Thursday, June 22, 2006

Hey everybody!

It's been a while since my last post, but I'm still around, just very busy!

I'll be back in a day or two with a new post about something spiritually deep, like pictures of my tattoo or a rant about church discipline (it could go either way!). I haven't actually gotten a tattoo yet, but I plan to within the next week. My girls and I are planning to take week long vacation in St. Louis to visit Kimy's aging Grand Parents next week, so I'll try to get something in before we leave.

Thursday, June 1, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play

The Older I Get...

So, today is June 1st. No big deal, really. It's just that I am going to be 40 in 12 days. Yeah, I know I look young for my age, but still...

Actually, I'm not sure why it's so bad to get old. Think about it. Would you really want to be back in high school? I wouldn't! I felt awkward and my self esteem was pretty much nonexistent. I was somewhat popular, but I seem to remember working really hard at it. I had girlfriends and best friends. I had enemies and bullies. I had a full set of hair and a face full of pimples. I was fat and I was skinny (it's amazing what Mono can to do a person between 8th grade and 9th grade!). I could sing but only I knew church music. I was musical but played a trumpet. I really liked marching band and became the drum major (but before the rumors could start about my orientation, I started dating the very hot drum majorette!).

What about college age? All my friends went to MSU,
Ferris State, Central and Western Michigan Universities and spread their wings and learned about "life". I went to a private Christian college with all kinds of rules and regulations. I always felt kinda' weird coming home to stories of wild parties and huge rock concerts when all I could tell were stories of breaking curfew and sneaking a kiss from my girlfriend. I was in my twenties most of those years and did a lot of growing up. I found out that my family (nuclear and extended) were human and had problems of their own. I found out that I am the only person responsible for the choices I made; financial and otherwise. At the time, I really hated that!

I wouldn't change any thing, but I definitely wouldn't go back. Oh, sure, there were times I felt at peace and even comfortable, but living up to other peoples expectations and demands always overpowered those feelings. In those formidable years, I was looking for significance in a lot of different and often unhealthy places. I did find the most wonderful person ever to walk the earth besides Jesus Himself at college, so not everything was horrible, but it was hard and awkward.

In my late twenties, I found that even my wife couldn't give me the value and worth that my soul was crying out for. It wasn't until I rediscovered Jesus that I began to feel at ease with myself and the people around me. I found that I had always made people the essence of my existence. I placed a very high value on what my family and friends thought about me.
I expected my friends to except me for what I did, not for who I was. I expected my teachers to give me everything I needed to make it in this world. I expected my dad to give me the esteem I thought I needed to be a real man.

I have to tell ya', it was not fair to my
family or my friends or to God to hold people responsible for my self-worth. I think I had to grow in my understanding of my relationship with God in order to fully understand who I am. Because I held those people responsible for my life, I felt sad and often angry when they didn't prop me up the way I thought I needed. But now, breathing down neck of 40 years old, I look to Jesus Christ as my source of value and esteem and even life itself. He is the only person who truly accepts me (acne scars and all) and that produces an incredible sense of peace which in turn produces an incredible amount of joy.

I love what the Apostle Paul wrote:
"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and ...He gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' " (Acts 17:24-28).

From the very beginning of Creation, God has wanted His Created to look to Him. I'm not sure that we are able to truly do that the first or fiftieth time we hear that. But as I have grown older, I guess I have grown wiser. Now that I have found my value to God, I live my life for Him. I am also discovering that if I seek His favor, the relationships I once looked for favor in are much more rich and enjoyable, because I accept them for who they are because I am accepted for who I am.

If you attend Willow Community Church, look for this to become a sermon in the very near future. If you are looking for a good church to explore your faith or if you are looking to find peace and contentment, then stop by and check us out this Sunday at 11:00am. If you would like answers to some of life's questions or if you would like to respond to anything in this blog please don't be afraid to do so.