INKED with Intent

Tattoos have gained increasing acceptance in our society in recent years.  It used to be only the rebellious outlaw types had tattoos.  Bikers, convicts, etc.

Not so much anymore (although I am secretly rebellious).

If you follow this blog much, you know that I write a lot on leadership and Biblical encouragement.  That said, this post is not going to address any Biblical position about tattoos.  If you are a follower of Jesus and do not think believers should have them I totally support your personal views.  This is not a right vs. wrong post, so please refrain from making it one.

This is simply sharing my personal story surrounding my tattoo.

So, love it or hate it…..here it is!

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The pocket watch | It is slightly warped, as if beginning to melt.  It has typical roman numerals for time, but if you look closely the hour and minute hands have been replaced by the magnet needle of a compass.  There’s lots going on here.  This pocket watch looks a bit different.  The same can often be said of God’s TIMING and DIRECTION in our lives.  As we follow His guidance in faith, His ‘where’ and ‘when’ usually don’t look a thing like our plans.  Can you relate?

The puzzle | If you’ve done many jigsaw puzzles you know that the best method is to start with connecting all the border pieces.  Then you fill in toward the middle.  Notice, my tattoo has no border yet.  It also has a couple pieces laying off to the side…not put in their respective place yet.  Ok, so two things here.  1) God’s way of piecing together our image of Him doesn’t seem logical.  He works from the inside out!  2) Those two pieces off to the side?  Yeah, He’s never really done artistically rendering us.  There will never be border pieces when we allow God to continue working on us.

Conversation | Those who have tattoos have stories behind each one.  They can tell you precisely what it means to them.  For me, the design was meant to hold a bit of symbolism as to create intrigue.  When people ask about it, that’s my window of opportunity to share my story of walking with Jesus.  How it isn’t always easy or clear, BUT that He has ALWAYS BEEN THERE with me every step of the way.

* Minor side note:  This tattoo looks FREAKIN’ AMAZING!

Thanks for stopping by the blog, and God Bless!

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God Provides When We Step Out In Faith

My wife and I were asked to talk to our church recently and share about how God has led and provided through our recent transition.

Walking by faith is not always easy, BUT it does get easier the more we say ‘YES.’

November 22, 2015: Hebrews – How Do We Worship Him? from Christ Community Church on Vimeo.

I Can’t Talk About Jesus With Others

Have you ever said (thought) those words?  I know I have in the past.

So, what prevents us from speaking about Christ to those we interact with every day?  Why is it that talking about Jesus on Sunday feels just fine, BUT it feels awkward at the grocery store, gas station, or workplace?

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I suggest 2 possible reasons this can be true for many believers:

Acknowledgment | What are you and I taking notice of in our ordinary daily lives?  If we’re not NOTICING God’s hand throughout the week (and even outside of trials and stress), we are obviously not going to be mindful to mention Him.  This is a dangerous place to be, because when we don’t acknowledge Jesus in our relationships, successes, and personal growth we take credit ourselves!  And eve if we don’t SAY IT, simply NOT giving Him credit assumes an unhealthy level of autonomy.

Excitement | Think about this.  We rarely find it difficult sharing our excitement with EVERYONE when our team experiences a huge win, when we’ve had a big personal success, or after we return from the most amazing vacation EVER.  The details and passion within these personal experiences come through easily and quite clearly, don’t they?  I would conclude, then, that our excitement and energy around the things of Jesus can have a direct effect on how much (if at all) we share his involvement in our lives with others.  If we are not excited about Jesus adjustments must be made.  Something needs to be changed so we can experience Him in new and fresh ways.

Take a look at the attitudes of Peter and John in Acts 4:20 (emphasis is mine).

“…for we CANNOT but speak of what we have seen and heard.”

The attempts to hush Peter and John were unsuccessful.  Their experiences and beliefs were so strong that they COULD NOT refrain from speaking of Jesus.  Notice this passage does not use the phrase ‘will not.’  It would seem that their situation went beyond obedience.  Witnessing about the life of Jesus was not an option.  It was practically automatic.  To refrain would require much effort.

How do we get to the place that Peter and John were?  Well, the excitement and acknowledgement needs to be there first.  Next, intentionality and desire must follow.

Lord, may you give us eyes to see your works in our lives…and a humble love for others to want to tell them about it.