boyradd

Forgiven…Loved…..Transformed!

Archive for the tag “writing”

Writer’s Block

Hebrews 3:13 – But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

I’ve been blogging for almost exactly 6 years.

6.

That is longer than a lot of jobs I have held in my life. It is longer than I have been married to Mimi.

The majority of my posts are theological or apologetic in nature. Ever since I started this blog I wanted to take modern day issues and show that the issue is not modern only and then how the Bible informs us to handle the issue.

I never thought I would have six years of source material, but here we are.

Lately, my brain has been unfocused when it comes to my blog. I am spending a lot of time reading the Bible (currently working to memorize the kings of Israel and Judah and what they did so I can apply it in my life). I am spending a lot of time reading books by others, mostly dealing with being a good husband and what that looks like. I’ve been spending a lot of time in prayer, trying to figure out just what God’s call is on my life (I believe I am called to vocational ministry, but every door I try to open gets closed).

I’ve been learning patience.

A lot has come up recently in current world events to give me enough to write about. Unfortunately, as I begin to write about them, I get a few sentences in and my brain shuts down.

Like right now. I am sitting here, in Panera, staring at my computer screen chanting under my breath, “God, give me the words.”

There are so many topics I could write about.

But I’ve got a serious case of writer’s block.

Psalm 138:3 – On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased.

You have to respect pastors. They write about 40-50 sermons a year.

Want to know the secret about sermons, though?

They aren’t writing them from scratch.

Sure, the jokes might be new, the anecdotes might be personal and fresh, and the application might be relevant but the source material is thousands of years old.

A few years back when I went to a church planting conference in Nashville I heard Louie Giglio share a story about a parishioner who went up to him after a few years of being in the church and said that his message spoke to him that one particular day he was preaching. Louie went on to say thank you. The parishioner said that he was amazed at how his source material is always new and fresh. Louie said, with a small smirk on his face, “Want to know a secret? The message hasn’t changed in all the years I’ve been preaching. The only difference is that today you chose to hear it.”

The same is true for blogging.

Over my six years I have received emails and comments from people at one time or another saying that the message I shared really affected them. Honestly, while my stories are personal and truly only lived by myself, the gospel message that is attached to those stories has never changed.

Colossians 2:2-3 – My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

My hope is that if someone who doesn’t believe in Christ reads my messages that they will want to make the choice to seek Christ. My other hope is that for those who already have a relationship with Christ that we can learn how to live as Christ would have us live.

I used to love being considered a “evangelical Christian.”

And that is what I am.

My blog, and consequently my life, is meant to be lived evangelically. And I am a Chrsitian.

But I am not the title “evangelical Christian.”

That term brings up notes of Republican, hypocritical, and focused on power and money.

I am not Republican. I am not Democrat either. I refuse to vote. I am truly non-partisan.

Am I a hypocrite? Of course. So is everyone else in this world. At some point in everyone’s life we have done something hypocritical.

Am I focused on power and money? Sometimes. But back in 2014 I left a 6-figure+ job to focus on both God and future family. God has blessed me and my family enough that we aren’t going hungry and we have been able to live a lifestyle of moderate comfort. But I had one year where I made less than $20,000 and have at times had to work a couple jobs just to make ends meet. So money and power only in the respect that I just want to be able to pay my bills.

Proverbs 30:7-9 – I ask two things from you, Lord. Don’t refuse me before I die. Keep me from lying and being dishonest. And don’t make me either rich or poor; just give me enough food for each day. If I have too much, I might reject you and say, ‘I don’t know the Lord.’ If I am poor, I might steal and disgrace the name of my God.

Simply put, I am a Christian. This is a blog about my journey as a Christian. Will it always be what you expect to hear? Of course not. There are many aspects of God that I wrestle with, even to this day. I may not always seem like I have it all together. But I feel that puts me in good company. Look at a lot of different people in the Bible. A lot of people whose hearts are God’s struggled with everything God said or did. Habakkuk, Elijah, Moses, Ananias, Peter or really any of the disciples are examples of that.

