faith adventure

Shine on

“What holds us back in our lives is our fear. And sometimes when you take a very close look you find that your fears are not exactly what you thought they were.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It’s our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? But actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us. It’s in all of us. And as we let our own light shine, we subconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. So it’s holy work to move past your own fear. It doesn’t just help you, it helps the world.”

I was thinking of this quote today. I remember hearing it first in the movie Akeelah and the Bee (below) but then discovered there is more to this quote than appeared in the film.

Incredibly moving and so true. I have been playing it small for too long. Most of us have. Put your heart to do this holy work:

Overcome your fears.

I have been saying to myself lately, “do what scares you”. One of my biggest fears I suppose would be “fear of rejection”, but honestly, now that I know I am “accepted in the Beloved“, this is no longer my greatest fear.

So I started to put myself out there. I have been sharing new songs and talks from what it on my heart to share.

Like this one:

Screenshot 2017-11-19 23.44.46

I publicly shared my testimony and bared my soul so that others may come to experience Jesus for themselves. All this can be found at my personal Youtube channel and Our Music Channel Reflect Worship. Please subscribe!

Here is that quote again from the movie “Akeelah and Bee”:

Categories: faith adventure, Following Jesus | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Time I Taught Myself a Song

I read this quote today:


The fact that it was on the paper tab of my tea bag, or that it came from Coco Chanel didn’t lessen the fact that this is both a powerful and scary quote. Scary because what if “they” find out what I truly think?

I was reminded that it will all be shouted from the rooftops someday soon anyhow. I just read these words from Jesus last night:

“Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear!” Luke 12:3 NLT

I was reading this book recently that said we must overcome the fear of man and what “they” think about what you think. I thought, ‘what would I share if I didn’t have such fear of what “they” thought?’ Instantly I thought of a really fun amazing and eye-opening experience I had a few months ago and imagined sharing it. Central to this experience was the phrase, “To him who sits on the throne and unto the lamb”.

As I pondered on that, I turned the page of that same book I was reading. That same exact phrase was the bolded first sentence of the next chapter!! Wow! So now what?

A month has passed and I still haven’t shared… anything. You see, I’m not even courageous these days to share the title of the book I was reading lest you not approve of the author and therefore judge and reject me.

I’m shell-shocked lately by the judgement and rejection of others. I’m in my cave as of late. I’d rather not be.

The Dangers of Thinking For Yourself

To “think for yourself” is a great sounding thought until you try to explain it to a four-year old and realize, that this little one doesn’t yet possess enough facts or info or even have all the mental resources to think for herself yet. In the grand scheme of God’s universe, aren’t we all “little ones” and still “wet behind the ears”?

Thoughts are dangerous things after all aren’t they?

As I attempted to explain it to my daughter, I thought, what could I tell her? “Don’t listen to anyone elses wisdom and advice and just think your own thoughts? Make up your own mind? Don’t listen to your Mama and Papa?”

That’s ridiculous. None of us should strike out on our own and disregard all others and all their valuable wisdom.

But hopefully that’s not what we are talking about here or what the quote is really all about anyway. It is about fearlessly offering your perspective on what you think is true without fear of the backlash.

That takes guts. Especially when your around other Christians.

Did I just say that… out loud?

For some reason that “supposed” Ghandi quote is coming to mind:

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Whether Ghandi actually said it is beside the point.

But never mind. The above quote is bunk and here is why. True Christians are famous for their love. Love is what they are known for. (Perhaps you haven’t met any real Christians yet? I pray you will soon.) True Christians do not judge because their Master, the one whom they so devotedly follow, told them not to. Christians love others well and do not condemn others because the One they follow told them not to. Christians are the funnest, funniest, most generous, and warm-hearted people you could ever hope to meet because they have become like the One they follow. Prostitutes and homosexuals feel acceptance and love in the presence of Christians because they live and love as Jesus does. Christians ARE like their Christ because Christ is in them and has filled them to overflowing with his love and deep compassion.

I want to become a Christian. Don’t you?

So back to the point of this article and hopefully I will work up the courage to share my “experience”.

