January 31st, 2016
What an amazing journey this life truly is.
I turned 46 last week. Over the last year and really over the last few years for me have been extraordinarily reflective in nature. I have been considering what I have accomplished, what I haven't accomplished and what I still want to accomplish in the time I have left on the Earth.
A good chunk of my life has been dedicated to my family and for that I have no regrets at all. Fathering three sons and being actively involved in each of their lives at every point is priceless to me. There is certainly a shortage of true Fathers in the earth today.
Being a husband to Lori takes a chunk of time as well and again I have no regrets about that either. What a beautiful, incredible and unique woman she is and there is no one else I want by my side as the months and years continue to pass.
I was raised in the church and a significant part of my life has been spent in and around churches and ministries. Some of those situations I do indeed regret as I look back on them but some were very wonderful to be sure. I will say that some of the deepest parts of wounding and sorrow introduced to me and to my family have come at the hands of leaders in the modern church. Naive people dismiss that as me not being healed but that is not the case. In fact, when you have been abused, one of the signs you are healing or have been healed is that you can freely talk about it with no shame. That is exactly where I am today with it all.
I liken it to a bank being robbed. The bank isn't "playing the victim" or "in need of healing" when it hits the silent alarm. The robber is the perpetrator, not the bank. I am not playing the victim or in need of healing when I expose the wrongs that have been done to my family and I and those who claim such are exacerbating the problem. In churches, leaders have a greater responsibility (Hebrews 13 calls is a more strict judgement) to be extra careful with people. Any overseer should have a good reputation as being a strong family based person of sound and sober thoughts. Sadly, that does not describe everyone in those positions today. More on that in later blogs...
The picture I used today says a lot. You will never be free until you free yourself from the prison of your own false thoughts. All of us have had so many things happen spanning so many years in our lives and each of those things have the individual potential to take us a little bit off course from being the real person God intended us to be. Sometimes traumatic events can really pull us off course and then you compound those events over time and you can begin to see where you can really end up a prisoner of your own false thoughts.
I've seen it repeatedly where people build what I call "illusion bubbles" for themselves. They get to a place where they honestly believe something about themselves that just isn't factual and sometimes they form an emotional connection with that false person that they believe themselves to be so that any effort to correct them back into reality is met with some pretty harsh resistance. Sometimes that resistance will be that person completely blocking you out of their life.
An example of that happened to me last year. A local church Senior Leader felt that he was above Holy Scripture and the biblical rules about gossip did not apply to him and his wife. He felt that his position as a leader made him magically exempt from Paul's warning to not receive or pass on gossip. The Lord used me to bring correction but he was so convinced by his own illusion bubble that he was right, he cut all fellowship with us going so far as to block me on Facebook. You know it's serious when you get blocked on Facebook.. rotflol... but the larger point is very serious. People get these false ideas of who they are and it can really mess you up and end up costing you dearly.
In the late 90s I had a bit of an identity crisis of my own. I was (of all things) a professional wrestling promoter. What was REALLY going on is that I was running from the call of God on my life but Pro Wrestling became my ship that was heading away from Nineveh. My "whale experience" was the voice of God speaking audibly to me. His voice broke my pride and restored my love for Him and that would lead to an even longer process culminating in 2007 of Him teaching me how to love myself.
Ask the Holy Spirit right now this simple question. Who am I supposed to be? People get all caught up with what they are supposed to be doing but I believe if you can first see WHO you really are then that revelation will by default point you in the right direction of WHAT you are supposed to be doing.
There can be great wisdom in letting something go entirely. I mean just releasing it instantly to the Lord as soon as you hear about it so it has absolutely no impact upon what you are doing. It has taken me a lot of years to embrace that as the path to freedom that it really is.
There have been no shortage of people in my life who have tried to sentence me to be a failure either by their own desire to see me come to ruin or to somehow justify their dislike of me personally but regardless of their motive, significant efforts have been leveled against my wife and I to derail and destroy our personal lives and ministries. After walking through roughly 20 years of this, I have two words for the haters...thank you.
See, Psalm 23 says the Lord prepares a table in the presence of your enemies. When God is starting to do something in the way of restoration or provision, it is very likely he will first put you in the presence of your enemies. After all, that is where God has set up the table to feed you from. I'm not suggesting that he wants you to gloat, but I am suggesting that you need to come to a place where you are comfortable with your enemies incompetence being exposed. The call to love your enemies is not a call to protect their incompetence or underhanded dealings.
I turn 46 in a few days and I am firming up on my commitment to walk in the Kingdom based reality of who I really am and not let the haters define me, I mean not even a little bit. I have turned a corner with the new year. Maybe it was the handful of insecure church leaders over the years who brought so much false accusation that even the demons they unknowingly served were confused. Maybe it was the people saying they wanted to know the real me when in reality they just wanted me to use my gifts and talents for their personal gain or enjoyment. Maybe it was the way that my adoptive family who raised me would never open up and let me in to the deeper inner workings of said family or maybe it was finally meeting my birth mother last year and learning more about my actual earthly origins... or maybe it was just a combination of all of that and much more.
All I know today is that the battle for life in the battle for personal identity. Every sin is a direct result of you not knowing or understanding who you really are. With identity comes understanding of proper entitlement and expectation. When you begin to see that your life is usually a collection of what you have tolerated instead of goals you have set and accomplished, everything changes for the better. New ideas and goals come to bear and with them the firm commitment to embrace who you really are...and with that comes a disdain for Self Pity and Self Hatred...and with that comes a fresh commitment to back out of relationships that are unhealthy and to prioritize relationships that are centered around your goals and identity.
Lastly, I apologize for not updating the blog here for a few weeks. I'm going to try and do that more often here in 2016! :)
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.