Thursday, January 31, 2013

Why I Almost Didn't Believe in God

First of all I want to warn you that if you don’t want to be faced with some very difficult ideas (and some “language”) then this post and the ones to follow are not ones that you want to read. This post is very long as well…so don’t start reading till you have 15-20 minutes to devote to it should you decide to continue.

Also, this is going to be a parent post for a series of posts to come. The bulk of this entry will be my story over the last several months which will lay the groundwork for why I have the views I now have. Incorporated into that will be hints toward some of the major "flaws" I see in Christianity which I will address in separate posts at a later time.

That being said please do not take this post or the ones to come as me saying that I am better than anyone else because I have realized these things. I am still a sinner. I still do many of the things I am going to attack in these posts. I am “preaching” to myself as much as anyone else.

Also, I want everyone to know (including you mom and dad, if you read this) that I do love both of my parents with all my heart, despite their failures and mistakes. No one is perfect, least of all them, and I don’t expect perfection from them. The things that they did were because they loved us and wanted what they thought was best for us.

So, my story. As many of you (if not all) that read my posts know, I grew up in a conservative Christian home where the Bible was held in high esteem, as it still is. I went to a church (beginning in 5th grade) that taught sound biblical doctrine and grew up under the influence of leaders who really and truly cared about me and where I stood spiritually. I had three adult men who met with me regularly to disciple me and a mother figure who loved me unconditionally, and that is saying a lot, because I certainly didn’t deserve it most of the time (you all know who you are J). However, during the early years of my life, up into my early teens, my parents (who I love dearly) were borderline legalistic. Everything was either black or white. You didn’t drink because it was bad. You didn’t smoke because it was bad. You didn’t listen to music with electric guitars or drums because it was just noise and there was no way you could actually worship to it; that combined with the fact that my parents just didn’t like that kind of music. My parent’s tastes were to be my tastes just because that’s what they said. Now, I don’t think any of those things were every directly spoken to me (besides the music part), but the way I was raised and the implications that were made caused that line of thinking in me. I remember the night that I would say the Lord truly saved me. I had made some huge mistakes (or so they seemed to a 16 year old) and I couldn’t sleep that night. I stayed up for most of the night repenting of those sins to the Lord and asking him to forgive me and make me his child. After hours of that I sat down at my computer and began writing 5 or 6 emails to people whom I had wronged asking their forgiveness in the situation as well. I determined in my heart to live a better life from that moment forward. Needless to say, that earthly, man-centered focus dwindled rapidly.

I breezed through my high school years like I was the only one in the world that mattered; everyone else was just here to serve me. I wouldn’t say I was popular, but people certainly knew who I was. I was front and center for years whether it was leading worship on Sunday and Wednesday nights, performing songs I had written during spiritual retreats, taking charge of renovation projects on mission trips because “I knew what I was doing and no one else did,” or just being that guy that is super loud all the time. I was in it for what I could get out of it. It was all about me and getting mine. The end of junior year rolls around and I start dating for the first time. Looking back now, I am amazed that I managed to have a good healthy relationship for almost 2 years with a woman who was so far out of my league it is mind boggling. I was SO self obsessed and falsely self actualizing. Even in all of this though, I held fast to my uptight, legalistic, judgmental “Christian” beliefs and values. I never drank, smoked, did drugs, cussed, had sex, or any of those worldly awful things that sinners who were on the fast track to hell did.

