Race Against The Battery

I was just meeting with a friend for coffee and talking with him about his pursuit of becoming a better writer. It reminded me of a time when I blogged far more regularly. I would participate in a thing called “Five Minute Friday” – where there would be a topic and you’d have five minutes of writing, without editing or worrying too much about your thoughts – you wrote about the selected topic and shared them with the world.

There’s something fun about not holding back. Scared of not measuring up to what readers may expect, I will frequently discount my voice and shy away from sharing what I have to say. So this morning it’s a race against my MacBook’s battery (because I forgot the charger and probably won’t have any free time to finish writing later). Let’s see what we can do with 12% – I mean, 11%….

Life is kind of a race against the battery – isn’t it? You wake up fully charged most of the time and some days you didn’t sleep that well – you forgot to plug yourself into the bed early enough and wake up at 50% and you’re like, “Welp – today is gonna be fun.” And then even on a normal day, by the time lunch rolls around you’re running near 50% or less, just wondering how you’re going to get through the remaining 8 hours.

As I sit here in Black Dog, that’s kind of how I feel about my life right now. Lots of variables and unknowns in life currently and lots of dreams and things being prayed for, and having pursuits of becoming healthier – exercising more and eating right – but then the subzero temperatures hit and the fridge runs out of fruits and vegetables and you find yourself digging into a greasy burger and beer at Johnny’s after work.

Conserving battery life – time-management, money management, stress management, crisis response are all a part of this wild journey that we call life. And at every turn seems to be a reminder that we need to get better at more than one of these areas. And it’s overwhelming if you let it be.

I frequently look at all the areas I need to improve in and want to curse myself out. “You should have x-amount saved for retirement, and you should have a house, and you should be 50 lbs lighter, and able to lift y-amount of pounds, and your sales should be so much better, and you should be reading the Bible every day, continuing recovery homework, and writing your book – you should be doing all of these things, every day.” It’s as if I’m looking down on myself and lecturing myself into a comatose state. “I guess this is it – I’ve failed. I’ll never make it.”

8% left…

And that’s how I feel. 8% left. Stuck in the same patterns, plugging into the same old, crappy sources for strength.

And then it hits me. God loves us so much that he’s offered us Living Water! And those that have tasted it should thirst no more! And here I am, in a “thirsty” culture that lusts and covets everything – allowing myself to be poisoned to the point of death. And my Lord and Savior is saying, “Here – come and drink! Let the children come to me.” And it’s in those moments where you’re on the floor in tears and feeling helpless and hopeless like a little child that we can truly remember what faith is, what it’s like to realize we need something, someone, some God – because we will NEVER be enough, on our own.

The self-help industry and all of it’s nooks and crannies wants you to believe that you ARE enough and that you WILL get better, and maybe you will get better. But at the end of the day, if your heart doesn’t change, you’re not going to remain changed – because you’ll always be yourself. The only one capable of changing your heart is God. And that seems to be what we all run from the most. Allowing ourselves to feel exposed and vulnerable and ready to listen to the Living God, like a child experiences when they’ve messed up and their parents are rebuking them. But not for the sake of rebuking them and making them feel awful – for the sake of their personal development and growth, that they wouldn’t grow up to become that type of person.

6% left…

What if we remembered we were offered eternal life, living water, a source of strength and substance that doesn’t know limits. Never runs out. Never needs to be recharged. What if our dreams were no longer limited by fear, resources, and other’s opinions? What if our current state didn’t have to determine our future?

What if we cashed in on God’s promises? You have a better plan for my future? Cha-Ching! Show me! You have a hope and I’m fearfully and wonderfully made? Cha-Ching! Show me! Show me, Lord – how I am desirable, beautiful, handsome, and made to do good works.

What if….

Battery is gone. Gotta go for now. Be blessed.


I Won’t Give Up

I’m in a rough spot. Basically starting over. If you want to learn more about my present situation then definitely feel free to give me a call or send me a message.

It’s been incredibly tempting to throw in the towel and run off. Amazing how when the going gets tough, our first reaction is to run – whether that to be to entertainment, alcohol, drugs, sex, or any other form of counterfeit affection – anything that will make us feel loved. I’m happy to say that I haven’t given up – that I haven’t run.

Instead, I’ve pressed in harder. I’ve gained weight and lost sleep. I’ve laid awake stressed at night, eaten a little too much sweet and salty, but I haven’t given up. I haven’t stopped working. I haven’t gotten lazy. I haven’t thrown in the towel. I’ve stayed strong. Stayed the course. Continued to find a way to see the blessings the Lord gives me each day.

