Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
I’ve been on this kick lately where I ask myself if I’m really risking anything for my faith. I mean, I live in America, a “Christian Nation”. I have two vehicles. I never go hungry. I am never in physical harm’s way for having faith in Jesus. I own my home. I have an abundance of clothes. I can carry my Bible publicly. I pretty much live in a very safe world. I never wonder if I will get another meal today or not. Basically what I’m asking is, “Do I need God to exist for me to live life the way I do?” Or another way of putting it is, would my life look any different if I were an atheist?
All of this asking makes me look inside and see if I really believe the scriptures or not. I think asking this sorts of questions are incredibly healthy, and we should all do a inner questioning from time to time. I know that I want to live a riskier faith. I know that I don’t want to be walking around as a Christian by name only, and Atheist by my actions. This just causes from some deep reflection, and then steps to follow with it. It also forces me to have courage for the next step, and whatever that is that God places on my heart to take.
I’ve always been attracted to the idea of legacy. I even think it is a desire God puts inside of us to leave our mark on the world, and leave something that goes much beyond ourselves.
John 13:34-25 says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
I think when Jesus put skin and bones on and stepped into our world, one of the things he came to do was to challenge us to leave a legacy of love. He says there in John that we will be known to the world by our love for one another. Growing up I always wanted to leave a legacy of a champion. Something of the likes of Coach K or John Wooden. Not something that seems so weak like loving my fellow man.
But as I’ve grown as a man, and grown as a follower of Jesus I realize that the most powerful legacy I can hope to leave behind me is one of love. I want to do everything I can to love the people I encounter each day, and I want to challenge them to pass that love along. If I do everything else wrong in raising my son I hope that he gets this one thing, and that is the challenge to love everyone he encounters. It’s not an easy task though, there are some cruddy people out there (myself included), plus it also means continually putting others first which is so hard in a me centered world.
What kind of legacy will you leave behind? What will you be remembered for?
Four generations of Kolosik men. Zion, my dad, my grandpa, and me.
Manhood is such a hard thing to define. We have a common phrase to ‘be a man’, but really I think that just means to toughen up. Or does to toughen up define a man? I know some men that aren’t all that tough, myself included.
Each day I stare into the eyes of my son, and can’t help but see my face in the reflection of his eyes. This sort of scares the crap out of me. It’s like he sees the junk deep down inside of me that no one else sees. Not even what my wife can see. I know he doesn’t really see all the junk I have inside, but it feels that way. I know that one day he will leave my home with an idea of what a man is based on how I live and model to him. Much like I have a perspective of what a man is from the two men in the picture with Zion and myself.
Meeting Kasie made me want to be a better man. The same is true with my son. He makes me want to be a better man. But before I can be a better man, I must dig in and figure out just what makes a man a man (Spoiler alert: I won’t be answering this question in this post).
I’ve read a ton of books on this stuff. I’ve read Wild at Heart, I’ve gone through Men’s Fraternity, I’ve listened to many podcasts from different pastors, and of course I’ve read the Bible for insight as well. Hollywood also give us some diverse perspectives and definitions of men as well (Just watch season 1 episode 1 of Last Man Standing). I’m not certain I have a concrete definition of manhood yet, but I do like the Men’s Fraternity definition as a starting point, but not necessarily a complete definition. They give the definition to manhood that a man is one who 1) Rejects passivity, 2) Accepts Responsibility, 3) Leads Courageously, and 4) Invests Eternally.
My prayer is that God would continue to give me wisdom and insight on how to raise this little man staring into my soul. I’m so thankful I have my incredible wife to raise him with. This way he knows how to treat a lady, and has a good perspective on woman as well. It’s not just about how to act or do the right thing, but have the right character and heart.
What do you think defines a man? What has helped you to understand this tough question?
Zion Seth William Kolosik joined Kasie and I on October 15th at 7:58 am. I never knew I could fall in love with someone so instantaneously. I mean I loved this little man the entire time he was growing in the womb, but the moment I laid eyes on him my world changed. I fell in love with this little man, and I fell in to a deeper love with my Kasie.
Today Kasie went back to work part time. I know it is a sad day for her, as she won’t get to hang out with Zion all day every day now. We are incredibly blessed that Kasie is able to work just part-time. She is a great Social Worker, and I know she does an incredible job. Zion and I are both very proud of her. She makes any environment she is a part of better simply because of her presence. We miss her very much today!
We started off 2014 yesterday, and I hope to share more of our life on here now that we are figuring out this parenthood thing. Not sure if I’ll start posting more ministry stuff or just family stuff. You tell me what you like to read, and I’ll post that. Or maybe I’ll just keep doing both.
Fatherhood is an exciting ride so far, and great responsibility to come as I raise up this man. Still weird to think that I’m a dad now, and that my wife is now a mom too.
Each year I have a routine where I create goals for the following year. I have a bucket list, 3 year goals, and goals for the year. I then break that down to quarterly goals to hit the annual ones, and then down to weekly/daily habits I need to create to get to said goals. This year has flown by and we’re already in the last quarter of the year. I’m not on track to hit many of my 2013 goals, and for some good reasons and for some that were just me being plain undisciplined. What were your goals for 2013? Is it possible to recover in the last quarter to hit some of those goals? Or is it time to close the door on some of them?
