Aug 29

Broken Heroics

The other day, my friend Chris and I met up with a group of men who were not faking it.  Coming together to share some of their biggest problems, these men were putting it on the line that hope may be an option.

I was excited for the meeting, as I knew several of the men from a retreat back in May. I love coming together with men like this, and was excited to see their faces and reconnect over common ground. But what almost caught me off guard was the new men I met.

I was struck by their courage.  Their willingness to show up and share their most raw struggles. Their issues that had held them back.  Together in this group, they were going forward.

I think there is something nothing less than heroic when I group of men who are broken come together to take the risk that maybe, just maybe, hope can be found by first being weak.

No posing, no fake strength.  It’s raw, and sometimes messy. But In opening up, grace can flood the very places where truth sheds light on failure.  And grace provides strength to be transformed.

 

Aug 27

Risky Information

Photo Credit: Jeff Raymond via Sketch Guru

Photo Credit: Jeff Raymond via Sketch Guru

It feels like the biggest risk I can take.  I carry the regret of my failure, the weak place in my life that I wish would just go away.

It reminds me of how I always felt like my life just seemed to exist on the margins.  While everyone else seems to have it together, down inside, I know I really don’t.

Because there’s this thing I struggle with, and if someone really knew, their response will verify my greatest fear.

I’m a failure.  A fake.  I am flawed.

So for a while, I keep working the mask.  Adjusting it to make sure it fits well over what I must hide.  The smile, the pose that says I have things together in my life better than I really do.

But oh how tired this makes me.  This mask wearing.  This pretending.

It’s exhausting, and not working.  There’s got to be a better way.

Suddenly that hope stirs that the risk may be worth it.  I look at my friend, and wonder if he can handle what makes me feel defective.  He’s shared his struggles.  Maybe I can tell him mine.

Heart beating, palms sweating, I take the leap.

He listens.  He hears.  Genuinely.  Welcoming the new information.  Without a beat.

Grace flows, and shows that my flaw is just that. 

A flaw.  And I am not.

Aug 05

taking shape

Hi, my name is Jeff.  Raw Real Hope is a new blog that is still taking shape.  I am very excited about what is to come!

This past week, I began the process of transferring from Blogger to WordPress.  Now, the layout and design are under construction, with an eye toward what will best serve you, the reader

By early Sept, I will be posting regularly.  Early on, a few key posts will provide definition to the key ideas behind this blog. For example, I am currently working on what I mean by the ideas of Raw, Real, and Hope.  In the post following below, I paint a picture of Raw.  By defining these ideas, I hope to provide a big picture view of where this site is headed.

Thanks for stopping by.  Please come by again soon to to see how things are shaping up.  We hope that you’ll find a good reason to join us on this journey!

Jul 31

Raw

There are moments when life comes at us with circumstances that circumvent the best we’ve dreamed for our lives.   A painful let down.  The unexpected set back.  Lingering doubt.  An inescapable lie.  The broken relationship.  We try our best to rebound and escape the unwanted detour we didn’t plan.

But then the set back lingers, the pain presses in, and the brokenness seemingly can’t be pieced back together.  A rawness sets in that becomes a part of day and lives as much as our jobs, commitments, distractions and relationships.

It may linger under the surface, or reveal itself on our countenance more than we wish we would. Maybe it’s been there for days, weeks, months, years.  We know, or at least believe we’re meant for something different. Something more.

We’ve tried to ignore it, push it aside, and even medicate with a cocktail of modern distractions.  It affects us, maybe even controls us and drives an addiction.  And oh how we wish it wouldn’t, and it’s hardly in us to admit the control it has over us.

But there it lingers.  The raw place.  It haunts like heavy dark clouds that just keep coming back.

But then a sliver of light breaks through.  It doesn’t drive away all that feels dark, but taunts us with hope that can only be known when we don’t push what’s raw aside.

May 30

yet to be born

About a month ago, I purchased the domain www.rawrealhope.com with a vision for a place where the raw realities and stories of life could be shared in a real way, with real, transcendent hope making all the difference.

Right now, this site is still in a formative state.  While focused on my day job, and participating in theTwibe Writer’s course with Jeff Goins, I’m dreaming up what this site will be, look like, feel like, and how it will work and best offer to those who come this way.  My plans are to launch through a WordPress platform this fall.

I’m also dreaming and scheming with some like hearted souls on how this can be a shared place.  I see it being something of a community of like hearted folks who know there is more, want more, and won’t settle for any nicely and neatly packaged approach that short changes the journey we share.

For life is way too messy for that, and God’s on record for proving his love by getting up close and personal with people in those places.

I look forward to sharing with you what is to come.  In the mean time, check out this podcast that motivated me to finally pursue this dream.  Thank you, Jon Acuff!  Within an hour of listening to Jon and Dave, I purchased the domain www.rawrealhope.com.  And this first post is an important step out the door for me on this new journey.

(Updated Aug 5, 2013, original posted on blogger)

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