The First Step

If you’ve followed the blog any amount of time, you’ll notice that today brings some changes to the name and the pages. Taken together, they are the first step towards being obedient to God. Just where the next step leads, I don’t know. It’s taken a good bit of turmoil to get me to step one.

But let me begin at the beginning. Kind of.

I have this crazy idea that God has gifted and called me to be someone who reaches people for Him. Not in the traditional evangelistic sense (to paraphrase Lloyd Benson, I’m no Billy Graham), but in a way that gets people to reconsider the everyday evidence that is under their noses. I’m not out to build an empire, or become something I’m not; I’m intensely interested in writing and speaking about how God interacts with us in our daily circumstances to call us into a deeper relationship with Him.

And I’ve felt this way for a long time. I’ve strained against myself because I am at heart two things: someone who is hampered by a need for security while yearning for the chance to do daring things. Life is a paradox sometimes, and that has been my life as of late. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has gifted me to speak; I know He has gifted me to write; the issue has always been with audience. To whom am I writing/speaking? To whom should I be writing/speaking?

I’ve always sought the church as the definitive answer. I love being in the pulpit and sharing from God’s word; I love working with people one-on-one and seeing the light go off in their eyes; I love when former students call and ask me to do weddings, or send me emails asking for help with a difficult question. I love those things not because they swell the ego, but instead they mean that my life and my gifts have connected people and God in a meaningful way.

I still believe in the church. I believe in her importance to a changing culture in America. I believe in her need to work tirelessly on behalf of those who have experienced the worst life has to offer. I believe that within the halls and walls of a church there is the chance for a community that can heal, restore, teach and bless people just as God intended.

But even within the church there are people who long to know that God knows them. Who hunger to hear from God in their circumstances. You can also find those people in coffee shops, on Facebook, at the gas pump next to you. I want to reach them. I want to talk with them, write for them, speak to them. It’s what I feel called to do as a minister. As a pastor.

So I’m taking a first step of faith and adding a Speaking page to this blog, along with the change in name and focus. I’ll be writing about finding God in your everyday life and allowing those moments to grow your faith. I have no grand design, and I’m not quitting my job; I’m just finally being obedient on a matter that I have, for personal reasons, treated as an inconvenience rather than a command.

There it is. I feel like God is asking me to preach and write more. I’m trusting in Him and putting that calling into words that I’ll be held accountable to on many levels. I’m scared. I’m excited.

We’ll see what happens.

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