Tag Archives: whirlwind journey

4 Years in the Whirlwind

I have not taken the time to write as much as I would like these last few months.  A few blog posts here and there, but as often happens to us, life and priorities get in the way.  This morning, however, I felt compelled to make sure I wrote something new.  I’ve mentioned this some in my writing and its definitely something that has taken precedence in my book.  4 years ago today, on October, 13, 2009, my entire family and I were tossed into what I call, the whirlwind.  On that day, we lost my Dad after a terrible rush hour accident that claimed his life and two of his co-workers, with injuries to six more of his co-workers.  It was a day we never imagined would happen and dealing with that tragedy was something we never thought we would have to deal with.  We were forced to come to terms with a lot from dealing with our own struggles of faith in why this happened, to dealing with the person that set this event rolling by an act of stupidity.  It was an emotional roller coaster that still plays out to this day.

In dealing with this tragedy, I have had to come to terms with a lot in my own life.  First, the loss of my Dad in such a tragic way, profoundly scarred me and sent me into a dark shadow for many, many months.  I tried to find my way through my faith, but honestly, it was not strong enough yet.  For some time, I did not think a thing else in life mattered.  If something like this could happen to someone like my Dad, who was a wonderful man of God, and an awesome Father, what was the point of things.  I was not angry at God, but I just did not know what to make of it all.

After the first year or so, I began to refocus my life and worked to really make sense of all of the emotions I’ve had to deal with.  I have a wife and children that depend on me and I knew that I could not spend my life dealing like that.  I began to read more books related to faith and then finally found my way to the Word of God.  I made it a point to read every single day.  I knew that through God’s word I could find the answers I was looking for in life and a way to make sense of all of of the emotions I dealt with from this tragedy.

Through this journey, I have learned the power that forgiveness has.  I’ve learned that despite the anger I have for the one that set this whirlwind in motion, I knew that forgiving was one of the only ways to release that anger.  It freed me from the burden of constantly worrying about this guy and was a huge step to move forward.  From there, I learned to simply surrender to God’s will.  To let him take control of my life and understand that He is in control and has a purpose for everything we deal with in life.

So what of this purpose?  What does it all mean?  Truth be told, my brother, Rob, said it best at my Dad’s funeral when he said that we may never know all of the answers until we go to meet God face-to-face.  I do however think there is a reason that has been revealed now.  We often hear the question of why God allows these terrible things to happen.  The purpose of it all is quite simple actually.  These tragedies are are allowed as they bring us back to God.  Often times people stray away.  I’m know exception, but through tragedy, many times people find there way back to God as they search for their own answers.  This was no exception.  I sometimes think that God looked at Dad, knowing he already had a devoted son, and this was a way to grab the attention of the rest of us.

We all deal with tragedies in different ways.  The bottom-line however is that through any tragedy in life, if we surrender and turn to God and find redemption through Christ, there is nothing we cannot overcome.  Nothing is impossible through Him.  Let Him take control.  We will always go through all of the pain and emotions that come with any tragedy, but know that God loves you through all of that.  He is there with you and waiting for you to turn to Him and I promise you, that you will find the healing and the power you need.  He is so Awesome!  If I did not have Him to turn to, I don’t know were I would be now, 4 years later.  I certainly would not be here writing this.  His love and His healing is so real, if you choose to seek it out, surrender, and let Him take hold of your life.

Thank you for reading.  I am closing today with this little prayer that you can say just help on your own journey.  God Bless you all!

Father, thank you who you are and for continuing to love us everyday.  Help us to love you and love each other more and more each day through all of the events of life. Thank you for the redemption we have through your son Jesus Christ.  Guide us each day as we learn to seek you more and let you take hold of our lives.  In Christ’s name – Amen

Dad and me Christmas 2008

It’s Time to Really Get in Gear

These past couple of months, I have kept myself in place in life where I have not been able to live out what I’ve been writing about.  This is a challenge that we all can face as we struggle with understanding what may be the “right” path to take and what may be the path you were meant to take and that God place you here for.  I let myself get so bogged down with other things that it took away from me focusing on things that really mean something to me and that can have meaningful impacts on those around me.  I’ve been fortunate that in these last few months, the things that have kept me going are my family and my faith.  I enjoy every waking moment I have with my wife and children.  Yes, spring time is hectic as our children are filled with their activities, but I love every part of it.  It has been a great part of their growth and it has bonded us all closer together.  I also have latched on to my faith as my daily walk with God through His word has been a continued uplift for me in times where mentally and emotionally I was struggling with keeping myself afloat with the demands of my work and school.

