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Lent Day 2: The Story Continues

I mentioned in my post yesterday that my life story was shaped by my parents divorce when I was a young boy.  Though I have been tempted to use my parents’ divorce and the subsequent childhood burdens as a crutch, the blog is not about that. And neither am I. No, it’s about something other than. It’s about more. Yes, there is difficulty and pain in life, but heartache and disappointment are not the final script.

As the forty-year old me, I have now been oriented in the direction of a Superior Reality. This new narrative goes beyond unbelief. It’s there for all to hear. It seems completely new. Yet, somehow it sounds familiar.   When we lean in, we encounter an easy voice from some unseen ridge welling up with excitement and welcoming us to a party in which we didn’t know we had received an invitation.

Can you hear it? What story are you telling yourself? What lies are you believing?  Are you willing to engage in a larger story? Lean in… it is quite other than.

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Ash Wednesday: Unbelief Exposed!

It was truth. Everything in me trusted it. There was no expectation or even anticipation of greater things. It just was. The breakthrough happened later. There was and is more. Much more.

For a long time I couldn’t see it. After all, how could I? I was living in unbelief!  Everything had to make sense in my world and if it didn’t there was no place for it.   Slowly I began to realize that we all are living right in the middle of our own story. The props and people in our individual stories vary, but the fact that our core is impacted by what happens to us resonates with sameness.

For years, the recording in my head played a script of unbelief, pain and disappointment. Everything was filtered through my experience microscope. Although I had heard and sung the words of “Jesus Loves Me” over and over in various setting throughout my childhood, I couldn’t connect the dots of “…for the Bible tells me so” with what I was experiencing as a young boy.  I couldn’t believe the simple words from the song. I couldn’t believe that I was loved.

My story began with the six-year old me sitting in our living room where my parents sat us to inform us they decided to no longer be married.   There was confusion and sadness, and even though I was there with my three-year old brother and seven-year old sister, I felt very alone. Most of my life I did not understand. Now, as a husband and a dad of three young children I realize things must have gotten really bad for my parents to decide their best decision was to live separately.

What is your primary area of unbelief?  The lie that I believed for years, that I wasn’t truly loved by God or anyone else, was revealed to me ten years ago.  Over the next six weeks I will share more of my story and the process of how I came to believe the core truth that I am loved.

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Lent begins tomorrow!

In case you are new to the blog, my name is Shawn Petree.  I work full-time helping men in the greater Seattle area grow in their relationship with Jesus through a ministry called www.teleios.org.   I love it!  Having been committed to this journey with Jesus personally for the past 20 years, I am passionate about helping men walk a similar path.  I do this through individual meetings and helping them get into groups with other men who have a similar desire.

I also love to hike, kayak, fly fish, watch the Longhorns play football, date my wife, hang with the guys, and play with our children.  I really enjoy traveling, reading, listening to inspiring speakers, and writing.

So on to Lent.  It begins tomorrow with Ash Wednesday.  Ash Wednesday has been honored by Christians for well over ten centuries, falling at the beginning of Lent. In the earliest centuries, Christians who had been stuck in persistent sin had ashes sprinkled on their bodies as a sign of repentance, even as Job repented “in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6). Around the tenth century, all believers began to signify their need for repentance by having ashes placed on their foreheads in the shape of a cross.

You don’t have to get ashes on your forehead in order to participate in Lent.  As mentioned in my last post, this Lenten season I am inviting you to consider one thing that you have unbelief about in your life.  Maybe it is a lie that you believe about yourself, or another person or God.  During Lent you will confess that you cannot change this unbelief on your own and will ask the Lord to replace your unbelief with the truth.

I hope you will take a moment to consider what area of your life you may have unbelief and decide to join us on this journey through Lent.