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Hands Up


For those of you who want to read about life...


Still stronger than my son, I guess

Updated: Aug 23, 2021

My son just hit that age when football became important. Now as a father, who played most of my life, I couldn’t have been happier. We can finally share this important part of our lives. We can watch game film, we can watch highlights, we can go over plays in the yard, and most importantly we can go workout together.

So as we hit the gym, I am reminded of so much. I remember learning the proper way to lift, I remember math facts so fast as we add weight, and most importantly after our first workout I remember the pain he is feeling. I was always taught no pain, no gain. So as I watch him struggling to lift his hands, or move after a heavy leg day, I remember being in that same position as his muscles get used to the overload of lactic acid.

The other day when we were leaving after a heavy day, my son asked me how long his body would hurt? How long would it be until he could leave the gym like me not feeling pain. I didn’t want to explain to him I feel the pain, I have just learned to ignore it, so I told him after 6 months your body will start getting used to it.

But as we continued this conversation I realized how inoculated I had become to the pain of a workout. It has been so many years since I was at the point where I couldn’t raise my hands to wash my hair after working out. It was just another thing I got used to.

As I was listening to music getting a Men’s Conference presentation together I heard a song that I haven’t heard for some time. It was a song that God had used mightily to work His grace into my heart so many years ago. In that moment, for whatever reason, I was brought back to that moment when God broke my heart, and woo’ed me to Himself. I was crushed, I was in tears, I saw me for who I was, and I saw the grace of God like I never have in my life.

Then life happened, I went to seminary, I learned theory, I started pastoring, we started a podcast and blog, we planted a church, and we started a nonprofit to serve our community. I just kept moving forward with my life. And the further I went from that day, the more inoculated I became to the very gospel I preach. The less dependent I was on the cross that saved me. I started looking at life with every answer planted securely in my life.

But then this song played. And in that moment, God broke my heart again. Sitting there working on the mundane, with nothing going on, I was reminded of who I am without Jesus.


David had this same problem in Psalm 51:11-12 ,”Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”


We all face this. We meet Jesus, we are redeemed, we tell everyone around us about this joy, and then we forget how amazing this grace really is, that saved a wretch like us. We get comfortable, we go on with life, we lose the joy we felt.

I encourage you pray God return to you the joy of your salvation. Remember the darkness, loneliness, hopelessness you felt as you were dead in your trespass and sin. Do not become familiar with Christ. Continue reaching into the depths of the inexhaustible well. Don’t ever get to the point where the gospel in normal.

Because it shouldn’t surprise any of us that sin leads to death, but it should baffle all of us that Christ would save any of us.

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