Updates on the book:

I am proud to announce that my blogs are now featured at the following link:

https://mytrendingstories.com/category/religion/

I have also heard back from the editors and there are a few edits I’ll have to make but this will certainly be available to buy soon…close to the end of summer!

Advertisements

A monument to ourselves?

Generally, it is good to be ambitious. We should be ambitious with our dreams and our imagination and our dedication. But what happens when that ambition is self-serving rather than God-serving?

In reading the story about the Tower of Babel (in Genesis 11:1-8), I have often wondered at what point we, as God’s people, are simply following our own plans. It has been suggested that the people in this story were actually building a ziggurat (like a pyramid) as there were no mountains high enough to reach the heavens in that area of Mesopotamia. They would have likely believed they could create a meeting place for gods and humans. If that’s true, the message I’m getting is that we cannot ever presume to be good enough to reach God. Instead, we should focus on inviting Him to come down and be among us (in turn, He would be the motivation for our ambitious ideas).

The book for which this blog was originally created has just passed the second “content review” and is now in the final stage of “editorial review” which means that it will be available very soon. This is obviously very exciting to me as this goal has been more than five years in the making. In this regard, I ask myself if publishing this book is more about myself proving something or if it is really a God thing. However, I am certain that it is something God wants me to do as I’ve taken it to God regularly in prayer to ask for His direction.

My point for all of you who are reading this is that we must be careful that our ambitious plans include God’s best for us and our situation. Otherwise, we are simply building a monument to ourselves.

Are there any monuments that you’ve built which did not include God? I challenge you to re-examine your goals and be certain that God is leading you instead of you leading yourself.

The journey: part 2

I was raised in church and went straight into Bible college when I graduated high school. I really enjoyed my studies and the ministry experiences to which I was exposed. When I graduated, things did not go the way I planned or hoped. I started working for a church as a youth pastor but they couldn’t really pay me. I was on the verge of getting married and had to “settle” for a job at a bank as to get health benefits and a decent salary. Eventually, I had to stop working at that church and became a youth volunteer at another church. I was incredibly disappointed.

I eventually worked out a way to still be a part-time youth pastor while continuing a career in finance. I had a decent life. I was very happy. I was married and eventually had a child, but I did not understand why God didn’t open a door for me in the ministry.

I will continue this story next time, but remember this: (this is in the book) If you went through all the effort to make the perfect cherry pie but took it out of the oven before it was ready to eat, it would not live up to its potential. We are all like cherry pies in God’s oven. Only He knows exactly how He formed us and exactly how long it may take before we are ready. TRUST HIS TIMING

Psalm 90:4 “A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.”

The journey: part 1

In anticipation of this book actually being published later this year, I am going to write a few blogs about some of the events that have taken place in my life which have led to me starting this project of Becoming Ever Mindful.

I was brought up in a Christian home in Indiana. Our family was the type that was in the church every time the doors were open, as people like to say. My earliest memories include my mom as a backup singer during the worship times. I somehow remember myself kneeling down at a pew in Sunday school around the age of 6, saying the sinner’s prayer. I went to a Christian school or was home schooled for most of my time until I graduated high school. As soon as I was able, I started playing drums at my church and became a youth leader. I received my baptism in the Holy Spirit around the age of 14 and recall immediately knowing that God was calling me to be a youth pastor. I went on a missions trip and remember sitting next to our district youth director on the flight there. I actually told him I planned to take his job eventually. We both had a laugh but didn’t really talk about it much. My entire teenage life included my trying to explain this to friends and family (many of whom did not understand or agree). I was involved with all youth events, I was in Bible Quiz, I went to all the youth retreats and camps. There was never a “rebellious streak” or any doubt in my mind of what direction I wanted to go. I went to a Bible college in Lafayette, Indiana that encouraged me to learn to serve and minister to all kinds of people in all kinds of ways (not just from a pulpit on a stage). At my college graduation, I knew I was going to go out there and conquer the world (or, at least, a youth group)…it didn’t quite happen that way. This project has been more of a documentation of my journey and how I have learned to be mindful of God’s guidance through all of life’s twists and turns. (I’ll flesh out the story over the next couple of blogs.)