the gift of receiving

gift of life Quick update. These past few weeks have been quite busy for me, especially at work where we've picked up a few new clients. So I've been racing to finish as much work before I leave for vacation tomorrow. I'm going home to Alabama for a week to visit family and friends. Then last weekend was packed full of excitement, my wife came down with a horrible stomach bug that kept her in bed all day Saturday while I went to my company Christmas party, and then Sunday was our anniversary. So I would apologize for not writing sooner, but I think it's understandable. However, I did want to share something with you that hit me yesterday in a brief moment of inspiration while I was in the bathroom.

I once had a friend tell me the he wanted to be a janitor so he could serve people. At the time I thought that was very Godly of him. But was that really the plan God had for him? Sure it's a nice sentiment to say that we will do the dirtiest job, in the name of God, but is that truly what we are called to do? So often what we hear from the world, from the church, from friends, family, all these external sources, can cloud our better judgement, and ultimately skew the plan God has for us.

I mean what sounds more Christian to you? Setting off to Africa to serve as a missionary for 1 year and preach the name of Jesus, or keep working at my 9-5 job where I (insert your job here). I think God is in both of those decisions, but what "sounds" more Godly? I feel this is what God is trying to teach me right now. He's saying, "look at your life, the life I've given you, the way I've made you, now look at the life you're leading, the decisions on your horizon, which is most like you?" I think we would be surprised at what God has to say about this. I know I've thought about missions before, talked with my wife about it and all, but that wasn't something etched in to the very design of my heart.

But what about when Jesus says "Go into the world and preach the gospel...". I think that was a great order given to his disciples. But is that the same thing He's telling us? The bible is not living, it's just a book with words in it, but the Holy Spirit is alive, and He is the one that speaks to us through scriptures and other means. God's plan is ultimately the same for everyone, but He uses each of us uniquely.

So coming back to my friend who wanted to be a janitor. I think we, as humans, and especially as Christians, get these ideas in our heads of what will make us "good", what will make us "approved", but those things, if done out of pride or selfishness, will only lead us further from the truth. I don't want to speak on behalf of God's plan for my life, or yours, I want to listen and accept the perfect will of God for mine and my families life. Because in doing so, in receiving from God, that is the most valued gift we can have in this life.

a confession

The following contains a story of hope and brutal honesty that is not popular to talk about amongst most Christians.

For as long as I can remember the grip of lust has followed me around like a lost puppy that I just couldn't say no to. Growing up in the "free world" has it's many advantages, free water, free speech, free education to name just a few, but to every coin there are two sides. The flip side of the "free world" is the glamorous, dirty exploitation of a woman's body to help sell a product. You don't have to be a Christian either to see this truth, just flip through the pages of any popular magazine or better yet, take a trip to your local mall. These images plastered on buildings, magazines, websites with seductive women staring back at us exploit the weakness in men's hearts everywhere and weaken our defenses to keep our minds pure.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

Oh boy, this is not going to be easy. But it always gets worse before it gets better.

A few days before my breakthrough I had sent out a text to two of my closest brothers asking for their prayers. This war inside of me had been building a time bomb and I knew if I didn't call for help then all hell was going to break loose inside of me. Well not literally, but my heart was feeling crushed under an incredible weight and my soul was running on fumes. You see, even though I knew I was forgiven for all sin past, present and future my mind still wanted to mess with me and tell me that there's no way I could be forgiven for how many times I've sinned. But that's why God is God, and His love in unconditional and beyond human understanding.


The power I've found in bringing the darkness of my heart to light is out of this world, down right heavenly! The Catholics do have one thing right, confessional. Maybe not in a booth, and maybe not to a person that sits on the other side of a partition, but the simple truth behind confessing our sins can not be argued with.

"Therefore, make it your habit to confess your sins to one another and to pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." James 5:16

My hope is that Christians everywhere would turn their hearts to The Lord and find forgiveness through the power of the Blood of Jesus Christ. That IS the stuff dreams are made of. If you've ever struggled with unforgiveness, the Blood covers that, if you've ever struggled with tormenting temptations, yep the Blood's got it under control, if you've ever struggled with thoughts of suicide, no problem for the Blood of Jesus Christ.

I was born separated from God, grew up living a life filled with doubt, about my salvation, shame, from my addiction to porn, self-righteousness, from never having smoked, drank, or killed anyone (under the assumption that God had a rating scale for sin), and confusion, about how to be a man. But Hallelujah that now I can live a life free from doubt, shame or confusion and be the man that I was always meant to be.