I’m going to pull out probably the two biggest to talk about. Continue reading

Strength and Honor

Strength and Honor

Anyone who has seen Gladiator knows this phrase pretty well.

Be strong, have honor. There was a day when people actually thought about such things, when people were moved by such concepts. Today, it’s a line from a movie. We hardly think twice about what it actually means.

What does it mean for us to have strength? Does it mean physical strength? Not specifically. It means you must have strength of the heart and soul and mind. Strength of your convictions & your beliefs. It means you work to grow, to get “stronger” at something. You never stop growing,  you never stop “working out”. It means you might be able to heft large rocks, but you shouldn’t bash people in the head with said rocks for cheap entertainment… No matter how much they may deserve it and how gratifying it might feel…

To be honorable is to respect yourself and others. To do what right for overtone. Honorable men (and women) are selfless, they stand up for the little guy. Honorable men treat everyone with respect. Not just those who we feel deserve it, or those who are easy to respect.

Everyone.

True honor also has integrity. When you say you are going to do something, you do it. If you do something, you do it to the best of your ability. You are honest, caring, and accept responsibility for your actions.

What would the world look like if we all (men and women) started living our lives with strength and honor? I think the world would be a much better place to live.

What about you? What does living with strength and honor mean to you? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Ruined by Majesty

I’m falling at Your feet
Ruined by Your majesty

~ “Falling At Your Feet” by Among Thorns

This song is one I used to listen to all the time and have recently “rediscovered”, in fact, I blogged about it very early on, it was one of my first posts. But today, I want to revisit it.

This idea of being “Ruined by Your majesty”. What does that mean? And why does this fill us with such joy? Why does this make us want to press into God more? Continue reading