Episode 33…That’s a wrap or maybe a Season?

Just 19 more…

But it just ain’t gonna happen.

No more new episodes for now.

I have decided to finish out the year with reruns of previous episodes.

Maybe we’ll just call that season one. For now.

It’s no one particular thing. Just a mash up of a lot of little things. Sometimes life and technical stuff just are not made to go together.

The additional responsibilities of my new job.

Increased responsibilities at church.

The focus of building my ministry.

Not being able to find convenient times to talk.

Rushing to always get this thing out on time.

In a way it got to be very much like a business.

Sometimes things just have to go away.

What is nice is that the recordings will be there for our girls. I know they don’t really care now. One day they will.

There is sadness. A sense of failure. Some relief.

The next months will be a time to refocus. Reflect on what worked and what didn’t. Where we truly able to help anyone? Why? Why not?

And to answer the hardest question, did Liz or I benefit from it? If so, how? How can we put more of that into our everyday relationship?

Finally, a big thank you to all these who have listened to the journey and lived the ups and downs with us.

I pray that somehow, somewhere, someone got something from this and was able to use something that pushed their relationship forward.

God Bless.

 

Photo by Kristian Seedorff on Unsplash

Music: Cullah – “Riverse” on “Cullah The Wild” (http://www.cullah.com)
Under license (CC BY SA 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

 

Episode 29…Bad things…good People???

It is an age old question…

Why do bad things happen to good people?

I’ve had this very conversation with several people. It seems to be the one universal question that Christians and Atheists alike can sit down and talk about and then politely agree to disagree.

Life can be good, not good. Fair, not fair. Why is it that some people seem more predisposed to not good and not fair?

Is it about the choices?

The circumstances?

A documentary I watched recently said that this one question keeps more people atheist and turns former Christians atheist more than any other question about GOD.

How can a GOD who is supposed to be loving and merciful let people languish in a toxic and fallen world?

Why can’t people who love him or choose to do right prosper and live long, distinguished lives? Why would that sam GOD not wipe out the people who deliberately choose to do evil?

As long as we are on this side of eternity, we will never truly know.

Anyone can be taken away at anytime. Perhaps we should pay less attention to the evil ones. Focus on the good ones before their live are cut drastically short.

I don’t have the answer. No one does. We can only choose to keep believing. Holding strong to faith.

The reason I pray the prayer of Jabez is so that I can be free of the evil that exists in this world.

Put your guiding hand over me.

Keep me from evil, so that I feel no pain.

 

Music: Cullah – “Riverse” on “Cullah The Wild” (http://www.cullah.com)
Under license (CC BY SA 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Photo by IV Horton on Unsplash

Unchurching?…

As someone raised in the church and saved at age 11 I have done a lot of church. Listened to all types of music and sermons I have long forgotten.

And I dwelled…

Mostly in complacency. Mostly in that happy place. You know that place where you think you are being a good Christian just by showing up on Sundays. Then living Christlike enough the rest of the week.

But that seemed like only half the picture.

With where I am now I am constantly afraid I am not doing enough. That I am not showing up enough. That I haven’t talked enough.

Helped enough.

Praised enough.

Prayed enough.

Volunteered enough.

Lead enough people to Christ.

What is it about pursuing GOD that can seem so thrilling yet leave you questioning at the same time?

The title of this blog comes from a book I read recently. One of six in the past two weeks. A pastor of over 20 years just ups and walks away.

Not from GOD. But from the way he and the people around him were “doing” church.

Is it enough to just show up on Sundays for an hour or so and consider your walk done for the week?

I know I did. For far to long.

Then I took action. Found a groove. Got some mojo going. Started investing more in the church I was attending. Now to be moved again. To things beyond my comfort zone. To the larger world.

Beyond the confines of four walls.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love attending my church. There are some truly amazing people there. But there is something inside me still restless. Stirring. Waiting to be disturbed.

Lord, continue to move me to action. Beyond the confines of four walls. Make me useful. Change live for the better.

Mine included.

 

 

Music: Cullah – “Riverse” on “Cullah The Wild” (http://www.cullah.com)
Under license (CC BY SA 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

 

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Episode 24…The Breakthrough?! Part 1

Is it just me…

Or does our whole existence seem like one gigantic search? Or 1,000 puzzle pieces and no idea of what the big picture is of what it is we are trying to put together?

We either wait…

Or look for the breakthrough that will change everything.

