I used to think I had to be a soldier in God’s army.
Now, I realize I’m just a cripple at the gate called Beautiful.
In 1985 Christian glam metal band Stryper, released the first Christian metal album to achieve Gold record status – selling over a half million copies. I remember my older sister anxiously awaiting their first full length album, Soldiers Under Command, that spring of ’85. It was this anthem that catapulted me into lifelong desire to be a fit, strong, and victorious soldier in God’s army: Continue reading
“One-way love” isn’t just a catch phrase. It’s the story of the Bible. It’s the unfolding of God’s remarkable narrative and His unrelenting pursuit of sinners. It’s basking in the rays of His continuous grace that ultimately melts our hearts.
The center of one-way love is the reality of forgiveness; “You’re forgiven!” needs be heard echoing inside all of our bloody, beating hearts.
If I were to be honest, some days I really like myself and I wake up feeling pretty ok. But being equally honest, other days I really can’t believe I’m alive. There are days when the grace of God is the first thing I think about and other days I just want to cover my head in the pillows and shut the world out – thinking I am not worthy to get out of bed.
A while back, I had a fun Twitter exchange with three Christian “celebrities” who have between 15,000 and 153,000 followers on Twitter. One of them wrote that we live in a “wonderful world of Jesus-connections” through social media; it’s true! I began to think about their impact through social media, and also the impact they have in their ministries: top-selling authors, 6000+ congregations, even 400k YouTube subscribers. I only have 313 followers on Twitter and 3 subscribers on YouTube. They have thousands.
All four of us are in ministry in various parts of the country. Can you see where I could begin to compare myself and the impact I have versus the impact they have? Continue reading
I have a pretty basic digital bio: husband, father, friend, pastor, and self proclaimed nerd. But, I often wonder how well I know myself and tend to think that I don’t. Maybe it’s a mid-30’s-life-crisis. Or perhaps it’s a result of living inadvertently under a digital screen where I’m thinking only 140 characters at a time. I don’t know. But one thing I do know is that who I really am is not the tightly worded or perfectly angled person I tend to “display” to the world. If I’m honest, who I think I am–my identity–is usually a victim of the ebbing and flowing, rising and diving, twisting and dodging of the obstacles in my daily path; this makes me usually at war with myself. Who am I really? Most the time I don’t know; who usually wins is the puffed up version of myself: tooting my own horn for others to hear.
I was sitting on the edge of Sunset Cliffs, peering into the vast blue expanse of the Pacific Ocean, when I came to grips that I wasn’t a very good Christian; it was probably the seventeenth time that year. I was a “super-senior” at a Christian college, and had given much of my time to various ministries – lead a couple of them – and I felt lost at that moment. The path I was on was shadowed by sin and regret and uncertainty. I felt alone on that unstable cliff while my eyes gazed at the endless majestic ocean. I thought about quitting.
I thought about going rogue. No one would know.