The Old Man and Me

Some days... I just want to write personal shout outs on this blog... and luckily today, that shout out will come with some serious insight about my relationship with God. Today is my grandfather's birthday... He's got a lot of different names in our family Grandpa, Poppy, Old Man, Old Tymer, or Johnny K. It doesn't really matter what we call him (I favor Old Man or Old Tymer... if the shoe fits...) one thing is guaranteed... we all owe him a lot. Old Tymer is easily one of my favorite people, and always has been. I still wait to see where he's going to sit when we have dinner with my grandparents so I can be sure I get to sit right next to him. It's because I know he's going to teach me something new, every single time I'm in his presence...

Man, oh man, the things he's taught me. I remember so many things it's remarkable. I can remember as a kid, I always wanted to go to lunch with him and Grandma after church. I look back on those lunches, and I now see how many life lessons were planted within me during those meals. Hearing him talk about the message at church, about something he read in the Bible, or something he remembered begin to stir a desire in my heart to know God the way my Poppy did. He never missed a ball game, and even though I'm not a little kid anymore... he still makes it to my softball games. I can remember every home soccer game... I'd glance behind me to the back right corner of the field, and see his truck parked there with him sitting on the tailgate... always there at the start of warm-ups. Some days I would even see him out there during practice, and it made me want to be better. He instilled in me pride in where I come from. He has loved these people and this town his entire life. It's funny because there was a time when I didn't understand it... I didn't understand what he saw. Know that I'm older I can understand it better. He has taught me how to fix things, how to build things, how to laugh at myself (especially when my pride is hurt), how to love others like Christ, and how to give back to the people that have given me everything and more. The beautiful thing about the Old Tymer is that he and I share more than just the knowledge he has imparted upon me.

There's nothing I love more than baseball season, because it gives us a lot to talk about. I love baseball because the Old Man loves baseball. I drink coffee because the Old Man drinks coffee. We solve the world's problems, we "sell and buy" stock/antiques/teams/cars/homes that we don't have the money for, we watch the news, and just sit and talk. Those moments when it's just the Old Man and Me, are some of my favorite moments in my life. I talk to him about everything... even when I know he doesn't understand what I'm talking about because he still acts like he cares. He's always there when I need him, and I wouldn't be who I am today without him. Even with all that... there's one thing that stands out the most about him...

I want my relationship with God to reflect my relationship with Old Tymer. What I mean by that, is I want to have the same meaningful and meaningless conversations with my Creator as I do with my grandfather. I know the love God has for me is exponentially greater than that of my grandfather... but when I think about what God's like... I think in a lot of ways he's like old Johnny K. He's warm, loving, affectionate, stern, insightful, comforting, wise, kind, patient, and safe. I am more thankful for that Old Man, than the words in this post could ever express. He's a one of a kind... and I pray every day that I will be half the man he is. This one's for you Old Man... can't wait to learn something new the next time I see you. Happy Birthday!

Grace and Peace,


My Chains are Gone

I am blessed every day and last night I was blessed in an awesome way. For years, I have always justified my lack of Christian brothers by the thought that "I just get along better with girls", which in all honesty, is absolutely hilarious. Don't get me wrong, my female friends bring a lot of joy, insight, and comfort into my life and I am definitely blessed by them. Yet, yesterday... was a day filled with 4 conversations that truly engulf what it means to live in community with The Brotherhood. These conversations were completely sparked by God telling me I needed to reach out, be vulnerable, and seek counsel from men that have been where I am. I had no idea what that looked like, because in all honesty, especially in certain situations... I don't do that often. Last night I did though... 3 of the conversations were about what's on my heart, about the patience I know I need to have for God's will for my life, and how my brothers have each approached similar situations. The 4th conversation was just about reconnecting. I have a brother that is 8 years younger than me in age, but right beside me if not ahead of me spiritually... but that's a story that you have to wait until October for....

