Why I Stopped Blogging And Why I’m Now Back

A lot has happened since my last post back in April of 2019. There were a few reasons why I took a step back from posting my thoughts online for almost a year.

But, I did not stop writing.

I oftentimes would find myself writing multiple pages of material just to exit the page without saving. I can’t tell you how good it felt to write down my thoughts knowing that only God would know and remember them.

So why did I stop posting? Well, I want to be clear, there was no scandal that rocked my world. No moral failure. No deep tragedy that I was dealing with. In fact, quite the opposite.

In May, my son was born. Just typing that sentence out brings water to my eyes.

God is so good.

I cannot express just how good God is and how worthy He is of any and all praise that we can offer. If you know me or have been following my writings for any time you are aware that my wife and I were in the process of adoption for what seemed, to us, forever. If you want to read a few posts on that topic check these out…

But God, in His infinite wisdom, used that time to teach us lessons and to grow us in ways we never would have fathomed. I am incredibly excited to share with you all a few of those lessons and thoughts in the future.

As life-altering as the birth of my son was, it wasn’t the main reason why I stopped posting. Yes, he did play a role, and these last 8 months have been spent trying to figure out how to be the kind of dad that God has called me to be. But it would be unfair to “blame” my absence from the blogging world on the little dude.

The main reason why I stopped blogging for a while was I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t just simply adding to the noise. You see, in today’s world, we are inundated with information, stories, and opinions. It seems like everyone can claim to be an expert about anything, and if they have an internet connection, they can tell the world. Facts go unchecked and mere opinions rule the day.

I didn’t want that to be me.

The whole reason I started this blog in the first place was to help remind us that we can take everyday topics and events and look at them from a biblical perspective. (What’s In A Name) It is from the Christ-centered worldview that we should interpret both the mundane as well as the spectacular things that take place each and every day.

And so I stopped.

I stopped because I was slowly approaching an area that I did not want to walk into. I was slowly walking towards caring about approval from people rather than from God. I was beginning to care more about how many people read my content more than the content itself.

I was beginning to become noise. If not to others, then at least to myself.

I needed to refocus. I needed to ask God to change me. I needed to be sure that I was writing with the right motivations. And I needed to make sure that I wasn’t simply adding to the noise with my own opinions.

But, as I said, I’m back. I am sharing my writing again because after months of evaluation, prayer, and reflection I know that God has put things on my heart to share. My commitment is to make His Name great and to talk about His Word, His heart, and His thoughts.

I look forward to posting about trusting Jesus and the power of prayer. I am excited to have “Sidebars” about traveling, cross-cultural experiences, mission trips, milestones, baby vomit, coffee, and the lifechanging experience of wearing socks with sandals.

Stay tuned.

New Year, Old Words

Today marks the beginning of a new year and a fresh start.

I don’t want to come across as too corny here, but I truly love to take a few moments each New Year’s Day to pause and reflect on the events, memories, feelings, and lessons from the last year.

I have found that writing things down helps me to recall lessons and memories that are important and necessary. In the Old Testament, we can find many examples of God’s people writing things down, setting up memorials, or passing stories along all for the purpose of remembering. Not forgetting is so important because we humans are so bad at remembering.

It is a good thing to remember the lessons that God has taught us, the pain that He has brought us through, and the blessings that He gives.

I have been blogging for a bit over a year now and have found that going back and re-reading my past posts has been incredibly beneficial. I can remember the things that prompted me to write that particular post. I can relive the events that occurred during the week that I wrote. I can relearn the lessons that God has taught and is teaching me.

So, to start the new year I wanted to re-share some of my favorite and most meaningful (to me, and hopefully you as well) blog posts. I truly hope that as you read this you do not see this as self-promotion. Rather, my prayer is that God would use these words to encourage, challenge, and bless.

Why I am doing all of this: What’s In A Name?

Reflecting on the beauty of creation: All Of Creation.

When I need to trust in God and Not myself: Own Worst Enemy

When life is really hard: When You Just “Can’t Even”

When life isn’t always awesome: The Way Life Should Be

Remembering the importance of Fact-Checking: I Ate All the Blueberries

The value of EVERY life: Priceless

Something that gives me goosebumps: Overwhelmed

The importance of “getting back up” again: When You Bump Your Head

Fun Memories, Good Lesson: And Then There Were Monkeys

One of my favorites to write: The Lion, The T-Rex, and The Movie Theater

Better than anything I could ever write myself: The Bible

Happy New Year everyone. Go, make memories, learn lessons, be a blessing, and live for Jesus.

Political Mess

Political Ads. Yuck.

I feel like I could end this blog post right now and I would have already said enough. You all understand exactly what I mean with those first three words, don’t you? The slew of political Ads that we have all been subjected to for the last few weeks on T.V., Social Media, print, etc. have just been plain…yucky.

It seems that the majority of Ads are vehemently bent on personally destroying the character, integrity, and very being of opposing candidates. I don’t need to go into depth here concerning the outrageous lengths that these ads go to in order to tear down opponents in every conceivable way. But frankly, it’s pretty appalling. And I have seen it come from both sides.

Thankfully, today is election day (and you should go vote your conscience, by the way) and that means that the ads will go silent, at least for a while. But even though the ads will go away for a time, that doesn’t mean that the underlying problem will.

