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I hadn’t been to church much in a while. “In a while,” being not much in the last ten years. Somehow, one day led to the next, before you know it, it had been too long.

There was always a good reason.I worked away from home, recurring sickness in my family, and I get anxiety in large social settings. Normal life stuff for normal people. In my mind, my situation was justified. Pretty soon, the only Christian I talked to was my wife. I had lost all desire for church or to be around Christians. But something wasn’t right. Something hurt.

There was always a good reason.I worked away from home, recurring sickness in my family, and I get anxiety in large social settings. Normal life stuff for normal people. In my mind, my situation was justified. Pretty soon, the only Christian I talked to was my wife. I had lost all desire for church or to be around Christians. But something wasn’t right. Something hurt.

Isolation sucks.

If your in that place, you know it too. I have the suspicion there are a ton of others in the same boat. People who used to love God but have fizzled out of church.
They might have just stopped going one day and forgot to go back. . Maybe they got wronged or someone ticked them off. Or maybe they have been through the grinder and life just happened. You don’t have to go and beat yourself up about it, but one thing is for certain. You need a plan to re-engage yourself in the faith for yourself.

Being a Lone Ranger is not where a person wants to be. Each person feels this inside. Being isolated from the social engagement of church is one thing. Being isolated from God is another.

Look in the Mirror.

If your isolated, don’t let another day go by staying that way. The most important things in life are not hands-off. You have to engage in some way. That’s why people don’t do them or put them off to time that’s more convenient.

It is easier to wait for someone else to do something for you. 
The Christian life isn’t an easy one. I would have serious reservation about anyone who says it is. But just because it hard doesn’t mean a person folds their cards. By taking responsibility for your own faith, pursuing meaning apart from experience, you will find what your looking for on the other side. God will meet you there.

Tools of the Trade.

God uses the hardships one faces to develop a person’s character, competence, and commitment for the battle of life. When reflecting on life through the lens of Gods Word and prayer, hardships can be just the thing that lights the lamp of Gods grace in our lives. We can the see where we were once blind. We need to work on ourselves first and then see who God brings in our path. Things might not go how we plan. They might go better. Just remember…

YOUR faith… is a gift to YOU.… by GOD.

It’s individual. Take time to appreciate that. Your not alone because God is your God. But you need to look at your faith and to OWN IT as the gift it is. Go wanted it for you. It’s yours. 
You might be disconnected and discouraged but there are like-minded people out there too. You will find them or they will find you. If things are not ideal in life, the timing couldn’t be better.

If your dead in your tracks I encourage you to start your life again, drop into low-gear, and get on your way. God knows your life is worth it.

|Stay True. Stay Ready.|

Image result for busy airport

“I can’t get on the plane.”

“Why not?”

“I just can’t.”

The blank stare the airline boarding agent gave was a clear message that she was less than impressed. It was clear to both of us that one of the two people talking was having issues.

My mind mind was racing 1000 miles an hour and I needed some space. It wasn’t a full blown panic attack, but I wasn’t in a good place. Being on a plane for a couple hours wasn’t gonna cut it.

“Do you have any baggage?”

“Yes. One suitcase. Medium sized. Red.”

The stare held its focus, but it was as if she revealed her superpower and began to shoot ice daggers at me.

“Did someone open a door? I could swear I feel a cool breeze come in. Heh, heh, heh…” Oh brother. That was bad. you need to go.

It didn’t need to be said that I was not going to achieve any sort of “Favorite Flyer” status today. This was affirmed as I went to retrieve my bag.

A roll-up door opened and I was greeted by Joe the Luggage Guy. He had been tasked searching through the plane to a medium sized, red suitcase. I had not made his day.

“This yours?” he said dryly.


The agent had obviously been in close contact with him. They had formed shared opinion about “That Guy,” who had caused the extra work for everyone.

He tossed my bag in front of me and the door shut firmly with me on the “Not Cool” side.

”Umm… Thanks?”

As I picked up my bag, and started my walk to the taxi, I pondering how I was gonna explain to my boss. “Do I tell him that I am so burnt out and broken that I couldn’t get on a plane? That’s not gonna fly at all…”

The humiliation of the moment was now setting in.

“What’s wrong with you?” “Your gonna get fired.” “You are such an idiot.”

I can look back now and shake my head at the experience, but at the time there was zero humour. The situation didn’t happened because I have a fear of flying. That hasn’t been an issue for me.

The trouble this day, as it had been for a lot of days then, was my mind was like runaway roller-coaster and it was in danger of completely leaving the track.

I had been running too hard on a high speed loop of worry, negativity, and loss of perspective for too long. Add on a bunch of travel and lack of sleep and I was primed for this moment. The consequences of banging off the guardrails of sensibility were taking it’s toll and I was heading for a crash.

I felt like the struggling golfer who just can’t find his swing. It was to the point that I was missing the ball completely and the only sound was a whiff of air as my club passed by it’s intended target. Being a golf ball was a very safe job around me.

We can fast forward a few years.

