God’s Not Dead and Neither Am I

Hello, everyone.

Again you’ve caught me in an extended hiatus from blogging. Everything’s fine. Going quite well, in fact. I’ve just stepped back to consider what I want this blog to accomplish and how to go about it. But I will be resuming posts – this Thursday, I’ve decided. And I’m posting that as self-accountability – now that I’ve publicly set a date, I have to meet it.

If you’ve left a comment on my blog in the past couple months, thank you. I’m grateful. I’ll do my best to go through and catch up this week. I hope you swing by again, generous followers.

“I thank my God every time I remember you.” – Philippians 1:3

 

Christmas is Bigger Than Your Opinion Of It

Rewritten for the sake of…well, not letting it remain an awkward, stumbling piece of literature like it was the first time. Feeling a lot more excited about it now.

Brandon J. Adams

catIt was on a December 27th (long enough ago that I got the news over a corded phone) that my family was ending.

At least the blow waited until after the 25th, but is there really ever a “good time” for such things?

The result was a double whammy for Christmas. Not only was the month now historically connected with tragedy in my mind, but every family gathering since has screamed its ongoing incompleteness. The count in the room is always short.

Others have similar stories (and I’ve heard a lot worse). Christmas has a way of reminding you of what you’ve lost, or never had to begin with. A brief week of sanity before going back to the grind, fear, and disappointment.

So I’m the last person to tell anyone to “just get over it and celebrate”. The Bible defends our grace-given ability to approach God with our pain…

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6 Pieces of Advice for the Christian Joining the Military

Brandon J. Adams

CENTCOM CoCSo, you’re signing on the dotted line.

First thing I’d say is, thank you. Good decision. You’ve either got a lot of guts, a lot of devotion, or a lot of trust in God to be joining the armed forces. Or some combination of all three.

I served a four-year tour in the Air Force. It was all stateside, the only really notable aspect being that it took place in the immediate post-9/11 world. Over a decade since my separation, I still vividly remember the lessons – how they equipped me for the future and simultaneously cast a pall over my track record. I have regrets from those days that the grace of God is still chipping off.

So I humbly ask for your ear now, because I want you to do better than I did. Here is the advice I’d give for surviving military life.

1. Learn to admit…

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“Your Prayer is Awaiting Moderation”

Brandon J. Adams

waiting“Your post is awaiting moderation” is something we bloggers see a lot.

When we comment on someone else’s blog, depending on their settings, our comments have to wait for their approval before they’re displayed.

Ever felt like your prayer is awaiting moderation? in heaven? For, like, decades?

Prayers have four answers: Yes, wait-then-yes, no, wait-then-no. In descending order of fun.

I once found it tempting to think that at least “wait” didn’t mean “no”. But I then found that…no, that’s not how it works. Sometimes he has us wait – for years – and then says no.

And that’s rough.

It’s one thing to get a “no” right off the bat. At least you can deal with it then, get past the disappointment. But years of waiting and then a no? It feels almost cruel. Hopes gotten up and then dumped.

We can dodge these unpleasant truths if we want…

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When God Shreds a Millennial

Brandon J. Adams

porkA few years ago, I stood in my church’s kitchen combing through massive chunks of steaming pork, to be sold heaped between buns as  a mission fundraiser.

As I coaxed the juicy meat into smaller chunks, I was disappointed.

I’d recently been pulled out of a couple ministry opportunities at my church. I’d been assured that it wasn’t about my heart or competence – just other things going on.

The struggle in my heart was real. Sin kept whispering at me, You wanted to do X and Y and here you are in the kitchen, holding a fork. The Spirit in me wasn’t that stupid. I knew it’s not about me. I knew ambition is unholy. And I was more than happy to be doing my part in the mission. But sometimes lies can feel overwhelming, especially in an incumbent climate of fear and self-criticism. A gale against a fragile…

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The Miracle in the Mirror

This is Mike’s best work. Amazing testimony of a self-determination expired and a life salvaged.

New Hope for Dry Bones

I started writing yesterday and I painted a pretty bleak picture. I used to sit around feeling sorry for myself that I had reached such a low place in my life. I was to the place the widow was, use up what was left and die.

From yesterday:

“So I went into Celebrate Recovery and I had nothing. I didn’t even have sticks to build a fire. I was starved and full of death. I was broken and beaten and empty. The extent of my journey has left me in pieces. I was trying desperately to pull them all together and make myself into something more than a pile of useless trash.

Then I was asked to share.”

I’m not writing to say that Celebrate Recovery is THE answer. It is merely where I found my answer and continue to find it every time I attend. God has many ways…

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Thankful For My Life – 12/26/02

Years ago, Interstate 10 tried to kill me. It had an accomplice…my own stupidity.

Fortunately, God was bigger than even that dynamic duo. And his deliverance left me wondering just how much room we have to complain to him over suffering.

Brandon J. Adams

Many of us speak of our first car with fondness. I am foremost among them, but not for the reasons you’d think.

It was the day after Christmas, 2002. I was driving my Dodge Intrepid down Interstate 10 from Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix, where I was stationed, to visit my grandfather in Tucson. A nap attack arrived – I swear it’s always around 1:35pm – and I figured I could fight the fatigue and keep driving. Older and wiser now, I advise thus: pull over and nap. It only takes twenty minutes to reset your body.

That day, somewhere north of Casa Grande, I nodded off. The freeway curved to the right; I did not. The rumble strips woke me up and I swerved hard right to correct – too hard. The back end of my Intrepid swung out left and took the rest with it. I remember only skidding into…

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