Looks can be quite deceiving. 18 years ago, I was maintaining a very successful Christian blog. It was centered around daily Bible reading, along with learning the Christian faith. Think of an Alpha class at a church, followed by classes that grew more advanced as the students gained in knowledge. This wasn’t me trying to present the Christian faith to the world. This was me, in real-time, learning the faith.
I was a baby Christian with a .com blog, not just some GeoCities or Bloglines account. It looked more authoritative with my own name and my own template on it. Not to mention that it was one of few websites out there that had no advertising whatsoever. It looked like a resource for Christians, and as one controversy or another came up I would learn what I could about it and share my thoughts on there.
To say I was in over my head is an understatement. But I developed an audience. That audience never knew that I was an abused husband who would wait until his wife went to bed to begin both reading and writing about the faith. It truly is a bad existence to live with a contentious wife. I sat at a desk covered in junk food wrappers in a spare bedroom, my wife and son both asleep, a cigarette hanging out of my mouth. It’s not that I was living a lie. In reality, I was projecting the truth within me that the outside hadn’t yet caught up to.
My blog and the contacts that I made got me invited to attend pastoral conferences, both for Desiring God and also for Grace to You. I got to know men who I had way too much respect for and even got to see them behind the scenes, which was eye opening to be sure. I still call Tim Challies my friend, though we don’t converse the way we did back then. No hard feelings on that. I am the one who fell off the face of the earth when the abuse in my marriage hit a zenith. He had no idea.
I like to have a point when I write these things. I really do. But sometimes I just need to get a string of consciousness out there.
My reality is much better now. I live a stable life. I am now married to the beautiful Dayna, who I am still convinced is a unicorn. The junk food and smoking are both in the rearview mirror. I don’t hold myself to the schedule I once did. The lessons I learned have stuck with me. I have forgotten more deep theological matters than most people ever learn and yet continue to learn new things. I set most of these things aside when talking with other Christians.
The Ordo Saludis doesn’t spark much interest, nor do the Five Solas of the Reformation. That’s OK. Those topics belong in a discipling relationship, not just in a friendly one or a Life Group at church one. I disagree with that statement, but the other people I interact with don’t want those conversations. I think that’s sad. There are so many ways that understanding the deeper things can bless your outlook on life! Though I was living in misery before, I was able to rejoice at the wonder that God loved me!
I still want to go deeper and I want to do it with others. I want a disciple. I need one. I thought I had one by the name of Anthony. Anthony is a man we met at a Christian event. A Christian of four years after two decades in the LGBTQ+ community. He attended church with us and talked with me about how he is now navigating life. He has moved out of state and I miss him. He is a true brother in the faith and I pray that he finds a church who accepts him as he is and who reminds him that he is not as he was. Pray for Anthony.
I’m nearning the age of 50 now. In the grand scheme of things I’m in that “old man” category. I still feel young, though my joints would disagree with that assessment. It’s time for me to begin pouring into someone, or a few men. I am realistic. In a century nobody will know who I was. My legacy is defined by the generations. My own son has followed his mother. He barely acknowledges me. He has rejected the faith at this point in his life. I pray for his salvation.
But physical generations aren’t what I’m getting at. I believe in spiritual generations. Yes, I want to lead others to a saving faith in Jesus. Just as much, I want to take Christians where they are and advance their walk through what I have learned over the years. I want to be more of a disciple maker. I was on track to do just that until Covid separated the fearful. Now I want to pick up the pieces, even though the preexisting pieces are no longer available to me. If you followed me in November, you have seen the gist of what happened there.
I am in a new church with a new life group and no context to find people who want to go deeper in the knowlege of the faith. I intend to have a chat with the church about my desire to make disciples, both new and existing. Please pray for that conversation. I have battle scars and can speak in a wide range of categories now. I have a lot to offer to the next generation of Christians, and they can then transfer to the generation after them. In Christ, you are not limited to your children. You can have multiple generations of diciples! That is my desire.
I was supposed to be writing about the first chapter in Supernatural, so I think this post has gone on quite long enough. Christianity has not made life any easier. It has made it more meaningful though. Before, I was a husband and a father in a situation that was destined for revival or failure. There was no middle ground. My delight was to be recognized as a theologian. Now I am grateful to be a disciple who longs to make disciples.
2 Timothy 2:1-2 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.