dotsThis is as transparent as I’ve ever been on my blog before… A little while back, my life-coach challenged me to journey back in time, visiting each season of life, trying to remember what I learned and what made me feel alive. This connect-the-dot, bread-crumb-trail-through-time exercise has created something wonderful for me. I hope you enjoy…

Childhood // 0-12

I learned…
how to ride a bike, spell, read, etc.
that God loved me (K-5) & that my family did too
that cheating on a test is a bad idea (3rd grade – only once!)
that I could be president if I wanted to – because I was smart (6th grade)

I felt alive…
with my friend, Jay Kirk – riding bikes, exploring, playing ball…
at school – learning, excelling

Adolescence // 13-21 (high school & college)

I learned…
life is cruel – picked on in school (Christian schools)
I am more passive than aggressive
I have a lot of discipline / character (getting up early, studying, etc.)
my weak spot is the opposite sex (defeated by lust constantly)
I want to serve God with my life
I’m good with computers
it’s nearly impossible to please my dad – he’s impatient with me
I enjoy learning (HS & college) because I’m good at it (comes easy)
I need to be accepted / liked
I’m good with words (debate team, speeches, Dial-America telesales)

I felt alive…
with friends (Stephen, Tim, Micah, Wilson, Joy)
playing sports: basketball … being part of a team
learning & growing
being loved by Joy (and part of her family)

Young Adult // 21-30 (early marriage, early ministry)

I learned…
I’m not as mature as I had thought I was (book sense vs. common sense)
I still struggle with fleshly desires and I’m not winning in anything I try
marriage is tough / hard work!
I can be a very selfish person (I never knew this before)
I can be a very frustrated, angry person
I have an eye for graphic design
how to have victory over sexual temptation (porn)

I felt alive…
having children (family)
building our houses (contracting, working)
making people thing – when I taught at a small Christian college
answering questions
when I ministered to men in prison (preaching / teaching)
when I could measure success – visible results (difficult as a pastor)
when I designed and created things on the computer

Present Adulthood // 31-39

I am learning…
God is bigger than my limited exposure / experience … much!
I don’t know nearly as much as I thought I did!
change isn’t necessarily compromise
to be gracious (I was so judgmental / legalistic – probably still am)
the real power of the gospel in me – sanctification (death, burial, resurrection)
I need the Lord daily (I’m not as self-sufficient as I used to be)
I’m a serious control freak (wife, kids, $$)
Foreclosure isn’t a failure
My parents DO love me and my Dad IS proud of me

I feel alive…
when I baptize someone
when people depend on me
when I’m interacting w/ Scripture (studying, writing, speaking…)
when I’m with my wife and kids
when I worship with unhindered emotions
when I check things off my to-do lists
when I can create & design – and bring a truth to life

My Life’s Major Themes:

My biggest failures [that God is redeeming]:

1. Moral – sexual addiction for 10+ years
2. Spiritual – lack of grace (in bondage to performance Christianity / legalism)
3. Social – lack of joy / laughter
4. Personal – inconsistent and emotionless walk with God