I’m a blessed man with an incredible network. You wouldn’t believe the amount of potential opportunities and doors that have suddenly swung open in the aftermath of a couple doors shutting in my face (honestly, by God’s grace). It would have been easy to pack my bags and run. It would have been easy to throw in the towel. But I’ve kept working, kept hoping, kept persevering.

I will not give up. I will persevere.

I’ve found someone worth loving. I know a God worth living for. I have friends willing to go out of their way for me. I have a woman that believes I have the potential to be successful in absolutely anything I set my mind to.

Today, I find myself praying for you, the reader. I know that some of you may not be as fortunate as me – to have that sort of safety-net and community. A family that’s willing to bear some of your financial burden, friends that are willing to meet with you and discuss potential opportunities, a church that continues to pray for you even though you’re considering other church communities; people that refuse to let you give up on yourself, because they haven’t given up on you.

I find myself praying that you’ll know Him. That you’ll come to meet the Savior. The Provider of my strength and resilience. Yes – I’ve stressed myself silly and worried myself into sickness. Yes – I’ve slept poorly and eaten terribly. No – I will not be left in the cold. No – I will not completely fail. No – I will not be left empty-handed.

He’s a good, good father. He saw me estranged and beaten and giving up and He ensured I found a way out. He will provide. I pray you know Him. I pray He meets you where you’re at too.

It’s a struggle. To believe in something you cannot see. To feel something you sometimes are too numb to feel. Life is never easy.

The beautiful, eloquent speeches that some are capable of presenting (whether politician or pastor) are not an accurate depiction of life. But Jesus is an accurate depiction of love. And love is real. It overcomes. It forgives. It forgets your misdirections and gives you another chance – again and again – never giving up – always persevering.

You are the captain of your ship and I the captain of mine. The only one responsible for it’s successful passage through the treacherous waters of life, yourself (and the God you do or do not believe in). Only you can sink the ship.

I’m refusing to sink mine.

I’m a fan of words. A fan of pep-talks. I’ve asked for prayer and encouragement, but I’ve decided its necessary to preach to myself. So here it is. I’m believing. I’m achieving. I’m fighting. And I won’t give up.

Right There With You,

Justin Meyer

#NoFilter – Love Yourself

Let’s talk about filters. I can’t remember the last time I posted a picture on Instagram or Snapchat or any form of social-media that didn’t have a filter. I thought about this as Allie and I were having a good time with different filters on Snapchat in Starbucks. It was all innocent fun, but I had this thought about filters just then. It’s interesting that we don’t necessarily want to see the #NoFilter version of ourselves. Not that we don’t. But just that we don’t necessarily want to face it, if that makes sense?

I think we do similar forms of filtering on Twitter and Facebook. Perhaps we tweet about that jerk-face that cut us off in traffic on Twitter haphazardly and then find ourselves deleting it later and replacing it with a Bible verse about unconditional love later that afternoon. Because we don’t want to be seen as an angry person. So we post on Facebook when we graduate from college or get that next promotion, but (unless you’re me) avoid being publicly downcast. Or perhaps on more relatable terms – we become recluses from society when we’ve gained that extra five pounds or are wrestling with depression. We’d rather people just saw us during the triumphs.

But what would the #NoFilter version of ourselves look like? Let’s take body-image out of the equation. You look the way you dream of yourself looking. You’re now officially Ryan Gosling or Rachel McAdams. What would the #NoFilter version of our hearts look like? Our personalities? Our personas? Our internal conversations and dialogue?

“Don’t play yourself,” DJ Khaled says all the time on his Snapchat. I don’t think DJ Khaled is any sort of life-advice guru per se – I just find his posts to be hilarious. But he’s got a point here. I think we play ourselves too much. We filter ourselves to the point that we’re not even sure who we are.

Who are we really?

So you’re the partier on Saturday, the worshiper on Sunday morning, in debauchery on Sunday night, in F-This mode on Monday, and an overcoming go-getter on Tuesday. So, which one is it? Who are you really?

Isn’t that what everyone wants to know? Isn’t it irritating when people are one thing one moment and another the next? Don’t you sort of want to punch the mirror when you’re that person? (Everyone’s been there, too. Don’t say, “That’s not me.”)

