About

Thanks for stopping by!

About me

I’m an average guy mesmerized by the grace and glory and love of God. I’m a husband, father, grandpa, brother, friend and pastor; but first and foremost I’m a child of God. I like blogging, movies, reading, music, playing guitar, woodworking/carpentry and hanging out with my family!

Raised Catholic I have worshipped and worked most of my adult life in various independent Christian Churches in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. I first gave myself to following Jesus as a senior in high school but the real roots were planted when I was part of a campus ministry at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

I’ve worked in: residential carpentry, driving a county truck/snowplow, house parent at two different group homes, camp director for a ministry doing short-term mission trips with teens, Associate Minister, and am currently the Preaching Pastor of a wonderful church family in Hagerstown, Indiana.

About iLife Journey

While I love God’s church I also wrestle with a fairly large amount of angst at our lack of attention to simple discipleship – doing life as an apprentice to Jesus. Many churches focus more on growing a crowd or pushing programs than teaching people that God created us to enjoy us in a relationship.

Several years ago during a season of great frustration with church work – not my current church family – I was pouring my heart out to God when He planted a single seed of thought in my head. “What would it look like to start from scratch and teach people what it means to simply live as a disciple of Jesus?”

What captivated my attention at that same time was an amazing invitation offered by Jesus…

 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” ~ Mt 11:28-30 (The Message)

From all of this came the iLife Journey as a simple way of orienting people to what it means to follow after Jesus, learning to live in the unforced rhythms of God’s grace. It’s not a system but rather a lifestyle of living out the greatest commandment of loving God and loving others (Matthew 22:34-40) by pursuing…

  • intimacy with the Lord
  • involvement with the Church and
  • influence with the World

These three relational aspects of life are bound together like strands of a rope. Each one is absolutely essential and finds its deepest reality or greatest meaning only when lived out in connection with the others.

You can subscribe to my blog at the upper right corner of this page. You can also stay up-to-date with posts and join the conversation by clicking the “Like” button on “The iLife Journey” Facebook page.

Welcome to the adventure! Welcome to the iLife Journey!

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36 responses to “About

  1. Hello…I just wanted to personally thank you for being an inspiration to me and my blogging aspirations! With that said, I wanted to let you know that I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! You can check out the details on my blog at http://faith1stministries.wordpress.com . CONGRATULATIONS!!

    • Thank you very much Sebastian! I am honored and humbled by your nomination. My blog post are already schceduled out for the next week or so becuase I am out of town on vacation with my wife but when I get the chance I will look at this more closely! Again, thank you!

  2. Hi there! I just added a link to your blog on Greyskeil Rainbow’s blogroll. Keep up with writing 😉

  3. Chris Jordan

    Your profile caught my eye on another blog when you referred to yourself as a ragamuffin in awe of God’s furious love. Curious – are you a fan of Brennan Manning? 🙂 Blessings to you today…

    • Hey Chris! Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I am a fan of Brennan Manning! The Ragamuffin Gospel is one of my all-time favorites and was a huge turning point (about 12 years ago now) in my learning to be embraced by God’s grace. Are you a fan as well?

      • Chris Jordan

        Yes, It was about 15 years ago for me that I read the Ragamuffin Gospel and his writings revolutionized my understanding of Christianity. Definitely a turning point for me as well! One of the chapters in my first book, Supernatural, is called “God’s Amazing Grace”, and is all about how an understanding of ‘the ragamuffin gospel’ changed me. Awesome!

      • Very coo! It’s always encouraging to find a fellow traveler with a kindred spirit! Glad to be sharing the journey with you!

  4. Nice blog….I actually met Brennan a couple of times during my seminary days…interesting guy.

    • Thanks! I’ll bet he is an interesting guy. Would love to hear more about it if you feel so inclined or have the time. Thanks for stopping by! I’ve enjoyed checking out your blog!

