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Realtime . . . Right on Time . . .

We just never know when someone – literally out of nowhere – will take the risk of speaking something boldly into our lives.

Something that means something.

Something that was needed desperately.

Something spoken with courage.

Something that is real, and just as importantly, is right on time.

The funny thing though, is that when a person takes that risk because God gently tapped them on the shoulder and said, “Go ahead, I got this,” it is always on time!

If you are new to this blog, then welcome to Realtime! If not, then you may have been wondering what happened, and why you have not received any blogs in quite some time. There are those however, who may be relieved that you have not been bothered with it. 🙂

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Regardless of the seasons and/or reasons for the “time out,” it is time for our encouragement and exploration to resume, and I am glad you are along for the ride. I sincerely hope you stay the course as we walk and talk out some of the real struggles, and wonderful blessings we experience along the way. Sometimes it’s pretty and sometimes it’s ugly. Then there are those times when it is pretty ugly. But that’s ok, as long as it’s real. If we’re being real, there are some eye-opening discoveries we need to share, whether or not everyone thinks it’s ok to be transparent.

Jesus was transparent – never leaving any doubt about his thoughts or feelings in any situation. If my goal is to mirror the character and the life that Christ lived among us, being real is not negotiable. It is a must! I can’t wait to see and hear how many of you feel the same.

I’ve walked through some new struggles lately – the kind that throw you off course and cause you to wonder things about yourself that you might never utter to another human being. The kind that slam you onto your back and although you imagine that you’re up again, fighting for your life, it’s really just a mirage and you’re really still laying there, bleeding out ever so slowly. But you don’t know it.

I don’t know if it’s a phrase that is overused or not, but one that is often spoken by or about people that have walked through struggles is, “A Crisis of Faith.” I am not completely confident that I know for sure what a crisis of faith really is. But what a friend boldly and courageously spoke into me earlier this week left an impression that now gives me the latitude to think I have a pretty good idea.

The friend said to me, “Our walk of faith is a balancing act of action and trust. The Holy Spirit is our helper and sometime we sit around waiting for Him to “do something”. But, helper implies that we are already doing something that we need help/support with. So I encourage you in your passion. God will work out the circumstances but I can promise you it will look NOTHING like what you thought it would in the beginning.”

There is no doubt that I am not the sharpest cheddar in the fridge, but neither am I the bleu. Like a delivery of flowers or an important package that is supposed to arrive at a specific time, this God-laced statement arrived with some Gorilla Glue already on it, nice and sticky, and ready to adhere to my heart.

We all find ourselves in places where action is easy, but trust is hard. Conversely, I doubt there are many of us who have not also experienced a time or two when trusting has come almost naturally, while the ability or even the willingness to take action seems near impossible – almost like being paralyzed.

Oh wow . . . do I ever have a story to tell you about that! But in the midst of the struggle, and thanks to some early and wise encouragement from a long-time brother, this part of the journey has been spent looking for ways to Glorify God, even though the struggle has been immeasurably tough.

We have to summon the energy to push through the mental, emotional, and spiritual cobwebs of a personal trial to determine whether ours is an absence of trust or a lack of action. Making that determination is the first piece connected in this large, complicated, and constantly changing jigsaw puzzle we call life.

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But once that “absence” (trust or action) can be correctly identified, we still have to stand up on our own feet, learn to walk again, and know that the One we are trusting will hold us up, and dust us off when we fall.

The coolest thing about this encouragement of outrageous words of life? We have neither seen nor heard from one another in at least 35 years. The details and logistics are not important because God directed the whole thing from a curiously hidden place, unbeknownst to anyone other than Him.

And when that friend heard His voice, felt the tap on the shoulder, and said, “It might be bold, and it might be awkward, but Yes, I will,” He sat back in His chair, crossed His arms, and smiled broadly.

As always my friends . . .

FINISH WELL!

K

(Thanks for putting up with my crazy thoughts. I’ll be asking you again to be interactive with the blog on most occasions. That’s how we “Show up,” and it’s what gives God the chance to “Show off!” I crave, and really look forward to interacting with you, and as always – if you have any thoughts, ideas, or experiences that would make good “Blog-Fodder,” send it on! You can send it through this forum, or you can email me at kargrove@gmail.com. Thanks for taking the ride!)

