Trading religion in for Truth


I like the idea of grand, exciting adventures. I like thrills, adrenaline, spontaneity and facing down fear with sweaty palms.

But really, it’s the “common” things that creep closest to my heart. Tucking in a dear nephew. Walking back to my house after a run as the sun begins to stretch its arms. Quietness. A book lulling me to sleep. Making my mom a cup of coffee. Driving in the car with my Dad. Long walks and deep talks with an old friend when we have no place to be. The peace that honest prayer brings when I push everything off my plate and onto His.

I like it when there isn’t anything to entertain or distract me—no texts, no ringing or beeping, no media or screens, no urgency. I’ve found most people call that “boredom” these days. It’s not. It’s reality waiting to be embraced.

Life isn’t always best lived in busyness. A great life isn’t defined by a hectic schedule. It’s not all about cramming the future full of things you vaguely hope will vastly enrich your life.

I’ve found that it’s my daily life that has true value—it’s now, it’s here, it’s happening. I’m not against setting and working towards future goals—I’m against believing my life isn’t enjoyable or meaningful until my goals are met. I know it’s okay to be where I am right now—it’s where He is. And He will surely take me to the next place at the right time. So I tell myself to stop rushing. Stop freaking out. Stop abusing the beauty and power of today.


Why I Write.


For me, writing has always largely been just the exhalation of restless thoughts. Ideas that refuse to be quieted and sparks that I dare not lose and strings of sentences that simply must exist outside of my own head. Writing is just what I do late at night when I really should be sleeping and every stroke of my fingertips against the keyboard feels like something I’m stealing. And it always feels like the most beautiful of things because it belongs to me. No one can take it. I can pick it up and put it down whenever I please and it demands nothing of me. And while my natural inclination is often towards low self-esteem, I always think I can kind of do the writing-thing. I certainly know that I make a million amateur mistakes but perhaps the world needs a lot less “professional” and a lot more “original.” They say no one is truly original anymore but I disagree. If we’re all merely hodgepodges of all our influences then no one person can ever be replicated since we’ve all been inspired and provoked in a billion different ways. We all have a sort of eclectic originality, tainted and shaped and grown by various sources.

So I write.

I forget to blog.

But I write purely out of desire, perhaps even out of need. Ernest Hemingway famously said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” I find that true. Sometimes I sit down and just bleed. But mostly, I sit down and just breathe and exhale every word and thought inside of me.


The Truth About Your Job.

1. Your job is not Jesus. Stop worshipping your work. When you die or quit or get fired, they will replace you. The business will go on. Sooner or later, your legacy will be forgotten or at least seldom recalled. Other people will be hired, trained and promoted and they will perform better than you at some point and will set the new standard/record. Or what if your company goes under, then where is the return for all of your soul invested?

2. Your job is not your reason for existing. I cringe every time I hear someone say “I was born to do this job” and actually mean it. While a specific job may be part of the overall plan for your life, it is not the main point of your life. God is; knowing Him, glorifying Him and enjoying Him.

2. Your job is not your life. You don’t exist to solely be a money-generating, quota-meeting, bill paying machine. Your journey in life is not limited to the cookie-cutter path: go to school for 12 years, graduate from college, embark upon a career, pay debts, pay taxes and then retire.

3. Your job does not equate your worth as a human being. There isn’t an invisible job hierarchy determining your importance as a person. Working at Nasa doesn’t make you more valuable to God than someone working at McDonald’s.

4. Your job does not define you. While your job says something about the kinds of things you do most days, that’s all it says. You are not what you do to make money.

5. Your job is still not Jesus. While there may be some rewarding and satisfying aspects of your job, it will never fulfill you. Not even your dream job will fulfill you entirely. Why? Because your job doesn’t know what you need. Your job can’t reach inside your soul and heal you. Your job can’t revive you when you’re thirsty. Your job can’t eradicate the hurt of your past. Your job will not free you from sin and self. Stop looking to your job, or some hope of a future job, for fulfillment. Only Jesus gives that.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t strive to be excellent in our work. Followers of Christ should be the hardest working, most trustworthy and reliable employees (we work as unto the Lord and for His glory, right?) but what I am saying is that I wish we would be freed from the lie that what we do to make money is who we are. It’s not. Money, and being enslaved to a biweekly paycheck, and our obsession with “getting more money”, (and I’m aware this is a very counter-cultural statement) is not the most important thing in life. It’s not even in the top ten most important things in life. I’m not bashing the want to have comfort or security and the obvious need to survive, especially if you’re raising a family. And I’m not saying you don’t need money. Of course you do. But you don’t need money in the same way that you need Jesus and love and freedom and truth.

And I just wish we wouldn’t size people up based upon their jobs. I wish no one felt embarrassed by or ashamed of where they work. I wish we didn’t feel like failures for not having better jobs. And I wish that we didn’t cling to our titles and positions in order to feel good about ourselves. And I just wish we revolved more around Jesus instead of money. And I wish the insistent question, “Where am I gonna work? Where am I gonna work? Where am I gonna work?” would stop driving every single decision.

That’s all.

You’re gonna have to choose Him.

Some choices don’t matter, like deciding between my gray sweater or my black one.

Some choices are easy, a salad for lunch or a cheeseburger?

Other choices are more difficult, like picking between colleges.

“Life is full of choices.”
Who said that?
Who cares.
It’s true.

And just like everything else, you’re gonna have to choose God.

In your heart, in your thoughts, in situations as they arise, in your life. You get to pick. You have lots of other options. And you should be very selective. “Count the costs.”

And you’ll find that He outweighs them all.

And He’s waiting for you to choose Him.

He’s already chosen you. Before creation, before dinosaurs and the dawn of time, before the foundations of the world. He saw you. He knew you. He chose to love you.

