Blogger to WordPress…

Better late than never.  After just over eight years with Blogger, I have decided to finally make the must-needed move to WordPress.

Here are my top five reasons for the shift…

  • Ownership:  I would rather hold the rights to my content (rather than Google).
  • Domain:  JustinDFarley is far easier to remember than Blogspot.com.
  • Synchronization:  In the near future (and with a major revision of our church website), I hope to better utilize this blog for ministry.
  • Appearance:  Far more options (but of course with a greater cost).
  • Updates:  Does Google even remember they own Blogger anymore?

Please be patient with me as I learn the ropes behind the new platform as well as correcting the many (minor) glitches that took place with the transfer.  I plan to shut down my BlogSpot account by the end of the year.

In the meantime, I would love to hear a few pointers from my blogging friends (namely those who happen to be WordPress users).  Share away!

Blogger to WordPress…

Here Is Something New…

History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Sometimes people say, ‘Here is something new!’ But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new. We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now” (Ecclesiastes 1:9-11, NLT).

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Pokemon Go seems to be all of the rage right now.  One report states that parents have even gone as far as to begin naming their children after the little monsters.  Likewise, there is always that pressing debate on social media until the next critical controversy.  Everyone has an opinion on the matter until the matter no longer matters to anyone.

We respond the same way with our possessions by craving the latest and greatest gizmo until eighteen months later and a new update or release makes the coveted object obsolete (or say the experts say).

Solomon was a believer in the One True God.  He feared him.  And yet he, as one of the wealthiest and wisest kings in the known world found himself (just like you and me) on an endless quest for appearance, acceptance, power, popularity, possessions, and prosperity.  And he was a king!

I wish that I could say, being on this side of the cross of Jesus and a recipient of God’s New Covenant that I was above the fray.   After all, I have been a Christ follower for over twenty years and have been a pastor for over half of that.

However, insecurity, fear, pride, and addiction has driven me from time to time in my life on the pursuit of what is next.  If only… I find the right girl, have a family, continue my education, take on the next title, plant the right church….  We make idols of people, of projects, and now even of experiences.  Everything is new.  Nothing is new enough.

I find myself on a journey of intentional spiritual growth.  A place that I have been on for about two years but a place where I was not for quite some before that.  I have decided, with the counsel of those that I trust, that I need to take signifcant steps in the following areas in order to grow as a Christ follower, husband, parent, friend, and pastor…

  • Community:  Ever since we moved to the Tri-Cities with the heart to plant Blue Bridge Church, I have inavertantly isolated myself from others.  As a youth pastor, I had a natural network of leaders.  Living in Western Washington, I found myself close to a few lifelong friends.  Adjusting to lead pastoring and finding myself in a different city (even in my hometown) has left me lonier than I would care to admit.  I must clarify that I absolutely love and wholeheartedly appreciate those that make up our leadership teams and church (I could not ask for a better group of people) and I am incredibly grateful to live so close to so many members of my family – some of which are truly my closest of friends.   That being said, I now understand that I need a safe place where I can lay everything on the table.  I have finally found that environment.  I now meet once a week with other church planters, that happen to be outside of my particular network, to have critical and crucial conversations.
  • Hobbies:  I also need an outlet.  The gym has kept from gaining weight but it has not helped me in losing weight.  Nor have my workouts been a true outlet.  I feel better but I don’t feel as good as I should.  I need an ongoing task to clear my mind and expose me to new people.  I am still investigating options, but as much as I have fought the idea for years, a natural option (for for physical and emotional health) might very well be cycling.  The jury is still out.  Though I have yet to invest a lot of money in equipment, I will give the sport a try this summer.  I will keep you posted.
  • Writing:  Journaling and blogging  have always been a helpful part of my study, prayer, and application of Scripture.  I tend to journal when I am down and blog when I am up.  Both need to be done regularly so that I stay self-aware and senstitive to the works of Jesus.  I want to recognize him at work all day and every day.

That being said, even the above practices, newly applied, are not the answer.  They can become idols if and when I place my trust in them as the answer.  They are instruments in my response to Christ.  They are not objects of my worship but rather a means of worship.

To quote a commentator, “This passage is not a contradiction to the gospel but a call for it. The world is in bondage; and humanity is unable to explain, find satisfaction in, or alter it. Only the Word, who came into the world from above, can open the way of understanding and escape.  He has done a new thing: he has created a new covenant, given the new birth, new life, and a new commandment. He gives a new name that will last forever. Everything else is old and passing away” (Garrett, D.A.).

What do you do to keep spritually, physically, emotionally, and relationally healthy?

Lord, make me new….

Here Is Something New…

Jesus Apprentice…

I recently read (and would highly recommend Jeff Kirby’s Jesus Apprentice: Doing What Jesus Did.  

The author suggests, “Learning in the ancient world was based on a personal relationship between a teacher and student… The pattern of mentoring in the ancient world had a very clearly defined purpose: to replicate the life of the teacher in the student” (Kindle, 111-112).

Kirby goes on to propose, “The theme of Proverbs is how to train, disciple, and mentor the emerging generation to live life with wisdom and skill” (126).

Pick up a copy and let me know what you think.

Jesus Apprentice…