In 2001 I was just a shadow of the man God Intended when I was formed and born into this world.
Broken by life and living, I was much like the shadow creatures me and my buddies formed on the grade school movie screens. The shape could be clearly identified, but the person was far from the true identity. Perhaps I was successful by the worlds definition, even seen as a good Christian father and husband by my peers and family.
But as with Aragorn in Tolkien's epic, Lord of The Rings, I was being called to set aside the Ranger and become who I was born to be.
And that shadow, even though created in the light, was a false-self, a pose I had kept shaping and re-shaping into a version of me I could be comfortable with - but the result was still the same.
It was ultimately an ever shifting silhouette of darkness which couldn't fight battles or serve the broken hearted, one unable to truly love family and friends, and most importantly it couldn't reflect the living God. Jesus is calling each us come out of the shadows we've been living, even the ones that work well and look good to those around us.
But the quest for freedom and life can be a painful one our flesh will no doubt resist with great intensity. It's an "in the arena" adventure that's totally worth living but fiercely resisted.
Our Mission Uprising team is driven by a deep desire to be a catalyst for your journey into freedom and life. Not just because we like the idea, but because we have and continue experiencing it personally. How could we not want the same thing for every person we meet!
This weekend, between our Carolina Outpost and Father Son Camp in Indiana, several hundred plus men and sons are getting a taste of that freedom. And our faithful tribe of uncompromising misfits will again share the story of freedom and life Jesus offers freely to each of us.
Each of our battles are still real as ever. The shadows still call to us regularly begging us to hide from the truth. But the freedom Jesus has already brought trumps the enemy's tactics. It's what binds us together as sons with the confidence to lay it all down and walk it out together in His strength.
But this can't happen when we pose and hide in the shadows. It's only available when we walk as free and redeemed men.
John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.