But you have to continuously choose to love Him back.


We are not God’s customers.

We are not God’s customers. He doesn’t exist solely to please us. He’s not marketing blessings, advertising supernatural power over the devil or throwing in a free “New Plan For Your Life” as a bonus when you sign up for salvation. He’s not there to offer us quality products and awesome service all the time lest we complain and start going somewhere else. He’s not sitting around Heaven bored hoping someone will toss Him a prayer.

God is. He was. He will always be. And the truth is, God doesn’t need us. We exist for Him, not vice versa. Everyone could “quit” Christianity, stop going to Church, throw away all the Bibles on the planet and it wouldn’t change a thing. Jesus will still come back. He’ll still rule. He’ll keep reigning. And all of us are going to bow. Regardless of our opinions or preferences. Every person is going to behold Him, everyone will see His authority on display, and everyone will bow down. It’s not going to be an option like picking between Burger King or Taco Bell for lunch. You don’t get a choice. That’s just the reality of God being God and us not being gods.

God is not in the business of waiting on us hand and foot so He can still be the most popular God—God’s not even in business at all. He just is.

It’s that simple: God. Is.

(and we are not.)

God’s not hiding.

Sometimes death is a sneaky thing. It snatches us from behind, like a sudden car crash. You blink, your brakes screech, and you’re gone. Other times, death pulls slowly. Like a long, drawn-out disease that takes its time sucking you dry.

And on any day at all we may become, without reason, acutely aware of the fact that every single breath is pushing us closer to the cliff that is death. That each moment is one more lost from a clock already counting down.

And the very real realization of ourselves and our certain impending death will likely call some things into question. What is life after all? The great, “why am I here?” will be posed. What’s the point in this spinning planet filled with spinning people all pretending to be normal? Why am I aware of the fact that I exist and yet do not understand my own existence? Why don’t people know what happens after we die? Many a “why” will creep upon our hearts and weigh them down for days and days, refusing to be lifted up, until we are forced to confront them.

And surely this is a method God uses to draw people to Himself. It feels rather like the subtle shaking from sleep. I know because He used it on me…and it worked. I started looking. I had to. And there He was. Sort of like the loving dad playing hide-and-seek with his five year old child. And the dad is obviously crouching behind the glass coffee table, “hiding” in plain sight. And even that is a poor example because really, God’s not hiding at all. We just still have our hands over our eyes, trying to count to one hundred. I guess I mean that He makes Himself easily found once you are willing to start searching.

On Anger

Sometimes, I think anger is like a tornado. You know when it’s building. Sometimes you see it chasing you down in the rearview mirror. And sometimes you can outrun it…but other times anger becomes a bird of prey. And you’re just a mouse scurrying across the plain as it swoops silently outta the sky, snatches you up and carries you far, far away…

Other times, anger is more of a beast. Wild, thrashing, clawing, mouth foaming. You can go from spiritual to savage instantaneously upon attack. How to cage, let alone tame, such a thing? It’s as if a volcanic eruption and a nuclear explosion collide in your head and the radioactive lava pours down your spine, seeps into your shoes, and spills right out of your mouth in poisonous words. Words that maim other people. Words that slice and burn. Words that eventually stack up on top of each other in the air forming a wall between you and the people you never meant to hurt.

[I was reflecting on anger a while back and never really finished the thoughts. These are sketchy but, hey, I wanted to post! I may continue to tweak or expand upon these. Someone else should pick another emotion to write on, if they want to! Could be fun…we could cover the entire spectrum of human emotion!]

The Opportunity of Adversity

I loved this blog!!! It’s both insightful and encouraging. :)

Ben's Blog

I have been reading Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick. Today I read, “Every time God presents a significant opportunity, it’s formed in the crucible of crisis….To my way of thinking, adversity gets in the way of opportunity. But God doesn’t think like I think…instead of taking away our adversity, he develops our faith and demonstrates his strength by working through our adversity.”

Then I started thinking, “I don’t have a lot of adversity.” Not really, compared to so many others I know or have heard or read about. No developmentally challenged children, no cancer, no bankruptcy, no divorce. I have my adversity. Some may look at me and think, “Poor him.” Sometimes I do that. But relatively speaking, I’m doing pretty well, thank God.

And I don’t want adversity. I do a lot of stuff to avoid adversity. I exercise. I work. I try to maintain friendships. So, is there…

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Looking Further


People are beautiful. That’s important.

In a culture where physical appearance is massively overvalued, we forget that everyone is an individually thought-out product of God’s creativity. And there’s nothing “insignificant” or “ordinary” where God’s hand is involved. He makes everything magnificent and brilliant because it bears His name. We bear His name. His brand.

You’re not “just okay” or “alright” or “not really attractive but sort of beautiful in your own way.” No, you are exceptional. You’re great. And you’re so much more than how you look compared to everyone else. You are the careful work of a loving Father and you’re endlessly fascinating in every way.


The Need

I’m always confused when people describe me as “passionate” or “deep” or “devoted to my faith.”

I would never use those words to describe me.

Because really I’m just someone who has found through my own personal experience, over and over again, that everything in the world disappoints except for Jesus.

I continue to discover this.

That a world without Him, a life lived not to adore Him, is terribly disappointing.

Jesus is everything. He is every thing.

And I’ve found Him to be loyal and reliable. I’ve found Him tender and compassionate. I know Him to be all that He claims to be.

And I’ve known the world, and myself, to unfailingly fail me.

So I run to Jesus. Literally. Daily. I’m acutely aware of my tremendous need of Him. He’s all I have to stand on…and all that’s still there to fall back upon.

I know it’s safe to trust Him.

My whole life, every circumstance, simply serves as one great reminder, an infallible proof, that Jesus is real. He’s God. And He’s close.

And that alone continues to be more than enough.