You have insight and thoughts that no one else has. You have a piece of the puzzle that no one else has. You bring with your perspective and experiences a new way of looking at the world and God that is interesting and beautiful. No one else will experience God and life the way you do. Your experience is precious and valuable and I for one want to share that experience with you. I for one, value you and what you bring to the table.

We may see things differently. That’s ok. I figure as long as we are both in relationship with the One who is Truth, we will both get ironed out and set right in due time. There is room to breathe and grace to grow. We are both on a journey toward truth and we are humble enough to shed our false beliefs once they are exposed.

One thing I did explain to my daughter was to allow our thoughts to be governed by God’s Word. The verse of the day:

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” 2 Timothy 3:16 NLT

I’ll be the first to admit it. In my quest for truth, I open my heart like a little child and, as I submit my quest to Jesus, I feel completely free to be open, curious, and trusting, knowing that I have a loving Papa who is going to direct and correct and lead me into all truth and remind me of Scripture that put me back on his path when I get it wrong. We all get it wrong from time to time… but I hope we can have the humility to admit it.

The last six months has been a life altering and learning transition for me. I wish I could share it all with you but much of it is superfluous to the focus of Pauls outward ministry and life. Paul said:

“For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2 NLT

Yes he knew and had experienced a great deal more of the kingdom of Christ than he ever let on (He visited heaven perhaps many times) but the most valuable thing for everyone involved was to keep the person of Christ and the cross central. And of course, we will do the same. So help us God. This foundation has been at the forefront of my mind as I have learned a great deal that has stretched my mind in ways I would never have imagined. I really feel as though I was and am (as I remain open and willing to) awakening to the true nature of Christ and Reality. My prayer life was all of a sudden something I really looked forward to. I was experiencing Papa and Yeshua in ways I’d long since nearly forgotten and continue to have wondrous fellowship with him.

A Fun Story

So here is a fun exciting story that illustrates and hints at the kinds of things I’ve been experiencing with Jesus.

I had watched a Near Death Experience video of a woman who met Jesus and was taken back in time to observe certain things. (Her story made me think of “A Christmas Carol” in which Scrooge was shown himself in the past, the present, and a possible future. I now think that perhaps the author, or someone he knew or had heard about, had experienced exactly what he wrote about… well, it could be.)

Here is her story if you’re interested:

And here is my story:

On a certain day in February 2014 I had some time in between concerts and so I went to a park and sat in my car and prayed, “Lord, It would be amazing if you would take me time traveling to observe something.” (This idea wasn’t out of my realm of experience as one of the first things I had experienced when I came back to Christ at eighteen was a time travel trip.)

I laid back in my car seat at a park and waited for something cool to happen…


I continued to spend some time praying for others and went to my concert at the Nursing Home.

During my concert I just so happened to pick up a song out of my guitar case that I had just picked up recently after shelving it for ten years, “To Him Who Sits on the Throne”. I began to say, “I really love this song because ten years ago I had a very vivid dream in which I was observing myself play this song and thought, wow, those are some interesting chords. I tried to pay attention as best I could and that is how I came to learn how to play this song.”

Then it hit me.


Our Papa has an amazing way of answering our prayers!

I came home telling my wife, “I’m a time traveller! Isn’t that awesome?”

What’s next Papa?

Romans 8:15-17

The Message (MSG)

15-17 This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!


Here is the video version of that same story:

Categories: Dreams, faith adventure | Tags: | 3 Comments

Follow the Narrow Way, Your life depends on it!

I was listening to the Sermon on the Mount on my smartphone’s Bible app as I was cleaning the kitchen the other day. My wife was in the other room and I kept saying to her, “Catherine, he sounds serious… Catherine, he’s not kidding”.

This morning I am wide awake at 1:55 with Jesus words echoing in my ear, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14 NIV)

Jesus GateOf course it must be stated right from the start that Jesus himself is the narrow gate. He says:

“Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.” (John 10:9 NLT)

Relationship and fellowship with him is to follow the narrow way.

