Jeremy Jernigan Posts

How to Revive a Dream When it Becomes a Nightmare

Each one of us wakes up in the morning brimming with dreams and aspirations. We might attribute the source of those dreams in all different directions, but as followers of Christ I believe most of them probably come from the Spirit living and dwelling inside us. Having a dream to accomplish something significant, start something new, or try something out of the ordinary makes you part of the human race. But learning how to bring those dreams to fruition sets you apart from the rest.

The was the shed kit we found on Costco.

This was the shed kit we found on Costco and used to develop our plan.

Last year Michelle and I moved into a new home with no landscaping in the backyard. We factored this into our purchase price and had the opportunity to build a yard based on the needs of our family. In those conversations my wife Michelle stunned me by suggesting we should build some type of shed for me to have a place to write and work from home. As you might imagine, trying to work from home with the gentle hum of our five-child-chaos can make efficiency difficult. I thought this was a terrific idea but as we looked into it we realized our HOA didn’t allow for this type of structure. But once we tasted that momentary dream it felt difficult to let go of it so easily.

After discussing it more, our idea escalated to the next level and we decided to “sink” the shed a few feet into the ground so the roof would match the height of our walls. Crazy right? But dreams don’t listen to logic. As we started to landscape the backyard we had a hole dug where we wanted the shed to go.

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Who’s Laughing Now?

Who’s Laughing Now?

Ever had the feeling that people were laughing at you behind your back? Or worse (maybe), you saw them laughing at you to your face? None of us want to be in that position. Seth Godin recently wrote a great post about failure and choosing pessimism (see: Sharpening Failure). One of his lines stood out in particular:

“The universe is not laughing at us. It doesn’t even know we exist.”

I agree. That’s an excellent way to overcome the nagging appeal to choose pessimism when a situation doesn’t play out the way you hoped it would. Despite what you read online or heard from that one friend of yours (we all have one), the conspiracy theory against you isn’t real. That’s good news.

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Of Fear and Finances

This weekend I preached our second week of the Money Wise series at Central and looked at how to manage your money without stressing about it. We looked at Matthew 6 and some brilliantly practical teaching from Jesus. We worry less about money when we focus more on God.

Here’s a link to the video on the Central site.

Ethics

EthicsI recently finished an entire class on the life and theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was a German pastor and theologian during the rise of Hitler and National Socialism in Germany. As a pacifist, he later joined a plot to assassinate Hitler. As you might imagine, there are lots of complexities to all of this and we have numerous books he wrote to unpack his thinking along the way. One of my favorites is his book Ethics. I don’t agree with all of his conclusions in this book but I find his arguments intriguing and worth spending time considering. Some of his comments in the book even seem to help us understand the rise of guys like Donald Trump (see: The Successful Man).

Ethics gets into the gray area between right and wrong and looks at the complexities of how to live out our faith in the midst of trying times. Bonhoeffer didn’t argue that it was okay to kill Hitler because Hitler was extra evil. Rather, he argued that he willingly assumed guilt for his part in the assassination attempt because assuming this guilt on behalf of others was ultimately the right thing to do. Parts of the book can get a bit theologically dense, so the following are a few of my favorite quotes from the book to give you a feel for it. I group them into four categories: Jesus, assuming guilt, the will of God, and general thoughts.

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Top 20 Quotes from Blessing Ranch (Spring 2016)

Top 20 Quotes from Blessing Ranch (Spring 2016)

This is part of a series of posts on 20 quotes. Click here to see others.

I spent the week in Florida returning to a place called Blessing Ranch. It’s a ministry for pastors, and lately they’ve been gathering groups of people from across the states to join up in mentoring groups. That meant I had the opportunity to dive deep into rich conversations with three other guys in ministry along with an incredible mentor named Dr. John Walker. I meet with this group twice a year to sit together and learn from one another.

Below you’ll see my 20 favorite ideas shared throughout our time together. Normally I save my “20 quotes” posts for conferences, but this week brings so much for me to think about that I include it.

All of these are typed into my paraphrase of what was said and some of them are just my personal thoughts in response to something another guy said. Many of these are likely quotes from authors and leaders but which may not have been attributed as such in our discussion (although I’ve attributed the source if it was mentioned). They also include a few ideas from Jud Wilhite (numbers 15-20), the Senior Pastor of Central Christian Church in Vegas and the author of a number of books. We had a chance to video chat with Jud and allow him to speak into our conversation as well. All that to say this list is my best attempt at capturing some of the incredible insights I received from this week in hopes it can be a blessing to you as well.

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How Heavy is Your Heart?

How Heavy is Your Heart?

I decided it would be a great way to spend a morning with my kids by watching the movie The Prince of Egypt. In case you missed this gem from the 90s, it’s a cartoon version of the Exodus story from the Bible. If you need convincing of its validity, just consider that Val Kilmer is the voice of both Moses and God. Need I say more?

It was also the movie I watched on my very first date with Michelle when we were in high school. So I fully expected it to be a home run experience for my kids to watch for their first time and create a lasting memory. It was all going well until we got to the scene where the movie depicts Exodus 1:22: “Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.”

The movie animates the entire story, but it cleverly depicts this scene with two-dimensional hieroglyphics coming to life on the walls of the palace. That’s when my four-year-old daughter Adelyn began to lose it.

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