Tag Archives: Life

Writing Time

I have been writing for almost as long as I can remember. I think, in my own way, I was writing before I even came to learn about letters and words. There are times I can recall from my earliest days of childhood where I would think up stories in my head and either talk or play them out in my room. Letters and words were only the tools I needed to call what I was doing “writing”.

One of my favorite assignments in school was when we would have to take all of our spelling words and use them in a story. I remember one story I wrote from 1st grade about an Orca whale who read the Bible. Never mind the fact that whales cannot read and that paper turns to mush under water. If I could write it, I always felt like it made it real somehow. Words and stories open up possibilities that can exist nowhere else – not even in the movies.

As I grew older – I am not sure if I have ever grown up – no matter how often my dream career changed, I always thought writing was a given. After all, one can write regardless of what one does to pay the bills. But here is where I have discovered the limits of writing: you cannot write time.

All throughout my life and all throughout my education, I was always able to find time to pursue my enthusiasm for putting words onto an empty page. I was perusing through an old thumb drive the other day and was a bit surprised by just how much I had written: short stories, poems, incomplete novels, and more. There was a time I was blogging fairly regularly and enjoying it immensely. I even managed to complete a novella. But then life happened.

Life happening does not mean “bad things” in any way. It just means that I got busier with other, more important things. Back in 2013, my life changed pretty dramatically in just a couple of months. In September I got married. In October I began pastoring a church. It would be fair to say that writing was no longer a top priority. I suppose that would be okay if that were only for a season – but it’s safe to say that five and a half years is a little more than a season.

That is not to say I have not written in the last five years! Actually, I write every week: a sermon manuscript. Of course, writing sermons is a significantly different kind of writing in my opinion. But I have also dabbed a bit in some creative writing. There have been the occasional blog posts and stories (most of which never got completed). But it has never been how I always imagined it would be. There just never seems to be enough hours in the day.

My life is once again about to change significantly: My wife and I our expecting our first child this July! Just as I was writing this, my wife called me over to feel her tummy and I was able to feel our little baby (“Spud”) kick for the first time. Anticipating this baby is like nothing else I have every experienced.

But I have come to a realization over the past couple of months – it’s now or never. If I do not make the decision to make writing a priority now then it will never happen. I will lose this hobby that I once dearly love. Life will always be in flux. There will always be other things that need to be done. And the reality is, there are not looking to be any more hours added to the day anytime soon. I am stuck with the same measly 24 hours as everyone else. Boo!

I cannot write time any more than I can make time. What I can do is find time. Over the past few weeks – thanks largely to the encouragement of my wife – I have taken just 30 minutes to an hour each evening to practice my writing. It is not much but it is more than I have been doing for the last five years. What I have found is that there is actually more time available than I have ever known. In our day and age of social media and endless information in which to scroll, it can be frightening to realize how much time we waste.

We all only have the same 24 hours a day. What we do with that time reflects our priorities. I can say that writing is a priority – but unless I can demonstrate that with my time, I am full of bologna.

Time is seemingly becoming a more valuable resource by the day. After five years in ministry now, I have discovered that time is one of the last things people are willing to give. Many people will write a check long before they will contribute their time. Time is a resource. But unlike money, we are all pretty much on the same playing field. 24 hours is 24 hours.

Looking at my future, I realize that I do not have a clue how much my life is going to change once we have this baby. But what I do know is that I love this baby, my wife, Jesus, my ministry, and myself far too much to lose something that I have loved for so long. The last thing I want is to allow resentment to gain a hold of my heart to where I start blaming the people that I love for taking away from me something that I love doing when the only person I could really blame would be myself.

So I am beginning the habit now of writing every day (or just about every day, at least). I am frustrated with how rusty I am! But at this point, it does not really matter if what I write is worth two cents. I am finding life and energy that I had not even realized I had been missing over the last few years. And with a baby on the way, I need as much life and energy as I can get!

An Apology: Why I Still Believe

An Apology Why I Still Believe

I cannot look at a world that is hurting and proclaim atheism.

There is no denying the fact that evil is commonplace in this world. I, for one, have a difficult time faulting others for refusing to believe in a higher power due to the amount of suffering that takes place. (see: An Apology: Why I Don’t Believe). How can a woman who has lost her only child believe that there is a God who loves her? How can a starving child believe that there is someone out there who genuinely cares? These are honest questions and it would be foolish at best to make light of them.

Yet, I cannot hear stories of suffering and proclaim that there is no God. I cannot turn to the hurting and give them a hopeless answer. I would rather proclaim a message of hope, forgiveness, and redemption and be wrong than preach a message of hopelessness and be right.

Of course, some will argue (and perhaps rightfully so) that false hope is no better than hopelessness. It would be immoral to tell those lost at sea that a rescue boat was coming when I knew that was not the case. So, it may be argued that it is immoral for me to proclaim Christianity if it were a message of false hope. To this, I agree. Although I would much rather have hope and be wrong than be hopeless and be right, I would similarly rather proclaim truth than falsity — regardless of the hope or hopelessness that it brought.

Still, even though I may go through times of doubt, I cannot with good conscious tell a world in hurt that there is no God when I have seen the radical transformation that happens when people live out the truth of the gospel (see: An Apology: Why I Believe). When it all is said and done, Christianity works. The world is a better place when we show love to others. The world is a better place when we turn the other cheek. The world is a better place when we live without fear. The world is a better place when we have hope that death is not the end. The world is a better place when we are defined by Jesus Christ rather than when we are defined by our hurts and struggles. The world is a better place when we live like Jesus lived.

It would be impossible to prove to you that God exists. It would be impossible to prove to you that Jesus lived, was crucified, and rose again. It would be impossible to prove to you that the message of the gospel is a message of truth. However, I refuse to wait until I can “prove” my faith or even until I get past my times of doubt to proclaim a message of hope to a world that so desperately needs it.

The amount of suffering in this world makes the urgency for hope too strong to wait for adequate proof of a message that can heal the broken.

Therefore, despite a lack of concrete evidence, I have seen enough life in the gospel to where I cannot proclaim atheism or any other message that is contrary to Christianity. The amount of evil in this world is enough to place me in times of doubt but it is also enough to leave me seeking for hope.

I believe I found that hope in Jesus Christ — and that is why I still believe.

An Apology began with “Introduction”“Apologizing” , “What I Believe”,  “What I Don’t Believe” , “Why I believe”, and “Why I Don’t Believe”

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