When I was in the Navy, before we could be given an evaluation, we were tasked with filling out a sheet. It asked questions about what we thought about ourselves, how we thought we had performed that year and other questions just as impossible to answer. We called them “brag sheets”. I always hated filling those things out.
That is why I called this the “Brag Sheet”.
It seems imperative that I speak about myself on some level because why would you want to read my blog unless you know something about me? I could have just called this the “About Me” page, but that’s what everybody does and I like to march a little off to the side of everyone else.
So there’s the first bit of information, here’s the second…longer and more autobiographically tedious.
I could start with my nativity and subsequent young life, but it was too normal and uneventful. Except in one respect: I became a Christian at the age of nine and my parents were wise enough to keep me in church until I could unfortunately decide for myself. I have chosen wrongly far too often, but I am now happily ensconced in a local body.
I graduated from Liberty High School in (surprise) Liberty, MO. I was an undistinguished underperformer who was the bane of my mother and father. They realized I could do much better; I would rather be goofing around. I went to college for a couple of semesters then went into the Air Force reserves. After about a year I realized the job I had with the Air Force was drudgery and that I was not ready to complete a college degree, so I joined the active duty Navy as a Nuclear Machinist Mate.
Whereas that may have kind of a wow sound to it, the reality was less so. Again, in almost ten years in the Navy, I was undistinguished and an underperformer.
After the Navy, I finished a BS in Workforce Education and Development (I always told people that meant Corporate Trainer) at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL and then worked toward an MSEd in mental health and addiction counseling at the same institution. I spent three years working on that one. At this point I have to drag someone else in and say that without the help of my good friend Chris Koslowski, I never would have gotten that degree.
I wanted to continue my education, so I moved to CA and worked toward a PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. I was doing fine (rather well actually) until by helping someone else, I was deemed unethical and booted from the institution (he was as well). This sent me into somewhat of a downward spiral for a while, but through God’s grace I made it through.
I moved away from CA eventually (O, blessed day!) back to my roots and family in Kansas City, MO.
Since that time I have been mostly a writer, sometimes a worker at Home Depot, sometimes a counselor. I have, until recently, written exclusively for other people, mostly on the subject of psychology which is a passion. But, for about a year (as I write this in February, 2017), I have been engaged in some serious study.
Here is where it gets good.
My faith has been somewhat lackluster and lukewarm since I was saved more than 40 years ago (that is by my own estimation, the lusterlessness not the time. The time is accurate). But God has ever been present, gracious and kind to me. He led me to authors I had never considered before and they have been like a kindled fire for my faith.
I speak mainly of the Puritans and other Reformers (Luther, Calvin, Knox, Bunyan, Donne, the list goes on) and they have opened my eyes to the Bible as only a very few preachers ever have. They have also added some fire to my writing recently.
The reason I started this blog was to disgorge some of the writing God has led me to do for (I hope in all humility) Him.
I hope the Brag Sheet of the rest of my life is more about who I am in Christ than anything I would say about myself apart from Him. I hope some people will benefit from this stage of my life as I pour out what I am in Him.
Let me give you one more thing…
If you are seeking a place to belong and you have never been able to find it, maybe God is speaking to you. We all, as I have heard numerous Baptist preachers say, have a God-shaped void within us and we always try to fill it with something else. It is the purpose that Victor Frankl speaks about in his humanism-laced Logotherapy. God maps out a clear course for those who want to follow Him.
Consider these passages:
- “There is none righteous, no not one.” Romans 3:10
- “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
- “God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
- “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
- “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
- “For, whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13
- And one that is not from Romans, “For God so loved the world that He have His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
This is called the Roman Road. It is a clear demonstration of your depravity, God’s willingness to forgive your sin, Christ’s sacrifice for you and what you need to do to live in everlasting joy with Him.
If you are seeking, follow the road, fall on your face before God and become an heir. God is waiting for you.
I hope that as you read this blog, it will demonstrate the heart of one who is seeking holiness and a right relationship with God. Every day I repeat:
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
That is the prayer of my life.
Now you know something about me, introduce yourself.