I’ve been following Justin’s blog and podcast for quite a while now, and I’ve heard so many people talk about Gary V, that I can’t pass up sharing this event with you!
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How do you finish well? I have a hard time when it come to finishing. I am easily motivated to start, but not always to finish. As a dreamer I get really excited to start something off, and I can sit and dream of all the possibilities of what could be. I then get frustrated if we just sit and dream and don’t take action on it. The problem with me is not the concept or even starting the new big audacious goal, but my problem is that I do not finish well. I recognize this is one of my biggest hurdles I need to get over when it comes to leadership and life.
It’s really easy for me to think of a concept and begin to run with it, but it’s harder to see the concept until it is finished. I’ve failed to finish many things in my life, and it causes insecurity for me to even think about it. I can very quickly list out 5-10 things I’ve started, been really excited about, ran with, and then didn’t finish….
Am I the only one that does this? What do you do to finish well? What if we resolved to finish the things we’ve started before tackling the next new and exciting thing? What would that mean for your current state of affairs? I think for me this would mean a big growth in contentment. I need to learn to be more content with what I have and where I’m at before starting something new.
For me to finish well I need the help of others. I need people to run alongside me, and I need people to push and keep me accountable. I show way too much grace to myself when it comes to finishing. It’s easy to start feeling sorry for myself, and just ‘take a break’ aka come up short. What are the tactics you use to finish strong? Do you have people that push you to go further than you would have?
Of course I begin to think of this on the heels of telling you all I’m about to launch a new blog! How ironic! http://eepurl.com/Ekq9b
How do you refer to your organization? Us or them?
One thing I love about my job is that I talk to a bunch of different people. I get to talk to the diverse groups that come to our church, and I get to have meaningful conversations with people from other organizations as well. I have a really good memory, and tend to notice a few things. One thing I always notice is if a person refers to their organization as we or as they. The language we use is very important, and it can serve as a thermometer of where someone is at with their organization.
When I am talking to people that work with or are a part of another organization and they mention their organization as ‘they’, I typically will internally question how on board they are with that organization. I wonder why if they are a contributor to the mission of their organization why they wouldn’t take ownership and call it a we. I always refer to LIFEchurch as we when I am talking to someone. I am not the leader of the organization or the CEO or anything like that, but we work together and I put my all into it. I take ownership in the decisions of our organization.
The same goes for when I have conversations with people from inside my church. When they talk about it as you guys, or use they instead of saying we, I tend to assume they aren’t all in yet. I know this is a big assumption, and it could really mean lots of things, but that’s the story I tend to gather. And it could mean they aren’t ready to say we, and I totally get that.
Think about this sort of language. Are you a we person? Or a they person? If I am way off base for these assumptions, let’s chat about it.
I need your help.
As you know I am continually trying to grow and learn. I want to be a better human tomorrow than I was today. One of my main goals this year was to become a better communicator. One way I communicate frequently is in written word through email, and of course this website. If you could do me a quick favor and read a blog post or two I’ve written here, and give me some constructive criticism. Tell me what you think I could improve on, or just some tips that you think would make me a better writer.
Yes I’m giving you permission to tell me some places that I suck at in my communication! Please help me grow, and I promise I will improve and give you, a reader, my best possible content.
And if you don’t want it public, just leave the post anonymous. Or email me at email@example.com.
Who are you? I often challenge the students I work with each week to find their identity in Christ. I think this is a valuable lesson and part of growing up, but what does identity mean? Can you give me a list or sentence or even a book that tells me who you are? I’ve struggled with this for many years.
When I was in high school I was an athlete. But I never wanted to be labeled just an athlete, because I felt I was more than just that. I was also a student, but who isn’t when you’re in high school? I was also a son, a brother, a friend, a boyfriend, a jerk, and many other things. These things were activities I did, and not necessarily what defined me. I don’t know what did define me exactly.
When I went to Masters Commission I remember the first day being asked if I was there for the music institute, the dance program, or to be in the band. I was none of these. The guy asking then proceeded to ask me why I was even there then if I wasn’t going to be a part of one of those. This also caused me to struggle internally to find my place and figure out my identity while there. (I’m not sure I ever told anyone of this conversation, and I’m sure the guy has no idea it even happened, but the beauty of my memory is I can tell you his name, and the exact location we were when it happened, and even who else was sitting around the table)
Now I am a youth pastor. I am often introduced as the youth pastor at LIFEchurch. There are many stereotypes and expectations that go with this title, and I do fit some, but not all of them. I struggle a lot with this identity, as I want to shout out I am more than just a youth pastor. I don’t know why I feel this way, but it’s just something inside of me I feel and I think it’s okay. I think it’s okay to struggle with our identity. To be honest I always want to be growing and changing anyway, so as that happens I think my identity is being developed as well. Which leads me to believe that identity is not a static entity, but rather it is being constantly updated and developed much like the history on our web browser. Each person we encounter, each life change we go through, each failure and success we have our identity is updated.
So who are you in this moment? Who do you want to be? You do not have to be the same tomorrow as you are today, but what will you do to update this identity?