The Christian journey is never one of saying you have confidence in anything…except Christ.

My ways are not His ways. When I think I have it all figured out, God steps in and says, “No, Fred, why do have so much pride in you so as to accept everything people say versus what My Word says?”

It seems like my Christian walk is 2 steps forward and 1 step backward.

But that is still forward momentum.

So, I want to give you some hope, Christian.

This is coming from one Christian whose life looks nice and clean on the outside but on the inside is filled with question. This is coming from someone whose goal in life is not be a mouthpiece for a government party but to be a mouthpiece for Christ alone. This is coming from someone who is just as screwed up and messed up as you are.

Take it from me that if this man can find the hope that comes in Christ and be transformed daily by it, then you can too.

That is my hope.

That this blog will be an example of sanctification. It is a slow process, but it is forward momentum.

So, take hope that even if you have questions about how the Scriptures and God will affect your life, know that you are not alone in your struggle. There are many of us out there trying to figure it out with Christ at the forefront.

And never give up.

Stay the course.

Taking two steps forward and one step back.

Each day.

Until God calls you home and says, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Galatians 6:9 – And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

What am I going to Write About?

I had a blog post all ready to go a few days ago that I was writing for next week.  Due to a little miscommunication between me and a few friends, I had to post my blog on City Reaching for Christ a week early.  Lol, oh well.  That is life.  God knows that when it comes to talking, stories, and sharing things with others that He gave me an unending well of words.

So I am sitting here at Laguardia Airport waiting on my flight back to MD and am praying and asking God for the words to say.  Do you want to know what one of morning devotions was this morning?  It was about an indigenous missionary in a Muslim country who was taken by extremists and held with a machete at his neck.  He was worried that he wouldn’t know what to say when he was faced with death.  He was concerned that he would be rendered speechless during one of the most intimate moments of evangelism in his life.

But God gave him the words.

He explained in a later interview that he felt peace come over him and the words just started to flow.  He did not plead for his life.  He did not question what they were doing.  He didn’t curse them out in a last ditch effort to coerce them into letting him go.  He simply praised God and thanked Jesus for the opportunity he had to praise Him in this way.

God gave him the words.

Now sitting in the airport wondering about what to write a blog post about is nowhere near the intensity of the situation the missionary was in.  I can’t even begin to think that my words can be anywhere as eloquent as his as he spoke God’s love and truth while a machete was at his neck.

But there is one truth that is true.

Luke 21:15 – For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.

God will give me the words.

So this is where everyone expects me to say something earth-shattering.  Well, what I have to say IS earth shattering.  It is the most amazing thing ever that I can say.  It is a simple truth that holds significant consequences.

You know what I have to say?

Jesus loves you.  He, an innocent man, a pure man, and a loving man was brought up on trial by corrupt religious leaders and an unjust Roman government.  He took the sin of the world for them.  For us.  For me.  For you!

If you don’t know whether you are in a relationship with Christ, today is the day.  Today is the only day you are guaranteed.  You don’t know if you will be around tomorrow.

There is a story of D.L. Moody giving a sermon the morning of the Great Chicago Fire.  During his sermon, he asked every one of his listeners to not make a decision for Christ at that moment.  He asked them to go home and “agonize over the words that he said” and come back the following week prepared to discuss what a relationship with Christ looks like.

That night, the Great Chicago Fire took the lives of thousands, including many of which heard Moody’s sermon that morning.

Moody was so grieved by the fact that many people went into eternity without making the decision for Christ because he told them not to make the decision!  He made a promise to himself that from that day forward, he would always open up the opportunity for his listeners to accept Christ after every sermon.

So when you are unsure of what to say to someone, look them right in the eye and tell them that today is the day.  Today is the only day they are guaranteed and that if they were to die, would they be guaranteed to wake up in heaven?  Today is the day to make a choice for Christ.

So,

God gave me the words.

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