Contentment In The Midst of Busy

Sometimes I get lost in the hype. Distracted by everything else except Jesus.

In this agecontentment is hard to come by.png

New job, new church, new a lot of things. Our lives have been a whirlwind the past couple of months. And in the midst of immense blessing, I still have the audacity to question God’s plan for my life in the form of discontentment.

As someone who believes in God’s sovereign reign over all things, it should come naturally to live each day knowing that God has a plan. His plan is to glorify Himself in every area of my life, including my work, marriage, and ministry. And yet, though we in america are the 1% of the world, I still complain and struggle with going to work and earning an honest living.

I like my job, don’t get me wrong. Being a mechanic has its perks, and learning a skill will always be with me for the rest of my life. But Sunday evening comes and I dread Monday. Why?

I think there is a facet within me that is still searching for where my passion, skill, and monetary benefit all coincide. And the idea of not having all three at once (right now) fills me with longing for more, and ultimately discontentment.

It is a very good thing to pursue our dreams, I certainly will continue to do so. But if our dreams and future aspirations (I see you dreamers out there) cause us to sin against God in the form of discontentment, we have made a grave error.

The only place I have found peace is trusting that God is putting me through all things for His glory and my good. This means that every early morning I roll out of bed, not wanting to do anything, is for God’s glory and my good. There is purpose in it. This should lead us not into misery, but rather hopeful anticipation in how God will glorify himself today.

This recognition of God’s control, added with thankfulness, leads to contentment and joy. You cannot be discontent when you look around and look at truly how much God has given you.

This Monday, purpose to ask God to glorify Himself through your humble submission to Him.

Three Ways Marrying Young Helped Our Marriage

wedding-3013449_1920.jpgMy wife Rachel and I married at the young age of 18.

No, we were not pregnant, and no we weren’t desperate either. The fact that those questions were raised by nay-Sayers says something about our changing culture.

Back in 1960 72% of all adults age 18 and older were married. In contrast, barely half of all adults in the United States are currently married. If this trend continues we will see an even further downturn in the coming years.

Anyways, being the “60’s couple” that we are, we met and dated at 16, were engaged at 18 and married a few short months later. We dated for a total of one year (“total” because we broke up for a couple of months, but we do not talk about that…)

All that to say we have seen that although marrying young has its difficulties, we have seen some significant benefits as well. As a disclaimer, marrying at any age is a beautiful thing. We just chose this path for us.

One: Financial Communication

Finances are a huge factor for a good marriage. When you disagree on money fundamentals, than you will have problems.

When you’re married before any significant “career” you tend to handle money loosely. You have not established much of a portfolio other than some savings and a vehicle. The simplicity of two hard-working young people coming together financially in marriage can yield great fruit.

I have met other couples who have become very established with bills, subscriptions, etc. before marriage. This isn’t a bad thing, but I have witnessed couples refusing to combine checking accounts simply because of “inconvenience”. I believe that when the Bible calls couples to be “one” that includes one bank account.

Simply said, starting with nothing and combining nothing allows both parties to contribute and grow financially together. And the sooner you establish financial oneness, the better.

Two: Emotional Baggage

Simply because of the passage of time, you will not have as may serious relationships beforehand. This does not apply to all couples, but sexual baggage is a significant issue in today’s day.

Toxic past relationships wreak havoc on the soul. If you are into “serial dating” as the phrase goes, you just date and date and date and date. No thought of marriage whatsoever. This is toxic.

I am not speaking of a serious relationship that have gone bad. Sometimes that is unavoidable. But rather I am speaking of a mindset many young people have of “test driving” a relationship before “purchasing” in marriage. This analogy is terrible on many levels.

Find another young person with the same general life outlook, love for Jesus, and love for you. If you like them and enjoy their company, maybe consider dating for maybe a year and marrying them shortly after? Is that a controversial thought? Maybe not 50 years ago.

Three: Worship Jesus Through the Highs and Lows

Marrying young is not frolicking through the fields, eating skittles, and talking about unicorns. That actually sounds pretty terrible, but that is me.

Marriage, no matter what age has its highs and lows. We are only three years in and we fight about the dumbest things. Can you relate?

