Do as I say not as I do

I am sure we have all heard this expression.  But as I was recently reminded that our jobs as christians is do to do what is asked of us by our creator.  To be a light in a sinful world filled with wickedness. More than 80 percent of what we communicate comes from non verbal communication. Simply put, our actions speak louder than words. It’s our contradictions that non believers love to point to as Christian hypocrisy and use our actions as an excuse to attack what they don’t understand. So it has become, at least for me, a focal point. To either be the light God intended me to be and act like it, or at least be silent. I don’t want to be the example someone uses to perverse the Christian life.

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Can’t fault you if I’m no better-decision

I won’t go into all the history that lead up to Wednesday.  That part is pretty well summarized in my previous entry.

This entry is about my decision and the repercussions it had.

If anyone read my previous entry, you would know my Aunt lives 5 hrs. away. However Wednesday was her 65th birthday and noone had made any plans to celebrate the occasion. Not her son, her sister or even her best friend.  She was planning on just another day.

When I was a boy, my cousin and my brother picked on me. I was always in the way, to little to do anything. My Aunt would always make me my favorite cake. I would enjoy as much as I wanted while my brother and cousin watched. That was their punishment for leaving me behind. I was always the youngest in my family, my Aunt made that an awesome experience. I always had a special place in my heart for her. Our birthdays are only a day apart and yet in my 39 years we have never celebrated together. To do so this year meant taking our 8 month old, by myself, on a 5 hour journey. I decided to risk the stress and frustration and set out on my journey.

Today I returned. My Aunt said it was the best birthday she has ever had. I was reunited with family I haven’t seen in 20 years. I am exhausted for now, but the memories from this trip are priceless.

I am often amazed at what a little selflessness can accomplish. The power it has, because it has become such a rare phenomenon. Whatever short term effects I endure will be minimal compared to the memories I will keep forever.

I Love You Aunt Debbie.

Can’t fault you if I am no better

Feels good to be writing again. My Wife and I wanted to celebrate our 5th anniversary.  We decided to go to the beach and invited our retired Mother’s to come down with us. After hearing our intentions the owner of our condo made special concessions for an additional unit, that would our mom’s privacy and the freedom to do what they wantrd. It was an incredibly generous act by the owner, truly remarkable given his occupation. The reason we invited our mom’s was not for babysitting. Our daughter is crawling, has started to stand and will be walking soon. The past trip was the first time she was going to get into a pool or visit a toy store. These things only happen once and we wanted to share these events with them. Yet, neither wanted to ride 5 hours and they missed so much.
Tommorrow is my aunts 65th birthday. And of course everyone is busy. It’s a 5 hour trip ironically, and I have to ask myself is this a similar situation. If I make the Journey does that afford me the right to stay agitated at our mom’s? I want to go celebrate with my aunt for the right reasons. To make some memories with her that will last after her time has come and gone.
No matter what,  this is going to sting for awhile and I am trying so very hard to let it go…

I am no one’s advisor

I want to start this post by listing all the things I’m not. I am not a theologian, a counselor, a minister (at least not yet), a psychiatrist or any other educated or divinely gifted know it all. These posts are my thoughts, my observations. They are unedited because going back to change the language or verbiage of an older post might possibly change the original intent.

That being said, I have been very fortunate to have some folks take time out of their lives to read about my thoughts. In many ways, this is very humbling. I am just a stay at home Dad that lives on a farm and likes to write when things are quiet. Most of my thoughts are just as erratic as the weather. But I turn 39 this week, I spent over a decade as a corporate accountant, living only for me, until I was violently thrust back into a reality check. I now devote my time and effort to my family and community in order to build a relationship with my savior. During this transition I have endured countless obstacles,  questioned everything,  wanted to quit and become a hermit. And still after all this, I know my journey is really just beginning. 

I wrote this today, because I have responded to some people who have left remarks on my page. Some I may have offended. But I am NOT sorry, solidifying ones beliefs means having them challenged and listening to other points of view. Recently a fellow blogger opened my eyes to a new way of thinking I never could have accomplished on my own. I enjoy reading and responding to readers comments, I hope to see more. But please be open minded and considerate. We all come from different backgrounds and some have developed priorities of steel while others are still seeking theirs. No one has all the answers, I don’t, hope I don’t come across like I do. Please show the same respect to me.

What Would Jesus Do

I have seen an heard this expression a number of times. It has been used so much that it has become a punch line for bumper stickers and low budget tshirt stands. Quite frankly, I hate this statement. Absolutely, unequivocally hate it.

To live life according to this philosophy means trying to put Christ in your situation. Then with all of our knowledge discern how he might react.

We’re not Christ, we’re not comparable to him, which is what this statement implies. I understand the reasoning of this statement, where a person might stop and think about their actions before reacting in less than a Christian manner. But I get aggravated when people assume and proclaim the will of God. Only one man ever walked on this earth and understood the plans of our creator and he now sits at the right hand of God.

