The Jeremiah Record – Pt. 1

 

While it has been a while since the last post on here, I wanted to share with everyone the process that is being made in the Jeremiah Record.  At the beginning of last month we started recording some of the tracks in Ford Hall.  We reserved the recital hall on campus for blocks of time late in the evening hoping that we would be able to work beyond our two hour time limit without inconveniencing anyone that might be waiting to use the room.  After three nights of working, we had a good amount of recordings with which we could begin putting together some of the demo tracks.  Everyone involved did a fantastic job, which made the fact that I wasn’t really doing anything stand out a little more conspicuously.  Maybe it was the fancy recital hall or perhaps the excitement of trying something new, but there was definitely something in the air that made everyone involved realize that we were working on something pretty special.  Even if the songs never gain a following beyond our creative team, we know that we were privileged to have taken part in something special in making this record.  Here are some pictures from the night that capture accurately what was happening.

Jason telling us his vision for the song.



Recording in Ford Hall

Recording in Ford Hall

2014-06-04 21.36.09

 

2014-07-07 11.09.43

This one is not from that night, but it is a pretty accurate depiction of what the current process of mixing looks like.

I intend to keep everyone in the loop with our progress as we continue working toward the finished product of the Jeremiah Record.  Be sure to check back here and on our website fxchurch.com for all of the latest news on the Jeremiah Record.

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Faith and The Life of a Hermit

One of the things that I get to do in my church is participate in leading the high school and middle school students in our semi weekly meetings.  Interacting with these students in this way is pretty challenging on my patience at times, but it is also significantly rewarding both mentally and spiritually.  During our most recent meeting we were reading and discussing the first chapter in 2 Peter, when we came to a point in the discussion that challenged the way many of us thought about life as a Christian.

According to verse 2 Peter 1:5-10, if we as Christians supplement our faith with goodness, and our goodness with knowledge, and our knowledge with self control, and our self control with endurance, and our endurance with godliness, and our godliness with brotherly affection, and our brotherly affection with love all while making every effort to confirm our faith and identity in Jesus then we will never stumble in our faith.  Never.  Not again. At all.  Never is a strong word and it seems pretty unlikely that we will never stumble or sin as Christians, but I’m not trying to convince you of my viewpoint, I am just reading from the Bible.  In order to keep from ever stumbling or faltering in our faith we must not only possess the qualities listed, but have them in increasing measure (according to verse 8 of that chapter).  This is a huge request, but the promise still remains in verse 10 “you will never stumble” (emphasis added by me).

As encouraging as this promise is, there could be a case made that “stumble” does not mean sin, it means to fall away from faith in God or something less than sinning because no one is perfect.  I believe that the God (through Peter) is telling us that it is possible for Christians to go on living their lives without sinning if they are doing the things listed in the previous verses.  If you disagree on my interpretation, feel free to let me know, but my faith allows me to believe that God would make it possible for us to live life without sinning again.  However, this interpretation of scripture is not why I write this post.  It was my personal reflection on this idea of living the Christian life without ever stumbling (or sinning) that I felt worth sharing.

Starting with the assumption that it is possible for a Christian to go on living his or her life without ever sinning again, so long as he or she is living in the prescribed manner, my first thought was that I might be able to satisfy these prescribed actions if I sat at home all day everyday concentrating on nothing more than these things.  Simply put, if I were a hermit I would be able to live life without sinning.  I would be (seemingly) free from distraction, temptation, frustration, manipulation or anything else that would lead to me stumbling in my faith.  Then I realized that while this would seem true and might even be partially true, I don’t believe that God desires His people to be hermits.  Rather than pull away from the world to look for God, I think God wants us to engage the world and interact with all the things and people in it with the knowledge that we possess about Him.  God wants us to live abundant and vibrant lives which requires us to go out into the world instead of drawing away from it.

The catch is that going out into the world and engaging and participating in it puts the Christian in a place that does not understand or encourage his faith.  When God asks or commands us to go into the world it requires us to trust that God will make it possible to do the things that will lead us and others back to Him.   While it would be easier to not sin while living the life of a hermit, excellence in morality is only the prerequisite and aide in God’s true desire for our lives.

