A New Direction

Like anyone I have gone through phases in my life. Anyone who knows me knows that I throw myself into projects. I often single-mindedly focus or study something and then I pick another. Years ago I started the website iwillstepup.com, and for a year or so that was an ongoing passion of mine. The whole idea was a self-awareness that I felt I was not following through on what it meant to be a Christian. From that point I tried a lot of things, some worked, some didn't, but my desire was to step up into man that I believed I was called to be.

The blog morphed many times and eventually petered out.  In hindsight the blog was a glimpse into what it primarily developed into, which is a future book. During all of this time, my late best friend Chris Hinshaw and I continued to dig deeper and deeper into what it meant to actually follow Jesus. We wrestled with how the American church functions and is view from those inside and out.

Our conversations moved from frustrations and ideas to planning and development to what this book is to become. By the time our outlines, notes, chapters, and writings developed into a very rough draft, his cancer worsened. At the time the world seemed to either slow down or was put on hold, both became true of this book.

Since then, my life has changed a lot. Most significantly it was dramatically altered by my wife Holly and I adopting three kids. We went from a family of three to a bustling family of six. I look around at my life now and can never remember being so tired, which is still new to me (many friends think I have endless energy).

In the last year, since we started and concluded the adoption process, this unfinished book constantly reenters my heart and mind. At this point I am somewhere between the first and second draft, since I have started editing it from the beginning so many times.

The reason why I say all of this is that I can easy get distracted, and I can't always blame my 4 kids. Most recently my intellectual and theological energy have been directed more at Facebook than anything else. I do realize that Facebook is not a normal place to have heavy theological discussions and debates, but I enjoy many of them. I like having the diversity of perspectives and backgrounds that wouldn't be gathered anywhere else, and if I am honest, Facebook is simply convenient. It takes little work to repost an article and write a few words.

It has also become almost a habit. Over the last year I was unable legally to post pictures of my now adopted kids on Facebook. This severely limited what I wanted to post and probably reinforced the inclination of posting primarily theological content.

Which all leads to now. A couple days ago a friend challenged me with this: "I dare you to only post things for a week about how awesome it is to be a follower of Jesus." This confirmed the feeling that I most often post about what the American Church is doing wrong. And while I think there is a place for that, it shouldn't be my primary focus on Facebook, even if it's easier.

I have excepted the challenge. I am going to focus on the positive. I will focus on what drives me. I will focus on what followers of Jesus should be about, rather than shouldn't be. So over the next week and longer,  my desire is to share what has kept me from walking away from the Christianity. I hope to show the Gospel that is so much bigger and better than I ever seen. 
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