The End is Near (Of “My 500 Word Challenge)

my-500-wordsAs I am coming to the end of “My 500 Word Challenge”, I want to take a moment to write about what you can expect from “Thoughts From a Crosseyed Jesus Freak” here at crosseyedjesusfreak.com.  I’m on day 28, or according to the e-mails from Jeff Goins, day 26 of the 31 day writing challenge.  I’ve gotten a lot out of it, and am excited to continue this writing habit that I have developed.

One thing that happened during this challenge that was unexpected is that I have actually posted on my blog every day except for one.  I wrote that day, but decided to keep the article private because of what I dealt with in it.  My original plan was to write for the blog for the first half of the challenge and then focus on writing for my book.  I have done a little work on the book idea so far, but I kept writing for the blog more than I thought I would.  I don’t want to completely abandon my writing on here, but I do need to focus a little more on my book after the challenge is over, if I ever hope to actually complete the book.

So, here is what I plan on doing.  I am going to attempt to continue to write everyday, but most of that will be focused just on the book idea for the time being.  As for “Thoughts From a Crosseyed Jesus Freak”, my plan is to post three times a week, not counting articles that I write for the newspaper here in Carlsbad and our church newsletter.  I will continue to post them on here as well, but those will not count toward my three articles a week goal. 

Along with the commitment for three articles a week, I want to attempt to be as consistent as I can be in when they are posted.  So you can expect to see articles posted on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  That is my commitment to you. 

I want to thank you all for following along with me during this challenge as well.  I’ve enjoyed seeing  your “likes”, comments, and new followers along the way.  But I have never wanted to be about me, or getting my name out there.  I try to remind myself daily that my worth is not found in how many people are reading my articles, or how many likes and retweets I get through social media.  It’s definitely a temptation to find our whole worth in those things, especially in this heavily digitalized society that we live in.  My goal in my writing has always been to point to Jesus, and I will continue that. 

My goal in my writing has always been to point to Jesus, and I will continue that.

I want to write about topics that help us all walk this Christian life better together.  Occasionally, I have focused on writing specifically for ministers, and will continue to do that as well from time to time.  Everything will have some connection to my relationship with Jesus, no matter what the topic is, because that is the most important thing in my life.

I want to write about topics that help us all walk this Christian life better together. 

Through the rest of this week, I plan to write each day for “Thoughts From a Crosseyed Jesus Freak” as I wrap up my time in “My 500 Word Challenge”, meaning you can expect to see articles through Saturday.  On Monday, March 13, I will begin the Monday, Wednesday, Friday commitment.

Thanks again for reading my thoughts!  I hope that you have been blessed, encouraged, and maybe even enlightened along the way.  And it is my hope and prayer that you will continue to be as we continue this life as Christ followers together.  May we all become crosseyed when life starts to distract us!

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Do You Believe in Miracles

*Note: This is the article that is included in my previous post (Central Christian Church “Messenger”: March 2017 edition)

Just a few days ago, on February 22, 2017, there was a celebration of sorts.  What you may be asking?  It was the 37th anniversary of one of the greatest upsets in sports history.  On February 22, 1980, a group of amateur U.S. Hockey players went up against the USSR Hockey team that had been dominating the world over the previous 20 years.  In fact, just a few days before this battle took place, the two teams had met in an exhibition match at Madison Square Garden, and the Soviet team absolutely dismantled the overmatched Americans. 

This was all in the lead up to the Winter Olympics set to take place in Lake Placid, New York.  As fate would have it, the American team was set to play the Soviets in the semi-finals of the Olympic hockey tournament.  History was against them.  Not many gave them any chance.  This was a team that was filled with college hockey players going up against the professionals of the Soviets.  The stage was set, and if you know anything about sports history, you know this game as the “Miracle on Ice”. 

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Going into the final period, the Soviet team held a 3-2 lead.  It seemed that all they had to do was just hold on and they would be playing for the Gold Medal.  The U.S. team had other plans.  They came back and scored two third period goals to take a 4-3 lead.  The Soviet team threw everything they could at the Americans through the last few minutes of the game, but the American defense held strong. 

As the final seconds ticked away on the clock, the Americans possessed the puck, and it became clear that they would indeed preserve their lead.  The ABC network was broadcasting the game here in the States, with Al Michaels calling the game.  His call in the final seconds has become as iconic as the game itself.  As those final seconds ticked away, you can hear Michaels, “Do you believer in miracles?!”  And as the clock hit zero, he emphatically added, “Yes!”