I have learned that in my life and in all our lives, there will be times where we just struggle with our purpose and figuring out what it is we should be doing with this tremendous gift of life the Lord has granted us.  Last week, I first decided to take some leave from my doctoral work just for my own sanity.  Then I took a couple of vacation days to spend with my family.  On the first day, we packed up a picnic lunch and fishing gear and went out to the lake for a day of fishing.  It was a great time just spending with my family and relaxing at the same time.  Throughout the time of baiting hooks and getting my kids lines out of trees and other snags, it dawned on me again that this is what really matters in life.  The time and energy I get to spend with my family to teach them, to have fun with them, and just enjoy the company of each other.  The same holds true for my wife and the amount of time I get to spend with her and focusing on us.

So there it is for me.  I was back to 3 of the 4 Pillars.  Then I had to rethink Pillar 4 which focuses on Work.  I realized that I had really let 4 Pillar Living get away from me.  I let so much else detract from me working on something that really mattered to me and what seems to matter to others as well.  I am not the worlds foremost expert in how to live by any means, but I am certainly here in position to help guide people into making sure they focus on the important aspects of living not let unimportant things get in the way of you enjoying life and coming alive through all areas of life.

Now is the time for me and for us all to really figure out how to unleash our own God given potential and live out the lives we were meant to live.  We all have a purpose and if we listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying through us, we will be able to find that purpose and then take the steps to live it out.  My call to service is help others unleash who they are meant to be.  It is a struggle that we all have and that I have and continue to have.  I have learned a lot along the way and I plan to use my writing and communication abilities to share that with you all more and more.  You will once again begin to see more consistent content on 4PillarLiving.com.  My work on my book “4 Pillars to Coming Alive” is kicking back into high gear again and I will also be developing strong focal points on each  of the Pillars.   One of the first will be focused on Marriage and relationships.  Be on the lookout for more this summer.  In addition, 4 Pillar Radio will be coming online soon.  I will be working to get that going once again.

It’s going to be a fun ride and I hope you will join me through it.   4 Pillar Living is getting back in gear and this train is stopping.  Enjoy the Ride!!!

Believe In Yourself and Your Direction

Have you ever had a moment in life where you have set your eyes on something only to lose the motivation to keep going for one reason or another?  Have you had those moments where you come up with what seems like a great idea only to have someone bring you back down to “reality” that it could not be done?  Finally, have you ever just given up on a dream and idea just because it seemed like too difficult a goal?  These are questions that I think we can all answer a big fat “YES” to.  Life can bring all kinds of directional changes to you.  It is all a part of your continue growth as an individual in search of God’s path.  Often times we come up with some big plans or ideas of something new to work toward only to have something pull us away from that goal.  This could  be any number of circumstances.

A few years back, I went on this adventure to start my own politically based internet talk radio show.  It was a weekly venture, where I recapped various issues going on in Washington or other things around the country or the world.  It was slowly gaining traction and I had a small following.  After about 6 months, I lost my Dad tragically in a car accident.  This event in my life completely took the wind out of my sails and the motivation to do anything let alone this talk show.  I tried to keep going after a couple of months off and then gave up completely.  I don’t know if that show would have amounted to anything, but who knows where it would be by this point had I not lost that motivation.

Obviously, that is something huge, tragic, and unforeseen, but it is certainly a prime example of how we cant lose motivation and belief in our own abilities.  When I began this idea of 4 Pillar Living a few months back, I was on fire for it.  I still am.  There have been days, with so much else going on in life, including my doctoral work, where I have almost felt it slip away.  I am determined, however, that this will not slip away, as I firmly believe in the direction this is headed and the message that I am out share with everyone in my writing and talking.