I have never missed a flight since. In fact, being on a plane is one of my favourite things. It’s almost a place of refuge that I look forward. I get a few hours of solitude where I can read and get my best thinking done. I am nothing to anyone for a few moments in life, so I take the pause, and enjoy it.

“So what gives? What happened to change your circumstances?”

At the point in life of my airport crash, I had become acutely aware of my “Gold Medal Snowflake” status. I was melting from any source heat in life and forming a puddle in the ground. I was standing in a total mess, while creating a hazard for anyone walking by.

It’s not that my life issues weren’t legit. They were. They were very real to me. I just didn’t have any tools in my bag to deal with them.

The airport experience was going to the next-level because I was affecting other people who just happen to pass by my orbit. I needed to grasp onto something and get myself up off the ground.  So, I did what most people do: I went to the book store.

I wandered through the section after section looking for something that would be the fix-all for my turmoil. I came up empty as I looking through the traditional Self-help material. None of it gelled for me. I was wandering lost in a maze full of information, but all the walls were looking the same.

I finally came across the military section. I picked up a few books soldiers, sailors, and airmen and their acts of courage under incredible adversity. This was outside of my realm and a hook was set.

I felt a tinge of jealousy because of the kind of people they were and the I guy I had become. I was way too old (mid 40’s) to even think about join the military. They had something I clearly felt to be missing, but didn’t know how to find. I bought a few books and started to read through them. The character attributes of loyalty, honour, respect, and personal courage hit home with me. This was because I had been in a character vacuum and the stories of valor filled that void with something real.

I wanted those attributes for myself, but I wasn’t sure how to proceed. I didn’t the only thing I could think of in the moment: I ordered a U.S. Army book on leadership from Amazon.

In retrospect, that is such a weird thing to do, but I am not embarrassed by it in any way. Taking action in your own life will often appear odd to other people because they have their own issues. They can question your motives and overlay their own problems onto your situation, then end up with an inaccurate perception. My one action, without regard for what anyone else thought, changed the direction of my life.

I read about the methods the Army used to build it’s leaders and painfully wished that I had pursued some different paths at a younger age.

This is when the switch really got flipped.

“I got enough regrets. I really don’t need any more.” “Does it really matter how old you are as a person? I mean, if you want to be something your not, and that’s to be a person of some sort of character, why not just do it?”

It didn’t matter that I had become a mental weakling. And it wasn’t about me just having an affinity to the military. I wanted to finish strong for me. I wanted something different. I decided to leave behind what I wasn’t and work towards who I wanted to be. I was going to be proud of myself because I didn’t fail in the heat of adversity, fall down, and just lie there. I wasn’t going to take a knee in life, but I do something about my situation.

I was energized and began to dig in. A few things stood out to me initially and got my mind working. Specifically, there was reference to “Trust is the Bedrock of our Profession.”

As I read that the first time, I stopped and sat on that statement.

It caught me off guard and I knew there was a reason behind that. I understood the words but I didn’t understand what it meant.

Looking at my own life, I didn’t have any real Trust in where things were headed. There was no Bedrock that I was standing on. By missing days at work because I couldn’t think straight, I certainly didn’t feel Professional in any way. It was if that statement was speaking to me in a foreign language and I had no idea what it was saying.

I had been trying to build life on unstable ground, but all I had in front of me was a pile rubble that looked like it had gone through a rock crusher. Whatever I was doing was affecting not only me, but the people around me. This wasn’t the guy I wanted to look in the mirror at each morning.

I wanted something solid to stand on to build a new framework for life. So I dug in to that phrase, seeking to understand what the Army was talking about. The one thing I wasn’t planning on, was God joining the conversation.

I had always considered myself a Christian, but in reality, it had become something more in principle than action. I had some basic values, believed in Jesus, and I thought I would go to heaven whenever my life ended. But I didn’t have peace, hope, or love that one would think one would have with a life changed by God.

As I thought through the three words “Trust” “Bedrock” and “Profession, ” an unsuspected thing began to happen. The words began to take on a life of there own. They became internalized, and no longer belonged to the Army, but became real to me.

Was Trust the the Bedrock of My Profession?

No, if I were to be honest with myself, it clearly wasn’t.

“Trust” was more of a noun who really wanted to be a verb, but never got the gumption to get off the couch.

I started to draw a line connecting the word the Army us “Trust” and “Faith,” from my Christian beliefs. Could “Faith” be the Bedrock that I am supposed to be building on? What about my profession to be a Christian? Could there be something to this?

That brought me to a verse in Hebrews that is among the deepest I’ve read.

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1

There was a boatload of things that I wasn’t seeing. Things that I was spending a lot of my waking hours worrying about. Regrets from the past, inaction in the present, and fearing the future. They had tied me into a mental knot and I hadn’t been able to dig a finger in to loosen it up.

What I was doing wasn’t working so I was determined to alter course. That meant beginning at the bottom of my faith and working my way up.

It started small with verses that may seem elementary in the Christian Faith. I wrote out my own statement of faith, verses I knew to be true, and thought about them till they were internalized.

