Never Easy

I’m the poster boy for doing it the hard way. 

Well, to be precise, I’m the poster boy for doing it the WRONG way, multiple times, and maybe, just maybe, learning something in the process.

That’s why, or at least partly why I tend to give up on things.  I know from the get go that I’m never talented or gifted enough to excel at anything.  So if I’m going to do it, ot better be something I love.

Marriage, fatherhood.  Yep!

Music.  Yep.

Horses.  Yep, though I let that go for marriage.


Lately, I’ve been going through a season of doubt.  I’ll never be good enough, strong enough, worthy.  I just can’t do it right.  Despite all that I’ve been through, all that I’ve seen, all that I’ve hoped for, dreamed of, believed in and the depth of my worship, it will never be enough.

And that’s just truth.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:6 ESV

Somehow, I keep thinking it depends on  me.  That’s my problem with saints and pastors and martyrs.

We put them on pedestals, paint halos around them and tell legends, LEGENDS about all that they did.

Oh, we like it that way.  He’s up there.  I’m down here.  I’m off the hook.  Can’t expect much from me.

But if HE who began a good work in me will complete it.  And I’m not DEAD!  There’s still more for me.

And whether I do everything wrong or not.  He still believes I can do it.

So you’re like me.  You have royally f’ed everything up in your life but just haven’t had the good grace to die.  Guess what?!

Pick up your sword (dust off your bible).  Get on your knees.  And get in the war.

You are needed.  I am needed.  God’s work isn’t finished and I’m still on the team

It’s not easy.  That’s why God made idiots like you, like me.

Nothing ever handed to us.  Struggle and failure are part of our DNA.

This IS our time!


Take the Pain

There once was a faith healer from Deal. Who asserted that pain is not real. “Then pray tell me why” came the patient’s reply, “when I sit on a pin, and puncture my skin, do I hate what I fancy I feel?”

I don’t like pain. Sometimes I think I would do anything to avoid it. Maybe it is the root of much of the addictive behaviors I evidence. Pain can create fear, anxiety, depression, defensiveness all in the attempt to keep pain away.

Which, of course, causes pain.

I’m no expert, but what I hear God saying to me right now is, “take the pain.”

To be clear, this does not mean “suck it up” or “quit being a wimp” or even “bury it so no one knows that it’s there.”

What it means to me is, “face it.” In some ways, I have to embrace the pain that I feel. Let it move me, galvanize me, put me on my knees.

That’s where I’ll find God. That’s where I see His power and sense His presence, though I may have to wait for it.

Sometimes pain can absolutely be blinding.

But I’ll wait. And take the pain.


Ok, so this is where the “bitter” and the “healing” are.

I have worshipped on the stage where everyone could see.  I have worshipped where no one could, some could see, lots of people could see.

Maybe that should be honored.  I don’t think it was.  Often it was looked at as an anomaly (Matt’s weird).  So often seemed fake, worked up, emotional.

I just spent the last fifteen minutes or so singing at the top of my lungs, in a paper mill, with no one around.

I’m not asking for encouragement.  I don’t need you to tell me I’m ok.

I want you to understand that where you are.  Whether it’s in a paper mill, a factory, at a desk, or over a bassinet, your praise matters.

There’s no money to be made, albums to be sold, fame to be gathered.

It’s just you.  Crying out to the God Who Sees, who knows, who loves.

I love corporate worship.  And at my church, we have great leaders.

But I would submit to you this, God wants you.  Your worship.  Right where you are, in tje middle of what you’re going through.

He wants to hear your voice in the middle of your real day, saying I love you.  You are my King!

If you can only worship with music and lights and a crowd around you, and I say this lovingly, your worship is crap.

The Minor Key

We love the major key. Positive, happy.

The minor key is where things are real.

In Hebrew culture, for the most part, everything is in the minor key.

We want things to be positive, hopeful. But, we live in this life.

The reality is we live in the minor keys. I don’t want to cuss, but this is where shit gets real.

Life is not positive, fluffy, whatever. Life is real, negative, a struggle.


Tears of Joy

There’s a song on the radio.            reminding me of love.                           Singing of the power of God.                       His grace from up above.                           And I’m thinking about my family.          How I’ve let them down.                      Though I know I’m sorry.                             I’m surprised that I have found

That these are tears of joy.                          These are tears of hope.                                 These are tears that mean                            the healing has begun.                                     He has broken through,                                Torn my fences down.                                And I’m glad that He has given me new life with you.

I wrote this song a long time ago.  It is good to know it’s still true.  He is still working.  He hasn’t given up on us and we haven’t given up on each other.


Purity is an innocent child, smiling, angelic.  Or maybe it’s a virgin girl, untouched, not sullied by sex, the touch of a man.

Men are off the hook.  No one expects purity from even little boys.  No one except God.

But we’re wrong.

We paint the picture of a “holy” man with his hands clasped in prayer, a halo behind his head, a somber, emotionless face.