 

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Sex, Golf, And Peanut Butter . . . (Part One)

Everything Matt did, people said, he did slowly. “Matt even hurries slow,” his father stated, characterizing his son’s modus operandi. But on this early Texas evening, Matt was moving slower than usual. Although the autumn temperature was startlingly pleasant, Matt was sweating. Not just sweating a little, but sweating bullets. Although he wondered early on why he couldn’t keep his shirt dry in the air-conditioned comfort of the room – you know, like the rest of the guys there. But that thought was long gone by the time he slowly, painfully stood.

“Hi,” he said. “My name is Matt. And I am addicted to liquid morphine.” There. He had finally said it. Out loud. For the first time. And although Matt had been in treatment since the day before, this was the moment he dreaded most. His first “meeting.” Those from the “anonymous” world know exactly what a meeting is, what it looks like, feels like, smells like, tastes like. But he had never characterized himself as an addict – just a pretty normal 20-year old who had dabbled in some extra-curricular activities that happened to be both illegal and deadly. Even so, as he had prepared to go to rehab, he had imagined a dark, dank basement filled with cast-offs. The kind that you wouldn’t invite into your home. The kind that made you uncomfortable when you passed them on the street. The kind that didn’t bathe often; if at all.

But it wasn’t the hot, choking, smoke-filled environs he had imagined. He was surrounded by more than a dozen other guys who looked, felt, acted, and had once sweated, just like him. The simple act of forming the words and almost coughing them out however, provided somewhat a sense of relief for Matt. The mere admission of his addiction, and his new accountability to this group of alcoholics and drug addicts, was going to be the most uncomfortable blessing of his life.

Isn’t everyone addicted to something?

OK, I’ll be the first to stand in this meeting.

“Hi, my name is Kyle. And I’m addicted to sex, golf, and peanut butter.” I know I feel better. 🙂

24PEANUT-articleLarge

Don’t judge me.

No, I don’t have any addictions that are worthy of, or covered by those types of meetings. But yes, I am horribly flawed. As often as possible, I look to my wife for the physical intimacy. Whenever there is time (or I make time) there is always room for at least nine holes. And even when I’m swearing off sugar, the maga-supersized-jumbo virtual barrel of peanut butter in the pantry incessantly calls my name. But like you, there are parts of my life (clearly no longer hidden!) of my life that I just can’t seem to move on past. Can’t get enough. Can’t stop. Don’t really want to.

For the sake of this conversation, let’s just assume that we’re all addicted to Jesus. Put the holier-than-thou self-accolades aside, and focus on what we are on the outside. Because truthfully, isn’t that a reflection of what is on the inside??

So, now that I’ve admitted my self-indulgent behaviors, I absolutely DARE YOU to share your own in the comment box below.

We’ll see who has the wherewithal to sweat through their shirt and put it out there. Because if you want to get down to where the rubber meets the road, many if not most of us are too arrogant and proud to admit the behaviors we have that might have taken the sheen off both our egos and our marriages.

OH NO HE DIDN’T!!!

Oh, yes . . . he did.

And it’s not an arrow-shooting, finger-pointing, nanny-nanny-boo-boo kind of general accusation, but more of a recognition – a shedding of light.

In a recent Realtime poll of married women, they stated that one of the things they feel would benefit their marriages more than anything would be that at a minimum, their husbands would recognize the behaviors they project – that make them (the wives) feel less important than . . . (fill in the blank).

golf-widow

Occasionally I choose to cross-reference specific scripture with Eugene Peterson’s The Message just to see if there is perhaps a different way of seeing, or saying something about the topic written. Oh, and this one is good.

“It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.”  — Luke 12:34

Most translations of The Bible provide a similar text – “Wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

But what I can’t get out of my mind is the first and last parts of Peterson’s translation. It’s obvious,” and end up being.”

We’ll follow up with the conclusion of this blockbuster later in the week. And I’d encourage you to think through those two “phrases” from Peterson’s translation. What do they say to you? About you?

But for now, let’s just begin the process of getting it out there. 

And don’t worry – nobody is going to suggest that any of us give up the things in life we enjoy – at least not all of them.

But in the meantime, if you can’t seem to identify the simple addictions in your life, you might – well – ask your wife?

I double-dog dare ya’. 

Well, what ARE they? Comment box is below 🙂

(CREDITS: To Nina Roesner www.ninaroesner.com for implied permission to issue dares)

And, as always . . .

FINISH WELL!

