Control is an illusion.

A really good question came up in last week’s Men’s group.

The question for discussion was:

What are you holding onto and stressing about. What is the motivation behind not giving it over to the Father?

Here is my emailed response, though it has been edited to correct some mistakes I caught in review, it is pretty close to the original response:

I am sitting in my living room and using it as an office. I am putting together a vision plan and strategy for the new year. This is new for me because I while I have done this in the context of a company or as a department manager, this is the first time I’ve done this as someone who is pursuing ministry as a career.

I know that some of this is new, and I promise I will follow this up with a post with updates, lessons learned and discussion on the couple of months of life here in Minarctica.

However, the point is that in all of this strategic planning, I am fighting the urge to focus on getting a “real job” or rebuild my consulting business, before I complete these planning sessions for ministry.

What am I holding onto? Nothing…

Here is the reason for my struggle: 
I just received my severance package and after taxes and other deductions, the check if is a bit less than I hoped it to be.  My instinct and desire is to try to control the situation by finding work to try to “earn my way” out of financial worry and panic that set in after looking at this check.

Here is what my emotional response says about the qualities of God:  
1) God and His plans are not sufficient  2) God can not or will not provide for our need so he is either unfaithful or impotent (unable)

Now we all should know that neither are true. In reality, the Truth found in God’s word is:

Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Matthew 6:24-33 Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on….   …Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?…    …Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ …    …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.

In talking to the Lord and listening for His wisdom, this is what The Lord has placed on my heart:

  1. I have spent the last five (almost six) years with a longing to serve God and His people. The last two of which have led me into an actual depression.
  2. God Has provided ENOUGH work for me to pursue this desire. Even though my wife is working, we will struggle for a while until we adjust.
  3. In my experience, He has always been faithful to provide what we NEED even if it’s not what we WANT.

Therefore I MUST be faithful in my steps with the expectation that he will clear the next part of the path.

Thanks for reading and praying for our faithful steps.

What are you holding onto today? What belief is motivating you to hoard worry or stress? Let me know and we can pray for your burden and  your faithful steps too.

Cheerfully serving in Christ.
Gary C

The big user purge of 2017

Hi there friends. I did this a few years ago, and now I think it’s time again.

There are over 1,100 + user accounts on CalebStrong. very few are accounts with activity. I will be purging all accounts that have not interacted with the site (more than a 5 second glance).

This is in preparation for what we will be working on and writing about in this new year.

I pray that the actual readers and followers of, will return, sign-up and interact this year.

If you are having problems with sign-up because you are in the *.RU or *.CN  top level domains, then please do message me if you really want to be involved. These are the countries that try to hack our site the most so we are removing the temptation by blocking these networks.

Thank you for reading, and for your continued support and prayers as we call out appropriate biblical leadership.

Gary C

Family Update: Our First Home

I am not sure if you have followed the story of our move to MinArctica (aka Minnesota).  So here is the quick catch-up:

We moved here about 4 years ago due to both calling and career. We have struggled with a few things here and there but for the most part we have enjoyed our new home.  We have been renting since we got here. We  wanted to be sure we found a solid community, church and school system for our family to be a part of. Last year we thought we found a home to call our own, but circumstances changed. First with the home itself and then with work and health issues.  The short version is that God had … Click to Continue

Being prepared to defend in Love

I absolutely LOVE my non-believing friends. They are all wonderfully intelligent people that have lively discussions and debates. Sometimes they pose such great statements and questions that I feel compelled to pause and share God’s plan for us. As the Apostle Paul ( I think it was Paul)  wrote:

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. – 1 Peter 3:15-16

Here is the exchange we had on FaceBook: Click to Continue

No, I am not Great.

We are all broken in so many ways.  Today, I am going to overshare once more. Hopefully I can help clear up someone’s messed up view of mental illness.

I have a mental illness, this is a part of my story. I do not expect everyone to conform to the unrealistic expectations of the world that my particular illness reinforces. However, I also know it is not likely that I will ever be free of my condition, and I will not “behave” the way other people do. My illness is one that makes me susceptible to addictive behaviors. In my story this has included pornography, sex, gambling, food, drugs, anger and violence. Because of my condition I do not deal with … Click to Continue

Temptation vs the “Home” team

I don’t expect any of you to know this about me but it is an important over share.

So here it goes: I am a recovering sex addict.

I don’t say this to be funny. This is a serious problem. I use the word “recovering“, not because I am actively engaged in activities that fall into this category, but because like with all addicts, I am constantly tormented by the past, and tempted in the present, whether I willing to admit it or not . Additionally, while the battles may become smaller each day, there are always challenges that try to revert us to unacceptable patterns of behavior while we try to live according to God’s standards. However, I know I can … Click to Continue

Driving toward a new goal for kids.

Hi Everybody

I am driving toward a new goal. I’m on a mission to save kids and I need your help. Our local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital treats thousands of children each year, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. These kids are facing scary stuff like cancer, cystic fibrosis, and injuries from accidents we don’t even want to imagine.

I am participating in this huge worldwide celebration of the social impact of gamers of all kinds from video games to board games and tabletop RPG’s! Since 2010, Extra Life has raised more than $14 million to help children’s hospitals provide critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment, research and charitible care. It’s my sincere hope that you’ll find … Click to Continue

When Christ’s body isn’t or Dreams of Mc Dreamy.

Even dreams of Mc Dreamy can be spirit-led.

It was 3 am when I started writing this so please forgive me if this is chaotic in thought or subject. I felt that the Spirit wanted me to share:

I had a dream that Mc Dreamy ( a nickname for Dr. Shepard, a character from the TV show Grey’s Anatomy) , was our men’s pastor. He used his surgery and medical training in his calling to train up leaders and young pastors such as myself. His heart for Zola (their adopted daughter), his patients and his Family (wife) were the basis for his “story” as were the miracles God worked in his life through tragedy and medicine. However, he, like other … Click to Continue

QOTD: Leadership is a choice, not a rank.

I have written and talked about the concept of true leadership and leadership in organizations.  My focus in my career is to build high functioning teams.  Today a colleague sent me this TED Talk video link that speaks to exactly what I mean when I talk about leadership and true team building.


In my nearly 20 years in this industry, most people when asked, said they prefer to work hard for a boss they trust (and like) over having a cush job working for a boss they can’t stand.

There are exceptions to this, of course, but many times, those people aren’t really working the cush job, they are preparing for their next career stepping stone.  Take a look at … Click to Continue

Separation of Church and State part I

This started as a research paper for an English Composition class. The focus of the paper was to pick a topic that could be debated and may even stir up controversy. (I think i succeeded there…)
There is so much ground to cover on this one subject. So I focused on the origin of phrase “Separation of Church and State”(SCS) and how it has been (incorrectly) linked to our Constitutional Amendments.

At some other time I may decide to delve into the actual impact of the amendments and what they mean, our position and duties as followers of Jesus, or the myriad other possible topics related to SCS.  So with that in mind, I labeled this “part I” but I don’t … Click to Continue