All posts by Jason Gallant

Bite your tongue

I’m a firm believer that God speaks to us in some very creative/unique ways.

I remember one time praying to God before going to bed that he would do whatever it took to get me to wake up in the morning to spend time in his word.  Five minutes before my alarm was to go off, inevitably to go through an almost endless snooze cycle, my son starts peeing on me…  At some point in the night he crawled in bed with my wife and I.  Needless to say I jumped out of bed pretty quickly.



Last night I woke up in the middle of the night having just bit the tip of my tongue…  I have no idea what I was dreaming about, but it either involved eating something very tasty, or perhaps I was in a situation that required me to figuratively bite my tongue.


I could be reading something into it, but I’ll take it to mean that God intends to show me something today…  As I go through the day, hopefully I’ll remember the pain in my tongue and decide to keep my mouth shut when necessary.


Today Carey Nieuwhof posted an interesting blog about One Simple Question That Can Move You From Regret to Relief.  The context of the post is around facing change and how it’s important to ask yourself: 

“Five years from now, will the change I’m considering today result in relief or regret? ”  


I challenge us to ask ourselves the following question…

“Five minutes from now, will the words I’m considering result in relief or regret? “

I don’t expect this to be an easy thing to do, but even if it’s the greatest accomplishment of my day, I will keep my mouth shut when necessary.

I would love to hear your thoughts… Feel free to contact me directly, or leave a comment below.

Till next time.

Jason

Feeling Flat???

Have you ever just felt flat?  Neither up nor down… Everything is just ok…

2014 ended like that for me. At one point I felt on fire and full of passion. Once the holidays were over I just felt full. Mostly of junk food, but also a fully cluttered mind.

I’m not saying I was not thinking about God, but He was definitely not at the forefront of my thoughts. The last couple weeks have been a bit of a turnaround for me in this regard.   I’m once again  communing often throughout the day with God. The deep intimacy that I didn’t even realize was no longer there is returning.

This journey is different for everyone but here’s a few things that have worked for me.

1.  Get alone with God.

I’m not necessarily a morning person(don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee), but this is the only time of the day that I was able to get alone with God. Despite the difficulty of getting out of bed an hour and a half before necessary, it gets easier as the days go on, and I thoroughly enjoy the quiet.  

There are still days that I hit the snooze button more than I should, but making the time each morning was key for me. 

2.  Talk it out.

Sometimes as you’re going through things, you can feel like you’re all alone. I can say with  99.99% certainty that there is likely someone in your circle of friends going through or already gone through a similar situation.   You are not alone in your struggles and God did not create us to figure it out by ourselves . He has put people in your life intentionally to build you up.  

It can be scary, but just have courage to be real with your  friends. That does not mean post everything you’re going through on social media.   That’s just annoying… 

For me, I have many people in my life  that help through different circumstances. I was fortunate enough to have a friend that recently found himself in the same place as me. We were able to encourage one another. He directed me to a message by Francis Chan from the Passion 2015 conference. If you’re finding yourself lacking the passion you once did. Go give it a listen. 

3.  Get healthy!

I am by no means a health nut, and by far am not a picture of perfect health, but making good choices about your health will be very important in getting your head clear.  

‘Getting Healthy’ looks different for everyone, so I won’t say much on the subject, mostly because I feel very under qualified to do so.  God gave you the body you’re living in so take care of it… 

Today my ‘exercise’ was turning the music up and dancing around the kitchen while doing the dishes. Before you ask, there are no videos.  It took longer to do the dishes, did wonders for my mood and even made my little guy bust out a move and have a little laugh. 

I won’t pretend to be an expert on anything, but will just share with you what’s worked for me.

I’d love to hear what’s working for you…

Till next time.

J

Perfection…

I come up with so many excuses for why I can’t publish another post right now.  There’s always an excuse. Tonight I sit and try to find a design that’s suitable. Then I say I can’t have a blog without there being an about me page, or at least a decent header… All these reasons I place in front of me to avoid the calling of God. 



I’m reminded of the series we’re going through at our church right now. “The Ideal Family”. The title is intended to be satirical in nature, as we’re learning that there really is no such thing. Pastor Tim has said it might be better titled “how do I deal with my real family”. 


We go through life putting such high expectations on ourselves that truly limit us and hold us back. I’m learning to accept that I don’t have it all together, and that God’s grace is enough to carry me through. 

