New Writing Series: Kingdom Concepts

hand-drawn-antique-crown_23-2147522073

Hey Everyone!  I will be writing a new series of posts called:

Kingdom Concepts:   Attributes of an Unseen Kingdom

Every so often I’ll be adding another piece articulating some of God’s kingdom as it’s found all around us here on earth.

hand_drawn_arrowYou can access these new pieces via the KINDGOM CONCEPTS tab to the upper right or on the side bar at the top left.

Love         (<— Check this one out!)
Character           (<— And this one!)
Covenant            (<— And this one!)
Family                  (<— And my latest)
Freedom        (<— Just added this!)
Santa                (<— Just put this up!)

Happy reading and Merry Christmas!

What! Your Walking 2,000 Miles?

“Over 2,000 miles,” Joel would add. 

img_4694

SUBSCRIBE TO VLOG

That’s right, Joel and I are making the preparations as we speak to embark on the trek of a lifetime.  And we’d love for you to come along and join us!  Joel will be vlogging our trek from his new YouTube channel you can subscribe to here: Joel Wanders.  If you want a preview of what vlogging the AT looks like you can check out RedBeard, Jacob Downing, or the married couple Hitched Hike as they make their way through the entire trail.

SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG

I also recently became a part a blogging community whose platform was recently called “Appalachian Trials” but has since just launched its new website called The Trek.  I am a part of the class of 2017 writers for next year’s hike.  Yes, people are already blogging about their upcoming hike next year, including me.  You can check out my first post HERE and my second one HERE.  If you want to subscribe to my blogging posts you can do that HERE.

We hope to keep this website updated with the progress of both.

img_4683

Appalachian Trail

For fact nerds like me here’s a little break down of the AT straight from Wiki:

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply the A.T., is a marked hiking trail in the eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine.[1] The trail is about 2,200 miles (3,500 km)[a] long, though the precise length changes over time as parts are modified or rerouted. The trail passes through 14 states: Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

The Appalachian Trail was completed in 1937 after more than a decade of work, although improvements and changes continue. It is maintained by 31 trail clubs and multiple partnerships,[2] and managed by the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, and the nonprofit Appalachian Trail Conservancy.[3][4] The majority of the trail is in forest or wild lands, although some portions traverse towns, roads and farms. The trail conservancy claims that the Appalachian Trail is the longest hiking-only trail in the world.[5]

At least 2 million people are said to do at least one day-hike on the trail each year.[6] Thru-hikers attempt to hike it in its entirety in a single season — more than 2,700 people thru-hiked the trail in 2014 — and some hike from one end to the other, then turn around and thru-hike the trail the other way, known as a “yo-yo”. Many books, memoirs, web sites, and fan organizations are dedicated to these pursuits.

The Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, and the Pacific Crest Trail form what is known as the Triple Crown of long–distance hiking in the United States.[7][8]

A Word of Warning

One thing you should expect to hear a lot about if you are brave enough to come with us on this adventure is gear.  If there is one thing this AT hiker subculture loves, its their hiking gear.  Countless hundreds of hours exist on YouTube and words on blogs of people reviewing, sharing and going over their gear.  By the way, keep your eye out for Joel and I’s gear review shortly!

img_4686

My Book is Coming Out!

1506430_10152108254222483_8858319740293444952_n

Hello Everybody! I realize some of you are my Facebook friends and have already heard the news but some of you aren’t so I’m happy to share that I just finished my first book that I will be publishing! I am using an amazing publishing on demand website called Createspace and it allows me to sell a paperback version of my book through Amazon!

Here’s another little preview I posted earlier that I will share with you below.

Screen Shot 2016-10-30 at 4.24.57 PM.png

I am excited for new things and I just wanted to invite you to be a part of my writing journey in a new way!  For all you internationals, living in Jordan I know how shipping can be a bit of a problem sometimes but we’ll see what we can do.  If amazon won’t ship to you I can when I return to the states in January of the new year.

To all our subscribers, thank for for following our journey and hopefully we will update you with more exciting writing news soon!  Blessings!