I hate the back-and-forth, figuring-ourselves-out, wondering-what-to-do version of ourselves. I’m a perfectionist. I want the “this is it” finished product, right here, right now, yesterday.

But what if we took the filters off? And we faced the mirror of our minds? What if we took the time to write down our emotions and feelings and endure them? You see – I like to run. Not really. I hate physically running. But metaphorically, I love to run. It’s easier to run and keep moving and go onto the next thing than to focus on the now.

#NoFilter – It’s easier to run from God than it is to sit there and listen to him. You know those moments where it’s suddenly too quiet? You’re sitting there in your bedroom, or conversation with your loved ones has died down, and suddenly you can feel the Spirit (or your conscious – whatever you want to call it) speaking to you. It’s saying gentle things. Little reminders. “Hey man, maybe you shouldn’t have brushed your sister’s request off like it was nothing.” “Yeah, yeah, okay Jesus, I get it.” And then you just move on. It’d be an interesting world to start listening to that voice. An even more interesting world to not run from it. Miraculous, if we invited it in.

Typically, I start feeling those gentle nudges. My brain and soul kicking into a highly engaged state, and it scares me. Crap – what’s God going to ask of me this time? I’d rather not find out. I reach for my headphones, play some Ben Rector, and immediately surf the nothingness of Facebook-Land trying to find a distraction from the obvious call. “Sorry God, I don’t have any reception here tonight. Maybe another time.” And then I place my phone on Do Not Disturb and go to sleep.

So, what would happen if we listened?

#NoFilter – I find faith to be hard to find sometimes. It’s not always easily accessible. But I feel hopeless without it. God has to be real. There has to be power in prayer. I’ve seen people healed, abundant provision occur, spirits overcome, darkness turned to light. But when you’re coming from a place of hurt and skepticism it’s incredibly difficult to step back out there into that circle of trust, to be in relationship with Jesus again.

To wrap things up – let’s drop the filters. And for the love of God, the Church, His people, and others – let’s love ourselves a little bit more. Grace is not just for others. Grace is for you and me. And sometimes, we have to extend it to ourselves. You may have failed, but you are not a failure. You may have fallen, but you are not incapable of getting back up. You may have been angry, but you are not “just an angry person.”

Love God. Love Others. And for the benefit of everyone involved, Love Yourself.


Insecure – A Social Experiment

A few days ago, I conducted a social experiment. Without much of a reason why, I posted this question – “What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think of me?” My friends graciously provided over 20 honest, thoughtful, kind responses. My brother said, “Perfect!”- but we all know that’s simply not true; but my family has always been my greatest fans and cheerleaders. I’m grateful for them.

So why would I pose such a question? The truth is, I was feeling “insecure” (probably the most prodding response I received – but it was very accurate).

I needed to prove to myself that my own perception of myself was wrong – that the negative lies swirling around in my head that night did not define me. Some of them were true, but they did not define me. Yes – I’m not fiscally secure (yet), I could stand to continue watching my fitness (but I’ve started keeping a food/exercise diary on MyFitnessPal and I’ve cut back on “going out”); I could have more reinforcing conversations with myself, rather than fighting myself, etc. But those irritating moments and bad days do not define me.

There’s a scene in the movie Creed where Rocky is instructing Creed on shadow-boxing. He turns Creed to the wall of mirrors in the gym (probably my least favorite thing about any gym or bar I’ve ever been to) and he tells Creed that his toughest opponent is the one staring back at him in the mirror. You then – slightly humorously – see Creed intensely throwing punches and ducking to avoid them as he faces himself, his greatest threat yet.

I think that’s the greatest struggle a twentysomething has to face. I’m fairly certain that’s why we see so many people in their twenties lose their faith, walk away from the church, turn to destructive lifestyles, and turning their wheels for a period of time – until they finally reach the day entering their mid-to-late twenties (shoutout to my 26th birthday, fastly approaching!) and realize it’s time to fight their demons.

So I was sitting in my car outside the Library. Because I’m a nerd. Loud and proud. I love to read and learn and write. But mostly, I love stories and emotion.

I’m sitting there in my car, questioning life and doubting myself. And I asked my friends what they thought defined me, what they valued and believed to be true about their relationship/interaction with me and it turns out, they want to call out the brave, courageous, writer within that’s good at relationships, witty, goofy, Christian and yes – occasionally insecure. But the overwhelming theme was that they loved me for me. That I was enough. That I was indeed, worth it.

