finding meaning in the mundane

Is More Enough


It’s easy to focus on what you don’t have, isn’t it?  I can go through every area of my life and tell you what’s missing in that area, or what I could stand to have more of. It doesn’t matter if it is finances, health, friendships, marriage, your children, or your job.  Every area of life can be easily picked apart and found wanting more.

Have you ever felt this way?  Wondering why your life doesn’t have more?  Maybe for you its more money.  Why is it that your money doesn’t seem to go far enough?  If only you had more money.  Or it could be your kids…  Does it seem like they don’t listen enough?  If they would only obey more.

More is a relative term.

More makes me feel good only until I realize that someone else has a bit more than me. The amount of more that once made me happy no longer satisfies the inner quest for more.  Beware there is a steel trap baited with “more”.  It is waiting to sink it’s teeth into you holding you captive at the allure of having more.

You would be wise to not ask how much more will be enough, rather ask the question, how much do I already have?  Do it…  Take an inventory of whatever area of your life that you are tempted by the allure of more.  Don’t be afraid of what the answer may be.

Focusing on what we don’t have causes us to easily miss what we do have. 

I mentioned that for me I could go through every area of my life and find a way to have more of it.  For example, I could say for my relationships I wish I had more friends. But let me think about what I currently have. I have two, possibly three guys who if I called right now they would answer no matter what. They would take a bullet for me and are loyal no matter what. I have people who care about me and my family and show that on very tangible ways. Somewhere along the line three guys doesn’t seem like enough. Would I want six guys?  Of course I would. But I’ll tell you what, I’m grateful for these three. So do I focus on the three that I don’t have, or the three I do have?

Your focus is your choice. It’s up to you to decide what you will choose to think about. You can dial it in however you like. For sure, some days are harder than others, but the choice is yours.

Which area of life do you most often feel nagged by the trap of wanting more?  What can you focus on today to avoid the snare of more?


The Journey of Faith

Gowesky FamilyIt has been quiet here these past few months, but it has been anything but quiet in my head and my heart.  I feel like I’ve been on a roller coaster of emotions with my brain barely getting a chance to slow down before heading into another loop or twist.  Throughtout these past months my wife Tiffany and I have come to the conclussion that we are about to start on a new adventure.  With that in mind, this past Sunday I announced to my church that I am stepping down as the campus pastor in Nutley.

One of the things I have loved most about being the campus pastor in Nutley was that I had the privlige of walking along side of men and women who were taking their next steps in their journey of faith.  We’ve said all along that faith is a journey, not a guilt trip.  And I believe that to be true!  I have loved watching people step into our church for the first time to then find their spiritual home at Liquid Nutley.  One of my favorite things to hear people say about our church has been that the Nutley campus feels like family.  Welcoming people home has been a privilege of mine for these past few years.  But I have enjoyed watching as people learn what their next step is in their journey of faith.

Crestwood RoadNine months ago, Tiffany and I began to pray and ask God to show us what the next step would be in our journey of faith.  We were waking up early every day and praying, and asking God to show us.  Through several months of praying, reading, and listening, I am excited to share with you that we are about to set out on this next leg of our journey.  God has provided an opportunity for us to join the staff team at Suncoast Community Church as a teaching pastor.  Suncoast is a non-denominational church in Sarasota Florida.  This opportunity will allow me to do what I believe that God has wired me to do.  I am really excited to see how our relationship with God grows through this time.

It is a bittersweet transition for us here in the Gowesky household.  For Tiffany and I, we are leaving behind many great relationships here in NJ.  We are leaving a church that we love and that has loved us well.  We are leaving the taxes of NJ behind (okay, that’s more sweet than bitter).  Our kids are saying goodbye to their school and friends that they have really grown to love over these past few years.

moving podsBut we are confident of this… God has been faithful in the past, and He will be faithful in the present.  We know that we are in good hands.

So these next few weeks are going to be filled with adventure.  We will be making the 1200 mile journey over the course of several days and then we will begin the process of settling in.  Stay tuned for more info about the journey!



How Are You? No, Really…

“How are you doing?”  If I asked you this I’m pretty sure that I could guess what your answer is going to be.

  1. Fine
  2. Good
  3. Okay

Or maybe just maybe you would join the 2% of the population that actually chooses option 4–honesty.

One Sunday morning I asked someone how they were fully expecting to get any of the first three answers, either 1, 2, or 3.  But instead they chose option 4–honesty.  What did they say?   “Well actually I’m pretty Sh!&#y.  This was Sunday morning in the church hallways.  There was something so honest and refreshing about his response.  He didn’t need to lie to me.  He didn’t need to cover anything up.  His feelings were raw and emotional.  They were right there on the surface.  And what I really appreciate about the whole interchange is that he didn’t apologize for them.  It was what it was.