Then came college. My first two semesters I was a good kid and I still held fast to my beliefs, values and convictions. I didn’t touch alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. They were of the devil remember? I went to church every Sunday and even went to a Christian Conference in the spring. The following summer I worked at a Christian summer camp for kids just as I had done the previous 3 summers. Starting in the fall of my sophomore year I began to have a drink every now and then. Nothing much, just a little rum in my Dr. Pepper or the occasional beer. I didn’t get drunk or even tipsy; that is, until the night of my last final at the end of the semester. That afternoon I bought about four liters of assorted alcoholic beverages from a buddy and we partied that night. I drank a glass of wine, a beer, a mix drink containing 4 shots of Bacardi raspberry rum and then starting taking straight shots. I had 9 shots of Crown royal whiskey, 2 of UV Blue Raspberry vodka, 3 of Bacardi Puerto Rican rum and 2 of Jack Daniels whiskey. All this took place in the span of about 3 hours, and I was smoking hooka the entire time as well. I. HAVE. NEVER. BEEN. SICKER. I threw up for 10 minutes straight that night and then fell asleep and slept most of the next day. After recovering from my first binge drinking experience I swore off liquor and didn’t touch it for the next 2 months.

A key point that I need to at least very briefly touch on before I continue (and this is not to make an excuse for my actions) is that during this time, my parents had just split up. My mom left with the kids and moved to Louisiana with her parents and their divorce was in progress. It was not until a few weeks ago that it was finalized, so the entirety of 2012, I was dealing with all of the shit that hit the fan between me and each of my parents because of that. As well as the internal struggle I was going through of how you could be these parents that have always preached the gospel to me yet here you are treating each other in the vilest of manners and ending a union before God that you swore was for the course of your earthly lives.

After that I allowed myself to have a small drink every now and then but NEVER would I get drunk again. Right. That didn’t last long. For the rest of that semester, I and a small group of friends would drink every single Monday night and get completely wasted. I drank some form of alcohol every single day and would get drunk at least twice a week. I started missing church and I honestly didn’t care. I had become completely apathetic about Christianity and my beliefs. I didn’t know if I believed in the God that the bible described or if there even was a god. I thought about what the bible taught and decided it was completely ridiculous…I mean, seriously. There is this all powerful, all knowing being out there who lives in another dimension and when I die I will go be with him if I have lived a good life and followed him? What does that even mean? Or better yet, who cares?! All I cared about was getting to the weekend, finding the next party, drinking, or messing around with whatever girl I could find.

Of course, the majority of my friends were from my Christian circle, so these thoughts and attitudes were not completely worn on my sleeve. I still walked the walk sometimes and talked the talk just to keep in their good graces. But that is where my heart was at. Then there was one Sunday morning that I actually went to church and everything began to change. That morning there was an informational meeting after the service for a summer program called Vintage. It sounded really fun. We would be living together at the church, a bunch of guys and girls, some I knew and some I didn’t, going on small group retreats, retreats with the whole group, a trip to Toronto, Canada…it could be worth looking into. Looking back now, I have no idea what made me want to live in biblical community with a bunch of people and commit my whole summer to studying and growing closer to the Lord, but I did, and it was such an amazing summer. I formed relationships with both guys and girls on a deeper level than I had ever had before. I opened myself up to them and let them see my struggles in life as well as within myself. I connected with the Lord like never before and I launched myself into the new semester with a ferocity and passion I didn’t know I could possess.

Good story right? Yay! After a long road of straying from the Lord, I have finally reconnected, I know the truth and I am living a pleasing life in his eyes! I wish I could say that that is how last semester went, but sadly it isn’t. Just like the Israelites, I was very quick to forget the grace and truth that had been shown me.

I spent the majority of last semester in solitude, shutting almost all of the people that I cared about out of my life. I wrestled daily with issues like the so called truth found in scripture, if God was real, what religion had it right if any of them, or did they all lead the same place as long as you were devoted? What is the soul or is there even such a thing? How can Christianity be the one true way when all I see in the people who follow that way is outright hypocrisy, judgmentalism and hatred? If that is what a Christian is like, then I do not what to be one. It all seemed so complicated and I was tired of trying to figure it out. I was torn between what I was seeing, and the personal experiences I had encountered. In my heart, I knew God was real, I knew He loved me and I wanted to live accordingly, but it just didn’t all add up. And then one day, it clicked. It was so simple! How did I spend an entire semester battling this?! GOD WASN’T THE PROBLEM!!! WE ARE!! You, and me, and him, and her, and mom, and dad, and my pastor, and the guy I sit next to in class…IT’S US!