The beautiful thing is that we have gone through so much in the most foundational years of our lives together. The human brain is not fully developed until age 25. We still have three more years of neuro-formation until our brains have matured into adults. We get to experience all of these developments and trials together!

The greatest of all is watching each other conform into the image of Christ. From finding a Church we both love, to struggling to learn how to pray together. The beauty is that we can look back in five years (at age 27 and 26) and see how we have grown to love Jesus and each other more and more through the struggle and joy.

It is not a burden to be married at a culturally young age. It is more difficult in many ways, but it is so rewarding! If you are married, when did you get married and how have you seen each other grow through the years?







Writing a More Effective Blog

I’m finding that as I write more, the more I realize how easy it is to just write about anything and everything and forget the purpose of this blog. Namely to help people pursue Jesus better, to have better theology, and to have better marriages as a result.

So I’ve finally figured out some general categories that i will be starting to post in:

      1. Life’s Pursuit

Life’s Pursuit will be a retelling of the past week (or month) of my life and what God has been teaching me through it. It will be filled with struggles, great times, ministry updates, work updates, etc. Why call it “Life’s Pursuit”? Well, because the Christian life isn’t just lived two hours on Sunday. It’s pursuing Jesus in the midst of all of life.

    2. Marriage

There’s no catchy name for this category of post. Just like it sounds, marriage! It could be what I’m learning in marriage, or something iv’e learned and want to pass to my two readers. Whether how to handle money together, or how not to say things, it will be a fun time writing!

3. Theology 

Having good Theology is something I’m very passionate about. As the great Dr. James White has coined “Theology matters”. And this is why I love writing about it, it effects every area of our lives. Our marriages, how we view God, how we view nature, how we view ethics, etc. Theology touches every single person on this planet because like Romans 1 says, they suppress the truth in unrighteousness. So theology tells us about literally everything.

Anyhow, this is how I’m going to segment each post each week. Keep a lookout!

Work and Ministry Update (April 2016)

As of now, I’m currently working full time for an. animal feed company by the name of New Country Organics. I mentioned in another post about it, but now it’s in full swing.

My responsibilities include delivering feed all around Virginia from tuesday-thursday and on the other days I’m either packing orders or packaging feed. All in all, I do enjoy it. It’s not my dream job by any stretch but it’s certainly not a bad one! The people I work with are generally nice and hard working, save maybe a couple.

I’m definitely looking forward to being alone on the road as a time of prayer (eyes open!) and sermon listening!

On the ministry end of things my wife and I are quite busy! Wednesday nights are “breakpoint”, otherwise knows as youth group. We’ve enjoyed getting to know the youth and have found it to be quite a growing experience to build relationships from scratch. As Christians I think we get far too comfortable in our cliques, so this has been a generally positive experience for the both of us.

On Thursday nights we spend the evening fellowshipping over dinner. We sing and pray with a few other people from our church. This has been very challenging in a lot of ways because, as I said before, building brand new relationships (especially praying with new friends!) can be uncomfortable. But there really is nothing like singing ” good good father” in a living room amongst other believers. It can’t be beat.

And lastly on Sunday mornings we spend on the worship team and my wife sings in the choir. I’ve found I enjoy playing bass more than guitar, but it’s still fun either way. My wife also plays the flute quite wonderfully and many people have been edified by her talent.

Sunday evening is student lifegroup. It’s sort of a more intense youth group, with added small groups at the end for accountability and encouragement.

As of now, that’s what we’ve been up to for the most part, be praying for us as we move forward in life and marriage and seek what God may have for us!

A Great Snowfall

This morning consisted of waking up (after a long night of Netflix with my wife) to around two feet of snow on the ground. As someone winter-654442_1920.jpgoriginally from Vermont, now in Virginia, this actually comes as a pleasant “surprise” coating the world with a clean white covering that makes everything feel fresh and new.

After breakfast we went to dig my car out, which was conveniently blocked by around four feet of plow-compacted snow.

As much as my Subaru has been a handful at times, I’m certainly grateful for the all-wheel-drive system. After we cleared the snow she pulled out quite nicely.

