Reconcile Collective

26 Sep: True Beauty

My love, If there is one thing I would love for you to know today on your birthday, it is how beautiful you are. When I say you’re beautiful, I don’t mean some kind of surface-level attractiveness that just catches your eye. Although you are fine as all outside, I mean something so much more and deeper. When I say you’re beautiful, I’m talking about beauty that has depth. The kind of depth that pours everything out for her family. From creating and caring for a home that loves so well that even strangers feel welcomed to taking on tasks that help provide for every need we could ever have, your beauty resounds with depth that could take a lifetime to explore. When I say you’re beautiful, I’m talking about beauty that has scars. Scars that tell the story of a girl who endured evil and pain no child should…

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25 Sep: Now I See

Good morning family. I want to take an opportunity to speak with clarity and directness to the cultural climate I believe we are finding ourselves navigating in this moment of time…… As a pastor and follower of Jesus Christ, God has called me to be an ambassador for His kingdom. What that means is that, once I placed faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord, I became a citizen of a new home and am supposed to demonstrate, in life and deed, what it is like to be a resident of that place. Jesus came to Earth and gave His life so that we might all be freed from the eternal bondage that sin had waged upon our souls, the very essence of who every one of us are. Our faith freed us from the curse of sin and made us alive in Christ, establishing us as a new people…

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24 Sep: One Nation, Indivisible

A few moments from our family’s heart….. A couple of weeks ago, my family traveled back to my hometown for my granddaughter’s 2nd birthday party. As we drove into those familiar surroundings, we encountered a rally that been organized to try and save the confederate monument in front of the courthouse. This is the same monument that inspired my blog post a few weeks ago. As we circled around and I listened to the chants of those who desperately want to save that statue and those who were counter protesting across the street, I was stirred deep in my soul by emotions of anger and frustration. I have my own personal views and beliefs when it comes to racism and its deep roots in the psyche of us as Americans. But the images and sounds I experienced on a day that was meant to be joyful reminded me of something…

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16 Sep: Mercy

So I struggled for a while after I surrendered my life completely to Christ. I struggled with the knowledge of all of the time I wasted being selfish, all the times I hurt family and friends with my sinful actions, and the times I could have made a stand for my Savior and didn’t. You see, even though I felt the love and mercy of God in my life at that moment, this idea of His grace and mercy extending to all of my past transgressions was not resonating in my heart. There would be times that I see people I cared about struggling in their personal lives and couldn’t help but feel this sense of shame that I had helped contribute to their problems instead of speaking life into and helping them. You know who else I believe felt like this? Peter If you remember, Peter and his brother…

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13 Sep: Spheres of Influence

Have you ever wondered what on Earth you are doing? You know, those moments when you just kind of take stock of your life and say, “This isn’t what I had in mind. How did I get here?” I have thought to myself, on many occasions throughout the years, this same thing. I was very positive at an early age that by the time I was 39 years old(which would be now), I would be in the twilight of my professional baseball career. The problem with that is I didn’t have the drive, the self-determination, or the passion to put in the necessary work to give myself that shot. So instead of possibly gearing up for the stretch run heading into the playoffs every September, I found myself writing policies for my mother’s insurance agency where I worked. Now, I would need to write a novel to accurately go through…

30 Aug: Confession

I know this post was supposed to be the next part of Purpose.  That was what I had planned. But then my wife Brandy and I had a conversation last night about my writing and she challenged me with some hard truth.   So I sat at the computer for 3 hours, blank page and alone in my thoughts.   I spoke to God and I wrestled internally.   What comes forth is an open confession…   I mask the insecurities I have inside with a disposition of pleasing people.  It is a defense mechanism designed to keep me from feeling any tension of conflict.  And when the moments of real, raw honesty spring forth, my mind over-corrects and sprints back to appeasement.   I have always known this in my life.  Even though I didn’t always recognize it or want to acknowledge it, it has been there.  I often…

29 Aug: Purpose

Purpose.  It is what every one of us lives for.  Every one of us woke up today with that thing residing in our gut that drives us to do what we do.  It is most likely what you are thinking of when your feet hit the floor out of the bed and when you pick them up to lay it down at the end of the day. Some of us know exactly what it is and some of us are trying to discover it’s true identity.  We are constantly moved to make the decisions that will bring it to our fingertips, desperate to feel its comfort inside of our grasp. There is a perfect explanation for this actually…..you were created for a purpose. Every human being on this planet. No matter your gender, socio-economic status, race, culture, sexual orientation, or occupation….all of us were created for the same purpose. My…

24 Aug: Silence

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Silence is one of the most versatile states of being there is.   On one hand, it can be a place of incredible peace and rest.  Have you ever had a season of life where it felt like you were burning the candle at both ends?  Or how about the holiday seasons when you are entertaining your entire family, close friends, or both? When all of the busyness stops and the last guest leaves, the first breath of silence can bring a sense of refuge and calm to our tired, weary souls. In the pain of deep hurt or loss, a moment of silence has the ability to cut through the noise to help us remember and focus our hearts on deep love and wonderful memories. Silence…

23 Aug: Monuments

The town I grew up in has been in the news over the last few days. They are dealing with the conflict over a Confederate soldier monument in front of the historic courthouse.  Prominently displayed as you travel south into town, I often saw the monument but never paid it much thought. The fight over whether or not to remove the monument has stirred up visceral reactions in many people I have known my whole life.  Being from a small town, you tend to know people and share a commonality of proximity and experience. It has been painful to watch friendships and relationships turn bitter and vitriolic because of this monument. This struck me as I began writing this series of posts because I realized the power of monuments.  I once read monuments say something about what people believe, what they value, what they uphold, what they honor and cherish,…

22 Aug: Remorse

I remember the first moment I was confronted with racism in my own life.  Not the first time I had witnessed it, but the first time it personally affected me. I was in the seventh grade and we had just finished eating dinner.  My parents asked my brothers to leave so they could talk to me privately.  Instantly, I began wondering what I was in trouble for. There were so many things going through the mind of a 12 year old boy that could have been the cause for this sit down. I vividly remember sitting across the table from my parents and hearing my mom say, “So I hear you have a new girlfriend.” In my mind I said, “Wait.  How does she know that? We just became official today.” She was an eighth grader. She played basketball for the school, just like me.   And she was black. My…