Fill In The Blank

Anyone else tired of the ordinary? Anyone else feel like you are stuck in the mundane? Have you ever sat down and just pondered what your purpose is on this big spinning piece of real estate called earth? I know so many people that are praying for “Gods will for their life”. You can count me in that group too. Maybe it’s Rick Warren’s fault for teaching us all to live the Purpose Driven Life…. If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, then this might help. I know it gave me perspective and, even if for a … Continue reading Fill In The Blank

I Am

This is a re-post of sorts. Lots of “stuff” going on all around us isn’t there? Sometimes it makes you wonder if God is still in control. The requests are real. The requests are important. The requests are for friends, loved ones and people we don’t even know. We need assurance don’t we? We need something to hold onto. We need peace and a place to stand when the waters ahead appear rough. Anyone that holds a Bible has it. It’s found throughout scripture, but I think my favorite one is in Genesis 3:14: God said to Moses, “I am … Continue reading I Am

An Anchor

For several days now I have tried to wrap my head and words around those times and questions that we have for a God that created this universe. I have wrestled with anger, frustration, sadness, pain and as odd as it sounds, hope. I end each thought process at a place where I find myself searching for an anchor and something we can grab hold of. I get so tangled up in trying to understand how a loving God allows the unthinkable to happen. Yet the very next breathe is thanking a loving God for conquering the grave and the … Continue reading An Anchor

No Words

I sit here this evening with no words. All day I have pondered, prayed and tried to wrap my finite mind around the ways and wonders of an infinite God. My friends, I don’t have the words. I wish I could be a source of encouragement to you today, particularly those of us that are working through the emotions, thoughts and feelings for our dear friend and his family. What I have come to is this…God is still on his throne. One of my favorite moments of the day and this life is when my children climb up in my … Continue reading No Words

What are YOU waiting for?

I swear this song is haunting me. Then again, it might not be the song, it might be the waiting that is actually haunting me. The song is just incredibly appropriate. I first heard it well over a year and a half ago and have somewhat forgotten about it until recently. The song is “While I’m Waiting” by one of my personal favorites, John Waller. It was also featured in the film “Fireproof” at a very appropriate part of the movie. All of that to say that I almost titled this post “Charlotte Update”. As to not set the world … Continue reading What are YOU waiting for?

The Remedy

What a week it has been. I have always had a rule to leave politics out of my blog. I’m not going to change any of that now. Yet I sit here today with such a mixed bag of emotions. Reading articles and comments on blogs, facebook and twitter has been quite an experience. I go from inspired to disappointed. I go from angered to completely perplexed. All of these emotions have nothing to do with the election. They are all based on the posts and responses leading up to and following the election from Christian brothers and sisters. I … Continue reading The Remedy

Day Eight – Persecuted

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven –Matthew 5:10 Well here we are at the end of this eight day series. I’m not sure how many of you have followed along, or worked through the beatitudes the past eight days too. I know that studying and researching these key verses has challenged me to look at several areas of my journey. There is still much work to do. I guess if it was up to me, I would close on a higher note than that of persecution. Persecution brings such negative … Continue reading Day Eight – Persecuted

Day Seven – Peacemakers

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. – Matthew 5:9 In this high charged political season it is hard to imagine being a “peacemaker”. The words “fundamental difference” rang very loud to me as I tried to think about how you could make peace between two enemies. Yet there is a charge to each of us in this beatitude. We’re called to be coffee beans…. I wrote a post a little over a year ago called “Carrots, Eggs and Coffee Beans“. Actually, I was just sharing a story I had found. I can’t take credit … Continue reading Day Seven – Peacemakers

Day Six – Pure in Heart

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. –Matthew 5:8 In order to best understand pure in heart, I think I needed to set a baseline to work from. For me this was explained in one commentary as, “purity of heart is a work in progress in which both God and man share responsibility”. They also stated that “We will never be pure as God is pure in this life. Our purity is at best only in part.” So to best understand pure in heart we need to understand that Gods definition of purity is a lofty … Continue reading Day Six – Pure in Heart

