Structured Persistence

I’m a regimented person. I know it. I like structure. A lot. To a fault. Sometimes this quality serves me well; sometimes it doesn’t.

One of the ways it doesn’t is when I’m in a season of life or in a situation in life where things are chaotic. My new job at Love In the Name of Christ (Love INC) is like that right now. They’ve never really had someone doing the things I’m doing (and going to do), so there’s no blueprint on how to do the job. There’s no job manual and no job description, per se. That really doesn’t mesh well with my structured personality, but with God’s help, I’m adapting.

But one of the ways this trait works well for me is when I participate in structured programs, like memorizing Scripture while reading a 30-day devotional book which coincides the memorization. I’ve succeeded at others that were similar, like 40 Days of Purpose by Rick Warren, 90-day exercise programs, and now, The 40-Day Prayer Challenge – Draw The Circle by Mark Batterson.

Tomorrow will be Day 1 on this 40-day journey, done with all the folks at Love INC, all of whom also have the book Draw The Circle. We are doing it together, believing that God will do great things in us and through us. We expect to be different on Day 40 than we are on Day 1.

Mark Batterson, the author of Draw The Circle says:

“The goal of the 40-day Prayer Challenge isn’t to get what you want by Day 40. In fact, the goal isn’t to get what you want at all. The goal is to figure out what God wants’ what God wills. Then start circling it in prayer and don’t stop until God answers.”

That’s what I’m going to do and that’s what we’re going to do at Love INC.

(Love In the Name of Christ [Love INC] is a national network of non-profit organizations which are committed to meeting needs and transforming lives by the love of Christ through the Body of Christ, His church. To find out more, visit our local ministry Facebook page HERE, or hear the story behind the ministry HERE)

Click HERE to find the book, Draw The Circle by Mark Batterson on

He is bigger…

I’ve mentioned it several times before, but I’m a child of an alcoholic. Actually both my parents were. (Disclaimer: Before you think I’m not honoring my father and mother, I loved my parents. They gave me all I needed growing up. I had a good childhood, albeit in the midst of alcoholism.)

But as a child of an alcoholic, I hate chaos. I pursue peace, calmness, and control. You’ve heard this before, I know, but when moments of peace come… when they happen… they are so refreshing. I feel like I’ve trained myself to recognize them. For you it may be different, but for me, they are almost always found outdoors.

I’ve had a rough week at work… actually a rough couple of months. Because of personnel problems in the office, I’ve been handling all the office duties. I’ve had some help here and there, of which I’m grateful, but now we’ve hired someone to help and I have to handle the training, in addition to all the other jobs, which can’t humanly be done in a normal workday. I can just feel the tension as I type this.

Anyway, back to finding peace. Yesterday, after a full day at work, I rode my motorcycle for an hour before going to men’s group. After men’s group, I came home to walk Bella, our precious little dog. I love our walks, because, for the most part, they allow me to pause and be still. As Bella was sniffing one of a thousand places where she stops and sniffs, a Great Blue Heron flew overhead. It was past sunset but still light enough that you could easily make out his silhouette and he flew so low, you could hear his wings gracefully flapping and carrying him across the sky. He was majestic.

When those moments happen, I can take a deep breath and know that God is with me. Maybe it sounds silly to you, but for me, those moments are gifts from God. Gifts designed to remind me of the peace that He alone brings (for me, through His majestic and magnificent creation), and to remind me that He is bigger than anything I’m going through.

That’s why I get up early in the morning and read, write, and think as the sun rises. It’s peaceful. It helps me be still. It helps me hear His voice. It reminds me that He is bigger than anything I’m going through.