  5. hilikusss

    I am new at this Blog thing, while searching for motivation I saw yours and its nice to see there are folks out there who are still mesmerized about Gods grace towards us, especially towards me. My lifes only desire now is to share that grace and love to others as I feel led by him to do, so now I’m using my voice to do so. My Pastor once did a sermon called “Don’t frustrate grace” our percieved inabilty to grasp a concept of something we can never earn and at times try to earn (therby frustrating it), we can only accept it and will never be able to earn or understand it. And thats Part of the Human condition, to always have to understand something before we accept it. Grace doesn’t allow this therby taking away anything of ourselves and accepting only something God can give.

    • Hey Paul! Thanks for stopping by! Great observation about how we tend to want to understand something before we will accept it and be embraced by it. Welcome to the blogging world. I enjoyed checking out your blog and really appreciate your transparency in sharing your journey to God. I trust that God will use you in very meaningful ways and hope you enjoy your experience with blogging! God bless!

      • hilikusss

        Thanks, its been pretty intimidating and somewhat frustrating, seeing as i’m no theologan or social media guru, but i feel i have a calling to share what God lays on my heart to reach out and help others avoid mistakes i’ve made and extend Gods grace to many, so i’m pressing forward and the blog is just one of the steps in doing so.

  6. hilikusss

    Sorry i meant to put this response on your artcle about grace. I apologize

    • No problem Paul! I’ve blogged for two years and am still learning to navigate the blogging world. I’ve learned the most by just checking out other blogs, but one in particular is a christian guy at tentblogger.com Welcome to the journey!

  7. How refreshing, Rick. Funny how God seems to bring the right things at the right time, Hmm? As a single again woman, I’m trying to figure out my place in the world of men, and I think I am going to refer a certain struggling man to your blog. Fantastic.

    Peace in God’s grace,
    Victoria

    • I would agree Victoria, God does have a sense of timing that is amazing! I have three single again gals in our church fellowship that I’m going to mention your blog to. Thanks and God bless!

  8. What a great blog you have here – found you from another blogger who had commented on my blog today. Blessings to you!

  9. Hi Rick,
    I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Thanks for your consistently inspiring posts!
    Judy

  10. I love the idea of a pastor seeking to encourage others to live according to the ryhthmof grace … through intimacy, involvement and influence … the heart beat of Heaven is one of the most liberating yet challenging ways of doing life … but the most satisfying!
    Love the picture of the 12 apostles … an Aussie icon of God’s granduer 🙂
    Blessings, God is Good!

    • Thank you for the encouragement and kind words. Being someone greatly moved by music, the image of rhythm is very rich and full. I dream of what it would be like to live in a community of believers where everyone sought to live in rhythm with God as the Conductor. What a marvelous display of God’s glory that would be! If not here, then one day in heaven! God bless!

  11. Oh … I believe that His glory will be revealed as the Body of Christ live in time with the heartbeat of Heaven … as we release His Kingdom on Earth through our prayers, our acts of kindness and stopping for the one, His goodness will be revealed … the knowledge of His Glory will cover the Earth as the waters cover the seas (Habb 2:14) … Moses saw His Glory, and it was His Goodness that was revealed … we are carriers of His glory … if we will just “let it out” … live as Christians (mini Christs) in the world His glory will be revealed here on Earth … as in Heaven 🙂 … I believe you are just one of the many agents of change that God is using today to effect His purposes as a tide of revival sweeps the globe.

  12. I’ve enjoyed my time at your blog. I’ll click the “follow” button now. You’re welcome to stop by bigstoryguide.wordpress.com

  13. Found your blog from another site, look forward to reading more!

  14. Your blog is very interesting; I am following it. Please consider following mine.

    Senior Pastor
    Equipping The Saints – Eph 4:12
    equippingthesaints@outlook.com
    http://gravatar.com/cchurchchurchblog
    http://cchurchchurchblog.wordpress.com/

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