Fraud

I’m such a fraud. I went through and read some of my old blog post and realized that I am just a big fraud. I write about grand ideas and notions but never follow through with a single thing. Why?

Well, I think that I have a similar problem to most people out there. I get distracted by life. My previous post was all about getting healthy and running Spartan Races. Since that post was written last year I have worked out all of 2 times. Just a few days after that post was written I lost my job. I had already signed up for 2 other spartan races for the year and was prepared to have the most healthy year of my life. A little more than a year later I can say that I was unable to run either of my other two races and did not stay on course with my health goals.

There are actually a lot of goals that I didn’t stick to last year. I was not less than 210 lbs by December 31. I did not have my level 1 CrossFit instructors license. And, the most disappointing was that I had somewhere along the way forgotten what my real responsibility in this life was: To love and steward my family in a way that honors God.

I got completely turned around. I was living selfishly and wasn’t concerned with fixing it.

But then, almost a year to the date of being laid off from my other job, I was fired. It happened out of nowhere. On Tuesday and Wednesday I was being complimented for my performance. On Friday I was fired, without reason. Talk about a wrench in my plans. I was so confused, and hurt, and lost. I had drifted so far away from where I wanted to be that I was shaken deeply by this change. I had no where to turn but to the Cross and to my family. And that’s what I did.

That was more than a month ago. I am still unemployed, but man am I happy. I began to work on me, on my interactions with my wife and kids, on my perception of what others thinks of me, on being better. When I say better, I mean that I think and react and see others out of a place of love. I want to see my relationships as opportunities to love people the way Christ loves me: without expectation, without wanting something in return, without judgement.

I have a long way to go but I will get there. It will not be easy, and it will not be quick, but Jesus says that I must change and so I will do my part in transforming my lifestyle to bring praise to the Lord.

If you are still reading I would like to recommend some books that are really stirring my spirit as of late:

Scary Close by Donald Miller

Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker

Loving Our Kids on Purpose by Danny Silk

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Chocolate Milk

I love me some chocolate milk. Actually, I drink a glass of homemade chocolate milk almost every morning for breakfast. No, I didn’t make the milk. And no, I didn’t make the chocolate syrup. But I do put them together each morning in my favorite FrogHead Grill cup(courtesy of Clinton, MS) and stir until there is a beautiful brownish-gray liquid for my enjoyment. And that is all done at my home, so home-made.

I am a chocolate milk snob to be honest, so it has to be just right. I can’t have too much chocolate. But at the same time, I can’t have too little either. I want chocolate milk not diluted chocolate syrup, or slightly discolored milk.

What’s strange to me is that chocolate milk is amazingly similar to our hearts. I know that sounds incredibly odd, but let me explain. You see, to make chocolate milk you have to add the black syrup to the white milk. Once the syrup is added and the milk is stirred there is no going back. You can never get the chocolate out 100%. The same thing goes for what we “take in.” Our minds have the ability to store images and phrase for an indefinite amount of time. I can recall images I looked at when I was ten years old. And there is a good chance you can too.

So, I guess the question to ask is: “What is your syrup?” I mean “What are you putting in?”

I actually spoke on this topic just last night. If we are called to remain pure of heart, then how can we expect to be pure if our mind is polluted with Pornography, Gossip, Slander, Violence, Covetedness (I couldn’t come up with a better word there)? What we influences our everyday influences our hearts just as much as it does our minds.

Thankfully for us there is Grace. Even though the milk of my mind will never be chocolate free again, I still have the ability to overcome the muddled mind that I have created by relying on the Papa’s amazing grace.

I want to leave you with this. Your milk may already have syrup in it, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep adding more. Be careful what you put in.

My name is Jason White, and I am sinner, saved by grace, and loved beyond what I deserve.

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.

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.