So it may seem like I'm rambling, but there is a point to this nonsensical typing. I want to touch on something very important that was said to me last night by my buddy Aaron. We were discussing life, and how to approach certain things from a Godly perspective. Aaron said to me, that because of our humanity we are always going to take God's gifts and make them ours. That's a terrible reality. It hit me hard, because I realize that's what I have done from time to time with this blog. This thing I do, writing... it's not my gift in any way, shape or form. It's God's gift, that He has bestowed upon me, so that He can use it for HIS glory. So why have I not been more intentional about giving the glory to God? Because naturally, as a man, I want the glory for myself. I selfishly and sinfully want people to believe that these words are my own... but they are not. I'm merely the hands that peck the keys... It's the Trinity, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit that speak the words that I write to you. Here's what I mean by that--

If it wasn't for God creating, loving, and guiding me... this blog wouldn't exist.
If it wasn't for Jesus saving, redeeming, and restoring me... this blog wouldn't exist.
If it wasn't for the Holy Spirit coming upon me, living in me, and filling me to the point that it overruns my soul... this blog wouldn't exist.

It's taken me 3 years to realize that. It's taken me 3 years to realize a lot of things. Yet, I am thankful for the lesson today. It's given me a different approach to this blog, and to my daily life. Everything I have, everything I am, everything I will become... is from God, for God and of God. It really has nothing to do with me at all... in fact, I'm just a vehicle for Him to move things from one point to another, whether it's words or deeds. Which makes me realize how precious the gifts He has given me are... words, people, family, love, friends, comfort, stability, opportunity, etc. The really cool thing about the gifts I receive from God, is that I receive them in His time, not my own. If I received them in my own time... some I would receive way too soon to handle, and others I would never receive. I say that because I realize that there are people, things, and opportunities in my life that I would never even realize I needed. I wouldn't approach things the way I do now, because it wouldn't be about Him... it would be all about me. That's a hard lesson to learn, but I am thankful for it. This morning I spent my time alone, praying and worshiping... which is really what my daily life should look like. As I was driving to work, "Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)" by Chris Tomlin came over the radio. I began to sing it like I always do, but something was different this morning. I could literally feel the chains of ME begin to break away. I began to feel His mercy and grace raining down on me, and could hear Him say... "It's okay to die to yourself today, come and let ME lead you... follow  ME, and I will restore your brokenness. I am proud of you for giving yourself to ME, for surrendering your desires, and trying your hardest to be patient and wait for MY timing." This morning I was redeemed... and God knew exactly which conversations I needed to have yesterday to get me to that point today.

"Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23

Grace and Peace


Tell me who I am...

I want to start this by explaining why things are going in the direction that they are. Yesterday's post, today's post, and a few more posts coming in the future are going to be some serious looks at a few of my downfalls and struggles in life. The reason for this, is that I feel the need to be transparent with you (the reader), with God and with myself. One of the many reasons I write is to process my own thoughts and feelings and to be more open with God. However, in doing that I feel like I haven't been as transparent as I need to be. I don't ever want to give the impression that I have things figured out, because... I don't. I don't want to come across as seeming as though I don't have my own struggles and faults, because quite frankly, I have a lot of them. This is going to get real, and  honest, and deep. My goal is to shed some light on my salvation in Christ Jesus. To give an inside look at just how great it is to be redeemed in the Lord, even when you are a wretched sinner like myself. So there it is... let's do it.


One of my biggest struggles as a Christian, and as a man is finding my self worth. I have always had trouble figuring out who I am in the eyes of God... mainly because I never understood how a God so perfect, could love someone so... imperfect. Over the years of writing this blog I have touched on a few of my imperfections in a brief way... and I've always talked about how I pray to be broken. The funny thing about that prayer, is that I am broken, I've been broken all along. I become whole, and restored the day I allowed God to capture my heart. Now... I'll be really honest in this next statement and tell you-- that didn't happen when I was 18. I always thought that I was saved at a church camp when I was 18, but when I look back on it... I don't think it was really the defining moment in my salvation. Now, that doesn't mean it wasn't a turning point, but even though I was ready to know God, I wasn't ready for Him to know me. I wasn't ready to change my life for Him, even though I pretended like I was. The reason for that is that I had all these thoughts that were misnomers about who I am. I couldn't see the grace that was slapping me in the face. I was cold to the warm embrace of Christ Jesus...