Ok so get this, because this was my break through. God gave us his word, described in that very word as a sword. He gave us this sword to defend our selves with, and what do we do with it? We go around lopping off the heads of any who dare say we have it wrong. We use it to try to control, we bend and break that sword to make it what WE want it to be, not what He intended it to be. You see, God’s word, His truth isn’t the problem; it is how we bend and stretch it to fit what we want it to mean that is causing all the problems. So I bend it this way and you bend it that way and suddenly, my version disagrees with yours, and now we have something to argue and hate each other over. We see it all the time, whole churches split because of stupid inconsequential things like music or some little, irrelevant to salvation part of doctrine. Not to mention the 59 ½ different denominations or the denominations within denominations like the First, Second, Third, Fourth and 42nd Baptist Church…what is wrong with us?! Not to mention the blatant hypocrisy that so many of us live in. The fact that a guy can call himself a follower of Christ, be so against alcohol in any form, hate it, despise it, look down on those who partake in it and very nearly wish it didn’t exist, and then turn around and have sex with his girlfriend every single day…it blows my mind. When did we start picking and choosing which parts of the bible are true or not? Where in the bible does it say alcohol is of the devil? I am pretty sure it talks about drinking a lot in the bible…Jesus turned water into wine, right? And GOOD wine at that! And where in the bible does it talk about sexual immorality? Oh right, EVERYWHERE! (Again, I want to clarify that I do not think that I am perfect, far from it; I screw up more than anyone I know.) Just don’t get on your soapbox about any one “moral issue” if you are going to turn around and so blatantly disregard those morals in another area.

So where am I at now…? I am definitely a Christian, I know that much. But I see things in a very different light these days. I will write a more detail post on that next time.

Ok so at this point I am going to conclude this post because it has become WAY to long. The next few posts will be in the vein of things I see in Christianity that don’t make sense to me. How or why we choose to act the way we act or attack the things we attack. I don’t really have my thoughts together on all of it yet, but once I do, you will be the first to know.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Responsibility. This is something I am majorly learning about right now. This encapsulates many different aspects of my life, very nearly all of them.

Ever since I moved out of the house 2 1/2 years ago I have been virtually completely financially independent. The Lord provided financial blessing on me in the form of my grandfather for a little while freshman year, which I was very thankful for. It was never something I took for granted so I forced myself not to rely on it. So before I go any further, if you read this Poppa, thank you for that. :) Other than that however, I have supported myself 100% since I moved out. That is, until now. In the past 6 months or so, I have relied heavily on my parents, which is not a bad thing or something to be ashamed of, but for me it is not right. One, because I am better than that and two because I shouldn't need to. Here is what I mean by that. I don't mean I am better than that in a prideful way. I mean it in that, I have supported myself in the past, and I have the ability to do so, so I need to continue.  Lately I have been very irresponsible with my money management. And not even in big ways. I don't go out buying myself random crap that I don't need. But it is the little things that hurt the most because you think you can get away with it, and then a month later, you don't know where your money went.

Also with academics. School is kicking my butt this semester. I keep up with my studies but I procrastinate way to much. If I would do school first and then reward myself with doing the things I want to do, my life would be so much easier and less stressful! And wasting time. Goodness I waste so much time. The most valuable asset/currency humans posses, and I spend it doing worthless things. I need to spend more time in the Word, journaling, playing my guitar, spending time investing in my friends or working out instead of watching worthless TV shows or sleeping.

