Smile

Do you have a memory, say from camp, school or vacation that when you remember it it acts like a key that unlocks all kinds of other memories? I do. Sometimes they are heavy and serious but most of the time for me they are comical. I was blessed to lead worship this past week in Clifton, TX with an incredible group of young people, the Lord did a great work in all of us. My memory key for this past weekend is going to be getting two of my fingernails painted by the 6th grade girls! They were hysterical! They had a blast but I think I had more fun than they did!
Posted on January 27th, 2010 by Erik Bledsoe

Weaknesses

Change. Some of us like it, most of us try to grin and bear it and yet others despise it. However you feel about change it’s woven into the fabric of God’s design for His creation. Things are always changing. As God would have it there is some major remodeling going on for Betsy and I right now. Obviously with our first child due in May that necessitates change on the home front but there are also some changes ahead for our ministry. Some of them we only sense are coming, others we will be making announcements about in the next few days. I would love to tell you my initial reaction to these changes has always been unwavering faith but lately my first reaction has been fear. Fears of inadequacy, fears of failure (read inadequacy), fear of letting those around me down (read inadequacy) and the list goes on. When I boil it all down I find my greatest fear is my own inadequacy. My lack of faith is not in God strength to accomplish His purpose but rather in His choice to use me to do it. I believe God, I just have a hard time believing in myself. Do you ever feel that way? I think we all feel that way a lot more often than we’d like to admit. It’s important to realize that we’re not alone in the way we feel and that it’s normal to feel that way. In fact it’s not only normal to feel that way, it’s critical that we reach that point. It is only in truly understanding our deepest inadequacy that we can fully rest in Christ’s all-sufficiency. The apostle Paul said it like this in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am made strong.” It’s a hard pill to swallow, but if we want to see the power of Christ most prominently displayed in our lives it means moving closer to openly embracing our weaknesses in spite of the fear and shame that want us to hide them so badly. It means the end of fearing I might be inadequate and actually realizing that I am inadequate apart from Christ for the task He’s called me to. It is then we will learn that His strength really is perfect in our weakness. What are some of the weaknesses you wrestle with? What are the areas of life where you are most needing God to show Himself strong on your behalf? Are there some practical steps you can take towards trusting God with your struggle?
Posted on January 25th, 2010 by Erik Bledsoe

Control

As many of you know Betsy and I are expecting our first child in May. I am sooooo excited about being a father! I love it when people share with me how “this is gonna change your life” or “you’ll never be the same” or “you will wonder how you could ever love someone so much.” I know they’re right and I can’t wait. One of the first question people ask us after they find out we’re pregnant is “do you know if it’s a boy or a girl yet?” When we tell them we’ve decided not find out we always get mixed reactions. Some are so grateful we don’t want to know but others are disappointed or confused at why we wouldn’t. Others are down right angry; it’s kind of alarming. With that in mind I thought I would try and explain our decision because I think it has much bigger implications for our lives as a whole. Let me say first I don’t think there is anything wrong with finding out the sex of your child before it’ s born. That is for each couple to decide. For us we felt it was important not to find out the gender because we don’t want to buy into the illusion of control. Let me explain, one of the primary reasons people want to know the sex of their child is so they can buy gender specific clothes, toys, etc. They want to know if the nursery bedding should be pink or blue, should it be bunny rabbits or trains. All of this is done in the name of being “properly prepared.” If there is anything I know it’s that you can never be properly prepared for children. There will always be something else: more diapers, formula, snacks, patience, mercy and kindness, etc. While we are called to do our best to prepare as stewards of this new life it is sin for us to use the busyness of preparation to medicate our fears of inadequacy. Finding out the sex of the child only allows us to feed our fears by removing some of the variables thereby giving us the illusion of control, removing the need for faith. We will never be in control. It’s important that we swallow that pill early on in our relationship with this child. The responsibility of control is reserved for Christ alone. Only He can truly prepare our hearts and homes for this new child and only He can calm our deepest fears. For Betsy and I it’s more important to forego knowing if it’s a boy or a girl in exchange for an increased dependency in Christ.
Posted on January 23rd, 2010 by Erik Bledsoe

Finally

Just a quick post today to let you all know that God In Search of Man has finally found it’s way to Itunes. Thanks for your patience. Spread the word!
Posted on January 20th, 2010 by Erik Bledsoe

Haiti

portauprince-pd First, let me say thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I’m honored that you would think anything I have to say is worth reading. Secondly, in the wake of last nights Haitian earthquake I would be equally honored if, instead of reading my post, you would devote the time you might have spent here to lift up Haiti in prayer. I will be back tomorrow; same time, same channel. Greatest Blessings~ Erik
Posted on January 13th, 2010 by Erik Bledsoe

Wait! Not Until I Have My...

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Coffee. “Wait!...not until I have my coffee”, at least that’s how the new commercial from McDonald’s starts out. A tall 30 something, making his way through the busy New York streets presumably on his way to work, stopping everyone who wishes him a good morning with that line, “Wait, not until I have my coffee!”