These feelings have fluctuated over the years, and I know that's something that is never going to go away. Each day I will battle with myself over finding my self worth in Christ, the way I should. Some days I wake up and immediately praise Him for my life, for who He has created me to be, and what He's going to do on that day. Other days I wake up and think... "What are you doing God, what's the point of all of this? Who I am? Why do you care?"... that's a hard and terrible way to start your day. Now, let me add here that this has greatly improved over the last 3 years. These days are fewer than they use to be, and the feelings of self-doubt are not as serious... but they are still present. The enemy is always there, waiting to attack me on those days. he tries to tell me I'm worthless, that there's no need for God because a God that perfect couldn't love someone so wretched. he tells me I'm not where I should be, that if I would do things differently I would be farther along in life. he tells me there's not a girl out there for me, that I won't get married and I won't get to be a father one day. he tells me lies constantly. Some days, unfortunately, I listen to the enemy. I am beaten and bruised by his words and I lose sight of grace. However, each and every day God teaches me something new, that helps to make those bad days happen less often. He takes hold of my heart and moves me into a place where I can see grace from 100 miles away. Each day I am restored and redeemed just by being His child. The days that I focus on THOSE things, are the days that the enemy can't come near me, and it makes it harder for the enemy to reach me on the bad days....

You might be wondering where all this is coming from? I promise I'm not having one of the bad days, today is actually a great day. Last night, during a class I co-lead at church, we showed a music video to the kids. This is the first time I've seen this video, but it hit home with me in a big way. I love the message that follows the lyrics, and what's portrayed in the video. This song sums up exactly what this post is about. I need God to remind me who I am. I need Him to remind me, sometimes daily, who I am to Him. Knowing that I belong to Him is something that can change my entire day. Do me a favor, take a few minutes, and watch the video below... watch it once and just listen to the words. Then, watch it again and pay close attention to the words the people are holding up. Pray that God will remind you of who you are. If you have been feeling rejected, lost, broken, empty, cheated... find redemption in Christ's love for you. We are children of GOD. He loves us more than we could ever imagine, so much that He had His only Son die a brutal and painful death, so that we could be redeemed. I love what Jason Gray says towards the end of this song... "I'm the one You love, I'm the one You love, that will be enough".

Today's prayer: Tell me, Lord, once again, who I am.

Grace and Peace


Honesty with a side of realization

Here's a heavy dose of Honesty for you readers:

I'm a selfish pray-er (it took me a few seconds to realize how to write that). Honestly though, I really am selfish when it comes to my prayers. Often times I pray for help with something, for comfort with something, or for something that I desire but don't necessarily need. It pains me to say that, because I would love to say that my prayers are totally focused on others most of the time. Realizing how selfish my prayers are is a strong pill to swallow. It's like standing in your driveway shooting free throws for 3 hours and realizing you will never be Larry Bird. It's a little gut-wrenching. It makes me feel... cold. I don't want to feel cold when it comes to my prayer life. I want my prayer life to be on fire, I want to pray so passionately and so selflessly that it ignites a blaze in my community. Don't get me wrong-- please DO NOT misconstrue what I'm saying-- I definitely need prayer. I fail every day. However, I know and have a relationship with My Redeemer. I have been washed by the blood, and feel His grace and mercy daily. I encounter people every day that don't know Jesus, that don't have a relationship with Him at all. I know people that are struggling in bigger ways than me, that are being attacked by the enemy, that are clinging on by a thread. THOSE are the people I need to be praying for...

You might be wondering what prompted this confession... well, I've been thinking. I've been thinking a lot about prayer, the Power of Prayer, and what I should be doing in my prayer life. Not only do I need to continually be in communication with God for those that ask me to pray for them, I need to pray for those that don't ask. In a big way, that means I need to be praying for the people that work in my office. I have struggled greatly for the last few weeks with the corporate business world. I keep thinking that maybe I would be happier if I left "corporate America" and moved into full time ministry. Then I'm reminded that I have been called to an awesome ministry opportunity that I'm not taking advantage of. There are 200+ people that work in my office, probably 20-30 of them I interact with on a daily basis. I need to be in prayer for these people. I need to pray that they find a burning inside to know Jesus. That they ask questions and receive answers. That they start to realize the way to eternity is through a one-way ticket, Jesus. Now, that's not to say that there aren't other Christians in this office, or that my main focus needs to be "saving" my coworkers. I just believe that I need to be more intentional about lifting them up to God each and every day. That I need to step outside my PCZ (prayer comfort zone). I need to start praying for God to radically rock the office places of Columbus, IN because I know I'm not the only one that struggles with this...