But when you think it arrives, how can you really tell? Will it be the thing you need to lead to true and lasting transformation? Is this going to be another in a series of letdowns?

This is the first episode in at least a two part series that re-lives a great couples weekend event that felt like a breakthrough for some involved. Myself included.

Over the next few episodes we will journey deeper into the five stones of marriage. Liz and I are trying to find the things that lead to better communication and a greater intimacy.

The connecting is difficult…

At least for me anyway and I feel like it is difficult for most men in general. Men are not only action takers but we are simple. Connecting on deep emotional level is hard because it is not tangible.

You don’t see it. Touch it. Smell it. At least not the way my wife seems to crave it. Sure, there is sex. And a lot of men feel connected through that medium.

But how do we bridge the Gap? That space that exists between the expectations and reality. How can we make it easier for men and women to just be.

We will be exploring that over the next few weeks.

Photo by Jilbert Ebrahimi on Unsplash

Music: Cullah – “Riverse” on “Cullah The Wild” (http://www.cullah.com)
Under license (CC BY SA 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Episode 23…Messy but how to clean it Up?

So, I will put this out there first. I never said communication wasn’t important. And never pointed any fingers.

All I Was saying…

Is to maybe look at what barriers are affecting the level of communication.

People, therapists, the “GURU’s” say all you gotta do is talk and things will somehow magically get better.

Communicate…

Those therapists and “GURU’s use it as a buzzword to avoid the laziness that comes with thinking deeper about an issue.

I talk to people all day long. Doesn’t mean it is effective or accomplishes anything really.

Like I’m famous for saying, “Without intention, nothing specific Happens.” What is it you want to happen?

Never heard therapists and “GURU’s” ask that either. Is there really a reason to talk, just to talk?

I even have to be a lot more intentional with what I want to accomplish when having conversation or communicating.

And, just to reiterate last week, what I apparently failed to get across is that before anyone can communicate effectively and deeply enough for transformation and deep bonding safety has to be first and foremost.

I can talk to anyone until I am blue in the face and unless it is intentional and received in safe environment then all the oratory skills Socrates could muster would be met with ill will.

And I am sure most of you probably know that Socrates had to drink poison because he was trying to communicate in a not so safe environment.

Understand this…

Communication is important and much more effective when transpiring in a safe environment backed with the intentionality of accomplishing an outcome.

Otherwise you may just be talking to hear yourself talk. By the way it is messy. And a lot of times happens organically. Begin with an outcome but don’t be derailed by visiting a few other stops along the way.

Thank you for understanding the episode in all it’s messy glory. It’s real. It’s life.

That is the way I like it. Unscripted and raw. Until next week.

Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash

 

Music: Cullah – “Riverse” on “Cullah The Wild” (http://www.cullah.com)
Under license (CC BY SA 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

All about that safe….about that safe….no trouble!

Maybe some of you would recognize the title as a play on words of a little tune that was popular a few years ago. If not, no big loss, I tried.

Stand up comedy was never really my thing.

When deciding about marriage and what was important to making it work, I came up with I believed to be the five most important “things” to have. But, of course I couldn’t just call them “things”. I needed something way cooler.

After much thinking I started doing some research on stones. We can think about stones in a couples of different ways. But, what came to mind for me was stepping stones. The way you might use them to go from one side of a river to another.

Assuming the stones are big enough of course.

Well, what I slowly remembered was that a “stone” is a unit of measurement in some European countries. It is the equivalent of 14 pounds. When I multiplied 14 times 5 I got 70.

Upon doing some further research I found out that the number 70 was the number of parables that Jesus spoke in the four Gospels. Not 70 per gospel but 70 if you add up the parables found in each of the Gospels.

So….stones it is.

Now, I like to think that the stones are in no particular order, seeing how each stone weighs the same. But then I realized that in order for everything else to work, the “safety” stone had to be the most important.

What does that mean?

It means that for any marriage to work well, I strongly feel that creating an environment of safety is the most important thing you can do.

Before your spouse can communicate…

They have to feel safe enough to talk to you. They have to feel like they can come to you about anything and you won’t yell, be negative, criticize, tell them there an idiot, or make them feel less than what they are.

Your job as a the head of the household is to make sure your wife (and kids for that matter) want to talk to you first about anything before they talk to anyone else.

