9/24/2014

The Cross Changes Everything




This cross to me represents hope. Its made of tiny pieces of shredded paper that was once in the form of a note. A suicide note to two very young kids from a mother struggling with addiction, pain, worthlessness, confusion, and no desire to deal with life anymore. Luckily she found her way to Bridges and I got the privilege to meet her and work with her. We talked about how the voices she heard were not true and she has a purpose and value and worth more than she knew. Her simply being there was the first step in dealing with the changes she needed to make to find the clarity and peace she was looking for. Something had intervened in her darkest hour and gave her another chance. Every day she is learning more about self worth, finding more hope and starting a new life. She decided to read through this letter as a reminder of how far shes come and we ripped it up to be thrown out as she is moving on. Another example of a messed up life taking on new meaning and change. This is why I enjoy doing what I do. #newdirections #thecrosschangeseverything #hope


9/09/2014

My mission and daily adventure.

Im Grateful that everyday as a job I get to attempt helping people make major changes in their lives and help make a difference in the world around me. Its about second chances and new hope and fighting off the personal demons that we all struggle with. Its about connecting them to a God who takes our mess and makes into something beautiful. It starts with building relationships and leading the way to change. Thats my mission everyday at The Bridges Network. 

Get there. Stay there. Welcome home.



5/31/2014

Gods Timing: Worry vs worship



      This past month for me has been a journey of trust. Trusting God will lead and take me to where I need to be and knowing it will all work out even if its not how I thought it would turn out.  Personally that is my big struggle, seriously trusting every step of the way, waiting with confidence and being ok with God's unique timing.  I trust God but obviously not his timing. I want things to happen quick.
Gods like.... Just Chill Kev.
Im like come on now, its been a week.
Hes like buddy weve been through this before.
I roll my eyes.
He lands a fly in my drink....
Really? Really?
Ill make something happen you wait and see
another day goes by and I wait in anticipation.
I pray and hope
He has a big smile on his face because He's finally got my attention.
I worry about how I'm going to make ends meet.
A good friend calls and gives some good insight and support.
I feel better.
I start to worry again.
He shakes his head.... patience my friend.
hmmmm

Thats how the story goes. Its funny. (and I know there are others out there who do this too) We get to worrying and get stressed because something doesnt work out and not anywhere in the time frame we want it in.  We want to take matters in our own hands. But in the long run really, we have absolutely no control.  We learn sometimes the hard way , even repeatedly , instead of having trust in God who always provides and gives to his children as needed. (These deep thoughts from the one typing this with knots in his stomach as anxiety is high dealing with major employment changes.)

So Im thinking about this verse.....
"Do not worry about  your life, what you will eat or drink or about your body what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes. Look at the birds of the air  they do not sow or reap or store away in bards and yet your heavenly father feeds them. "

 Im not really into dressing like a flower, or eating like a bird, but I'm not really into excessive worrying either so Ive "employed" myself to spend time letting it go.  However I can. The main way being through worship.  Praying, meditating, Singing, playing guitar and and staying positive.

Worrying is all about me.
Leading to a lot of things I dont need or want
 Worship is all about God.
A break from all the chaos. The perfect remedy.



I



5/17/2014

Ragamuffin Movie review


   

     I heard a while back that this movie was playing on a limited amount of screens in different venues nationwide and I wanted to see it. As a high schooler I remember Rich Mullins not just as a Christian musician but also as a person as he played for many of the events I attended at that age. ( youth retreats, CIY conferences , etc) Last week I saw the movie on sale at walmart for $10 so I got a copy.

    Ill be straight up and say I really loved this movie. Although it really didnt focus on all he accomplished in over a decade of his musical career, it did show all about his personal life story as potrayed by his brother David Mullins, co producer and writer. 

     Watching this movie took me back many years to my first hand experiences with Rich, his music, how his songs inspired me and encouraged me and where I was in life during my time of listening to it.  Its crazy when you take time to think about it, how people have such a  big impact on your life. As a beginning guitar player I remember watching his strumming patterns and playing styles, I remember hearing his honest and creative stories and hearing his heart in every song. I also remember hanging out with him many times at CIY in Michigan in the dorm and on campus there at Adrian College. (It was even more strange to see my dorm room and off campus housing area in the movie as he had attended Cincinnati many years before me.) I also remembered helping him set up for some gigs, watching him connect with the most random of people and touring with my friend Beaker at the time who was a good christian mentor.

    What I liked the most in the movie however, was the way the story showed the many struggles Rich faced and how he tried dealing with them. I'm not sure how much portrayed of Rich was true or just over dramatization on some areas of his life but He obviously had many najor challenges. On the other hand he had a deep philosophical side , was very witty, comical and clever which i remember very clearly.  Even tho he was in a high profile position he,as anyone, dealt with his tough stuff and many times talked about it openly which caused a lot of hype and criticism in the church and christian marketplace at that time.  We needed more people like tjat then and now still.  Rich was honest, simple and relational.

