Afraid to Wear Shorts

Guy in Shorts

I am in the middle of a seventeen day vacation with my kids. Seventeen days straight of being able to be with my kids! Many of you may not comprehend the joy I feel in saying that because you may not have tasted the loneliness divorce brings to the non-custodial parent. In the last four years of divorce, the longest I recall being able to be with my kids in successive days was about seven. In case you haven’t caught on, seventeen is more than seven…that’s right, it’s seven plus a TEEN! Holy Puberty Batman! That’s stinking awesome! Seriously, I am more than happy to deal with my sixteen year old, love struck, son who spends twenty-two hours a day texting his girlfriend and the other two hours talking about how he misses her. (on a side note; We had lunch and went to a movie with said girlfriend and her mother yesterday who couldn’t stop talking about what a gentleman my son is! Well, he gets it honest!)

Anyhoo, as I type this I am about to get that wonderful young man as well as my beautiful ten year old daughter up for phase two of our vacation. Did I mention that it’s a SEVENTEEN day vaca?!!!!! As I’m thinking about the wonderful time we had in the mountains of Tennessee last week, I am reminded of the first day and a post I wanted to write earlier but was too busy riding roller coasters and breathing mountain air! Yay me!

I woke up that morning and was about to begin packing the car. As I grabbed my duffle bag filled with my clothes (wait, does anyone say duffle bag anymore? Did I just lose cool points for that? **face-palm**) I picked the bag up and suddenly fear came over me. Sweat began to break out and my hands began to shake. Have you ever seen the cinematic trick where the background suddenly stretches further back and the focal point of the shot gets closer? Oh yeah, that totally happened. It was both awesome and absolutely terrifying all at once! My knees got weak and my heart began pounding. Okay, that really didn’t happen BUT it would have had I filmed that scene because I was freaking out.

Why was I freaking out? I remembered that I did not pack a single pair of long pants, only shorts! (cue the screeching string section) Continue reading

Wake Up!

Let’s be honest, no one likes to be awakened from their sleep. I am certainly no exception but I was, and very forcefully I might add. Divorce, death of a sister, career collapse, and mental breakdown were a few of the ways my sleep was disrupted. These were the malicious agents of awakening that stood over my bed of slumber shaking me and screaming “Wake up! Wake up!”. For a while I thought my life was over, but it didn’t take long for me to realize my life was only just beginning.Untitled-1

Spiritual slumber is a deadly thing. I once heard a story of a man drunk off his gourd who fell asleep on a train track one night. He was lying there, absolutely relaxed, not a single tense muscle or fear in his mind. He felt no need to change his current situation or to get up and find a safer place to sleep because he was asleep and had no idea that a train was careening down the tracks, certain to rip his body to shreds. That is where our world, and most of the church, is today. We are asleep and need to wake up! Continue reading

It is a Sloppy Grace That Brings No Change

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We have lost our respect for God, our fear of Him, our understanding of His awesome power and majesty. We walk into our churches on Sunday morning, having no thought of God during the week. There is no pause of remorse for the sins we committed in the days prior, no consideration of how God must have felt to see His child rebel as we did. To be honest, most of us don’t even realize we have sinned let alone rebelled against God because we have no idea what sin is. Even if we do know what sin is, we think because of Grace we no longer have to consider our sin. It is a sloppy grace that leaves us bound to sin and God’s grace is not sloppy!

Oh no, holiness is not a requirement for the sloppy grace doctrine. Well, at least not holy actions. “You are holy because of Christ’s actions and that is all you need” is what they boast. While that is true, they are missing a very important fact; submitting to Christ’s holiness makes us holy in our actions! We can not be inhabited by Christ and not be changed. Jesus never touched a leper and left them a leper. The blind never found themselves in Jesus’ presence without being able to see when they walked away. The dead never heard “Come forth!” but did not find breath filling their lungs and suddenly having the rush of blood in their veins. A sinner never meets Grace without being empowered to overcome sin! Jesus would commonly say to people he healed or spoke to, “Go and sin no more.” He didn’t say, “Go in my holiness but live the way you always have.” Why? Because after meeting Jesus we have the power to “sin no more”.

The reason sloppy grace leaves us in the mess it found us in is because sloppy grace has a small, unimposing god who does not evoke a reverence from his followers. Not so with the God of true Grace. Meeting that God will leave you with a holy reverence and fear of His mighty power. You will be humbled and awe struck when you find yourself in the Presence of that God because this is the very one who could have exacted the payment for your sin by taking your life, but He did not! He instead chose to give His son’s life! By doing so you and I could have a new life, a life of holiness, a life of power to overcome sin, a life that will be lived in amazement at how awesome is our God of all gods, our Lord of lords, and King of kings.

It is impossible to experience God’s Grace without first reverencing Him and having a godly fear of His awesomeness. Without a powerful and unrelenting God of Holiness, grace is not needed. Sloppy grace says God is turning a blind eye while true Grace contends God is working in us to bring change!

Peace, Love, and Awakening!

