Monday, May 23, 2011

New Blog!

I have created a new blog for those of you who have read my first book, Realms The Awakening. This blog will give you a sneak peak at the next book, Knights Fall and also give you a chance to give me feedback. To check out the first entry, go to


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shadow Lessons

Shadow Lessons

I went for a long walk tonight and I noticed something very interesting. Like any neighborhood street, there are street lights, and these lights provide areas that are lit. But there are also dark areas between the lit areas. As I walked I began to watch my shadow, and I noticed that when I was closest to the street light, my shadow was in it's smallest form which was proportional to my regular body size. Then, as I moved away from the light towards the darkness, my shadow became larger and larger. My shadow grew to ten times my normal height before disappearing into the darkness. This stirred my curiosity and as I came into the next light, I turned to see what my shadow looked like coming out of the darkness. It was the same as going into the darkness. It was ten times my height as I came into the light. So the pattern was that my shadow was very large coming out of the darkness, then it shrank as I came directly under the light, and then it once again enlarged as I headed into the darkness.

Then it hit me; what a great analogy of our journey with God. When we are in His presence, we are so small yet so significant. Our significance comes from the fact that He created us and our normal size in His presence is proof that who we are is enough, He doesn't require anything more of us. Yet, our purpose is to go into the darkness of this world and carry His light and life. As we move towards the darkness He increases us, not so that we will be okay, but so that we will stand out, that there would be something about our lives that is attractive to those who don't know Him. Sometimes we may feel as if He isn't there when we are in the darkness, but as we come back into the light of His presence, we see that we are still just as big in Him as we were when we went into the darkness. It's in the total darkness that we are required to trust Him. Trust that He is there, that He has increased us, and that He has given us what we need to make it to the next spot of light.

When I look down my street, the areas of darkness are greater than the areas of light. This too is illustrative of our lives. I imagine the goal would be that the more I grow in God, the longer stretch of a dark road I can walk down without a light. For every step I take in the darkness, there is a soul watching. Those in the dark cannot come into the light unless they are drawn. There are those who choose to never leave the light. Such was the case with the servant who buried his masters talent and out of fear chose not to venture out. Jesus called him wicked and said that when the master returned he took that persons talent and gave it to the one who had risked the most.

What does your road look like? Are the street lights very close or very far apart? It doesn't really matter. What does matter is that you keep moving. Enjoy the moments in the light, but don't stay there, move so that others can see and follow. And when you come around the bend and all you see is a long dark road, do not fear, for He is with you. You may not be able to see it now but you will. There will be another light and there will be another time of reassurance, but for now just TRUST.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

How deep do I go?

As a boy, I loved to travel deep into the woods around my home in search of areas I had never seen. When I happened upon a new place I would pause and make that all important decision; how deep do I go? The lure of exploration begged me to come deeper. It whispered my name like a lover, tickling my ears, and pulling me closer. Then I would go as deep as I could while still being able to see the path that led me to this new place. Eventually, you reach the point where you can no longer see the path that lead you to this new adventure. Now your heart begins to beat harder and your eyes become wild with fear and anticipation. Will you get lost? Will you stumble upon some terrible thing that means you harm? What if you don't make it out before it gets dark?

The thoughts and emotions create an adrenaline filled cocktail that pushes you forward with unfamiliar courage. Every sense is heightened, as you push deeper and deeper into the unknown. You know that there is a level of danger here, but you can't turn away from the temptation to loose yourself in this great adventure. Why? Because we were made to explore, to face danger, to be threatened, to be challenged, because we were made to overcome. It's in our DNA, it's how God made us. We were made to go forth and subdue all the creatures of the earth and rule over the land. That is our original design and even in our fallen nature, the original DNA begs to be heard; come deeper, push into the unknown, let go of what's safe.

Safe is our enemy. When we are "safe", the deepest part of our DNA, who we really are, slowly becomes lethargic and begins to die. It may feel like the life we want, but there is no life in it. A "safe" life is a subtle fragrance that lures us into a deep sleep from which we may never awaken. How safe is your life? What areas are you pushing into that are unfamiliar and dangerous? Have you stopped exploring? Maybe you came to a new place and experienced the thrill of the exploration and then "settled in", mistaking this place for a new home. In this life, there is no home. We are meant to be ever exploring, ever pushing into our own unknown area of adventure because that is what makes us stronger and wiser and more alive! Wake up! It's time to break camp and begin to once again explore the unknown!

