4 Ways To Stay Ordinary

A few days ago I came across a tweet that read: “I just realized I am no longer a male between 18-25. I’m done guys. It’s over. I am no longer relevant.”

What was originally a hysterical tweet, sunk in real quick – I’m turning 25 in a couple weeks…I won’t be relevant…” And a wave of misery and anxiety hit me. I felt insignificant, small, unfulfilled, and irrelevant. In short, I wasn’t feeling too awesome.

Being an idealistic 20-year-old, you think you’re going to change the world in an awesome and charismatic way. You believe you are invincible and able to accomplish anything and everything. We are raised that way. From parents, to teachers, to coaches, to pastors, if they are any good, that’s what they told you growing up: “You can do anything you want to.” So what entitled 20 something doesn’t think they are going to change the world?

I had to take a minute to stop and think.

How do I change the world?

How do I make an impact now?

How do I stay relevant?

Now after I threw myself into an interrogation, I realized how self-centered I really am. Projecting your own dreams and aspirations only objectifies the people around you. They become a means to you pursuing awesomeness. Jesus never called us to be awesome; instead, He called us to be authentic. Authenticity seeks the good of the Body, through active obedience in Christ.

This made me discover an entirely different question:

Instead of obsessing about changing the world, what if we just gave ourselves to living in obedience to Jesus in an ordinary life?

When I think of men and women of the Bible who changed the world by just living an ordinary life, only one person comes to mind: Ananias. And no, not the Ananias that God strikes down dead with his wife. There’s nothing ordinary about that. But the Ananias we find in Acts 9, when he heals Saul. Here are four ways we can learn from this moment of active obedience.


When we are first introduced to Ananias, he is described in one way: a disciple. There wasn’t an introduction of “Ananias! His ministry is just blowing up! Best-selling author Ananias! Best conference speaker Ananias! Trendsetting Ananias!” His introduction was as simple as his life – church going, personally devoted, gospel serving, disciple Ananias. He wasn’t the know it all, but looked over “irrelevant” disciple Ananias. In Acts 22, Paul says of Ananias, “a devout man according to the law, well-spoken of by all the Jews who lived there.” Ananias was reputable for his devotion to Christ and advancing the Gospel.


What might be my favorite part in this narrative is when Ananias refutes and attempt to correct God. This is so human and relatable, “God, I’m not sure you know who you’re talking about. This guy kills people like me for fun.” (This is paraphrased, of course). You can’t tell me the Bible isn’t filled with people just like us, if this thing was rigged – Ananias would throw on his cape and fly down Straight Street. You don’t have to be awesome to be authentic.


What must have started as a seemingly ordinary day, Ananias almost talked himself out of playing his part in God’s story. This is seemed like a mundane task,

“Go back and talk to the barista”

“Give that person a call today”

“Take that student to get a drink at Sonic”

All that matters is that you obey. The task may often seem ordinary, lame, or mundane. God may not ask you to change the world, but your obedience can change someone’s life. Every part of you may be fighting against that act because you don’t have the time or you’ll do it next time. If you can’t combat the fight of your flesh, you aren’t ready to be used by God.


C.H. Spurgeon said, “As followers of Christ, carve your name on hearts and not on marble.” Ananias’ obedience wasn’t fueled by making a name for himself. His motivation was based out his devoted, authentic, obedient relationship to Jesus. After Acts 9, we never hear of Ananias again. This was his assignment. When the result of his obedience, ended up turning the world upside down he didn’t seek the glory for himself. He went back to living his life. God never called him to sell the movie rights, or sign a book deal, or start speaking on the conference circuit. In order to truly make an impact in this world, it has to be through carving your name on hearts not on marble.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why Can’t I Hear From God

Have you ever wondered if you really heard from God? I’m kind of ashamed to admit this, but more often than not; I question if I am where God wants me. And no…not just geographically.

Am I fulfilling my purpose?

Is this what God has called me to do?

Am I supposed to walk t

hrough this open door?

Which opportunity does He want me to take?

Why are there no open doors? Did I not hear Him correctly to take this path?