I then commenced to drive over to Home Depot and tested my emergency brake in the parking lot just to “make sure it worked”. After my brief fun I purchased a shovel and scraper and my wife and I helped out a young lady who didn’t have a shovel. She wasn’t there to witness our help, but we were grateful to be able to help either way.

Because we’re temporarily at an apartment complex, everyone was out shoveling. So it felt a lot like one big community effort to get rid of the snow. We stayed out shoveling until about noon and went in for some lunch.

After eating, we drove over to our IMG_20160124_132357.jpgstorage unit (which of course wasn’t plowed, pictured) to grab my work boots for my first day on Monday. We then went back to Home Depot to pick up some gloves and sun/safety glasses to prepare for work.

At three we headed over to the apartment clubhouse where we played some pool and watched the AFC championship game (yeah, Broncos!).

Now I’m nervously anticipating the first day at my new job. I’m not even nervous about the work. I’ll enjoy maintenance and construction, It’s just that I have no idea what to expect or what I can look forward to.

I’m sure we can all relate to pre-job anxiety, but I know that God will provide what I need to be content in all circumstances. I’ll be sure to update you all this Tuesday on my experience and impressions!

How much snow did you get?


A Job, a Church, and a Possible Apartment!

I went for a job interview yesterday for a construction company. Things went pretty well and I got a call-back that afternoon letting me know i was hired and to come and get forms to fill out. So i drove back and got everything i needed. I start Monday!

Rachel is still looking for work, she’s applied to Target and tax-468440_1920.jpgPetco as of today, so hopefully we’ll get a hit on that soon.

Our car is going to be (finally) done getting fixed and inspected, so it’ll be great to have a vehicle again!

Besides filling out pages and pages of paperwork (and of course gathering our tax information from VT and PA) we’ve been looking into an apartment nearby.

It’s a nice little place, I’ll be submitting our application today due to me finding a job. So that’s exciting! If we manage to get it, I’ll be sure to post pictures.

Also, we’ve found a nice Church in a nearby town. It’s a biblical Baptist Church called “Ridgeview Baptist”. The doctrine is solid and leadership welcomed us with genuine interest. So we’re thinking this may be our Church!

summit-cross-225578_1920.jpgIt’s quite scary to start a new life in a new area, but I know God will work in our lives and hearts and show us what we’re passionate about and hopefully after we pay off this student loan debt, we’ll pursue what God has for us vocationally.

For now, we’ll do our best to Glorify God right where we are, and see what He does with it.

Two Ways We View Gender Roles

As a Christian who’s married, I see the extreme importance of gender roles and understanding them. Obviously I come at this issue from a Christian perspective, myself being a complimentarian.

So what is a complimentarian? In my marriage it means that my wife and i have distinct roles we play that are equal but different from one another. For instance I believe biblically Elders are to be men. Women are certainly able and in many (if not most!) cases more gifted then men, but God specifically highlights that men are who are to be elders in the church and primary leaders in the home.

This view of course does not give men the permission to be harsh with their wives because of some misguided power-trip (Col 3:19). This means they lay down their lives in loving, leading service to their wives and children. In the same way this doesn’t mean women are worthless “kitchen-workers”,  but rather they hold the incredibly valuable role of wife and discipler of her children.

Also, this doesn’t mean women aren’t gifted by the Holy Spirit in the area of discipleship, leadership, and teaching. In contrast God used and uses women to reach the world for Jesus Christ and to disciple other women who are already in Christ!

So, don’t say that i as a complimentarian have a low view of women. I married one, and she’s fantastic.

Another view point held by some Christians is the “Egalitarian” viewpoint. From my experience, this view says men and women have equal responsibilities and roles. Men don’t necessarily hold the burden of leading and making the final decision on things, and in some cases women may lead as elders.

Now, I don’t have personal experience with this point of view or with a church that holds to it. To be fair, if you’re interested in some “misconceptions” on this view, see this link for details.

[DISCLAIMER I by no means recommend or endorse RHE and obviously, if you read the article, come to different conclusions on gender roles.]

Anyhow, these are two “sub” worldviews that fall within scripture. Obviously not a salvific issue, but certainly an extremely important one if we wish our homes and marriages to be run Biblically.

So what side do you fall on? Complimentarian? Egalitarian? A little of both?

I’d love to see some comments! Thanks for reading!