Category Archives: Christian Development

Truth vs. Love

Since my late teenage years I’ve been obsessed with the truth. I wasn’t always like that. In my younger years I was an exceedingly prolific liar. I lied about myself to try and make people believe I was something that I wasn’t. I would lie to stay out of trouble. Sometimes I wouldn’t even have a reason for telling lies. I had a knack for it. I would look the person right in the eyes and do it with such conviction that I often got away with it if there wasn’t hard evidence against me.

I still remember what triggered my shift towards honesty. It happened sometime during my senior year of high school. I had skipped school by walking to the bus stop but not getting on the bus. I walked to a spot where I could watch my parents’ cars drive by on their way to work and then I went back to the house to enjoy my day. When my father got home he asked me if I had skipped school that day. My reaction was a stunned mixture of shock and embarrassment. Caught! Apparently the school had set up a process to call the parents of students who didn’t show up for school each day. I didn’t know it at the time. I was taken by surprise. All I did know was that I was caught. Ten different lies flashed through my mind in an instant but I didn’t think I could get away with any of them. So I did something unheard of in my young life. I took a deep breath and I told the truth.

Now it was my father’s turn to be stunned. That was definitely not what he had been expecting. He stared at me with a funny look on his face as he thought about the situation. Finally he told me that he wouldn’t punish me this time because I told the truth, but not to skip school again. I was dumbfounded as I walked out of the room. That was easy! I couldn’t believe it; I stayed out of trouble because I told the truth? That certainly seemed easier than trying to keep up with all the lies I was maintaining at the time. Read the rest of this entry

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If Tebow were Jesus

I found myself crying in church last week because of Tim Tebow. Yeah, I know, real manly right? What can I say, I’m an emotional person. Anyway, let’s level set a bit so that you all know where I’m coming from. I’m not a fan of the Florida Gators. My friend Chris used to tell me all kinds of great things about Tebow during his college days but I dismissed them as blatant homerism. Being surrounded by Florida fans on a daily basis grated on my naturally rebellious personality, meaning that I was one guy rooting against Tebow every week.

I didn’t hold a grudge when he came to the NFL but you can count me as someone who didn’t want my team to draft him unless it was going to be in the 3rd round as a tight end. However, as time went on I began to warm up to him. As a Christ follower I was very happy to see the way that he conducted himself. He was bold in his faith but gentle in his spirit. In particular, the way that he shared his time with young and sick people was beautiful to me and I began to develop an affection for him. I began to want for good things to happen in his life simply to reward him for his spirit. Read the rest of this entry

New Year’s Resolution

Hi folks. Today’s article is going to be a little bit different from the norm. The articles posted on this blog are typically focused on you, the readers. They are written with the hope that they will motivate you to identify personal opportunities for growth and push you to take action steps in those directions. The personal examples that I give are not meant to put me on any kind of pedestal. If you’ve been reading for a while I’m certain that you’ve come to the conclusion that I struggle with things just as much as the next guy.

That’s exactly what my personal new year’s resolution is about, my own personal struggles. Quite simply, my resolution is a prayer to God about refocusing me, reestablishing my purpose in my heart and guiding me to the places that he wants to be. I’m making it public because I’ve found that this blog has morphed into a kind of accountability partner for me. Sometimes I’ll find myself in a situation where my easiest choice will be to do something that runs counter to the things that I’ve espoused as right and good in my writing. When that happens I always find myself extremely motivated by what I’ve written to stay true to myself and avoid the label of hypocrisy. Accountability is a marvelous thing for people who want to improve things. I’m hoping that my public prayer will motivate me and hold me accountable when I want to give in to laziness or think about taking the easy way out as we move through 2012.

That’s what this is, a prayer for my future and for the lives of the people that I’m meant to impact. I just realized that this is going to give you a direct insight into how I pray. You might find it a little more conversational than you’re used to hearing. That’s just what I’ve found is most natural for me. I guess you could say this is my own personal Psalm. God bless!

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Fear

Note: Today is my birthday so I’m not going to have a chance to put the finishing touches on a new article. Instead, I’m posting an article I wrote a few years before starting my blog. Those of you who used to read my “notes” on Facebook might remember it. For the rest of you, it’s new to you :-). Be blessed – Jonathan

Fear.

It’s not a very popular topic. It’s really not even something that most of us want to discuss. That’s interesting, considering that fear is able to fester when it can remain hidden. By avoiding discussions about it we are actually increasing its power to affect our behavior and impact our lives. On the other hand when we talk about fear, when we discuss it openly, we expose it to truth and light. Fear cannot dwell in truth and light because it is exposed for all it truly is, nothing.

Fear is an emotion, the same as love, joy, hate, embarrassment and others. It’s a feeling that has the ability to generate a physical reaction in your body and dominate your thoughts. Many emotions have the same power. When you are face to face with a person you love your eyes begin to dialate slightly while your lips take on a redder hue. At the same time when you are apart from the person or people that you love, many times you can’t stop thinking about them. Hate works similarly, except the physical changes are inverted, with your eyes narrowing and your lips pulling tight. We don’t control these things intentionally, they are natural reactions driven by emotion. Read the rest of this entry

Never Give Up, Never Surrender

I had a difficult childhood. I was discussing it with my best friend the other day. I remember things being normal until the third grade. Then, suddenly the kids that I used to play with were starting to pick on me and laugh at my expense. Soon after that they stopped playing with me all together. There were some other kids in our neighborhood that did not avoid me but it was a small number. From the third grade on I lived on the outside looking in. I ended up being the kid that people would pick on and bully to feel better about themselves and to look cool for their friends.

I remember when I moved to Jacksonville for the 9th grade. I hoped it would be different. I didn’t experience any pain at all moving from the class that I had grown up with to a totally new group of strangers. I hoped and prayed that it would be different. Maybe I wouldn’t have to keep dealing with it, maybe things would be different. They weren’t. Read the rest of this entry

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