Dear Beloved Child of God,
Welcome to my world, it is an honor to have you here! You are not here by accident. Whether you went searching for a sane voice in today’s wilderness conditions, or stumbled upon this because God wanted us to meet, you are welcome here. No asterisks, no exclusions. There are too many variations of human diversity to mention here, and only one common denominator that matters. Jesus died for all of us. Here’s something else all of us have in common. We’re all broken. Every. Single. One. Of. Us. From those who pretend to be the most pious in the pews, to those on skid row who think no one cares about them, we all have imperfections. There has been one perfect person who walked the face of this planet, and you and I aren’t Him. Take the pressure off of yourself, cast off the shackles of shame others would bind you with, and be free in the knowledge that God loves you and cares about you. And so do I.
You all may not realize this, but you are one of the four cornerstones of my life. The other three are following Jesus, loving my family / friends with holy abandon, and succeeding in my career. Yep, I have a day job to pay the bills, so that in my off hours I can minister to you. That makes me what is referred to as a Marketplace Minister. Which means I live out my values in my day job, and then minister without restraint when I am off-duty. I am not ordained, but I am appointed, anointed, and equipped to fulfill the sacred call of tending to my online flock. I want to have a positive impact on millions and millions and millions of people’s lives. God has made it clear to me that my vehicle for accomplishing that mission is through online ministry. So I honor that call. Finding the outcast, the hurting, and the lost is one of my greatest passions. Not to demand they think, feel, believe, or do what I do. Not at all. My vocation, and my fervent hope, is to reconnect people with themselves, God, each other, and their one precious life. I trust they can take it from there.
So what makes my voice different? Why should you listen to me? First of all, you don’t have to! 😉 You can decide I am full of beans, and I will still wish you well. You can try to condemn me, mock me, or try to dishonor me in some other way and I can assure you, it won’t work. I know who I am in Christ. I pray for those who would persecute me. I trust God to see me through every storm I face. If you decide you do want to listen to me, you’ve just found a voice of encouragement, hope, hard won wisdom, and non-exclusionary love. If I am to do my Savior any justice, I will do my best to love like He did.
Let me tell you more about that voice. My voice. The voice that over the course of my life, many have failed to silence. Here’s the thing. I am battle tested. I bear the scars of the adversity others forced upon me, and the stupidity that I sometimes chose. Those scars are badges of honor for me, because God walked me through every single one of those situations and wove all of them together for my good and the good of others. We all have that opportunity, to work in partnership with God, no matter what. Just in case you think I can’t relate to whatever burden you are bearing, let me share with you that I have overcome all kinds of abuse from those I was supposed to be able to trust, physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and sexual. Homelessness, poverty, and an addiction to drugs and alcohol. A teenage suicide attempt. Bullying, ridicule, and being an outcast. Making choices that went against my values. Deceived, manipulated, and exploited. Being lied about. Being lied to. Punished for speaking the truth. Losing people I loved far too soon. Dealing with a bad concussion, and a chronic neuromuscular disorder. They are just a few of the hardships I have fought through, and God has graced me with transforming all that pain into the purpose of helping other people.
Like a piece of steel on the blacksmith’s forge, I have been carefully crafted by Him, and here is the result. I walk in when others are running out. I am undeterred by pain. Mine, or yours. I face reality without flinching. I don’t dismiss the truth, no matter how ugly or unexpected. I see things through. No matter how long it takes. What that means for you is that when I say I’m here for you, I mean it. Not for some hidden agenda, or some other self-aggrandizing purpose, but for you, and with you. To stand in the gap with you in your pain and your brokenness and your “what did I do?!” moments. To reassure you that Jesus loves you, and you are, in fact, God’s kid. If Jesus threw a dinner party, you would be a guest of honor. Yes, you. Jesus loved to fill his dinner table up with the outcasts, the broken, the lost. Not to berate them, but to love them.
In His honor, I am doing the same thing. Consider this our Virtual Dinner Table, a place where you will find love, acceptance, support, and encouragement to become everything God created you to be. Jesus sits at the head of our Virtual Table. I just have the honor of being the host, and officially declaring: You are welcome here. No asterisks, no exclusions. Welcome. Home.
With tremendous love, respect, and belief in you,