Day Five – Merciful

Blessed are the Merciful, for they will be shown mercy – Matthew 5:7 A little different approach for Day Five. My study pointed out several very interesting points regarding mercy. There is the websters version which we are probably more suited to approach and think of as Mercy. However Jesus is calling us to something different. 1. The first four beatitudes were inwardly focused. The second four beatitudes are externally focused. Ideally the first four should lead to our behavior on the second four. 2. We understand mercy as a result of a warm and close relationship with God. 3. … Continue reading Day Five – Merciful

Day Four – Hunger and Thirst

“Blessed are they those that hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. -Matthew 5:6 What is the hungriest you have ever been? How about thirsty? That question is obviously relative. Many of us have never really known what it means to be hungry. One statistic I read said that every 3.6 seconds, someone dies of hunger. That means by the time I finish writing this post, roughly 167 people died of hunger. What an alarming and sad statistic. It’s one that I am not sure I can get my head around. So I had to bring it … Continue reading Day Four – Hunger and Thirst

Day Three – Blessed are the Meek

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth -Matthew 5:5 Like I said in earlier posts, this is just my crazy finite minds interpretation of the beatitudes as I reflect on them. That being said, as I read commentaries and resources on Matthew 5:5, one quote kept coming to mind. It comes from none other than the movie “Spider-man”. With great power comes great responsibility -Aunt Mae Since it kept coming back to me, I figured I would run with that. To be honest it helped me in my understanding. When you think of most Super Heroes, they … Continue reading Day Three – Blessed are the Meek

Day Two – Those Who Mourn

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted -Matthew 5:4 Here I was all ready to post something about funerals and how we can find comfort. I am sad to say that I have said goodbye to far too many friends already in my life. I have no doubt mourned. In time, I would say I have found comfort. Yet that is not what my study of Matthew 5:4 was about. It’s about mourning and, in some way, things that have died. However this spotlight is internal and not external. In each of the resources that I read, … Continue reading Day Two – Those Who Mourn

Day One – Poor in Spirit

As I kick off this 8 days of looking at the beatitudes, I should warn you all that I am not a bible scholar. I didn’t attend seminary and am not a Pastor. I am just giving my common, everyday, finite mind application of what these key verses say to me the next 8 days. It is my hope that those that read along will join with me Wed-Friday this week and Monday – Friday next week to apply one per day. If you are joining in, feel free to comment on your reflections as well. Blessed are the poor … Continue reading Day One – Poor in Spirit

Presence

About 3 weeks ago, I started running again. That is an entirely different post for a different day. One of my favorite “treadmill songs” is “Presence” by Newsboys. There is just something about that song that makes me feel like I am requesting Gods presence even in the midst of gasping for air and sweating like crazy. Over the past week or so, my youngest daughter (3 years old) has started to do something during my treadmill time that is really special to me. While I am running, she comes with toys, a game, or something to occupy her time … Continue reading Presence

8 Days

We’re all on a journey. We’re all a “work in progress”. If someone were to ask me to give them two songs that define where I am on my journey and what God is doing in my life, I would give them “I Wonder What Life Would be Like” by Big Daddy Weave and “Give Me Your Eyes” by Brandon Heath. I am challenged in my journey to give more (on several levels) and to answer the question: I wonder what life would be like if we let Jesus live through you and me…. We need to see people through … Continue reading 8 Days

The Difference A Father Makes

While at the All Pro Dad Experience, we were all given a gift bag with several items in it. Arguably the most valuable thing was a book entitled “The Difference A Father Makes” by Ed Tandy McGlasson. I sat down yesterday to read it and was caught by something I read. An involved father can make all the difference in a child’s life. His love and care can be the deciding factor in helping a young one become who he or she was created to be. When our hearts are filled with security and trust in a dad who loves … Continue reading The Difference A Father Makes

Encouragement for Wednesday

Tonight I sat down to write a post and I just can’t find the words. I wanted to do something about some very heavy prayer requests. I was going to explain that I believe we should “approach the throne of grace with confidence” (Hebrews 4:16) yet so often my finite understanding of an infinite God gets in the way. My struggle to make sense of everything hinders my ability to ask for anything. In my search through scripture and various authors, musicians, videos and speakers, I found this. Many have probably seen the incredible Laminin video by Louie Giglio. This … Continue reading Encouragement for Wednesday

A Gift?