Norman Vicent Peale said “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”  Throughout our life we are faced with obstacles that try to pull us away from things that matter or that we have passion for.  You have to be able to have faith that you can do whatever it is you set your mind to do.  Have the belief in yourself that nothing can stop you from achieving your goals.  If you do so, then you WILL eventually reach the goals you set out for yourself.  Having humble, but reasonable confidence in your own powers….That also speaks very loudly.  Some people get too big for their britches and think they are absolutely unstoppable in pursuit of any goals.  While you may gain success, happiness, will be hard to come by.  Always strive to remain humble.  Remember all the work that you have to put forth to reach your goals.  Remember where you started, when it was just an idea.

Many of you saw the Kid President “Pep Talk” video I posted recently, or may have seen it on your own.  He said, “This is life people…We go air coming through your nose…We got heartbeat.  That means it’s time to do something.”  This little guy speaks so many truths about life.  You have to stand up and believe in yourself and the direction you have set on.  Don’t let the naysayers get in the way and stop you.  Try not to let circumstances pull you way by getting you distracted.  If you believe in yourself that you can meet your goals, then you will have it.

I was watching Courageous this morning with my kids before they went to school.  A great movie by the way, if you have not seen it, especially for you fathers out there.  When Adam Mitchell is giving the speech at the end, he talks about those naysayers when it comes to the resolution, which I have proudly hanging on my wall.  You will always encounter those naysayers, but you have to have enough belief in yourself to stick with what you have resolved to do.  Never let anyone tell you you’r not good enough or that you cannot achieve something.  Those are likely the very same people that would never in a million years, have the courage to do what you are striving for.  Have faith and believe and as the Lord said many time, Be strong and courageous!

Answering the Call

Throughout life we encounter times where we begin to question the path we have taken.  Our jobs may make us miserable, we may have lost someone close to us, or tensions and bickering with family and friends may lead you to shut yourself off from people.  It could be anything in life.  Something negative infiltrates and it takes a toll on the path you continue to make.  These negative circumstances may have dictated you to think that life is more or less pointless and that our choices and decisions are meaningless.  Through my own life, I have had my times where things seemed to not be going as I had planned and even times where I thought it did not matter what kind of effort I put into my life, because it was pointless.

Life takes us on whirlwind journey where our experiences along the way can have a significant impact on the type of person we become.  I firmly believe that God has a calling for each of us.  If we are engaged in Him, then we can begin to hear where He is calling us.  We have to choose whether we, ourselves are drawn in to what He is calling us to do or if we choose to be indifferent.  In a sermon yesterday, the message was that God’s purpose for us all hangs in the balance of whether we are drawn in or indifferent to Him.  Far too many of us are indifferent to this call even if we don’t realize it.  This indifference goes a long way to prevent us from hearing the call to serve and do what it is God called us to do.

Jesus said in John 15:16 “You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.”  Jesus is telling us that we have been called by Him.  We were not placed here by our own choice, but rather because it was God’s will.  He placed each of us here for a purpose.  Each of us, as His children is called to move down a path that is meant for the purpose of God’s glory.  Psalm 39:7 says “And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.”  We must learn to place our hope in God as He is the one who will help us find out what our path is meant to be here during our time on Earth.

With this said, we have a significant duty before us.  In order to come alive, we have to choose to answer the call by being drawn in and not being indifferent to the call.  I have been building to this point to answer my call to service of others and helping people learn to unleash themselves through the 4 Pillars of life.  Seeking God’s call for us through our faith is of the utmost importance for all of us.  All of our calls our different.  We are each meant to glorify God in different ways.  Learning to recognize this as God unveils it is very powerful.  My challenge to every one this week and going forward to open yourself to hear the calling that is before you.  Immerse yourself in the Word and in prayer and God will reveal this path to your full purpose.  Doing this will place you on that path to come alive.

I know there may be some hesitancy when you realize that calling.  Especially if it is something that is completely different from what it is you have been used to.  My path to 4 Pillar Living is so different from my years of work and educational experience.  You may also encounter those naysayers that say you are barking up the wrong tree and wasting your time.  Let me tell you something.  There is absolutely nothing wasteful about answering the call, no matter how different it may be.  You will have critics and you will have those moments where it may not seem worthwhile.  That’s when you know you are on the right path.  You are getting push back because the adversary does not want your to succeed.  That’s when it is time to dig in further, remember, Always Forward, and continue that pursuit.  Answer the Call and don’t relent.