There's a plan brewing in my mind. I want to start meeting with some brothers that work near downtown Columbus (to start). I want to organize a weekly prayer meeting, that will eventually evolve into a Small Group. Right now, I want it to be a group of brothers because I want us to be intentional and real about what we need help with and what we want to see change in our offices. I want to take one day out of the week to meet for breakfast and pray for the work place we spend 40+ hours of our week in. I want us to pray about how God is using us to bring light into our workplace, how we can be more relational and yet, not push people away from Christ. We need to just gather together and realize that prayer is the best way to ask and be asked. Keep your eyes peeled Men of Columbus... this idea WILL come to fruition. Be in prayer about your role in this, and prepare your hearts to get real with each other, because I'm looking for a strong, core, group of men that can be honest and real. Until then....

Grace and Peace


The Brotherhood

About a week or so ago, I wrote a post on the change I made to the title of this blog call Words Through the Wreckage. At the end of that post, I asked that those that read it pray that God would wreck me during this last week. Well, sometimes we should be careful what we pray for I guess. God answered in BIG ways, and I'm still in the process of being restored. God has wrecked me in such a beautifully uncomfortable way, that I haven't even really been able to put it into words. I've sent a few people the following prayer request since my wrecking... "Pray for guidance, direction, patience and restoration. I can't really say specifically why, but I will let you know when the time is right". I tell you what, the time still isn't completely right. I'm still not 100% sure what's next, or exactly how God is wrecking me, but I can tell you that I feel it with every fiber of my body. One of the answers to my prayer to be restored since being broken, has been the overwhelming community that I have been blessed to fellowship with in the last few weeks. I've written and talked about community until I have been blue in the face... but this time... this post is different. This is going to focus on a specific part of my community. It's going to focus on The Brotherhood.

The Brotherhood, is a community of strong, faithful, loving, legit, manly, Christian men. The Brotherhood that I have been blessed with reaches far beyond the community of Columbus, or Indiana for that matter. In fact, this post about The Brotherhood, was sparked by a fellow brother who actually currently resides in Missouri. Now, this text came from a brother who I had shared the above prayer request with, but the timing of this message was impeccable. Last night, I had an opportunity to be downright real with my small group, and after getting home I couldn't stop thinking about the MAN I wanted to become, the MAN that I had been striving to be, and the MAN that God created me to be. I had a brother reach out to my last night while I was thinking about all of this, which sparked some thoughts about brothers. Then, I spent a lot of time in prayer last night, and did some reading (more on the book I'm reading a little later). So this morning I get the following message:

"Hey man! Don't limit what God can do through you today! Mark 9:23. Be intentional about being relational with those who you aren't close to and believe God wants to do something great through you. Have a good one!"...

 Let me tell you why this text meant so much to me this morning. First off, I miss the guy that sent this to me, so hearing from him is always a great way to start a day. Secondly, I love that he sent "Mark 9:23" but didn't write what it says... he was holding me accountable for reading my Bible (as I am too, so click on the link and read it!). Maybe that's not why Chris did that, but to me it's what I needed. The verse was so fitting for my day, my week, and my life the last few months. I love the encouragement I received from this message, but I also love that it was sent from a brother in Christ. Don't get me wrong, I love encouragement from anyone. I cherish my sisters in Christ too, and appreciate the impact they have on my daily life. There is just something about honest, real, relationship with men that share the same beliefs and struggles as you. In fact, the Bible even tells us that strong fellowship with other men is essential to growth... Proverbs 27:17 says "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another". Surrounding ourselves with strong Godly men, breeds strength. It's that simple. It gets better... The Word even goes on to tell us how awesome it is when men come together in fellowship-- Psalm 133:1 "How good and pleasant it is when brothers live in unity!" and that is absolute truth! I have felt it, I have experienced it, I have seen it before my own eyes. It is good and pleasant. Living in unity with our brothers is so key.

I don't know where I would be today if it weren't for my brothers. The funny thing is, most of you that know me pretty well, know that some of my closest friends have been females. In fact, a few of the people I consider my best friends are girls. I used to get irritated with my friendships with those of the same gender as myself. That's because I wasn't utilizing them the way I needed too. I wasn't leaning on them as much as I was using them to stand taller in the eyes of the world. Instead of using their strength to strengthen myself, I was trying to hide my weaknesses behind theirs. Instead of of leading, I was constantly following. I was approaching brotherhood in a terrible way. Proverbs 17:17 says "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity". My brothers are here to assist me when I face struggles, trials, and adversity. And after they pull me through, it's my job to continue to help pull them through when they face the same or similar struggles, trials, and adversity. I am thankful for adversity... but I am more thankful for the brothers that were born to help me face it.