Maybe I am wrong, but when I read the God’s words to us I see a God that wants us to desire Him and please Him instead of just trying to not disappoint Him.  For this reason I am actually in the position to lead our high school and middle school meetings.  I have not actually received any formal training on how to lead this young students, but I have had several mentors model what it means to lead students in ministry.  It would be easier to study to and get a degree or certificate in youth ministry and in 3 or 4 years be able to lead these students in the “right” way, but I honestly think that God would rather me trust Him and trust the people that He has already put in my life to equip me to do this work.  The former option takes time and gives me confidence in myself and my education, the latter option takes faith in God’s ability to use me despite me and a reliance on the promise of forgiveness when I fall short.

End Note: I write this not to boast in my faith, but to encourage you to walk in yours.  More often than I care to admit I am left wondering whether these student meetings are making an impact in any of the students lives’.

My Latest Adventure: Using What I Learned in College

It only took two years but I am finally going to be putting my college education to good use in a more direct way. Since I graduated from Indiana University I have been more than grateful for all of the skills I learned during my years on campus.  I learned and developed skills such as critical thinking, how to create a usable work out plan, paper writing and argument building.  Most of these things were developed as I was withstood a four year barrage of facts and trends in the music industry and non-profit management. Even as a student I just assumed that the particular major I picked was mostly a matter of peace of mind for the prospect of finding a job and preference of interest in the subject matter. Upon graduation I assumed that I would fall into the large group of people who do not directly apply their college education to their day job.  For the first two years of my post college life I was mostly correct. Then like a lightening bolt or an Old Testament style revelation, inspiration struck.

The interesting part though was that it didn’t strike me.  A few months ago my friend and fellow pastor at Fx Church, Jason, began his sick day off work by trying to play his guitar. After having it serviced by a repair shop, it was in a strange tuning that was pretty unfamiliar to him.  So like any curious musician he decided to play around on the guitar to see how it sounded.  The short version of the story is that the tuning was so novel and yet intriguing that it led Jason to begin writing a song to play.  I can’t really tell you the specifics of the timeline following that day, but the seed was planted and the idea began to grow. Since the church was currently beginning a 12 week study of the Old Testament book Jeremiah, Jason decided to write a new song each week to go along with the sermon series.  In the end the song writing process didn’t quite fit into that 12 week frame, but it the process did result in 12 new songs inspired by the story and narrative of Jeremiah. And what do 12 original songs make?

An album.

As excited as Jason was about the prospect of recording an album, he confessed he needed someone to push him to take the appropriate steps to make this idea a reality. With a degree in Arts Management with a concentration in music, I was excited at the prospect of helping contribute to the process of recording a concept album based on the book of Jeremiah.  Both Jason and I sort of assumed that we would be the counterpart to the other. He would create and perform and I would arrange the details of recording and promoting.  The most honest reality of the situation was that I was really excited to hear about the idea and wanted to a part of it in any way possible.

The album is far from recorded, but the songs are written and the equipment has been purchased to record.  I cannot begin to claim any sort of creative contribution to this project, but I can say that because of Jason and his dream I am currently getting to employ some of the bits of information that I absorbed during my undergraduate education. I imagine stories like these are the things that will make God one day say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”  More than just two people working together to have some fun, but many of His people coming together to offer what they have in abilities and resources to contribute to a piece of creative work that is intended make much of what God has done and is still doing. What the future of this project holds is in God’s hands, but Jason and I have a few plans for what might come, the first of which is only an album.

 

Be on the lookout at fxchurch.com for songs from The Jeremiah Record this summer.

“This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Write down for the record everything I have said to you, Jeremiah.”  Jeremiah 30:2

 

 

Sleepy Thoughts on Altruism

It was shortly after 5:00 am Eastern Standard Time and I was laying in my bed awake.  I wasn’t protesting sleep or even tossing and turning fighting to relinquish my consciousness, rather I was woken up by my sporadically anti-establishment 8 month old son. Sometimes he loves the sleep schedule we impose on him and on other nights I think he is trying to recruit the neighbors to be “down with the struggle”.  In a statement of full disclosure, for every minute of sleep I lose, my wife has probably lost 45 minutes (she is a saint in more ways that one).  Nevertheless, I found myself awake just after 5:00 am EST last night. I must have just ended a REM cycle because Britt’s weary request for me to put the baby back to sleep didn’t sound like the equivalent of running a half marathon with cinder block shoes.  Only a slightly reluctantly I left the room to pat my little protester’s bottom until he gives up his latest attempt to shrug the yoke a full night’s sleep.

