The Arising of the Warrior Bride  

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The purpose of the church is to do more than surviving. It is to serve, and to advance the Kingdom of Heaven against the powers of darkness enslaving humanity.   Continue reading

20 Seconds of Insane Courage!

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Do you find it difficult to take risks in life? Maybe you think things through too much, lose spontaneity & send possibilities into a black hole of obscurity or unknown space? Continue reading

A Slippery Slope

Here is my latest blog… even more thoughts about the current topics (are we tired of this yet?) Anyway, I welcome the discussion!

jeff wittmer

So, here we are sitting at the edge of this slippery slope into moral morass. Pondering where the latest “supreme” Court ruling will lead us as a nation. I don’t need to be “right” nor definitely do I want to be “left.” I just want freedom. I don’t want to just FEEL good about myself, I actually want to BECOME good. And I want love to fill my heart for ALL humans. (so help me God)

For me, it doesn’t come down to SEXUAL orientation, but HEART orientation. I long to see people set free. From sin, emotional bondage, pain & oppression of any kind. It still is about JESUS & what HE is offering. This isn’t about RELIGION or RULE keeping or about being RIGHT, its about RELATIONSHIP… with God. (if that matters)

To discover what it means to be TRULY HUMAN & ALIVE, the only one we can…

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A Birthday Blog

“Happy BIRTHday UnknownTO you… Happy Birthday TO you! Happy BIRTHday TO YOUuuu….”

Think about that… we almost try to will someone into happiness. It’s like we need to make a declaration over them inspiring them to be happy on the anniversary of the day the came forth screaming from their mothers warm body.

Today marks yet another anniversary since the day of my birth. It’s impossible to avoid this day. I will admit, I have been feeling a slight sense of trepidation the last few birthdays.

What ever happened to the days where your birthday was of such monumental importance that you actually counted down the days… “I’m twelve and a half, then I’ll be a teenager!” or “Yep, I just turned fifteen and a half… now, fifteen and three quarters then I’ll be able to get my driver’s license!”  On it goes until you are about… oh, say twenty-one when you can legally drink alcoholic beverages in public.  After that, I began counting the days to get senior discount prices at the Cinema on Monday evenings. (Actually, I’ve done that a few times but don’t tell the pimpled face kid taking the tickets who is always too distracted by the bouncy teenyboppers to care to check my ID. Wait, did I just say, “Teenybopper”? Ugh)

The birthdays keep coming like the cars of a freight train at the crossing as you watch with a mesmerizing stare. Unrelenting, they keep rolling by. I find myself trying to avoid acknowledging how many birthdays have passed. Like maybe, I can prevent aging by not fully accepting it’s a birthday. As I mentioned earlier, we repetitively sing, “HAPPY Birthday… to YOU” over and over, as if we are trying to will one into the pursuit of birthday bliss. Don’t worry, be happy! Then there are all the aging jokes that follow. There is always the cynic who begins with the chorus, “How OLD are You?” Ugh, stop already. I feel I try to hold off aging as diligently as Kevin McCallister warding off the villains from robbing his house in the movie, “Home Alone.” I’m trying all the tricks. So far, so good. But then again, Denial is more than a river in Egypt, it’s a gift.

Just about the time you’ve made peace with a certain age, Facebook reminds the whole world that you’ve clicked another year off being alive on this planet. Click. Click. Like the turnstile at an amusement park, the numbers keep adding up and you can’t return the way you came. Interesting enough, a turnstile is also known as a “baffle gate.” I am baffled at my resistance to aging yet at the same time, I am curiously at peace about it.

I am grateful however, that I’ve had the privilege of being alive all these years. More than merely existing, I have been, for the most part, FULLY alive. Like a virtual magic carpet ride, my memories drift to surreal images to years now faded like old photographs. I drift past moments of my past that I wish I had the power to make time stand still. In the words of Simone Weil, “There are only two things that pierce the human heart: beauty and affliction. Moments we wish would last forever and moments we wish had never begun.” I’ve had my share of both within which, carry a secret to the life we prize.  I linger there in my thoughts, circling like a humming bird, savoring sweet nectar. I smile at the moments realizing I had no idea they would eventually become known as, “The-Good-Old-Days.

Birthdays are times to pause, and to reflect. They give both measure and meaning to our years. We reflect on our growth, experiences and the people who have been players in our life’s story. Some, have been seasonal, and others, have been with us for what seems a life time. But all, for the most part have been with some significance.  I am reminded how my dad collected travel stickers from the places we visited during our summer vacations. The memories pasted, like badges of honor,  to the side windows of his wood panelled Chevy Caprice station wagon. I have many “stickers” carried deep in my soul from the places I’ve been and the people met along the way. For all of that, I am grateful.