I’m ok with not being the most consistent blogger. I mean really. Not everyone can be Carey Nieuwhof or Perry Noble. I recently had opportunity to get some really good feedback from someone I would consider successful in the blogging space.  He told me to focus on my readers, and try to deliver something that would benefit them. To hold all success lightly, because as quickly as it comes it can go away. I was also encouraged to just write, understanding that most of these posts will accomplish little, while hopefully others will help to encourage and inspire my readers(assuming I will have some).

If this blogging thing is what God wants me to do then I’ll do it.  I’ll do the best that I can and trust that God will work to perfect the skill within me. 

One thing I’m working on this year is to at least attempt what it is that God is asking me to do, without listening to the excuses in my head on why I cannot.  I will lean on him in all I do.

What’s God saying to you this week?

Coffee and Jesus

Why is it so difficult to remain consistent?  I love reading blogs and have gathered so much form those that I follow. Last year I started this blog with the intention of blogging regularly, but ended the year with only 8 posts. The posts were all read and I received decent feedback, so I know it’s something that I can do. Maybe I just need to spend less time thinking about it, and just post shorter, more random entries. 


I started last year off great with early morning devotions everyday and became habitual with it. As the year progressed I got lazier, busier, more complacent and eventually back to waking up in the morning with only a few minutes to get ready for work and out the door. Over these last two weeks, although I’ve been sleeping in, I’ve had the time to start my day with coffee and Jesus. I realized how much I missed those quite moments in the morning to reflect, pray and dive into the scriptures.  It really is the best way to start my day. 

As with the turn of every new year it’s once again a natural time for reflection and goal setting. Despite falling back into old habits with my morning routine, I still feel that I ended 2014 closer to God than I was in 2013.  My goals for this year are pretty much the same as last year. Establish consistent and meaningful morning devotions again, as opposed to fitting it in at the last minute of the day. Make better efforts to consistently share my thoughts via this blog.  I also want to be more intentional with my relationships this year. 

I’ve already set monthly reminders to review my goals each month through the year.  I believe constant review and honest reflection throughout the year, will help to ensure success with my goals.

So here’s to a new year, and more coffee with Jesus!  

Jason


Great reads/listens:

It’s only a tree

We have now lived in our home for over a decade. Hard to believe how quickly life can pass by, but alas, here we are.

From the moment we moved into our house, the kids(not just our own either) have been drawn to the sprawling branches of this tree. Sadly, this week we decided it was time for it to come down. It has been dying slowly over the last couple of years. Covering our driveway in a blanket of needles, and dripping stubborn sap all over our vehicles.

To many this is just another tree being cut down. We will replace it with a newer, much younger tree, and it will increase our curb appeal, but to us it’s more.


Since moving into this home we have removed, trimmed and pruned many trees, and like the others this tree will come down. We will remember watching the kids play for hours. Seeing how high they could climb. Building tree forts and trying to convince us to let them sleep in the tree. I can only imagine the secrets that have been shared among friends in that tree.


All good memories aside, the tree is no longer producing life and if left much longer will become a hazard.  

This tree reminds me of many things in my life that were once beautiful and healthy, but have since started to wither and die. Yes, I can ignore them, as we’ve done with this tree, but if left where they stand they become harmful. Making a decision to remove something from your life before it gets to that point does not negate the beauty it once brought, but makes room for new life.

I’m reminded of John 15:2

He breaks off every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and he prunes every branch that does bear fruit, so that it will be clean and bear more fruit.(‭GNT)


I want to be a Christian that bears fruit, so sometimes that means there will have to be some pruning, and sometimes some pretty drastic changes.

During moments of change, there is often a significant amount of pain and self doubt. On the other side of that change, most times we can truly say it was worth it, and in all cases there is something significant to learn, even if we can’t see it in the moment.

So yeah, it will be sad to see it go, but we choose to remember the fun that was had, and will be free from sap covered, pine needle filled cars.

Change and sometimes moving on is a good thing.

Embracing the change!

Jason

Great reads/listens:


The Old Rugged Cross

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,

The emblem of suff’ring and shame;

And I love that old cross where the dearest and best

For a world of lost sinners was slain. 

I was listening to a playlist on Rdio this morning while working, and “The Old Rugged Cross” somehow made it into the mix.  As I moved my mouse to click next and move to something a little more modern and “relevant” to today.

Something made me pause, and now as I sit here listening to a myriad of “old” songs from days gone past, my mind is spinning from all the moments in my life that I connected with God on an intimate level, and the people that were instrumental in those experiences.  

