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Friday, December 15, 2017 17:39

An Experiment

July 20th, 2010

I’m sitting here in a rather comfortable hotel in The Woodlands, TX reflecting over things I’ve come to over the past couple of days. Comfortable. . . when sixty thousand children in Nairobi will never know anything remotely close to this.

Those of you who know me personally or even just via Facebook have undoubtedly witnessed a definite change in my words, expressions, and overall demeanor. It’s by no chance. . . no random event.

See, I’m no Bible expert. Yes, I’ve done my share of reading in the past, but I’ve never been one to truly STUDY and ANALYZE it. This is one thing I have begun to remedy. Right now, I’m but a fledgling. That’s okay, though. God has fast-track programs available to those who need them. Believe me, I am sore from the workout! It’s a good sore, though.

So what happened? What’s the deal with Bo? An old friend said I was his Mel Gibson. . . that Jesus took my funny away from him. He didn’t, man. He’s just retooling it. Let me tell you what has happened starting around. . . late March to early April of this year.

For many years, I’ve had one of those inner feelings that I am called to something with a greater purpose. Many of you know the story of the past nearly four years now. If you don’t, please bear with me for a while, as that story has a place later and many lessons I’ve yet to learn attached to it. I am not ashamed of what has come to pass, and I forgive the wrongs and apologize for what I contributed. Out of the turmoil, I was given a precious gift. . . my daughter Kennedy Anne.

She will be three years old come the end of this month. She is a smart and beautiful child with wit and understanding that exceed her age. She will no doubt surpass her old man in capability and skill. My job is to see to it that she does so with grace. . . and that she understands grace as the one and only necessary provision in life.

For a long time, I’ve held the belief that God has a magnificent sense of humor. Sometimes, it’s dry and quite British. Others, it’s situational. Yet again, it can be very ironic. He’s such a jokester. I love it.

He used a wonderful person to help unclog my ears and remove the clouds from my eyes. A few of you know this person. That link on the righthand side tells more about her. That’s my friend right there, a truly wonderful blessing to know.

On top of the lessons that came from Richardson, TX and now Kotido, Uganda, He tossed into the mix a friend from high school. Jon and I talked over lunch one day. The fellow told me of a book I ought to read. Being that I trust his judgement as a minister and friend, I went and got myself a copy of the book Radical by Dr. David Platt.

Let me tell you this much.

It blew me out of the water. I spent several late nights shifting from fits of laughter to tears of pure joy as I began to comprehend things all the more clearly. I understood the words of my friend Kelly. I understood more why things had happened the way they have. I began to realize what’s what and what is coming.

My own wings began to grow.

Over the course of the next year, I am taking part in a challenge. Dr. Platt calls it “The Radical Experiment.” I’d like to share it with you that you might understand. . . and perhaps learn.

The Experiment has five components. Each is to be carried out over the course of a year from date of commitment. The idea is to test the self in TRULY following the commands of Jesus before He ascended to be at the right hand of the Throne. . . to see if we can follow His will or can only chase a corrupted version of things masked behind the good intentions of the American dream.

1.) Pray for the entire world.

Nation by nation, day by day, cover the needs of spreading the Gospel. From the unreached to the dangerous to the already successful (like South Korea and Kenya), reach out in prayer to the needs and thanksgiving for what has and is done. A suggested resource that I use is Operation World.

2.) Read through the entire Word of God.

Many plans are available out there. Pick one that suits you. Me, I’ve chosen this one. It moves throughout the week in the cycle of law, history, Psalms, poetry, prophecy, Gospel, Epistles. It suits the intellectual in me nicely and helps weave a wonderful connection between each.

3.) Commit life to a multiplying community.

In essence, join a church body that isn’t content in just growing the building fund. This step for me will be a bit tricky. I am, after all, from West Monroe. Locals understand this statement well when it comes to church. Time to break free of the standard, even if it means going some place that doesn’t fall under the area’s big 3. Find a place that’s growing and contribute to that growth!

4.) Sacrifice money for a specific purpose.

This was one of the lines where I laughed myself to tears. That part had already begun, but not in sacrifice mode. To sacrifice means that it’s gonna hurt a little bit, that you might not actually be able to spare it this paycheck. Again, God with the funny! With the provision He has given me here with my new (old, actually) employer, He has made it quite easygoing.

5.) Give time in another context.

Here is one I’d been curious about. The suggested timeframe of the year to be dedicated to this was a whopping two percent. That’s roughly a week. To quickly explain, “time in another context” means to serve His calling in a way you’d really not considered or would possibly otherwise dodge in some cases. Quite possibly, I may have had a window opened here for this item. Much prayer will ensue about it, because I’ve already sworn that if He calls, I’ll go. . . no matter where.

This, friends, is what’s going on. Honestly, it’s only a small part of it. So much more goes along with it. Going forward, I only know that I trust my Creator, am bought and paid for by the Savior’s grace and love, and am surrounded by the presence of the Spirit that moves in my life. Won’t you be curious and watch what happens? Maybe you’ll see something that ignites the spark in you. Maybe you’re unfamiliar with any of this and will want to know more. I hope so. As I learn, may you the reader learn what victory in Jesus is. . . and what it feels like to wander through the storm knowing that God is in control if only you let Him. That’s trust. In trust is provision. That provision is grace. That grace is all we need. All He asks is that you follow through, walk the walk, and share it.