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The “Miracle on Ice”.  It has been named the top sports moment of the 20th Century by Sports Illustrated.  But I think Michaels’ question at the end is an important moment for us as well.  “Do you believe in miracles?”  That was his question about one of the most unlikely upsets ever in the sports world.  I want to ask you the same question, but not about sports. 

“Do you believe in miracles?”  I mean real miracles that we read about in scripture.  The healings that have no explanation.  People being raised from the dead.  A man walking on water.  Feeding of thousands upon thousands of people with just a handful of food.  Water being turned into wine.  A man beaten so badly that he couldn’t be recognized and then hung on a cross until he died, coming back to life three days later.  These are the miracles I’m asking if you believe in.

Jesus’ entire ministry as a human was backed up by miracles.  He healed the sick, raised the dead, fed thousands with nothing, knew the hearts of those around Him, and willing went to the cross for our sins, trusting the Father to raise Him from the grave three days later.  And that doesn’t even go into all the miracles that we see throughout the Old Testament and in the beginning of the Church after Jesus’ ascension to the Father.  Those miracles do two things.  First, it shows us God’s power.  Second, they were there to give authority to those speaking; to prove that they had something worth listening to. 

Many people try to explain away the miracles that we read about throughout scripture.  It’s just too hard for them to believe that these things happened.  If you are a Christ follower, and don’t think that these miracles actually happened, how big is the God that you claim to follow?  These miracles show us the power of our God. 

DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?!

The “Miracle on Ice” was just a sporting event.  In the grand scheme of things, it is not really that miraculous.  If you don’t know the history of the game, however, I want to let you know that the Americans did back up this victory and go on to win the Gold Medal against Finland after the miracle on ice game.  Jesus went on to back up His miracles as well.  Coming out of that tomb three days after being crucified, He backed up not only everything that He had taught, but everything He had done as well.  God proved who Jesus was, and that our salvation would be secure in Him through the Resurrection.  So let me ask you this: DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?!  I hope you can answer “YES!”

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The Sincerest Form

I love music, and as I have written about here before, I generally have music playing anytime that I am reading, writing, or generally any other work in an office setting or at home.  It’s just one of the best ways that I have found to focus in on the task at hand.  Also, as my nickname here suggests, dcTalk is my favorite group of all time.  The first concert I was able to go to was “The Jesus Freak Tour” with Audio Adrenaline opening for dcTalk.  I was only about 12-years old, but still remember plenty of details from that night. 

Recently, I came across an album that I had heard about only briefly, as some of the songs had come across my Pandora account on a few occasions.  For some reason I had never taken the time to really look into the album, although some of the songs definitely peaked my curiosity.  Well about two weeks ago I finally decided to look up the album, which is already 10 to 11 years old at this point.  That’s because it was released around the 10th Anniversary of Jesus Freak

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What is the album in question?  It is a tribute album from Gotee Records honoring dc Talk’s Jesus Freak.  It is a collaboration of other Gotee Record artists performing the songs from Jesus Freak in an album titled Freaked! – A Gotee Tribute to dcTalk’s Jesus Freak.  In fact, this album is what I have playing through my computer speakers as I write this today. 

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When I found the whole album online a few weeks ago, I made a mistake.  I read the comments and reviews.  I already new I was going to buy it, the reviews didn’t matter at all to me.  As big of a fan of dcTalk as I am, a tribute album for one of their best works is a no brainer for me.  Honestly, I don’t know why I waited this long to find and buy the album in the first place.  Besides that, I still had gift card money from Christmas, so it wasn’t even going to cost me money out of my pocket.

Yet, still I went to the reviews.  I do that way too often on things online.  Maybe I just like to read some of the insane and off-the-wall comments that you find online.  I sat in my office that evening though, just shaking my head.  This is a tribute album done by a lot of different artists with a lot of different musical styles.  I would never expect the album to sound exactly like dcTalk’s Jesus Freak.  In fact, I would have been disappointed if it did.  I was excited to listen to different takes on a classic.