If you’ve been following, you probably noted that I was fortunate enough to get an iPod Touch last week for free. Due to my employer changing our Corporate Credit Card procedure for next year, we had to use up our points or lose them. I chose the iPod and was beyond excited when it arrived last week. I practically attacked the DHL guy when he finally showed up with it. I even ran out and got a special case as to take the best possible care of said gift. It cost me nothing which makes it even more valuable to … Continue reading A Gift?

I’m A Jerk

I usually keep my Friday posts pretty fun but this one captured me today. I was surfing YouTube for something totally different and got caught up watching clips of “The Jerk”. While this movie was wildly funny, this clip left me feeling pretty guilty. At the beginning I was laughing. At the end I was sole searching. Funny how you can find inspiration in the most unlikely of places. As to not take anything away from the clip, I’ll just frame it for you. When I think of the disciples, they are usually brought into the story by “leaving all … Continue reading I’m A Jerk

I'm A Jerk

I usually keep my Friday posts pretty fun but this one captured me today. I was surfing YouTube for something totally different and got caught up watching clips of “The Jerk”. While this movie was wildly funny, this clip left me feeling pretty guilty. At the beginning I was laughing. At the end I was sole searching. Funny how you can find inspiration in the most unlikely of places. As to not take anything away from the clip, I’ll just frame it for you. When I think of the disciples, they are usually brought into the story by “leaving all … Continue reading I'm A Jerk

Damaged

“My heart’s so low, I’m so much to manage. I think you should know that I’ve been damaged” – TLC I once read the book “To Own a Dragon” by Donald Miller. I really like Donald Miller’s writing. In this book, he told stories of portions of his life that left him “damaged”. I have to admit that I am damaged too. I would also admit that in the course of my life, I’ve done plenty of damage. What is dangerous is there are times when I will re-visit those “damaged” times in my memory. It’s even more dangerous when … Continue reading Damaged

One Day Closer

No doubt it’s Monday. I’m not a fan of Monday’s. If you’re like me, the start of the week is nowhere near as exciting as the end of the week. With that in mind, I thought I would share something someone said to me yesterday morning at church. I said “How you doing?” and he responded “I’m one day closer to glory“. Since I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, I said “what glory?”. Nice…. He then told me about the glory that awaits us on the other side of this life. It was such a simple phrase, but … Continue reading One Day Closer

What’s Next?

Now that we are officially staying, my mind has been running in overdrive. What are we going to do next? What will that look like? Who’s on first? The answers to these and many other questions will be forthcoming in the next few weeks. I can, with certainty, report that the items below are just a few of the many things that I plan to jump into 100% in the coming weeks. 1. All Pro Dad (First Saturday of every month @ Chick-Fil-A) 2. Sunday Night L.I.F.E. Group (Starts Sunday) 3. 80’s party at our house as a House Warming … Continue reading What’s Next?

What's Next?

Now that we are officially staying, my mind has been running in overdrive. What are we going to do next? What will that look like? Who’s on first? The answers to these and many other questions will be forthcoming in the next few weeks. I can, with certainty, report that the items below are just a few of the many things that I plan to jump into 100% in the coming weeks. 1. All Pro Dad (First Saturday of every month @ Chick-Fil-A) 2. Sunday Night L.I.F.E. Group (Starts Sunday) 3. 80’s party at our house as a House Warming … Continue reading What's Next?

And The Winner Is…

As promised, I would like to announce the winner in my Chris Tomlin “Hello Love” CD giveaway. After all of the comments, there was one that received votes from others and made me laugh out loud when I read it. Probably because I too have been there, done that. Without further ado..I give you the winner of the Hello Love CD Giveaway…. Joni Ruhs! Joni – If you will email your information to me at auncfan@gmail.com I will get it over to my friends at wiredforsound and EMI to get your prize out to you. To everyone else that took … Continue reading And The Winner Is…

Strong Enough To Bend

Back in the day Tanya Tucker had a song called “Strong Enough To Bend”. There are many thoughts and analogies from the remnants of Hurricane Ike that visited Columbus, Ohio over the weekend. Now that I have power back in our home, I can finally get a few of them to the web. I thought of that song this morning as I looked out my window and drove through town to see the numerous trees that had split, broken, been uprooted and those that stood strong. What intrigued me the most is that some of the strongest trees cracked and … Continue reading Strong Enough To Bend

What's Your Isaac?