Health. I have got to be more responsible with my health. That means stop eating out so much and cook for myself more. That was one of my biggest reasons for wanting an apartment this year and I have barely utilized it! Tonight was good, I made a delicious salad and cooked some fish and potatoes for myself and Logan.
My salad (on the right) had mixed greens, half a granny smith apple, walnuts, pistachios, feta cheese and a pineapple balsamic vinaigrette. So delicious! I baked some tilapia with a little butter, salt, pepper and lemon pepper and finished it off with some lemon juice after it baked. The potatoes were by far the most unhealthy thing. I pan cooked them in quite a bit of butter, a little seasoning salt, and cayenne pepper. Then ate them with a dollop of sour cream. It all took about 30 minutes or so. Super easy dinner, fairly inexpensive and while it may not be the most healthy think out there, it was much better for me than pizza or some type of fast food. That also means that I need to start working out at least a few times a week again and majorly cut back or stop smoking all together.

Responsibility in my relationships with both my friends and with the Lord is a huge issue right now. I tend to blame it on school and life, which are two valid reasons that I am slack in this area, but there is more I could do to maintain my relationships right now, I just choose not to and that is wrong. I am gonna name drop again...I am so thankful every time I am blessed to talk to Kaitlin Patton. She is constantly an encouragement to me to make time for the Lord and make sure that I at the very least maintain that relationship, it is the most important one after all! I cannot thank you enough Kaitlin for every word you say to me. The thought of you not being a regular part of my life come December makes me very sad.

I don't want to end on a sad note, so here is some positive things in my life right now. This will be a mixture of praise/prayer requests:

1) The Lord is faithful even when we are unfaithful. It looks very strongly like I have a buyer for my motorcycle, which will help me tremendously financially right now! Pray it goes through!

2) I am beginning to find a little clarity in life as I examine who I am right now and what my purpose/goals are while I am in school. That involves a lot of journaling and introspection on my part as well as seeking to reconnect with the Lord.

3) Life is what you make it, and right now I am doing my darnest to be responsible but make it enjoyable. It is starting to work. :)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

New Old Job

So I have begun a new job, or rather, returned to an old one. I am working up on Jenkins mountain in Morrilton at Ozark Conference Center again. I am hosting retreats one weekends occasionally, but the bulk of my work involves maintenance. 325 acres takes a lot of work to keep beautiful and everything running smoothly. I do a LOT of mowing on our ZTR mowers and more weed eating than I care to think about. But then there are days when I get to do things like cut trees down, cut them up and split it all, or clear out a 2 year overgrown flowerbed, replant flowers and mulch it. Or sometimes fix little things like a broken faucet or change a deadbolt. I know what you are thinking; that is hard physical labor, why are you talking about it like it is fun? Well, because I love doing it. I don't know why, but I have always loved working with my hands, especially when it is hard stuff that most people don't or can't do themselves. It is the feeling of being self sufficient and knowing that one day when I need to do these types of things on my own property, I will be able to. Plus, that feeling you have at the end of a long day of work where you are completely and utterly exhausted from your labors, I love that feeling.

Aside from all that, it provides me an opportunity to escape. I get up to go to work at 5:30am. I am on the road by 6 and have started whatever project I am working on by 6:30. I get to see the sunrise which is something I haven't seen in a long time up until the past few weeks.

 I often work for 7-8 hours straight without stopping and without seeing another soul. It gives me time to be alone with my thoughts and the Lord and mull things over. And believe me, I have a lot to mull over these days. There are also times that I get to work along side Mike Brown. Now let me tell you a little about Mike. Mike is one of the most amazing men I have ever met. He is a loving husband, and loving father of his three girls. He is generous with both his time and money and loves to love people. The man works harder than anyone I have ever met, but he also knows how to relax and have a good time. He has a wonderful relationship with the Lord and seeing him encourages me to further pursue and deepen my own. And goodness gracious, literally every day I spend working with him I learn something new, whether it be how to read a log to know which way to best split it, or how to keep a chainsaw in proper working order, or how to lay wood flooring so the light doesn't make the grain pop, you name it, he knows it, and he teaches it to me. I have more respect for him than anyone else I know.