Did I expect to like every single song?  Not really.  And I don’t (there is one that just freaks me out for the lack of a better term).  But the comments on the reviews for this album blew my mind.  People were complaining how none of the songs sounded like the originals, and I was like “really”?  It was like they were expecting the album to exactly match the original.  Well, despite the insane reviews, I bought and downloaded Freaked!  To me, the album is a honoring dcTalk in a great way.  It’s a bunch of talented artists coming together to pay tribute, honor, and thank a pioneering group in the Christian music realm.  Without dcTalk, we wouldn’t have many of the groups we have today (and not just because Toby, Michael, and Kevin are still performing with others).  They paved the way for what we know as Christian music today.

Thinking about all of this today gave me an idea.  Hebrews 11 is knows as the “Faith Hall of Fame” in scripture.  What does that mean?  The author of Hebrews takes a chapter and writes about those from the Old Testament, and even alludes to those from the inter-testament period that lived with great faith.  He shows us what it looks like to live faithfully as Christ followers by showing us those that lived out great faith.  Then the author makes a statement that I try to model my life by as much as possible.  He writes in Hebrews 12:1-3,

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right had of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

That is where I get the first part of my nickname, Crosseyed.  But think about it.  He says we have all these people that have gone before us.  They show us what living a life of faith could look like.  Consider them.  Learn from them.  You might not look or sound or act exactly like them, but imitate them.  Honor them.  Pay tribute to them.  Thank them for going before you.  Then comes the big right hook.  Not only do we have those that have gone before us, we have Jesus Himself to imitate, honor, pay tribute and thank.  None of us will ever be exactly like Jesus.  Our personalities are different.  But we are supposed to be as much like Him as we can be. 

Paul brings out this idea in a few different places as well.  In I Corinthians 11:1 he wrote,

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

He wrote in I Thessalonians 1:6, 7,

You became imitators us us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.  And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.

Is Freaked! the perfect analogy of what I am talking about?  No.  It’s comparing music to trying to follow the example of Jesus and other Christ followers that have gone before us, but it still makes my point.  Just like the artists paying tribute to dcTalk, we won’t look or sound exactly the way someone who went before us did.  But here is the biggest difference.  We don’t just have those that have gone before us as our example.  We have Christ Himself.  He is our standard, and what we are striving to be.  Will we do that perfectly?  No one can.  But, as the old saying goes, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”.  Who do you want to imitate?

Tattoos, Rock Music, and Relationships: Are You On Mission?

I’ve written about it a few times in the last couple of weeks because it is something that is completely changing the way I look at the world.  It’s something that I’ve actually known for a long time, but my perspective is changing.  In other words, it is becoming more real to me than ever before.  Instead of just “head knowledge”, I am starting to see real world application for my own life…and it’s a game changer.

I’m talking about our current sermon series that we are going through at Central Christian Church.  I wrote yesterday in part about the idea that you never learn more than when you are actively trying to teach something to someone (read that here).  And that is what is happening to me right now.  We are going through this series that I pray will be a game changer in the lives of our faith family, but it is definitely changing me.  It’s called Life on Mission (based off of the book Life on Mission by Tim Harlow) and you can check out recordings of this series here if you’d like.

The basics of the series up to this point is this; if you are a Christ follower, you have a mission of sharing Jesus with others, that should be done by building relationships with new people (having a meal with someone new is a great start), finding a way to serve those people (because you truly care about them and they are not just a project to you), and then, once you’ve built that relationship, start sharing your story of how Jesus has impacted your life.  That’s where we’ve gone so far with two more sermons to wrap it up.

I want to try to live out what I have been teaching/preaching, and am actively trying to figure out ways to start getting to know people in my neighborhood that might not know Jesus yet.  As a preacher, I am generally around Christians for the most part, so I have to put effort into finding non-Christians to interact with. 

I did something yesterday that reminded me that I already have the beginnings of friendships/relationships with people outside of my normal sphere of influence that I didn’t even think about.  I got a tattoo to help represent what I am all about and what I call myself.  You realize my nickname on here; Crosseyed Jesus Freak.  Well, I finally got “Jesus Freak” tattooed on me.  Actually, I am surprised that I didn’t get this one earlier.  “Jesus Freak” by dc Talk has had a huge impact on my life and how I want to show my faith to the world, so it is a natural idea to me to have it in my tattoo collection. 