In some ways I can empathize. Although I’m not a heavy coffee drinker mornings are not my favorite part of the day (unless of course I’m playing golf). I remember in high school waking up on the weekends around noon, all of my hair standing up on end, dragging my self to the breakfast table...or lunch table depending on how you see it! Perhaps I was genetically predisposed to sleep in. My mother was always carrying a coffee cup with a picture of an old woman on it who looked like she’d been in a train wreck, emphatically touting the slogan “I Don’t Do Mornings”. I’m sure most of us can identify on some level. If not the commercial wouldn’t be nearly as funny or successful.

Perhaps it’s my getting older, more than likely it’s the ever-approaching birth of our first child, but it seems like recently the first thing I’ve been craving in the mornings isn’t coffee, it’s the Word of God. Not like a “sure, I guess I’ll have some” craving, but more like an “I’m gonna spontaneously combust if I don’t get some of that right now!” kinda craving. Sometimes I wake up and it’s like I can’t breathe if I don’t hear from the Lord. I imagine this is what King David meant in Psalm 63 when he wrote:

“Oh God, You are my God; I will seek Thee earnestly. My soul it thirsts for You, my flesh it yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

I would love to tell you it’s this way every day for me but it’s not. Most days it’s lunch before I get to my quiet time.....and my attitude shows it. Just like the guy in the commercial I can be short and edgy with people, even down right mean. I know, I know it’s hard to believe ;) but it’s true, things don’t go well for me or those who cross my path when I haven’t had my coffee, I mean quiet time.

So my question is this: What do you crave first thing in the morning? What would happen if instead of our coffee or drug of choice we began to seek the Lord first thing in the morning? How would our priorities, relationships and passions change as we “seek first the kingdom of God”? Food for thought....or coffee if it makes you feel better.

Ba da bop ba ba I’m lovin’ it.

Posted on January 12th, 2010 by Erik Bledsoe

Glimpses Of Spring

flower-snow Life is full of seasons and like the calendar there are seasons of joy and growth just as there are seasons of sorrow and tears. King Solomon talks about this in the book of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, the passage made famous to pop culture by The Byrds in their song “Turn, Turn, Turn” (1965). This past year has been a challenging one for all of us no doubt. For my immediate family this has been the most personally difficult year any of us remember as a family. It seems like every time we turn around there is something else that has befallen us. For these continued circumstances we are grateful for your prayers.
Although Winter’s wind often robs our memory of the warmth we knew in summer we trust the process and more importantly our Father, the One to whom the winter winds obey. We also take hope in knowing that after winter comes spring! After a long hard winter it would appear the Lord has a season of joy ahead for our family. My brother Evan is getting married in April, Betsy and I are expecting in May, my youngest sister Josie is engaged for July and my sister Dori is engaged for August! That’s three weddings and a grandchild for my parents in 2010. We know things can change and don’t take anything for granted nor do we assume anything of the Lord, but for these first few glimpses of spring we are so grateful!
Posted on January 11th, 2010 by Erik Bledsoe

Date Night

hands Tonight my wife and I are going on a date. I have no idea what we will actually end up doing but it will be just the two of us! Spending time together is one of our favorite things to do and the more couples and families we see drifting apart the more important we feel it is for us to invest in each other and our marriage. In an age when our cell phones not only make calls but text, email, twitter, facebook, and allow us to watch movies, sometimes it’s actually hard to disconnect from all of the things that distract us from what matters most. Even when we do “spend time” with our loved ones we are often not fully present with them. My prayer is that you would power-off the distractions this weekend and dedicate time to what’s most important...your marriage and family.
Posted on January 8th, 2010 by Erik Bledsoe

Get The Truth

61v2rss1z8l_sl500_aa280_ Get the Truth Hey everyone. Just a quick note today letting you know that I am featured on a new release by Word Records entitled “Get the Truth”. It’s a collaboration between Word and the American Bible Society to encourage the use of scripture in song. Other artist’s include Francesca Battistelli, Mark Shultz, Mark Harris, BarlowGirl, Big Daddy Weave, Meredith Andrews, Sidewalk Prophets, Remedy Drive, Jordan Reynolds, Nick Robertson and Shelly Johnson. Here is the link to it in Itunes and it can also be found at Amazon, etc. Thanks for listening and for your constant support. It is a blessing to serve you!
Posted on January 7th, 2010 by Erik Bledsoe

Sunshine

sunflower I got an email today from someone I hadn’t heard from in a long time. I met this person while on the road and we have maybe only corresponded three times. The email was a simple “catching up” letter with no pretense. The just wanted to know how I was doing, tell me how they had been and then encourage me. I’ve been thinking about what they said all day. I really needed it. Never underestimate the power of a simple word of encouragement. Who can you “drop a line” and maybe bring a smile? What are some memorable moments of sunshine in your own life?
Posted on January 5th, 2010 by Erik Bledsoe