Jesus has been so kind and compassionate to me. I think some of the reason I often avoid listening to him and seeking out what he has to say to me daily is because I think he is going to come down hard on me.

He never does. It seems that his aim is to kill my sin with his kindness and turn me from my self-destructive sin. (Is there a sin that isn’t self-destructive?)

I just looked up and read this from Romans 2:

“Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?

5 But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 He will judge everyone according to what they have done. 7 He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. 8 But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness. 9 There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. 10 But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.”

The fact is, I want to walk the narrow way that leads to life. Fact is, I don’t want to store up judgement by refusing to repent. I want to stop all the ways I live for myself and wickedness and “give Jesus a try”. I don’t want any vice to keep me from experiencing the life of Jesus to the full. I want to be a good friend to Jesus.

I don’t doubt for a moment that deep down you also want to respond to Jesus in this way. I have no doubt that you want to experience for yourself the abundant life Jesus said he came to bring to you:

“I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. 9 Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. 10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” (John 10 NIV)

Are you experiencing a rich and satisfying life?

As I ponder this question for myself I am amazed to be able to say, yes. In spite of myself I actually am experiencing an abundant life. Crazy huh?

It may seem like we don’t have too many real live examples of someone experiencing the abundant life, but I think that is because we are always looking for examples of someone who follows Jesus perfectly. I know that I follow Jesus. A cursory glance over my blog posts will reveal that I don’t do this perfectly and often times there are still foxes on the loose in the vineyard (to borrow a biblical metaphor).

We often wait till someone is dead to honor the memory of their life because the living still have time to disappoint us and leave us with egg on our face as they have been known to do (It’s happened to me so many times!).

You Are A Role Model

Even though you or I may not be bold enough to say like Paul, “follow me as I follow Christ”, we are still ALL role models for someone. We like to think we aren’t or we may even blatantly say as some sports figures do, “I never set out to be a role model.” We pretend we aren’t because we love to live for ourselves and seek our own pleasure. (Jesus brother James writes that this makes us adulterous people – see James 4).

If we are looking for perfect examples to follow, look no farther than Christ. He followed his father beautifully. He modeled what a follower looks like with a kind of trust that led him to do only what the Father does and speak only what the Father speaks. He followed His loving Papa all the way to the cross. He knew his Father deeply loved him. He was secure and grounded in that love and knew that his Sovereign loving Papa was leading him every day into what would be the most joyful ending to the story. Jesus didn’t have a five-year plan, he had a “what’s next Papa?” plan. We can too.

Someone told me yesterday that there hasn’t been anyone who has done a pure deed with the purest of motives besides Jesus. That touched my heart to hear that. My Savior and your Savior, has the purest of motives in his dealings with you and I.

The Narrow Way

theWaySo, back to talking about the narrow way.

For whatever reason this quote from the Matrix comes to mind. Morpheus tells Neo, “There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”

Did you know that Christians were first called “followers of the Way”? This, no doubt, was a reference to Jesus who called himself the Way.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Yes the way is narrow. Jesus is it. The only way. There is no other way to the Father. So rest assured if you have received and are trusting Jesus you are on the narrow way. But are you walking in the way? Are you walking the path of Jesus that leads to you experiencing a rich and satisfying life?

Walking the path is going to look different for every one of us. What does “walking the path” look like for you? I can’t tell you. You have to ask the One who is the path and who destined a specific path for you.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2 NLT)

What good things has God planned for you? The question is, will you take the time to seek the One who holds the answers? He will never force the way upon you. You will never just stumble upon it but must do your part. We have a role in this. Paul writes in Philipians 3:12:

“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.”

I am reminded that the Christian life, being a follower of the Way, has much to do with maintaining a clean conscience before God. This means we “get to” repent and turn from sin every time it is brought to our awareness. This is how we stay on course and remain in fellowship with the Way.

The still small voice of God is here right now. He is speaking to your heart in this very moment. Are you listening? The stakes couldn’t be higher. Your life is at stake.

God rewards those who diligently seek him. Won’t you join me in submitting to Jesus today? Cave to his kindness and just let him love you. Repent and turn from your sin so you can enter his loving kingdom and come under his protection and experience his wonderful guidance along the narrow path to true and abundant life!

