Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Those who know Ryan Feltman, know just how much of an open book he is. Few, including Ryan ever thought his life would ever get printed into a real book.  It’s within these pages that Ryan lays it out for all to see.

Throughout his life, Ryan never really had it together and still is far from perfect, but maybe that’s why his story is receiving much attention.  Ryan shares stories of failure, of struggles and God’s great grace in the midst of it all.  From fighting through depression, to relationships that failed, and the one that has flourished when others never gave it much hope.

Its this relationship that has given Ryan a platform to reach others in a similar situation. Ryan, a Youth Ministry veteran, suffered a moral failure at an early age, one that led to the pregnancy of a young woman in the community he was serving in. Through the struggle of what life would bring, what path to take, and the fear of how God would use them now, Ryan discovers a grace that he was familiar teaching, but a grace that few rarely fully experience.  Its this grace and hope that Ryan speaks, and through these pages that Ryan not only tells his story, but also where he hopes others will find grace, redemption, and a way to protect others from similar temptations.

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Came across this post over at Carlos Whittaker’s page (ragamuffinsoul.com).  Great teaching from Nelson Mandela.  Here’s a few Carlos put:

No. 1
Courage is not the absence of fear — it’s inspiring others to move beyond it

No. 4
Know your enemy — and learn about his favorite sport

No. 5
Keep your friends close — and your rivals even closer

No. 7
Nothing is black or white

 

Read more HERE!

a lack or lapse of integrity

Posted: July 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

…this is something that I’ve had to face in the last couple of months, and honestly something that I’m still dealing with today.

It was a Monday night, the next morning my oldest son and I would be leaving for a camping trip in the Blackhills.  The only thing between me and that trip, was a final paper that needed to be turned in within the next hour.  The majority of the paper was coming together, but somehow I felt the nudging to do more.   I could have simply submitted what I had, called it good, took whatever grade even a failing grade and still would have passed the class for the semester.  I did something that changed a lot.  I googled.  I found a few lines, from a few different articles, and placed them within my paper.  I didn’t cite them, I didn’t give credit where credit was due.  I submit my paper.

That Friday afternoon I received an email from the professor.  The opening line read:

Ryan, in grading your final exam I found multiple instances of plagiarism.

Immediately I knew the trouble I was in, and I knew in part what this was going to cost me.

My immediate response was to pick up my phone, call the seminary, and get on the phone with my professor.  As soon as he picked up, I simply apologized for what I did, I told him I didn’t have an excuse for what I did, and then I just sat.  His words were very clear, definitely not sugar-coated, and begin to reveal more of the trouble I would be facing.  He stated that the situation had been turned over to the dean of students, and that he would be contacting me as well.

The next phone call I made was to my denominational mentor.  I don’t know why I called him, but I did.  The conversation was similar. I messed up, not excuse for doing so, and then silence.  What came next was something that begin a huge spiral of what seems to me even today, chaos.  He instructed me to keep that Thursday afternoon open, and that I would need to come to a meeting with the rest of a discipleship committee that would determine my consequences.

The next few days were filled with other conversations, other struggles of my own that were rattling around in my own head.  I talked with my elders in my church to inform them, I talked with others that I felt could help me brace myself for what was to come.  I prepared myself for the worst, and on that Thursday faced it.

I met with the Discipleship committee for my denomination, the “verdict” was handed down that I would be suspended for a year from the denomination (meaning no financial assistance and such).  And then it happened…the word Integrity got brought up. It was difficult for me to swallow, and I would assume that for anyone, whenever that is brought into question, is difficult to deal with when it’s being questioned.

I sat there stunned.  A group of my peers, people who I met with once a year, were questioning my integrity based on what I did.

The following Sunday I gathered with the Elders and Deacons of my church.  As I began to explain to them the situation I found myself in. The word got brought up again. One of my Deacons, simply brought it up saying that in the corporate world, this would easily be something that might make them question someones integrity. “But we know you”, he said.

Those words were like a breath of fresh air.  They knew me.  It’s not that because of what I had done, it somehow changed who I was to them.  No, it was that they knew me, they knew my track record in the church, they knew me because I had walked alongside them for the last 4+ years, that they could simply sit there and say, “we know you. We don’t question if you lack integrity, it’s that you had a moment of weakness and there was a lapse of integrity.”

The last few months have been a rollercoaster.  I stood before my congregation on Father’s Day and explained to them what I did, not in a “look at me, look at me” kind of way. But in a “I messed up, I’m taking responsibility, and I’m trying to move forward.” I’ve had to explain to my oldest son what I’ve done, and the steps I’m taking to own up to it.

I’m not perfect, I hope I never claim to be.  There are things we do, and there’s always a lesson to be learned.  Some of our mistakes can be costly (money, character, or other) but the importance is how we move forward (with our Integrity intact).

START

Posted: July 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

…so a few weeks ago, I get this random email from an author, speaker, and straight out crazy Jon Acuff.  The email is simple, if you’re interested in joining some crazy experiment, reply.  So I did.

The experiment is simple, of the 170,000 plus followers of Jon’s on twitter, a little over 2000 of us to the challenge.  And the challenge is simply this, to live in community with random strangers from around the world, and to risk something over the next 24 days.  That’s as much as I know about it, and to be honest, I’m okay with that.

