Tag Archives: Wild At Heart

A Year Later – An Amazing Journey

Since this time last year, I have been continually sharing with all of you pieces of this journey that God has placed me on as He took a hold of my life and transformed me like I never, ever thought possible.  Looking back to where I stood a year ago, the growth in my life, the movement that the Holy Spirit has brought to me, and the purpose and direction that I now follow is like nothing I ever thought possible.  All of that came because of two major events for me, first during a mens’ ministry study at my church a year ago last week, and then the adventure to Colorado a year ago this week to Wild at Heart.

I continue to look back over this journey with a joyful heart as to what God has opened.  It all came down to one thing though.  Making that decision that I was no longer going to walk on this journey alone and that I was going to put that stake in the ground and draw a line in the sand to follow Jesus from here on out into the the unknown.   I surrendered my life and told God that I was now all in.  I was no longer going to be stranded and just dip my toes in the water.  I was diving in.

I know I mention Wild at Heart continuously on this page and in my writing.  I have discussed pieces of the journey and where it has taken me, but it’s all for a significant reason.  I firmly believe that this transformation in life is available to each and every one of us.  If God can make use of my life, he can make use of everyone.  He is calling on each and everyone of us.  Ephesians 1, the Father chose us before the foundations of the earth.  He chose everyone of us and wants to use each of us for His glory.  Not our…His.

That’s been the important thing to remember.  I was on long journey to nowhere for along time.  I was a husband and father to the best way I knew how and I thought part of that was working for my own successes.  It was all about what I can do for me which was in turn to provide for them.  That was the limit of it all.  It was not for God’s glory.  He was literally an afterthought.  I became cynical and complacent in life.  I battled issues of being angry, being deceitful.  I battled lust and pornography, which consumed me as an escape.  I hid behind my false self.  I loved food and was way out of shape.  Just didn’t care to take of myself and my health was affected.  I entered a dark time where I was even more lost when my Dad died.  I carried wounds and sins with me and hid them deep inside of my heart.  I no longer had any guidance and the little guidance I did receive came from self-consumed people.

In the months and weeks leading to last January, God began a real work to prepare me for what was about to come.  My heart slowly opened.  When I was accepted to go to Wild At Heart, I knew something big was beginning to happen.  I just didn’t know what.  I tried my best to just let the week happen, preparing myself with an open heart to let God unveil all He was looking to.  I was completely blown away by what the entire experience brought and the way my life was going to change afterwards.

I knew things weren’t going to be the same and they certainly weren’t.  I battled though at times. There were days when it became very easy to just go back to who I was.  To just settle with life and not take a risk to make a change I knew that had to be done.  God called and I responded, though.  I now knew Him as Father and I allowed Him to Father me through it all and He still does today.  I shed the old self, the false self, the old nature and I put on my new nature as God’s son and now alive and restored through Jesus Christ.

Densely-01-2For each and everyone of to go on the journey of transformation requires something big of us and something that is very difficult to do.  It requires allowing ourselves to be torn down and rebuilt.  I saw a quote from Mike Mason that said, “A thirty-year-old man is like a densely populated city. Nothing new can be built, in its heart, without something else being torn down.”   At 36 years of age, that’s exactly what I had to do and what each of us have to do.  We have to open the door to our heart to Jesus and allow Him to enter and bring out those wounds and sins, so that we can then renounce and repent and then drive forward to be healed and restored to who we were meant to be.  In my counseling studies, this is called exposure.  It’s very much needed.  We need to be exposed to ourselves and to Christ in order to have a chance at the life we were meant to have.

This journey is far from over.  I was broken and then restored.  I was dead and then reborn.  I had no direction and now I have God’s purpose and direction.  It’s possible for all who are willing to let go and turn to Him.  Trust me.  I didn’t think it was possible and yet here I stand.  Restoration and life is very much possible if we will just trust God’s will and allow the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts.  It takes work and you will be opposed, but trust God with your life is all you need

I Want To Be The Real Deal

Being the real deal…Being Authentic.  What do those words say to you?

