my search to understand the bigger picture

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Things Change

things change.  people change.

i know this.  i get it.  i do.  i've had times myself where i had to move on from places of employment.  once by my own choice, another time not so much.  :)

i've also had many friends move on over the years.  some have stuck around in town, others relocating to other parts of the country.  and today, my heart hurts for friends i miss.






i've had the incredible privilege over the years of being able to work some really close friends.  and it's awesome to see them move on to better things.

but today, i miss my friends.  God, i miss my friends.  i miss seeing them every single day.  i miss impromptu coffee/dreaming sessions at panera about opening up sandwich shops in europe, i miss talking about the "dubious duo" and all things outdoors, i miss making goofy videos jumping into ponds in march for promo videos and inside sayings like "swicken em", and incredible challenges to run 56 mile races in africa to help kids.  i miss early morning runs, talking about work related stress while training for races in africa, and i miss the countless soul bearing conversations all ending with a little "holla at the dj".

Jesus, you've blessed me with amazing friends to work with over the years.  many of them have moved on.  today i have a mixture of awesome memories, and sadness along with a deep yearning for the days of old.

but we can't go back.  we can only move forward in life.  it's good to remember those good times.  but it's not over.  i want MORE good times!  those friendships will last a lifetime.  maybe it's time to let someone new in.

so, here's to friends, past, present, and future.  i love you all.  i miss you all.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


there comes a time for everything.  we all need help from time to time, and are fools if we don't seek out that help.  i once read in a leadership book, a story about a pastor of a megachurch in las vegas.  he was venting to his mentor, and his mentor basically told him to lead himself.  in other words, no one knows quite like you what you need in the moment.  so, don't feel bad taking a vacation day, ESPECIALLY if you need it.  in my case, leading myself means getting some good counseling for awhile.

as a pastor at my church, we are required to go through a series of psych tests and evaluations, mainly geared towards helping us grow and improve upon some areas.  it also does point out some causes for concern.  in my case, nothing of concern came up, but the counselor did feel it would be beneficial to do some counseling sessions.  the more i thought about it, the more i felt it was the right decision to make.

so, that's the reason i'm sharing it publicly.  the temptation is to not follow through.  you know how it works.  the moment you make the choice to do this, you think you feel a little better, and then all of a sudden you've talked yourself out of it.  so, i need to find out if it's covered under my insurance, and then schedule that first appointment.  sooner than later.

so, i'd appreciate your prayers.  part of the reasoning for this post, and the last one dealing with depression, is an attempt on my part to get some of those feelings out.  not just hold them inside.  but get them out.  it's much easier to do this writing than speaking them out for me.  i also want people to know the real me, not just what i portray.  many times, that's only half of what's really going on inside my brain.

Monday, May 6, 2013


it's come back.  it happens every so often, but most of the time lingers for a few hours at most.  i'm able to work my way through it relatively quickly and then move on.  but saturday night, it hit like a ton of bricks, and i haven't really recovered yet.

yeah, i can put on a happy face.  i'm a pastor.  i can't exactly show up to church sunday all woe is me.  don't get me wrong.  i'm a HUGE proponent of pastors being real, allowing their people to see their struggles.  we are not superhuman.  we are just like the rest of the world.  we have our struggles.  we have our issues.

so, maybe that's what i'm doing this morning.  letting the 2 or 3 that read this know, that pastors struggle too.  much of my depression seems to come as spiritual warfare type stuff.  but i can tell you that right now, there are lots of people in my world that are hurting for a variety of reasons.  i'm a highly empathetic individual, and feel the weight of all their hurting and pain.  add that to my own, and my guard has been let down, thus allowing a chink in my armor.

now, lots of people who don't deal with depression like to say, "just get over it" or "work it off".  i like it when people suggest "go something that makes you happy".  in that position, nothing seems to make one happy.  that's the struggle.  depression is so debilitating in that it keeps you from even wanting to leave your bed, or the couch.  you come down with a "that's not worth it" mentality towards the fun things you once enjoyed.

honestly, one of the few things that helps me begin to take some of that ground back, is to listen to worship music.  but i've tried something a little different that last few times an "attack" has come over me.  instead of listening to the song, and singing it directly to the Father, i pretend he's singing it to me.  there are some hillsong united songs that really get me.  this morning, third day's "You Are My Everything" was just what i needed.

you see, so many times, when i'm feeling like a lesser version of myself, feeling down, feeling depressed, i don't need to be reminded of my love for jesus.  i need to hear from him how he views me. actually hearing these words spoken through worship songs has proven to be a powerful method for me to accept his truth about me, that i am fiercely loved by him.  that jesus is absolutely crazy about me.

this is true you know.  true about you.  Jesus fiercely loves you with reckless abandon.  He is absolutely crazy about you!  this blows my mind, but it's true!  quiet yourself, and ask him what he thinks about you.  i'll bet, the first thought, the very first thought in your mind will be something confirming that.  give it a try!  and then back it up with scripture.  Jesus will bring you life, and nothing else.  anything you hear that doesn't bring life, but brings condemnation, depression, guilt, shame, etc is not from jesus.    does he convict us of sin?  absolutely.  but why?  only to bring us back on track.  he wants us walking in the fully restored relationship that he offers.  he's out for our full healing, and nothing less.

my friends, i'll remind you of the very things i'm reminding myself of this morning.  jesus loves you.  he really does.  you bring him great joy.  just the way you are.  exactly the way you are.  this has cracked the fog of depression in my own life today.  i pray it does the same for you.