50 Conclusionary Thoughts (from life experience)

bddmvu4

  1. Salvation is not earned, it is a gift.
  2. God loves everyone more than we can fathom, not just a small group of religious people who earn special entitlement (still taught in the church today)
  3. The practice of spiritual gifts is not more important than the practice of love.
  4. Operating in power is not necessarily more powerful than operating in faithful love.
  5. Expression (creativity in any form) can be an act of worship and is free from failure because the purpose is in the expression.
  6. God can repair anything that appears unrestorable.
  7. God can carry you through something you can’t carry yourself through.
  8. God can make beauty from ugliness.
  9. Many of the most precious things in life never draw attention to themselves.
  10. Sometimes things that revolve around lots of attention are rooted in brokenness and unhealthiness.
  11. God cares more about our inward peace than our outward performances.
  12. Relationships based on expectation aren’t based on love.
  13. Different seasons of our lives can feel like completely different lifetimes and aren’t always meant to be resurrected once they’ve passed.
  14. God has the ability to keep me better than my ability to keep myself.
  15. God only is ever acting out of love towards me.
  16. I can always trust God completely, including with absolutely everything, right now.
  17. Money has never been a good enough reason to direct the course of my life.
  18. Risk on the side of courage, fearlessness, and failure rather than on the side of safety, self-protection, and the approval of others.
  19. God has never asked us to worry and never will.
  20. God lives extravagantly.
  21. God doesn’t love the church because she’s earned it.
  22. Lack of understanding is not cruel, it is freedom and a fertile land for growing trust.
  23. Remembering our forgiveness really can make any cloudy day bright.
  24. The most selfless people on the planet have the titles “Mom” and “Dad”.
  25. Everyone is worthy of love.  No matter their religion, location, looks, or titles.  No one has earned it.
  26. God really does know the intimate details of our lives.
  27. Some christian movements that have drifted into maintenance of works or divisive theology began with the strong, simple message of God’s love.
  28. Love listens.
  29. You are meant to enjoy being alive.
  30. God can take any negative influence in our life and make it a place of liberty and strength.
  31. Belief in Jesus is coming into the realization of the truth that he loves us.
  32. Being understood feels good but is largely inconsequential in life.
  33. All things are heading towards the unveiling of God’s goodness.
  34. Eliminating the desire and the need to control other’s words, actions, or choices is your first step towards loving them.
  35. The root of control is ultimately fear, not love.
  36. Nothing can replace the experience of God’s love in our lives.
  37. Your value in God’s eyes never had its origins in your perceived productivity in his kingdom.  He has already given you his love for free, not as a reward for works.
  38. God does not love in gradients or degrees, it is who he is.
  39. Feeling bad about something does not earn your forgiveness for it.
  40. God’s gift to humanity is people.  The people in our lives are a gift to us.
  41. Love is not motivated by fear.
  42. Your relationship with your family is more telling than the accolades of strangers.
  43. God created people to fall in love.  With him and with one another.
  44. Let yourself be happy.
  45. Let yourself change.
  46. You are really forgiven, live as such.
  47. Play is one of the secret weapons of living.
  48. God is good company if we let ourselves simply enjoy him.
  49. Yesterday and tomorrow have no right to steal from today.
  50. God helps us become friends with ourselves and helps us stay that way.

 

the-beauty-of-nature-003

Who God is Not

be-happy-017

God is not a feeling of rejection telling you you don’t measure up and just aren’t good enough

God is not the one who continually brings up your past accompanied by feelings of bitterness, regret or shame

God is not the one telling you you deserve to be treated poorly, with persistent difficulty and grief

God is not the one who has left you, abandoned you, is very close to giving up on you, and disqualifying you

God is not the one telling you you have never been good enough and never will be

God is not the one calling you fat, ugly, stupid, and unwanted

God is not the one causing you to fear and have anxiety and worry unto dread

God is not he one telling you you need to figure it out on your own and fix yourself up already

God is not the one who says everyone else has a right to dream but you shouldn’t waste the energy

God is not the one telling you you are too far gone, hardened, unloving, and dried up

God is not telling you to expect terror, collapse, hatred and violence

Abusers, cowards, and thieves deserve to be called out for what they are and the lies they perpetuate to steal joy, peace, love, and faith.  God gives empowerment, inner-peace, and love inwardly and outwardly.  His reign is indestructible, unmovable, unshakeable and seeks the liberty, freedom, and strength of each one of his children.

You do not have to tolerate any longer negative self-talk, destructive or discouraging ways of thinking, or anything that undermines your worth, your value, and your right to exist and succeed here today.  Liberty is yours my friend and anything less is a sham.

Peace and trust are two things so much more powerful than they are given credit for; they conquer and overcome all doubt, hesitation, uncertainty and whimpering.  They break apart fear, control and manipulation, and illusions of terror.  The word terror itself is the fear of something rather than anything that has substance in and of itself.  Peace is not passive.  Live apart from any enemy tolerated within your midst and TRULY LIVE.

Here and Now

Here’s the other little tidbit of thought redirection that has been taking place internally of late.  Of course we observe that so much regret involves the past and so much worry involves the future.  Neither of which we are really invited to control much.  Jesus says don’t worry about tomorrow and Paul says put yesterday behind you and look forward.  Another spectrum for me that my thoughts wander to other than time is location.  I’m thinking about what’s happening here or there, or with this person, or with that person and this can all be well and dandy but it can also be nothing to do with Life in my heart.

time-does-not-exist

So the phrase that I’ve been prompted to through song and just grace is “Here and Now.”  Are your thoughts engaged with here, meaning his presence with me and the people around me and the opportunities around me HERE??  And are my thoughts engaged with NOW, such as not things that already happened or things that could happen in the future that I don’t need to worry about, but are my thoughts on today NOW??

If my thoughts aren’t in one of those two place either here or now, they better be accompanied by feelings of excitement and joy otherwise my mind doesn’t have any business bringing my heart there again.

power-of-his-presence

Jesus and his presence and his goodness are with me HERE and with me NOW and will be with me wherever and whenever I get to those future times and places, even if they involve hard conversations dealing with things that have happened in the past.  He has my heart and those moments in his hands and is leading and living with me in kindness, strength and joy.  He really does want to experience the life and joy within the moments surrounding me and I accept his invitation to let go of control or fear or regret in exchange for trust and thanksgiving setting me up to engage with him HERE and NOW.

love has won