When I listen to the hymns, I’m taken back to a time when people like my Uncle Allen led worship service.  As we slept under the pew, played with colouring books, or later in our teens, passed notes around, these songs made their way into my subconcious and remind me of the times when I saw lives changed, and hope restored.  When an old course comes on, I’m reminded of those times when “The Glory Fell”, and when once again lives were changed and hope restored…

Last week as I listened to the same playlist, “Father Abraham” was even in the mix, and I’m reminded of all the ladies that dedicated their lives to our Sunday School.  They made sure that everyone knew what the actions to all the songs were.  Somehow Sister Forgraves could out action all us kids.  These ladies may not have realized the lifetime impact their dedication and love for us kids would have had.

We can all find problems with our past, and it’s sometimes easy to point out all the flaws, but if we look, sometimes really hard, for the most part there were people that loved God, and were obedient to His calling on their lives.  No matter how small or insignificant it may have seemed at the time, they chose to walk in their God ordained destiny’s.

I’m certain that I’m not the only one who’s life has been impacted by the Sunday School teachers, Bus drivers, ushers, Youth pastors, senior pastors, and the faithful seniors that you knew were praying for you.

In a world that says new is better, it’s important to sometimes take a step back and look at where we’ve come from.  In all situations we face there is something to learn.  Something about ourselves, something about others, and often something about God.

So today, take a walk back in time.  Reflect on the good, learn from the bad, and always rejoice for where God is taking you.

Till next time.


Jason

What I’m reading this week:


Listening to:

  • Nostalgic Christian Worship on Rdio
  • Today’s Top Worship Songs – Songza

Well, This is embarassing

So much for New Year Resolutions eh???

Isn’t it funny how ambitious we are when the new year starts, but then as the winter drags on we lose steam…  One thing I’m learning so far this year is to constantly re-evaluate and re-adjust.

So this is me re-adjusting… 

At the beginning of the year this felt very important to me, and so I committed to being consistent in documenting and sharing my thoughts.  As work load at the office seemed to sky rocket and the endless round trips to the rink for Hockey and Skating, my drive to keep this updated seemed to dwindle.

Despite not adjusting well to the recent time change, I am doing well with my resolution to become a morning person.  I have found that starting each day off with a cup of coffee, my bible and a cuddly dog have done wonders for setting the tone for my day.

I’ve also subscribed to http://storylineblog.com/ and have found that the productivity template is helping tremendously to help structure my day.  Even on those days that I’ve forgotten to fill it out the routine that I am starting to develop takes over, and I’m still productive.

My quest for knowledge and all things leadership has not subsided.  Perhaps reading great leaders is a bit intimidating and part of the lack of desire to blog.  In any case, here I am again and gonna give it another shot.

One of the most recent verses that’s been on my mind is:

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,

and in his word I put my hope.

Psalm 130:5(NIV)

Hope seems to be a very over used word, and in my opinion somewhat abused.  Often we’re just wishing for something to happen, but calling it hope.  

In an article about Necessary Endings by Dr. Henry Cloud, he says this about hope:

Hope is one of the greatest virtues in life.  However, it can also serve as an impediment to success if we don’t have a real, objective reason for hope.  Hope without reason is only a desire or wish; not a hope you can expect to materialize.

This has struck a cord in me these last few weeks.  When dealing with projects to give up on, dreams to stop aiming for, relationships that have out lived their season, it helps to put into perspective whether I’m just wishing for a good outcome, or whether there is real hope to keep things alive.

In Dr. Henry Cloud’s book there are many ways to identify when there is hope and when there is not.  I won’t even try to do it justice, cause I’m not confident that I could do so.  I would strongly recommend any leader, whether you’re in church leadership, corporate leadership, or even leading your family, pick up this book and give it some serious consideration.

I will try to write again soon.

Jason

What I’m reading this week:


Listening to:

  • Today’s Top Worship Songs – Songza
  • Mars Hill Church – Mark Driscoll

Now the Pressure is on

So it looks like I have readers a lot sooner than I expected. Yes, I know and understand that my posts were posted in a public domain, but I wasn’t quite sure I was going to intentionally share it publicly any time soon. 


I’m sure most who have read my last posts already know me, but I’d like to make it very clear that I am not a literary genius by any stretch of the imagination. So this space is where I’m just putting my thoughts. There will most likely be rambling and probably the odd rant(I’m not perfect), so I would love feedback on what I’m sharing. 

I read a lot of blogs and have received so much from others willingness to share. I felt that 2014 should be the year that I attempt to do the same. 

This tweet reaffirmed what I’ve been feeling in my spirit 

Here’s the link for any who’d like to read the article. 


So if you want to share in my burdens/struggle and victories, then please continue to follow me. 