If I truly heard His voice, then why do I wrestle with doubt in more situations than I choose to confess? Wrestling with doubt can be fruitful to our faith; it helps us interrogate our choices and our beliefs. But we can also mix-up interrogate and end up over-analyzing our faith and decisions. Interrogation can produce strength, while over analyzing will produce worry. When we worry, we start hearing the white noise of life and can no longer hear from God, or so we think…

In his book “Hearing God“, Dallas Willard says,

“Perhaps we don’t hear the voice of God because we don’t expect to hear it. But perhaps we don’t expect to hear it because we fully intend to run our lives according to how we please. The voice of God would then be an intrusion.”


Why can’t I hear from God? I’m not listening.

In order for us to hear from God, we must stop worrying. Proverbs 12 tells us that, “A worried heart weighs a man down”.  When we grow anxious about hearing from God and worry builds up, it weighs us down. I like to think of it as standing in wet cement. The longer we stand in it the tougher it’s going to be to get out. That’s like our worry and anxiety. The longer we sit around and worry – the tougher it is to break the cycle and progress into our calling. While thoughts run rapid in your mind, you can’t hear anything or anyone. Let the peace of God guard your heart and mind. (Phil. 4:7)


When God speaks to you, be intentional with that word and obey Him. Willard’s quote terrifies me because I identify with it. Too many times I have felt God try to help me and my intention was to do nothing.  In an interview, Heath Adamson said, “The last word from God is the fresh word”. Think back to what the last assignment was, and did you do it?

Maybe you did fulfill the last assignment, where’s that leave you? I would say in the same boat as David. In the Psalm 13, David gets real, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?…But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.” If you have fulfilled His assignments and you still feel as though you can’t hear God. Do we trust in His steadfast love? Do we trust that He will let you know what to do?

In Psalm 16 David shifts gears, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy…” David shares with us a secret; our joy isn’t found in our next step or next position or placement. But joy is found in our devotion to God.


I personally believe one of the most devoted people in the Bible is Samuel. In 1 Samuel 3, he hears a word from God for the first time. How? Here’s my speculation:

–          He expected to hear. He made a choice to be as close to God as possible. He literally slept in the presence of God. (1 Sam. 3:3)

–          He was intentional. He served the church, Samuel and God without any guidance or even knowing the voice of God. He obeyed God throughout the silence. (1 Sam. 3:7)

–          He grew in devotion. He grew so close to the Lord, that none of Samuel’s words would fall to the ground. (1 Sam. 3:19).

Like Samuel, God hears your prayers, we just need to start listening and obeying.

Posted in Daily Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding Purpose Through FOMO

I never realized it until a few weeks ago that I suffer from a major case of FOMO. I struggle with the “Fear Of Missing Out” – it didn’t hit me until I was just scrolling through my social media feeds.

Somehow there is always someone traveling and seeing the world, or having a baby, or getting engaged, married, trying new things, sky diving, and the list goes on and on…

Meanwhile, I’m in this trance wishing I were in London, scuba diving, and re-furbishing old furniture to look new again, or starting a family. All of these things revealed my FOMO. I feel as though I’m missing out on something. I’m reminded of this German clip.

Many of us use an iPad for many purposes but I doubt “cutting board” is one of them. This man missed out on what his iPad was originally intended for. I tend to fear these menial things of travel, marriage, and career. But something bigger tends to magnify my FOMO – I fear I’ll miss out on God’s purpose for my life.

In Matthew 25, Jesus tells us the parable of the talents. We all know the story, one man is given 5 talents, another man was given 2, and a third man was given 1.

Yada, yada, yada…

We come to find out the Master has gained a return on His investment in the first two men. But the third just buried in the ground and didn’t do anything with it. Unfortunately, I see myself as the man that didn’t do anything with what God had given him.

Now, we could go the “God has given all of us talents – how will you use yours” route. However, I’m not going to do that – I’d like to stick to what these talents were – money. God has given us something of value. He has given us a new life, he has extended grace, love, forgiveness, and mercy. In short, He has given His own son for us so that we may have life. Which leads us to carry on Christ’s purpose – to seek and save the lost, point them to Christ.

I believe the main reason we bury our gift of purpose in the dirt is because we fear we will disappoint God. Have you ever found your self in one of those situations where you over-think it so much that you don’t do anything? We fear that we are missing out on the “hand-writing on the wall” purpose; that we totally miss what God had in store for us the whole time. I’m reminded of what Doug Everaard has reminded me time and time again.

God has given you a valuable gift. If you don’t find it’s value, then you will never find your purpose.

We don’t have to suffer from FOMO any longer. God has invited us to take part in His purpose.