While you ponder that, I would like to take you on a journey to look down deep inside yourself.  There is something that every single one of us has had as a part of our sin nature. That is our fig-leaf.  We have all been posers in some way.  I don’t care who you are.  It’s been an inherent part of our nature since the fall of man.  Genesis 3, what do Adam and Eve do after their sin and they now realize they’re naked.  They sew fig leaves together to cover them selves.  They hide.  Ever since then, this has been such a huge and inherent part of us has humans.  We are posers!

God’s revealed so much of this to me in my life over these past years and especially the past few weeks.  Through Wild at Heart, I was able to allow God into my heart deeper to further expose the poser inside of me.  The false-self.  The Ransomed Heart guys shared the analogy of an iceberg.  10% of the iceberg is above water, while the other 90% hides below.  This correlates to our motives and behaviors.  Our behaviors are the 10% on the surface, while the motives are all hidden. I wrote last week about motives and what drives them.  We have to examine those to really get at the heart of how we act and how we portray our lives.  Do we portray a false front or are we authentic?

There’s many ways that we pose or put on the false front to hide.  For me, God pointed right to my reserved passivity.  For many years I have hid behind my quietness and not willing to take a stand and be a voice.  I would speak-up off from time to time, but often would stay back.  I hid behind that as a strength.  Of being to be observant and only speak when needed.  Someone once told me I was tough to read.  Never really let that sink in until this time when I really looked at my heart.  That really told me that I was hiding.  I was putting on a false front and not living authentic as a man.  I was always the nice guy that just got along.  Easy to capitulate and not put up a fight.  God had another way for me though and he has been working on my heart to show me all of this.

People hide in a number of other ways too.  Either way you cut it, the surface behaviors you present to the world are driven by motives that are hidden.  We have to be able to get to the heart of those motives and know what they are before we can address them and really begin to grow and shed that fig leaf.  One thing they shared with us is that deconstructing the poser in us is huge in realizing our brokenness and where we need restoration.   When we shed that poser a cool thing happens.  We lose our ability to bullshit our way through life anymore.

As for me, I want to be the real deal.  To be the authentic man.  God wants all of us to be the real deal.  To shed our false-self.  To put off the old man, our sinful nature and come alive.  To be authentic.  It can be a very difficult journey to do so.  To really get at the heart of your brokenness and seek God for the restoration that you need.  I recommend you get away from your regular life for a day or two.  Escape into solitude and just commune with God.  Go in the wilderness or somewhere and let him get at your heart.

“Christ has truly set us free” (Galatians 5:1).  Because of this freedom we have in Christ, we can shed the poser.  We can put off our old sinful nature and come alive in Christ.  Ephesians 1:4, “Even before he made the wold, God loved us and chose us Christ to be hold and without fault in his eyes.” God made us and knew us before creation.  He made our hearts to be real and to authentic and to be good.  Jesus is the picture of full authentic masculinity.  He is what each us could have been if we always put God first through everything in our lives.  And I mean everything.  “Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God – truly righteous and holy”  (Ephesians :23-24).

My call to everyone today is to let go.  Let go of the poser and the fig leaf that we all hold on too.  Search for your authentic self.  Let Jesus into your heart and he will restore you through all of your brokenness.  Trust me, he will restore you.  I would pray that if you have not taken a look down this path, that you try to.  Have faith the journey and where they Lord takes you.  Let him lead you.  For men, I would highly recommend you pick up the book, Wild at Heart by John Eldredge as a starting point.  For Women, I would highly recommend you pick up Captivating written by John and his wife Stasi.  My wife read this book and loved it.  Transformed her life.  Great starting points to really get down into your heart to restore it and come alive shedding the fig leaf we all hide behind.

