a coming change

Category : faith, hope

It’s hard to believe 2010 is almost over.  Didn’t it only start a few weeks ago?  It’s been an amazing year with a lot of changes both personal and professional.  It’s been a year that God’s shown me his grace, mercy and outrageous generosity on more than one occasion.

Which is why I’m really looking forward to Christmas this year.  It’s going to be a time of new beginnings, and a reminder of just how amazing God is.  And I can’t wait to spend that time with my family, friends, and God.

As you’ve probably noticed, things have been quite a bit slower around here the last few months.  It’s in part because in the last year I’ve started a new job, I got married, and wrote a book.  As a result of all of this I’ve had to re-learn what it means to live out a life of faith.  It was one thing to live a life of faith by myself, it’s quite another when you have a wife (and daughter) involved!

Because of all of this, I’ve been working on a new super-secret project that I hope to reveal in the coming months.  Sooner if I can find the time.

Until then, I hope that you all have a Merry Christmas, and I’ll see you all  right after the new year!

mission: just act already!

Category : mission

If there’s one thing that most Christians struggle with, it’s finding their mission in life.  When we become followers of Jesus our whole worldview changes.  For many of us it means that we just aren’t satisfied pursuing wealth, fame, or recognition.  And if that’s where our jobs were heading, we find ourselves feeling very empty about our work.

But this presents a problem.  God doesn’t always give us a clear mission.  At least not in the sense that we’re looking for.  God doesn’t always say, “yes marry this person.”  “No, don’t take that job offer.”  Sometimes he does, but a lot of times he gives us the freedom to choose.

In this series on mission I’ve talked a bit about how we go about finding our mission. While many of us may never have a specific mission some of us will. I didn’t realize it at first but R3blog.net was my specific mission.  However that came with its own challenges.  The first, and biggest, was what do I call this blog!?

I spent hours.  Days.  Maybe even months agonizing over the name.  I knew I was supposed to start a website and talk about what it means to live out a life of faith.  I just didn’t know what that looked like.  And I certainly didn’t know how to name something.  I figured if God was calling me to something I should make it perfect.  After many hours I eventually decided on R3blog.net.  I thought it was amusing. (I used to say R3: Radical, Revolutionary, Different – and the “D” was the third “R” and it was different because it wasn’t an “R”.  Don’t worry, no one else thinks it’s funny either...)  But I realize now that all it does is confuse people!  Apparently I am not a branding genius.

Yet I believe God was more pleased with me acting than coming up with a clever name.  (Of course I’m endlessly jealous of well named blogs like “got-fruit.net”.)  But for me, my mission has never been about naming things.  I don’t think this blog would be any better (or worse) if I had chosen another name.  The act of faith was in the act of starting a blog, not in the act of naming the blog.

And you know what?  After all this time, I still don’t know what to name it.  I would have wasted nearly 3 years of work because I couldn’t come up with a name.  I’d still be working on that.  Sometimes our mission starts with action.  It would be nice if it came in a nice little package.  But it doesn’t.  Sometimes mission is messy.  Sometimes your mission is to just act in the now.

photo provided by e. barrett

the new R3blog.net

Category : R3

To say this change has been in the works would be an understatement.   I’ve been tweaking, building, creating, cursing and developing a new look and feel for R3 for the last year.  And it’s finally ready.  Although in a nice ironic twist all that coding I never used.  Because this is a brand new theme which I came across earlier this week.

That’s right.  This theme was modified in about three days.  The other theme took months.  And I’m not even going to use it.  All that work was for nothing.

Or was it?

The truth is, I could never have modified this current theme if I hadn’t spent a year working on the old one.  My effort has paid off, just not in the way I expected it to.

Does this remind you of anyone?  Because it sure reminds me of God.  We expect him to show up at a certain time, in a certain place, in a certain way.  And when he doesn’t we “lose” our faith.  We become angry because what we wanted to happen didn’t, and we blame God.  Never mind the fact that God never actually promised us that outcome, we took that promise upon ourselves.

Nothing is beyond God’s redemption.  Not you.  Not me.  Not your mistakes.  Not mine.

Nothing.

You’d think we’d learn this at some point.

But we never do.  We keep putting our goals and our time frames in front of God.  And when they don’t happen exactly how we expect, we become bitter and angry.  I would like to say I’ve finally learned this lesson.  But I know I haven’t really.  I’ll forget this lesson, and God will once again have to teach it to me.  Thankfully he’s a patient teacher.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy the new look and feel of R3blog.net.  And hopefully you’ll find R3blog.net to be a resource in your own life, as you learn to live out a life of faith.