They should know that you are not going to lose your cool and fly off the handle. If your wife doesn’t feel safe, both physically and emotionally, in the their own home then you really have to reassess what is happening in your kingdom.

Photo by Lydia Torrey on Unsplash

 

Music: Cullah – “Riverse” on “Cullah The Wild” (http://www.cullah.com)
Under license (CC BY SA 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Episode 16: Success….or Thoughts Thereof?

When do we really know if we are successful? I suppose some on the outside looking in might actually mistake me for successful.

I’ve got the house. The wife. The kids. Running cars, water, and electricity. 2 Master’s degrees and about to finish my sixth year as a teacher. Whether or not I am successful as a teacher is a whole other podcast entirely.

If I really wanted to I could have even went out to eat tonight. So, for people in my position, and with something as intangible as success is, what makes people feel like a success?

My wife talked about things being meaningful and impactful. I thought my work as a teacher were both of those. But most days I don’t really know. I said that was another topic. But isn’t that what most of us think of? High up on that career ladder with lots of money in the bank?

I read an article one time about the seeming fallacy of succeeding. I know I am not going to get this right. But from what I can remember it was like the more success you have, the more success you want and after awhile most successes don’t seem big enough to satisfy anymore.

You keep reaching what you think is the end goal but there is always something else waiting. There truly is no goal line. What do you Do?

Music: Cullah – “Riverse” on “Cullah The Wild” (http://www.cullah.com
Under license (CC BY SA 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Episode 13! Let People Know!

Excellent conversation this one. One of the many reasons I adore my wife. Insight beyond measure. Others constantly on her mind. You will probably notice that she does most of the talking in this one, which is awesome. Otherwise, I may have to name this show conversations with myself. Nobody wants that.

And amazing points tonight. She is right. People often do not know. Perhaps we are to afraid to tell them. Our pride? Our ego? Maybe we just make too many assumptions. If we just smile right or simply say thank you. People in your life have to know they matter. It could be the only reason some people come back around. We take too much for granted because we think we are doing enough. Maybe that is the exact point we need to be doing more. If we really have to stop and ask ourselves is what I have done enough? Then maybe the answer is no.

I guess that old saying is true, “better late than never.” At least I hope it is. Because I am coming to this game kind of late it seems. The previous twenty years seems a bit of a waste in many regards. I thought I had purpose. Turns out I didn’t. I thought I was making an impact. Turns out, I wasn’t. I thought that the status quo was all God had in store for me. Turns out, it isn’t. Not by a long shot.

I don’t know what it will take to make the greatest impact on the greatest number of people. I am doing my best to start at home. I have been pondering the question more, “Is to fail at home mean you fail everywhere?” At least I know the impact has to start at home.

But we should take a moment for others. Let them know today if they have impacted you and how. Just like Liz said, the people are the church. And it truly would be different if those people were not there.

Music: Cullah – “Riverse” on “Cullah The Wild” (http://www.cullah.com
Under license (CC BY SA 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Moving Forward!

What does progress look like? When it is something tangible, it’s easy. A house being built. A cake being baked. A book getting written. A car rolling off the assembly line. But what if it can’t be touched? Or seen? Or smelled? Or tasted? How do you really know you are growing more intimate with God or your spouse? At what moment do you wake up and can say, “Babe, I love you 100 percent more that yesterday,” and the other person actually knows what you mean. Once you feel like you have reached a goal in your relationship, is it impossible to back track? What assurances do I have that my wife won’t walk out the door tomorrow? Because unlike God, people can change. For better or for worse. These kinds of questions is what we have to grapple with on a daily basis. The whole reason for our churches marriage ministry is to try and figure this whole thing out. Sure, God gave us an instruction manual. But it too can seem a bit overwhelming. The only thing I have figured out so far is that this institution of marriage was intended to be a direct reflection of our relationship to him. We have to take God on Faith. We don’t see him, touch him, smell him like we do our spouse. If we learn to perfectly love a sinner then imagine how much easier it will be to love our most wonderful God.

Episode 5! The Devil comes out Swinging?

This early into the new year and the devil himself has come down to Georgia. He doesn’t come as this red dude in a cape with horns and a pitch fork. It’s doubt, diversion, defeat, discouragement. Even 2nd Corinthians says he comes as light. Those bright, new shiny objects of your heart’s desire. The episodes are getting real and interesting. Just the way I had hoped. Learning more about myself, my wife, and the needs that have to be met in a relationship. Have a great week and God Bless!!