This is not an easy journey or a quick journey by any means.  It’s been a long 1 1/2 year journey for me and now that God has really take hold of heart since the Wild at Heart Boot Camp, he has me on fast forward.  It’s a journey of restoration that Jesus has for each of us.  He came to save us from our sins yes, but he also came to restore our hearts.  To be made new and to be the people God intended us and created us to be all along.  I challenge you to take this journey if you have not.  Come alive and become the real deal.


It’s A Daily Battle

I have realized that we are a world at war, but this past weekend it really hit me that we are locked in battle not just occasionally, but every single day. It’s unrelenting. The enemy tries to take us out in ways you would not think about.  I know I have written about spiritual warfare a few times.  At Wild At Heart Boot Camp, it was definitely touched on significantly.  Spiritual Warfare is a part of our daily life and will find us no matter where we are.  A friend I met at Boot Camp who has been attending Ransomed Heart events for some time explained that what we retain about 20% while at Boot Camp and the remaining 80% comes after.  I have found that to be true so far as my heart continues to be filled with all I have learned and I immerse in Scripture and prayer each day.

The spiritual warfare and the issue with our daily battles came through and hit me hard this past weekend and in the most subtle way.  I began the day like normal with working out and then diving into Scripture.  I am currently studying through book of Ephesians.  There’s a story behind that, which I’ll get into another time, but God led me to dive into Ephesians.  I was a little rushed on Saturday morning to get out of the house as we had  a field workday for my son’s high school baseball team and then they had an inner-squad scrimmage.  Beautiful day and a great time with our baseball family.  Something lingered however.  Due to rushing, I did not make the time I wanted to journal and really dive into prayer like I try to each day.

Again, did not think too much of this at the time, but as the day wore on I kept getting thoughts in my head about not doing so.  I was constantly having to deflect agreements with the enemy about my commitment to God and to my spiritual growth.  I kept hearing thoughts like, “see, you don’t have the endurance for this race. You’re not committed.”  I had to fight that and it bothered me.  I had to step back from that and renounce those agreements.  It hurt to hear those thoughts.  When you get those negative feelings, it’s easy to just agree and say yes, that’s right.

On Sunday morning, I took more time to dive into this thought in my Scripture reading and thinking about the spiritual warfare we face.  The enemy is literally trying to take us out every single day.  There is no hiding from this. Think about it.  Jesus had to encounter spiritual warfare consistently.  Look at Matthew 4 and his time in the wilderness and being tempted by Satan.  It was a relentless battle.  I was listening to a audio session from John Eldredge and he referenced this and the fact that this was Jesus’s private battle.  No body was with Him.  However, God felt it important enough to share.  Part of the reason would seem to be that this is a serious issue we all face and even Jesus had to face this.  Being taunted and tempted for being the Son of God.  Jesus warned us about the enemy coming like a thief coming steal, kill, and destroy.  It is very real.

So in dealing with this daily battle, what do we do.  First, we need to readily recognize that it exists.  We cannot live in our own little worlds where nothing happens.  Simply does not work that way.  We have to be immersed in prayer and in God’s Word to be ready to deal with each days battle.  In Ephesians 4:23, Paul says, “Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.”  We have to allow the Holy Spirit to empower us and prepare for the onslaught to come. In Ephesians 6:11-12 he says, “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against the strategies of the devil.  For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies,  but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against might powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”

It’s all right there.  Spiritual warfare is a daily part of our life.  This past Saturday, was probably my first real bought with it since Wild At Heart and really recognizing it for what it was.  On Monday, it hit me even harder and it was a unrelenting battle.  Amber and I are making some changes to our room to give us an area to sit and read or pray or what have you, which I am all about.  On Monday, while I was working she began the process of moving stuff and cleaning the space.  Then it hit me out of nowhere.  I was filled with this resentment and anger for some reason about it and it just kept on for a few hours.  The enemy was digging at me and it was all total B.S. and I had to fight that back.  I know this won’t be the last time either.