After a surprisingly quick victory in the sleep battle, I returned to my bed with a mind that was slightly less foggy than when I began.  Eager to claim my last two hours of good sleep before the day began, I started to consider altruism.  “Does getting up to put the baby back to sleep count as an act of Altruism” I wonder, getting closer to sleeping again. “It doesn’t benefit me to admit my consciousness to Britt when he is crying through the baby monitor. In fact, it benefits her to know that I am awake and that she can stay in bed and rest, while I sacrifice my sleep by going to pat Jonah back to sleep.  I guess that is the definition of altruism if you wanted to be technical…”

As I am pondering these things and sleep is just a minute or two away, I hear that noise that makes my heart sink.  The baby is crying through the baby monitor again.  If my thoughts were broadcast out loud you could have literally quoted me as saying, “I don’t want to get up again. I just want to lay here in bed and think about altruism.”  By the time that the irony hit me, Britt was already on her way out of the room (like I said, a saint).

Whether or not my weak attempt to allow my wife to get some more sleep can be considered an act of altruism or not, I was reminded of what a true act of love looks like last night. When I think about serving my wife (or anyone for the most part) rarely do I have the opportunity to be truly altruistic.  Altruism being the act of helping another person at the cost of my well being. Even when given an opportunity to be altruistic, I preferred to stay comfortable and merely ponder the merits and boundaries of altruism instead of participating.

It is precisely moments like these that remind me to be grateful for the supreme act of altruism that Jesus completed by his crucifixion.  He being completely perfect and absolutely innocent was punished for my transgression.  He was completely aware of what harm would come to him and of what benefit would come to me (and all of mankind) and he accepted the terms and allowed himself to be killed.

In the end my half hearted altruism does really compare to that of Jesus, but it did serve to remind me of how far I am from being holy and encourage me to persist to that end.

Introducing…

Steven Whyte

Steven is a good friend of mine and a great writer.  It has been a goal of mine for this blog to be a project that is bigger than me and my thoughts.  To this end, I have invited Steven to contribute to the blog as a contributor.  He is getting ready to graduate from IU with a degree in Creative Writing, so his writing skills will far exceed mine.  His creative and unique way of viewing the world in light of the Gospel makes me incredibly excited to introduce him to you all.  If you ever have a chance ask him about his time in East Asia or how he was involved in bringing Quidditch to IU.  I hope you enjoy his writing as much as I do. Speaking of his writing… http://wp.me/p427BJ-3l

Meet Steven Whyte. He usually wears glasses.  And Chuck Taylors.

This is Steven . He usually wears glasses. And Chuck Taylors.

The Transfigured Oven

The oven has always been the problem child in our apartment. With four guys all using the same appliance, it’s never in a good state. There’s always an abandoned pizza topping burning in the bottom somewhere. Not to mention that the four stovetops on top are constantly filthy, soaked with grease in the coils. The one on the front left smokes every time you turn it to medium, so that you can’t boil water without setting off the fire alarm. The whole thing is painted black and therefore impossible to clean, because you can’t tell the difference between the appliance and the soot.

Then, on Friday, just as I was getting ready to leave for a two-day retreat, I discovered something strange and alarming. The “oven cycle” light was on, but the oven dial was switched off. I opened the oven door, and a rush of heat greeted me, steaming up my glasses. It smelled like rusty metal and old charcoal. Then the smoke alarm went off because a piece of pepperoni was burning somewhere. I closed the oven and shut my ears until the alarm stopped. Then five minutes later, it went off again.

“What are you burning down here?” said my roommate, coming downstairs.
“Nothing!” I said. “I’m not even cooking anything.”

We quickly determined that the oven simply refused to turn off. It was constantly on, even when you turned the dial off. Sometimes, if you were lucky, you could get it to shut off with the dial turned to 300 degrees. But that’s just nerve-wracking. You just can’t comfortably leave for the weekend when the oven dial’s turned to 300 degrees.

So what else could I do? I called maintenance, but this was late on Friday, and I worried that no one would be able to come in time. I was lucky that someone was able to come as his last job of the week. The maintenance dude fiddled with the dial for a good fifteen minutes.

“Any luck?” I asked him.
“This is the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen,” he said.
That was comforting. “Can you fix it?”
“I can have someone look at it on Monday,” he said. “This is one of the older models. I don’t have any idea what’s going on with it.”
“I can’t just leave it like this all weekend,” I said. “I don’t want to burn the house down.”