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Sometimes Freedom Stinks!

surprise-face-300x264In case you haven’t noticed, I am a dude. I am dude of dudes and this dude enjoys being a dude. One of the few pleasures of being a divorced dude is that I can freely be said dude most of the time without concern for being found out to be a brutish dude. For those of you who do not understand what I mean by that, let me enlighten you.

WARNING: This post is very much a male-driven post. For females who might have weak stomachs when a man is, well – a man – consider yourselves warned. #smileyface #winkwink Continue reading

Where Are The Christians?

I am sitting here, scrolling through FB, which normally is information overload. However, today I am struck by what appears to be missing. Now, I understand FB’s algorithms keep us from seeing every post from our friends ( 😡😡😡) but I rarely ever see this type of post missing after a national trajedy.

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Where are the posts for support and prayers for those lost in Orlando? Continue reading

The Day Mrs. Rowland Was My God

I never had an imaginary friend as a kid. Well, I guess it could be that I did have one but my imagination was so strong I assumed him (or her) to be real. Come to think of it, there was that one kid. He would never let us take pictures of him.cartoon_vampire__vector_by_paulh18 I always assumed he was in the witness protection program or even better, a vampire, a nice vampire obviously because he never killed me but a vampire nonetheless…of course he did survive the daylight so…???

Anyway, I’ve never been one to have a lot a friends and I guess I was okay that and didn’t need to make up an imaginary friend. I am perfectly cool with being alone. It suits me well. Throughout my life I would generally only have two or three people I would hang out with. I would have other acquaintances, don’t get me wrong, but my friends were few and I was content with that. I am a very shy person by nature. I do not like to go to parties, even if the person being celebrated is my friend because there will most certainly be new, unknown people there and that means I may have to interact with them. I’m not a recluse, and I certainly don’t have some disorder that overcomes me with a paralyzing fear when I meet new people but I have just always preferred keeping to myself.

On a side note, who wouldn’t like hanging out in my head every day? I mean come on, you’ve read my posts, it’s like an eclectic mix of deep thinking and random ADD moments running a never ending relay race. Deep – random – deep – random…and let’s not forget the occasional dive off the deep end into the abyss of clueless banter. It’s entertaining as heck if I do say so myself! But I digress…

I guess that’s why I am always amazed when I see God use me in the way He does. What you may not know about me is I have been in public ministry since I was seventeen years old. There have been very few weeks since then that I did not stand on a stage and either speak or perform in front of people. I have toured the United States playing and singing in a professional status, I have been a worship pastor, a preacher, a teacher, and I’ve even done some emcee work. So to think of how content I am being a loner amazes me when I think of all that.

I remember in tenth grade (?) when we had to do a speech before our class. I was scared to death! Sweat was pouring down my face, the heavy wool suit my parents bought me from the local Salvation Army Thrift Store felt like it weighed a thousand pounds. I might have been more comfortable if I had given the speech while naked in a sauna with only a towel on me, at least then I would have been cooler. My hands were shaking so furiously that I could barely read my index cards. The good thing is the violent shaking of the cards, when held close to my face, gave me a little relief from the heat.

I don’t even remember what I spoke about hat morning but I do remember feeling like I was going to fail that assignment. I felt like I did a horrible job and dreaded the moment I had to go in early to sit down and go over my grade with my teacher, Mrs. Rowland. I was almost as nervous as I was standing before the class. I had rehearsed how I thought it would go, “Lee, you are a bright kid but your speech sucked! You did everything wrong. I mean I would have rather you stood at the chalkboard and scraped your nails down it for ten minutes than to hear you speak.” Thankfully, she didn’t read the response I scripted in my head, instead she absolutely floored me with, “Have you ever considered going into public speaking?”surprise-face-300x264

I have thought about that day many times since then. To be honest, I thought she was crazy. I mean, had she not paid attention to how shy and introverted I had been in her class. Come on lady, my voice quivers if I am called on to answer a simple question and you are saying I should go into public speaking?

However, those simple words, spoken to a shy, hide in the corner, young man who didn’t believe he had much to offer the world, were a shot in the arm to my life’s purpose. They gave me just the right amount of courage to believe in myself and now, at forty-three years old, I look back over my life and see that she was a very discerning soul. She saw greatness in me and that propelled me forward at a time when I probably would have sat back and coasted through life making very few ripples.

As I tell this story, I cannot help but think of the story of Moses. Moses was tending the flock when he saw a bush on fire, curiosity got to him so he went closer to find out that was no ordinary bush. That bush was God and He was speaking to him. God gave him his task and Moses immediately began informing God of his inabilities, “I can’t speak”, “I won’t know what to say.”, “Pharaoh won’t listen to me’, “I am a simple man”. Yet, with all those excuses God said “Go”…and let’s not forget, as scared as he was, Moses went!

