Friday, August 31, 2012

The "D" Word

What's the "D" word, you ask?

I've always considered it a nasty, vulgar word that implies a lower form of being and existing. It was only to be used by those who lacked the creativity and imagination to use and live better words. There were a whole host of things I would rather have been described by before someone used the "D" word to talk about me.

Oh yeah,the word?


I know, I know. Shriek in horror. But I wrote it down. Just look at it, even if you can only glance for a moment before recoiling in horror. Here it is again:


But as 2012 progresses, I feel God laying this one word on my heart and life over and over. He is calling me to be a person of discipline. I think I'm starting to understand the reason.

I love to dream. And I feel called to BIG things. But I never quite know how to get there. Most of the time, I hope it will just magically happen. But it doesn't.

For example, I like to write. I think I may even have a book in me someday. But blogging 5 times a year was not making me a better writer. I am hoping that writing 5 times a week and reading about/practicing will make me a better writer.

Being disciplined to stay the course and write, even on days when I feel uninspired or too tired or..., is somewhat of a new adventure to me. Here's why:

The trick with discipline is to do it routinely, not in spurts. And this is hard for me. I like immediate gratification. If you give me the choice of traveling 1200 miles in a car in a day and arriving somewhere miserably tired and worn out vs. taking 2 or 3 days and feeling well rested, I will ALWAYS choose 1 day. Why would I want it to take longer?

But God is showing me the beauty of discipline. The beauty of the long, slow march in a single direction. He is showing me that my true creativity comes out of me when I am disciplined to be consistent.

Next thing you know I will be shaving regularly or something...

What benefits do you find in discipline? Where do you need discipline?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

United Airlines is not my Friend


I need some help.

As many of you know, I recently had an awesome travel experience with United Airlines. (Read about it here.) It included being sent to an airport (Lima, Peru) that had no chance of getting us to our final destination. 13 of us hung out in that airport for 32 hours before being given seats back to the US, not Bolivia. Although our trip turned out pretty awesome, United's service was terrible. And now they will not refund our money. In fact, they will not even talk to me. And that is not right or just.

So here is what I need:
Email ( email isn't working, it seems to bounce back to people, 
it doesn't do that for me. I guess fax or snail mail or the options. Frustrating) or fax (713-324-1431) or snail mail (Customer Care United Airlines 900 Grand Plaza Drive NHCCR Houston, TX 77067-4323United with the following words:

Re: REQUEST ID:14128358
Dear Customer Refund Services,
I am writing to ask you about the refund request submitted by Jesse Blasdel on behalf of 13 ticket holders. I would appreciate your prompt response to his request and ask that you refund him the cost of their tickets($20311.42), the cost of 10 yellow fever shots ($113/each=$1130) that were obtained just for this trip and compensation for their baggage that has not yet been returned. I would also ask for future travel vouchers for each traveler. 

If you are unfamiliar with this case, here is a link ( the letter Jesse wrote to initially request the refund. Please do not contact me about this problem. Please contact Jesse to resolve this problem and make right your companies errors.


Your name here

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Proverbs 11:2
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
Oh pride. We have a love-hate relationship. I love you because I love to be reminded how awesome I am. Or how awesome I think I am. I hate you because you help me believe the lie that it is all about me instead of Jesus.

Every time that I start to listen to you, the line between people worshiping God and worshiping me gets a little blurred. The difference between the work of the Holy Spirit in a students life and my own wisdom and great pastoring skills get a little fuzzy in my own mind. 

You give me a wonderful warm fuzzy. Thanks. Now stop it.

Because I know. 

It's. All. A. Lie.

You don't love me. Not like Jesus does. You are not my hope and my future. Jesus is. I know you will stick around and keep whispering lies about how amazing I am. But I know the truth. Beauty and awe in a created thing brings glory to the creator, not the creation. And so I will do my best to not listen to your lies. 

If it's about me, then it's not about Jesus. And if it's not about Jesus, it's about nothing. 

"Give me Christ, or else I die."

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


As a note, I am typing this one-handed while my week-old daughter. So even though it won't take you any longer to read, please know it took a while to type!