We have to arm ourselves everyday.  We have to lean to God and keep our hope and faith in the promise of Christ Jesus.  A.W. Tozer said, “Christ in you, the hope of glory. I’m not afraid of the devil. The devil can handle me – he’s got judo I never heard of. But he can’t handle the One to whom I’m joined; he can’t handle the One to whom I’m united; he can’t handle the One whose nature dwells in my nature. “

Satan cannot handle the One whose nature dwells in us.  By that, I’d say we are victorious already in Him.  We need need to resist the devil and choose God first always.  The victory is in choosing to resist and the outcome is up to God.  There are unseen spiritual forces and if don’t resist, who will.  If we turn from our faith and let evil win, just imagine where you would be.  We are victorious in Christ, so it’s in him our hope rests.  Recognize the battles for what they are every day. Don’t deny they exist or you will be taken out quickly.  Choose to resist and let the Holy Spirit arm you with the armor of God that comes through faith in Christ.

A Whole New World After Wild At Heart Boot Camp

The last four days have been absolutely amazing. I had the chance to spend time in the mountains of Colorado and attend the Wild At Heart Boot Camp. It was an experience like I could have never imagined. I am going to attempt to do this Boot Camp some sense of justice in sharing some of my experience. First, if you have never heard of the book, Wild At Heart, it is a book that I would highly recommend. A friend of mine, KC, gave me this book a few years back when I was going through a great deal of life struggle and trying to return to God. The book sat on my desk for well over a year before I finally picked it up in the summer of 2013. When I finally did read it, it was life changing for me and really began to drive my journey. Definitely a must read.

Wild At Heart was written many years ago, by John Eldredge. He heads up Ransomed Heart Ministries in Colorado Springs.The unique thing about John is that he is real. He is not a religious theologian and is truly after God’s heart and helping people find their way to God. John and his small team conduct this and other Boot Camps. They are there in person and genuinely care about the hearts of men and helping them discover who they really are in God’s eyes, the image bearers of God, and discovering the wild and masculine nature of God and themselves. The journey also takes you through your wounds, renouncing and forgiveness of those that wounded you and of yourself, discovering your real name and identity in God’s eyes, becoming the warrior we are meant to be, learning to pursue the beautiful side of God’s image in Eve, and discovering that we are in fact God’s sons and how he wants to Father us into our inheritance in His kingdom.

Let me just say that this is not your run of the mill, hand holding, singing by the fire, men’s retreat. This is a raw and real treasure hunt getting into the heart of a man. The Ransomed Heart team, guides you through a real discovery journey in addition to a great deal of time to yourself to just walk and commune with God. Again it far surpassed anything I could have hoped for or expected. In my time of prayer and being with God I heard Him talking with me like I never had before. He opened my heart, opened my eyes, and allowed me to discover freedom and my true self. Putting aside the poser in me and the fig leaf that has plagued man since the fall of creation when Adam chose Eve over God. If you think I am crazy about hearing God speak to me, you’re wrong. He talks to us, we just have to be willing and open to hear it. All those thoughts that run through your head are not just you. You just have to listen.

Let me get into the setting. We were high in the Colorado mountains at Crooked Creek Ranch, near Fraser, CO at about 8,500 feet. What an awesome and majestic setting with the snow covered mountains rising high around us. Crooked Creek is an incredible place. It is a Young Life Camp and they set it up right. I was completely unplugged from the world for the first time in a long time. That in of itself was incredible. I was able to eliminate all distractions and let my heart experience every aspect of what God had in store. In the time leading up to the trip, I knew the enemy was attacking me. He was pissed and trying to dissuade me. I could feel it in my attitude at times, constant headaches, and feeling anxious and fears. He was relentless, so I had to be relentless in my prayer and arming myself. Getting there was half the battle.