Sometimes God has interrupt our lives with a burning bush, or a Mrs. Rowland, in order to let us know that today’s reality is not all there is. We are chosen for a purpose, not to simply walk through life awaiting a better day, but to plow through life, turning up the hardened soil of today’s harsh humanity in order to plant the better seeds of tomorrow’s God breathed reality. We tend to look at our present inabilities but God chose us to give us HIS abilities, and with those a shy boy can spend his life speaking publicly, a sheep herder can stand before pharaoh and deliver a nation, and you can do amazing things!

If you are submitted to God’s leading in your life, then there is a hero inside of you, just waiting for the moment you decide to quit looking at your inabilities and simply “Go”! If you do go, I can assure you, the view from the future looks great, just you wait!

Peace, Love, and Awakening!

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p.s. Mrs. Rowland, if by some providential means you are reading this, Thank you for being my teacher and giving me those words. Eternity will prove the effect you had on the world!

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A Little Help Please

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So I have been a member of WordPress for several years now but have not been very involved in reading other blogs. Lately I have been trying to find some good blogs to follow but it is a slow go. I had a thought the other day, if those of you who follow me like my stuff then odds are you follow other blogs similar to mine I may enjoy. So here is what I want to ask of you. I know what you are thinking, “I’ve only been following him a week and already he has his hand out! Bloggers these days” but this is easy plus it will earn you some brownie points with other bloggers. See, I’m a win-win kinda guy.

Please post a link to your favorite blogs in the comments below. It does not only have to be a Christian blog but I do ask that it be clean. I will then be able to learn about these amazing blogs and, in full dislosure, it might just let them know about mine. 😉 I told you I’m a win-win kinda guy. Pretty slick huh? Yep, that’s how I roll.

*high fives himself*

Any assistance given will not get you into heaven, nor increase your chances of winning a Pulitzer, but will indeed earn you points which can be used at the Holiday Inn of your choice! 🙂

Dislcaimer: Valid only at participating Holiday Inns (which is slim pickings…okay non existent) and those who do participate allow you to stay free with points but will charge you a nonrefundable exit fee. Refusal to pay exit fee may result in being turned away or in being held hostage at gunpoint while you clean all the toilets with a tooth brush (depending on the mood of the front desk clerk at the time). Holiday Inn and it’s affiliates have absolutely no idea who I am or have any knowledge of this promotion, nor do they endorse my blog, although they should because it’s stinking awesome! and that’s all I’m gonna say about that.

What Would Make a Man Pray For Trouble?

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The years of 2012, 2013, and most of 2014 were very difficult years for me. I dealt with a divorce after 14 years of marriage, abandonment by my pastoral staff at a church I had served for the previous four years, an eight and a half month unemployment, when I did find a job my finances were cut to a third of what I had previously been making (Less than I had made since 1999), I went into a deep depression, and found myself struggling to keep my head above the waters of despair. I can’t tell you how many times I would be five minutes from having to drive the hour long drive to drop my kids off with their mom when out of the blue I would have to quietly go upstairs and cry while I tried to compose myself from a panic attack. Then I would drive them to their mother and break down once again after I dropped them off.

Those were some of the hardest, most impossible times to traverse and yet, today I found myself wishing I was going through them again. What could make a man wish he was going through hell on earth again?
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Life Advice From Lee Lumley

I have decided to pull out all the stops and reveal some of the most precious wisdom I have learned over the years. This is wisdom of the ages, retrieved from only the most capable of sages during my travels around the world…well, okay my recliner. Nevertheless, I personally believe this to be the secret to life which man has been looking for!

Men have exhausted massive quantities of energy, resources, and man hours trying to find this secret knowledge, but alas, little old me has it hidden in my brain.

WARNING: Do not click on the “Continue Reading” link unless you truly want to know the secret to life! It is very important that only those brave enough to see the wisdom of the words that follow proceed.  Those who do will find life advice that rivals puts to shame anything Dr. Phil, Oprah, and Dear Abby combined have ever said!

Are you ready to hear the answer you have been searching for your entire life? Then what Are you waiting for? Click that link to read my life advice my brave companion! May the force be with you!
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A Lee By Any Other Name…

Okay, this may be my deepest, darkest, most solemn confession ever on this blog. I mean, from here on out, it’s just going to be a cakewalk. To be honest, I don’t really know how to bring this up. Should I just come out and say it or start out by saying something on the lighter side and then slowly reveal the moral of the story? Should I even reveal this publicly? I mean I just started this blog and am starting to gain some followers, do I really want to come out of the box with this kind of reveal? Sheesh, this blog thing is so difficult. I mean, so much weighs on what we say, and how we say it. If we say the wrong thing it could be disastrous and saying the right thing sometimes alienates us slaps a big fat stigma on us. Not to be confused with stigmata because I’m not Christ, and I am also not a statue…I do bleed from time to time though…so I am alive…just in case you were wondering.

(Disclaimer: No computers were used in the creation of this blog article…well, okay, maybe one BUT a human told it what to put in it)

Where was I? Oh yeah, so guess I’m just gonna have to come out and say it…

here it comes…

wait for it…

wait for it…

okay, a little bit longer…

tic toc tic toc…

and…

okay, here goes nothing… Continue reading