So the maintenance dude turned off the breaker to the oven/stovetop and told us to turn it back on only when we needed it. Then he left to go do whatever maintenance dudes do on weekends, and I left for my retreat, leaving a note for my roommates about the whole situation.

I returned Saturday night, after a great retreat learning about the Holy Spirit. I came home to a note from a roommate about how he figured out how to get the oven to turn off. Don’t just turn it to ‘off’, he wrote. You have to turn it and then ‘hit’ it off and then it will turn off.

I didn’t know what that meant, but I tried it anyway. I turned the dial off, and prepared to rebuke it with my fist, but it seemed to have already worked. The oven had turned off. Then, just to make sure the fix was permanent, I turned the dial to 300 degrees and back again. It wouldn’t turn off. I punched it. It still wouldn’t. So I shut off the breaker again, trusting that the maintenance dude would be back on Monday.

When I came home from class on Monday, I had almost forgotten about the oven situation. But I was shocked and overjoyed to discover that my oven was not fixed at all—in fact, it was brand new! Where once there had been a black, greasy, broken shell of an appliance, there was now a gleaming white, brand-spanking new oven-stovetop combo with a digital display. It was shiny not from grease and spills, but gleaming with whatever magical shininess spells they put on it at the factory.

I was excited about the new oven, but there was more to it than that. See, when the Holy Spirit lives in you, He likes to comment on everything.

He told me: This is a transfigured oven.

The truth is, I had just wanted a quick fix. I wanted the maintenance dude to make the oven work again. I didn’t care if it was the best oven it could be, or whether it would mess up again in the future. I just wanted it to cook my frozen pizza, no matter how much it smoked or smelled. But the quick fixes were only temporary, and this oven was doomed to fail me again and again if I kept relying on it. No amount of cleaning or punching or fiddling with dials was going to make it work properly.

The maintenance dude had a plan far beyond what I had imagined. He wanted to take my broken, greasy, old run-down oven and transform it into something brand new and satisfyingly capable. He made it into the oven our kitchen was always meant to have.

Sound familiar?

Thanks, maintenance dude. Thanks, Holy Spirit.

I am what I am.

image

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” 1 Corinthians 15:10

It was not my culture, birth place, family, morals, actions, worldview, academics, time period, church, pastor, or my will that allowed me to know Jesus as savior.  It was God’s grace.  The work I do as a result of this (regardless of amount) is by His grace too.

My Prayer: Father, help me to remember this at all times so that I may remain humble.

My Dream Job

I have often thought about what kind of work I would be doing if I were not called to work in ministry.  After much thought I honestly would say with all seriousness that I would like to work in landscaping.  I would love to mow lawns, weed-eat, plant, trim, dig, or otherwise shape the land for people or businesses.  Often when I am sitting around working at my computer I think that I would prefer to be doing some manual labor and working up a sweat.

To be clear, I love my current position in collegiate ministry and I am not looking to change it any time too soon, but there is a part of me that desires something more physical and something more simple.  One summer when I was in college I worked at a church camp where I spent roughly 80% of my work week doing these things.  I didn’t realize that I was living my dream job at the time, but I certainly didn’t squander that time either.  I quickly became aware of how rewarding it was to finish a days worth of work that could be visibly observed.  I also realized how easily I could spend several hours talking to God and meditating on His works while mowing the lawn.  Working at Highland Lakes was fantastic and I often reminisce on those days with my wife (who I met that summer at the camp).  As enjoyable as keeping the grounds was at camp, I think the thing I miss about it most is how I knew exactly what was expected of me each day. Every morning I would wake up and eat breakfast with the rest of my coworkers and discuss what work needed to be accomplished by what time.  With an adequate breakfast in my stomach I would begin the day’s work.

Actual image from my mowing days!

Actual image from my mowing days!

As a collegiate minister who is completely funded by independent partners (as opposed to my church or denomination), I have no one telling me what exactly is expected of me on a daily basis.  In fact, there are very few fixed responsibilities that I have in a given week.  The amount of freedom I have in my position is incredible and I really am grateful that my pastor has allowed me that freedom.  As a result of the structure of my ministry, I have learned much about self discipline and what it means to be accountable to God’s desire for my day to day life.  Most of the time I view my work as that of an entrepreneur.  With the counsel of the Holy Spirit I am free to try to make disciples as I see fit.  As I said before though, there is a part of me that still desires simplicity of having a task list and quantifiable results at the end of the day.