My risk is simple, to fearlessly put my words on paper (or on screen), my lessons learned and my hopes and dreams.

So here I am, back once again…this has happened far too often where I begin to write, and then simply let the blog or let my words become mute.  Not this time.  I’m ready to START!

Here’s my steps to making this happen.

1.) Resurrect this blog that has sat untouched for over a year.

2.) Commit to writing 500 words a day (on here or paper. no real direction, just hoping the process of writing will spark creativity,)

3.) Be open and vulnerable with the people around me, knowing that’s what creates a better story.

Ready. Set. START!

Do Something…

Posted: December 8, 2010 in Uncategorized

As we kicked off the month of December, the last two years we have organized a month long event in our Student Ministries for our students to Do Something.  Having first seen this idea from my friend Josh Griffin over at www.morethandodgeball.com I was convinced this idea was one worth stealing and running with.  It has been amazing to see our students run with over the last week, and I’m thrilled for what is yet to come.

The idea is simple.  Each student sis given an envelope filled with slips of paper instructing them of their challenge for that day.  Each slip is different, but all are encouraging students to reach out to those around them, and around the world.  The concept is genius but at the same time heartbreaking to think that we need to take the time to focus on this.  This should always be our focus.

So far, our students have had challenges of posting Facebook statuses talking about world poverty, going through the closets and bringing in clothes to be donated to a local homeless shelter, collecting food items, fasting for a day to focus on those who do no have food to eat everyday, etc… The results are life-changing.

I’ve had students come up to me just over the one week we’ve been doing this and they are excited, energized, and focused on the fact that world change could start with them…

What are we doing?  For now we’re doing something… it’s a start that’s contagious.

 

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.

Matthew 25: 35-36

a few randoms…

Posted: December 2, 2010 in Uncategorized

Furnaces are great for giving off heat, but dang are they expensive and quite annoying when they don’t work. Ours went out this last week, and in the process we discovered a number of things.  We have some great friends, those who were willing to not only lone us a space heater to keep our pipes from freezing up, but also those who were willing to let us come and stay with us until we were able to return home (we couldn’t stay there because the carbon monoxide levels were too high).  We are truly blessed.

Dodgeball and random football games in rooms with 8 foot ceilings are tons of fun, but boy can you break a lot of lights and ceiling tiles. It’s kind of become a tradition for us at youth group to stick around after Wednesday night activities and even Sunday night bible studies to play a little bit of games.  This has been great but we have definitely realized that our facilities are not quite made for such activities.  The great part of all of this, that no matter how many things get broken, there are great conversations and relationships happening during this time.  The true parts of Youth ministry take place outside of the regular youth group time.

Life is full of great people, willing to help, willing to encourage, and come around just in time. Just got done having a random conversation with a fellow youth worker who has been struggling over the last couple of months and was thrilled to hear how God was working in the midst of it all.  He told me of how, by God’s divine movement, him and his wife were given the opportunity to go on a cruise.  It cam about at just the right time for them.  It’s great to hear that in middle of madness, they were blessed.  How often do we forget to credit God for the random.

Family is truly the foundation for everything.  EVERYTHING! It’s been an interesting couple of weeks.  Last week we had Decker in the hospital for a couple days, and although it was nothing serious it was interesting spending the time in those rooms again.  Pictures below of past experiences there.  Also within that week I had the opportunity to hang out with Decker for the whole day on Thanksgiving Day so he wouldn’t pass anything on to other little ones there.  And then again over the last few days being stuck in a hotel room with the 4 of us (due to the furnace issue above), it was interesting to put us in a small space and see how we did with it.  Through all of these experiences over the last couple weeks I’ve realized again that family is everything.  With that, there may be some changes in my life coming up…more to come on that.

many thanks…

Posted: November 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

A few of the things that I’m thankful for…

thankful for a loving wife, who supports me, loves me, and makes me want to be great.

thankful for a family loves, supports, encourages and accepts me.

thankful for a friends who walk beside me, who lead me, who challenge me.

thankful for a job that allows me to do what I’m passionate about

thankful for a calling that allows me to speak life into students

thankful for students who are seeking and finding a God that wants to have a relationship with them.

thankful for a house, food, and the daily supplying of a love Father.

thankful for those who serve our country.

thankful for a legacy of believers who have gone before me, who have paved the way, and who have brought about a great ministry opportunity for me now.

thankful for a God who forgives, who saves, and who redeems.  Without Him I would be nothing

There’s always more, and I pray that I am aware of those the other 364 days of the year, even more so than I am today.

What’s Okay?

Posted: November 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

As I’ve posted a few polls over the last few minutes, I’m hoping for responses, not necessarily “correct” ones, if there are such things.  My concern is that of wanting to see what people think is right or wrong for Christians to partake in.

I’ve been keeping an eye on recent conversations within the Christian realm lately, and I’m somewhat surprised with how so much of what is being said about Christianity is based off of what we set up as rules and regulations.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m concerned with doing what is right, from what is spoken of in the Bible.  But do we make too much of a fuss about things that are so cut and dry?  Do we focus too much on the rules and regulations instead of the person at the center of it all?  Do we turn others away because of this?

I don’t want to say that anything goes when we look at what is right or wrong, but I do hope that that’s not all there is to being a Christ follower.