Related posts:

Categories: faith adventure, Repentance | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Read through the Bible in 90 days?

openbible-1I decided to read through the Bible before Christmas. Yesterday marks the first day of a 90 day read.  Will you join me?

The Challenge:

Why am I passionate about reading through the Bible?

Because it has radically changed my life for the better every time I experience a journey through God’s Word.

When I immerse myself in the Bible I gain a grasp of reality as it truly is (aka “grow in faith”) and escape the “matrix” of a deceived and perverse society. I have come to see that gaining God’s perspective and worldview is really at the core of what faith really is.

To quote Paul, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God”.

Sign up to my other blog to get updates as I, once again, take a Journey Through the Bible:

Thanks for listening!


Categories: faith adventure | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Mud, Sweat, and Tears by Bear Grylls (book review)

English: Bear Grylls in front of an Alaska Air...

I am not ashamed to admit it. I have a new hero. His name is Bear Grylls.

I bought my wife a kindle fire for Christmas and we have been enjoying watching previously inaccessible cable shows for a month with the free trial of Amazon Prime. We don’t have or want cable or Netflix, so this was a real treat and when I found Man vs. Wild I was so excited! I’d seen the show a few times before when on the off-chance I caught an episode on Discovery channel.

I envy most everything about him. His freedom, his love and passion for adventure and the outdoors. He is truly an inspiration.

After getting a Bear Grylls survival knife for Christmas from my wife (awesome gift from my sweetie), I checked out his facebook page and watched a video he posted that moved me:

I was so thrilled to find that he was a Christian! I thought he might have some sort of faith because he, without fail, did a symbol of the cross before jumping out of an airplane or a helicopter. Ant then in one episode he talked about his faith, family, and friends and was shown praying before climbing into his bamboo hammock.

Then I discovered that his autobiography was at the library entitled, “Mud, Sweat, and Tears”. I finished it in a single day and loved chapter 25 where Bear talks about how he found his Christian faith. Simple. Real. Profound. He writes about how at the heart of the Christian faith it is simple. Here are a few quotes:

“To me , my Christian faith is all about being held, comforted, forgiven, strengthened and loved-yet somehow that message gets lost on most of us…” “It seems more like this Jesus came to destroy religion and bring life… Christ comes to make us free , to bring us life in all it’s fullness. He is there to forgive us where we have messed up (and who hasn’t?), and to be the backbone in our being.”  – Bear Grylls (pg 91 Mud Sweat and Tears)

He shares how during difficult times and the greatest tests in his life (such as his SAS Selection and Mount Everest Climb) that he would quote Scriptures to himself like this one from Isaiah 41:13:

“For I hold you by your right hand—
I, the Lord your God.
And I say to you,
‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.”

He continues:

“We all have our limits. To push beyond those limits sometimes requires something just beyond ourselves. That is what my faith has given me – a secret strength and help when I have needed it most.” (pg 204)

After breaking his back in three places after a parachuting accident, he writes:

“But out of that despair, fear, and struggle came a silver lining… What I did know was that I needed something to give me back my hope. My sparkle. My life. I found that something in my Christian faith, in my family, and also in my dreams of adventure.

My Christian faith says that I have nothing to ever to fear or worry about. All is well.

At that time, in and out of hospital, it reminded me that, despite the pain and despair, I was held and loved and blessed – my life was secure though Jesus Christ.

That gift of grace has been so powerful to me ever since.” (pg.245)

He often shares one of his favorite verses that fits his life and love for adventure around the globe so well:

“Be sure of this, that I am with you always, even unto the ends of the earth.” Matthew 28:20

In this book Bear talks about his growing up years, his fun and crazy antics throughout school, his SAS selection, his climb of Everest and a little about his filming for Man vs. Wild. I would definitely recommend this book. It’s worth owning, would make a great gift and is a truly inspiring read.

Has Bear Grylls influenced you and who is your hero and why? Leave a comment.

Categories: faith adventure | 3 Comments

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