Every single human being is made in the image of God. (Genesis 1:26-27) Human beings, both males and females, have inherent value and dignity simply because they are beautifully crafted in the image of the one true God.

What is the problem then? It is that people fail to recognize this Image-Bearer status and fail to treat one another with dignity and respect.

All throughout the Bible, it is clear that God loves all of His creation. But His absolutely most prized creation is mankind. We see time and time again that God cares for people, usually even in the midst of their unbelief and open rebellion. All of God’s love, care, kindness, and grace for mankind, of course, reaches its climax at the cross where Jesus willingly died in the place of all of people.

The Bible also warns and encourages people to treat one another with respect and to humbly think of others before themselves. We are instructed to encourage one another, seek the good of others, and love one another. We are even instructed to love and pray for those who, not just disagree with us, but who are our enemies! (1 Thessalonians 5:11, Hebrews 10:24-25, Ephesians 4:29, Mark 12:30-31, Colossians 3:16, Proverbs 10:12, Leviticus 19:18, Luke 6:27-31, Romans 12:20…and so on…you get the picture.)

James chapter 3 talks about the power that our words have over others. Our words can build up and bless. Our words can also tear down and curse. As Image-Bearers we need to understand the huge responsibility that we have to control our words.
Now, you may be reading this and think, “Sure, I get what you are saying but that person/program/policy is just so stinkin’ bad!”

I hear you. We live in a fallen and broken world. Ever since the events of Genesis chapter 3 mankind has been under the curse of sin and death. The results of The Fall are devastatingly obvious. But the fact is people still bear the Image of God, even if it is a broken and scared version of the original.

We won’t win arguments by shouting louder. We won’t gain friends by being rude. And we certainly won’t win people over to Jesus by abusively insulting others. Speak the truth, but do so in love.

So, go ahead and vote today.

Just remember, the candidate that you did not vote for is, despite everything we have been told to believe, a living breathing person made in the image of God.

Good Pitching, Boring Game

Just a few days ago a group of friends and I went “out to the ballgame.” It was a beautiful night for baseball, 75 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.

As we found our way to our seats my expectations were not very high. You see, I am still dealing with the fact that my favorite team is no longer the better team in the city. Our fan base once had 108 years’ worth of trash talk for the other team…and all that came crashing down just a few years ago. But I try not to be petty.

Instead, I look to the future. The team has fully embraced the concept of a “re-build” as they have traded away stars in order to acquire young prospects. They have told us, the fan base, “we are going to be bad now so that we can be good in the future.” It sounds weird, but I’m on board. After all, this approach did work out well for our Northside frenemies.

Anyway, back to the game. My expectations were low, but I was looking forward to seeing a few of those new young prospects in action, particularly the one who was on the mound.

The starting pitcher for the home team has been absolutely incredible of late, and he has been the talk of many local sports radio talk shows. So, even though my expectations were tempered I was excited.

The game began, and one inning slipped to the next inning routinely and mercilessly uneventful. The pitching was very good, particularly from our new young pitcher who finished 8 innings with a big fat zero earned runs and only gave up 4 hits.

But, aside from the stellar pitching and a pair of exciting doubles from our offense, the game was one of the most boring games I have ever been to.

We were entering the 9th inning still tied at 0-0. My wife and others in our group had gotten to the point of cheering for any batter, home or away, for no other reason but to end the misery of a scoreless game. No one wanted to prolong the boredom.

And that’s when I realized. Good pitching produces boring games. The average fan doesn’t sit there and analyze the pitcher’s performance. Casual viewers do not appreciate the beauty and skill that is involved in the pitcher just simply doing his job well. Instead; flashy catches, line drives, wild pitches, and close calls are what is preferred.

Good pitching can easily be undervalued and yawned at.

And you know what? Unfortunately, we can also be guilty of having that same attitude in life as well. A life well-lived, free from scandal or offensiveness, can easily be undervalued and seen as boring by many.

Following Jesus is NOT boring at all, I promise you. However, there are times where a certain, steady faithfulness is required.

Steady faithfulness when you can’t hear God speak.

Steady faithfulness when the mountains don’t move.

Steady faithfulness when church seems routine.

Steady faithfulness when all you see are plateaus.

Steady faithfulness when doing what is right is hard.

Steady faithfulness when doing what is wrong is easy.

Steady faithfulness when life is boring and dull.

Steady faithfulness when you don’t receive recognition for your hard work.

Steady faithfulness when life “over there” seems so much more exciting.

Colossians 2:6 encourages us who have received Jesus to, “walk in Him,” and to be, “rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith.” And Colossians 1:23 describes those who continue in the faith as “stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the Gospel.”

The Christian life is not a boring one, I can assure you of that. But there are times when being stable and steadfast and unshifting in the faith may seem like a boring way to live. The reality, however, is that the things that our culture calls “exciting” are often the things that lead to the most frustration and destruction.

I am committed to following Jesus, if the people around me call that “boring” then so-what, my mind is made up and my game plan is set.

By the way, there was only a single run that was scored in that game I went to. It was a walk-off solo home run that sent the entire crowd into roaring celebration. That celebration was only made possible because of the good pitching that kept the other team’s score at zero.

There is a celebration in store for those who follow Jesus, and that party will be anything but boring.