Somewhere along the road of this “journey to nowhere” (Charlotte), my good friend and mentor Denny said something I have not forgotten. When we were discussing what all of this could be about, he said; “Aaron you have to be willing to lay down your Isaac. Maybe God is asking you to give Him your Isaac. You need to determine what that is and be willing to give it to Him.” What Denny was referring to was Genesis 22:1-15 where Abraham showed God he was obedient by laying his son on an altar. At the last moment, God provided a … Continue reading What's Your Isaac?

What’s Your Isaac?

Somewhere along the road of this “journey to nowhere” (Charlotte), my good friend and mentor Denny said something I have not forgotten. When we were discussing what all of this could be about, he said; “Aaron you have to be willing to lay down your Isaac. Maybe God is asking you to give Him your Isaac. You need to determine what that is and be willing to give it to Him.” What Denny was referring to was Genesis 22:1-15 where Abraham showed God he was obedient by laying his son on an altar. At the last moment, God provided a … Continue reading What’s Your Isaac?

Something Even BIGGER

Well friends, we’re back from a whirlwind 72 hour tour of Charlotte, North Carolina. Some of you may be looking at that picture and saying…”that looks like Columbus, Ohio”. If you did, you’re right. It is. On the heels of the big announcement from Friday, I have an even more wild and crazy one. The Conrad Family is STAYING in Columbus, Ohio! The details will be coming in future posts, but to give you an idea of what the next week to two weeks holds. I’m off to Denver Colorado on Tuesday and Wednesday. I’m in Indianapolis on Thursday. We’re … Continue reading Something Even BIGGER

Teachable Tuesday

I’m off to Cleveland the next few days for an event at Jacobs Progressive Field. In my absense, I’m going to let Mark Hall take over the blog today with another teaching video. A great reminder as I head off to do another presentation in another location, that my job is not why I am going. I’ve got a much greater purpose for driving to Cleveland. I have a much larger goal than delivering another speech. Continue reading Teachable Tuesday

Something Big

  In March of this year, we began a journey that took a BIG turn yesterday. Huge. In reviewing that post tonight. I recalled quoting the lyrics of John Waller when he sang: “Something so big, it’s destined to fail without you Lord” Friends, readers and those that may be visiting for the first time, I have an announcement to make…. In a little over two weeks, the Conrad family will become official residence of Charlotte, North Carolina. Yes, you read that correctly. TWO WEEKS! I told you it was big. As late as Tuesday evening, I was just telling … Continue reading Something Big

Give Me Your Eyes

There is no other song that lyrically describes where my head is right now. You might have noted that in posts like this one, this one, and this one. Or maybe here, here and even here. I guess the point is that God has been working on this area of my life for several weeks. To hear and see this video this morning was right on time. Again, lyrically, it sums it up. I couldn’t help but note that it takes place in an airport. Many of those posts come from my time in the same places. It doesn’t matter … Continue reading Give Me Your Eyes

In A Day

I need to apologize for a third straight day of Youtube posting, but this is too rich to not pass along. As I read the continued  fallout about the writer of the song “Healer”, I was reminded of the words in the Casting Crowns song “Slow Fade”. Quite simply stated “people never crumble in a day“. Mark Hall does a great job in a very brief video of explaining the process by which this can happen. Continue reading In A Day

Love Thy Neighbor

I wrote a post called “Thy Neighbor” back in January of 2007. You would think I would have learned from my post and my lesson at the time. Once again it is so easy to be the model of perfection behind the keyboard but when it comes to application…not so much. Last night we had another house showing. When we arrived back at the house, one of our neighbors was outside and said she spoke with the potential buyers. It turns out that they had some questions about the home which is directly behind ours (seen above). Particularly, they wanted … Continue reading Love Thy Neighbor

Foxholes

I’m sure you have heard it too, but there is a quote which says that “there are no atheists in foxholes“. Tonight I was returning from my trip to Norfolk and had the absolute blessing of the view that you see in the picture above. I wonder if you could say that there are “no atheists in airplanes”. That is probably a stretch, but it was my thought at the time. As Rob Bell said in “Velvet Elvis”, “Something holds all of this together” While this picture will never give the moment justice, I can’t express the beauty in it … Continue reading Foxholes