He certainly is no soldier, practically not a real man.  A real man is tough, strong, sexual.  Impurity is just how it is; boys will be boys.

But we’re wrong!

How do we change this devastating status quo?  Can we be more but still remain dudes?  Fishing, hunting, gun toting, car driving, work with our hands, women loving men?

It’s more than possible!  It’s imperative!  IT HAS TO HAPPEN!

Two resources that have been very successful are the “Conquer Series” videos ( and f3 Nation (  Get in a group if there is one in your area.  If not, START ONE! 

Do the things you know are impossible but you know are right.  Work on disciplines, brand new habits, new mindsets.  Believe in a christian brotherhood and a faithful God who has NOT given up on you and who WILL walk through the battles with you.

If you’ve tried and failed, try again.  Get on your knees.  Pray for your family and that God would raise up a warrior within you.


In All Fairness

I fear for America.

I have a sense that we have not had a real election in a long time.  One side just gets better at cheating than the other one.W

We have proposals and constitutional amendments that are sold by false advertising and blinding rhetoric so that very few people seem to know what or who they’re voting for.

And with every vote cast, every election that goes by our freedoms slip further and further away.

The January 6 hearings were a witch hunt and a travesty of justice. The depiction of riots and protests across our nation have been skewed and manipulated to push a social agenda. People actually have died because of how the media portrays certain events.

Try being a doctor that scientifically questions the covid vaccines. Try being a pastor that speaks against abortion. Try being a person who questions the direction of our economy.

What are we doing?


The holiday season brings families together all across the world.  That’s where the trouble starts.

What a broken, messed up, ruined system.  Absolutely doomed to failure.  Dysfunctional parents raising dysfunctional children all throughout history.  You look at most of the heroes of Judaism and Christianity and then look at their kids.  Wow!  I mean wow and YIKES!

So why does an all-knowing, all-powerful God believe that the family, a husband, a wife and children is the best way to assure an environment where love, joy, nuturing, goodness, and life could be experienced?

And, it would appear that very few experience those things in a family.

Parents shake their heads at the “stupid” things their kids do.  Kids blame their parents for all the “wrongs” done to them.  Everyone feeling like the problems would be solved if the people in their lives were just different.

What makes a beautiful song?  Is it one that never strays into the relative minor?  Is it one that never displays dissonance, syncopation, complicated melodies or harmonies?

I don’t think so.

The best place for me to learn love, real, Christ-like, agape, self-sacrificing love is in the crucible of my very flawed family. And if I can see them as a gift, instead of the ruined, broken, sinful people that everyone of us truthfully is, I take one step closer to the heart of God.

And that’s why He believes in us, as fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters. I think He knows that if we will choose love in the environment where the deepest hurts can occur, that we will choose love as we make our way in this crazy, messed up, dysfunctional world.

But hey, what do I know…

Stress Relief

The book of Philippians says, “Do not be anxious about anything…”

Right now, my chest hurts, my skin itches and my digestive tract is in knots.

I am stressed out.

Work, car trouble, financial woes and don’t get me started on the dumb things I do.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

So God, transmission died.  Work is piling up on me.  Seems like I work all the time but always feel like we don’t have enough to pay for everything, let alone have much fun.  I make so many mistakes at work I’m gonna get fired and I can’t seem to keep my mind and heart fixed on you.

Thank you for my children, they are really great people.  Thank you for my wife, she’s awesome!  Thank you for how you always provide, always see us through.  You’re pretty awesome too!

That simple!?

“And the peace of God, which goes beyond all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Amazing, and it works!


What are they doing? What happened now?! Oh man…

Hey God, it’s me again.

Faith In Humanity

I belong to a group called f3. Normally, we just work out together, exercise, encourage, insult and generally give each other grief.

Today was different. Our Q, the person in charge of the workout, wanted us to shovel snow off sidewalks, driveways in the neighborhood.

So we got to work.

As I was shoveling a driveway, an older lady (I can say that because I don’t think she was as old as me) came out and said thank you.

Yes, yes, your welcome, blah, blah, blah.

A few minutes later, as we were finishing up, she came out again. “Thank you, so much! You’ve restored my faith in humanity.”

Whoa, hold the phone!

I have heard the rhetoric of those who believe humanity will save itself. We will evolve to the point where we are perfect, no longer selfish, self-destructive, hateful creatures. We will become, oh, in a million years or so, loving, focused on the good of all, one with nature.

This is high grade horse manure.

No, I don’t want people to restore their faith in humanity. Apart from Jesus, and what He does by leading us first to the cross and then to the world, humanity has NO hope.

This is my problem with politics, with medicine, with psychology, all the things we look to to heal ourselves. They are the “splintered reed”, the thing that when we lean on it, pierces our hands. They not only fail us, they cause more damage when we depend on them.

Nothing I do. And the guys I hang out with would agree, nothing we do should ever restore your faith in humanity.

Can we point you to Him?