Proverbs 1:20-33
Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square;
on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech:
“How long will you who are simple love your simple ways?
How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?
Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you,
I will make known to you my teachings.
But since you refuse to listen when I call
and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand,
since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke,
I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you;
I will mock when calamity overtakes you —
when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind,
when distress and trouble overwhelm you.
“Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me, since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord.
Since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke,
they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”
I think this passage is interesting because Wisdom states that it is waiting to be found by us. That she calls aloud and makes herself known to humanity, but many will choose not to listen. But when the hard times of life come, wisdom will mock us for not choosing to get to know her when times were easy.

Wisdom must be found before disaster strikes. It is meant to keep you out of trouble, not get you out of it! We have a tendency as humans to seek the "right way" or wisdom only when our way quits working. Listening to and gaining Godly wisdom means you have the ability to approach situations well and with Godly insight rather than human insight.

The great thing about wisdom is that it is available to you. Ask God for it. Listen to older men and women who have it. Ask questions, listen to answers, assume you always still have a lot to learn from everyone.

Where in life do you need wisdom right now?

"Give me Christ or else I die!"

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Wonderings (or Wanderings)

I wonder if Langley will sleep 5 hours in a row every night. That was awesome last night. Sleep is glorious.
I wonder if God is as proud of the youth band as I am for the great job they did leading worship. Seriously, we made changes to songs between services and they went right along and nailed every change. 
I wonder if my siblings and I will all celebrate 35 years of marriage like my parents are doing this next weekend. I hope so. I pray for it. And we obviously have a great example to follow. God be with us.
I wonder if the newspaper will pay for our mailbox. I really hope so. My faith in companies is at an all time low with no refunds for plane tickets in sight and being told nothing can be done about my bag by American, even though it is in Bolivia and has been found. Frustrating. Or maybe it would be good for me to just completely lose trust in all of corporate America... I don't know. But I do need a mailbox. And the Hutch News will either pay for it out of their own pocket or by losing our subscription fee so we can pay for it.
I wonder if it makes me an "old man" that we subscribe to the paper. It's the easiest way to follow high school sports and see when students get mentioned. 

What do you wonder today? Leave a comment below!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Brownie Love

Last night my Aunt Cindy and my cousin Shanae brought us dinner. It was wonderful. But it did bring up an issue in my mind about an important topic that I think tends to get swept under the rug in the name of "unity". But true unity means leaning into our differences and loving each other anyways.

The issue is, how can anyone think the center part of a pan of brownies is better than the edges? Shanae (my cousin) made wonderfully good brownies, but there was still a center. It's just all soft. No texture or definition. Just kinda mush. The edge, however, has a delightful chewiness to it that compliments the deep chocolate flavor perfectly.

In most places in my life I can handle opposing viewpoints, but with brownies, there is a definite right and a definite wrong. Middle lovers, you should be ashamed that you are so easily dissuaded from my obviously correct viewpoint. To better understand how many of you have turned the wrong way in your brownie eating, I have created a poll. Please vote below.

Also, if you call yourself a follower of Jesus, I would imagine this is how ridiculous most of the theological debates look to the rest of the world. We debate Jesus without showing him in all his beauty to the rest of the world. This may upset some, but people need Jesus, any little glimpse of him, more than they need right doctrine. Check out John 17:20-23. It calls us to unity. I think we can find that with our differences intact. I KNOW we can. /end serious note about ridiculous blogpost.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Potential vs. Reality

As a person who works with students, I spend a LOT of my time looking for potential in people. I ask questions like, "What is this student gifted at?", "What has God made inside them that they haven't found yet?", "How do help students discover the gifts God has/is put in them?" And I ask these questions knowing that I will often not see the answers come while the students are in junior and senior high. 

I work on potential. What could be. 

But in some parts of my life, potential turns into reality. Beautiful. The waiting ends and I see the goodness and love of God poured out. Potential can turn into reality like this:

God is good!

"Give me Christ or else I die!"