I also continued reading into different military literature. I found the structured approach was exactly what I needed to build my framework. It proved a useful template for when a person wants to draw out a blueprint for one’s life.

Instead of fearing endlessly about how life may play out, I worked on controlling the controllables: how I look after my body, what I put in my mind, and having the lens of my soul being focused with an eternal perspective.

I started to chill out from my high strung mess and calmed down significantly. Where there was chaos, order began to emerge. Where my mind was a scorched earth, new life started to grow.

With this growth, a few different principles also began to show up in my life:

1) The simplest truths have greatest of consequences. They may not get the attention of the large shiny structure, but everything get built on them.

2) When building a high rise, work starts and can seem slow for a time. You could think nothing is really happening, but there is work going on below the surface. And to people in the know, it is the most important work of all.

3) No amount of forward progress is insignificant. This one was a big one for me. We tend to underestimate the compounding power of God’s grace. Just like when we are told to save a little when we are young, and over time, it can really add up to something big. Well, we know it in theory that it is a good idea, but somehow we tend to look for better ideas with bigger perceived rewards than trusting small contributions over time.

The extent to which compounding grace applies to God has no limits. When it come to one’s trusting God in one’s life, there is interest on the interest. Then interest on the interest on the interest, and so on. There is no set rate and that’s all your going to get.

Big faith grows from a lot of faith in small things over a person’s life. A few short years later, that airport experience seems like a decade away. It is like it was a different life. It’s not that life doesn’t have struggles for me. In some ways it has more. But God has stayed faithful.

It can sometimes be hard to remember that in our tough moments. Like mine in the airport where life was unravelling publicly. God uses those moment, and in my case, an unsuspecting U.S. military to provide material for who he wants us to be.

Does it have to work this way for everyone? No. But in my case, looking backwards, it clearly it did.

I would love to say that I began trusting God for all the issues in my life and everything turns out how I want, but it wouldn’t be true. I don’t have everything even close to being down. Life will always have its challenges. Living is a very dangerous thing that pushes a person into places they would rather not go.

Having a structure that keeps those challenges from pushing a person over the edge goes a long way to staying safe. Going through life as a follower of Jesus is that structure and the security our souls because the source is found outside of us and in Christ.

Trust is now the Bedrock of my Profession. It is the faith I have in the work of Jesus Christ in my life that I can profess confidently. I now know there is nothing left onto which build my life.

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From the moment we are conceived, are lives are in a state of change.

As new life and vibrant growth takes place, the excitement is undeniable. But something else is happening. Decay is also knocking at the door. This presents a dichotomy for us. One as we go through life, find we are unprepared.

We are aware of the tangible changes our bodies, minds, and spirits make over time. We grow stronger physically, gain knowledge intellectually, and mature in our understanding of the things that are spiritual.

This begs to question… How much growth is actually taking place? And for this growth, what are we using as a standard of measurement? And for that matter, how much decay is taking place, of which we are unaware?

As the years of our life progress, we intuitively feel the tension, but we can’t quite put our finger on the source of unease. It seems to exist in a almost encrypted way, to which we don’t have the keys to unlock to our own thoughts.

So we reach out. Hoping to sense something to which we can orient ourselves, we start grasping. When this happens spiritually, the unsettledness causes people to seek out what is new and exciting.

So often they will change their church or find a new group to identify with. They will change the bible they read, the books they buy, or seek out a popular leader from who they can find direction.

But one thing that often doesn’t happen, the question they don’t ask themselves is how they actually believe. What is the source code of their faith? They never look inside and dig in to the process of their own belief.

It’s a lot easier to look for new motivation than to look inward. Motivation will strings us along and makes us feel like we are doing something, without providing any real change. Seeking motivation is truly “grasping for the wind,” hoping our sail sets and we get carried off to some new destination.

When a person goes inward, a quick glance into the mirror will not reveal all the idiosyncrasies that make up a person. It takes time, staring into our own weaknesses and insecurities, then utilizing God’s Word and Spirit to understand the reflection they are seeing.

It is not purely seeking out the good or the bad. It is a desire for the truth. If your honest about your failures, to yourself, and to God, God can do something with that. If you lie to yourself, you can keep trying to make yourself feel good through other means, you will no doubt run your familiar course and remain stagnant.

That’s the easier route because there is no discomfort there. The one less travelled is the trail that accepts discomfort in the hope of found treasure. The metamorphosis of faith is one of suffering and salvation. They are both requirement for the story to unfold. We need to embrace the that journey so we can become the person that God has made us to be.

Evolution is a choice. It is one that that involves pushing forward faith and action, or falling back in retreat to doubt and idleness.

You can choose to reject the crucible, surrendering yourself decay…

Or, you can purse spiritual evolution of your created being by taking responsibility for the faith God has given you.

God isn’t hiding. Hiding is weak. God is strong. We hide behind our stuff because we are undone by the truth of our own reflection. God’s desire is for man to internalize His truth, take ownership of it, then spiritually evolve into the image and purpose for which he created us.

Either choice will have its consequences. Those consequences are up to you.

|Stay True. Stay Ready.|