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Here is the chorus of the song, and why it means so much to me:

What will people think

When they hear that I’m a Jesus freak

What will people do when they find that it’s true

I don’t really care if they label me a Jesus freak

There ain’t no disguising the truth

The truth for me is that I love God with all of my heart.  There may be days that I don’t live up to that, but Jesus is the best thing that has ever happened in my life.  And because of that, you can label me whatever you would like.  I don’t care what other people think of me in the sense that I try to follow Jesus.  Now what that doesn’t mean is that I am just going out there trying to ram Jesus down other people’s throats.  That isn’t what Jesus would want.  Again it is about building relationships and then presenting how Jesus has changed your life, not standing on the street corner yelling at people.

So why the color scheme that you see in the picture?  That’s another reference to the song itself.  Here’s another part of the song:

I saw a man with tat on his big fat belly

It wiggled around like marmalade jelly

It took me a while to catch what it said

‘Cause I had to match the rhythm

Of his belly with my head

“Jesus Saves” is what it raved in a typical tattoo green

He stood on a box in the middle of the city

And claimed he had a dream

The reference of the “typical tattoo green” led me to want the green color scheme.  When I told the tattoo artist about it, he came up with the idea to do the black outline and then start with the dark green (typical, old-school tattoo color) and fade it into the bright green on top.  That sounded awesome to me, and we went with it.

Enough about the actual tattoo.  And if you don’t agree with getting tattoos, that’s great.  We don’t have to agree on it because it is a personal decision in my opinion.  But the reason I am writing about this experience is it ties in with Life on Mission.  You see, this isn’t the first one I’ve gotten from Robby.  He did my 1-1-Six tattoo that I got a little over a year ago, and a former apprentice of his did an ichthus (Jesus fish) and cross for me a few months ago as well.

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In other words, I have started building a relationship with Robby.  He grew up with a Catholic background, but I think he would tell you straight up that he is not a Christian.  There is always loud rock, hip hop, or a combination of both pumping through his shop.  It’s filled with profanity.  In fact, when I sat down in the chair yesterday, he looked at me and apologized for the music and I reminded him that it wasn’t an issue for me.

Do I like the music?  Not particularly.  Does the profanity match what I consider to be good language?  Absolutely not.  But like I explained to Robby the first time, and reminded him last night, I don’t expect him to follow Christian morals when he doesn’t claim to be a Christ follower.  If I did that, and caused tension as a result, I would never get the chance to meaningfully present Jesus to Robby at some point.  He knows what my life is all about, but we aren’t to the point where I can really present Jesus in that meaningful way yet.  I don’t want to do anything at this point to cause that to never be an option. 

So we talked music, movies, and other general entertainment as he worked, just continuing to get to know each other a little bit.  Do we have a lot of the same interests?  I wouldn’t say a lot, but we have some bands in common (he actually knows of Skillet and some other Christian groups).  We’ve gotten to the point that he values me as a repeat customer (in fact, he gave me a great deal on this piece), and we respect each other. 

Through all of this, I’ve been able to just get to know someone that is very different than I am, and different than most people that I get to interact with on a regular basis.  I pray that one day I am able to share my complete story with Robby, showing him what Jesus has done in my life, and that he sees what a life with Jesus could actually be in his own.

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My point, however, is this.  Do you know people that are a lot different than you?  I’m sure we all can think of someone.  Do you just immediately write them off (judge them because they are different), or do you look for ways to get to know them, build a relationship with them?  There is a lot of arguing and tension in the world today.  If you are a Christ follower, how can you live on mission and share Christ if you are constantly arguing with those that don’t know Him yet?  Like I said to Robby last night, just because I don’t agree with or like something that someone else does doesn’t mean that I can’t be civil with them.  In fact, it doesn’t even mean that I can’t build a friendship with them. 

Paul writes in Romans 12 that if possible, when it depends on us, we are to live at peace with everyone.  You can read the full text here.  What are you doing to actively live on mission? 

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What Do You Want From Me?

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Day 10.  I have been writing a minimum of 500 words a day for the last nine days.  Really there hasn’t been a day yet that has been under 600 words.  And that is just what I am recording here.  On top of that, i’ve been writing sermons and Bible studies on top of my 500 word challenge.  For example, I wrote over 1,000 words for a blog post yesterday, and then wrote my sermon outline that I had been thinking through all week.  That outline ended up being almost 1,000 words as well. 