If you need a slogan to help you make a decision,  how bout “Am I going to have to ask for forgiveness for this”.

Unhealable hurt. Family Damage.

I am sure my story compared to billions of others is really a fairy tail. My parents were both educators, my Dad a Principal, my Mom a teacher. Often people don’t realize the sacrifices our teachers make. Most if not all, arrive before students and leave well after they have left. That’s at least a 9 hour day, minimum, every single day.

I know my parents love me and did their very best to raise me. Problem was, they were always gone. I mean always! I grew up in a middle class neighborhood, since my parents were never around several families allowed me to hang around after school and on weekends. My parents  loved this, as I was never around to disturb them. As the years passed we never bonded as a family. I spent what free time i had with other families. I always felt like a stranger in my own home. Usually secluded in my room feeling like a second or even third fiddle to my brother or other career ambitions.

Now, I am married with a beautiful 8 mo. old. For my parents and my Wife’s Mom this is their 3rd Grandchild. The excitement of being grandparents has lost some of its luster. My nephews are 16, 11 and 7. They enjoy such a close relationship with their grandparents (a relationship I never knew) yet they show very little interest in getting to know our child. It’s like being ignored all over again, except this time it is my child that suffers from their lack of priorities. As a father I can’t comprehend not wanting to be an integral part of your child’s youth and development.

On the positive side, it is this gaping wound that led me to Christ and our creator. Only he has the power to turn such a past into valuable learning experience which has led me to define my priorities, plus the strength to live by them. My heart still hurts for the relationships that could have been, but I will rejoice at the relationships that “are and will be”.

I wanna shine for you not me

As a Christian, I often pray that I may go out and be a representative of God’s love. A living example of what a wonderful gifts he has given me.

It’s important for anyone reading this to realize how much I struggle. We all do. If you aren’t than you’re doing something wrong. A seed will never grow unless it feels the full weight of the earth on top of it. So many times being a light in the world means subjecting yourself to the ridicule of others. I mean to be honest, it can be hard when a friend or family member is seen as more accomplished than I. The same can be said of others when looking at me. I strive to b be positive, courteous and above all respectful. For whatever reason this really seems to rub some folks the wrong way. People that find comfort in misery.

But I never want my actions to be a reflection on me. My attitude and actions are a result of my savior. All positive feelings and emotions are because he has given me a purpose for living. Any light I may shine is only because he put it there.

You Jesus Freak

Tonight I am writing about priorities. Jesus said,”a man may not serve two masters”. This means putting him first, above all other earthly matters.

This has been hard for me. Since openly declaring my intentions to become a minister. I have had numerous friends and family concerned about how this decision will affect them. Somehow me wanting to serve God has made people uncomfortable. They don’t understand the relationship I am trying to build and the commitment it entails. Putting God first doesn’t make me self righteous or judgmental. It is people’s own guilt that has started to surface when I am around them. People I have known for years are now uncomfortable being around me, because I have chosen to live for Christ.

What I want to know is when did this pursuit become a bad thing, or a crazy thing. I have to be honest being called out for being a Christian hurt me emotionally but strengthened me spiritually. But I know it is far better to be ridiculed for the Lord, than to be praised by his creations. Still it’s hard, this whole journey has been hard, yet I still have so far to go. I keep thinking of the long term, the day I see Jesus. Will I be ashamed of myself, will he even know me? I have to make sure he does and I hope I will bring some others with me along this ride.

Identifying my weaknesses

I am starting to realize that effort and passion are useless unless you have spent time developing a plan. But where to begin?

For me, my original objective was to grow closer to Christ and to develop my writing skills.

So before I even started, I had already laid a foundation for failure.These are two seperate objectives. Each requiring a different mental and spiritual approach.

I started out of the gates like always. Emotions running high,  thoughts coming and going at all hours of the day. I was in a creative state motioning about with a flurry of activity, accomplishing very little. I am a reactive person. Meaning I typically follow my heart with little or no thought before making decisions. I have always thought this to be a positive attribute. I was told early in life to trust your instincts, be bold and follow your passions. So I never considered my impulsiveness a weakness. Yet, I have come to realize, all of our talents must be developed. Each one of them takes a great deal of patience and perseverance. I believe that I have a calling, I believe, if given the chance I could inspire others because of the trials I have endured. I know their are others wrestling with persistent demons that prevent their spirit from rejoicing. Being robbed of their joy by uncontrollable stress or circumstance. I understand these moments I want to minister to those who are suffering. But I still have much to learn and have to remember that such things, if it be God’s will, happens when he decides. Rushing into things, even those perceived as holy can be an act of disobedience. Which will only estrange us from him. A place I have been before and hope never to revisit. So for now, this is my training and what’s really funny is I never planned to write these thoughts in my head down, it just kinda happened one day. Kinda Odd huh?