Last night, was incredible.

For those of you that know me, you probably know I'm a big fan of a select few Christian blogs. One in particular called Stuff Christians Like, is a satirical blog written by a guy named Jon Acuff. Now, I have followed SCL for probably the last 3 or 4 years. It's one of the first things I read every morning. There's humor, there's insight, there's relevance and it's written so well. Jon has also written a few books, I've read two of those books. One was called... not surprisingly... "Stuff Christians Like". The other, was called Quitter. I read Quitter while I was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It was exactly what I needed while on that trip. Jon's writing, his story of how he got to where he is, is one of the big reasons I have continually worked on writing this blog, and preparing the ideas for a book that I will write one day. Jon has helped me to realize that if I want to write, I just need to do it on a regular basis.


A couple of months ago I heard Jon was releasing a new book called Start. Then, I found out he was going to be holding an event in Franklin, TN called #StartNight. Basically, Dave Ramsey (who Jon works for) told Jon to plan his dream event... and #StartNight was born. Now, most of you know, I am a professional procrastinator. So naturally, when tickets went on sale for #StartNight, I waited until the last possible second to buy one... and wouldn't you know... they were sold out. I was distraught. However, an idea was formed in that moment... Jon loves Twitter, why not use Twitter to get his attention and get a ticket. I started a campaign, and asked everyone that follows me to retweet the following post "I'm starting a personal campaign to get a ticket to @jonacuff event #StartNight please retweet to get his attention"

And it worked.

Within about an hour Jon had messaged me and said his team was working on it. By the next day, someone from Dave Ramsey's office called me and said they had a ticket. I was in. I was so excited to have the opportunity to hear from Jon live, but I had no idea what it was going to be like. Even if I would have had expectations, they would have been completely surpassed. Last night, I drove 4 1/2 hours to Franklin, TN to attend #StartNight. It was amazing, there's no other way to describe it. Jon outlined all these ways to "Punch Fear in the Face", talked about the path we should travel on to get to "awesome" instead of walking the straight line to "average". It definitely got me thinking about what's next and helped me realize I have to START walking towards my dreams now, not once the ending is clear and concrete. You might be wondering what that looks like... well....

It Starts Now.

That's right, it starts now. The first thing I'm going to do is start taking steps to achieve my dreams of becoming a published author. I got some advice from a guy a few months back that published his first book. He said the best way to start writing a book, is to write 600 words every day. Regardless of whether they are complete crap, you never post them, etc... still write 600 words every day. So that's where I start. It starts today. Every day, from here on out, I'm going to write 600 words a day about something. I have no idea what that will look like, but God will control the path, I just have to start down it. I would love to tell you more about the book and the message behind it, but I'm not sure where it's going at this point. I just know that I can no longer use the excuse, "When God wants me to start it, I will start it"... no, God is not the one that is impeding the progress on my dreams, I am.

What about you?

What's your dream? How can you start walking towards achieving that dream right now? If you want to talk about it, hit me up. I'd love to hear about your dream, I'd love to help you start working towards it if I can. Most importantly, I'd love to pray for you. We can't achieve our dreams alone, we need each other.

It's time to START.

P.s. For those of you wondering, this blog post is 768 words long ;)

Grace and Peace


Trading Places

There's this song that I hear pretty often on K Love and The Bridge FM... it's by Jeremy Camp and it's called This Man. Every lyric is speaking to the true heart and character of Jesus. There's a part this morning though, that really caught my attention. The chorus repeats the same two lines, and those two lines are:

Would you take the place of this Man?
Would you take the nails from His hands?

I started to think about those questions. I started to examine myself, and I found myself answering those questions the way I would bet most of us would answer them.

"Sure, of course I would... who wouldn't"

Well. I can tell you...

I wouldn't. 