So now I am there. What to expect. First, I was fortunate to be roomed with guys from Georgia. That was cool. Guys from all walks of life. Pastor, retail, emergency services, doctors, and more. All different guys, but all on the same journey of discovering who they were as men and discover everything God had for them. I had the chance to really bond with these guys I now call my Band of Brothers. This is something I never had. Guys I could do life with, so very blessed to have these guys come into my life and share the experience with them. These are connections I look forward to maintaining once home.

Through the experience, I was also able to further discover the larger story I am apart of. How my life plays an intricate part of God’s larger story. There are some, even so called religious leaders and Christians that will say God does not have time for all the small things in our life. I’ve heard this before. Let me tell you, He cares about every single bit of it. He cares if we skate through life in our own small story. He cares about the wounds that help bring us into sin and our false self. He cares about every single bit of. Above all, He has told us our hearts are good and made new because of Christ Jesus. Our hearts are not bad and we do not have to spend life carrying the burdens of our wounds. We can have life, in Christ, and we can live free from the bondage of sin and the religious veil that God himself tore in two, but so many religious ‘christian’ denominations have put back up with rules and false dogmas that are not from God and keep people in bondage.

So let’s journey a little into the sessions we did have. John and his team talked through various aspects of the masculine soul, our woundedness, our real identity, the warrior in all men, the lover in us and the beauty to rescue, and our place as God’s sons and allowing God to Father us as He desires. These guys shared so much Truth from Scripture and then their personal testimonies and struggles in life. It helped to make it all very real and relatable. We spent time in deep prayer together as a group, about 440 guys. Something else I have never really allowed is people to pray over me in a time where I was just broke down. Two team members walked to me, sat with me, listened to my story and then just prayed over me. They genuinely cared and it was something I desperately needed. I have always put on a false self shouldering many burdens that weren’t mine to bare, even acting strong when I was completely broken. I could bare my heart to these guys and my Band of Brothers free from any judgment, and they the same. Words can’t even begin to describe the power God poured into this time.

The greatest part of it all was being able to sit by myself or walk around and just talk to God and listen to what He had to share with me. Those moments of prayer, listening in silence with no distractions , and writing in my journal what I was hearing was incredible. God helped me to renounce my wounds and agreements, discover my real self in His eyes, discover the warrior in me, where I need to better pursue my bride and better initiate and validate my children as they come into being young men and women, and validating me as a man bringing me into sonship with Him. Simply incredible time with the Father. I could go on there forever.

Another part of the journey was the adventure. Discovering the sense of adventure that we lose when we leave childhood. Growing up it was all about adventure and discovery. We lose that when we become adults and the world tells us otherwise. There’s so much to see and learn about in God’s kingdom. As part of my journey, one of my brothers and I strapped on snowshoes and headed up the mountain behind us. Probably pushed near 9,500 to 10,000 feet. We met up with some other guys and made the long journey to the top and down the other side. The view of the valley from up there was breathtaking. It was a challenging hike trudging through 2+ feet of snow and tested you physically as a low lander, but we pushed through and made it. God had something special for the few of us that got to experience that.

All in all this was a journey I desperately needed and I am ever thankful that the Father brought me on this trip. I discovered a great deal about myself and feel very ready to go back to the world as a changed man with a renewed since of hope, armed with the armor of God, and ready to fight for my heart, the heart of my family, and to help others discover the heart of God and all God has for them in their lives. I am thankful for the connections and new Brothers.