It would appear that my last post caused a lot of questions. None of which were actually asked directly to me, but rather the gossip mill started quickly. I’m pretty sure that most who read my posts were professing Christians and members of my church, so I struggle to understand why a conversation with me directly, was avoided. Perhaps, I’m not as approachable as I believe myself to be…  I will, however clarify that I simply resigned my leadership position at my current church. My family and I will continue to worship there until such a time that God tells us otherwise. 

I can’t promise that this blog will be very interesting or exciting, but in any case welcome to Me!

Cheers


Jason


What I’m reading this week:


Listening to:

  • Today’s Top Worship Songs – Songza
  • Mars Hill Church – Malachi Series(Mark Driscoll)

God Cares

Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7 GNT)

Not sure what it is about this week, but it has truly been a week of God’s care for me on display. From finding a pair of winter boots at an unbelievable price, or the pair of missing pants that was threatening a teenage meltdown, being found. Or even the unexpected finances that showed up in my bank account this week.

I can truly say that 2014 has started off on a terrific foot for me. In every aspect of my life I have felt productive. 

Not only am I feeling great, but I’m also learning more about myself and drawing closer to my God. I was able to share my faith this week with an old friend without hesitation. Finally, my relationship with God has reached the point of mattering more to me than what others think of me. 

Being in a leadership role at my church has been very rewarding.  Feeling a part of something so much bigger than myself, has been humbling.  When I started hearing from God that it was time to move on, I hesitated because I had felt that God would not call me away from somewhere without telling me where to go to, and I enjoy being a part of leadership.  This week I came to the conclusion that God’s not going to tell me where to go to, because I had not been obedient in leaving where he told me to leave.  So I made the move and resigned my post.  It’s funny how all the anxiety I had over making the decision and the resulting conflicts/issues that would present themselves, just seemed to melt away, and I’m left with such an amazing peace about the decision.  It was the right decision and I’m glad I’ve been obedient to the voice of God.

Looking forward to what God has for me this week


Jason

What I’m reading this week:

  • The Promise of Provision – Derek Prince
  • How to Respond when you feel Mistreated – John Bevere

Listening to:

  • Today’s Top Worship Songs – Songza
  • Living uncluttered with God – Jude Fouquier(City Church in Ventura California)
  • Mars Hill Church – Malachi Series(Mark Driscoll)

A New Year, a new me…

Tradition says I should create a list of New Year resolutions, and so out of sheer habit, I compiled my annual list of lofty personal goals for 2014.  Among the list are the typical and common, eat better, drink less coffee, exercise more. 

Although, it is largely inspired by tradition and a sense of something that you’re supposed to do, there is something so significant with the closing of one year and the start of another.  There is an expectation of a whole year full of opportunities.  Some are hoping for children, a better job, to shed a few pounds, take a vacation of a lifetime, and the list goes on.  On January 1st, the doors of opportunity are wide open.  Some of us will sadly just shut the door in fear of the unknown and wait until December 31stto open it again, for just a moment.  Other’s stand in the door and observe the opportunities, but never take a step outside and just “go for it”.  I want to be one of those that open the door and run without hesitation into everything that God has for me in the New Year.

I’ve found the best way for me to establish my goals for 2014 is to first review my 2013.  There is only one ultimate goal that I have from last year that really even matters, and unquestionably is the only one that will matter every year going forward.  When I look at the end of each year, if I can say that my walk with God is stronger and more intimate, then I can say I have had a successful year.

Despite the heart aches and disappointments from 2013, through it all, my God is more real to me at the start of 2014 then he was last year.  I’ve learned in 2013 to make spending time in the Word of God of utmost importance, and although I was not as consistent as I would have liked, I know that it was better than it was in 2012.

I choose to not just stroll through 2014, but I will run.  I am determined to become a morning person and set aside at least 30 minutes at the start of every day for God.  Anybody that knows me would understand that is a fairly lofty goal.  There’s just something about how comfortable my bed is at 6am.  It will be a sacrifice for me to give that time to God, but by the grace of God I will achieve it.

My wife has been throwing around the word intentional a lot lately.  So let’s make 2014 our most intentional year yet.  I’m not setting my goals with the hope that I will somehow meet them, but I will purpose in my heart to be consistently intentional in working to achieve them.

I will have another successful year!

Cheers to 2014

Jason


What I’m reading this week:

  • The Promise of Provision – Derek Prince

Listening to:

  • Today’s Top Worship Songs – Songza
  • Messenger International – Changing the Way You See(Lisa Bevere)
  • Mars Hill Church – Malachi #1 How Have you Loved Us (Mark Driscoll)