I also get to run the Zip Line whenever we have a group there that wants to do it. That is always fun because I get to be on top and that is by far the best position to run. :)

Monday, September 24, 2012


Ok guys, so it has been quite a long time since I last blogged, and a LOT has happened, so I might end up rambling. You actually might want to go ahead and brew yourself a pot of coffee or tea or something, because if you plan on reading this whole post, you are gonna need it. Here goes.

People have come and gone in my life in the past 5 months, some by my own choosing, others because that's how life works, and others are still here but the dynamic of our relationships have changed, some for good and some for bad. I have gained and lost love a few times, made new friends, reconnected with old friends and even sweeter, I have seen the Lord mend friendships in my life that only a few short months ago I would have been fine with never seeing those people again. I have grown a lot in ways, yet at the same time I have even more questions now than I did 5 months ago. Let's start this story with the God chapter.

What can I say besides I really don't understand what it is that He is doing in my life right now. From January to June I was very much so a bitter person who wanted nothing to do with God, Christianity or (most of) my Christian friends. I drank multiple nights a week (during the school year) just because I could. I messed around with more girls in those six months than I have in my whole life and I was in general completely miserable. Well, this summer I participated in a local summer project called Vintage. It was an eight week discipleship program that my church, First Baptist Church of Russellville, has done for the past several years. I hated every spiritual moment of it for the first four weeks. Then God began to get a hold of my heart and remind me what true joy felt like. Why I ever ran from that to begin with, I will never understand. As He was mending my relationship with Him, he mending broken relationships with friends, as well as forming new relationships with a group of guys who impacted my life more than they will ever fully know. There are two relationships in particular that came from this summer that I hold especially dear to my heart. Now, a disclaimer before I name these two people: God used so many people in my life this summer and I will never forget the impact they all had on me, but I would sit at this computer for the next month if I was going to name them all and tell how they impacted me, so for the sake of time, I have selected these two people. TJ Posey and Kaitlin Patton. Now, don't go getting big heads you two. :)

I had never met TJ before this summer, but he very quickly became my closest guy friend and the person I would run to for advice, or just to talk to before anyone else. God used him to help me see many of my faults in the area of pride and control. He helped me as I am going dealing with my parents getting a divorce and how that was affecting me and my siblings. Now mind you, our conversations were not always deep spiritual ones. There was more than one occasion when I talked to him about girls. Haha as silly as that may seem, he was always there to listen to me while I spilled my guts about what was going on and then he would begin to talk as I sat there and listened to wisdom flow forth from him. He was constantly reminding me to take it all to the Lord and surrender the timing of things to Him. He helped remind me that when I am seeking after something vigorously, and not seeking the Lord's guidance in it, He often time doesn't allow me to reach that goal. It is only when I give it all to Him and focus on Him that He brings these things I desire into my life. And sometimes, not even then.

And Kaitlin. Oh dear sweet Kaitlin. We had many good long talks this summer, most of which involved me talking to her about herself. Ironically though, the effect that had, was exposing areas in my own life that I had chosen to suppress or ignore which where having detrimental effects on my feelings of security. It lead me to realize that I put far to much stock into who accepts me and who doesn't. I was living a life based off of what other people thought of me, how they rated or viewed me, all the while claiming that I really didn't care about what people think of me. Those talks convicted me deeply and made me realize that I didn't care if people thought badly of me because I drink and smoke (just as two basic examples), but I did care if people thought badly of me because I worship God and am a follower of Jesus Christ. How messed up is that?! She made me realize that my identity was tied up in how far I could run, or how good I was at ultimate frisbee, or what my body looked like, when instead, all I should care about is my relationship with the Lord. Yes there are other things that we have to think about while living here on this earth, but they should never take center stage like they had in my life.

There is so much more I could say about those two and everyone else from this summer, but I will just leave it at that for the time being. I guess I will go ahead and prematurely close the God chapter of this post. Which actually will never fully close if He is truly the center of my life, but you know what I mean. There is so much more I could directly say here but it is late and there is no way I will be able to put it all in here.