How deep will you go?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hypothetically Speaking

Probably the best illustration of the positive effects of boundaries, is raising children. Healthy boundaries produce healthy children. You set the boundaries, and when the child tries to cross them, and they will, you apply discipline to correct the behavior. Some children willingly comply while others test the boundaries regularly. One is not better than the other, it's a matter of their personality and make up. The important thing is that the boundaries stay in place regardless of the child so that each is benefited equally.

Again the key is healthy boundaries. These are boundaries that allow the child to learn, grow, and take on age appropriate responsibility in a safe environment. We've all seen the effects of unhealthy boundaries; "I'm going to count to three, four, five..." It's the classic "child run" household. The parents revolve around the child instead of the child revolving around the parents. This sets up a major disconnect concerning authority. Healthy boundaries say that you respect the authority over you, regardless of what you want to do. If a child won't obey their parents, how will they obey their boss?

Another goal of boundaries is to allow the child to learn responsibility as they grow. The older they become the more responsibility they take on to help with the daily functions of the family in the home. Holding them accountable to do certain taks/chores gives them a sense of accomplishment and adds to their self-esteem. It teaches them that hard work produces rewards both internal and external. This sets them up to have a desire to work hard and pull their weight in a much larger family, society.

If the child does not experience this challenge to "become" a strong man or woman, if there are no boundaries and discipline as they grow, then a very damaging belief system sets in...entitlement. The child learns that mom and dad don't really mean what they say. I can get away with whatever I want if I just act out, or cry, or tug on the heart strings. They "say" these are the rules, but they don't really mean it.

What would happen if a whole generation of children grew up with this sense of entitlement? How would they react to authority? How would they treat the "rules" of society?

Hypothetically, what if you had a society (family) that had strong parents who cared enough about the well being of their children to set healthy boundaries in place that would promote healthy growth of that societies children? Boundaries that promoted the well being of all and used discipline as a means to stop destructive behavior. Then a generation of children without respect for authority or the rules of that authority would most definitely tear that system down in an effort to "get their way", and they would use whatever means necessary to manipulate the environment around them to best benefit them. There is no equality because it's all about me. You work hard and I'll take from you because I'm entitled to it. You do the work and I'll reap the rewards.

I hope we never find ourselves in this "hypothetical" situation.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010, Not Again!

I have never been a big fan of new years resolutions, but as I survey this past year, I have one for 2010, "Not Again!". What was 2009 like for you? As you inventory this past year, what would you say was your underlying emotion throughout the majority of the year? I believe for a lot of people it was fear. If you go back and survey the major news stories of the year, most of them were gloom and doom stories that painted a very bleak outlook for our future. I guess it's these kinds of stories and negativity that has "pushed me over the edge". I mean, you can only get so close to the edge of the abyss and then you have to decide whether or not you're going to 'jump off' or stop and take an honest look at where you are and what you're doing.

What has brought us to the cliff's edge? For the most part it has been greed, corruption, deception, and propaganda. So let me ask you; Are you a greedy person? Are you a corrupt person? Do you purposefully deceive people for you own gain? For everyone reading this blog, I think I can confidently answer "No" for you. Isn't it ironic that a minority of people with an agenda for control through power have cast upon us a fear so great that it seems we have no alternative but to entrust them with that power and ask them to 'save' us? What is driving this mentality? FEAR. Fear of losing a house, a job, a car, a dividend, a privilege, in other words, fear of failure.

Wow, we have become afraid of the one thing that has made our country so great!

Go back through our history and you will find that most of the great inventors and businessmen of all times experienced 10X the amount of failure as they did success. You can't succeed without failing! Failing is what teaches you to persevere, it's what teaches you to change an ingredient or procedure, or way of thinking. Take away failure in a society and you produce a nation of slaves. And guess who the master is? It's that power hungry, greedy, corrupt, group of people who are living off of your fear. And living quite comfortably I might add.

I've had enough gloom, doom, anxiety, and fear!

So for 2010 I say, Not Again. My resolution is to cast off all fear and anxiety and go for broke! If that's where I end up, then I'll get back up, dust myself off, and go at it again. That's a life worth living. That's a life that has flavor, excitement, and danger. That is the kind of life we were created to live. We were created to fight in the wilderness like lions, not grope in the pasture of fear like cows!

