It wasn’t me

So one of my favorite movies when I was younger(does saying that make me old?) was Disney’s RocketMan. I thought that was the funniest movie. One scene in particular. Fred Randall(main character, aka: Idiot) is supposed to go into hyper-sleep for the trip to Mars(I love it when Disney puts out scientifically accurate films). But, before he can enter his sleep chamber Ulysses jumps in. I forgot to mention the chimp named Ulysses. Anyway, Fred has to remain awake for the 6-7 month voyage due to this mishap. When everyone else wakes from hyper-sleep, they find a mural painted with astronaut food and the spacecraft is a mess. The first thing out of Fred’s mouth, “It wasn’t me, Ulysses did it.”

Fred is a Blame-Shifter.

I am a Blame-Shifter

A blame shifter(term I learned while working under the tutelage of Jason Albright, thank 7 Habits) is someone who tries to pawn their mistakes or shortcomings on someone else. “Johnson, why isn’t that report on my desk” “Well, Alice was supposed to let me know what font you wanted it in, but never got back to me, so I couldn’t type it up yet.”

I blame shift with God all of the time. Like with my bible challenge. “I haven’t had time Papa, I’ve been busy with work, and family.” B.S. I have had time, or I could have at least made time. I want to blame something or someone for not doing what I know needs to be done.

I think we all blame-shift. In fact, I know we do. It’s a heck of a lot easier than taking responsibility for our actions and choices. But, I don’t want to anymore. I want to back up what I say with what I do. If I say that I am going to read through the Bible then that’s what I am going to do. Now if I say that I am going to try out for the Steelers, make the team, and take Troy Polamulo’s job then I have obviously lost all touch with reality. But I want to be someone of integrity, even if it’s only between me and Papa. For some reason that no one seems to understand, we try to blame-shift Papa more than anyone else. I guess our feeble minds can’t repeatedly grasp the fact that He knows everything. If I’m not loving my neighbor it doesn’t matter to Papa that he sneezed on my driveway 3 years ago while I was cutting grass and throwing the mulch in his yard.

If we take the ability to blame-shift out of the equation then life get’s “too hard”. Well, that’s life. Life was never promised to be peachy-kine(broccoli, Veggie-Tales). Will you accept the “Hard Life” with me?

My name is Jason, and I’m a sinner saved by grace and covered by the blood of the lamb.


Karate Adolescence and Mutant Amphibians

I loved the Ninja Turtles as a kid. I had the action figures, the van, and even begged my mom to buy me the cereal(I didn’t even eat one bowl, sorry mom).

I was also quite fond of the Karate Kid movies, I wanted to be skilled in the art of Martial Arts(that seems redundant to me). I wanted to be a level seven black belt and be able to defend myself with honor.

Well today I do have a black belt with seven notches, but they are used for holding up my pants at different “stages”(which really means the fat times of my life). But why do I no longer dream of being a karate hero, or a mutant sewer dweller? Because I have grown out of that.

If I can grow out of a dream then why can’t I grow out of gossiping, and judging others? Why can’t I grow out of being lazy, or putting myself before my family?

I can. All I need is: 1. A swift kick in the pants(my wife tries this from time to time but my cat-like reflexes keep me out of trouble) and 2. God

So… really it’s just God(He will graciously do all the pants kicking I can stand). He laid it all out in scripture easy enough. As we get to know Papa we see the things in our lives that we want to change. But, we can’t change those things on our own. We need Him to change us, to push us, to challenge us. And it all starts with surrendering it to Papa.

The Ninja Turtles wouldn’t be skilled in the art of turtlejitzu if it weren’t for Splinter. Ralph Macheio wouldn’t be doing the Crane kick if it weren’t for Mr. Meogi. So how is it that I think that I can become some great person without guidance?

The best part of all is that the guidance you seek is probably all around you. First, through the love of our Savior. Second, through His words in the form of scripture. And third, through the community around you. If you don’t have a community around you that can encourage you AND challenge you, then it’s time to find new community.

