Wednesday, February 13, 2013

We all live a story!

I had the pleasure of being the Lay Director on a Walk to Emmaus this past weekend.  I was joined by 30+ team members.  These guys are some of the most Godly men that I know, and many of them have been examples or mentors to me in the past.  Our team was able to lead 28 “pilgrims” on this Walk to Emmaus, and we experienced the Holy Spirit and God’s love for 72 hours that I will never forget.  When we had returned from our “mission” to Uganda last June, I wondered what my next “mission” would be for Christ.  To be honest, I struggled feeling “missionless” for a while.  I was contacted by the Great Plains Emmaus board, in August, and I accepted the “mission” of leading the Great Plains Emmaus walk #80.  It took 5 months of preparation and team formation, but man was it worth it.  We heard some awesome talks and testimonies from many inspirational men.  My talk was about perseverance and the stories that we live.

I feel the lives that we live tell a story.  Sometimes it is a short story, sometimes an epic, sometimes a love story and other times a thriller.  I read a book, in September, called “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” by Donald Miller.  Several things that he wrote struck a chord with me.

1.)    There is a force in the world that does not want us to live good stories.  It does not want us to face our issues or to face our fears and bring something beautiful into the world.  I believe God wants us to live exciting and inspiring stories, but the enemy would rather that we create meaningless stories, teaching those around us that life is just not worth living.

2.)    When we live a story, we are telling others what we think is important.

3.)    The main way that we learn story is not through books or movies, but through each other.  If your friends are living boring stories, you probably will too.  We teach our children good and bad stories.   We teach them what is worth living and dying for, and what is worth pursuing. 

4.)    Much of our lives are spent trying to avoid conflict.  Half of the commercials on television are trying to sell us something that will make life easier.  Part of me wonders if our stories are not being stolen by the “easy life”.

5.)    When we look back at our lives, what we will remember are the crazy things that we have done, the times that we worked harder to make a day stand out.  The times that we decided to make a bad day into a memory maker.  You might remember this blog about memory makers.

6.)    It is not necessary for you to win for your story to be great.  It is only necessary for you to sacrifice everything!

7.)    A good story teller doesn’t just live a good story, though.  He also invites others into the story with him, giving them a better story too.


I challenged myself and the guys at the walk this past weekend with the following.  See how it hits you.

What are you telling through the story that you are living?  Is your life telling the story of the Gospels to your friends and family?  It has been said that if you are not telling a good story with your life, nobody will think that you died too soon.  I want to live a life full of adventure.  One that shows that a Christian can have fun while serving a Risen Savior.  I want to live a life of perseverance that uses my God given gifts to their fullest.  When it comes time for God to take me home, even if I am 100 years old, I hope that the overwhelming topic at my funeral is “Man, it seems like Jay died too soon”!


Our family feels that God has called us to return to Uganda this summer.  We purchased our plane tickets today and we look forward to God filling in the pages of our story as we serve the wonderful people there.  We look forward to seeing many friends there in a few months. 
I received some pictures of James from Mubende this week.  James was a young boy that had been run over by a car on his way to school.  This accident caused him to break his right femur and have his left leg amputated above the knee.  Through the generous giving of Due Unto Others supporters, James was able to get his prosthetic leg this week.  What a blessing this will be for him! 

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