my search to understand the bigger picture

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


We had a guest speaker this past weekend at church. We even created a conference around him being here. It was great. First night of the conference was Friday. I was overwhelmed within the first hour.

I have a love/hate relationship with conferences. I get information overload extremely easily, possibly faster than anyone I know. It takes a long time for something to get from my mind to my heart, especially when I've heard something that I really want to chew on. Conferences are usually so packed with information, that I rarely have enough time to sort through it all and work to apply what was worth the time. TONS of great stuff this past weekend, just not enough time for me to digest it all.

However, one thing did stick with me. The speaker mentioned Proverbs 3 at some point. I made a note, and somehow came back to it, and checked it out in The Message Bible. Here's a few verses, "Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track. Don't assume that you know it all." That's what stuck with me from this past weekend.

I claim to be a Christian. And yet, too often my thoughts are far from God. That's not ok. That's like saying I'm a runner, and yet going out for a run once a month, or once a year. Just doesn't make sense. All too often, I'm doing things in my own strength (which isn't much), trying to figure out things for myself (I'm not that smart). Rarely do I slow down enough to listen for God's voice, let alone in everything that I do, and everywhere I go. I allow too much into my life to distract me.

A sign hangs above my front door in our living room. It says SIMPLIFY. I think it might be time for some of that again. I'm not going to tell you how I'm going about it, or what I've already done. That's just for me. But yes, I'm trying to remove some distractions, clutter if you will, from my life. I don't want anything to get in God's way in my life. I want my claims (I'm a Christian) to be backed up by actions again. I want to be love in people's lives, not just say the words.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Welcome to 2012

Hmmmmmmmm, I've toiled over this and thought long and hard. It'd be so easy to come up with the same thing that everyone writes about this time of year. Goals I've set. Specific things I want to do. Dreams to see fulfilled. I do have some goals thought out, but they are for me. So, for now, I'll keep that safely tucked away in my journal.

What I want is to continually grow towards a more healthy, balanced human. I want to love and serve Jesus better. I want to love, serve, and lead my family better. I want to love myself better.

So, two thoughts will guide my decision making this year.

1) I will be rich in life experiences, not material possessions.
-For far too long I've subscribed to the lie that "stuff" will make me happy. iPhones. iPads. Running garb. Clothes. A nice car. You name it. But that stuff doesn't do squat except make me want even more. The search for "stuff" only creates greed. A greed that will NEVER be satisfied. A greed that eats me alive. Well no longer. I declare WAR on the desire for "stuff" in my life.
2) Is the prize not worth the price?
-This has served me well the past 6 months or so in regards to my running. I think it will serve me well in other areas. If the prize is not worth the price, then whatever I'm doing isn't worth my time anymore, and needs to be let go.

All this is said with the intention of allowing God to guide my every step. I want to look back on 2012 and know that I gave God a greater priority in my life than ever before. I want to feel like I'm closer to him than I ever have been. And I want people to feel like I'm the real deal, that while I don't have it all figured out, it's obvious that I walk with Jesus, and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

So there you have it. I could say that my goal is to run 2,012 miles in 2012. I could tell you that I want to have a run streak of at least 100 consecutive days of at least 1 mile. Lose 35 pounds. I could say I want to read through the entire Bible in one year, take more time away from the tv to spend with God, take some family trips, go away with my wife. These are great. But for too many of us, we become so focused on the goal, that we lose sight of the "why" behind the goal.

I don't want my life to become a numb, emotionless checklist for me to cross stuff off of. I want to experience the "full life" that Jesus offers. So, I'm going to live the time I have 1 day at a time. Keeping some of these things in mind.