So what is that dream that you have? What is it that you want for your family? How do you see your future? Are you looking through the lens of our media and politicians? Theirs is a lens of empty promises and false hope. You were created to be free, truly free, to be all that you can be. Know who created you, know His character, and then find the courage to risk failure. After all, failure produces success. You need to hear that again;

Failure produces Success!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Christmas Matrix

The Matrix is one of my favorite movies. In the movie, people are kept asleep to what the real world is like by computers that are using them to their own benefit. In return, the people live in a virtual world that they think is real. When the hero of the story "wakes up" he finds that he is in the middle of a war for the survival of the human race.

This Christmas has given me a glimpse of that war in our world. Just like in the Matrix, every year at Christmas people go into autopilot and enter a dream like state where Christmas is all about falling asleep to the real world around us. Each swipe of the credit card is like an inoculation that brings a sense of euphoria and dulls the pain of the woes around us. It's about the gifts, the parties, the persona I put off. In essence, there is a force that seeks to "cheapen" Christmas and what this special holiday is really all about.

Why am I even thinking such things? What has me stepping back to take a different look at Christmas? This Christmas our family knows four couples who are very dear and close to us that are struggling with life and death issues.

One couple sits in Boston by the bedside of their 10 month old son who has never been out of the hospital since his birth. He just underwent another surgery to save his life and hopefully ensure a near release from the Hospital so that his family can return to their home in Charleston. Another couple struggles with a rare disorder in which the mother, who is now pregnant with their second child, is deathly ill and struggles to force down enough nourishment to sustain the life of them both. Before they could even enjoy the beautiful pictures of the first ultrasound, a feeding tube was inserted into mom, and will be the lifeline for her and her baby for the next nine months of nonstop nausea and the accompanying effects it brings. Another couple deals with the tragic and sudden loss of their son to a senseless death. And a wife is now at home with her husband and father of her two young children. He is in Hospice care now after fighting a long and hard battle against cancer.

How do you celebrate Christmas in the midst of such struggles, pain, suffering, and loss? Just like in The Matrix I suddenly see glimpses of the "Real World". I visit and talk with those families and I see the "real" Christmas. Because Christmas is all about struggles, pain, suffering, and loss. The true Christmas Story is full of examples of all of these. It is a story of war, and Christmas is the day we celebrate our ultimate victory over that enemy that seeks to steal joy, kill dreams, and destroy life. Christmas is when we celebrate the fullness of God coming to this planet to save our race. Through the lens of this truth, now things look different.

Because for every one of those couples there is now hope, peace, joy, courage, and the faith to know that they are going to be okay. They are "living" the real Christmas story. Instead of the darkness of the unknown, there is light. Instead of the hopelessness of unforeseen tragedy, there is hope. Instead of the unrest of anxiety, there is peace. And instead of the fear of facing insurmountable odds, there is courage. And the "game changer" in all of these circumstances is faith.

Do you feel that? Do you sense that thing rising up on the inside of you? That, my friend, is Life. Wake up! And don't let another precious moment with friends and family pass you by.

Because that ... is Christmas!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Christmas Switch

It's that time of year again. I came home from work to find that my wife had packed away all of the regular dishes, table runners, and normal household items and replaced them all with the Holiday trimmings that will adorn our home for the next month. A fire had been started in the fireplace, a miracle in my absence. The noise of the TV had been replaced by a CD of traditional Christmas music, and if you get in any of our vehicles, you'll find the radio tuned to the local "Christmas Songs" station. The decision has been made, "We are doing Christmas".

Isn't it amazing how we can just "decide" to do Christmas? It doesn't matter how the finances are going or not going. It doesn't matter if the temperature outside is 40 or 80. It doesn't matter if I had a great day or a horrible day at work, the decision has been made. For the next month, everything will be wonderful.

We will fight hard to protect the celebration of Christmas from those pesky worries and concerns that plague us all year long. We will decide that we are in control of what does or does not occupy our thoughts during this time of the year, and we'll realize that no matter how big that obstacle may seem, it still can't move us without our permission.

We will fight against all enemies, foreign and domestic to preserve the joy of Christmas. We will be on guard for anything that would rob us of that childlike joy that we all felt on Christmas morning when we got out of bed and ran to see what Santa had left under the tree. It may be hard sometimes, but in the end, we will win!

So here's my question; When Christmas is over, and my wife puts all of the usual household items back in their places, the fire goes out, and the radio quits playing Christmas music, does that mean that I have to go back to allowing my life to be run by all of those things which I fought so hard against in order to enjoy Christmas? The things that I realized I have power over.

Is there any special power that I have during Christmas that dissipates after Christmas?

I think not.