Now, stick with me here. That statement may make some people think I am entirely blasphemous, but let's think about that for a second. There are so many reasons why I wouldn't (or couldn't) take the place of Jesus, why I wouldn't take the nails from His hands and allow them to pierce my own. The biggest reason being, I'm not Jesus. I'm a selfish, inwardly focused, sorry Human. I am 100% human. Christ, was both man and GOD. I can't put myself in His shoes and honestly sit here and tell you I would trade Him places, because I know that 1. I wouldn't be asked too 2. I wouldn't be able too. I don't have the same outlook on the world as Christ did. I, like many of you, have been jaded by the ups and downs of life. I have walked away from Christ more times than I would like to admit. I don't have the strength that Christ had, and to be honest, I'm not selfless enough. I don't love others in the same way Christ did, even though I try to every day....

Could I take the pain? No way
Could I take His place? No way
Does that make me any less of a Christian? Not at all

Here's the thing... in my honest opinion... I think it takes more love for Christ, and faith in my Creator to admit that I couldn't do it. I am humbling myself this morning before the Lord and saying "Lord, I can't do what you did, so I won't even pretend like I would." It's not about whether or not I would be willing to give my life if God asked me to, the way He called Jesus to die on the Cross. It's about recognizing that there's a reason it was Jesus and not me. It's because I'm not strong enough bring salvation, grace, and forgiveness to the world. Jesus was. Jesus is. Jesus always will be.

I just have to follow Him, and continue to remind myself that the blood that was shed for me was worth more than I could ever comprehend.

Grace and Peace


From the Least of These to Kings and Queens.

I have a confession...

I'm a Christian Radio Junkie. Seriously. My morning commute is one of my favorite times of the day. It's peaceful outside, I generally leave early enough that I don't have to deal with much traffic. So with no traffic, coffee in my mug, and worship music playing from my radio, it's just this intimate time of worship and conversation between God and I. This morning was a perfect example of how starting the morning with K-Love or The Bridge can impact my entire day....

6:15 AM.

That's what time I woke up this morning. My alarm hadn't gone off yet but I was still awake. I went to bed around Midnight so I was already dreading how long the day was going to be. Then my phone buzzed as emails started to come in. At 6:20 I was reading emails from my counterparts in the UK. Trying to figure out how to fight the fires of the day. By the time I hoped in the Jeep it was 6:55 and I was already frustrated with work. Then I turned on K-Love to start my drive... and everything changed. I felt the weight of the impending day lift from my shoulders. I felt a peace come over me like a gentle breeze, and I was reminded that through it all, God is with me. I started praying, I started thanking God for the things He does for me each day, for the life I have, for the friends and family, and the opportunities. I asked for forgiveness for my morning transgressions, because even though it was just past 7:00 am I had already sinned. All of this was great, a huge relief to the beginning of a Monday. However, there was one song... one moment when I felt all the stress and worry I had completely slip away...

Kings and Queens.

I love this song, but this morning it took on a whole new meaning. This morning, it brought tears to my eyes as I sang along with the lyrics. I was reminded, that we are all royalty as the Children of God, but more importantly, I was reminded that every child deserves to be treated as royalty. That there are people all over the world that need to know that they matter, that they have precious, that they have an inheritance that is the Kingdom of God. That's when the tears started to fall, because I began to think about my upcoming mission trip. In March, I'll be going with 6 other people to Moldova (Eastern Europe). We will be working at an orphanage helping in any way that we can. I will have the opportunity to spend time with these Moldovan children, these children of God. It has become my one desire, that during this trip, I will get to show those kids that they are royalty. I will get to help them find their identity in Christ, and realization that they are saved by grace.

My heart is dancing.

The opportunity to share the Gospel, Christ's love, and my own love to these children makes my heart just dance. It's as though Psy and the pistachio's (Super Bowl commercial reference) are literally dancing around in my soul with excitement.  I am beyond blessed to have this chance, this week in Moldova, where I get to do my best to impact these young lives. The funny thing is, I have a feeling, that they will have more of an impact on me. God is going to do big things while I'm in Moldova. I cannot wait, to meet my Moldovan brothers and sisters, and see the Royal Family of God grow.

Grace and Peace.