journey

Yep, this is me...

My mom and me. Maybe 1979 or 1980.

Yep, this is me...

Yep, this is me... I complain about sensitive people, but really I am just as sensitive. Yep, this is me... I hate having pictures taking of me, because I hate seeing how fat I am. Yep, this is me... I really want to be healthy, but I can't wait to have the new Twinkies (It's a go: Operation Twinkie-gluttony with secret agent Elle).

Yep, this is me... I struggle being comfortable with who I really am with God, others, and myself. Yep, this is me... I think I'm a really awkward/nerdy person, and don't really know how to have one on one conversations.

Yep, this is me... I love laughing and having a good time, but I struggle with enjoying the moment. Yep, this is me... I still am trying to figure out who I am, and I'm 40 years old. Yep, this is me... I struggle with getting older, even though I told myself I never would. Yep, this is me... I am pissed off that some people think being 40 and older makes you unmarketable and unemployable.

Yep, this is me... I call people out for being selfish, but I am the most selfish person I know. Yep, this is me... I almost blew it with my wife many years ago, and have done this several times since. Yep, this is me... I wish I could be a romantic person, but I think being romantic is weird. Yep, this is me... I tell people that I don't care what they think of me, and get really worried that I don't care.

Yep, this is me... I can have a tendency to not let people into my trust circle. Yep, this is me... I can also have the tendency to let the wrong people into my trust circle. Yep, this is me... I can over promise and under deliver. Which makes me work even harder in the end, with the result of burnout. Yep, this is me... I am a lazy person, but cover up my laziness with over working.

Yep, this is me... I struggle with the American church, but I'm afraid to voice my opinion too loud. I have too much to lose. Yep, this is me... I struggle with consistently reading the Bible and praying. Yep, this is me... I more often than not live in fear of man, instead of the fear of God.

Yep, this is me... I am worried about people reading this and using what I have posted here against me.

You know what though... Despite all my failures, weaknesses, and insecurities; God will continue to use me. God isn't finished with me; he is only just beginning.

We all need to get over ourselves.

We'll never be good enough, perfect enough, or having things exactly the way we want them to be. AND that is okay. God has extended grace to us through Jesus, so that we can live life to it's fullest.

Life is too short to not enjoy it; so Enjoy it!

Joe (Submitted to the Weekly Writing Challenge: A Pinch of You)

What's On The Other side Of This Life

journey Journeys are not something to be taken lightly. I remember when my family went on a journey to Joplin, MO it began over twelve years ago. We left all that we had and all that we had known back in Sonoma County, CA. We journeyed through the Southwest part of the United States on our way to the heart of the country. My wife and I had never ventured that far out of our motherland before, so we took as much safety and precaution as we knew how; and hit the road with our three little kids in-tow.

We saw beautiful country along the way, desert, mountains, high country forests, and big open blue sky. It wasn't before long that we found ourselves on winding detours, tornadic storms, and even experiencing bad gasoline for our van. In between the serendipitous and tumultuous moments we found a rhythm that centered us back on the purpose of our journey...

We were headed to Joplin, MO to attend Ozark Christian College and prepare for fulltime vocational ministry. Or more precisely, we were moving out of and with the overflow of our love and passion for God and following the guidance of the Holy Spirit - we were being obedient because of love and devotion, not because of obligation and duty.

 

The real purpose of the journey was to grow deeper in our love and passion for relationship with the Father, it was not the destination to the college nor the vocation of ministry.

 

The Journey Is Still Going...

In many ways the journey is still going. We have moved geographically again on this journey and have found a home Colorado just like we did in Missouri, and the journey could very well pick us up and change geography again; who knows... However, what is still on going is the internal part of the journey, and this is the hardest part of the journey, moving through the constant ebb and flow of understanding our relationship with God, keeping our passion for Him, and obediently living out our love and devotion to Him.InnerJourneys

Too be very frank. Changing geography isn't hard to do! Moving from Northern California to Southwest Missouri and then to Northern Colorado isn't that difficult to adjust too. Leaving friends and family is hard, but eventually you make new friends and thanks to Facebook and vacations you can still see the people you love and care about...

What's hard is keeping focused on growing deeper in our relationship with God... Let me be even more upfront. I mess-up my relationship with God sometimes. I let everything else take precedent over this relationship, things like the type of ministry job I have, money, pleasing people and being who they want me to be,making a name for myself or for others, cars, electronic gadgets, vacations, things to complain about, ideas, philosophies, ministry methods, what we're having for lunch or dinner, and the list could go on...

 

I've let all these things whether good or bad corrupt the rhthym and purpose of my journey... The reason for the journey isn't the journey or the desitnation, the reason for the journey is the person we are on the journey for. I am learning not to take journeys lightly, but to cherish every moment and keep focus on the one who was the reason for the journey.

A good friend of mine, Brian Mavis, shared with me a prayer that I am going to pray first thing every morning, that's if none of these other things get in the way...

Here it is:

"I will live every day as if it is my last, knowing by God's grace and love the Savior waits for me beyond the grave." -- Chuck Colson

Ugh! It's so easy to forget that there is something else on the other side of this life.