I’m Justin Meyer and I struggle with insecurity and occasionally retreat to poor habits or shut-down when confronted due to a sensitive heart. But those do not define me. That is not who I am.

I am enough. I am loved. I am, for the most part, respected and talented.

So thank you for contributing to my semi-vain study where I conducted a social-experiment regarding the lens through which you see me.

But at the end, I’m still holding to the belief that this life is for an audience of One. And I’ll continue sharing matters of the heart. Because in the end, that’s what counts. And the One thought I was worth everything – even His Son.


(For the record, I hate cats. But this one looked pretty insecure. And I figured Allie would be thrilled that I featured a ‘cute’ kitten at least once. Enjoy it while you can – it won’t happen again. :P)

Mind Games

The heart is an astounding entity. It’s difficult to describe love, yet man will never cease to write, read, watch, and pursue its story.

Just as powerful, is the mind. Our internal dialogue holds a greater amount of force over us than we realize.

Over the course of the last couple weeks, I have been quietly taking a step back and analyzing my thought-patterns and heart-state. In Leadership Studies (at Kansas State University), we would refer to this as “getting up on the balcony” – taking a moment to get to a higher vantage point to examine, and consider, what is. You’ll learn a lot about yourself in the process, if you give it a try.

Here’s what I’m learning about myself and mankind’s general thought-process…

We inevitably have trained thought-patterns. If your coworkers are negative, then you are twice as likely to be negative as well, because your brain begins to connect-the-dots and look for things you’re dissatisfied/frustrated with as well. If every time you see a mirror and look into it with the question, “What’s wrong with my appearance today?” then you are bound to walk away unhappy. The problem is perpetuated if you live in America, because mirrors are everywhere. And if every time you see a mirror, you’re going to ridicule yourself, you’re going to be very, very hurt (and the crazy thing is – you’re the one hurting you – no one else, in most cases, has even contributed to the negative-perception).

The mind is malicious sometimes. America’s culture has trained the mind to judge quickly. “She’s hot. She’s not. Ehhhh, maybe if her face wasn’t so square.” Guys make snap-judgments about other guys at the gym, ALL THE TIME, too. “He’s a gym-rat, so all he’ll wanna talk about is protein-shakes and the latest trendy workout.” And my favorite, “Well, at least I’m in better shape than him…”

Here’s the good news – we have the power to redirect our thought-patterns.

I like to go on walks occasionally. It gets me away from the constant hum of the television and the busy chatter of a very full, lively house, so that I can actually take some time to think. Last night, as I walked through my neighborhood, I began to think… My thoughts started off in downcast state – considering my inability to reach goals, varying flaws, uncertainties, etc. It was overwhelming me. Then, I remembered that I had made the decision to redirect my thoughts – to bring out the internal traffic-police and send every thought in a healthier direction.

So I began to pray. I lifted up my concerns and anxieties to the LORD, leaving them there. I’m candid and honest when I pray. There is no point in using big, fancy words, or in trying to appear holy and content, because God already knows me. He’s well-aware of my heart and just wants me to share all of it with Him. So I did. All of it. I laid it all out there – honest, concise, rebellious, and needy – He took me as I was and loved me still.

Something beautiful began to happen as I gave my anxiety to God. I found the strength to find things in life that I appreciated, and suddenly, my heart was overflowing with gratitude and joy. I prayed for, and thanked the LORD, for my deep friendships with guys like Brad, Bryce, Joey, and Jake. I found myself thankful for the strength to fight depression, despite its’ rather persistent grasp on my heart sometimes.

And then the tears came. I cried good, healthy, heart-felt tears. “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Lord.” – over and over again. It was beautiful, and suddenly, even if just for a moment, there was peace.

You can fight the mind-games that occur within. You can choose to not climb the mountain of despair and to rather climb the mountain of joy.

As you look for the positive, more positive things inevitably pop up – your mind starts connecting-the-dots in a positive direction. “Wow, I find myself appreciative of coworkers that go out of their way to assist me, today. And PRAISE THE LORD FOR COFFEE. And for friends. And for hugs. And for family. And for that customer that insisted on letting my boss know I’m ‘awesome’. Hey, life’s not so bad…”

The world could use a little more gratitude and a little less cynicism.

It’s a mind-game, really.