Chapter two I will call the girl chapter. This chapter will have to stay very anonymous for obvious reasons.

Our hearts are so very fickle. We fall in and out of "love" at the drop of a hat. For me, there has been three girls since about April that I have "talked" to. The first, one was someone a friend tried to set me up with. She and I did not hit it off right away, we had to work to have a good friendship which I feel as though we did. After a month or so of talking the attraction began to grow and we started discussing the idea of dating. But after a while we realized that because of life and circumstances, we just weren't meant to be together. It honestly made me very sad because I had really grown to like her and what we had felt good. But, God had other plans. The second girl I have been friends with for a long time and we did in fact date for a short while (real anonymous I know...haha). Things were going good and I honestly love that girl more than anyone in the whole world, but once again, God said no. I tried to come up with a million reasons why we shouldn't be together, and none of them were reason enough for me to end things between us. But there was this feeling that I couldn't shake, this pricking in my soul that could only be the Holy Spirit. We talked about it and she said everything I had been thinking, verbatim. At that point I knew that it was God telling us no, so we ended the romantic side of our relationship. Thankfully, she is still one of my dearest friends and will be for a very long time. The third girl was someone I hadn't know for to terribly long. Things between us began just as friends but we went very deep with each other. I found in her someone I could trust, I could bare my soul to her with no fear of rejection or judgmental-ism. She made me feel more emotionally safe than anyone had in a very long time. From there things progressed to the attraction stage. However, for a number of reasons that will remain private, we decided that we valued each others friendship more than we did a relationship that had the potential to end and destroy that friendship, so we decided to remain platonic friends. And now here I am, single (but looking ;)) and happy. But waiting excitedly for whoever God decides to put in my life next.
As a side note in this chapter: for a lot of christian people, there is this taboo associated with "girl" hopping. It "indicates" a lack of commitment, an unfaithful or unsatisfiable heart, or says that you are just simply out to get what you can and enjoy yourself. I could not disagree with that more. They way I see it is, look for love. You might not find it right away, but how will you ever find it if you aren't looking for it. "Talking" to girls is not a bad thing unless you make it that, or unless you really are just looking to get what you can and move on. That's all.

Third and final chapter for this post. Let's call it the "itch" chapter.

I have this itch. I want to just go, do. I want to see the world. I want to save enough money for a round trip plane ticket to somewhere, put a few hundred in my pocket and then get the hell out of dodge. I want to spend 6 months in Spain, learning the language and walking the Camino de Santiago, 3 months in Italy eating good food and refining my culinary arts. I want to see Lebanon where my ethnic roots are, and New Zealand's majestic mountain ranges. I want to go to Australia long enough to pick up the accent and go to Africa and see a wild lion. I want to go to a third world country and see the poverty.  I want my heart to be broken for the nations, for the little children who don't know when they will get to eat again. I want to make a difference in someones life. I can't change the world, I know that, but I can change at least one persons life, I want that. Yes there are things I want to do like get into the DEA and have a good career, but I have my whole life to do that. I want to spend the next few years DOING before I settle down in this pathetic culture we call America and immerse myself in consumerism. Or maybe I'll leave and just never come back. I don't know yet. All I know right now, is that all these plans I have had for years about what my life is going to look like, I don't want yet. I want to shake things up. I want to be stranded in a different country where I barely know the language, not a dollar to my name with nothing except the clothes on my back, my journal and my guitar and have to work my ass off just to be able to eat that night. How else will I ever be able to really appreciate the things I do have, or the breath I take every 2 seconds? Some people are going to read this and say that I am an arrogant, immature fool. That I am going to end up getting myself killed. Well honestly, I would rather die hungry in Africa, than die sitting on my couch from a clot in my heart while I eat McDonald's and watch How I Met Your Mother.