      I actually found myself after watching the movie playing some of my cds of his and surprised myself at how many songs I remember as Ive been plucking them on my guitar. This movie is a great example of how God can use anybody in powerful ways.  Its also a good reminder of how real human struggle is even when doing the will of God. If you never knew of Rich the only way to view his true character is to watch some clips on youtube or listen to his music. ( he has over a dozen albums/cds available).  If you want to get a glimpse at his life story definitely watch this movie. 

His music and life obviously had a big impact on me and his message is still very true and something we all need. 

Check out my acoustic version of Hold me Jesus on Soundcloud.com.

Check out the movie site at...

4/13/2014

Susan

The past 4 years I have been on a life changing journey that has taken me through alot and brought me to a new place I never was expcting. Some of this journey included situations totally out of my control , some repercussions of my own mistakes and the rest totally unnecessary and crazy but God took it all and continues to make good out of the bad. 
Ive learned firsthand yet again the blessing of a good support system to lean on and grow with. Im grateful for the friends who actually stuck with me along the way and were so supportive. Im very grateful for my family who I now love even more dearly. Even more amazing I have been stretched and have matured in my faith more than I knew was possible.

Two years ago almost to the day I met a new person in my life that has turned out to be an amazing relationship. I knew then and still now that she was a blessing from God. She has been encouraging, supporting and was always there through some pretty hard times. Her name is Susan.  I have discovered that she is the perfect example  of one of those loving and rare people in life who "accepts your past , supports your present and encourages your future.".... And for that Im very very grateful. 

Its crazy how time flies and hard to believe its been two years now since God directed our paths to each other. In that time weve had some incredibly fun experiences together alot of deep conversations, seen many answered prayers and have grown close through some big life events.

Im very grateful for her and love how she has been not only a best friend but also a huge part of my life. Finding someone like her at this time in life has been nothing short of a blessing. Thank you Suze for all you are and all you do for me everyday!! Xoxo!!
(Heres a few pics from the 100s  weve taken)






4/06/2014

AHA Moment


     I loved his other book, Not A Fan, so when I saw this book I got very excited. This book is a very inspirational way of searching and thinking deeper about those moments when God helps us have a major breakthrough and finally get it! I personally continue to search for those moments everyday. Its about a sudden awakening, honesty with yourself and putting it all into action. 

     Im staying completely open, awake and alert as I read this and am ready for his next big adventure for me. Ill definitely post more about this as I go. If you read this blog and are reading it as well contact me and tell me your thoughts on it. Very exciting!

3/10/2014

my boys (Fatherhood and encouragement to all fathers)



     Luckily My boys and I have always had a great relationship that I have been blessed with . I always try to find new ways to stay connected with them and let them know I think theyre amazing. Even when times get tough, life throws out suprises , teenage years roll out the red carpet and family challenges unfold I never give up on being a father or on these guys in any way. Ive seen too much of that in the world and in my job. Not my thing and not who I am. 

     Its hard at times, it can suck really bad and be beyond challenging but I have been given them and this responsibility for a reason. Nothing can stop me from making my best efforts. Im excited for their lives and everyday try to pray for them, with them when I see them and over them. Thats my mission. Even when they seem distant themselves and  not wanting to talk or maybe somewhat disconnected for whatever reason I am still here.
      If youre a man and have kids, step it up. Be a dad. Be the best dad you can be and then some. Regardless of the rough road of having boys and wherever it may lead its worth it. Thats what I keep aiming for. Thats what God wants from all fathers. 
Im here for the long haul boys. Please know you can always trust me in all circumstaned and Ill always have your back. 

Iove,
Dad

( looking for a good book on fatherhood? Check out Father Fiction by Donald Miller  or Fatherless Generation by John Sowers. Both will change you life and perspective on being a dad. )

1/27/2014

Im actually promoting a Zombie book

Ive never been a big Zombie fan but I love the idea in this book. "Slaying the dead within" . So As Christians we have all felt  "zombie-like" at times when we are totally not in tune with the holy spirits intent for our lives and are not staying focused on being alive in christ. We become the "walking dead". This book examines that and how to come alive again. It shares how to break out of that zombie trap and get rid of that part of us.

  Im Reading it a second time here. Love it. Ironically its written by an author who is very well known for the "diary of a wimpy kid " series. Jeff Kinley. Who would have thought. Good stuff. Thanks for the inspiration here Jeff. Hoping to slay my "inner zombie" real soon.