Sunday, June 22, 2008


It's long overdue, I know, but I've finally made the switch to Blogger. I will not be deleting any of my posts at Xanga, so it will be possible for me (or you) to go back in time if need be. Xanga served me well for over three years and I will miss it, but hopefully I will grow used to the format over here. Perhaps I may even end up liking it more.

Why Blogger?
I chose Blogger over Wordpress for no particular reason whatsoever. In my search for the best blogging platform, I found good and bad things about each site. I suppose the final decision was based on what my wife was using. She uses Blogger. If Danielle used Wordpress, I dare say that I would have chosen that over Blogger. Although, if I am to be completely honest, it seems to me that Blogger is ever-so-slightly more user friendly.

Why "The Broken Soul"?
Every human being is cursed with a broken soul. That is a profoundly serious consequence of the fall that none of us can escape. Not a single one of us will ever experience a complete and perfect soul this side of heaven. So by titling my blog as such, I am in no way implying that I am on a more difficult journey than any other Christ-follower. Committing yourself to a faith journey is not easy. Each day, a choice must be made to die to self and to live in Christ. But all that means is that we are still sinners, caught between our new heart and our flesh while wholly relying on the boundless grace that Jesus so freely offers to each one of us regardless of where we've been or what we've done. For me, the reality of that grace is something that I will never comprehend. I have experienced some very dark moments in my life; some as a result of circumstances beyond my control and some as as a result of ridiculously poor judgment. It is because of those times of poor judgment that I have come to experience chronic shame, defeat, and even self-loathing. When I think I deserve nothing but the ultimate punishment, Jesus is there telling me that things don't have to be as they've always been. The vast and unfathomable grace that is wrapped up in that promise literally takes my breath away every time I think about it. That He would want the very best for this dirty, filthy, rotten sinner is a reality that I will never understand.

Why Now?
As the calendar flipped from 2007 to 2008, I made a commitment to myself and to God that this would be the year that everything would change. I began to call my campaign to better myself "Great in '08". It is an ambitious campaign dealing with many facets of my life: my health, my marriage, my professional life, my finances, and especially my spiritual health, just to name a few. Six months into 2008, I don't have a huge list of accomplishments to share with you. In fact, if I am being completely honest, it's been a rather difficult year so far. Perhaps the most important thing I have done thus far is bolster my levels of accountability. I learned a couple of years ago that transparency, although it can be brutally painful, is the most practical way to strengthen accountability. Sin will, and does, find you out. It found me out and nearly ruined my life. It brought me to my knees, completely and utterly broken before God in a way I doubt I'll ever experience again, at least until the moment I see Him face to face. But because of His grace and His mercy, my life was not ruined. In fact, the beauty that resulted from that dark period of my life is, in my humble opinion, nothing short of a miracle. I truly did experience beauty from ashes, and I want to share this story so I can help other people and encourage them just as I have been helped and encouraged. I can't begin to express how grateful I am for the people that God has put in my life. My wife, my friends, my pastors....there are so many people in my life that I respect immensely. Although I can safely say that my testimony is not yet complete, I choose now to begin sharing my journey to restoration because, well, as they say: now is as good a time as any.

Will you ever talk about anything else?
Of course. Those of you who read this and know me know that I couldn't possibly keep my opinions to myself. I am sure that my opinions will be expressed many times on here dealing with anything from global warming (or the lack thereof) to the latest and greatest recipe that Danielle cooked up. And let's not forget that this is an election year! So yes, there will be a lot of serious stuff on here, but it will not be all-serious-all-the-time. After all, where else will you Erie people turn to for in-depth blizzard analysis during the winter months? ;-)

Hope is a term that I was completely unfamiliar with for many years of my life, even as a Christ-follower. But something has changed. And although God is still doing an amazing work in me, I know that I am already different than I ever have been before. It is a hope that has changed my life and, hopefully, it has changed yours. It is a hope that is based on the eternal promise that we can do anything through Christ, who strengthens us. What an incredible statement. What a beautiful promise.

What a hope we've found.