I no longer want to dine on the milk of Christianity, I want the fillet mignon and loaded potatoes.

My name is Jason and I’m a sinner saved by grace, covered by the blood of the lamb.

Wow!! 30!

No, I’m not 30 years old, not till Feb at least(and I may decided to move it back even further). This is my 30th blog post.

It isn’t necessarily a huge milestone, but for me that is a lot of words put together so far. I like to blog. I like to share what’s in my head with anyone who is willing to read it. But sometimes I get too caught up with who is reading it, or should I say who is not.

Sometimes I get so caught up in the statistics of my blog that I forget about the content and why I do it. I start caring more about the bar graphs showing my daily traffic then I do about the person who might be reading this. I didn’t start this blog to get popular or famous. I started this blog as a way to share what Papa was doing in my life in hopes that others would be encouraged and/or challenged. And by others I don’t mean the world. Because, let’s face it, not everyone is in the same place at the same time, so what I write is not going to apply to everyone.

So, why do I let the statistics affect me so strongly?

Because I haven’t been consistant with my real life. I haven’t been letting Papa affirm who I am. I haven’t been unwavering in my devotion to my God and my family. When that happens I look for self-worth in the opinions of others(or in this case the traffic of my blog). I haven’t finished reading through the entire bible yet, but I have a sneaky suspicion that blogging is not a high priority to the disciples. I don’t think I’m going to find God saying, “You will know that I love you by the traffic on your blog.”

I do, however, want more people to read my blog so that more people will be challenged, or have someone to relate to. So sometime it can be a bit confusing. I want more traffic, but I don’t want more traffic to be my goal(sounds like me and money, it’s a love hate relationship). So, instead of reading “How to make your blog Awesome”(it’s fake, don’t try to google it), I am going to simply blog. I am going to write what I write and let the ships fall where they may(or something like that). I just hope that you enjoy what you read here, and are able to take something of worth away each time.

My name is Jason. I’m a sinner covered by grace.

What is your dream worth?

Man, that’s a heavy question. As much as I daydream, I still can’t even pinpoint exactly what my dream is. I have some ideas: Start my own really cool restaurant, buy into a really cool franchise restaurant if I can’t start my own really cool restaurant, Be a christian camp director, be a worship leader, be a designer of really cool things, build a completely self-sustainable electric car, etc….

Maybe I shouldn’t be asking what My dream should be. Maybe I should be asking what does Papa have instore for me.

Is my dream worth giving up? Is my faith worth more than my dream? Is Papa worth more to me than my dream?

For years I have tried to fit my faith into my dreams. That means that my dreams will always take precedence over my faith. The big problem with that is that Papa said to have no gods before Him. And, I realize that a dream doesn’t seem like a god, but if it comes before Papa then I have given it that power. (I hope that you aren’t expecting the answer to these questions. I’m just not that smart).

I struggle everyday to lay down my will and surrender it to Papa. And honestly, I usually go with my will over his(which is probably why I’m such a failure). But, what would my life, and my dream for that matter, look like if I quit holding onto my will?

I believe that I haven’t made the best choices in life, and I haven’t always walked in the will of God, but I also believe that as soon as I admit my mistakes and confess those to Papa, that I am immediately placed back in the will of God. As long as i continue to trust Him, and turn to Him then I can not escape(that’s funny, it’s spelled just like escape) His will.

So maybe it’s not a question of what my dream is worth. Maybe it is a question of how dependent am I on God. If I depend on Him for my next breath, my next meal, my next step, then my dream will be dependent on Him as well.

My name is Jason. A sinner saved by grace, blessed to live another day.

Am I a failure?

Dang straight I am. By today’s standard I am a big ol’ pile of failures. I quit most of my jobs within 3-6 months(I’m only passionate about a few things, but so far none of them have hired me), I have a nice little chunk of Credit Card debt, I don’t own anything except for a bunch of books and a guitar(And no, I’m not a great song writer), I still rent, and my current job is not directly related to the degree it took me 7 years to obtain(really it was only 5 years in school, I took a couple of vacations along the way). And, I forgot to mention the part where I was accepted to Seminary, drug my family to Kentucky, and then decided not to go 2 weeks before classes were to start. So, I’m pretty sure I have the failure title covered.