Spiritual warfare often occurs within your head – darkness wants you to plunge into the pit of despair, while the Father of Lights waits for you to reach the edge of the ring and tag Him into the fight for you. I’m amazed at how often satan manages to persuade me to box myself. I’m in the metaphorical boxing-ring, taking jab-after-jab – only to realize that my fists are the ones striking my face.

But we can fight back. Better yet, God can fight for us.

We train our bodies to become healthy and fit. We train our diets to keep from becoming sick or too skinny/overweight. It’s time we consider how to train our minds – to be ready for battle. Like the Hunger Games, the Mind Games are a death-match between light and dark – good and evil – man versus himself and his opposition. But we can form an alliance with God. We don’t have to fight alone.

During World War II, no one country would have stood a chance against Germany and the Axis Powers on their own – the Allied Forces won, because they had allies. We need allies, too. It’s okay to bring Jesus in. In fact, it’s basically 100% necessary. And it’s HEALTHY, even a sign of maturity, to bring others into the ring with you.

I believe men can find strength in tears shed – in vulnerable openness with each other, letting the light shine. When that happens, joy floods in and dethrones despair. When you turn on the light in a dark room, does darkness remain?

Let darkness rule no longer. Bright in the Light. Fight.

His Kingdom Come,

mind games

“Relationship With God” by Lydia Heston

A huge buzz word in the west’s Christian culture right now is the word “relationship.”

You hear over and over again that Christianity is “not a religion, it’s a relationship.” And “it’s all about a relationship with Jesus.” Honestly, there’s a significant amount of truth to this. I would consider my own Christian walk to simply be a relationship with God. 

But when a word is thrown around so often, it begins to lose its meaning as people start using it who don’t necessarily speak from personal experience and understanding. Added to a culture that collectively has lost its view of healthy, functional, relationships and created a huge controversy (in and out of the church) of what it means to love and what it means to tolerate and how it’s even possible to be a Christian while still upholding our values, it seems that the word “relationship,” as a hype, can be more confusing than helpful.

Seriously… what does it look like to have a relationship with God, on a practical day-to-day basis?

Recently, God’s been teaching me a lot about intimacy in relationships. And I don’t just mean the romantic ones. The dictionary defines intimacy as simply close familiarity or friendship; some synonyms being closeness, togetherness, attachment, and familiarity. Every relationship you have has a level of intimacy involved. For many, it’s simply acquaintance, you have zero to very few points of familiarity. But you discover these over time as you get to know someone. Now, think of your closest friends- the people who know you for you… your tendencies, your thought processes, your likes and dislikes… they are familiar with who you are as a person and you are comfortable as that person around them. You, in turn, are familiar with who they are. Thus, you are able to be close, possessing a unique kind of togetherness in your comfortable familiarity.

That is intimacy. It is a very precious, and often rare, gift. It takes a lot of time, commitment, and love to develop intimacy. Intentionality, forgiveness, and selflessness are also necessary. While often difficult, these kind of relationships are so very life-giving. One of the reasons marriage is such a beautiful thing is because it is the most intimate of human relationships. But, before even our spouses, we are called to love God with our entire beings (Luke 10:27).

Intimacy is the nuts and bolts of relationship. With a lot of people, you must do the dance of finding how intimate you can be… what can you find as familiar in each other? What should you let this other person know about you? Where is it appropriate/not to be vulnerable? What do you both find funny?… etc.

But then there’s God. Who already knows you, completely. Psalm 139 says “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me… you are familiar with all my ways… Where can I go from your Spirit? … For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb… My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place… all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (verses 1, 3b, 7a, 13, 15a, and 16). So… He seems pretty familiar with me. Intimacy with Him should be a walk in the park, right?

Yes… but then there’s me… there’s humanity. We tend to think, even subconsciously, that we can hide certain parts of ourselves from God, or that God doesn’t want to see the ugly pieces, or that we can handle the little things ourselves, so no need to bother Him, right? Even though He already knows all those things, we don’t share with Him. We often only take our “good side” when we pray. We cannot be intimate with Him over the things that we struggle with or that make us so unique when we say no to that sharing of familiarity, that togetherness, that closeness that is the very essence of intimacy and relationship.

I have found intimacy with God in transformational honesty.

Honesty: complete and utter vulnerability before Him saying “this is me, in all my naked brokenness, all my hurting wounds, all my ugly sin.”  Transformational: trust that He will come through on His promises and that He has the capacity to heal me. Because He does. And He will. He’s already paid for that sin, His already purchased the right to make us like Him, why wouldn’t He finish the good work that He started?