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Wonderings (or Wanderings)

I wonder if this baby girl is ever going to come out!

I wonder what would happen if every Christian in Hutch spent $10 to provide food for someone who is hungry and doesn't have enough money this week.

I wonder what God is getting ready to do in downtown Hutch.

I wonder if I will ever really get rid of things like pride and being super judgmental. I hope so. 

I wonder if our pond is going to dry up. We're getting closer and closer. That would make me very sad.

I wonder if my neighbors are annoyed that my front yard hasn't been mowed in over 6 weeks. To be honest, I don't really care at all.

I wonder if that makes me a bad neighbor.

I wonder why my least viewed post from last week was the one giving a prayer. C'mon people. That's what we need the most.

I wonder if students miss having me at an event as much as I miss being at events when I'm off. This is probably about that sneaky pride again. It's hard to be proud of something you didn't really plan and you for sure didn't lead. That it was "awesome" on facebook doesn't give my ego the normal boost. I hate that boost. And I crave it. Dang.

What do you wonder today?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Prayer for the Day

into your hands I entrust my body, 
and spirit 
and this entire day 
– morning, 
and night. 
Whatever you want of me, 
I want of me, 
falling into you 
and trusting in you 
in the midst of my life. 
Into your heart I trust my heart, 
unto you I abandon myself 
in Jesus our Lord. Amen.” 

- Brennan Manning from Ruthless Trust

Thursday, August 16, 2012

1st Grade!

Today the twins start 1st grade! Enjoy some before school photos:

Grant me wisdom to raise these kids. Help me to know how to love and challenge them. Above all, make me a good steward of your love to them. Thanks for giving me awesome kids. Amen.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Freedom in Discipline

For the first six months of the year I chose to not follow sports. I didn't watch them, I didn't read about them, I didn't check scores. The exception was if I watched with somebody else, in community. So I did watch the Superbowl and the Jayhawks in the NCAA tournament. With the Olympics I have started to watch a bit of sports again, and I keep finding things out.

Like that the Nuggets traded Nene because he was too expensive even though they had just given him his new contract a couple months before. That's ridiculous. Or that the Rockies have decided to quit being a baseball team and gear up for volleyball or accounting or something. And the Broncos signed this Peyton guy. I hope he's good. (I did have a friend that texted me all about that as it was happening, so I was sorta in the loop, but minus all the reaction from people who get paid to yell about sports.)

Why did I do this? Discipline. I lack it a lot. As I get older, I realize I need, a lot. And not for me so much as so that I don't waste my life on ESPN or anything that God isn't calling me to. And so I went sports dark, just to see if I could. To be honest, my goal was one year, but I felt like 6 months was accomplishing the goal, I could make a big decision that was a big change and stick to it!

So, what has come from it? I have made more choices that are based in being disciplined. I have one of those jobs that can and will overtake the rest of my life. I am attempting to be more disciplined at work to give more time to my family at home. I will talk more about how I'm doing that in the next couple days. I will say, that I have found great freedom in being more disciplined, which drives me crazy as a person who loves freedom and therefore always pushed away discipline. Oh well, I'm learning now.

Where in your life do you need more discipline?

"Give me Christ or else I die!"

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I love prayers of blessing. I love to read them. I love to pray them over people. I think it is a powerful thing that we can pray gifts from God into peoples lives. In Romans 15:5-6 and 13 there a two short blessings.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Who can you pray these for and over today? And leave a comment how I can pray a prayer of God's blessing over you!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Wondering (or Wandering..)

I wonder if my baby girl is going to make her appearance soon. I'm really excited to meet her.

I wonder if the Broncos will be good this year. I care less and less about team sports as I get older. That still means I care WAY too much about the Broncos.

As the twins start school again this week, I wonder who they will be friends with. And I pray for their friends. I confess that my kids choosing friends at school is one of the scariest things so far as a parent for two reasons: 1. Sometimes I thought I didn't have any real friends, what if they experience that? and 2. What if they choose bad friends?

I wonder where I left my guitar capo. I had one capo for 13 years. It broke two months ago and I bought a new one. It's been lost for 3 weeks. Frustrating.

