Sunday, March 11, 2007

First Steps on the Journey

A pilgrimage is a long journey or a search to discover great moral significance. If you’ve come to the place, as I did, where you ask yourself “is this really what life is all about?” I invite you to read further.

My story is actually a happy one. I had a wonderful childhood and I had great parents. Unlike many I’ve heard from, in my family there was no abuse, no divorce, no drugs or alcohol problems, and we all really loved each other. I crossed the line of faith and accepted Christ as a second grader. I was decent student and an athlete throughout school and went to the University of Houston. They had a great track and field program and many of my teammates were Olympic medal winners. I met my future wife at U of H and really had a great experience.

As a decathlete, the competition is ten events: 100 meters, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400 meters, high hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, and the 1,500 meters. In each event, the time, height, or distance you achieved had a corresponding point value that was located in a scoring table. The points from all ten events get added up and the total score determines the winner. When I left school and went to the work world I took that mentality with me. I just substituted money for points. I reasoned that the better I did, the more valuable I was, then the more I would get paid. My wife and I started out without much, but over a period of a few years I had started making quite a bit of money. I soon discovered that age old question of “how much is enough?” It soon left me wondering if this is what it was all about. I sure didn’t feel significant…more like a mouse on an exercise wheel.

At this point in my life, my wife became a Christ follower and I make a new commitment to the local church. I learned and experienced a great deal from my church in Houston. I started attending a Sunday school class, a small group, and began to give back by working with elementary aged kids. This new commitment culminated in a powerful experience in which Dr. Bruce Wilkinson challenged us to become everything that God wanted us to become. I took that challenge and haven’t looked back since! I still feel like I’m on a pilgrimage. I’m learning, and growing, and changing to become what God created me to be. I’ll be adding more of my own pilgrimage over time and would love to hear from you…I’d like to hear your story or hear from you as you interact with what you’ve read here.

May God’s peace and mercy be upon you and your family,


Jim said...

Proplanner said...
Hi Jim. Did you know that the University of Houston has dropped its football program?

Just kidding, but it remains the best harmless practical joke I ever played on anyone. You were a perfect target -- how I miss those days.

Congratulations on your blog. I like the theme of the journey, the historical literary reference, all of it. Who would have thought a humble ex-benefits consultant could be a blogger!

Keep the good thoughts coming. I'm sure I'll have something useful to say soon.

Take care.

Steve Juetten

March 9, 2007 5:49 PM

Jim said...
Hi Steve,
It was great to hear from you! I would love to get together with you and solve the problems of the world anyone ever listened to us anyway. :)
Take care,

March 9, 2007 6:05 PM

Gary Franz said...
Jim... as you asked I visited the blog... you are just full of new stuff m'bratha... I love it (great picture) and I appreciate you sharing your story.

Colleen and I just came from one of the advance meetings for the new Church property. Kevin was so filled with the Spirit as he spoke that we were all encouraged and challenged and blessed, all at the same time.

He told the story of how the owners of this property for many years have asked God to use it for his glory and purpose... and now here it is in the possession of our Church... Dat der ain't no axident!! We truly are priviledged to be a part of this Church and look forward to ever more growth as Christ followers, learning to be good and faithful servants.

I am not sure how you want us to share our stories or other information here but... I know you will help us with that. Thanks for inviting me here... it is now locked into my favorites... see you Sunday... Love, in Christ, Gary.

March 9, 2007 10:12 PM

I had to take the original blog down so I pasted the comments in here. Thanks for the input

Jan Venti said...

Jim, I enjoyed your blog and appreciate you sharing so much of your journey. As your sister, I agree that we had wonderful childhoods. We were fortunate to have godly parents who have always been strong influences in our lives. I am blessed to have you for my brother --- keep up the journey blog! Love, Jan

Anonymous said...

Jim, It is encouraging to hear from another Christ follower who accepted Christ as a child, but did not start a serious pilgrimage until an adult. I feel like I have just started mine. My experiences a High Pointe Church have been transforming. Thank you for your testimony and leadership.

Tod Morrish