Honesty with God can be so easy. He already knows, so what’s the point in trying to hide? If you’re angry with Him, tell Him. He won’t be offended. He can handle your rage. If you’re afraid, let Him know. He knows why you’re afraid and exactly how to give you peace. If you’re having trouble trusting Him, you can tell Him that too. Take the risk, be vulnerable, He won’t strike you down with lightning. If you’re willing to trust Him with your issues, I’ve found that He’s more than happy to help. It’s almost as if He just loves to see your true self come around. I think you might be surprised at how quickly your heart and your struggles begin to change for the better.

This is what my relationship with God looks like on a day-to-day basis. Only now, after years and years of sharing the most fragile parts of myself with a God who never once betrayed my trust, I have a strong foundation of faith in His goodness. Sometimes, He doesn’t seem to be answering right away… maybe He’s testing me, or teaching me, or loving me in a way I didn’t know I needed… but that’s okay. I trust Him. Because He has always pulled through when I have needed Him the most.

And a bi-product of being truly known? Security. When you’ve shown the most dusty, spider-infested corners of your heart to someone and you were still loved, completely and perfectly loved, there’s not much that can bring you down, not a whole lot that can touch your identity. Especially after that perfectly loving someone begins to take some Holy Raid and a clean duster to those cobweb-laced corners and the dirty begins to disappear. So. I agree! It is more than simply religion. It’s vulnerability… that creates intimacy… that inspires love… that grows faith… that moves mountains.

It’s a relationship; It’s The Relationship.

The above article was written by my friend, Lydia Heston. There is so much profound wisdom within it, so I requested her permission to share it with my blog-followers. If you enjoy her work, then please consider visiting her blog at inspiredtoimpact.blogspot.com 

Am I Enough?

It’s a frequently asked question – “Am I enough?” Men and women alike wrestle with it, as they have that ultimate stare-down with the person looking them square-on in the mirror every morning. Our answer to that question typically sets the tone for our days – we are either upbeat and optimistic, or downcast and waywardly due to deciding that we are indeed, “enough” or not, respectively.

We ask ourselves that question when considering who we might date, marry, or simply be friends with – we wonder if we will measure up – if we will truly be enough for them and if they will truly be enough for us. Time and time again, we end up being reminded just how much we are not enough for that other person, as they move onto the next watering hole – the next sensual or emotional high.  The next rush of adrenaline.

It hurts, doesn’t it? That sick-feeling you get in your gut, as you realize that something else, or someone, was better than you.

I wonder if that’s how God feels.

You see – my point, today, is not to become all introspective and lead us down the road of examining how we view ourselves (although I’m certain that would be a great topic for another day). My point is, I believe God asks this question, too.

It’s amazing to consider that we were made in the image of our Creator. He hand-crafted each one of us and said that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” – no room for mistakes here – we are all gifts, given by the Gift-Giver, Himself. Seriously, though, isn’t it cool to consider that God found us worth making in HIS IMAGE? I mean, He could have easily decided to give us animal-like qualities, but instead, He gave us hearts, souls, and intellect, as well as free-will. Absolutely incredible.

“Am I Enough? – I believe our LORD asks His people. “Justin, am I TRULY enough for you?”

Pike Peak

As I drove home from the gym this evening, I felt this question being asked of me. It was humbling, as I discovered that we answer that question every second of every day, in the ways that we think, respond, and act.

Is it more praiseworthy and powerful for me to get on my soapbox and preach that “He is Enough”, or would it perhaps be more powerful for me to worship Him in my thoughts, reactions, and deeds?

I love words. They’re so powerful and they have an exponentially greater amount of influence upon my heart (as an avid reader/writer) than they likely do on the average person. However, is it not always the life that backs up the words that leaves the legacy? Martin Luther King Jr. would have been just another pastor, if he had not lived out what he taught, and fought peacefully for the well-being of his church. Instead, since he was a man of courage, peace, gentleness, and fierce boldness with the truth, His words carry infinitely more power. And I wish for my words to carry that degree of power someday, but that starts now, with years upon years of diligent faithfulness.

The Groom (Jesus) is asking The Bride (The Church – you and me) if He is enough.

“Am I Enough?” – Christ asks us this Friday as we remember His being nailed to the Cross for us. “Am I Enough?” – God asks His children, as we remember Him raising Jesus from the dead, conquering death! “God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.” (Acts 2:24) “Am I Enough?” – The Holy Spirit wonders, as He pours His gifts out upon the Church, baptizing them in Spirit and in Truth (Acts 2:1-4).