What You Believe

“You can say what you think, but you will live what you believe” – Mark Hall I flew Southwest Airlines home from Chicago tonight. If you’re familiar with Southwest they have what is called an “open seating” policy. In other words, it’s first come-first serve when you board the plane. Luckily I had a low number so I found a prime aisle seat and was nestled in for the flight home. That’s when it happened. The voice over the loud speaker said (to the almost full plane): “Ladies and Gentleman, for anyone with an open seat between them (me among … Continue reading What You Believe

Healer

Update: If you came looking for the song “Healer” by Hillsong it has been pulled from YouTube. If you’re wondering why it has been pulled from YouTube, that story is (HERE). What an absolutely sad and disappointing report today. Let’s pray for Mike Guglielmucci. We’re all guilty of making the wrong choices at times in our life. Clearly Mike has made a very bad choice in this case too. I pray Gods mercy and the mercy of those that will be critical of his decision. Don’t let this story deter you from purchasing the Hillsong “This is Our God” CD. … Continue reading Healer

Way To Live

I brought “Velvet Elvis” with me on this trip to re-read. It’s been about a year or so since I read it, so I thought I would run through it again. It only took a few pages to remind me why it is one of my favorite books. Check this out: “I’m convinced being generous is a better way to live. I’m convinced forgiving people and not carrying around bitterness is a better way to live. I’m convinced having compassion is a better way to live. I’m convinced pursuing peace in every situation is a better way to live. I’m … Continue reading Way To Live

The Now and The Not Yet

I’m probably aging myself a bit here, but way back in the day Amy Grant had a song that came to mind today. Maybe it is because if I had to give an assessment of where I am right now, it best describes the location, the feeling and the situation. Quite simply, I am at the intersection of “The Now and the Not Yet”. I’m interested to see if I am the only one that is standing at that intersection, or if we should build one of those “roundabouts” that have become so popular in the town I currently reside … Continue reading The Now and The Not Yet

Follow Up Moment

In order to understand this post, you probably will want to read the one before it entitled “I Missed My Moment“. I did take the opportunity to go and visit the man I mentioned in my previous post today. His name is Mike and I’d like to introduce you to him. Mike is a Vietnam Vet who is suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. He was diagnosed in 1995 with the disease but believes it started at least 10 years prior to that. He is married to his 5th wife who recently had her Gall Bladder removed as well. She has been … Continue reading Follow Up Moment

I Am

I had to laugh this morning when I reflected on the excitement of last weekend. I was amused by how excited we can get when another person signs their name on a piece of paper. While that individual might have special gifts or talents, they are just as human as you and I. In retrospect, I am challenged by what little regard I seem to hold for the greatest signature of all. Anyone that holds a Bible has it. It’s found throughout scripture, but I think my favorite one is in Genesis 3:14: God said to Moses, “I am who … Continue reading I Am

White Rocking Chairs

I am amused by the amount of friends that send me a text message when they are on a lay over in Charlotte (most recently “D-Rich” and “T-Plant”). I don’t even live there yet, but they know enough to know where my head and my heart are. I usually give the same advice, “Make your way down the concourse to the white rocking chairs and get comfortable”. I’ve had to wait in Charlotte enough to know the best seats in the house are the white rocking chairs. They seem to take away the stress of the long wait. thanks to … Continue reading White Rocking Chairs

What Are You Praying For?

These are heavy days aren’t they? I don’t know that I have ever said “I’ll be praying for you” more often then now. Unfortunately, I often make that statement and don’t do the job that I should of following what I said I would do. For that reason, I thought I would make a public offering. There is so much power in prayer. When we enter Gods presence and intercede for one another, we do so believing Gods word to us in 2 Chronicles 7:14: “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and … Continue reading What Are You Praying For?

“Yours”

While I was checking the RSS feeds tonight I read something I just had to share. All of this is credit to the guys at StereoTruth.net. They posted the news tonight that Steven Curtis Chapman will be touring with Michael W. Smith this fall. While that is incredible, it was the next part of their post that struck me tonight. According to their post, Steven has added an additional verse to his new song “Yours” (Coming August 1st to radio). You can read the entire story on the StereoTruth.net site. When I first heard SCC’s new CD, I was captured … Continue reading “Yours”