THIS is a thank you to my brothers. I am blessed to be a part of your Brotherhood.

Grace and Peace


Father Knows Best

"You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail." Proverbs 19:21

Too often, we as humans, want to do things our way. Even more specifically, too often, we as Christians, recognize that our way isn't working... but we keep trying to do it. It's the human dilemma. It's a worldly dilemma. And to be quite honest, it causes us to screw a lot of things up. I had a brief discussion with someone about this on Sunday. Basically, she was talking about being stressed because of school and work... I told her "you're smart, have a good work ethic, let God handle the rest". She responded by saying "I'm going to try and let Him because my way isn't working"... that's what got me thinking about this human dilemma we face. Again, even more specifically, the Christian dilemma we face. I love that verse in Proverbs, and I use it all the time when talking to other people... but as usual, I don't listen to my own advice very well. 

I can make all the plans in the world, but they don't matter. In fact, more often than not it leads to disappointment, discouragement, and discontent. The reason all the DIS happens is because my ability is not as strong as God's. And even though I am fully aware that, that is the case, I can't help but to try and make my own destiny. When it doesn't line up with God's plan... I look up and say "Seriously? What the hell?" (which is okay according to this guy) Then I am reminded that my plans are futile. God's purpose for my life is set into motion, and He knows what is right for me. I realize that my ways aren't working, and probably never will. That is, not until my ways become relying on HIS WAYS. As soon as I relinquish control, God rocks my world. In the last month or so, He's done that numerous times. In one situation in particular, each and every interaction... I have to remind myself to say "Okay God, thanks for that interaction, now take this situation in whatever direction YOU want it to go in". Now, don't get me wrong, I know exactly where I would like to see things go... but I also know that if I try to do it my way, I will royally screw it up... just like I have many times in the past. Relinquishing control is something I struggle greatly with... and most people would say it's because I'm a man. I have this prideful desire to control the outcome of any given situation... between that and the fact that my Pops (who is a legit dude) was the "plan man" when I was a kid, has left me in a position where I often say "What the hell" to God a lot... because a lot of the time, things don't go the way I want them too. Which in retrospect is a beautiful thing. 

I'm a country music fan. I have established that many times in this blog. When I think about how beautiful it is that things don't work out the way I think they should, I am reminded of the song Unanswered Prayers by Garth Brooks. Now, I realize that song is mainly about this guy thinking about a girl from his past. That's not where I am going with that, not that those situations don't apply. I'm just saying in general, I can look back on almost every decision, or event in my life and think... "Yeah, the way God planned that was a lot better than the way I planned it". Then I start thinking about how much it probably frustrates and/or makes God laugh when I try to do things my way. Especially since He knows I'm going to try. God created me, He knows all the intricacies that went into shaping me into who I am today, He knows me more intimately than anyone in the world. He knows every time I'm going to make my own attempt, and He knows every time those attempts are going to fail. I truly do believe that there are times, where He looks at us and laughs. I know what He's capable of, even though I can't begin to fathom His power. Yet, I still refuse to put my pride aside and turn things over to Him immediately on a regular basis. The part that I think probably frustrates Him, is that even when I come to these realizations, and turn things over to Him, and SEE how beautiful that part of my relationship with Him is... I end up trying things my own way in a different situation. When I think about how beautiful His plans are... I am reminded of Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". 

God states it so clearly-- He has plans for us to prosper, plans to give us hope and a future. He doesn't say, "I'll give you anything you want" but He does say He will provide what we need... hope and a future. I am so thankful that I can wake up every day and be reassured that I can have hope that things will happen in a way that is pleasing to my Creator. I am blessed to have a future that is completely planned out by God. God loves me, loves all of us, so much that He has prepared a future for each and every one of us. Remember when we were kids and our parents would tell us that "Parents know best" well... when it comes to my life, and God's plan for it... I'm realizing for quickly that "Father knows best".

Grace and Peace,


Community Tattoo

Below is the message I presented tonight at Rockin-4-Christ. I am so thankful I had the opportunity to sharemy thoughts on this topic. I can't even begin to explain how mush the Holy Spirit moved this weekend to prepare me to bring this message. Some people have asked me to share so here it is...