Many times at the end of the day I am left wondering if I made an impact in anyone’s life that day. This is because I work with people, not grass.  Grass will show you immediately whether or not you achieved your goal, people do not.   Before a person shows outward signs of growing closer to God they are changed inwardly (without visible indication).  When a heart is changed, the result might not be outwardly visible for a while.  So and the reality of working in ministry is that it is possible to go longer periods of time without being able to notice that change has taken place.  It is in this waiting that most of the work of ministry takes place, meaning that most of the work of ministry is done without seeing the results.  This idea is not surprising considering the life work of many from the Bible.  Abraham did not see many descendants, Moses did not get to live in the Promised Land, Nehemiah did not get to live in Jerusalem, Paul did not get to see the survival and growth of the churches he started.

It is this reality of working in ministry that gives us meaning and hope in Paul’s words in his second letter to the Corinthians: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”   (2 Corinthians 4:18).  Lives being changed and conformed to the image of Jesus often go unseen, but the good news is that this has eternal significance (even if we don’t see it).

And so to be honest I still desire to see physical results of my labor.  Although I have hope that is more than sustaining for when I do not.

If I am completely honest though, I know I would probably complain about not having enough freedom if I was working in landscaping.

My Kingdom (Where I Reign)

One Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago at Fx Church I was listening to a sermon from Jeremiah 2.  Like many Sunday mornings, I was very engaged in listening to the sermon when a particular phrase jumped out at me and wouldn’t let me continue to follow along with the pastor until I had given enough consideration to that thought.  This particular week it was the question “Where is the Lord?”  (As read in Jeremiah 2:6,8).

Where is the Lord is the question that the Israelite people did not ask which caused them to drift from their close relationship to God.  As the pastor continued to discuss and elaborate on the passage in a larger context I was captured by the question.  I began to think about whether I ask this question in all of my activities.  And then I arrived at an interesting and possibly troubling observation about myself.  While it is easy for me to make a case for seeking God or seeking to make God known through most of my activities, there stood out one in which I could not help but to ask “Where is the Lord?”.  When I asked this question I only came up with silence and more pondering.  I realized that in my absence of asking “Where is the Lord” that I had established (in my own mind) a place where I had to answer to no one and I was the undisputed king.

NCAA College Football 2013 – Dynasty Mode

This is a little embarrassing to admit, but I have created a place where I want to be known as the king.  If you are not immediately familiar with what I am talking about I will give a brief description.  In this college football videogame there exists a mode of playing that allows you to take over as the head coach of the team.  In this game mode you not only play all of the games during a regular season of college football, but also you are in charge of recruiting high school players to play on your team in future seasons.  I’m not sure how many consecutive seasons you can play in a row, but I am in year 8 of my dynasty.  In addition to being able to play the games and recruit future players, the game also keeps track of stats and chooses players to win the same awards that are handed out in real life.  These awards include the Heisman Trophy, the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, etc. .

As I said I am in year eight of my dynasty, which means I have played well over 100 games.  And in those 100+ games, I have one loss.  I have recruited and graduated multiple classes of student athletes, several of which I am told became first round picks in the NFL draft.  I have won one Rose Bowl and 6 National Championships.  I have moved from the Big Ten conference to other major conferences so that I can claim their Championship for my trophy collection as well.  I have seen multiple players of mine win the Heisman trophy.  I have set nearly every team record for IU in both offense and defense.  I have set several national records on both sides of the ball as well.  I have personally transformed Indiana University football from a laughingstock into the undisputed best college football dynasty of all time.  This is MY KINGDOM WHERE I REIGN!  No one disputes my authority.

The funny thing is, there is literally no one that can dispute my authority.  I play alone against the incredibly predictable computer.  And yet, I feel supreme in my kingdom nonetheless.  I love entering my world of football because everything goes according to my plan and resistance is futile.  But then the question “Where is the Lord” came in and destroyed everything.  Where is the Lord in NCAA Football 2013?  Where is the throne I have made for God in my gaming life?  Did I neglect to make one or am I just the one sitting on it?

Ouch…

It was at that moment on that Sunday morning that I realized I have an idol.  I enjoy this game so much because I have inserted my name where I once wrote God’s name.  To be clear, I think there could be worse idols to have, but then again I might just be rationalizing my own sin.  It would be easy to say that this game is obviously driving a wedge in my relationship with Jesus and I should completely remove it from my life.  Legalism is always easy to say.  However I think if I change the way I think about the game I can find some redeeming value in it.