Dear Reader, is He Enough?

“But even though the enemy might want to bury you, Jesus is in the habit of interrupting funerals.” (Louie Giglio)

The funeral procession of your life may very well already be underway. You could currently be surrendered to a plethora or deadly addictions, and we are promised that sin does, indeed, lead to death. BUT, “Jesus is in the habit of interrupting funerals.” I don’t care what it is, or where you are, or how far you’ve run. You come to Jesus. Death lost its sting roughly 2014 years ago. Sin only has power over you, if you let it, and if you refuse to surrender to the Living God.

“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” (1 Peter 2:2-3) I’ve tasted and seen – the Lord is so, so GOOD.

Much like we’d wish to be someone’s anchor someday, and for someone to be ours (in the context of marriage), I believe the LORD has a great and jealous desire for His Church to anchor themselves to Him. Yet we run wild. To this “lover” and to that.

“Aren’t you tired?” – one of my favorite quotes from The Help fits perfectly here. Aren’t you tired, friends? Is it not exhausting to run from one well to the next, to the next – only to find them dry, and filled with sand.

If only we took a moment to look up to the Heavens, and to answer God’s question – “Am I Enough?”

Find Him to be enough for you, and you will thirst no more.

The rains of Heaven will never cease to quench your thirst, or enthrall you with amazement. He Is Enough.





The Church must come together before it is sent. Troops assemble before going into battle. The cause of the lone-ranger dies when he does, but the legacy of brothers lives on. If your “ministry” were to entirely collapse without you, then it’s not healthily organized. Admit your need for others, call out their gifts, and bring them together around you.

In the corporate world, an organization/company is only as great as its’ worker-bees. The CEO may dress as flashily as s/he likes, give elaborate speeches, and make tactfully profitable decisions, but the product’s quality is up to the production team.

We are a prideful people. Humility is necessary, if we are to truly advance the Kingdom. It requires that we admit our dependence on the LORD, and our need for the support of other brothers and sisters.

People love to be acknowledged, and to feel needed. In some ways, it is a form of validation, as we search for our identity, and place in this world. I remember interning for the church I grew up in at the age of nineteen, and I loved that the youth depended on me for their spiritual guidance and for good teaching on Sunday. It fulfilled me.

The issue lies therein that previous statement. We are too easily satisfied, or fulfilled, by things that matter so much less than the Father’s genuine love for us. It is of utmost importance to Father God that you are affirmed, called by your rightful name, and called out into the service of His Church with the gifting He has blessed you with. If I were to speculate, I would think that sometimes He finds our attempts to enamor ourselves with counterfeit validation to be very, very sad, and that He very much wishes we would get down on our knees and cry out to Him for His words for us.

Humbling yourself before God is the first step – humbling yourself before me men, the second.

An organization needs those that are skilled at writing to express its’ intention, and those with brute strength to build, serve, and protect, and still others to wrestle with varying levels of ideology and to petition on its behalf. You can have a very gifted individual – one even that has the gift of leadership, but his purpose is fruitless without others coming together around him. One is not the “CEO of Me”. That’s ridiculous. But one may be the pastor of a body of believers, or an active member of a congregation, and its’ purposes may very well be carried out by faithful men and women.

Men and women of the faith, let’s come together. Set aside personal agendas and spiritual-resume polishing and “get down to the nitty-gritty” as Nacho Libre would say. Find strength and healing for your past in the fellowship of believers – pray together for the Spirit to impact and affirm each and every member’s heart. A set of playing-cards is much more valuable if all of the necessary cards are present and not torn. In the same way, the Church is much more a force to reckoned with, if all of its’ members are actively present, and have their hearts healed – souls affirmed by the Living God – and internal fabric mended.

All-Star NBA players would not be All-Stars if their teammates had not been there to “assist” them. Sometimes, the assist is more valuable than the game-winning three-pointer, as multiple assists lead to multiple wins, and thus, the overall betterment of the team. The team can reach the playoffs, but the player cannot do so alone.

Enough analogies. You get the idea.

Come together.

Parable of the Prisoner

The Parablethe prisoner

Etched into the barren, stone walls are the words, “I am…”. Two simple words – two words that were once spoken by an Almighty God to describe Himself, as He said, “I am, I am.” But as you sit in the cell, contemplating the words on the wall, you can’t help but assess yourself. “What am I?” – your mind wanders, like one lost in the desert, attempting to make meaning out of the “nothingness” of your existence.