When it came to trying to decide what I wanted to say tonight-- it was no easy task. I had to honestly ask myself what you guys would really need to hear tonight. Then I realized, I didn't need to ask myself-- I needed to ask God. I knew it wasn't up to me, but it's hard for me to relinquish control. I actually had a completely different idea written out as of 2:00 in the afternoon yesterday. I had almost everything written out but I knew it wasn't right, I just had this feeling... so I decided to hope in my Jeep and take a drive to the Outlet mall. On the way there I was thinking about how I was going to finish this message, and why I felt so uneasy about what I wanted to say. Then a song came on the radio... a song by Jason Aldean. Now, I've heard this song 1,000 times... but this time something really hit me. The chorus to "Tattoos on this Town" goes like this--

"It sure left it's mark on us, we sure left our mark on it.
Let the World know we were here, with everything we did,
laid a lot of memories down, like tattoos on this town."

Now, I realize some of you may not be country music fans-- but hang with me for a second. Think about those lyrics. Think about the impact they have on community. Let me break down what God taught me during that drive yesterday.

I had planned to talk all about relationship tonight, and I still think relationship is a very important topic. Especially when it comes to a personal relationship with Christ. However, those lyrics reminded me of a bigger picture idea. One about Community. About our community (or communities)... about the impact that you can have on this place. Community is such an important thing when it comes to our relationship with Christ and with others. Webster's dictionary defines community as: a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists.

Based on that definition, we are in community with each other, in a lot of different ways. Right now, we are meeting in community as a religious group... and a social group for that matter, and some of us may have classmates or coworkers here, which makes it an occupational group as well. On a larger scale we are a part of the community of Bartholomew County, AND an even bigger scale the community of Christians. The Bible has a lot to say about community, in fact, one of my favorite verses about community was part of a sermon I heard a few weeks ago... "All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord's Supper), and to prayer." Acts 2:42. That is truly what it means to be in community with others-- fellowship, faith and food. Now this verse comes right after Peter stands up and speaks to a crowd about their lack of belief in Christ. This crowd was gathered for the feast of Pentecost, and they were coming together as a social community. Peter cared so much about his community that he couldn't stand to see them miss out on the love of Christ, so he shared it with them. Right there on the spot 3,000 people were baptized and joined God's community. Now-- some of you may not realize where I'm going with this... but here it is. Peter was one man-- those of us sitting here total ____. He brought 3,000 people to Christ in a matter of minutes, because he spoke up, because he cared about his community. Look around you, and get an idea for how many people  you think are here tonight. I would guess ____. Multiply how many people are here, by 3,000... that's ____ people that could be saved just by us caring about our community. And telling people about the love of Christ is so much easier now than it was then... we have facebook/twitter/instagram/email/chat rooms/text messaging/skype. I'm not telling each of you, that you have to bring 3,000 people to Christ. Please don't misconstrue what I'm saying. I'm just saying that with all the technological advances we have, we should have the ability to see more of our community sharing in the love of Christ. We as believers, have a chance to make a difference in our community. A huge part of being a Christian is about other people... Philippians 2:4 says "Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too."  We are also called in John 13:34-35 "So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.". God is all about community, the community of believers, and the community that is Bartholomew county. One of my all time favorite verses, and one that God has used countless times in my life to answer my prayers is Matthew 28:19 which says "Go then and make disciples of all nations. Baptizing them in the name of the father, the son, and the holy spirit".You know what God has been teaching me about that verse the last few months, it's something I read in a book written by the Pastor of the Blended Church. We are all called to "Go and make disciples of all nations" but that doesn't necessarily mean we have to leave our nation. Because we live in the United States, the nations have been brought to our doorstep. There are a ton of opportunities to make disciples right here in Bartholomew County. Think of the impact you could have on your homes, schools, work places, athletic teams, clubs, even churches if you allowed the Holy Spirit to grab hold of your heart and use you the way God wants too. 