I wonder how many snakes are in my backyard. I haven't mowed in an embarrassingly long time. The grass is long, I know the snakes are out there just waiting for me.

I wonder if some students hearts at youth group have chosen Jesus yet. I long for them to choose him. I wish I could choose him for them. But I can't, so I will keep teaching about Jesus and praying for them.

What do you wonder about today?

"Give me Christ or else I die!"

Friday, August 10, 2012

Living Sacrifices

Romans 12:1-
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship.  
In the church today we have a lot of definition problems. I think we steal the meaning from lots of great, simple words. Words like "church" or "minister" or "awesome" or "prayer".

We most certainly do this with worship. Worship has come to be defined as the music that happens during the large group gatherings on the weekend. And we say to worship all week, but the experience we offer leads people to view K-Love as their best option for worship during the week. (I'm not saying anything bad about K-Love! I don't want to get all riled about it right now. Maybe later.)

But Romans 12:1 gives us a different picture. It says worship has nothing to do with stages or cool music (or organs or hymnals). It says that your worship is everything that you do with your body. 


So when you brush your teeth, do it for God. (I don't know how to do that, so maybe there is something bigger than "do it for Jesus")

I think the key to our understanding what this verse says about worship are the words "offer" and "sacrifice". 

The goal isn't "brushing our teeth for the Lord, hallelujah". The goal is to make yourself available to be used by God for his kingdom at every moment of the day. And then to obey when he puts opportunities in front of you.

How is God calling you to worship today?

"Give me Christ or else I die!"

Thursday, August 9, 2012

It's all for...


A good reminder for any and everyday, lest I begin to believe the lie that life is about me.

Romans 12:1-
TNIV: From him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
MSG: Everything comes from him; Everything happens through him; Everything ends up in him. Always glory! Always praise! Yes. Yes. Yes. 
"Give me Christ or else I die!"

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


As I have continued to process and think about the Youth Bolivia no wait... Panama no wait... Peru no wait... Houston no wait...Dallas trip(you can read about it here or here), I have wondered why God felt so powerfully present on this trip. This trip had students experiencing God in completely new ways. And not in "I had a new thought about how God loves me" new ways. More in the "Someone kept tapping me on the shoulder while we were praying and no was around me I think it was God" sort of ways. 

So, here is the conclusion I've come up with:
The power of almost Bolivia was not in being in Dallas instead of Bolivia. Or in being stuck in Panama and Peru. It was not in being the answer to the prayers of the people at YWAM. All those things were amazing in showing us God and helping us learn to love one another, but they were not "it". It was in our desire to be wholly obedient to God's call in our lives during the trip. Over and over I heard students say things like, "If God doesn't want us in Bolivia, then I don't want to be in Bolivia" and, "God must have something awesome for us somewhere else!" Students desired to see where God wanted them and to go there with all that they had.

Too often, I think we tell God where we will be and expect him to show up there.

Don't get me wrong, he can show up anywhere he pleases! But what if we spent more time listening to his voice and seeking to be obedient to his plan rather than asking him to be obedient to our plan?

What if all of life was lived as an Almost Bolivia mission trip? What if we lived with the desire to be wholly obedient to God's call?

Where is God asking you to obey him?

"Give me Christ or else I die!"

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


My wife is very pregnant. 

It feels like the due date for our little girl should have already come and gone, but we still have ten days. When you first find out you're having a baby, you feel like nine months is quite a while to get ready, but ten days would seem much too short. Right now, ten days seems like an eternity!

I am ready to meet this little girl that will change my life in ways that I can't even begin to imagine. I can't wait to hold her and kiss her and say her name. I can't wait for her brother and sisters to meet her and hold her for the first time.

I can't wait...

And it's not impatience, it's more of an excitement that overwhelms all other things right now. I've been thinking about this feeling and how it translates into following Jesus.

How often do I show up to my life (not just church or youth group or bible study- all of life because it's all God's) like it is some sort of obligation I'm fulfilling? It is an easy way to live life. You check things off of a list and make sure everything gets done.