Sitting becomes difficult, as your mind races in a million varying directions, so you begin to pace the small cell – back and forth – until your feet hurt. All the while asking yourself, “What am I?”

Whispers come…

“You are lost…”

“You are worthless…”

The dust beneath your feet becomes wet, and as you look to see if the old pipes in the cell have begun to leak, you realize the wetness is your tears. You believe those whispers.

“You are insignificant…”

“You cannot…”

“No one hears you…”

The dust has become mud now, as your tears cannot stop – they will not stop. You realize that you’re on your knees now, wondering if this is all that you really are. Are those words true? Has it really come to this? Are you truly lost, worthless, insignificant, incapable, and mute? The walls of the cell seem to be closing in on you now, as one final accusation is whispered…


Although a whisper, the words seem to have a cutting force this time – much deeper and more powerful than the previous blows to your heart. Your vision clouds, and your body seizes, as you collapse – paralyzed by fear. Because you very well believe all that was said – and you are, indeed, alone.

Hours pass, and you attempt to fall asleep. It’s useless, as your mind is taunted by all that was whispered and by the words on the wall that simply say, “I am…”, and find in yourself the desire to answer that question.

Who am I?

What am I?

Who have I become?

Soon, it’s morning, and sunlight shines through the dank cell-window – the light blinding your tired eyes. Footsteps can be heard in the distance. You can finally ask to be released from this torture-chamber. Standing up and brushing yourself off, you prepare to meet your jail-keeper, the one that holds the keys to the prison that you’re in.

The sound of footsteps is much closer now, and anticipation grips your heart, as it beats wildly, ready to plead your case for freedom. At the cell-door now, stands a figure staring back at you. Your heart has stopped, and your feet pace no more.

The individual staring back – the jail-keeper – is you.

The Explanation

If there had been a sign at the entrance of the prison described in the story/parable above, it would have read, “Prison of the Mind”. Unfortunately, many of us are inmates within this prison on a daily-basis. Many of you reading this right now are sitting in that prison, believing yourself to have no power – no freedom to walk out of the cell.

The whisperer – the accuser – was satan. Lurking in the corners of our mind if we allow him to, or simply drifting ideas through the wind of the changing seasons of life, he likes to silently destroy us. If he can keep us silent, then he wins. And if we believe ourselves to be worthless and mute, then we remain silent.

Do not remain silent.

Do not sit imprisoned, listening to lies.

When Jesus conquered death, He conquered sin. The accuser has no power other than that which you give him. When the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost and bestowed upon the believers there the gifts of the spirit, He gave you and I the power to overcome the evil one – not just power to be defensive, but to go on the offensive as well.

You are NOT powerless. You are NOT alone.

You ARE heirs. You ARE filled with the Spirit (His power to overcome). Most importantly, YOU ARE NEVER ALONE. You are, however, constantly pursued, looked after, loved, cherished, and lead toward redemption.

What are you waiting for? Take the keys. Open the door. Walk out of prison. Walk into the light. Strike your heel upon the serpent – the accuser – the evil one. Fight. Live. Breathe. Love.


Brief Thoughts on Loneliness

satan wants us to believe we are alone – we’re not. If anything, Christ is always with us – we simply ignore Him far too often.

The (sometimes) lonely state-of-the-church is caused by a host of factors – one of them being it’s ‘safer’ to gridlock our hearts – or so we think. Our pride prefers not to be subject to spiritual authority, our sinful hearts prefer not to be exposed, and our impatience prefers not to invest in relationships that have the potential to fail (because so many others have) and that take time to cultivate.

We NEED each other, though, and as much as our egos hate the idea of dependency upon another, or even upon God, we must grapple with that reality, bury our pride in the grave, and truly dig into Christ and community.

Jesus called 12 Disciples together, not one. You can’t “cowboy”, or “lone-ranger” your way thru Christianity. You can try, but it’s not the real deal – it’s not “The Church”.

Real church is real people really digging into each other’s lives and hearts – that means conquering the messy sides of people (their pasts, their current sin-struggles, their broken/confused hearts, etc.), bringing it to God, and letting Him heal! And doing it all with joy found in Christ and hope only found in the promise of an eternal Kingdom that is to come – free from suffering.