Grow

June 20th, 2010

I didn’t really know at first whether or not I’d put verse on this site, but guided words are guided words no matter the pattern. That being said. . . structure or not. . .

Sat in a familiar place late into the night
Sat there lost in my own little world
Barely hearing sounds, seeing no sights

Felt an itch on my arm
Scratched the bite that wasn’t there
And I came to terms with was and is
As Was and Is spoke to the air

There was time for old
Now is time for new
Shed the skin in prayer
What you were is put behind
What you are is there

You’ve come so far
But far to go
Take these words to heart
As you come to terms with old and new
And shed this skin of scars

I kept my silence
But my face showed weight
Can’t hide when it’s all so clear

Sometimes all you want to do is run
I chose to stay and wait
In the background while others carried on
I listened close to only One

There was time for old
Now is time for new
Shed the skin in prayer
What you were is put behind
What you are is there

You’ve come so far
But far to go
Take these words to heart
As you come to terms with old and new
And shed this skin of scars

Words of another came ringing back
From a bittersweet afternoon
Now I understand what was meant

A time of growth and being and light
A time to learn and love
Branded with a clean, new soul
Wings of your own will grow

My arm continued to itch
Straight into my heart
I understood. The light came on
Now I must move on

It’s a walk not always easy
Even though it doesn’t ask much
And there will be days your back will hurt
It’s just your own wings coming to life

There was time for old
Now is time for new
Shed the skin in prayer
What you were is put behind
What you are is there

You’ve come so far
But far to go
Take these words to heart
As you come to terms with old and new
And shed this skin of scars

Angels in the darkest places
Helped me stumble towards His light
And though I’m still the same man
I can’t ever be the same

You ask of me what happened
You ask what and why
I tell you truly
I made a choice. That’s all I can really say

I’m still so new for having come so far
I still have skin to shed
By the time the old is gone and burned away
What’s left is only life

But I ask of you one favor as the changes come about
Don’t see me for what I’ve become
See He who would mend you too

A call to duty

June 6th, 2010

Hi, friend. So you found your way here. Good. By what means you arrived, I don’t know. Maybe you followed a link I posted somewhere. Maybe someone else told you. Doesn’t matter. What matters is that you were curious enough to come and see. That’s all I need.

Several people have noticed a rather drastic and very obvious change in me. A few have inquired. I gladly explained what was going on. However, now the story dives deeper. Right off the bat, I will tell you that I am a man of faith. I believe that I was created by an omnipotent God with a wonderful sense of humor. I believe that He manifested Himself in the flesh out of love for His creation. I believe that manifestation called Jesus was sent as a Lamb to the slaughter to pay a price that a rough boy like myself could never pay. I believe in salvation. I believe in the presence of the Ark of the Covenant called the Holy Spirit. I believe in miracles. I believe in being made whole by having faith and belief in all these things. It is a blind man’s belief, but it lets me see.

These past couple of days, I took a little trip to the Dallas, Texas area. I went to visit my dear friend Kelly. I attended church at her chosen location of worship, a small but very powerful venue called Mercy Place. What words I received there, I am guided to now relay to you. Granted, they may not sit exactly in line with your own brand of faith, but that’s how we grow. Learn with an open heart.

Called to be a father

  • I have a daughter.
  • There are things I must teach her.
  • I must raise her in a manner that is not in line with what the world says is okay these days.
  • I must train her for a larger purpose.

You may or may not know, but I will be a divorcee come the end of this year. The circumstances are trivial to this. Regardless of why, who, or whatever, I was given one gift that I am very proud to have. . . fatherhood. It is something that ought to be taken far more seriously by many. It is something I must take more seriosuly than I already do.

Called to be a guardian

  • I have been blessed with an empathetic heart and understanding mind.
  • I have been blessed with shoulders that can bear the weight of another as needed.
  • I have been blessed with people worth protecting.

And He said to me “You wear the shield over your soul. Let no man have any doubt in his mind. Show them why you stand for Me.”

Called to be a warrior

  • Sometimes, defending means fighting.
  • Fighting has many forms when it comes to spiritual warfare.
  • It can mean driving away evil using that one name of Jesus.
  • It can mean sacrificing everything you thought you once knew in exchange for a new way of life.

Being a man of faith who has answered such a call is akin to being in the Mafia. The Father will bless and provide without end. Sometimes, though, He will call upon you to play an active role in carrying out His plans. Sometimes, what He asks will seem unpleasant or. . . inconvenient. He asked such things of Abraham. He asked such things of Moses. He asked such things of Jonah. He asked such things of Jesus. It takes blindness to say “Okay, I will do this.” Following through can be fearful or even painful, but He won’t let one who said “okay” break.

I’ve been called to duty. I am a father, a guardian, a warrior. I have begun walking down a new path. It is a blind man’s walk. I do it with peace and faith.

Has He called you?

And I recall a time…

June 5th, 2010

Hello, and welcome to this place.

What you see here is one of the first steps of a very longĀ  journey… A journey I’ve been unknowingly preparing for some thirty years now. For now, I leave this short and sweet. To be continued, as it were.

Come and listen. I’ve much to tell.