Looking back on 2021

Hey everyone! How’s it going? Been a long time. I bet you all thought I was gone. Nope! Just taking one of those long breaks that no plans because life gets in the way. I’m sitting here on about my 30th flight in just 3 months thinking about how this year has gone. In the second half of this year, my life just kinda took off in a way I didn’t expect. At the beginning of 2021 I had a bunch of goals for the content I produce. I’m sad to say that I didn’t make any of them, but admittedly blog writing, video production, and doing some streaming are all just hobbies. But in July of this year, everything changed. I took a job that was in the career field I wanted to move into, it more than doubled my salary, and it got me out of an environment that was particularly draining upon my very soul. The downside is that it meant that I have had to move from the state of Indiana to the state of Texas. Unfortunately my family is still in Indiana (hence all these dang flights) but we hope to be moving, permanently, soon. I have been blessed to have friends that have offered me a place to stay while my family is making this transition, so I haven’t had to pay both a mortgage and rent.

But as I sit here and watch the city fall away beneath me, and deal with the craziness of turbulence rocking me back and forth, I’m thinking about those plans. The plans that I made and got so excited about. The plans that I hoped would bring about some peace during a turbulent and stressful time. I wanted to reach up and grab something that was completely out of my reach and unlike anything I’ve ever done before. Yeah, you could find the very first post on this blog and say, “Come’on Preston! You’ve been blogging for the last 6 years. What do you mean you’ve never done?!” But honestly, I haven’t put the work into this space that it needs. I thought I’d have the time while I’ve been in transition and that hasn’t worked out either. I begin to wonder, is it even worth making plans? I have no clue what the future holds, but God does, and sometimes what happens in the future isn’t what we thought it would be.

No, I didn’t accomplish the goals that I wrote down. Yet I still accomplished some inherent goals that even I didn’t know I had. I’ve been able to take my family on an exciting new adventure as we try to figure out the new normal of our lives across the country. I’ve been able to reconnect with old friends, and I’ve been able to expand the realm of possibility in my life.

Yet there’s something that’s been gnawing at me. I think I have made myself so busy and stretch so thin, that I’ve completely stepped out of my relationship with God. I know he’s still there waiting on me to accept his first move. I wouldn’t say that I’ve been a bad Christian, cause honestly I don’t even think those exist. But I have kinda become a non-practicing one. I still believe and try to live my life like I do. But when was the last time I actually studied Scripture? When was the last time I prayed or fasted for any reason other than losing a few pounds? How come I don’t seek out ways of being charitable? Why can’t I seem to make the opportunity to gather with my brothers and sisters and share in the sacraments while worshiping? I have no idea. I know these things are important, and I can certainly place blame on a whole cadre of reasons. But I feel empty.

I’m in this liminal space between who I was and who I’m becoming and I’m not sure I like all the pieces that have come with it. I feel like my relationship to life is a little like me on this airplane. I can see everything below me, but I am so disconnected from it, that there is no way I can touch it. I’m frustrated a lot with the world around me. Maybe I need to speak up more and provide my voice. No one will no my opinions if I don’t share them. I can’t affect the world if I stay outside of it. I miss the things I was when I had spiritual guides to help me a long, but I’ve been without the Church for so long, I’m not sure I would know what to do when I attend again. Please pray for me brothers and sisters. There is a lot changing all around me and I don’t know how to handle most of it. I trust that God has it handled, but I certainly haven’t done much to feel it.

Plus, who knows. Maybe I’ll accomplish some goals in 2022!

Things Got Busy!

This morning I finally have a little bit of breathing room to consider a few things. I definitely had a lot of excitement going into the summer season to produce a lot of new content. For those of you who don’t know, I did also start a Youtube channel where I share my hobby of games with the world. I started a podcast at the end of May that has only had 2 episodes. With all of this going on, I was looking for a new full time position. Now things are going to get even crazier for me. I have accepted a new job, but it requires my family and me to move from Indiana to Texas. The stress of that alone is causing me to sacrifice content, but I am also starting a Masters of Theological Studies program in a couple of weeks. I appreciate all your love and support as I make all of these transitions all at once. I will get back to writing and content production soon. I am still seeking how to be a man after God’s own heart. This isn’t the first time this blog has gone on hiatus, but I hope it will be the last!

What Do You Think?

Yesterday I had two seperate things happen that lead to the same conclusion. First, I read this article from the New Yorker. The author points out that the Evangelical church has moved away from people thinking and considering issues of faith in favor of charasmatic leaders that emphasize “saving souls” over living with a worldview that makes sense. Of course that’s painting with a wide brush, but it makes sense. The second event was someone speaking to me about how they have never heard from a Christian to consider whether or not something was true. The combination of these two events have lead me to consider how I feel about the Church, especially the popular Evangelical and/or Non-denominational Church. I just want to get these ideas out before they fade away.

Continue reading “What Do You Think?”

I Think I Made A Mistake

So the other day I was scrolling around Twitter, which I do quite a bit. I came across a tweet that I thought would be a great way to have conversation with some well meaning people.