I am trying to feel where this blog should go but alas, I have a birthday to celebrate. Let these words from John Eldredge’s book, The Journey of Desire, sum up my thoughts: “The meaning of our lives is revealed through experiences that at first seem at odds with each other – moments we wish would never end and moments we wish had never begun. Those timeless experiences we want to last forever whisper to us that they were meant to. We were made to live in a world of beauty and wonder, intimacy and adventure all of our days. Nathaniel Hawthorne insisted, “Our Creator would never have made such lovely days, and given us the deep hearts to enjoy them, above and beyond all thought, unless we were meant to be immortal.” 

At the end of the day, happiness is stirring deep within my heart. The love expressed by a good woman, my children and friends refreshes my soul like emotional oxygen. The contemplation of one’s birth and the significance of our lives for a “time such as this” recalibrates the soul. What if we had never been born? My Dad battled against his aging body and affects of cancer often said, “Jeff, don’t get old.” I understood why he said that. He was fearless however, as he faced the dying embers of a well-lived life. Yet, what is the alternative to growing old? Well, I’m not satisfied with dying young. There is so much more to experience. I want many more Happy Birthdays!

Do Sweat the Hard Stuff!

Richard Carlson tells us in the title of his wonderful little book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … and it’s all small stuff.” He goes on to remind us, and I whole heartily agree, that as you focus more on becoming more peaceful with where you are, rather than focusing on where you would rather be, you begin to find peace right now, in the present. Then, as you move around, try new things, and meet new people, you carry that sense of inner peace with you. It’s absolutely true that, “Wherever you go, there you are.” I love that… peaceful, easy feeling. But sometimes, life isn’t always easy. Especially if you are trying to get an edge in a highly competitive world or inflame passion by the way you live your life. Even if you are competing only with a less inspired version of yourself.

My Jr. High football coach was an intimidating force to reckon with for me and my friends. We were all ready navigating the precarious minefield of puberty, let only the prospect of becoming real men. I remember well the impact his words had on me one day as we were wrapping up another practice where I once again had my lunch handed to me by the bigger kids. “Tonight, when you go home and while you’re laying on the floor in front your TV like a bunch of sissies …” he barked out like a drill sergeant, “Remember, there are kids out there doing the HARD stuff, like doing crunches… Why? Because they want to get an edge on you. They want to kick your pansy butts all over that field!”

His words resonated. That evening, while watching Gilligan’s Island, I do remember as I was getting up off the floor to get some more potato chips, I actually did a few sit ups. The rest of that season, I continued to have my lunch handed to me but those words have continued to resonate.

I have embraced the practice of always trying to do the harder things that, I am supposing, others were less inclined to do. It’s the hard things that are the easiest things to avoid. For some, it’s daunting to choose to prepare nutritious meals rather than eating dinner from a paper sack passed through a window by a pimply faced teenage in a drive up “restaurant.” Its easier to sleep in an extra hour rather than get up early for a vigorious work out or invest time in prayer and meditation. Some choose to invest in a life coach or mentor to help them get that edge while others never ask for help of any kind.

Here is a helpful list of some harder things complied by blogger Dan Waldschmidt:

  • You have to make the call you’re afraid to make.
  • You have to get up earlier than you want to get up.
  • You have to give more than you get in return right away.
  • You have to care more about others than they care about you.
  • You have to fight when you are already injured, bloody, and sore.
  • You have to feel unsure and insecure when playing it safe seems smarter.
  • You have to lead when no one else is following you yet.
  • You have to invest in yourself even though no one else is.
  • You have to look like a fool while you’re looking for answers you don’t have.
  • You have to grind out the details when it’s easier to shrug them off.
  • You have to deliver results when making excuses is an option.
  • You have to search for your own explanations even when you’re told to accept the “facts”.
  • You have to make mistakes and look like an idiot.
  • You have try and fail and try again.
  • You have to run faster even though you’re out of breath.
  • You have to be kind to people who have been cruel to you.
  • You have to meet deadlines that are unreasonable and deliver results that are unparalleled.
  • You have to be accountable for your actions even when things go wrong.
  • You have to keep moving towards where you want to be no matter what’s in front of you.
  • You have to do the hard things.

The things that no one else is doing. The things that scare you. The things that make you wonder how much longer you can hold on. Those are the things that define you. Those are the things that make the difference between living a life of mediocrity or outrageous success.

The hard things are the easiest things to avoid. To excuse away. To pretend like they don’t apply to you.
The simple truth about how ordinary people accomplish outrageous feats of success is that they do the hard things that smarter, wealthier, more qualified people don’t have the courage — or desperation — to do. Don’t be afraid to sweat the hard stuff. You may discover how incredibly amazing you really are!