What if instead of looking at my action and making a blanket statement about the evils of videogames and then (probably unsuccessfully) resolving to cut them out of my life completely, I tried to see how this game can actually help me to understand God and His heart better.  Is that even possible?  Wouldn’t it be easier just to call it sin and remove it from my life?  Calling it sin may be easy, but removing it completely from my life seems like an unnecessary struggle.  I think it would be more beneficial to have an honest discussion about this hobby and give it a more defined role in my life than simply “good” or “bad”.  Instead of calling it a sin, I want to call it a potential idol and put it in its proper place in my life.

Approaching the issue this way is more honest and closer to the heart of the matter.  If we call NCAA College Football 2013 a potential idol it means that it has the potential to distract me from my relationship with God (which it certainly does). It has the potential to cause me to ignore my responsibilities as a Jesus follower, a man, a husband, a father, and an employee.  However, in addition to these things that make idols bad, it also has the ability to reveal the attributes and heart of God. As is the case with any idol that ever has been (golden calf from Exodus for example) or ever will be, it is created by man using things created by God.  When God originally created the world He called it “very good” (Gen. 1:31).  That means that all the things that God created (literally everything that exists) was very good and displayed characteristics of Him. What causes an object to become an idol is when it becomes worshipped instead of God.  So there is a part of every object that draws us to God (because it was created by Him and displays some of His attributes), but also tempts us to elevate that object as God for that very same reason.

So NCAA Football becomes an idol because I want to worship it instead of God, but that also means that somewhere it in is something that reflects God’s character.  After reflecting on my slightly humorous, slightly pathetic, slightly sinful dedication to this game, I realized that I play this game so much because I enjoy being in control of this universe.  I have created a football universe where I control the wins and losses, the bowl games, and the trophy winners.  The game also pays proper tribute to my skill because it saves my name beside every trophy and record I set. Then I realized that this is exactly what God has done and desires.

God created a universe where He is in control of every imaginable detail and He is doing some infinitely more impressive things than I am.  He has set every record for love, size, consistency, beauty, creativity, and infinitely more.  He deserves to have His name beside everyone of those records and the beautiful mystery is that is it.  God has created in everything details and reminders of who He is.  The problem is that we humans want to ignore His name and scratch our own name on top of His.  We want to claim ownership and mastery of the world, when it’s more realistic to view the world a playground that we have been given permission to play in.

In this way NCAA College Football 2013 reminds me that God is the true creator and ruler of a much bigger universe and He loves to see His name properly attributed to all of His workmanship.  Just as I desire my name in the record books and create football dynasties to serve my purposes, God desires the same thing in the world He created.

I’m Busy Focusing on the 20%

While I would like to be sharing my thoughts and observations on how authority and credibility is assigned to people after watching the Nye and Ham debate or telling you about how ridiculously much I like playing NCAA Football 2013 and how it has shaped the way I think about God, or even how I have learned more about effective communication through a twenty minute internet video and hours of playing The Sims than I ever did in a classroom, I am very busy practicing obedience to lessons that I have learned in the past.

I once wrote about defining your goals and orienting your schedule to achieve those goals ( http://wp.me/p427BJ-3n ) and right now this is precisely what has slowed my posting frequency.  Right now I am right in the heart of the 20% of my job that I dislike the most.  Appropriately enough, it seems that this is the part of my job that is usually very beneficial to my faith and development as a professional.  In short, in order for me to live as a missionary and be a collegiate minister at IU I have to form partnerships with individuals, families, and churches that want to support my ministry financially.  It would be much easier to just have a fixed salary from my church (if that were possible), but I know that without having to secure my funding this way, I would have missed out on several important lessons on communication, perseverance, and trust.  Not to mention that I would probably be lazier and less confident (I know my vices).

I share all of this to return to my original point, I would love to be doing some research about where Peyton Manning’s career would be if the Colts had never released Jim Sorgi or looking at how my social media history mirrors my spiritual growth, but right now my goal is to be free to share the love and salvation that comes in a relationship with Jesus to college students and the people of Bloomington.  In order to be free to do that I must first focus on achieving my financial goals by partnering with others.  So, why haven’t I published more blog posts?

I don’t have time.

After Thought:  I actually preached a sermon on this topic once.  It was actually one of my favorite sermons.  It is available to listen to here.  http://podcast.fotc.us/fotcsermon/audio/2013/2013-1215.m4a