Am I ok with being a failure? Absolutely!

My life is so full of great people and experiences that I would have never had if it weren’t for my failures. I am not necessarily proud of all of my choices, but they are the decisions that have led me to where I am today. But, what’s even better than all of my mistakes and shortcomings is… I am still loved by Papa.

“Jesus Christ’s life was an absolute failure from every standpoint but God’s. But what seemed failure from man’s standpoint was a tremendous triumph from God’s, because God’s purpose is never man’s purpose.” Oswald Chambers

This little passage from “Utmost for His Highest” was a breathe of fresh air for me. You can’t live in you mistakes or you’ll miss the beauty that Papa is constructing just for you. You do not know what Papa is doing for you in your time of failure. His will is so much better than ours, even if we can’t see past our own mistakes. Don’t live in your failures. Forgive yourself and look to what God has in store for you.

My name is Jason. I’m a sinner saved by grace, blessed with another day.

Good to be back

So, it has been over a week since my last post. And to be honest, it has felt far longer than that. I really enjoy writing my blog each day. It is something that challenges me and brings me joy. But, I have been having a hard time lately because I want to stay relevant. I want my post to be something that you(my 12 readers) can relate to and hopefully gain something from.

Staying relevant should be easy right? I could talk about Facebook, or the Bacholrette, or even the latest Government fiasco. But, I don’t want to be trendy, I don’t want to be relevant to the extent of pop culture. I want to be relevant to a generation searching for meaning.

One thing I can say without hesitation is that I don’t have everything figured out(sometimes I don’t have anything figured out). But I am willing to admit that. I want my blog to resonate with people who are honest with themselves about their need for something more than everyday life. My blog is for people who want to know Papa deeper and who don’t mind reading about one sin-filled man’s short comings along the way. I will try to be more consistent with my post. But I will also try to be true to who I am with each one as well. Thank you for stopping by. Have a blessed day.

If there are any topics you would like for me to tackle(I never got to play football so I may not do them the greatest amount of justice) please let me know in the comment section.

Mac Snob?

So, my wife and I are tossing around the idea of giving up the luxury of having smart phones(notice how I said luxury, now all you people who think you absolutely have to have a smart phone feel crappy, and you realize that I’m holier than you). To be completely honest, I don’t want to give up my smart phone. I like being able to check my email, facebook, twitter, blog, whatever on the go. I have never been someone who can just “surf the web” for hours at a time(I went old school again). It’s like a quick, clean poop. In and out(I realize I could have used the burger joint for my reference, but not everyone has been to an In-N-Out. However, everyone has pooed).

There really are only two questions to help me with my decision: Do I absolutely need it? and How much money would I save each month by not having it? I know what you’re thinking, “With a blog this good how can he not afford it?” But, unfortunately no one has decided to pay me for my ramblings as hard as that is to believe. So, for the mean time money is a definite factor.

As I ponder these dead, life changing questions, I must ask myself about other “luxuries” in my life(i did it again, hehe). I am paying a large sum of money for a nice car, but do I need that nice of a car? Can I find something that will be just as reliable without carrying such a big note? Absolutely. Do I have to have the latest gadgets and gismos? Nope(i would really like an Ipad for Christmas mom). So why do i desire those things?

I want the latest and greatest because that’s what I have been taught from early on. “I need a new car.” Or, “I need this computer, or that phone to be considered tech-savy.”(yes, I have a Mac and an Iphone-Guilty, but i’m not a mac snob) But, I don’t. The only thing that I need is Papa. The rest is just details. I feel as though it is easier to have a huge monthly car note than it is to pay my tithes. It’s easier to shell out a couple hundred bucks for internet, cable, and cell phones, then it is to buy a homeless man a meal.

I’m just as guilty of these things as anyone else. But, what if we change the norm, the status qua? Would you dare to change the everyday to the extraordinary?