I know that this whole post was a little scatterbrained, sorry about that. I'll post again soon...hopefully. Haha

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Other Half

There is another half of me. You are out there in this world somewhere, I just need to find you. I am looking, believe me, I am searching diligently. Sometimes I think I have found you but then all of the sudden you are gone and I am forced to realize that it wasn't ever actually you but someone pretending to be you. It seems like a cruel joke at times but that is just life. Anyways, this is the beginning of a little slam poem I wrote the other night as I was thinking about you and what I want you to be like.

This one's for the girl,
For the girl that isn't perfect and doesn't try to be,
For the girl that isn't afraid to go out in public without make-up on,
She'll sing off key in church and won't care
because God says to make a joyful noise which doesn't neccessarily mean a beautiful one.
She isn't always talking about or thinking that she is fat,
but she stays active and fit because it feels good,
This one's for the girl who loves "pillow talk" for hours on end
and won't get mad when it ends in a tickle fight.

And that is as far as I have gotten. More to come...well maybe not soon, but enventually. Haha

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pain Like This, I Have Never Before Known

**Needless to say, this is the internet and for the sake of the parties involved, I won't be telling you the exact situation or who is involved, but I do want and need prayer as I work through this, which is why I am writing in on here.**

My heart is heavy this morning as I ponder my situation. And by heavy I mean screaming in agony over the hurt I have caused my best friend. As the title of my post illustrates, I have literally never felt emotional pain like what I am going through right now. So much so that it makes me nauseous at times.

I am the type of person that can easy break ties with other people if I feel that they are not good for me, or even (sinfully) if I am just tired of them. It isn't hard, it doesn't pain me, it is actually scarily easy for me. But this-dear God, THIS is killing me. Guys, I am not emotional at all. Anyone who reads my posts probably knows me well enough to know that, but I have cried like a little baby over this. I have cried because I want to shoot myself for being such an imbecile, because this is a loss that I don't want to have to live the rest of my life without, and because I have damaged (possible irreparably) the friendship that I hold the most dear in my life. Not just currently in my life, but out of all the friendships I have ever had, I hold this one in the highest regard, and closer to my heart than even I realized. The saying, "You don't know what you have until you lose it" is so true. It kills me and makes me stop and reevaluate my life, to think that I could act in such a way that someone would finally just say, "I done with this." Those words have echoed in my head almost non-stop for the past 12 days. I have spent every single night for the past 12 nights thinking about where I am at and how the hell I got here. And I have my answer. And it is not one that I can easily face, but one I know I must.

Last night I had a dream, a wonderful, glorious, beautiful, hope giving dream. I dreamt of restitution. It was like a breath of air after being trapped underwater for what seems like an eternity. Was it simple and easy, absolutely not, but it was restitution nonetheless.

So to end, please pray for me in a number of ways (even though this post is so super vague):
1) Pray that I will know how to move on from here in a way that conveys humility and repentance in order that I find forgiveness.

2) Also please pray for guidance from the Lord for me as I continue to try search myself and come face to face with where I have been wrong rather than focusing on where I have been wronged. Only by doing that will any progress be made.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ok, so I am gonna lay it all on the table here, because we all make mistakes, we all have hard times, and we will all do things we regret. And while grace is not an excuse to sin, it does cover my sin on a daily basis. So here goes.

First off, this post could be very offensive to some people, but I am purposefully not censoring my thoughts to give you the fullest picture I can of where my heart has been the past several weeks. Bottom line, I need prayer, and lots of it. The first part to fixing a problem is admitting/realizing that you have one. I have come that far at least. Thank you Lord for your unending forgiveness and grace.

The past several weeks I have been very discontented and frankly unhappy with where the Lord has me right now. I am to a point where I am so ready for another relationship, and God just isn't letting it happen. So I instead turn to anything else that that world has to offer me to bring me temporary satisfaction.

Anything but God.

