Month: March 2019

What You Leave Behind

As I write this, 691,197 different people have visited my blog since I published my first article over 10 years ago.

In additioImage result for What You Leave Behindn, my articles have been read well over a million times.

I am amazed by that… and I am humbled.

I had no idea that it would go that way.  I was only looking for a way to express my thoughts and feelings.

I have had many years where writing came so easy, but I also have had those times where I struggled to write. Over those years, I always had the motivation to write. Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night and just get up and make my way to my keyboard and get the thoughts that were in my head out. Words would  just flow out of my fingers and I found a deep satisfaction in the process and the release of my thoughts.

In those times when I struggled to put my thoughts down, it wasn’t because of a lack of desire to write. Over those brief seasons of “writer’s block” my desire was there… I just couldn’t find a way to get the words out.  I would start to think it was time to shut down my website and find something else to fill the void. As a matter of fact, I did just that a few times. I even posted that I was done writing and would have weeks of silence and then out of the blue the words would be there and once again it was easy to write.

Publication2I even woke up one day and had the crazy notion to write a book. I did just that. On April 12, 2018, My book “Footprints in a Small Town” was published.  I honestly believed that between a few close friends and family, I would sell about 10 copies (5 copies which would have been purchased by my mother). I was wrong about that. It has sold far beyond any dream I may have had for it. One year later, while sales have tapered off, it continues to sell and I am still amazed at the response. Thank you to all who have played along and read my book. I am forever grateful.

Again, I am amazed by that… and I am humbled.

However, for the past 4 – 6 months, I have been going thorough a time where I am struggling with finding the words to write.  As I have said, I have gone through seasons like this before. 

This time it is different.

For the first time in over 10 years, I have lost the drive and desire to write.

I am not saying I will never write again. I will probably post something next week.  

Simply put… I have grown in good ways and God has helped me change my perspective on a few things that I would not have learned if I had not been writing.

Hopefully, the footprints that I  continue to leave will point others in the right direction and towards Jesus Christ.

Please do not interpret this change as anything other than what it is.  It has been a wonderful, amazing time in my life and I have no bitterness, nor regret of anything I have done with my writings.

I will continue on my journey and my hope and prayer is that one day I will be free to share more of my stories and be able to regain the desire to write once again.

As I have said from the very start of this blog… 

  • Thank you to all who have commented on my posts… 95% of your comments never got posted (sorry about that… I think).
  • Thank you to those that played along and allowed me to pick up some of the broken pieces of my life and share a portion of my story with you. 

Always remember that your footprints leave a legacy for the world to see… may God be honored by what you leave behind.

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Life is a Growth Process

Jesus talked a lot about forgiveness.

No wonder.

Forgiveness is essential to being a whole person and can be remarkably difficult to do. 

Most people who try to follow the teachings of Jesus have gotten the message that God is forgiving just because God is, well, God.

God forgives us before we can even begin to feel remorse.

God won’t withhold forgiveness, even in response to our uneven records of forgiving others.

It’s very hard to forgive someone who has injured us deeply. But even for those who have made forgiving a habitual practice, there often remains one-act of forgiveness that continues to elude them. They cannot forgive themselves.

In other words, somewhere deep within a voice is muttering that they do not measure up. And they don’t know how to silence that voice.

I get that. I’ve been there. 

I’ve struggled with shame. And while I have worked on, anImage result for Shamed am still working on, forgiving myself for specific things done and left undone in my past, I have needed a different strategy to silence the shame-voice within me.

Deep within, this voice of shame continued to mutter about my flaws and inadequacies for many years.

For a long time, I tried to ignore it.  

I was consumed with shame for a divorce that happened over 25 years ago.

I lost my ministry and I placed myself on the sideline.

While I know and accept forgiveness, I still sit on that sideline, while I see others who have been able to move on from their divorce and get involved in ministry.

But make no mistake, I am grateful for the life I have lived.

From the perspective of dealing with shame, life is a growth process. God continues to reveal things that I have buried deep in the recesses of my heart. He reveals these things so that I can deal with them properly and in the context of His forgiveness.

It has only been the last few years that I have been able to take communion.

I am growing, even after all these years.

Again… lifImage result for Life is a growth Processe is a growth process.

A messy and imperfect, frequently beautiful, sometimes terrible growth process. And, crucially, we are not alone in the growing. God is in it with us, not sitting back and waiting for us to hammer ourselves into an acceptable shape.

Jesus put it this way:

A man noticed that one of his fig trees wasn’t bearing fruit. He wanted to chop it down, but his gardener talked him out of it. “Look,” says the gardener, “let’s work with the tree and give it some time. Believe it or not, this tree will grow right through all the manure that gets heaped on it.” 

Notice that the gardener does whatever it takes to promote the fig tree’s growth and fruitfulness.

In other words, God is up to the divine elbows making something for us from life’s manure… the very stuff of new life.

That includes a life… including my life… worth living, even if it, in the back of my mind has been covered in the manure of shame.

That’s what God has done in my life, specifically in the case of my divorce. I am not grateful for the shame. But I am grateful for my life—with my admittedly on-again, off-again participation— that God has made of it.

For the past few months, I’ve been experiencing gratitude in a way that’s new for me. It’s changing me. I’m grateful to be alive. I’m grateful for this life.

When we accept ourselves as imperfect, we open ourselves to the love and the life that will help us grow.