Posted in Daily Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How I Lost To Netflix


I need to come right out and say it. I’ve failed. I watched Netflix last night.

Now, before the eye-rolling starts I need to get something out there. The church I attend has challenged the church body to fast something in the month of February. As for me, being a working-single-24-year-old, Netflix and I have become nearly inseparable. I know what some of you are thinking, “Seriously Cody? People in the church are giving up food for an entire month.” But for real, I know someone that is only drinking water and juice this month.

When we think of fasting, we usually do jump straight to giving up food, caffeine, coke, sweets. More often than not, it becomes a diet and not a fast. The purpose of a fast is to demonstrate the death to my flesh and feeding a spiritual hunger for God. It is for those not satisfied with the status quo. For those who want more of God’s grace. For those who feel particularly desperate for God. Don Whitney captures it like this: “Fasting can be an expression of finding your greatest pleasure and enjoyment in life from God” (Don Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines, 176). And he quotes a helpful phrase from Matthew Henry, who says that fasting serves to “put an edge upon devout affections.”(160).

But why Netflix?

As embarrassing as it is to admit, it’s what I feed off the most. What started off as a healthy, “I’m going to watch an episode or two and just rest…” has turned into Saturday afternoon lying in bed, clicking the “judgmental” pop-up that is questioning if I’m really still watching this show, to groaning when I have to roll over and grab the charger for the third time.

What was once intended for good I have corrupted. Once intended for rest has now become slothfulness.

We hardly ever think of sloth being an actual “deadly sin”. I realized that in need to fast Netflix because I caught myself saying a nasty phrase: “I just need to go lie down and watch Netflix all night”

I need to do that? If that is my source of peace and rest, then I’m doing this whole Christian thing wrong. I’m not keeping first things first. I’m giving into my desire of comfort at the expense of my desire for God. Sloth is a sin of desire, a craving for comfort. When we starve our flesh we begin to realize what we have actually been feeding it. In my moments of vulnerability, exhaustion, and boredom; I gave into comfort and sloth. Instead, let us give into the Comforter and our Resting Place.

Posted in Daily Life, TV Shows | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Advent?

Let’s face it, our current series of “Advent” isn’t the most exciting series for everyone. On the other hand, we were deciphering scripture to see what it means to “Shake It Off” (in the biblical sense), just a few weeks ago. This season doesn’t seem as applicable or vivacious (yeah, that’s right “vivacious”).

So how can we break down Advent and fit it into a nutshell?

Why does Advent matter?

Advent matters because reveals that Jesus Christ is a savior, not just a teacher. If Jesus were only a teacher, then you can read him any time you want and glean things from him, like any other teacher. But if he’s a savior, that means you have to feel a need for him.

If I am trapped, or held hostage, I don’t need a teacher; I need a savior. To appreciate Jesus we have to understand how stuck we are.

The Advent hymn, “O come O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel” is all about that. We are all held captive. It isn’t until you feel that ache, the helpless desire that one who is addicted to drink or pornography experiences, you’re stuck and you can’t save yourself. Only when you hit rock bottom and surrender to a higher power, as in the Twelve Step programs, are you ready to move forward. The same is true in the spiritual sense.

In today’s world we are told, “You’re fine! You’re great! Assert yourself and don’t let people tell you what to do!” But all of that is a lie, and we known it deep down.

Advent is a time when we get in touch with our need for the Savior.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Seagull Syndrome


Everyone has those movies that they could watch time after time and always feel entertained and satisfied. For me, that movie is “Finding Nemo”. If you have never seen it, first, do yourself a service – go find it and watch it. Second, a quick synopsis – Nemo (a clown fish) gets lost and we following his father, Marlin, embark on a journey out of his undying love to find his son. Along the way both Nemo and Marlin make new friends that teach them new lessons.

I believe that one lesson that is evident is when Marlin is becoming discouraged while pursuing his son, his new friend Dorie encourages him to just keep swimming. She encourages to not give up not matter how hard it may be. We all need “Dories” in our life – someone who will walk alongside of us and motivate us to never quit on what we have set out to do.

Growing up and watching this movie, I noticed one thing that is pretty blatant – compelled by love a father will do anything for his child, even if that means swimming across the ocean and facing near death experiences. Marlin is clearly symbolizing the good shepherd – someone willing to risk it all for the sake of his lost child; a child that may or may not be found. Marlin is the father or even person I want to be in life and in the Church. Shouldn’t that be our goal – to seek the lost, like Marlin, and to walk with them in accountability, like Dorie?