I have been drinking (not in excess, and not to complete drunkenness, but being underage, any is to much), I have been smoking (a lot), I have been flirting with anything that has two legs and a vagina, and I have been cussing like a sailor (around the groups of people that that is "cool" in). I have been super focused on work and making money, and then spending that money on more things to make me "happy", whether it be new tools, climbing gear, outdoors gear in general, more cigars, alcohol, or stuff for my truck. I have not focused enough on school. The list could go on and on, but you get the idea.

So I say all that to say this. Please pray for me. Thankfully the Lord has never let me wander so far away from him that I get to where I can't see him anymore, but I have been pretty distanced from Him lately. And frankly mad that He won't give me what I want, because we all know that I know what I best for me...or that might be a lie I tell myself to ease my conscience...yeah, it is.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Hey world,

Tonight is going to be a super short post, like one thought short, but I need you to know something.

I know that just about all of the time I come across as Mr. Tough Guy and nothin' can touch me. But that is just because I am good at hiding my emotions and feelings. Now I could go into a long psychological story about my childhood and why I am the way that I am (all of which is true) but that is another story for another post.

So here I am. This is me NOT hiding anything. I have feelings too, and you hurting them. You know who you are. I know that I am an infernal ass sometimes, and I am truly sorry. I'm not perfect and never will be. Please forgive me, but then don't shun or reject me...because that isn't forgiveness.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Forgiveness...It Is A Wonderful Thing


What a beautiful word.

It is probably my favorite word out of all the words in all of the languages in the world. Why? Well because without it I would be a dead man. Sure, I would have "fun" for the short time I am here on planet earth, but ultimately I would spend much longer (eternity actually) in absolute agony, separated from God.

At Passion 2012 just a little over a week ago, Louie Giglio talked about forgiveness and who you should forgive. One of the things that he said was that you have to forgive yourself. At first I was thinking that it sounded kind of cliche, but as he kept talking it made perfect sense. I mean, what are we really saying if we don't forgive ourselves for the things we do? Ultimately we might as well spit in Christ's bloody beaten face and say that his sacrifice on the cross was not enough to pay for our sins! Because when we beat ourselves up over our sin and punish ourselves for it, that is exactly what we are doing. Christ has forgiven us if we have come to him and asked for it. And he doesn't forgive us but remember what we did and constantly remind us of how horrible we are for having done that. No. Here is how God forgives.

Hebrews 10:17-18-Then he adds, "I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more." Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no long any offering for sin. (This was quoting Jeremiah 31:34)

Jeremiah 31:31-34-Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

And Paul says this about his mindset which I believe we would all do well to mimic to the best of our abilities:

Philippians 3:12-13-Not that I have already obtained this (becoming like Christ) or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.

We cannot be all out for the Lord if we are being held back by our sins. This is why He offers total and complete forgiveness. We don't have to do ANYTHING to obtain it other than accept it. So what are we waiting for?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Movements of the Holy Spirit

The following story is a real experience that happened to me last night. The Lord has seen fit to place me in the midst of a trial right now and I know He will sustain me, but I would still appreciate your prayers.

"GOD WHERE ARE YOU?! I know you are out there and I know you are real. I have seen your hand work in my life over and over. I have heard of your awesome and mighty miracles. Not just in the bible but in real time. Here, now, in my life, all around me. So then why are you letting this happen? Why have you forsaken me in this time?!" All of this I scream at the sky. On my knees beating the earth desperate to be heard by my maker. Tears streaming from my eyes, voice raw, my heart breaking, soul wrenching. I look out off of the mountain I am on, three crosses behind me, no one else around. I have never cried or prayed this hard before. 

Then it all stops. I open my eyes. I'm sitting on a bus surrounded by people. All of that was happening in my mind but it seemed completely real. The grass beneath my hands and toes, the warm wetness streaming down my cheeks, the taste of blood and salt on my tongue, the anguish of my heart. So I curl up in my seat with a blanket over my head and softly sob, letting it all out and giving it all to the Lord. I have no control over the situation or way of changing it so it is in your hands now Father. I love you.

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