I’ve confirmed something through these last nine days (ten including today) that I have said for a long time.  I love writing.  This is the first time that I have been able to be this disciplined writing, however, and I am finding that I love it even more than I thought.  There have unexpected things that came up (you can read about that here) that in the past would have caused me not to make the time to write.  Yet, I have written every day (if you look through my website, you might say there is a day missing; I wrote that day, but kept that writing private), even when it wasn’t easy or convenient. 

So, why do I write?  Better yet, why do I love the process of writing?  That’s part of it.  It’s a process.  I love getting my thoughts out there.  Thinking through an issue and formulating a response to it is actually soothing to me.  And it’s addictive.  I also love having the possibility of speaking into someone’s life and helping them through a problem.  That’s why I write mostly about Christianity and trying to better our relationships with Jesus and one another.

I love it as well because it helps me learn and understand things better for myself.  Think about it.  When you are teaching someone else how to do something, or how to understand something, you learn more as you are trying to teach them.  If you don’t understand something, how can you teach someone else to do something.

As much as I love it, there are things that are difficult and/or frustrating.  It can be time consuming, especially when you don’t have a whole lot of motivation at the time you are trying to write.  There are so many grammar rules that can make things complicated and frustrating, especially when you have been out of high school/college English and writing classes as long as I have.  When my writing starts flowing, I can really get bogged down if I concern myself too much with the grammar side of things. 

Sometimes the most frustrating thing about writing for me is actually coming up with a topic to actually write about.  That is one of the reasons I haven’t pursued writing a book in the past.  That’s one of the main reasons that I haven’t been as consistent in my blogging as I would like to be.  And that is the MAIN reason I am writing this post today.

I need your help.  I want to know what some topics related to being a Christ follower that you would like me to write about.  Give me some ideas.  I have a few topics in mind for the next few days, and I am committed to reading more as well, so that will also give me ideas for the future.  But I want to write about things that you want to know about as well. 

So what questions do you have?  Is there something that you are struggling with, and want to see a different perspective on it?  Do you have questions about scripture or doctrine?  Are you a non-believer at this point, but are curious and want to know what following Jesus is really all about?  Comment on this post, or click here to contact me if you’d rather ask your question in private. 

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Disclaimer: I am not guaranteeing that I will be able to answer, or attempt to answer every question.  There is the possibility I respond to your question privately as well.  If there is a question or topic that I do not feel comfortable writing about, I will contact you privately as well to inform you of my decision.

Can God Forgive Me?

I had a great time at our Wednesday night Bible Study last night.  In fact, the last two times that we have met (we missed last week due to too many people out because of illness) have been two of my favorite times of our Wednesday night adult Bible study since I moved to Carlsbad almost a year and a half ago.  Why?  Because we have actually had some great discussion and questions going.

There is a guy that has just recently come back to our church (long story, and not something I can get into on here), and he is trying hard to get his life back on track.  He is asking questions, trying to better himself and better his relationship with God.  But he also is dealing with things from his past and not being able to let those things go.  He just can’t get to the point where he can forgive himself.

I get it.  There are things that I have done in my past that were hard to let go of.  This was where some of our discussion went last night, and it was very productive.  The whole thing has caused me to think through some of this over the last few hours, and I want to put my thoughts down.  Where do I start?  We need to start with this question: Why is it so hard to forgive yourself when you have asked God for forgiveness and gone through the process of repentance as well?  I have a feeling that there are a lot of us that have trouble forgiving ourselves. 

We tend to compare ourselves to other people, but what we don’t understand is that we do not see everything that those other people have done.  If we look at someone, we may only get to see their “highlight reel” for lack of a better term.  Then we see all the negative and bad things that we have done, and that causes us to think we are horrible.  So the lenses we see the world through can give us the incorrect perspective.  Don’t get me wrong.  We are all bad.  We have all sinned.  We have all done things that we probably wish we had never done.  We’ll get to what Paul has to say about that topic in just a minute.

One of the other people attending the Bible study last night asked our friend if he trusted God.  His answer was yes.  Then the question was posed, “if you trust God, then why do you not believe Him when He says that grace has covered your sins”.  In other words, Jesus’ blood, shed on the cross, was freely given and covers all sins if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior.  Does that mean that we will instantly and forever be able to live perfect lives.  Absolutely not!  But what it means is that we do not have to do anything other than have a relationship with Jesus to receive forgiveness.  As we get to know Him more, however, we grow and change through His guidance.  That doesn’t mean we won’t still mess up from time to time.  This is a lifelong process.