Sex, Golf, And Peanut Butter . . . (Part One)

Everything Matt did, people said, he did slowly. “Matt even hurries slow,” his father stated, characterizing his son’s modus operandi. But on this early Texas evening, Matt was moving slower than usual. Although the autumn temperature was startlingly pleasant, Matt was sweating. Not just sweating a little, but sweating bullets. Although he wondered early on why he couldn’t keep his shirt dry in the air-conditioned comfort of the room – you know, like the rest of the guys there. But that thought was long gone by the time he slowly, painfully stood.

“Hi,” he said. “My name is Matt. And I am addicted to liquid morphine.” There. He had finally said it. Out loud. For the first time. And although Matt had been in treatment since the day before, this was the moment he dreaded most. His first “meeting.” Those from the “anonymous” world know exactly what a meeting is, what it looks like, feels like, smells like, tastes like. But he had never characterized himself as an addict – just a pretty normal 20-year old who had dabbled in some extra-curricular activities that happened to be both illegal and deadly. Even so, as he had prepared to go to rehab, he had imagined a dark, dank basement filled with cast-offs. The kind that you wouldn’t invite into your home. The kind that made you uncomfortable when you passed them on the street. The kind that didn’t bathe often; if at all.

But it wasn’t the hot, choking, smoke-filled environs he had imagined. He was surrounded by more than a dozen other guys who looked, felt, acted, and had once sweated, just like him. The simple act of forming the words and almost coughing them out however, provided somewhat a sense of relief for Matt. The mere admission of his addiction, and his new accountability to this group of alcoholics and drug addicts, was going to be the most uncomfortable blessing of his life.

Isn’t everyone addicted to something?

OK, I’ll be the first to stand in this meeting.

“Hi, my name is Kyle. And I’m addicted to sex, golf, and peanut butter.” I know I feel better. 🙂

24PEANUT-articleLarge

Don’t judge me.

No, I don’t have any addictions that are worthy of, or covered by those types of meetings. But yes, I am horribly flawed. As often as possible, I look to my wife for the physical intimacy. Whenever there is time (or I make time) there is always room for at least nine holes. And even when I’m swearing off sugar, the maga-supersized-jumbo virtual barrel of peanut butter in the pantry incessantly calls my name. But like you, there are parts of my life (clearly no longer hidden!) of my life that I just can’t seem to move on past. Can’t get enough. Can’t stop. Don’t really want to.

For the sake of this conversation, let’s just assume that we’re all addicted to Jesus. Put the holier-than-thou self-accolades aside, and focus on what we are on the outside. Because truthfully, isn’t that a reflection of what is on the inside??

So, now that I’ve admitted my self-indulgent behaviors, I absolutely DARE YOU to share your own in the comment box below.

We’ll see who has the wherewithal to sweat through their shirt and put it out there. Because if you want to get down to where the rubber meets the road, many if not most of us are too arrogant and proud to admit the behaviors we have that might have taken the sheen off both our egos and our marriages.

OH NO HE DIDN’T!!!

Oh, yes . . . he did.

And it’s not an arrow-shooting, finger-pointing, nanny-nanny-boo-boo kind of general accusation, but more of a recognition – a shedding of light.

In a recent Realtime poll of married women, they stated that one of the things they feel would benefit their marriages more than anything would be that at a minimum, their husbands would recognize the behaviors they project – that make them (the wives) feel less important than . . . (fill in the blank).

golf-widow

Occasionally I choose to cross-reference specific scripture with Eugene Peterson’s The Message just to see if there is perhaps a different way of seeing, or saying something about the topic written. Oh, and this one is good.

“It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.”  — Luke 12:34

Most translations of The Bible provide a similar text – “Wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

But what I can’t get out of my mind is the first and last parts of Peterson’s translation. It’s obvious,” and end up being.”

We’ll follow up with the conclusion of this blockbuster later in the week. And I’d encourage you to think through those two “phrases” from Peterson’s translation. What do they say to you? About you?

But for now, let’s just begin the process of getting it out there. 

And don’t worry – nobody is going to suggest that any of us give up the things in life we enjoy – at least not all of them.

But in the meantime, if you can’t seem to identify the simple addictions in your life, you might – well – ask your wife?

I double-dog dare ya’. 

Well, what ARE they? Comment box is below 🙂

(CREDITS: To Nina Roesner www.ninaroesner.com for implied permission to issue dares)

And, as always . . .

FINISH WELL!