This journal

this journalIt has been since June that I resigned just after starting this journal. Journals have legs to walk with you through various journeys and seasons. Journals have backs and hearts to carry a great deal of things so you do not have to. This journal is a gift from a friend I have not seen or spoken with in many years. It was a random gift which arrived just before an enormous life change I did not foresee at the time. This journal came to me from a friend who has always been a strong encouragement to "Keep writing. Always keep writing." This journal came from this friend just before a season where it would have been easy to cease writing.

This journal has carried a lot of the things I never wanted to carry. If I could only displace those thoughts and processes on the back and heart of this journal, I could get through days, which would have been otherwise very discouraging and debilitating.

This journal contains the weak prayers of limping through the process of learning to ask God 'what' instead of 'why'. I rarely get answers to 'why' questions, but I have learned to look at any and all circumstances asking, "God, what are you doing in me through this?"

This journal contains notes for interviews come and gone for positions I thought were great, if not perfect, but clearly not where God was guiding and calling me.

This journal contains notes for sermons along the way for beloved groups who, unaware to them, gave shock paddles to my heart by giving me opportunities to do what I love in a season when my heart was weak and confused for the future.

This journal has been able to carry the promise of prayer my heart made for the new year. It proves that the challenge remains. It is written in ink after all.

This journal, #38, passes a baton to #39 with promise and hope attached. It uses the discouragement and healing as a springboard to speak to my heart, "You are a better leader, husband, and father than you were before we began walking together, but more importantly, you are closer to the heart of Jesus than you were before we met."

Notes from the dogeared pages of #32

Today I retired journal #32. It is always good to look back on the thoughts and reflections. The quotes and jots. The drawings and scribbles. So here are a few random notes from the dogeared pages of #32. - A love letter from a stranger means nothing to us...but even a tiny note from my wife means the world...most of our not liking scripture is just not understanding or being in relationship with the one from who the letters were written

- Discipleship: action needs to be important, not just a Bible study...Application is a must throughout, but doctrine has to be important or at least clarifying of the essentials...contracts is necessary; this is a commitment you will only get what you put in...

-[vision casting] ENVISION a new culture SHARE vision with everyone GET ALIGNMENT with leadership MODEL the culture you want to create FORM URGENCY sense

- "Boredom is the natural byproduct of redundancy...and church ministry is redundant by nature." ... create new and fresh experiences with God instead of repeating the same stories over and over and over again..we tell the same old stories about God because we are having no new experiences with him...the pastor needs to teach and lead in a way that creates new opportunities and new experiences for the church family...but my teaching and leadership cannot be new, fresh, and alive if my personal experience of God is not new, fresh, and alive

- Pull away...look within...look around...Fill up...change it up

- "Greed is a sign of slavery; you have to hold on to something because you NEED it" - "Generosity is a sign of freedom." - Cody Cannon

- "People who don't know Christ do not get to OUT-SERVE Christians." -Cody Cannon

Gone Is The Written Word - A Preview

This post is a preview of next week here at Ragamuffin Ramblings. I have noticed with the frequency of blogging, I rarely pour out on the written pages of my journal. Since I have been been blogging more and more over the course of the last 6-7 years (has it been that long?!?!), I notice less and less physical writing in my journal; a pastime I cannot ever imagine being rid of (I'd likely die inside). So here is a preview of what all my posts next week will look like...