Now let’s get back to Paul.  I said earlier that we are all bad, that we’ve all messed up and done things that we wished we hadn’t.  And Paul would agree with that.  That’s why Paul writes in Romans 3:23 the following, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.  We have all sinned, and on our own we cannot repair that relationship with God that we broke through our sinfulness.  When you just look at Romans 3:23, this life looks pretty bleak.  It is easy to get down on yourself because you have sinned, and because of that sin you have broken your relationship with your Creator.  And that’s why context is so important when studying the Bible.

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Let’s take Paul’s writing in Romans 3 in a little bigger chunk.  Paul writes in Romans 3:21-26;

21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  Man that sounds ominous.  But then Paul follows that up with the hope that we all have; An all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus!  There’s our hope.  There’s how we lay things down and forgive ourselves.  We receive forgiveness and atonement through our faith in Jesus, and if you can’t lay things down and forgive yourself when God says that it’s covered, how strong is your faith? 

Stop trying to think that you are worse than others.  We have all sinned, and if it wasn’t for Jesus, none of us would stand a chance of forgiveness, because we can’t do it on our own.  God’s grace is freely given through Christ’s sacrifice, and we receive that through our faith.  Then, as our faith continues to grow, Christ’s presence in our lives changes us more and more into His image, as we choose daily to walk with Him!  Don’t cheapen Jesus’ sacrifice by believing the lie that it can’t cover over the things you’ve done.  You’re no worse than anyone else, but you’re no better than anyone else either in regards to how grace works.  Forgive yourself, because God has if you’ve asked for forgiveness and repented.

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A New Challenge

I started a challenge yesterday.  From the outside, I am torn.  Part of the challenge seems really straight forward, and somewhat easy.  But it also seems very daunting at the same time.  Writing is something that I have enjoyed for a long time, but I just never seemed to develop enough discipline, writing on a regular basis.  That is what this challenge is all about.  Brandon Kelley, the author of Crucified to Life that I wrote about yesterday is the one that introduced me to this challenge.

What is it?  It is a challenge from an author by the name of Jeff Goins.  The name is “My 500 Word Challenge”.  Basically, I have committed to writing at least 500 words every day for the next 31 days.  The challenge started for me yesterday in my review of Crucified to Life, but I wanted to publicly announce my decision to pursue this challenge today.

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Over the next month, I am committing to writing at least 500 words daily.  This is on top of any writing I do for sermons.  Most of what I write will be posted here as Thoughts from a Crosseyed Jesus Freak, but there may be some times that I work on something that will not be ready for public consumption right away.  What do I mean by that?

The whole reason I am taking this challenge, other than my love of writing here on my blog, is that I am wanting to become more disciplined in my writing so that I can accomplish something that I have wanted to do for a long time.  In other words, I am starting the process of attempting to write my first book.  So there may be days that my 500 words are part of that book, and if that is the case, then obviously that will not be posted on the blog. 

This is somewhat of a scary process.  500 words is not that much, but when you commit to write that much daily for a month, it can seem daunting as I stated earlier.  But it is going to make me a better writer, and it is going to help me develop a habit of writing so that I can write a book, possibly more. 

As part of this process, I am going to attempt another major life style change.  I am naturally a night owl, meaning I stay up late, and only wake up right before I need to be somewhere the next day.  The problem with that is I do not have the energy or brain power in the evenings once the work day is over to write (or read, which I want to do more of that as well).  So, starting next week, I am going to try to turn myself into a morning person, as nasty as that sounds to someone like me.  I am going to start getting up around 6:00 AM in an effort to write before I have to be in the office. 

Why am I writing this post today?  It is simple really.  By putting this out publicly, I am hoping that you will help keep me accountable in my commitment to writing, and to getting up in the mornings.  Believe me, I am going to need all the help I can get in both.  If you have not seen a blog post in a few days, reach out and ask me.  It may be that I have written, but just not anything that I can post yet, or it may be that I got distracted.  If you see #My500Words on anything in the next 31 days, that is part of this challenge!

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Oh, and if you want, jump in and take the challenge with me.  You can sign up here!

Thoughts From a Crosseyed Jesus Freak