Recently I’ve been re-reading “Fail“.  And the author J.R. Briggs says this,

How often are the regular Christian clichés we use nothing more than disguises for our hurt and pain?  They are not only lazy but also deceiving.  Maybe most dangerous of all, we may eventually fool ourselves one day into thinking we’re actually okay.  We hide so much under the rug, eventually we end up tripping on it.

Why do we do this to ourselves?  What are we afraid of?  Too often we are so uncomfortable with who we are on the inside that we couldn’t possibly understand how anyone else could possibly accept us if they saw who we truly were or what we were truly experiencing.  So rather than being honest and vulnerable with people, we choose to project an image of having it all together.

This should not be.

HikerFight the desire to simply be okay–okay is average.  Okay desensitizes you to feeling both hot and cold, pain and pleasure.  To the degree that we understand pain, we will understand pleasure.  We cannot understand the majesty of the mountaintop if we haven’t been down in the valleys too.  I love how J.R. puts it, “we may eventually fool ourselves one day into thinking we’re actually okay”.  How scary is that?  Those words left a haunting impression in my mind.  I don’t want to fool you, and the last thing I want to do is fool myself.

Don’t ignore the people around you.  Do them a favor and be honest with them.  They need it, and you need it.  So, would you be bold enough to answer honestly the next time you are asked how you are?  What if you were courageous enough to go first…  I bet you’d be surprised at how they would reply to your question “How are you?”

I dare you.  Try it.


People Watching: Everyone Does It

people-pano2_31297People are funny.  Aren’t they?  They say some really funny things.  I have an austrailian friend who likes to say “Good on you”.   And another Australian friend that greets me by saying, “Hey Mate”.  And yet another friend from Korea that would occasionaly say thank you in Korean–“gamsahabnida”.  These guys are unique and have different backgrounds and experiences than me.  Yet, there is something about the way that they talk that identifies them.

Having grown up in New York, just outside of Queens, I got used to people calling me Peeta…  Yes… they would say it just like the character from the Hunger Games…  It was a thick accent.  And anytime I hear someone call me Peta now, I know immedaitely where they are from.  Their is no hiding it.  It brings me right back…

And the same goes to all of you saying, “Ya’ll”.  We know where you’re from too… There is no hiding from that one!  You can’t deny it.

People are identified by their behavior & speech.

It tells us something about your past.  It tells us something about your present.  And sometimes it even tells us something about your future.  There are times when even a persons attitude gives you an inclination of where they are from.  Ever met anyone from Philly?

Christ followers should also be identified by their speech and behavior.  Jesus says,

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

John 13:34-35

When Peter was in the midst of denying Jesus for the third time, some people around him said, “even the way that you talk gives you away.”  Basically, we can tell you’ve been with Jesus.  You talk like Him!

What does your attitude say about you?  What do you sound like?  When you speak, can people tell that you follow Jesus?   I wish that people were able to identify me as a follower of Jesus simply because of the way that I talk.  Or that they would know my love for my savior because of the love that I have for my wife and kids.  Imagine what it would be like to be known as a follower of Jesus because of the way that you care for the poor, and the hurting.

People are watching.  They are investigating, trying to figure out who you are and what you’re about.  Let’s live, speak and act in a way that points people to Jesus.



Is it well?

it-is-well-with-my-soul-2014-theologigalRecently I shared a post with a message I gave to my church.  (Click here to view that message)  At the end of that message I asked one simple question.  It was this:  Will you trust God with your pain?

That is a simple question, but yet it is so difficult to answer.  Will I trust God with my pain?  I have to first answer other questions, like; is God good?  Is God in control?  Does God care about me?    These are the questions that plague us and leave us feeling weary and worn out.

When we walk into the doctors office to hear the test results, or when we click our pen to sign the divorce papers, or when we feel anxious over every one of life’s details, we ultimately have a decision to make… and that is, will you trust God?  Can you say that it is well?

Sometimes it is easier than others… At least that has been my experience.  But at the same time, I also know that there is nothing I would rather do than place my life and my hurts, pains, doubts, and frustrations into the hands of a God who not only knows what it is like, but holds it all together.

When I am in the moments of pain and deep suffering I have to turn to scripture.  Over the past few months the soundtrack to my pain has often been this song-It Is Well by Bethel .   I love these words…

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
It is well with me

Read more:  Bethel Music – It Is Well Lyrics | MetroLyrics

So, what about you?  Can you say, It Is Well?


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