Now I don’t hold many controversial opinions. For the most part, I think I fit in pretty well with most churches. I simply ask that people not have a blind faith, and question everything. Any way, I chose to respond to this by being open and honest because I’ve learned that I am not incredibly open about my actual beliefs. My response was

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This Cursed Blinking Line

I have been sitting here for weeks trying to think of something to write. It’s not that I don’t have any ideas. I have a bank of things ready for me to develop, but no of them are particular interesting to me at the moment. I feel cursed with this desire to say something, but have nothing to say. So I sit here and stare at this blinking line. Taunting me. Chiding me. Telling me that I am worthless since I have nothing to say. Why in the world would I start writing a blog when I have nothing to say?! There is no way that this is something I am supposed to do. God didn’t call me to write, otherwise I’d have something to write about. This cursed blinking line has become to me what the snake was to Eve. It is my distrust of God. It is my adversary in this battle for a path forward.

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Is There A Place for Me?

I remember about this time last year, I first started to get an understanding about a virus, that had made it’s way to the United States, and was incredibly contagious and had the potential of being incredibly lethal if we did not get a firm grasp on it. Today, the world looks so different. So many things have changed, and somethings haven’t. But today, I notice this growing concern I have had for months now. Maybe it had been hidden from me because of the world that has been so saturated with politics, that I simply cannot think of anything else. Maybe it’s because I work myself so hard that I cannot stop for a moment to think of anything of real substance. Maybe its because of the mounting mental health concerns that each member of my family has to deal with. Maybe it’s something more. But I’m realizing that I deeply, truly miss being in Church.

Continue reading “Is There A Place for Me?”

Going Forward Into 2021

As we start the new year, I’ve been giving a lot of thought on the direction of this blog. I know that I’ve been posting inconsistently, while practically begging for interaction. The nice thing is that 2020 was the best year, analytically, since this blog first began in 2013. I think that means it’s time for me to actually focus a lot harder on creating content here and trying to expand in other areas. I have plans for 2021, but I’d love some input on what you, my readers, are most curious about.

The foundational idea for this blog is that I have always wanted to know God deeper and more intimately. I often thought of David being called a man after God’s own heart, being my guide for the kind of person I wanted to be and they path this blog was going to take. This is still a deep desire of mine, but I think I’ve let the application part of Bible study fall by the wayside. I believe that we can come together as a community and help one another grow in Christlikeness and deeper in our relationship with God and one another. I, personality, believe it is impossible to really learn this in isolation. As part of my plans for the next year, I am planning on being much more active on social media, practicing my faith with you. Two other ways I am working on developing this space for 2021 is through a podcast and a some subscription based platform. Right now, I am certainly in the testing phase on my ideas, so I do not have anything to publish yet. If you would like to join me in the creation of these spaces, please let me know.

I have been dealing with a lot of depression and anger with God over the past year. I am looking forward to getting out of this funk and celebrating the live I have been given and helping others enjoy a relationship with the Maker of the Universe. We’ll continue reading books, studying the Bible, and discussing this life we have with God. I look forward to the journey this life is going to take, and I hope and pray that it can be illuminating for all of us.

Faith and Mental Health

Hi friends! I know it’s been a long time since I’ve written. Honestly, I got super excited about working from home as I saw an opportunity to write A LOT! However, as you can tell from my lack of posting, the exact opposite is what happened. I didn’t write at all. As a matter of fact, a lot of things changed for me with regards to practicing my faith, Bible study, reading, writing, and a whole lot of things I like to do. The major thing that happened is that I have had a major battle with depression over the last few months with regards to my profession and other life stresses. Then, on top of that, I had to walk away from my church back in July due to some ethical conflicts. The total impact of everything has made it quite difficult for me to find much enjoyment in anything that I like doing, that isn’t some form of escape (e.g. playing a bunch of video games). The good news is that I think I’m finally making some progress with my own well being, even if nothing has changed (as a matter of fact, a lot has gotten worse, but I’m more hopeful that I used to be).

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Where Do I Go From Here?

When I started this blog in 2013, I had the single goal of trying to keep my biblical studies skills sharp, as I had just finished a degree and didn’t want it to fall by the wayside. I had a serious hunger to stay in the Word and study it every day. Then something happened. I simply quit blogging. Then in 2018, I decided to login and start writing again. The last few months of 2019, I had to take another short break as it was my final semester of my second degree. I always intended to return and my break has certainly taken longer than anticipated. Yet I can’t help but as myself why?

I enjoy the process of reading and writing, both on biblical studies and theology. However, I think my format has gotten me down. It feels like too much work to stick within the predetermined format setting specific themes and only writing about them. Plus, I haven’t been able to find the niche that allows me create a community. It feels like shouting into the void. At the beginning of this blog, I was ok with that, but now I want people to talk to. Maybe that’s too self serving, I don’t know.

I’ve ben having a hard time coming back, not because I don’t want to, but because it doesn’t seem to be worth anything. If I am going to spend my time doing anything, I want it to be something that is beneficial to the work of God, and not useless babble. Maybe you value the stuff I’ve been writing, and maybe you don’t. Either way, I’d greatly appreciate some content suggests to help me guide this blog insomething that is beneficial to the Church and not just a way for me to get my thoughts out. Do you have any suggestions. Comment below and let’s make something together.

What I’ve Been Up To

Man, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything on here (outside of that book review last week). Mostly this is because of school. I got very busy over the last couple of weeks trying to get all the work done I needed to, that I just didn’t have the brain space to write for this blog, for that, I apologize. Now that the school year is over, and I have a small break before my summer class begins, I think I have the opportunity to reflect on some of the ideas I have been wrestling with this past semester. Continue reading “What I’ve Been Up To”