But God calls us to live with a holy excitement and expectation for what he is doing in our world! He calls us to live life the way he intended for it to be, FULLY!
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
                                                                -Jesus (John 10:10)
He is at work in our world! And he wants us to join in his work! God, the creator and savior of the world, calls us to be a part of his redemption work. That should have us jumping out of our skin with excitement waiting to see what God will do next. 

Don't believe the lies of the world that following Jesus drags you down or is full of rules or makes you judgmental or requires whatever. Go listen to Jesus! He says that the best version of life that is available to you now or for eternity is found in him! So watch and wait and then jump into whatever he is doing wherever you are.

And little girl, you can come out now!

"Give me Christ, or else I die"

Sunday, August 5, 2012

No Pain No Gain

I have been thinking lately about our dislike in America (particularly the church) for anything that makes us uncomfortable. We look for things all the time that make life easier. Or protect us. Or keep things that scare us far away. And we do all this because it's normal. It's wired into our brains to protect ourselves. But following Jesus means we must embrace the abnormal.

We have to think with the mind of Christ. 

Here's what the Bible says about suffering:
Romans 8:17-  Now if we are children, then we are heirs —heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

John 16:33- In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.- Jesus

We are not called to give up, but we are called to embrace suffering and know that God has a plan that is greater than our suffering.

Romans 8:28- And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Also, this is suffering in the name of Christ. Not things like not having A/C in your car during a Kansas summer. That is suffering, just a different kind. Also, having to eat at certain restaurants or not buy certain brands or shop at certain stores does not equal suffering. Ask a Christian who lives in China or another persecuted country where you can be imprisoned or killed for proclaiming Jesus about suffering.

And then shift your perspective and get after Jesus with everything you have.

"Give me Christ or else I die!"

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chick-fil-a and My Enemies

Apparently God has stirred something up in me this morning, because I feel the need to dust off the old blog! I post this today to challenge us to be drawn to prayer and deep thought. NOT to start some sweet old fashioned internet hate and anger. If you disagree with me, ok. Let's just disagree without throwing e-punches and fighting dirty.

As I've sat and watched the Chik-fil-a saga with growing weariness and frustration at every turn, I have been wondering about the response of the Church. Not of pastors or buildings, but of those who call themselves Christians. 

Maybe I should further clarify that to conservative, traditional marriage, chicken loving Christians.

Why is anyone who is in Christ up in arms over Chick-fil-a? Why is it a question of our freedom? Last I checked, it is Christ, not our government that has set us free (Galatians 5:1-It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.) My government can remove any right they want. It doesn't mean it's fair or that I like it. But it does not affect my freedom. Christ, and he alone, has loosed me from the yoke of slavery to the law and given me freedom.

A few more thoughts:
The Bible seems fairly clear to me on two things in this whole mess. 
1. How we are to treat our enemies:
Romans 12:17-21-

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

I think that says we should love our enemies and in so doing we show them Christ and help bring them toward repentance. Nothing about eating delicious chicken sandwiches as a form of protest. What if we we used all that chicken money today to love an "enemy"? What if we bought them lunch at a neutral (and local!) restaurant and had a conversation where we seek to hear them? Not the noise around it all or the media, but them. Their heart, their mind. I know it seems risky, but it is the call of Scripture.

2. The real enemy is not those who seek to change the definition of marriage.
Ephesians 6:12-
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities,against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Satan is not going to give up today because of the mass amount of chickens that are eaten. In fact, I think he celebrates that today we use chicken rather than love to try and show Jesus. 


They may in fact be people that God has given you the opportunity to love. And to show the hope of the cross to. Satan and the powers of this world are where our battle lies. Don't believe for a second that it is drawn along lines of conservative/liberal, pro-gay law/anti-gay law, KU/KSU. It may feel like those are the important battles, but it is a great lie of Satan to get us to forget our first love, Christ, and his call to love.

Let our call today, and everyday, as those who love Jesus be, "Give me Christ, or else I die!" 

Or we can choose poultry to fight the wrong battle against the wrong enemy.