Which brings me back to those lyrics from before:

"It sure left it's mark on us, we sure left our mark on it
Let the world know we were here, with everything we did
Laid a lot of memories down, like tattoos on this town"

Bartholomew county is going to leave it's mark on you.. Trust me. I am going to be 24 in about two weeks, and I am who I am today, because of the community I was raised in. Let's leave our mark on Bartholomew county as well, let's allow the whole World to know we, as believers, as individuals, as students/parents/teachers/fathers/mothers/brothers/sisters/children make an impact on this World. Let's tattoo this town with the Cross. Let's make it an extension of the Kingdom, by adding to the number of people we are going to spend eternity with. Now-- Some of you are sitting there thinking, is this guy off his rocker? How are we supposed to impact the World? We are from Indiana, the only thing we know is basketball and corn... well, you're wrong. And I'll tell you some of the ways God can use you to change the Kingdom. Reach out to kids at school that get bullied, sit with the new kid at lunch. If you have jobs, start showing grace to those you work with, ask them in a polite way if you can help them with anything. When someone sneezes say "God Bless You". When someone is upset, comfort them. When someone is facing a hard time, pray for them and offer to pray with them. Carry your bible to school. Pray before you eat your lunch. Start a club like Fellowship of Christian Athletes, or even ask some friends to come over and play xbox or listen to music, and be in community with each other. When you are surrounded by a strong community, God can take hold of that community and use you to reach the lost and broken. Spend some time in relationship with others, and with God. Pray on a daily basis. Don't just pray for an A on the next test, or that the girl you sit by will notice you. Pray to be broken by the Holy Spirit, and after that pray for restoration in the Holy Spirit. Some of the greatest moments of my life have come when God has completely and radically wrecked my life, and then put me back together in a way that is more like His image. God created us in His image, and he wants us to strive to be like him. Ephesians 5:1 says "Be imitators of God". Let's start loving our community in a radical way, in a way that's going to leave a mark. Let's tattoo our community in love.

Grace and Peace


Letter to Peanut

Those of you that are my friends, family, or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram probably know that I have been given the honor of being a Godfather. My cousins Jen and Jon had a beautiful little girl a little over 3 months ago. I was thrilled for them when she was born, it was a long, challenging 9 months for all of them. However, now she is here and healthy. Putting aside the argument of when Jen and Jon asked me to be Aubrey's Godfather (since we all know I'm right), it was something that moved me beyond belief. The fact that they thought enough of me to ask me to play such an important role in that little girl's life made me instantly want to become a better man. Last weekend, Aubrey was baptized and as the Godfather I got to go up with Jen, Jon, Aubrey, and her Godmother Rachel (or my Cuzzo). It was such a cool experience for me, but ultimately there was something else that happened that weekend that meant even more. That night, after Aubrey (or Peanut as I like to call her) was baptized, and everyone had gone to bed, I went into her nursery. Peanut was sleeping in Jon and Jen's room, so her room was empty. I got the opportunity to sit down in the rocking chair and pray of her room, her crib, even her toys. While I was praying for this beautiful little girl God put it on my heart to write this letter:

Dear Peanut--

At the time I'm writing this letter, you don't even know your name. You are merely 3 months old, but I have been head over heels in love with you since your Mom and Dad told me they were expecting your arrival. I wanted to take the time to write you a few things that I want you to always remember. This letter is going to contain my hopes, dreams, and wishes for you, along with my promises to you. My dream is that you will grow up into a Proverbs 31 woman. That you will pursue Christ with a burning passion in your heart, and that you will realize that His love is unmatched by anyone else. I hope that you will love and honor your parents, cling to your family, and help anyone and everyone you can along your way. I wish that you will achieve your dreams, attain your goals, and reach for the stars. I promise to guide you in any way that I can. By that, I mean:

I will be there to listen when you are mad at Mom or Dad
I will be quick to remind you that Mom and Dad are (almost) always right and (generally) know what's best
I will be there to celebrate your achievements and reassure you during your failures
I will be available at any time, day or night, even if it's just to tell you that your hair doesn't look bad for school picture day (which will probably be a complaint from the time you are in kindergarten, you are a girl)
I will be there when you need my help, even when I am far away
I will help to teach you everything I can, and be eager to learn what you have to teach me
I will walk with you as you begin your life with Christ and I will be there when you have questions
I will be there to try and convince your parents to let you go to that party or movie (as long as there are absolutely NO Boys)
I will be there when the first guy that doesn't stand a chance comes to pick you up for your first date
AND I will be sitting on the front porch in camo with your Dad cleaning our guns or shooting bows just to scare the tar out of that kid
I will remind you that I know how boys your age are, because I was a boy that age at one time
I will scream and cheer when you do anything your heart tells you too
I will cry when you cry
I will laugh when you laugh
I will spoil you beyond your wildest imagination (I will even help you argue to your Dad that you need a pony even though you live in a suburb)
I will send you care packages while you are in college
And even bring you a case of beer on a random visit (only when you are 21 of course ;D )
I will call you to tell you are beautiful and I love you just because I know you need to hear it
I will be intentional about being relational with you
I will be intentional about finding the woman that God wants me to spend my forever with, because I know that she has to love you as much as I do
I will never endanger your body, mind, or spirit
Most importantly I will always, no matter what, no matter where I am, no matter how old I get, I will ALWAYS love you for exactly who God created you to be. You already steal my heart, because you are unlike any other girl. You will ALWAYS be my Peanut, even when it embarrasses to be called that. I will always be the funny guy, even if it means I have to pull a blanket over myself and act like a bear (inside joke). I will pray for you daily... for your heart, health, mind, spirit, comfort, peace, future, present, and forever. You are such a blessing in my life, and I am excited to be your Godfather. I hope that our bond will only grow as you grow older. As far as you will ever know, I will always be 25, so just humor me there. Never forget to thank God for your life, your parents for their love, and me for making you laugh (joking as usual). Always remember that you are beautiful, smart, charismatic, funny, and my little Peanut. I love you.

Always and Forever,

Uncle B aka The Godfather


Words Through the Wreckage

Some of you may have noticed that the title of my blog, the overall blog, has changed. It used to be "As Days Go By..." and while I still believe that it was an appropriate title for a time, it was also a time for a change. There's a reason I changed it to Words Through the Wreckage, and this post will be aimed at trying to best explain what that means. To begin with, everything I write here is just words. They are words that come from an attempt to convey to whoever reads this the things that God teaches me on a regular basis. Sometimes they are just words because I need to sit down and vent out some frustrations or confusion. A lot of the time THOSE posts, aren't published for your reading pleasure. Sometimes I write words in order to better understand myself. Regardless of what the meaning behind the words is... they are just... words.

The rest of the title of this blog says "Through the Wreckage" and there's a reason for that as well. A couple of reasons in all actuality. The first being that my life is a wreck. I'm not saying that in a way that means it's necessarily a bad life, because it is not. It's a wonderful life, and I love every bit of it. However, it's still a wrecked life in a few different ways. The first being that, from the ages of 15-19, I did a lot of stupid things. I mean... I still do a lot of stupid things. However, that four years of my life, I was a complete idiot. I walked away from God, I was angry for valid reasons, but my reaction to that anger was not valid. I walked away from my creator, and I wrecked my own life. And now, there are still times I am dealing with the mistakes I made then... and sometimes I'm repeating those same mistakes. So the words that I write, are words that have come through the wreckage. Words that have come from the realization that without God, I am a wretched sinner. With God, I am a beloved child of God saved by grace, and carried through the wreckage by my Savior. The second reason, I chose to title this blog the way that I did is that this world that we live in is wrecked. It's wrecked by the fact that so many of us believe we can do it all on our own. We attempt to take on the role of God and make our own destiny. We have missed the point in so many ways it's not even humorous at this point. Yet, God carries us through the wreckage when we give our lives over to Him. He has created a path to help guide us through the wreckage to an eternal life with Him. Granted, occasionally we still get cut and scraped from the wreckage-- regardless of whether or not we stay on the path. In the end though, if we follow God's path, we have a much better change of surviving the wreckage that is this World.

The final reason for this title is probably the most important one. When I write, it's generally because God has completely wrecked me in a beautiful way. When I lose sight of what's important, when I get too focused on my own ways, or the ways of the World... God wrecks me. He breaks me to pieces and then completely rebuilds me into something that is closer to His image. He wrecks me because He knows that the only way I will be able to comprehend His grace and mercy is if I am broken. If there were never broken moments in our lives, we would have no need for God-- we'd have no need for relationship, prayer, faith, belief, or grace. I need all those things, on a daily basis. Despite the fact that I have God providing me with grace and mercy, I still screw up all the time. Sometimes I screw up in ways that are so big it makes me sick to my stomach, it makes me feel like I am... broken. Then I refocus on those things, relationship, faith, prayer, belief and grace. God grants me a second, third, and five hundredth chance. Because even though I am wretched, He loves me enough to create and pull me through the wreckage. I need to be wrecked this week. I need to be broken. And I need to be restored. I need God to provide answers to questions, and the direction for certain parts of my life. Pray that God wrecks me this week.

Grace and Peace