I firmly believe in the ministry that God has inspired John and his team to share with the world. It’s very powerful and speaking to men and women all over the world. We had guys from Australia, Europe, Hong Kong, and Brazil among other places. People may think they are just about making money, but they are not. The cost paid for the event with all the food, which was awesome, accommodations, and resources was well worth it. It’s not overpriced. They only run a couple of these events a year on purpose, and all money for resources purchased there (books, DVDs, audio resources ) is donated. They don’t keep a dime of that. It’s very real. They invite us all to take the message and resources out to the world to share with others. I intend to do just that. You guys, I highly recommend you taking a look at this book and others they have if you have not. If you have questions about it, let me know. If you feel God calling you to a Boot Camp, go. You will not regret it. This won’t be my last event. Ladies, I recommend you check out Captivating, written by John and his wife Stasi. My wife read it and it’s been life changing. They also have a Captivating events for women in the same type of setting, but geared toward the feminine heart. My wife plans to attend one in the near future. Discover that you are the image of God’s beauty, mercy, and tenderness. You are the final touch of God’s creation.

I know I have shared a lot. This is just the tip of the sword of all I experienced. There is so much more, but I will leave it at this. Men, we are the image bearers of God’s wild and masculine side. We all need to discover this and get out from behind the fig leaf, the poser that we all are behind. Take this journey. Check out Ransomed Hearts website htttp://www.ransomedheart.com. It’s journey I promise you will never regret.

Until next time, God Bless.


A New Adventure

Currently I am sitting at 35,000 feet as I make my way to Colorado. This is a day I have been anticipating for a few months. I will be joining many other men for the Wild At Heart Boot Camp at Crooked Creek Ranch. It’s hard to describe my excitement for this event. As I wrote the other day, I have been making some serious intentional changes in my life and for my family. One of those is to no longer be a lone ranger in how I do life. To connect with more people, especially men of faith and to grow in my walk with God. This journey  to Colorado is a part of that. Also to make sure I spent more time waking with God every single day and not being only partially invested in my faith.

So as I sit on this flight, which by the way is the first time I have flown anywhere that was not work related, I am in awe of the  beauty I see looking over God’s awesome creation.  I have some times wondered if I could ever step away and do something like this. I sit in anticipation of what God will have in store for me. It’s a big journey into  unknown territory to a place I have never been.  I look forward to meeting new people, but above all to be at 10,000 feet in the remote wilderness where I  can have time to sit in solitude with just me and God.

As many of us do, I have often hid behind a fig leaf. An imposter would often reel it’s head and I walked through life, often ignoring God, being the nice guy, and trudging along doing what the world was expecting of me. God calls us all to so much more in our lives. To be after His heart, surrender to Him, and lead others to Him in many ways. As my wife and I were talking last night, she help me realize that God blessed me with a special gift to write. We all have a number of God given talents, and we should use those for His full glory. We have to choose whether to or not, however.  I am resolved to further use this gift to do just that. I no longer will sit on the sidelines and let my false self run the show.

Part of my daily reading today came out of Wild At Heart, which this Boot Camp is based on. It said, “The false self, our plan for redemption, seems so right to us. It shields us from pain and secures us a little love and admiration. But the false self is a lie; the whole plan is built on pretense. It’s a deadly trap. God loves us too much to leave us there. So he thwarts us, in many, many different ways.” God is always pursuing us. We have to resolve to let Him find us and help us to put our false self behind us and be authentic as His children.

So with that, I am taking part in a new adventure.  I have prayed about this day often for guidance and for God to open my heart to it all. I sometimes questioned my motives, but realized that the enemy has been trying to stop me from going. He knows that he his losing this battle and as he often does, he tries to fill us with doubt, fear, uncertainty, and false accusations. He does not relent, and the further away you pull, the harder he will fight. This is when we need to put on God’s armor; the helmet of salvation,  shield of faith, sword of the spirit,  and breastplate  of righteousness.  We must fight back. His armor is taking me to the unknown with confidence and strength I have never had. As Uncle Si says, “It’s on like bing-bong, jack!” I am ready to do battle and not let my heart fall to the enemy or this world.

I am extremely excited about what the next four days has in store for me. Look forward to the connections and growth. My heart is wide open for it all. I am blessed to have such an awesome wife who supports me in all this. God is doing awesome things in her heart as well which is bringing our marriage to another level. I will write about the experience after I return home. Till then, God Bless.