Man that would be awesome!

However, I find my role in the church to not reflect Marlin or Dorie at all. In fact, I find myself to be more and more like the seagulls, “MINE! MINE! MINE!” This is one of the ugly truths of my life and I believe we all have some “seagull” in us. Now don’t get me wrong I volunteer in the church I attend. What I have to check my guard about are my motives of my heart for serving.

It’s just our human condition to see what we can get out serving for ourselves. I find myself trying to find fulfillment for myself, searching for self-satisfaction and joy out of my service to the Church. But more often than not, when I’m serving in the church I would sometimes leave feeling empty. Now there are two kinds of empty:

  1. Empty – serving to the point of exhaustion for the glory of God. Being tired after investing and pouring into lives for the Kingdom.
  2. Empty – laboring to find something you can gain or satisfy yourself due to pride in your service. But ends up like scooping up water – empty handed

I thought I was accomplishing the first empty, in reality I was achieving the second “empty”. Only by the grace of God I found out how I fell in the second category rather than the first. I wasn’t producing fruit in my service. The fruit I did produce was labeled, “MINE!” I wasn’t getting anything out of my service because I was doing it for myself, that people would see me “doing something” which ironically was doing nothing. Jesus tells us that if we want to find life in our service we have to die to everything that we find self-fulfilling.

“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 16:25

When we serve others to subliminally fulfill ourselves we’ve missed the goal. When we serve others to fulfill the sake of Christ, we find life and joy in who Jesus is and how He works in the Church. Let us die to our “seagull syndrome” and selfish desires; and become more like Marlin and Dorie – seek the lost at all costs and walk in encouraging accountability.

Posted in Film | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s For Lunch?


I don’t have many “adventurous” quirks about me. I’m not often known as the spontaneous guy. However, I am always down for trying out new restaurants; listen to what I’m saying though. I’ll try out new places but I’m definitely not promising you I’ll love it. I’m a creature of habit. I love routine. One of the most fulfilling parts of my days is waking up and knowing exactly what I’m doing that day – I have it all planned out. More often than not, part of that routine is watching a couple episodes of Seinfeld. One thing I appreciate (and quite jealous) sitcoms in general, which they all have a certain place to gather and eat at any given moment.

  • Seinfeld: Monk’s
  • Friends: Central Perk
  • How I Met Your Mother: McLaren’s Pub
  • Frasier: Cafe Nervosa
  • Happy Days: Arnold’s
  • Family Guy: The Clam
  • The Simpsons: Moe’s Bar
  • Everybody Loves Raymond: Nemo’s Pizza
  • Saved By The Bell: The Max

Ok, the list can easily keep going, but I’ll stop there because I believe we have seen two distinct patterns. The first one being that I watch way too much TV. The second, every strong community of friends have a place they all go to grow in relationship, but also to eat while they do it. I believe this is something that needs to hold true in all of our lives. When we eat and break bread together we let our guard down and stumble upon revelations like from C.S. Lewis,

 Relationship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one!’

I mean this is the whole premise to one of the most successful sitcoms to date – Cheers! We all want to go somewhere where everybody knows our name. Somewhere we can open up talk about our struggles, our ideas, our dreams, our pet peeves, our observations, our ideologies and still be loved by others.

It goes without saying that communication is the key to understanding. Although we are friends and want to help the other succeed, each member is at a different point in life. When we spend time together over meals it helps us keep in touch and enables us to encourage each other. Joseph Califano, Jr, of Columbia University said,

 One of the simplest and most effective ways for people to be engaged in their other lives is by having meals together.

One of loudest accusations made about Jesus is that he would break bread and eat with sinners.

  • Matthew 9:9-11
    • As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. 10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
  • Luke 15:1-2
    • Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
  • Luke 19:5-10
    • And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Even on the night He was betrayed Jesus broke bread and shared drink with his disciples, for them and for us. At that moment, Jesus knew we all would betray Him and He still didn’t make us eat alone. So let’s find a local diner/café, order a turkey club, put our phones away for one hour and live life together in a gospel-centered community. Stealing the title of Keith Farrazzi’s book, we should “Never Eat Alone”. Let us set out to make meals about “us” and not “I”. I’ll leave you with the words from Paul, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Posted in Daily Life, TV Shows | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment